Wednesday, August 31, 2016
Album:Groove Me: The Very Best Of Guy
Teddy Riley created the New Jack Swing movement of the late 80s. He was also the leader of Guy. They had success mostly on the R&B charts. But infighting killed Guy after two albums though they reunited successfully in 1999. Riley and partner Gene Griffin formed Guy in 1987. Griffin was not a member of Guy. He managed them and wrote and produced the music with Riley. Riley and Griffin had success producing other artists. They formed Guy in 1987. Aaron Hall and Timmy Gatling worked in the same New York clothing store. Gatling had been in Riley's previous group Kids At Work. But they needed a lead singer and Hall fit the bill. Guy signed with Uptown Records and released their debut album Guy in 1988. The album was certified 2XPlatinum so it did very well. There were three R&B hits on the album. Teddy's Jam reached #5 on the R&B Singles chart. The other hits were Groove Me and I Like. They did not cross over to pop. The problem was Hall and Gatling were constantly arguing during the recording of the album. Hall was the lead singer so Gatling had to go. Hall's brother Damion Hall replaced him for the second album The Future. Gatling released a solo album in 1989 and then became a producer. The Future did similar business to the first album but again it did not cross over to pop. Their only #1 R&B hit was My Fantasy from the film Do The Right Thing. Riley and Griffin had a falling out and Guy split up. Riley went on to be a major producer in the 90s. Damon Hall had solo success. Riley and the Halls reformed Guy in 1999 and released Guy III. They had a hit with Dancin' but the album was poorly promoted and didn't sell. Since then, Guy has reformed occasionally with and without Riley. They are currently touring. You can get all of Guy's hits on this budget comp. Here's the video for Teddy's Jam by Guy. This video is not on Youtube.
Guy - Teddy's jam by welcomeback
Tuesday, August 30, 2016
Song:Mashed Potato Time
Album:The Best of Dee Dee Sharp: Cameo Parkway 1962-1966
Dee Dee Sharp scored a top five hit with Mashed Potato Time in 1962. And of course it led to the creation of a new dance. This was from the same people who brought you Chubby Checker's The Twist. Dee Dee had some other hits but Mashed Potato Time is the one most will remember. She was born Dione LaRue Sept. 9, 1945 in Philadelphia. She grew up playing piano and singing in her grandfather's church. When Dee Dee's mom was seriously injured in a car crash, Dee Dee went to work as a backup singer at age 13. Her big break came when she appeared on the 1962 Chubby Checker hit Slow Twistin'. Cameo-Parkway producer Dave Appell decided to record Dee Dee. Mashed Potato Time was written by veteran songwriters Harry Land and Kal Mann. Mann used the pseudonym Jon Sheldon. Mann no doubt worked on the production with Appell. Supposedly Dee Dee got the idea for the song watching her mom make dinner and it was written in the studio. Not only did Mashed Potato Time reach #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 but it started a new dance craze. Dee Dee had some other hits like Gravy (For My Mashed Potatoes), Ride! and Do The Bird. You can get them all on this budget CD. But by 1966 she left Cameo-Parkway and married producer Kenny Gamble. He attempted to revive her career in the disco era of the late 70s but he was unsuccessful. She charted with a cover of 10cc's I'm Not In Love in 1976. They divorced in 1980. Dee Dee Sharp still tours the oldies circuit and records occasionally. You might find her doing oldies themed cruises. Here's Dee Dee Sharp performing Mashed Potato Time on Shindig 1962.
Monday, August 29, 2016
Renee Fleming is a very versatile opera singer equally comfortable performing classical, Broadway and jazz standards. She has been around since the 80s and she is one of today's most popular sopranos. She was born Feb. 14, 1959 in Indiana, PA and she grew up in Rochester, NY. Her parents were music teachers. Renee studied at SUNY Potsdam and performed with a jazz trio in local clubs. Jazz sax legend Illinois Jacquet invited her to tour with his big band. But she decided to continue studying at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester and then a Fullbright Scholarship led to studies in Europe and Juilliard. She got her big break when she joined the Metropolitan Opera in 1988 and Renee has been performing and recording steadily since then. After recording for RCA, Sony and Telarc, Renee signed with Decca Records in 1997 and she still records for them today. This recording of the Gershwin classic Summertime from Porgy and Bess is from the 1998 CD I Want Magic. It's interpretations of American composers like Gershwin, Bernstein and others recorded with James Levine and the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. This is available on CD. Or you can get Summertime on this 2003 CD By Request which is a Greatest Hits album though it doesn't say that on the cover. It's a good intro to Renee's music. Renee is probably best known for her appearances in the Lord Of The Rings films. She also sang the Star Spangled Banner at the 2014 Super Bowl. She still tours and records. Her latest CD was released last year. Here's Renee Fleming performing Summertime with Paul Gemignan and the Orchestra of the Welsh National Opera 2003.
