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Category Archives: soul oldies

“THE ESQUIRES – GET ON UP”

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The Esquires were an American R&B group from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, principally active from 1957 to 1976.

History

The group first formed in 1957 around the Moorer family: Gilbert (born Gilbert Moorer, Jr., August 20, 1941, Birmingham, Alabama, died August 28, 2008),[1] his brother Alvis (born Alvis V. Moorer, January 18, 1940, Birmingham, Alabama, died August 21, 2011), and their sister Betty. They first performed as Betty Moorer and the Esquires. When their sister and lead singer left, the group shortened its name to The Esquires, and Gilbert became lead singer.[2] In 1961, Sam Pace (born Sammie L. Pace, September 22, 1944, Kansas City, Missouri, died January 7, 2013) joined as a tenor.[3] They went through many lineup changes over their first decade, which saw them aiming mostly for local recognition. In 1966 they moved to Chicago and auditioned for Curtis Mayfield, who was not interested in signing them.[4] They then attempted to sign with Constellation Records, but the record label went under at the end of 1966; they signed instead with Bunky Records, Constellation’s successor. Bunky was distributed by Scepter Records on the national level.

Their debut record for Bunky/Scepter was “Get on Up”, (1967) which became a major hit in the United States, peaking at #11 as a pop single but reaching #3 on the R&B charts. Following the release they played Chicago’s Regal Theater and the Apollo Theatre in New York City. Further singles were also successes, and the group released one full-length LP. After five singles on Bunky the group signed a deal with Scepter themselves late in 1968. They later returned to Bunky and then, in 1970, signed with Capitol Records for one single (“Reach Out”) and Lamarr Records in 1971 for “Girls in the City”.

Gilbert Moorer died from throat cancer on August 28, 2008, at the age of 67.[2]

Alvis Moorer died on August 21, 2011 at the age of 71.

Sam Pace died after a long illness on January 7, 2013 at the age of 68.[3]

Edwards, who lives in Chicago, is now the only surviving member of the band from its recording days.[3]

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“Brenton Wood- Baby you got it”

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Brenton Wood (born Alfred Jesse Smith, July 26, 1941, Shreveport, Louisiana)[1] is an American singer and songwriter known for his two 1967 hit singles, “The Oogum Boogum Song” and “Gimme Little Sign”.

Career

The family moved to San Pedro in Los Angeles, California when Wood was a child. He attended San Pedro High School for part of his freshman year before moving to Compton, where Brenton became a member of the Compton High School track team and received several awards for his athletic achievements.

Following his high school graduation, Wood enrolled in East Los Angeles College. Soon after, he took the stage name Brenton Wood, possibly inspired by the wealthy Los Angeles enclave of Brentwood (some sources state that the name is in honor of his “home county”), with a second possible connection of Bretton Woods. During this period, his musical interests began to manifest themselves. He was inspired by Jesse Belvin and Sam Cooke, and he began cultivating his songwriting skills, also becoming a competent pianist.[1]

Early singles for Brent Records and Wand Records failed to chart. Wood signed with Double Shot Records, and his “The Oogum Boogum Song” reached #19 on the US Billboard R&B chart and #34 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the spring of 1967. In Southern California, “The Oogum Boogum Song” hit the top 10 on KGB-FM and #1 on KHJ. Wood’s biggest hit came a few months later, as “Gimme Little Sign” hit #9 on the pop chart, #19 on the R&B charts, #2 on KHJ, and #8 in the UK Singles Chart;[2] sold over one million copies; and was awarded a gold disc.[1] The title is not actually sung in the song; the chorus instead repeats “Give Me Some Kind of Sign.” Wood’s “Baby You Got It” peaked at #34 on the Hot 100 during the last week of 1967 and #3 on KHJ on 31 January 1968.

Wood recorded a duet with Shirley Goodman. His next song to reach the charts was “Come Softly to Me” in 1977.

He returned again in 1986 with the album Out of the Woodwork,[3] which included contemporary rerecordings of his early hits, along with several new tracks, including the single, “Soothe Me.”[4]

His album This Love Is for Real came out in 2001. Among his later appearances was in 2006 on the Los Angeles public access program Thee Mr. Duran Show, where Wood and his band performed several of his hit singles.[5]

Recently, in 2014, he partnered with William Pilgrim & The All Grows Up for a remake of the song “Gimme Little Sign” on their recently released album, Epic Endings (available on iTunes and Amazon) which came out in August.[6]

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“Aretha Franklin – Daydreaming”  

“Aretha Franklin – Daydreaming”  


Day Dreaming” is a soul single by American singer Aretha Franklin. Released from her album Young, Gifted and Black, it spent two weeks at the top of the Hot Soul Singles chart in April 1972 and peaked at number five on the Billboard Hot 100 and number 11 on the Easy Listening singles chart.[1] Billboardranked it as the No. 61 song for 1972.[2]

Donny Hathaway plays electric piano on the single. Hubert Laws plays the flute on the single. The single version omits the jazzy daydreaming like music, heard in the beginning and the ending of the song, where even the vocals sounded too psychedelic for most radio airplay. It has been rumoured that the song is about Temptations‘ singer Dennis Edwards. It would be her twelfth number-one soul single while at Atlantic Records and sold more than one million copies.

