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Category Archives: soul oldies

“Eartha Kitt – Santa Baby (Original) HQ

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“Santa Baby” is a 1953 Christmas song written by Joan Javits (the niece of Senator Jacob K. Javits) and Philip Springer.

The song is a tongue-in-cheek look at a Christmas list addressed to Santa Claus by a woman who wants extravagant gifts such as sables, yachts, and decorations from Tiffany’s.

Source: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santa Baby

 

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“BLUE MAGIC – SPELL”

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Blue Magic is an American R&B/soul music group, and one of the most popular Philadelphia soul groups of the 1970s. Founded in 1972, the group’s original members included lead singer Ted Mills with Vernon Sawyer, Wendell Sawyer, Keith Beaton, and Richard Pratt. Their most notable songs included smooth soul ballads such as “Sideshow”, “Spell”, “What’s Come Over Me”, “Three Ring Circus” and “Stop to Start.”

Origins

Blue Magic was formed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1972 when former member of The Delfonics Randy Cain brought in singer-songwriter Ted Mills to do some writing with the Philly-based WMOT production company to create a new band. A short time later the group Shades of Love, featuring Keith Beaton, Richard Pratt, Vernon Sawyer and his brother Wendell, came in to audition. (According to Marc Taylor in his book ‘A Touch of Classic Soul of the Early 1970s’,[1] “although the group performed admirably, they lacked a standout lead singer”.) The execs decided to replace the Toppicks, the act Mills recorded with. They inserted Shades of Love (which they owned contractually) with Ted Mills and retitled the group Blue Magic. They were signed with Atco Records through WMOT in the same year.

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“It’s A Shame”

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“It’s a Shame”

is a song co-written by Stevie Wonder, Syreeta Wright and Lee Garrett and produced by Wonder as a single for The Spinners on Motown’s V.I.P. Records label. The single became the Detroit-reared group’s biggest single on the Motown Records company since they had signed with the company in 1964 and also their biggest hit in a decade.

The lineup of the Spinners include original members Pervis Jackson, Henry Fambrough, Billy Henderson and Bobby Smith and lead vocalist G.C. Cameron. The quintet recorded the single in 1970.

The song, which is about a man who complains about a lover’s “messin’ around” on him, became a huge hit for the group reaching number-fourteen on the Billboard Hot 100 and number-three on the R&B singles chart, making it their biggest hit to date. The song was the first song Wonder produced for another act by himself.

Two years later, the group would leave Motown for a contract with Atlantic Records on the advice of fellow Detroit native Aretha Franklin, also an artist on that label. Cameron, who was having an affair with Gwen Gordy (sister of Motown founder Berry Gordy) decided to stay in Motown and the group hired Cameron’s cousin Philippé Wynne to replace him. Later, Cameron moved with the Gordys to Los Angeles, and stayed with Motown for over a decade.

Early recording years: 1961–71
The Spinners first hit the charts in August 1961 on Harvey Fuqua’s Tri-Phi Records, with “That’s What Girls Are Made For”, peaking at number 27. Bobby Smith sang lead vocal on this track, coached by Fuqua. (Some sources report Fuqua sang lead vocal on this track, but both Smith and Fuqua have stated at various times that it was Smith.) The group’s follow-up, “Love (I’m So Glad) I Found You”, also featured lead vocals by Smith, although again some sources credit Fuqua. This track reached number 91 that November, but none of their other Tri-Phi singles charted.

The extent to which Fuqua became a member of the group during their stay at Tri-Phi is debated. Fuqua apparently sang on at least some of the records, and at minimum considered himself a Spinner, as made explicit by the credits on Tri-Phi 1010 and 1024—the artist credit on both these 1962 singles reads “Harvey (Formerly of the Moonglows and the Spinners)”. However most sources,[clarification needed] while respecting Fuqua’s contributions to the group, do not list him as an official member.

James Edwards’ brother, Edgar “Chico” Edwards, replaced Dixon in the group in 1963, at which time Tri-Phi and the entire artist roster was bought out by Fuqua’s brother-in-law Berry Gordy of Motown Records. The Spinners were then assigned to the Motown label.

In 1964, the Spinners made their debut at the Apollo Theater and won instant acclaim, a rare feat at the time.[citation needed] But with the exception of “I’ll Always Love You” (led by Smith), which hit number 35 in 1965, success mostly eluded them during the 1960s. After “I’ll Always Love You”, they released one single a year from 1966 to 1969 inclusive, but none charted on the Billboard Hot 100, and only their 1966 song “Truly Yours” (led by Smith) hit the Billboard R&B chart, peaking at number 16.