Sunday, August 28, 2016
Here's the match video of Paige VanZant vs Bec Rawlings from last night's UFC show in Vancouver. The last time we saw Paige in the cage she was getting clobbered by Rose Namajunas. Since then, she created a lot of mainstream buzz on Dancing With The Stars. This led to a proposed role in the remake of the film Kickboxer and she was supposed to appear at SummerSlam. She self consciously decided to turn down both of those things to take this fight. She wants to be thought of as a fighter first. The problem is she hasn't beaten anyone decent yet. And Bec is nothing special. She is mainly a kickboxer. And she is coming off of a hip injury. Bec is an Aussie now training at Alliance in San Diego. Jessica Penne was in her corner. In round one, Paige tries to keep her distance except when she does some fancy spinning moves. I don't recall her doing those kinds of moves in her previous fights. Those are low percentage moves that get a spectacular result when a fighter gets lucky and lands one. Between rounds I joked that Paige thought she was still on Dancing With The Stars. Bec did some good work when she got Paige in the clinch. Other than the fancy stuff, Paige didn't do much so I scored round one 10-9 for Bec. Paige's corner told her to knock off the flying stuff. She proceeds to come out for round two and this time the flying head kick finds the target and Paige wins by KO. I thought it was hilarious. Hell, she got $50K for KO of the Night. Even a blind squirrel finds a nut sometimes. Winning like that doesn't help Paige and it could hurt her if she thinks it's a way to beat better fighters. I understand the finish was spectacular but I have to look past that. And beating another lower card fighter doesn't help Paige. She says she wants to fight in Sacramento in December. She trains there. And Tecia Torres has offered her services. We'll see how that goes. Enjoy the video!
Like his buddy and long time collaborator Warne Marsh, alto sax player Lee Konitz is a forgotten pioneer of jazz. The album Subconcious-Lee was his 1950 debut as a leader after recording with Lennie Tristano and Miles Davis. The great thing is that Konitz is still around. He was born Oct. 13, 1927 in Chicago. His parents were Eastern European Jewish immigrants. He asked for a clarinet after listening to Benny Goodman on the radio. Konitz switched to sax and for most of his career he has played alto sax. His first professional job was in Teddy Powell's band in 1945. Then he was in Claude Thornhill's band. It was there that he met Gerry Mulligan. Before that he had met pianist Lennie Tristano and the two started working together. Gil Evans was the arranger in the Thornhill band and that led to many of the guys in that band working with Miles Davis on the 1949 landmark album Birth Of The Cool including Konitz and Mulligan. Konitz has always said that he thought Mulligan was the real leader of that band and soon after Mulligan moved to California. Meanwhile, Konitz and Marsh recorded with Tristano and this led to Konitz's 1950 debut as a leader Subconicious-Lee on Prestige. The musicians were the Tristano band with Marsh on tenor sax, Billy Bauer on guitar, Arnold Fishkin on bass and Shelly Manne on drums. This jazz classic is available as a budget CD. Konitz continued to record as a leader while a member of Stan Kenton's band in the 50s. Konitz retired from music in the early 60s. But he returned in the mid-60s and he still tours and records though he had heart surgery a few years ago. Here's Lee Konitz with Warne Marsh on tenor sax, Billy Taylor on piano, Mundell Lowe on guitar, Ed Safranski on bass and Ed Thigpen on drums performing Subconcious-Lee on the 1958 TV show The Subject Is Jazz.
Saturday, August 27, 2016
Guitarist Fareed Haque brings classical and world music influences to his music. He is probably best known for his time with the popular group Garaj Mahal. But he has recorded as a leader since 1989. Trance Hypothesis is his latest CD. He was born in 1963 in Chicago. His father is from Pakistan and his mother is from Chile. He learned classical guitar as a child. He got into jazz at Von Freeman's Chicago jam sessions and he earned a jazz guitar scholarship at North Texas State. After joining Howard Levy's jazz fusion group Chevere, Haque met Cuban sax legend Paquito D'Rivera and he toured with him for several years. Haque made his recording debut as a leader in 1989 with the album Voices Rising on Sting's Pangaea label. Haque recorded for Blue Note in the 90s. His producer there was Bob Belden so Haque appeared on albums by Blue Note artists like Cassandra Wilson. He continued to record with D'Rivera and he was also a member of Joe Zawinul's Zawinul Syndicate. Haque joined Garaj Mahal in 2001 and they had a lot of success. He left Garaj Mahal in 2011 and he currently tours with his band MathGames. Trance Hypothesis is Haque's latest CD. It was released in 2014 on Delmark Records. It features World Music stars like Essam Rafea on oud, Indrajit Banerjee on sitar, Matthew Tembo on kalimba and Shiva Ghoshal on tabla along with jazz musicians Tony Monaco on organ, Willerm Delisfort on piano and his touring band of Alex Austin on bass and Greg Fundis on drums. MathGames released the CD We r From The Future independently. It's available from CD Baby. Haque is currently on tour so jazz guitar fans should check him out. Here's Fareed Haque and MathGames performing Trance Hypothesis at Audiotree Dec. 12, 2013.
