All About Love
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
Have you guys ever heard of the late LaVern Baker? Woooweee! I love her vocals! In a way, she reminds me a lot of Etta James, in that she was feisty when she sang. Or perhaps if she was a gospel singer, she would sound closer to someone like Shirley Caesar. Most definitely, LaVern was not scared of the microphone. When the mic was in her possession, she meant business.
LaVern was born in 1929. The moment she opened her mouth as a child, “that’s all she wrote,” as my elders used to say. Long story short, she eventually signed on to Atlantic Records, and then history was born. She was one of the many artists responsible for showcasing the original R&B music. I’m dumbfounded to find out that she only had one top ten hit in her career. That was a song called “I cried A Tear (1959).” But unfortunately, I have to tell ya, this wasn’t my favorite. My favorite is actually a song called “Love Me Right (1960).” It looks like the song didn’t even make the charts at all. But you know, I thought to myself, maybe this makes sense, as technically this song was very raunchy for those days 😂. I recommend that you try to research her music.
Unfortunately, although Richard Marx is an incredible performer and talented songwriter, I only really loved one song he recorded (so far in his career). Not that Richard didn’t have hits, he had many. I just only connected with one song. Now, before I reveal my favorite song, allow me to share with you some of his accomplishments. Richard started his career in the early eighties, and performs adult contemporary and pop music for the most part.
Marx collaborated with many artists, including NSYNC and the late Luther Vandross. I haven’t heard anything new by him in like over 2 decades, but homeboy has a lot of faithful fans. I’m pleased to discover that he’s still performing. In fact, he’s playing in Carnegie Hall next week. If he managed to fill-up Carnegie Hall, homeboy has got it goin’ on!
His first self-titled album, released in 1987 I believe, yielded about 3 hits. “Don’t Mean Nothing,” “Endless Summer Nights,” “Hold On To The Nights,” and oh yeah, I guess there was a forth one called “Should’ve Known Better.” Despite these hits, I still wasn’t particularly drawn to his music, until I hard a song from his 1989 “Repeat Offender,” and the song was called “Right Here Waiting.” “Right Here Waiting” is a very romantic soft rock song that hit #1 on the Top 100 Charts, and has been used on many movies and television shows, such as “The Good Place (2018),” and “The Bachelorette (2018).”Get Hootie and the Blowfish Tickets Here!
Lately I’ve been on an instrumental music kick 😃, I guess it’s because I had not listened to them in a while maybe. Today, I randomly chose a really OLD group, and I’m sure almost no one reading this post would know who they are, or perhaps remember until you listen to some of their music. Today, I’m sharing with you music from a forgotten group called “El Chicano.” They are a Mexican American 70s rock group.
It’s Difficult To Explain Their Music
It’s funny, I dug a lot of their music growing up. Now that I’m older I can’t even explain what it is. I guess it’s one of those things you just have to listen to it yourself. This is no doubt a very eccentric band. Although in general, they were categorized as a rock group; however, in my opinion they really were not. Most of their works were infused with so many different styles of music, that at times it seemed experimental. Then there are other works from them that clearly sound psychedelic, which doesn’t surprise me because a lot of people were still into that kind of music in the 70s.
Personally, I much preferred to listen to their traditional Latin jazz. In many ways some of their jazz music was reminiscent of Santana I think. One example of that is my favorite cover they done of Gerald Wilson’s “Viva Tirado (1970).” Now unfortunately, Viva Tirado only reached #28 on the Top 100 Charts. If I’m not mistaken, it was their only closest thing to a hit record. But, this is where the charts get complicated. Because, while the song had a moderate peak, it was hugely popular in New York City. I heard this all the time! I tell you, the more I blog, the more I realize these charts don’t always tell a true story.
However, on their 1998 album called “Painting The Moment,” there is a song I really like as well called “Ron Con Con.” It’s a shame this didn’t turn out to be a hit, because most definitely this song will make you move your body in any party. Listening to them perform this, was like Tito Puente himself came back to say “this is how you do it my brotha!” Although most of the original members are either now deceased, or moved on to other projects, the band is still performing.
Ok guys, I don’t remember if I’ve written about The Spinners yet on my old blog. But The Spinners, if you don’t know it yet, is one of my FAVORITE talented groups since the mid sixties to the mid eighties. I wanted to share with you a remix I came across last night. It’s a rework of their song “Could It Be I’m Falling In Love.” Now, I love the group so much it’s really hard to pick an ultimate favorite, but this song is up there in the high five range.
It’s Damn Near Impossible To Mess Up This Song!
