Rhythm & Blues (The Original)
This category is dedicated to the true R&B artists of my time, OR new artists that has decided to keep it simple and old school. Examples are Aretha Franklin, Etta James, & Marvin Gaye. Also new artists such as Curtis Harding & Jonny P.
Song: Lean On Me
Artist: Bill Withers
Album: Still Bill (1972)
I don’t think there are any words in the English language that exist, that could describe exactly just how phenomenal I feel Bill Withers is. He has produced some of the finest music. He is a unique musician that has produced his own brand of music like no other. The only other famous artist with that same unique genius (I can think), is Al Green, in my opinion. In fact, Bill’s talent is so unique, I had trouble figuring out a category for him. I’m sure most of the music industry has him under R&B; but to me, he’s more Black folk (if there was such a category). By the way, to all the Bill Withers fans, did you get a chance to see his documentary “Still Bill (2009)?” I highly recommend that you watch it if you have not already. It’s very interesting I promise you! One of the things I’ve learned in that documentary was that Bill was a stutterer. What a beautiful voice, I would have never suspected him of having a speech problem. I remembered how he cried sharing what he went through; but don’t worry, the documentary isn’t a tear jerker. At age 81 now, as far as I can tell, his last performance was in France last year. Go head with your bad self Bill!!
“Lean On Me” was the biggest song in his career. It reached #1 on the Hot 100, in 1972. A group called “Club Nouveau” did a cover version of “Lean On Me,” and believe it or not, it also hit #1 in 1987! From the same album, Bill had another super hit called “Use Me,” which peaked at #2. I loved that song, it has sick beat to it, and it matched the attitude of the song. In 1981, he recorded a song with Grover Washington called “Just The Two Of us,” and it reached #2. The dude was smokin’. A lot of artist sampled this song it was so popular. In my opinion, the his albums “Just As I am (1971),” and “Still Bill” are of his best works. However, if you love his music, listen to his “Essential Album.” It has practically all his most popular music, and some nice ones you may or may not have heard before.Save Up to 77% On Select Musical Instruments and Accesories
Song: Between The Sheets
Artist: The Isley Brothers
Album: Between The Sheets (1983)
Oh shit!! Could those pants have been any tighter?! 🤣 The material that was used for many “stylish” clothes for men back in the day, was so uncomfortable and non-flexible. Just trying to sit down was a problem for me. Honestly, I don’t know how I made it through the 70s 😜 Anyway, I was gonna pick a dance song, until I came across these legends. Surely a forgotten group, as far as I can tell. They’ve had more hits than I can think of. “Between The Sheets” hit #3 on the R&B charts, and has gained the status of “baby makin’ music” in the Black community. If I’m not mistaken, “It’s Your Thing (1969)” was their biggest hit of their career, landing at #2 on the Top 100 Chart. Although, if someone said to me “off the top of your head, think of an Isley song,” I’d probably think of “Between The Sheets” first.
Song: We Must Be In Love
Artist: The Impressions
Album: Check Out Your Mind (1970)
You know how sometimes we discover a classic on the radio we had not heard for ages, and then you’re moved to find your copy of that album hidden somewhere, and all of a sudden you realize you can’t stop playing the record? That was me with this classic Impressions song! I could be wrong, but.. Sometimes I think that Curtis Mayfield’s music was and still is really under rated. He’s written and performed some phenomenal music! He was one of the very few artists where I loved his music both before and after he gone solo. However, it just seems to me that most people don’t remember his music beyond his iconic “Superfly (1972)” soundtrack. “Superfly” might be dated, but it’s still a great album to listen to, even today!Tecobuy – Smartphone & Camera Accessories @ A Discount
Song: Strangers On The Street
Artist: Mamas Gun
Album: Golden Days (2019)
Genre: Blue-Eyed Soul
If you love the sound of classic Blue-Eyed Soul music, then I highly recommend that you take a listen to this entire album. This sh*t is GOOD! “Mamas Gun,” is a five member band from London. They’ve formed about 10 years ago, and has performed all around the world. If I am not mistaken, this is their 4th album so far, and I am really loving it. There seems to be two release dates, 2018 & 2019. I think it’s safe to assume 2019 is the digital release. Andy Platts, the lead singer of the band, has an amazing voice. It was almost like listening to a younger version of Paul McCartney. In fact, when I listened to the band’s first album, “Routes To Riches (20019),” There is a song on there called “Finger On It,” which almost felt like I was listening to a funk/rock version of a new Beetles of sorts.