Friday, August 26, 2016
Song:Sail Along Silvery Moon
Album:The Best Of
Alto saxophonist Billy Vaughn had success in the 50s as a bandleader recording easy listening music. Sail Along Silvery Moon was a top five hit in 1957. He was also musical director at Dot Records. He was born Apr. 12, 1919 in Glasgow, KY. His father was a barber who loved music and inspired Vaughn to teach himself to play several musical instruments. Like Perry Como, Vaughn's original plan was to follow in his father's footsteps and become a barber. But he decided to become a musician while serving in the US Army during WWII. Vaughn studied music composition at Western Kentucky University. He eventually got a job as a pianist for the vocal group The Hilltoppers. They had success and that led Vaughn to become musical director at Dot Records. Vaughn produced Dot artists like The Fontane Sisters, Gale Storm and Pat Boone while he recorded his own music as a bandleader. Vaughn's signature sound was multitracking alto saxes. It's in all his hits like Melody Of Love, The Shifting, Whispering Sands, Raunchy and Sail Along Silvery Moon. Sail Along Silvery Moon reached #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1957 despite the rising popularity of Rock 'N' Roll. The song was a hit for Bing Crosby in 1937. It was written by veteran songwriters Harry Tobias and Percy Wenrich. Vaughn continued to be successful in Europe especially Germany. And this 2CD comp from Repertoire includes a lot of his German hits. He recorded albums through the 60s and toured internationally until his death on Sept. 26, 1991 at age 72. Here's a video for Sail Along Silvery Moon by Billy Vaughn & His Orchestra. I'm sure you've heard this song without knowing what it is.
Thursday, August 25, 2016
Song:I Was Country When Country Wasn't Cool
Album:The Best Of Barbara Mandrell
Here's a song that became a big hit because of the way country music was going at the time. The 1980 film Urban Cowboy was a huge hit and it signaled a changing of the guard to a more pop influenced country music style. Pop music was always an influence on country music. Back in the 60s it was called Countrypolitan. Of course there was some resistance to this change in Nashville and the 1981 number one hit I Was Country When Country Wasn't Cool addressed those changes. And it became one of Barbara Mandrell's signature songs. It was funny because Barbara had a very successful TV variety show and was perceived as a pop influenced country singer. Her first number one country hit was Sleeping Single in A Double Bed in 1978 followed by (If Loving You Is Wrong) I Don't Wan't To Be Right. In 1981, Barbara's producer Tom Collins was putting together a live album. I Was Country When Country Wasn't Cool was written by Kye Fleming and Dennis Morgan who also wrote Sleeping Single In A Double Bed. Collins wanted Barbara to record the song and release it before someone else did. But Barbara Mandrell Live had already been recorded. And Collins got George Jones to agree to record it with Barbara. So the song was recorded in the studio as usual with an audience added in post production. It didn't matter. The song topped the charts anyway partially because it reflected how some country music fans felt about Urban Cowboy. Also, George Jones appeared on a live version of the song on the CMA Awards (I think). Barbara Mandrell Live has not been released on CD but I Was Country When Country Wasn't Cool is on this budget comp. Here's Barbara Mandrell featuring George Jones performing I Was Country When Country Wasn't Cool on the 1981 CMA Awards.