With commercial success virtually non-existent, during much of this decade the Spinners were used by Motown as road managers, chaperones and chauffeurs for other groups, and even as shipping clerks. G. C. Cameron replaced Edgar “Chico” Edwards in 1967, and in 1969, the group switched to the Motown-owned V.I.P. imprint. (The label name is somewhat ironic, given that V.I.P. was generally considered a substandard imprint behind Motown, Gordy, Tamla, and Soul).[citation needed]

In 1970, after a five-year chart absence, they hit number 14 with writer-producer Stevie Wonder’s composition (the Cameron-led) “It’s a Shame” (co-written by Syreeta Wright), and charted again the following year with another song Wonder wrote and produced, “We’ll Have It Made” (led by Cameron), from their new album 2nd Time Around. However, these were their last two singles for V.I.P.

Shortly after the release of 2nd Time Around, as Fambrough has stated in interview,[3] has it that Atlantic Records recording artist Aretha Franklin suggested the group finish out their Motown contract and sign with Atlantic. The group made the switch but due to his contractual obligations, Cameron was unable to leave Motown so he remained with Motown as a solo artist and suggested his cousin, singer Philippé Wynne, join the Spinners as Cameron’s replacement and the group’s new lead singer. However, original lead singer Bobby Smith also retained his lead position.

The hit years with Philippé Wynne Edit
When the Spinners signed to Atlantic in 1972, they were a respected but commercially unremarkable singing group who had never had a top-ten pop hit — despite having been a recording act for over a decade. However, under the helm of producer and songwriter Thom Bell, the Spinners charted five top 100 singles (and two top 10s) from their first post-Motown album, Spinners (1972), and went on to become one of the biggest soul groups of the 1970s.

The Bobby Smith-led “I’ll Be Around”, their first top ten hit, was actually the B-side of their first Atlantic single, (the Wynne-led) “How Could I Let You Get Away”. Radio airplay for the B-side led Atlantic to flip the single over, with “I’ll Be Around” hitting #3 and “How Could I Let You Get Away” reaching #77. “I’ll Be Around” was also the Spinners’ first million-selling hit single.[4]

The 1973 follow-up singles “Could It Be I’m Falling in Love” (led by Smith), “One of a Kind (Love Affair)” (led by Wynne), and “Ghetto Child” (led by Wynne) cemented the group’s reputation, as well as further that of Bell, a noted Philly soul producer.

Following their Atlantic successes, Motown also issued a “Best of the Spinners” LP which featured selections from their Motown/V.I.P. recordings. They also remixed and reissued the 1970 B-side “Together We Can Make Such Sweet Music” (led by Smith) as a 1973 A-side. In the midst of their Atlantic hits, it crawled to number #91 US.

The group’s 1974 follow-up album, Mighty Love, featured three Top 20 hits, “I’m Coming Home,” “Love Don’t Love Nobody,” and the title track. Their biggest hit of the year, however, was a collaboration with Dionne Warwick, “Then Came You” (led by Smith and Warwick), which hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming each act’s first chart-topping ‘Pop’ hit. The song also reached the Top 3 of Billboard′s R&B and Easy Listening charts.

The Spinners hit the Top 10 twice in the next two years with the Smith-led “They Just Can’t Stop It (The Games People Play)” (Billboard #5) and the Wynne-led “The Rubberband Man” (Billboard #2). “Games People Play” featured guest vocalist Barbara Ingram (though producer Bell disputed this in a UK-based interview, claiming Barbara’s line was actually group member Henry Fambrough – his voice sped up[5]) and led to a nickname of “12:45” for bass singer Jackson, after his signature vocal line on the song.

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“Peaches & Herb – Reunited” 

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Peaches & Herb are an American vocalist duo, once comprising Herb Fame (born October 1, 1942) and Francine “Peaches” Hurd Barker (April 28, 1947 – August 13, 2005). Herb has remained a constant in “Peaches & Herb” since its creation in 1966, while seven different women have filled the role of “Peaches.”