Song: Inspiration Information
Artist: Shuggie Otis
Have you guys ever heard of Shuggie Otis before? I didn’t know of him until recently. It appears he’s been in the music business since the early 70s, and has worked with many big names, including the late Jimmy Hendrix. He kind of confused me in a way; because when I look it him, I see someone very much like Santana. But when he opens his mouth, I hear a style similar to that of Debarge & Christoper Cross. He came out with a double CD album several years back called “Inspiration Information” and I really, really like it. The song “Inspiration Information” is actually remastered from his original 1975 recording. It has a smooth R&B rhythms with a touch of funk. The song only reached #56 on the Hot R&B Charts, and a shocking #188th position on the Top 200. That is a shame, cause I think this was an amazing song.Delicious Fresh Baked Cookies from David’s Cookies. All different sizes and flavors!
I wouldn’t say that Eddie’s 1973 self-titled album was an outstanding album. However, it is his most memorable album because it includes his greatest #1 hit of his career. The song is called “Keep On Truckin’ (1973).” This song was boss back in the day. It stayed number one for two consecutive weeks! Every Black and Pro Black radio station was playing this song! In fact, I remembered the song being so popular, it seemed as though they played it with the same frequency as the commercials.
The late Eddie Kendricks was once a talented member of a legendary group called The Temptations! However, I don’t recall Eddie singing lead on too many songs. Well, I only remembered the couple of huge hits he sang, such as “Get Ready (1966),” “Just My Imagination (1971),” and “The Way You Do The Things You Do (1964).” Despite the climbing success of The Temptations, Both Eddie (and Jimmy Ruffin as well) wanted to pursue a solo career. When Eddie finally left the group, he had a very difficult time. Because as The Temptations continued to spill out hit after hit, Eddie didn’t even make the top ten list, barely Top 40.
I’ve read that The Temptations publicly taunted Eddie as a result of his mediocre success. In fact, The Temptations produced a song called “Superstar (Remember How You Got To Where You Are) (1971),” as a direct response to both Eddie’s departure, and the firing of Ruffin. In the end, everything worked out for both of them (despite the bad blood).
Boogie Down, Was Eddie’s Second Biggest Hit
The second biggest hit of Eddie’s career was a song called “Boogie Down (1974),” which reached #2 on the Top 100 Charts. Let me tell you, I heard soooooo many different LP versions of this song back in the day, it wasn’t even funny. I loved this song though. It was almost like listening to a revamped disco version of the late Curtis Mayfield’s “Super Fly.” Eddie had a very distinct falsetto, and was one of the very few people who could put his falsetto to dance music. Eddie died early in his 50s of lung cancer.Get 15% off our premium CBD products! Use coupon code MEDIX15
Today I’d like to talk about the late legendary Bobby Womack; who is arguably one of the hardest working men in show-business. I say arguably because I think originally the late James Brown earned that phrase. In fact, the music industry used that phrase so much that it literally became James Brown’s slogan. You didn’t even have to mention Mr. Brown’s name, people already knew who they meant. Now, depending on who you talk to, Womack may not have worked as hard as James (comparatively speaking), however, Womack has certainly paid his dues to the industry.
Mr. Womack Was A Secret History Maker!
Womack was one of those secret history makers. The average Womack fan has no idea how much he helped to change history. For instance, did you know Womack wrote and performed a song called “It’s All Over Now (1964)” with his group called The Valentinos; which eventually became The Rolling Stones first number one hit in the UK? Not impressed? Well how about this tidbit… Did you know who originally discovered Bobby Womack and his family? It was the late Sam Cooke! Yup! After Sam saw what the Womack family can do musically, Sam damn near signed Bobby’s entire family to his record label, which was called SAR back then.