Wednesday, August 24, 2016
Album:The Sound Of Revenge
Though Hakeem "Chamillionaire" Seriki raps in his 2006 chart topper Ridin', he is mainly known for his mixtapes. So he's mainly an MC who sometimes raps. He is known as The Mixtape Messiah. To date Ridin' is his only big hit. He was born Nov. 28, 1979 in Washington, DC but he grew up in Houston. Growing up his best friend was rapper Paul Wall. So though Seriki was raised Muslim and wasn't allowed to listen to secular music, he got into rap through Wall. The stage name Chamillionaire is a mix of chameleon and millionaire. Seriki and Wall formed The Color Changin' Click in 1996. They were known locally in Houston. Seriki released mostly mixtapes until he and Wall had success with the 2002 CD Get Ya Mind Correct. Then Seriki signed with Universal as a solo artist and released the 2005 CD The Sound Of Revenge. The album was certified Platinum mostly on the success of the single Ridin' which topped the Billboard Hot 100 in 2006. It features a rap by Anthony "Krayzie Bone" Henderson from the popular group Bone Thugs n Harmony. The song was written and produced by brothers Oscar and Juan Salinas AKA Play-N-Skillz. They have released their own albums and had a lot of success producing rapper Lil Wayne. Seriki has never had another hit single. But he continues to release new music. His new album Poison will be released next week. He left Universal in 2011 so it will be released on his own label. Seriki is also involved in tech startups and he owns a car dealership and modeling and tour bus companies. So obviously there is more to him than one hit single. Here's the video for Ridin' by Chamillionare featuring Krayzie Bone. The cop/wrestler in the video is played by veteran character actor Tom "Tiny" Lister who played Zeus in the 1989 Hulk Hogan movie No Holds Barred and then briefly worked for the WWF. He's a good actor but he was a terrible wrestler.
Tuesday, August 23, 2016
Song:I Love Livin' In The City
Like many 70s punk bands, Fear was more notorious than popular. They were a big part of establishing the Los Angeles punk scene and notorious for a 1981 appearance on Saturday Night Live. The leader of Fear was Lee Ving (born Lee James Capallero April 10, 1950 in Philadelphia). He started out playing blues in local clubs and then he moved to Los Angeles in 1975. He formed Fear with bassist Derf Scratch (Fred Milner) in 1977. Though they weren't original members, guitarist Philo Cramer and drummer Spit Stix (Tim Leitch) were members for Fear's run from 1978-82. I Love Livin' In The City was Fear's first single in 1977. It's probably their best known song. Director Penelope Spheeris was looking for bands to appear in her documentary The Decline Of Western Civilization. She met Ving and he agreed to appear in the film. They performed a very profane (NSFW) version of I Love Livin' In The City in the film. At the time Spheeris was married to Slash Records president Bob Biggs. He signed Fear to a record deal and The Record was released in 1982. The film got them a lot of attention including from John Belushi. At first he wanted them to appear in his film Neighbors but the film producers nixed that. So instead he got them to appear on a 1981 episode of Saturday Night Live. Their appearance on the show was notorious because of thousands of dollars of damage to the studio caused by slamdancers including Belushi. Ving inflated the amount of damage because he thought the notoriety would help the band. It didn't. Fear continued though obviously they were always going to be a cult band. The record is available on CD. Fear continues to play occasional shows and Ving has had a decent acting career on the side. Here's Fear performing I Love Livin' In The City in the 1981 film The Decline Of Western Civilization.
Monday, August 22, 2016
Song:Back On My Feet Again
Album:The Best Of The Babys
The Babys were a highly touted band that were ultimately unsuccessful due to personnel problems and the subsequent split. They scored some hits including Back On My Feet Again in 1979 but they underperformed. Lead singer John Waite went on to a successful solo career. The Babys were formed in London, England in 1974 by guitarist Mike Corby and manager Adrian Miller. They held auditions and lead singer John Waite was the first to join followed by drummer Tony Brock and guitarist Wally Stocker. They moved to Los Angeles to record demos. The name The Babys was casting against type. Supposedly record companies wouldn't expect them to be a rock band as opposed to a bubblegum band. They signed with Capitol Records. Their 1977 debut album The Babys was recorded in Toronto with producer Bob Ezrin. The band wasn't happy with it and it didn't do as well as hoped. The second album Broken Heart was produced by Ron Nevison and it did a lot better. Isn't It Time was a top 20 hit. But then Corby left and he was replaced by Jonathan Cain who recorded a 1976 solo album. He seemed to really click with Waite. Bassist Ricky Phillips also joined. The 1979 album Head First was released before they joined and the single Every Time I Think Of You was a top 20 hit. That's probably their best known song. Union Jacks was the first album with the new lineup with new producer Keith Olsen. Back On My Feet Again reached #33 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was the biggest hit from the album. The Babys released a fifth album On The Edge in 1980 but then they split up. The band just wasn't as successful as expected. This budget comp has their hits. Of course Waite had solo success with Missing You and then later he formed Bad English with Cain and Phillips. Cain was a member of Journey in the 80s. Stocker and Brock were in Rod Stewart's band for several years. Those two reformed The Babys in 2013 and that version of the band has recorded and they still tour. I guess they would be a nostalgia act at this point. Here's the video for Back On My Feet Again by The Babys.
