Well SNL hasn’t entirely lost it’s ability to create comedy –
R&B isn’t quite dead yet!
Success was a long-time coming for singer Charles Bradley, who was born in 1948 but released his debut album just five years ago. His experiences during those 60-plus years make for quite a story — fitting for a soul man strongly influenced by the late James Brown, reports “CBS This Morning: Saturday” co-host Anthony Mason.
Early in his late-blooming career, Bradley’s backing band gave him a nickname: The “screaming eagle of soul.”
The “screaming eagle” got his inspiration from the “Godfather.” Bradley was a teenager in 1962 when his sister took him to the Apollo in Harlem to see James Brown perform.
“That’s what started it ’cause I always liked the blues, but see, James Brown is the one who put rhythm in the blues. And that’s what made it funky,” Bradley said. “And I said, ‘Now that’s what I want to be.'”
But through his first five decades, Bradley drifted between jobs. He worked as a short order cook in Maine, at a hospital for the mentally ill in New York, and much more.
“Jesus, I can’t count because I was like anywhere, anyone was going to give me a job that made me keep going. I hitchhiked to Ketchikan, Alaska,” Bradley said.
Bradley was in his fifties when he finally landed back in Brooklyn. In 2011, he was doing a James Brown tribute show in Essence Bar in Brooklyn when he was spotted by Daptone Records, who paired him with producer Tom Brennick.
“He said, ‘You do James Brown. You’re good at James Brown. Now we want to see you do you,'” Bradley recalled.
Brennick wouldn’t take “no” for an answer.
“Tom kept drilling me and I thought he was one of the evilest persons in this world. And he said, ‘No, you can hit that note’ and I said, ‘Tom you trying to burn my throat out, you know?’ And he said, ‘Charles, do it again.'”
But with that, Bradley gained something he did not know he had.
At age 62, Bradley finally got his break when Daptone released his debut album in 2011. The small Brooklyn label had had success with Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings ,who’d also played on the Grammy-winning Amy Winehouse album, “Back to Black.”
The age wasn’t a concern for Neal Sugarman, co-founder of the label. In fact, the reaction surpassed all expectations.
“People were responding to it. And it was – it was amazing,” Sugarman said.
Bradley pours himself into every performance. Last year, he even went on stage the night he lost his beloved mother, which he called the “hardest thing I’ve ever did in my life.”
“If I didn’t, I think I really, truly would have hurt myself. I couldn’t take no more and I was looking anywhere I could go to get this pain out of me,” Bradley said.
He thinks of her, he said, whenever he sings the title track of his new album, a cover of the black Sabbath song, “Changes.”
Psychedelic funkmeister Sly Stone – Formerly of Sly and the Family Stone is back with his first album in over 25 years… This time on Cleopatra Records. Stone’s last release was in 1982.
Let’s hope in the intervening 29 years, that if he decides to take this show on the road – he’s learned to show up at concerts where he’s supposed to play.
Psychedelic-funk powerhouse Sly Stone is back with his 13th studio album, I’m Back! Family and Friends. His latest album features collaborations with rock heavyweights like Bootsy Collins and the Door’s Ray Manzarek, as well as re-recorded Sly and the Family Stone hits, such as “Family Affair” and “Everyday People.” Sly also recorded three new tracks for his first studio album in about two decades.
I’m Back! Family and Friends is Sly Stone’s first album since he moved from his major recording label to Los Angeles’ indie label Cleopatra Records. I’m Back! Family and Friends comes out Aug. 16.
A little advice for our misguided President –
Been a long tragic struggle. I think most people are guessing that the drugs finally won…
In a statement, the London Metropolitan Police said, “Police were called by London Ambulance Service to an address in Camden Square NW1 shortly before 16.05hrs today, Saturday 23 July, following reports of a woman found deceased. On arrival officers found the body of a 27-year-old female who was pronounced dead at the scene. Enquiries continue into the circumstances of the death. At this early stage it is being treated as unexplained.”
A suspected drug overdose took the life of the singer, Nick Buckley of the Sunday Mirror tweeted.
She’s battled drug addiction for years, having most recently checked back into rehabilitation in May.
Winehouse entered treatment in late 2007 for drug problems, including admitted heroin use.
Earlier in the day, Tim Gatt of Sky News tweeted a statement from her manager saying that she was canceling upcoming performances, writing, “Amy Winehouse is withdrawing from all scheduled performances. Everyone involved wishes to do everything they can to help her return to her best and she will be given as long as it takes for this to happen.”
Singer Etta James, known best for her iconic recording of “At Last,” is gravely ill, diagnosed with dementia and undergoing treatment for leukemia, according to court documents.
The 72-year-old Woodcrest resident’s illness came to light as part of a civil case in Riverside County Superior Court in which Artis Mills, her husband of 41 years, is seeking control of more than $1 million of James’ money.
Her son Donto James wrote in a court declaration that he does not object to money being released for her health care. But he is asking that it be overseen by a third party, “to avoid present and future family conflict and discrepancies.”
Dr. Elaine James, no relation to the singer, declared in the court documents that the singer has multiple medical conditions, including dementia, an organic brain syndrome and a recent diagnosis of leukemia.
The Beverly Hills doctor said she and other medical staff give James continuous medical care and supervision in the singer’s home in the Woodcrest area, near Riverside.
Dr. James said the singer isn’t able to sign her name and requires assistance with feeding, dressing and hygiene, but does recognize her husband and children. The doctor said James has been admitted to the hospital on occasion but returns home with round-the-clock care.
Back when Re Re was the Queen –
Aretha Franklin is doing well after undergoing a mystery surgery on Thursday.
“The surgery was highly successful,” Franklin, 68, said in a statement. “God is still in control. I had superb doctors and nurses whom were blessed by all the prayers of the city and the country. God bless you all for your prayers!”
She underwent the procedure about 5 a.m. Thursday at a Detroit hospital.
The reason for the surgery was not revealed. In November, her publicist announced that she had canceled all her performances through May.