Wow, I never realized till today just how much Bobby resembled Lou Rawls. Bobby’s life’s work payed off in a huge way, as he was inducted in the Rock ‘N’ Roll Hall of Fame in 2009. Throughout Bobby’s career, he has worked with some huge names in the business. Many include Sly & The Family Stone, Janis Japlin, and George Benson to name a few. After reading some of the things Bobby has gone through, including the murder of one of his brothers (in Bobby’s home) by a jealous girl friend, noway would I have thought that after all that trauma, he would have had the frame of mind to still be musically creative. This man went through a slot of sh*t. But then again, he had the support that most artists didn’t in his era.
One of my most favorite songs from Womack I can remember, was a cover he did of The Mamas & The Papas’s song “California Dreamin’” in 1969. I actually love both versions. I was blown away Bobby reinterpreted the song inside out. The bass and the rhythm made me feel I was listening to a blaxploitation movie soundtrack. Another favorite of mine is a popular hit called “Across 110th Street (1972),” a story of street life in the ghetto. Also, check out a song called “Lookin’ For A Love (1974).”For some reason, every time I hear him sing “Lookin’ For A Love,” I almost always think of Wilson Pickett.
The late Eunice Kathleen Waymon, or better known by her stage name, the legendary Nina Simone! Nina wasn’t considered to be a woman of classic beautify (especially as she got older). In fact, when I skimmed through her teenage photos and compared them to photos when she was in her 50s, it seemed as though she morphed in to an entirely different person. At one point, it appeared as though she exuded a lot of strong male energy. Years ago, I remember watching an interview she did, and she explained that prominent people in the music business told her that she would never make it as a performer. Why? They flat out said she was too ugly. I never forgot about that interview. It has to be on YouTube somewhere.
One Thing That Was True About Nina, She Stayed True To Her Blackness
Now, imagine hearing something like that, at a time when Black folk experience all manor of oppression. I can’t imagine how she must have felt. Today, I’m not sure if young people could understand this. Back in the day, calling someone ugly was worse than calling someone fat. And as a performer, the thought of whether or not people would actually pay to see her, had to have crossed her mind plenty of times.
Despite being told on a daily basis that she was too ugly for a contract deal, Nina stayed true to her Blackness, and stayed connected to her African culture. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised one bit, if these same negative attitudes by White producers then, were responsible for her need to become a civil rights activist. It was interesting watching her make that physical transformation. From pleasing the executives by straightening her hair, putting on makeup, etc. To defying industry norms by wearing her hair natural, and fully embracing her African heritage by wearing African clothing. Just imagine how empowering that was.
Nina’s name is not on the lips of today’s music lovers. She mostly sang Jazz and some R&B. But let me tell you, she was a talented woman, with a very unique and brassy voice. In fact, some of her music has been remixed by some of the hottest DJs you can imagine. First Let me share with you some of my Nina Simone favorites. “Feeling Good (1965)” is a nice one I recommend; I also loved her version of “Screaming Jay” Hawkins’s “I Put A Spell On You (1965).” I also love her original “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood (1964),” and despite what many people believe, this song was specifically written for Nina. Therefore, this song was NOT The Animals‘s original song.
Some of my favorite remixes include a song called “Baltimore,” I think it was remixed by Creed Taylor. It has a sick reggae beat, I love it. Another remix you must hear is a song called “I Can’t See Nobody,” remixed by Daniel Yaghoubi. “Turn Me On” is a cute remix done by Tony Humphies. Whenever you get a chance, I really think you should look her up on google, her story is fascinating. Nina died at the age of 70, in 2003. Her daughter followed in her footsteps. Lisa Simone Waymon Stroud, also known as simply Simone, is the splitting image of her mother. Watch her tear up her late mother’s song “Feel Good,” on YouTube.Save up to 94% off cover price on your favorite magazines