Sunday, August 21, 2016
Here's the match video of Cortney Casey vs Randa Markos from last night's UFC show in Las Vegas. Cortney is from Hawaii. She won her last UFC fight over a not very good opponent. I thought Randa would be a better opponent for her. Randa is a very good wrestler. But she is error prone. And boy, does she make a big mistake in this fight. She does one of those dreaded headlock takedowns. He mistake was in not transitioning to side control because continuing the headlock left her back vulnerable. Sure enough, Cortney took advantage of that and Randa never recovered. Cortney won with a round one armbar. That was a rookie mistake and Randa is no rookie. Enjoy the video!
Here's the match video of Raquel Pennington vs Elizabeth Phillips from last night's UFC show in Las Vegas. Raquel was in TUF 18. She's better than her record. Elizabeth is a teammate of Juilanna Pena but she's nowhere near as good. She has a habit of not doing enough and she ends up losing close decisions. And that's what happened here. I didn't think either fighter was particularly effective. There was a lot of clinching on the fence. But in each round, Raquel seemed to do enough to win the round. So I wasn't surprised when Raquel won by unanimous decision. She didn't dominate the fight but she did marginally enough to win. So I didn't like the fight and Elizabeth needs to show more offense. Enjoy the video!
Here's the match video for Asuka vs Bayley from last night's NXT Takeover show in Brooklyn. As usual, I am posting this for Asuka fans who don't get the WWE Network. The way they built this up was that Bayley won the NXT Women's Championship at last year's Brooklyn show. Since losing the title to Asuka in Dallas, Bayley wanted a rematch. They did an injury angle to delay it. They kind of turned Asuka heel but she didn't do much of that in this match. I expected Asuka to retain the belt because Bayley is headed to the main roster. One interesting thing is at HHH's conference call a few days ago, he said Asuka wants to be the top story in Japan over Shinsuke Nakamura. That's a lofty goal but that shows me what she is thinking. Asuka wants to steal the show. Bayley's attempts at showing confidence were weak at best. She said on Twitter that she didn't think Asuka would be prepared for the match. Boy, was she wrong. Bayley did her usual entrance. As usual, Asuka changed things up including a white sheet that she dragged behind her. It was on a roll. She had more of a strut than usual. And of course she was smiling while Bayley looked serious. The match was back and forth. It's just that Asuka comes across as more dangerous than Bayley. Bayley hits her and Asuka just smiles at her. That's very disconcerting. In general, I thought Bayley performed better than she did in Dallas. The end came when Asuka kicked out of Bayley's suplex finisher. At ringside, Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch were shocked. After trying the Asuka Lock twice, Asuka hit three kicks to the head and it was all over. Though some of the leadup to this match had Asuka turn heel, I didn't think she showed much heel behaviour during the match. She just delivered the goods with a tremendous performance. Enjoy the video!
Bayley vs. Asuka - 20.08.2016 by mr-jester
Bayley vs. Asuka - 20.08.2016 by mr-jester
Song:I'm No Angel
Album:One More Silver Dollar: The Solo Years 1973-1997
Of course Gregg Allman is best known as lead singer and keyboard player of The Allman Brothers Band. But he also had success as a solo artist including the 1987 hit I'm No Angel. He usually records solo when The Allman Brothers Band is on a break. He was born Dec. 8, 1947 in Nashville. With his guitarist brother Duane, Gregg had several bands until they hit it big in the late 60s with The Allman Brothers Band. After Duane died in a 1971 motorcycle accident, the band continued. They had great success with the Dickie Betts song Ramblin' Man. At the same time, Gregg released his 1973 solo debut album Laid Back and he had success with Midnite Rider, a song The Allman Brothers Band had recorded a few years earlier. He toured solo to support the album. But things started to fall apart during the recording of the 1975 Allman Brothers album Win, Lose or Draw. Gregg married Cher and spent more time with her. He split with the band and the rest of the band formed Sea Level. Allman formed The Gregg Allman Band and he released the 1977 album Playin' Up A Storm. And he released the album with Cher Two The Hard Way. They tried to tour to support it but they were not well received and the tour was cancelled. The Allman Brothers Band reunited and recorded two albums for Arista. It didn't go well and they split up in 1982. Allman and Cher divorced in 1979. So he took a break and drank heavily. He thought his career was over. In 1986, he reformed The Gregg Allman Band and signed with Epic. I'm No Angel was released in 1987 and the band went on tour. The album was certified Gold and the single I'm No Angel got some airplay. The song was written by British session musicians Tony Colton and Phil Palmer. The guitar solo is by Dan Toler who had worked with Betts in the 70s. Allman continued to record though he was still having drinking problems. He also reunited The Allman Brothers Band for a 20th anniversary tour in 1989. And the band signed with Epic. The band was successful enough that Allman wouldn't record solo until 1997. Midnite Rider and I'm No Angel are on different labels. But they are both on this comp from the British reissue label Raven Records. Due to Allman Brothers reunions and health problems, Allman wouldn't record again until 2011. He has recorded a new album produced by Don Was scheduled for a 2017 release and I expect he will tour to support it. Here's the video for I'm No Angel by Gregg Allman.