“Couldn’t Be I’m Falling In Love,” is a song that is so perfect; in lyrics, medley and overall composition. In my opinion, it would be pretty difficult to mess up a cover of this song, unless you don’t have any musical talent. I’m serious! 😂 Now, I’ll get to the reason I said that in the following paragraph. In the mean time, listen to “Henry Street Mix” version of the song. Now, I felt it was a decent remix; not good enough to save in my library, but I thought it was good enough to be acknowledged. It just reminded me of the 80s, when I met a lot of guys in to music, and they made all their recordings from a single Yamaha keyboard. 😂 You know what I’m talking about! Don’t even front! 🤣
Now, this reminded me of an awesome deep remix of the song I downloaded eons ago. No one seems to have it (even YouTube). Then I also thought about checking SoundCloud, where all the talented DJs post their stuff. Well, let me tell you, SoundCloud doesn’t seem like it was before. It appears that half the site is turning in to one big karaoke streaming service! Holy cow!! I’m not kidding! Some of those guys sounded like they were singing over their kitchen table, rather than a professional studio. 👎
Needless to say, I was very disappointed. However, that’s not to say that I didn’t find any mixes I felt was hot! Check out “MOZAIC Rework” version. I also found a real nice club/disco version on YouTube by “Groovefunkel.” There’s also a beautiful jazz version on Spotify by Peter White. Lastly, check out the Jon Tomes edit below. I think it’s my favorite of all the remixes I’ve heard today.Browse our huge selection of Nintendo teess – Mario, Zelda, & more at FifthSun.com.
Wow! Just look at how handsome these young men were back in the day!! Booker T. & The M.G.’s were shit! I mean, if after you listened to there music, and you were not inspired to at least shake your booty a little bit, you probably was one boring person. If you’re in my age group, I doubt you can call yourself a true music lover, and not know who these men were! From top left to right; Al Jackson jr, Steve Cropper, Donald “Duck” Dunn, and last but not least on the bottom is Booker T. Jones. Four talented men, who earned the right to be inducted in the Rock Hall Of Fame in 1992.
They Were A House Band For The Stax & Volt Labels
Much to my surprise, these talented men were a part of a house band for both the Stax & Volt labels; similar the the way MFSB was to Philadelphia Records. However, their sound and style were entirely different. MFSB sounds came from Philadelphia; however, Booker T. & MG’s sound came from Memphis. BTMG’s sound clearly has heavier drumbeats, with pronounced organs that eventually became one of the group’s signatures.
So, allow me to share with you some of my favorite hits from this wonderful band. First, I love “Time Is Tight (1969),” “Green Onions (1962),” and “Hip Hug-Her (1967),” and “Melting Pot (1971),” Melting Pot still remains my most favorite, the beat if freakin’ hot! “Soul Limbo (1968),” is another nice one. Oh, I almost forgot, check out his “Tic Tac Toe (1965),” I think this has a funky Memphis beat as well. I think you’ll think it’s hot too. I encourage you to research more of their music, they’ve also produced some nice covers of other songs, purely instrumental. By the way, the MG in their name cleverly stands for Memphis Group! 😃
Today, I’d like to celebrate the great works of Lionel Richie. He’s not forgotten about, but his name doesn’t rollout from hour tongues either. I’m not sure if there is any single word out there, that can describe all of Lionel Richie’s talents! Literally, there is no one else like Lionel; from his unique voice to his song writing skills. I mean, this man can sing anything! And you know what else? You may not consider his music on the same level as “baby making music,” such as works from Barry White (for example). However, there is no doubt that Lionel has produced some of the most heart-felt romantic songs the world has ever heard; and that’s with and without The Commodores!
I think the first romantic song I heard Lionel sing, which became one of my many favorites, was a song called “Zoom (1977).” I was only 10 years old when the Commodores album came out. My grandfather used to play that song all the time. I’d be walking around grandpa’s house doin’ whatever. If I heard that song I would just stop, listen, and just enjoy Lionel’s voice. Despite my young age, I was that connected to music. Sometimes I don’t understand how is it that I didn’t become a musician.
It’s interesting, Richie has done mostly funk/R&B, but he could have easily gone country. Actually, I think his music probably would not have sounded that different 😂 Unfortunately, Richie has not made an album since 2012 I believe. Even then, his last album called “Tuskegee (2012),” is pretty much his old music reinterpreted by other various artists. Let’s face it, Lionel doesn’t have to work anymore. He’s kind of like Barbra Streisand; she doesn’t have to work, she just makes albums to have something to do. I put together an amazing Lionel Richie playlist, with 39 of his most popular rare music! Right here on Spotify! Enjoy!