History

Herb Fame (born Herbert Feemster, October 1, 1942, in Anacostia, Washington, D.C.), sang in church and neighborhood groups as a child. After graduation from high school, he worked in a local record store where he met record producer Van McCoy and was signed to Columbia subsidiary Date Records by McCoy and A&R executive Dave Kapralik.[1] Francine “Peaches” Barker (born Francine Edna Hurd, April 28, 1947, in Washington, D.C.), using the stage name Francine Day,[2] started a singing trio initially dubbed The Darlettes and later renamed The Sweet Things after a change of record label to Date Records.[3] Having produced two releases for the trio, McCoy decided to record Feemster/Fame and Hurd/Day together at Kapralik’s suggestion.[4][5][6] The resulting single, “We’re in This Thing Together,” was distributed to radio stations but went nowhere for months until December 1966, when a St. Louis disc jockey broadcast the single’s B-side, a revival of the 1934 hit “Let’s Fall in Love.”[5][7]

The new duo, christened “Peaches & Herb,” had a string of successful singles and albums over the next two years such as “Let’s Fall in Love,” “Close Your Eyes,” “For Your Love,” and “Love Is Strange.” Despite burgeoning success and a media image as the “Sweethearts of Soul,” Barker chose to semi-retire from the duo after two years because of the rigors of touring. Marlene Mack (aka Marlene Jenkins), who had sung on the Jaynetts’ hit “Sally Go ‘Round the Roses” and had recorded as Marlina Mars,[8] replaced Barker on stage, but Barker remained on all of the duo’s recordings for Date Records. During this period, the semi-retired “Peaches” also worked as a solo artist using her married name, Francine Barker. She released three singles in total on the Columbia Records label,[3] including “Angels in the Sky” and “Mister DJ.”

Fame retired the act in 1970 when, for personal reasons, he enrolled in the police academy of Washington, D.C. and thereafter joined the city’s police department.[9] Peaches & Herb lay dormant until Fame decided to re-enter the music business in 1976. In his search for a new “Peaches,” Herb again enlisted the assistance of Van McCoy, who suggested that Linda Greene would be suitable for the position. Fame met Greene and concurred, thereby leading to formation of the most successful of the “Peaches & Herb” incarnations to date. Linda’s early musical training (while growing up in Washington, DC) was at The Sewell Music Conservatory.

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“Lionel Richie – Hello”

“Lionel Richie – Hello”

As a student in Tuskegee, Richie formed a succession of R&B groups in the mid-1960s. In 1968 he became a singer and saxophonist with the Commodores. They signed a recording contract with Atlantic Records in 1968 for one record before moving on to Motown Records initially as a support act to The Jackson 5. The Commodores then became established as a popular soul group. Their first several albums had a danceable, funky sound, as in such tracks as “Machine Gun” and “Brick House.” Over time, Richie wrote and sang more romantic, easy-listening ballads such as “Easy”, “Three Times a Lady”, “Still”, and the tragic breakup ballad “Sail On”.

By the late 1970s he had begun to accept songwriting commissions from other artists. He composed “Lady” for Kenny Rogers, which hit #1 in 1980, and produced Rogers’s album Share Your Love the following year. Richie and Rogers maintained a strong friendship in later years. Latin jazz composer and salsa romantica pioneer La Palabra enjoyed international success with his cover of “Lady,” which was played at Latin dance clubs. Also in 1981 Richie sang the theme song for the film Endless Love, a duet with Diana Ross. Issued as a single, the song topped the UK, Canada, Brazil, Australia, Japan, New Zealand and US pop music charts, and became one of Motown’s biggest hits (in the US it sold 2 million copies and became a platinum single record).[citation needed] Its success encouraged Richie to branch out into a full-fledged solo career in 1982. He was replaced as lead singer for The Commodores by Skyler Jett in 1983. His debut album, Lionel Richie, produced another chart-topping single, “Truly”, which continued the style of his ballads with the Commodores.

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“Apples Peaches Pumpkin Pie – Jay & The Techniques”

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Jay & The Techniques was a pop group that originated in Allentown, Pennsylvania during the mid-1960s. Their song “Apples, Peaches, Pumpkin Pie”, released in 1967 on the Smash label, reached the Top 10 on the R&B chart.[1]

Career

The band was best known for its Top 10 debut single, “Apples, Peaches, Pumpkin Pie”, which was released in 1967 and reached #6 in the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The track was arranged by Joe Renzetti, and written by Maurice Irby, Jr. It sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc.[2] Although this song served as the band’s primary hit, the group also captured various chart positions with “Keep the Ball Rollin'” (#14) and “Strawberry Shortcake”. “Keep the Ball Rollin'” also notched up sales in excess of a million copies, to secure a second gold disc for this group.[2] However, its position on the 1960s pop charts declined after “Baby Make Your Own Sweet Music” was released. They made their final effort with the R&B hit, “Number Onderful”, but after that, the group disbanded.