Saturday, August 20, 2016
Song:Time Won't Let Me
Album:Nuggets From Nuggets
The Outsiders scored a top five hit with Time Won't Let Me in 1966. A couple of their other songs charted so they aren't quite a one hit wonder. But this is their only memorable song. The Outsiders were from Cleveland. They started out in 1958 as The Starfires. They did release some unsuccessful singles and the band name was changed to The Outsiders in 1965. The members were Sonny Geraci on lead vocals, Bill Bruno on lead guitar, Tom King on rhythm guitar and sax, Mert Madsen on bass and Rick Biagiola on drums. Geraci, King and Madsen were in the Starfires. King wrote Time Won't Let Me and it was released as a single locally. It did well enough that Capitol signed The Starfires but insisted on the name change to The Outsiders. Time Won't Let Me reached #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 in early 1966. Other singles didn't do as well though Respectable was a top 20 hit in 1966. There were also a lot of personnel changes and by 1967, Geraci and King were the only original members. The Outsiders released three albums on Capitol. They recorded a fourth album but the release was cancelled. You can get Time Won't Let Me on this Nuggets comp. By 1970, Geraci and King split up and were both leading versions of The Outsiders. Both guys did that for years. King died in 2011. It looks like Geraci now lives in a nursing home. Here's The Outsiders performing Time Won't Let Me 1966.
Friday, August 19, 2016
Song:U Send Me Swingin'
Album:20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: The Best Of Mint Condition
Mint Condition came out of the R&B hotbed of Minneapolis to have success mostly on the R&B charts in the early 90s. Unlike many groups from this era, Mint Condition were not a vocal group but a band. They wrote and produced their own songs. Mint Condition started out in the early 80s with lead singer and drummer Stokely Williams, guitarist Homer O'Dell and keyboard player Larry Waddell. There were three other members but in 1985 they were replaced by keyboard player Keri Lewis, sax player Jeffrey Allen and bassist Ricky Kinchen. And that's the band lineup that had success in the 90s. All of them came from musical backgrounds and they started out as jazz musicians. Mint Condition signed with Perspective Records in 1989. This label was owned by uber producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis with A&M Records distribution. Jam & Lewis steered Mint Condition in a New Jack Swing direction because that's what was popular at the time. Mint Condition could have played any kind of music. Their debut album Meant To Be Mint was released in 1991. The Time drummer Jellybean Johnson was brought in to produce. All the songs on the album were written by Mint Condition. They scored their biggest hit when Breakin' My Heart reached #6 on the Billboard Hot 100. U Send Me Swingin' is from their second album From The Mint Factory. That was their biggest R&B hit. It reached #2 on the R&B Singles chart. Mint Condition continued to have success on the R&B charts. They recorded three albums for Perspective. This budget comp covers those years. After Perspective closed, Mint Condition released the album Life's Aquarium on Elektra in 1999. Then Mint Condition went on hiatus. Lewis left to concentrate on producing Toni Braxton who was his wife at the time. They returned with the 2005 album Livin' The Luxury Brown. They're still around. Mint Condition released a Christmas album last year and they are currently on tour. Here's the video for U Send Me Swingin' by Mint Condition. This video is on Youtube but not in good quality.
U Send Me Swingin by ice1906
Thursday, August 18, 2016
Song:Get In Line
I'm From Barcelona is more of a loose collective than a band. They tour with up to thirty members. But there's one guy behind it and he brings in friends as he needs them. A lot of their music is pop anthems like Get In Line. I'm From Barcelona has been very successful in Europe. Group leader Emmanuel Lundgren is from Jonkoping, Sweden. While on vacation from his office job in 2005, Lundgren decided to bring in his friends to record an EP. It was supposed to be a one shot deal. Of course the name I'm From Barcelona comes from the classic John Cleese sitcom Fawlty Towers. The phrase is used to explain the incompetence of bellboy Manuel. I love that show. But when the EP Don't Give Up On Your Dreams, Buddy was released, EMI Sweden came calling and signed Lundgren to a contract. So now he has to turn I'm From Barcelona into a real band. Their full length debut Let Me Introduce My Friends was released in 2006 followed by the 2008 CD Who Killed Harry Houdini?. They toured with 29 people in the band. They have never had a hit single but I'm From Barcelona have a rabid cult following. Get In Line is from the 2011 CD Forever Today. The band is a bigger deal in Europe than here. For the 2015 album Growing Up Is For Trees, I'm From Barcelona switched to WEA Europe. And they also toured Europe earlier this year. Lundgren does produce other artists occasionally. But I'm From Barcelona seems to be his priority right now. Here's the video for Get In Line by I'm From Barcelona. This video is not on Youtube.
