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Category Archives: soul oldies

Then Came You – The Spinners (with Dionne Warwick)

Then Came You – The Spinners (with Dionne Warwick)

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“Then Came You” is a 1974 Grammy-nominated hit for American soul singer Dionne Warwick and American R&B group The Spinners, and credited to Dionne Warwicke and Spinners (from 1971–1975, Warwick added a final ‘e’ to her last name). The track was written by Sherman Marshall and Phillip T. Pugh, and produced by Thom Bell.

Released during a time that Warwick’s chart fortunes were at an ebb after moving to Warner Bros. Records in 1972, the Philadelphia soul single was a rare mid-1970s success for the singer. Sung as a duet with Spinners main lead singer Bobby Smith and the Spinners, who were one of the most popular groups of the decade, the song became Warwick’s first ever single to reach number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and also became her highest-charting R&B record reaching number two on that chart. It was also the first number-one pop hit for the Spinners. Spinners member Phillippe Wynne took over lead duties at the very end of the song, as he did on another one of the group’s big hits, “Could It Be I’m Falling in Love”.

While Warwick was signed to Warner Bros. at the time, this release actually came out on Atlantic Records, which was the Spinners’ label, but also a sister label to Warner Bros.

Warwick eventually left Warner Bros. for Arista Records in 1978 where she regrouped and found consistent success again as an artist.

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“If I Could Build My Whole Around You -MARVIN GAYE AND TAMMI TERRELL”

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“If I Could Build My Whole World Around You” is a popular song recorded by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell in 1967 and released in December 1967. Written by Harvey Fuqua, Johnny Bristol, and Vernon Bullock, the single was Gaye & Terrell’s third single together and the second to go Top Ten on both the Pop and R&B charts of Billboard, peaking at number ten and number two, respectively.

The duo’s vocals go back and forth as they described what could be if either was able to “build a world” around their loved one. It was one of few songs that set the duo apart from other R&B duos of the time. In time, this song among other legendary duets by the two soul icons would become the landmark for R&B duets to this day. The song was also one of the few songs that was written by someone other than Ashford & Simpson, who had written several hit songs for the duo.

Marc Broussard covered this song for his 2007 album SOS: Save Our Soul. Swedish Pop Idol winner Agnes Carlsson covered this song with Erik Hassle in 2009 for her UK debut album Dance Love Pop.

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“Mockingbird, Inez & Charlie Foxx “

“Mockingbird, Inez & Charlie Foxx “

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Mockingbird, Inez & Charlie Foxx

Inez Foxx (born September 9, 1942) and her elder brother Charlie Foxx (October 23, 1939 – September 18, 1998) were an African-American rhythm and blues and soul duo from Greensboro, North Carolina. Inez sang lead vocal, while Charlie sang back-up and played guitar.

Biography

Charlie Foxx began singing with a gospel choir as a child in the early 1950s, and was later joined by his sister Inez. In 1960 Inez traveled to New York City and recorded for Brunswick Records using the name Inez Johnston, but with little success. In early 1963, the pair introduced themselves to Henry ‘Juggy’ Murray, the owner of Sue Records, and sang him their arrangement of the traditional lullaby “Hush, Little Baby”. The song, re-titled

“Mockingbird”,

was released in 1963 and made the Top 10 on both the US rhythm and blues and pop charts. It was their most successful record, and was later covered by artists including Aretha Franklin, James Taylor, Carly Simon, Dusty Springfield, Etta James with Taj Mahal and Toby Keith.

The record company, keen to promote Inez Foxx as a solo singer, issued later recordings under her name alone, despite the presence of two voices on the records. Perhaps because “Mockingbird” was seen as a novelty record, the pair had difficulty following it up, although “Ask Me” and “Hurt by Love” made the lower reaches of the US charts, and “Hurt by Love” also reached the UK singles chart. In 1966 the pair joined Musicor Records and recorded for its subsidiary label, Dynamo. They returned to the pop charts in 1967 with “(1-2-3-4-5-6-7) Count the Days”, and became known for their exciting live performances. A highlight was Inez’s rendition of “I Stand Accused”, which finished with a supposedly distraught Inez singing the last verse, while being carried offstage by Charlie. They toured extensively in Europe and their music played a key role in the development of the Northern Soul movement.

Inez Foxx married songwriter and producer Luther Dixon in the late 1960s. Together they wrote, and he produced, the Platters’ mid-1960s return to hit-making with the single “I Love You 1000 Times”..Luther Dixon produced Inez and Charlie’s 1967 Dynamo album Come By Here, but the couple later divorced.

Inez also had some success recording on her own, beginning in 1969, but her popularity faded in the 1970s. Charlie was already working as a songwriter and record producer when they finally disbanded their act. Inez continued to record as a solo singer for Volt Records in the 1970s.

Charlie Foxx died from leukemia in 1998, at the age of 58.

