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Category Archives: Music, From Way Back When to Now

Great finds around the WWW – with videos where possible

Maurice White – Founder of Earth, Wind, and Fire

EW&F was basically the soundtrack of the 70’s…

Earth, Wind & Fire Founder Maurice White Dead At 74

Maurice White, the founder of Earth, Wind & Fire, died in Los Angeles on Wednesday, according to The Associated Press. White was 74.

“My brother, hero and best friend Maurice White passed away peacefully last night in his sleep,” Verdine White said in a statement on Earth, Wind & Fire’s Facebook page. “While the world has lost another great musician and legend, our family asks that our privacy is respected as we start what will be a very difficult and life changing transition in our lives. Thank you for your prayers and well wishes.”

White was born in Memphis, Tennessee on December 19, 1941. The famed singer, producer and drummer founded Earth, Wind & Fire in the 1960s. The Grammy-winning band produced many well-known hits, among them “Shining Star,” “Boogie Wonderland, “That’s The Way Of The World” and “September.”

White was diagnosed with Parkinson’s over 20 years ago and the band continued to perform without him.

“Everybody knows that he has Parkison’s,” Verdine said in 2013. “Thank you for your prayers and wishes. It was a pivotal moment for the three of us, having to go out without him and he gave us his blessings.”

 
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Posted by on February 5, 2016 in Music, From Way Back When to Now

 

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Leon Bridges…”River”

Off the debut Album by Leon Bridges…

 
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Posted by on February 1, 2016 in Music, From Way Back When to Now

 

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Stunning A Capella/Beatbox Joint Effort of “Shed a Little Light” for MLK Day

Wow! These guys are some of the best I have ever seen in these styles! Two groups, the  The Maccabeats, a Jewish A Capella group, and Naturally 7, a Beatbox vocal orchestra joined to turn up the heat yesterday on the Lincoln Memorial steps…

 

 
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Posted by on January 19, 2016 in Music, From Way Back When to Now

 

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David Bowie

Had stayed away from the orgy of angst about he passing of musician and model David Bowie. For all of his gender bending wild art, Bowie was a consummate artist crearting music over a 60 year period. His last foray was in a soon to be released Jazz album. What some people forget about him though, is he also was a key voice against the discrimination in the Music Industry. In this 1983 interview, Bowie puts MTV on blast for their lack of black artists.

This is the original video from Bowie’s first major hit in 1969 – “Space Oddity”

And the 1983 hit “Let’s Dance”

Bowie’s latest release off a soon to be released Jazz album “Blackstar”

Shades of Sun Ra! Indeed…

 
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Posted by on January 13, 2016 in Music, From Way Back When to Now

 

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Otis Clay

Last of the last…

Years ago, when you listened to black radio, and crossed the Mason Dixon Line on the way South – the artists and type of Soul Music you heard was quite different. Singers  like Mrs Jody, Billy Soul Bonds,  Denise LaSalle, Ronnie Lovejoy, and Willie Clayton did’t quite translate in terms of mass popularity, despite singers like Johnnie Taylor and Tyrone Davis becoming very popular.

Otis Clay, Hall Of Fame Rhythm And Blues Singer, Dies At 73

“Otis was the last standard-bearer for deep southern soul music.”

Hall of fame rhythm and blues artist Otis Clay, known as much for his big heart and charitable work in Chicago as for his singing internationally, died Friday. He was 73.

The Mississippi-born Clay – whose gruff, tenor-tinged voice on blues songs such as “Trying to Live My Life Without You” varied from his haunting but hopeful baritone on gospel standards like “When the Gates Swing Open” – died suddenly of a heart attack at 6:30 p.m., said his daughter, Ronda Tankson.

The one-time Grammy nominee had a year of touring planned behind recent records and recognition at May’s 37th Blues Music Awards, manager Miki Mulvehill said. Clay is nominated for Soul-Blues Male Artist and Soul-Blues Album for “This Time for Real,” his collaboration with Billy Price.