Wednesday, August 17, 2016
Song:Fire and Smoke
Album:The Essential Earl Thomas Conley
Earl Thomas Conley was one of the most popular country music artists of the 80s. Fire and Smoke was his first number one country hit in 1981. He was born Oct. 17, 1941 in Portsmouth, OH. His father worked on the railroad. But when dad lost his job, Conley eventually joined the US Army. And it was there that he got into music. And when Conley was discharged, he moved to Nashville. He co-wrote Smokey Mountain Memories for Mel Street. He released a couple of singles that went nowhere. So Conley moved to Huntsville, AL to work in a steel mill. It was here that he met producer Nelson Larkin and they would work together through the 80s. Larkin signed Conley to GRT Records. But they weren't really a country label and they were having financial problems. The two moved back to Nashville. Larkin started Sunbird Records and released the Conley album Black Pearl in 1980. The idea was to get Conley on a major label and RCA Records came calling. Fire and Smoke was Conley's first RCA album in 1981. The single Fire and Smoke topped the country singles chart. From there, Conley scored a total of 19 number one hits in the 80s. After Alabama and Ronnie Milsap, Conley was the best selling country artist of the 80s. Conley's final number one hit was Love Out Loud in 1989. Then he started to fade and RCA dropped him in 1992. You can get all his hits on this budget comp. Conley still tours and occasionally records. But the record business really burned him out. And he makes enough from songwriting royalties that he doesn't need to do anything that he doesn't want to do. So Earl Thomas Conley may not be at the top of the country charts anymore. But he seems to be happy with that. Here's Earl Thomas Conley performing Fire and Smoke on the Church Street Station TV show in the 80s.
Tuesday, August 16, 2016
|Miyu Yamamoto, RENA|
Song:Fooled Around and Fell In Love
Album:20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: The Best Of Elvin Bishop
For the most part, guitarist Elvin Bishop has toured the blues circuit since the late 60s. Except when he scored a top five pop hit with Fooled Around and Fell In Love in 1976. He was born Oct. 21, 1942 in Glendale, CA but he grew up on farms in Iowa and Oklahoma. He attended the University of Chicago on a full scholarship and he majored in physics. But he started hanging around blues clubs and learned to play the guitar. He met Paul Butterfield in 1963 and Bishop was lead guitarist for the Paul Butterfield Blues Band until 1968. Bishop signed with Bill Graham's Fillmore label. When the label closed, Bishop signed with Phil Walden's Capricorn label. So he's doing fine and then Fooled Around and Fell In Love reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1976. Bishop does sing but he decided that for this song he needed a more polished voice. So he had backup singer Mickey Thomas sing lead. Of course Thomas went on to have a lot of success with Starship. But he was unknown when Fooled Around and Fell In Love became a hit. This budget comp covers Bishop's Capricorn years. Bishop has never had another hit single. But he continues to tour and record for labels like Alligator, Blind Pig and Delta Groove. His latest CD Can't Even Do Wrong Right was released in 2014. He is currently on tour. Elvin Bishop was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2015 as a member of The Paul Butterfield Blues Band. Here's the video for Fooled Around and Fell In Love by Elvin Bishop featuring Mickey Thomas.
Monday, August 15, 2016
Song:Gone Till November
Album:Playlist: The Very Best of Wyclef Jean
Wyclef Jean is probably best known as a member of the very popular group The Fugees. But he has also had success as a solo artist. Gone Till November is his only top ten pop hit. He was born Oct. 17, 1969 in Croix-des-Bouquets, Haiti but he grew up in Newark, NJ. He formed Tranzlator Crew in 1987 and they would become The Fugees. After two very successful albums, they weren't getting along and they split up. Jean immediately announced plans for a solo album. The Carnival was released June 1997. The album was very successful. It was certified 2XPlatinum. Gone Till November reached #7 on the Billboard Hot 100. It is Jean's biggest hit to date and you can get it on this budget comp. He recorded five albums for Columbia but none were as successful as The Carnival. So in recent years he released The Carnival Part 2 and Carnival Part 3 is scheduled for release this year. Jean has also been active as a producer of other artists. In 2010, he attempted to run for the president of Haiti but he was ruled ineligible because he didn't live there. He also acts occasionally. He had a recurring role on the ABC series Nashville. So Jean is still around but it's unlikely that he will be able to return to his success in the 90s. Here's the video for Gone Till November by Wyclef Jean.