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Posted by on September 25, 2017 in female vocalist, r&b, soul oldies

 

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“The Young Hearts ~ I’ve Got Love For My Baby”

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Biography

An R&B vocal group from Los Angeles, California, USA. Original members were Ronald Preyer, Charles Ingersoll, Earl Carter, and James Moore. The Young Hearts were typical of the falsetto-lead stand-up vocal groups that populated the R&B scene of the late 60s and early 70s. Their impact was purely on the R&B charts, getting moderate hits with ‘I’ve Got Love For My Baby’ (number 19 R&B) in 1968 for the Minit subsidiary of Imperial Records, and ‘Wake Up And Start Standing’ (number 48 R&B) in 1974 for 20th Century. A stay at ABC Records in 1977 produced an album and several singles that did nothing, and the group faded after that.

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The Young Hearts ~ I’ve Got Love For My Baby:

 

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“Main Ingredient – Just Don’t Want To Be Lonely (1974)”

Just Don’t Want to Be Lonely” is a song written by Bobby Eli, John Freeman and Vinnie Barrett and made popular by Ronnie Dyson.[1] It reached No. 60 in the US Pop chart and No. 29 in the US R&B chart.[2] Its flipside was “Point of No Return” a song written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King.

The group was formed in Harlem, New York in 1964 as a trio called the Poets, composed of lead singer Donald McPherson, Luther Simmons, Jr., and Panama-born Tony Silvester. They made their first recordings for Leiber & Stoller’s Red Bird label, but soon changed their name to the Insiders and signed with RCA. After a couple of singles, they changed their name once again in 1968, this time permanently to the Main Ingredient, taking the name from a Coke bottle.

The Main Ingredient then teamed up with record producer Bert DeCoteaux. Under his direction, the Main Ingredient reached the R&B Top 30 for the first time in 1970 with “You’ve Been My Inspiration”. A cover of The Impressions’ “I’m So Proud” broke the Top 20, and “Spinning Around (I Must Be Falling in Love)” went into the Top 10. They scored again with the McPherson-penned black power anthem “Black Seeds Keep on Growing,” but tragedy struck in 1971. Don McPherson, who had suddenly taken ill with leukemia, died unexpectedly. Stunned,Tony Silvester and Luther Simmons regrouped with new lead singer Cuba Gooding, Sr., who had served as a backing vocalist on some of their previous recordings and had filled in on tour during McPherson’s brief illness.

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Gladys Knight – If I Were Your Woman”

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“If I Were Your Woman” i

s a song recorded by

Gladys Knight & the Pips.

The song was written by Pam Sawyer, Clay McMurray, and Gloria Jones and it was produced by McMurray and arranged by David Van De Pitte. Released in late 1970 from the album of the same title, it spent one week at number-one on the Best Selling Soul Singles chart in January 1971. It was also successful on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, peaking at #9.[1]

 

“I Say a Little Prayer” performed by Aretha Franklin. (1960s)

“I Say a Little Prayer” performed by Aretha Franklin. (1960s)

ABOUT THE SONG

“I Say a Little Prayer” is a song written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David for Dionne Warwick, originally peaking at number four on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 pop singles chart in December 1967.

Background and
Other recordings

Warwick’s “I Say a Little Prayer” did not appear on the Billboard Easy Listening chart although two instrumental versions of the song were Easy Listening chart items in 1968: the first by Sérgio Mendes at No. 21 in the spring of 1968 while that fall Julius Wechter and the Baja Marimba Band took “I Say a Little Prayer” to No. 10 Easy Listening.

“I Say a Little Prayer” also returned to the Pop & R&B Top Ten in the fall of 1968 via a recording by Aretha Franklin taken from her 1968 Aretha Now album. Franklin and background vocalists the Sweet Inspirations were singing the song for fun while rehearsing the songs intended for the album when the viability of Franklin actually recording “I Say a Little Prayer” became apparent, significantly re-invented from the format of the Dionne Warwick original via the prominence of Clayton Ivey’s piano work and the choral vocals of the Sweet Inspirations. Similar to the history of Warwick’s double-sided hit, the Aretha Franklin version was intended as the B-side of the July 1968 single release “The House that Jack Built” but began to accrue its own airplay that August. Even with “The House That Jack Built” ranking as high as No. 6 (#2 R&B) in September 1968, “I Say a Little Prayer” reached No. 10 (#3 R&B) that October, the same month the single was certified Gold by the RIAA. “Prayer” became Franklin’s ninth and last consecutive Hot 100 top 10 hit on the Atlantic label (not counting every flip side), with each of the nine curiously peaking at a different position. Franklin’s “Prayer” has a special significance in her UK career, as with its September 1968 No. 4 peak it became Franklin’s biggest UK hit; subsequently Franklin has surpassed that track’s UK peak only with her No. 1 collaboration with George Michael, “I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)”. In February 1987, UK music weekly New Musical Express published its critics’ top 150 singles of all time, with Franklin’s “I Say a Little Prayer” ranked at No. 1, followed by Al Green’s “Tired of Being Alone” and Warwick’s “Walk On By”. (Franklin’s “I Say a Little Prayer” did not appear in the magazine’s in-house critics’ top 100 singles poll conducted in November 2002.)

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