“Apples, Peaches, Pumpkin Pie” a
nd “Baby Make Your Own Sweet Music” were both released in the UK by Mercury Records and whilst neither song charted in Great Britain, in the early 1970s both songs became disco/dance favourites of the British Northern Soul music scene.

In 1996, Mercury Records released a compilation album of the band’s hits entitled The Best of Jay & The Techniques.

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“MELBA MOORE – Lean On Me”

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Beatrice Melba Hill[1] (born October 29, 1945), best known by her stage name, Melba Moore is an American singer, actress, entertainer.[2] She is the daughter of saxophonist Teddy Hill and R&B singer Bonnie Davis. She is known for the voice of Tibi the Take it Back Butterfly in some Warner Bros. cartoons, such as Yakety Yak, Take it Back, Trash Talk, Tiny Toon Adventures, and Animaniacs.

Music career

In 1975 Moore signed with Buddah Records and released the critically successful R&B album, Peach Melba, which included the minor hit, “I Am His Lady”. The following year she scored her first significant hit with the Van McCoy-penned “This Is It”, which reached the Billboard Hot 100, the top-20 position on the R&B chart, and top-10 in the UK, becoming her biggest success in that country. ‘This is It’ also became the number-1 disco track in the UK for that year. It would be 18 years later that Australian singer Dannii Minogue will cover this song and make it to # 10 on the ARIA charts. In 1976 she scored her third Grammy nomination with the R&B ballad “Lean on Me”, which had been recorded originally by Vivian Reed and later by Moore’s idol Aretha Franklin who recorded the song as a b-side to her 1971 hit “Spanish Harlem”. The song is most notable for Moore’s extended long note at the end. In 1983 she re-recorded the song as a tribute to McCoy, who had died 4 years earlier. Throughout the rest of the 1970s, Moore struggled to match the success of “This Is It” with minor R&B/dance hits, gaining another hit with 1979’s “You Stepped Into My Life”, which was released on Epic Records and hit the top 20 on the R&B charts and became one of her biggest pop hits.[citation needed]

In 1981 Moore signed with Capitol Records and reached the top 5 on the R&B charts with the dance-pop/funk single “Love’s Comin’ At Ya”, which also hit the top 20 in the UK and became a sizable hit in some European countries for its post-disco sound and followed by “Mind Up Tonight” Which was another top 40 hit in the UK. A string of R&B hits followed, including 1983’s “Keepin’ My Lover Satisfied” and “Love Me Right”, 1984’s “Livin’ For Your Love”, 1985’s “Read My Lips”—which later won Moore a fourth Grammy nomination for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance, making her just the third black artist after Donna Summer and Michael Jackson to be nominated in the rock category—and 1985’s “When You Love Me Like This”. In 1986, she scored two number-one R&B hits, including the duet “A Little Bit More” with Freddie Jackson and “Falling”. She scored other popular R&B hits including “Love the One I’m With (A Lot of Love)” and “It’s Been So Long”. In 1986, Moore also headlined the CBS television sitcom Melba; its debut aired the same night as the Challenger explosion and the show was abruptly cancelled, though 5 episodes aired that summer. Her success began to wane as the decade closed, although she managed 2 further Top 10 R&B hits, “Do You Really (Want My Love)” and “Lift Every Voice and Sing” (which featured such artists as Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Jeffrey Osborne, Anita Baker, and Stephanie Mills).[citation needed] Moore had a starring role in the 1990 horror film Def by Temptation. In 1991, Moore provided the voice of Tibi the Take it Back Butterfly, MC Skat Kat’s good friend, second to Yakety Yak, in the Warner Bros. cartoons Yakety Yak, Take it Back (1991), Trash Talk (1992), Tiny Toon Adventures (1990), and Animaniacs (1993), before voice actress Cree Summer took over the role in Space Jam (1996), and Looney Tunes: Back in Action (2003), followed by voice actress Heather Bambrick in Looney Tunes: Rabbits Run (2015), and others, during the 2010’s.

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