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“Destination: Anywhere” –  by The Marvelettes

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The Marvelettes were an American all-girl group who achieved popularity in the early to mid-1960s. They consisted of schoolmates Gladys Horton, Katherine Anderson (now Schaffner), Georgeanna Tillman (later Gordon), Juanita Cowart (now Cowart Motley), and Georgia Dobbins, who was replaced by Wanda Young (now Rogers) prior to the group signing their first deal. They were the first major successful act of Motown Records after the Miracles and its first significantly successful girl group after the release of the 1961 number-one single, “Please Mr. Postman”, one of the first number-one singles recorded by an all-female vocal group and the first by a Motown recording act.

Founded in 1960 while the group’s founding members performed together at their glee club at Inkster High School in Inkster, Michigan, they eventually were signed to Motown’s Tamla label in 1961. Some of the group’s early hits were written by band members and some of Motown’s rising singer-songwriters such as Smokey Robinson and Marvin Gaye, who played drums on a majority of their early recordings. Despite their early successes, the group was eclipsed in popularity by groups like the Supremes, with whom they shared an intense rivalry.

Nevertheless, they managed a major comeback in 1966 with “Don’t Mess with Bill”, followed by a few smaller hits. They struggled with issues of dismal promotion from Motown, illnesses, and mental breakdowns, with Cowart the first to leave in 1963, followed by Georgeanna Tillman two years later, and Gladys Horton two years later. The group ceased performing together in 1969 and, following the release of The Return of the Marvelettes in 1970, featuring only Wanda Rogers, disbanded for good, with both Rogers and Katherine Anderson leaving the music business.

The group has received several honors including induction into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame, as well as receiving the Pioneer Award from the Rhythm and Blues Foundation. In 2005, two of the group’s most successful recordings, “Please Mr. Postman” and “Don’t Mess with Bill” earned million-selling Gold singles from the RIAA. On August 17, 2013, in Cleveland, Ohio, at Cleveland State University, the Marvelettes were inducted into the 1st class of the Official Rhythm & Blues Music Hall of Fame.

The Marvelettes were nominated for induction to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2013 and again in 2015.

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“Al Green-Lets Stay Together”

“Al Green-Lets Stay Together”


Early Career

Having noted that Al had been trying to sing like Jackie Wilson, Sam Cooke, Wilson Pickett and James Brown, Mitchell became his vocal mentor, coaching him into finding his own voice. Before releasing his first album with Hi, Green removed the final “e” from his name. Subsequently, Green released Green Is Blues, which became a moderate success. Green’s follow-up album, Al Green Gets Next to You, featured Green’s hit R&B cover of The Temptations’ “I Can’t Get Next to You”, recorded in a slow blues-oriented version. The album also featured his first significant hit, “Tired of Being Alone”, which sold half a million copies and was certified gold, becoming the first of seven consecutive gold singles Green would record in the next couple of years.

Green’s next album, Let’s Stay Together, solidified his place in soul music with the title track becoming his biggest hit to date, reaching number one on both the Billboard Hot 100 and R&B charts. The album became his first to be certified gold. His follow-up, I’m Still in Love with You went platinum with the help of the singles, “Look What You Done for Me” and the title track, both of which went top ten on the Hot 100. His next album, 1973’s Call Me spawned three top ten singles including “You Ought to Be with Me”, “Call Me (Come Back Home)” and “Here I Am (Come and Take Me)”. Green’s album, Livin’ for You, released at the tail-end of 1973, became his last album to be certified gold.

In addition to these hit singles, Green also had radio hits with songs such as “Love and Happiness”, his cover of the Bee Gees’ “How Can You Mend a Broken Heart”, “Simply Beautiful”, “What a Wonderful Thing Love Is” and “Take Me to the River”, later covered successfully by new wave band Talking Heads and blues artist Syl Johnson. Green continued to record successful R&B hits in the next several years including “Livin’ for You”, “Let’s Get Married”, “Sha-La-La (Makes Me Happy)”, “L-O-V-E (Love)” and “Full of Fire”. By the time Green released the album, The Belle Album in 1977, however, Green’s record sales had plummeted, partially due to Green’s own personal issues during this time and his desire to become a minister.[8] His last Hi Records album, Truth n’ Time, was released in 1978 and failed to become a success. Two years later, he left Hi for Myrrh Records and recorded only gospel music for the next decade and a half.

 

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EDWIN STARR – AGENT OO SOUL

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Career
The biggest hit of Starr’s career, which cemented his reputation, was the Vietnam War protest song “War” (1970). Starr’s intense vocals transformed a Temptations album track into a number one chart success, which spent three weeks in the top position on the U.S. Billboard charts, an anthem for the antiwar movement and a cultural milestone that continues to resound in movie soundtracks and hip hop music samples. It sold over three million copies, and was awarded a gold disc.[1] “War” appeared on both of Starr’s War & Peace album and its follow-up, Involved, produced by Norman Whitfield. Involved also featured another song of similar construction titled “Stop the War Now”, which was a minor hit in its own right.