“Otis was the last standard-bearer for deep southern soul music, the really gospel-inflected music that was in its heyday in the late ’60s and early and mid ’70s,” Price told The Associated Press on Saturday. “These styles change, and different styles are in the forefront, but Otis was just as strong in the past five years … For that reason, he was an icon for a lot of us who work in this genre.”

European music enthusiasts and record-collectors flock to Clay’s music because of its spare, “unvarnished” style wrought of the 1960s soul scenes in Memphis, Tennessee and Muscle Shoals, Alabama, Price said.

A 2013 Blues Hall of Fame inductee who moved to blues-steeped Chicago in 1957, Clay had just begun planning a gospel tour of the U.S., followed by a summer European tour and, later, the Legendary Rhythm and Blues Cruise, Mulvehill said. His latest album is called, “Truth Is.”

But Clay was much more than a talented musician. A resident of Chicago’s West Side, he was an avid humanitarian whose charitable works included assisting development of the Harold Washington Cultural Center.

“Otis was the first one to jump on the ‘Can I help?’ train,” Mulvehill said.

Tankson, a Chicago special education teacher whose pupils include autistic children, said her father gave little thought to what benefit he’d get from performing and held nothing back, even when appearing for her students.

“He sang to them as if they paid and he was on stage,” Tankson said.

Friends and co-workers of Tankson’s, whom Clay had never met, repeatedly asked if he would sing “When the Gates Swing Open” at loved ones’ funerals. “He never let me down on that,” she said, adding that he once delayed a recording-session trip to Memphis to comply.

Clay was born Feb. 11, 1942 in Waxhaw, Mississippi, to a musical and religious family, according to his online biography. After his arrival in Chicago, he joined the Golden Jubilaires, and in 1960 became part of Charles Bridges’ Famous Blue Jay Singers, performing a cappella at schools and hotels.

“We were known as variety singers, or we were billed as (performing) ‘Old Negro Spirituals and Plantation Melodies,'” Clay said in his biography.

His recording debut came in 1965 with the rousing ballad, “Flame in Your Heart.” Four decades later, in 2007, he was nominated for a Grammy for the gospel CD, “Walk a Mile in My Shoes.”

 
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Posted by on January 12, 2016 in Music, From Way Back When to Now

 

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Rhiannon Giddens – Look Out For Her Music

Did a blog on Rhiannon Giddens a while back. She is headed for the big time now.

And no…Her music is not traditional R&B – it predates it, and is based around black music as it was in the late 1800’s. A mescalin mix of souls, gospel, and country.

Enjoy!

Already bought tickets for the Tour stop in my area!

Watch: Rhiannon Giddens Featured on “CBS Sunday Morning”

Rhiannon Giddens was the subject of a feature profile on CBS Sunday Morning. Giddens spoke with Sunday Morning contributor Martha Teichner about her life in music, as a founding member of the Carolina Chocolate Drops and following the release of her T Bone Burnett-produced solo debut album, Tomorrow Is My Turn, on Nonesuch Records in February 2015.

The segment opens with Rhiannon Giddens’ show-stopping performance at the one-night-only, multi-artist concert Another Day, Another Time: Celebrating the Music of Inside Llewyn Davis at New York City’s Town Hall in 2013. “How often can you witness a moment that changes a career?” Teichner asks. “Giddens was like a musical explosion onstage. What happened next was like an explosion in her life.”

The program goes on to examine the monumental months that have followed that performance, joining Giddens and her family during a recent leg of her tour for Tomorrow Is My Turn, which has been nominated for a Grammy Award, and looking at the musical road that brought her here.

You can watch the CBS Sunday Morning piece below.

To pick up a copy of Tomorrow Is My Turn and Rhiannon Giddens’s recent EP Factory Girl, visit the Nonesuch Store, where you can also find music by Carolina Chocolate Drops. To find out where Rhiannon Giddens’ tour takes her in the coming months, visit nonesuch.com/on-tour.

 
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Posted by on January 11, 2016 in Music, From Way Back When to Now

 

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Natalie Cole

 
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Posted by on January 1, 2016 in Music, From Way Back When to Now

 

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