Moving to England in 1973, Starr continued to record, most notably the song “Hell Up in Harlem” for the 1974 film Hell Up in Harlem, which was the sequel to Black Caesar, an earlier hit with a soundtrack by James Brown. In 1979, Starr reappeared on the charts with a pair of disco hits, “(Eye-to-Eye) Contact” and “H.A.P.P.Y. Radio”. “Contact” was the more successful of the two, peaking at #65 on the US pop charts, #13 on the R&B chart, #1 on the dance chart, and #6 on the UK Singles Chart. “H.A.P.P.Y. Radio” was also a Top Ten hit in the UK, reaching #9 on the chart in mid-1979. By now, he had joined the well-established disco boom and had further singles on 20th Century Records. Over the years, he released tracks on a variety of labels, including Avatar, Calibre, 10 Records, Motown (a return to his former label for a 1989 remix of “25 Miles”), Streetwave and Hippodrome. His Starr café empire still enjoys success in and around Essex.

In 1985, Starr released “It Ain’t Fair”. Despite garnering the attention of many in the soul and dance clubs, it fell short of becoming a hit. Starr appeared on the charity number one single “Let It Be” by Ferry Aid in 1987. Later that year, Starr teamed up with the Stock, Aitken and Waterman production company for the club hit “Whatever Makes Our Love Grow”. In 1989, a number 17 UK hit by the Cookie Crew called “Got to Keep On” sampled a portion of “25 Miles”.[2] This track was then featured on a 1990 dance medley made for the BRIT Awards, which made number 2 in the UK Singles Chart.[3] A club mix of various artists, it included the previous years remix of “25 Miles”.

In 1989, Starr also joined Ian Levine’s Motorcity Records, releasing six singles and the album Where Is the Sound, as well as co-writing several songs for other artists on the label. Starr resurfaced briefly in 2000 to team up with the UK band Utah Saints to record a new version of “Funky Music Sho Nuff Turns Me On”. He appeared again in 2002 to record a song with the British musician Jools Holland, singing “Snowflake Boogie” on Holland’s compact disc More Friends; and to record another track with Utah Saints, a so-far-unreleased version of his number one hit “War” – his last-ever recording.

In late 2002, Edwin Starr appeared with many R&B stars on the “Rhythm, Love, and Soul” edition of the PBS series American Soundtrack. His performance of “25 Miles” was included on the accompanying live album that was released in 2004.

Starr remained a hero on England’s Northern Soul circuit and continued living in England for the remainder of his life.[4]

Death
On April 2, 2003, at the age of 61, Starr suffered a heart attack and died while taking a bath at his home in Bramcote near Nottingham.[4] He left a wife, Annette Mary Hatcher, a son André Hatcher, and two grandchildren Alonté Renfroe and Maryah Hatcher.

His brother Angelo Starr is now fronting the Team, the band Edwin Starr had been touring with for over 20 years. His previous band, Total Concept Unlimited, became Rose Royce after adding a female singer.

He is buried in Wilford Hill Cemetery in West Bridgford, Nottingham. His headstone reads “Agent 00 Soul”.

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“These Arms Of Mine ~ Otis Redding”

These Arms Of Mine ~ Otis Redding:

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Otis Ray Redding, Jr. (September 9, 1941 – December 10, 1967) was an American singer-songwriter, record producer, arranger and talent scout. He is considered one of the greatest singers in the history of American popular music and a seminal artist in soul and rhythm and blues. His singing style was powerfully influential among soul artists of 1960s and helped exemplify the Stax sound.

Born and raised in the US state of Georgia, Redding quit school at age 15 to support his family, working with Little Richard’s backing band, the Upsetters, and also performing at talent shows for prize money. In 1958, he joined Johnny Jenkins’s band, the Pinetoppers, and toured the Southern states as a driver and musician. An unscheduled appearance on a Stax recording session led to a contract and his first single, “These Arms of Mine,” in 1962. Stax released Redding’s debut album Pain in My Heart two years later.

Initially popular mainly with African Americans, Redding later reached a wider American popular music audience. Along with his group, he first played small gigs in the American South, then performed in the western states at the popular Los Angeles night club Whisky a Go Go. European appearances included London, Paris and other major cities.

After appearing at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival, Redding wrote and recorded his iconic “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay” with Steve Cropper. The song became the first posthumous number-one record on both the Billboard Hot 100 and R&B charts after his death in a plane crash. The Dock of the Bay became the first posthumous album to reach number one on the UK Albums Chart.

Redding’s premature death devastated Stax. Already on the verge of bankruptcy, the label soon discovered that Atlantic Records owned the rights to his entire song catalog.

Redding received many posthumous accolades, including the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame. He received the honorific nickname King of Soul. In addition to “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay,” “Respect” and “Try a Little Tenderness” are among his best-known songs.

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