Sunday, August 14, 2016
The last time we saw VV Mei she lost a split decision to ONE Championship Fighting golden girl Angela Lee. Fans asked me to look at the fight to see if Mei got jobbed. I thought Angela won the fight. But one thing I don't like is ONE does not identify the judges or announce the scores. So it's deja vu all over again. At yesterday's ONE show in Macao, Brazilian Istela Nunes won by split decision over Mei. So again fans asked me to check out the fight. ONE scores the fight as a whole as opposed to the ten point system. Most of the time it shouldn't matter. I didn't like this fight as much as Mei's fight with Angela. I didn't think Istela was very effective. She's supposed to be a Muay Thai champ and she's much bigger than Mei. One would think she would use that advantage but she just didn't do enough. Round one was nondescript. Mei got a takedown but she didn't do much with it and actually pulled Istela to her feet. Istela needed to be more active. So marginally I scored the round 10-9 for Mei. Mei did better in the second round after a takedown with some ground and pound and submission attempts. Istela did reverse it but it wasn't enough. I scored the round 10-9 for Mei. The third round was similar to round one. Even if I'm scoring the fight as a whole, Mei's mat control in the second round gets her the win. I scored it 30-27 for Mei. Istela simply did not do enough to get the win no matter how you score it. I don't know what the judges were watching. Check it out for yourself.
Album:Hot French Chicks In The Garage
Daniele Graule Was an actress, singer and model who recorded in the late 60s as Dani. Her exotic look went a long way in the French music scene. She would go on to have drug problems. But she made a big comeback in the new millennium. She was born Nov. 24, 1944 in Perpignan, France which is on the Spanish border. Apparently famed artist Salvador Dali spent a lot of time there. Danielle went to a local art school but she really wanted to be a singer. So she moved to Paris in 1963. At first she had success as a model working with top photographers like Helmut Newton and Richard Avedon. Her looks got her enough attention in Paris clubs that she was able to get a record deal with Ducretet Thomson. She released a few singles in 1966 including Sans Asterisque. The song was written by veteran songwriter Frederic Botton. The record was produced by Tony Clarke who at the time was a house producer for Decca Records. He had a lot of success producing The Moody Blues. You never know who will turn up on these ye ye records. The problem was Ducretet Thomson was not a pop music label. Most of their music was aimed at an older audience. So Dani had to switch to Pathe to have more success. You can get Sans Asterisque on this comp available as an mp3. Dani went on to have success on the Paris club scene. She also got into movies especially the 1973 Francois Truffault film La Nuit Americaine. In the late 70s, her involvement in clubs led to drug addiction. And that was the end of Dani's music career. In the 80s and 90s, Dani continued to appear in films and TV. A 1993 return to music with Jean-Jacques Brunel of The Stranglers didn't pan out. Finally French pop star Etienne Daho brought her into the recording studio in 2000 to record an old Serge Gainsbourg song called Boomerang. That song was considered to be too risque when Dani first recorded it in the 70s. The song was such a big hit that Dani is still touring and recording as a grandma. Who'd a thunk it? Here's the video for Sans Asterisque by Dani. Thanks to RFI Music for the Dani bio.
Saturday, August 13, 2016
Song:The Music Of My Soul
Album:Memphis: A New Musical: Original Broadway Cast Recording
Chad Kimball was nominated for a Tony award for starring in the 2011 musical Memphis. Because he had to leave the show due to an injury, he hasn't been that active though it looks like he plans to return to Broadway next month. Kimball was born Sept. 2, 1976 in Seattle. He studied at the Boston Conservatory and he moved to New York after graduating. He appeared in the 2000 revival of Godspell and the 2002 revival of Into The Woods. He also appeared in the musicals Lennon and Good Vibrations. But the show that made Kimball famous was Memphis was loosely based on the life of legendary DJ Dewey Phillips. Memphis was written by Bon Jovi keyboard player David Bryan and playwright Joe DiPietro. It ran on Broadway from 2009-2012 and it was also nominated for several Tonys. It won four including Best Musical. Kimball was nominated but did not win. Memphis was filmed and it is available on DVD. In Oct. 2011, Kimball was forced to leave Memphis due to a nerve injury he suffered during a performance. He was replaced by Adam Pascal. Since then he hasn't been that active. He did have a recurring role on the online sitcom Wallflowers. But now it looks like he will return to Broadway in the new musical Come From Away with Memphis director Christopher Ashley. Come From Away has played in Seattle and San Diego and it will begin a short run at The Ford Theater in New York on Sept. 2. If that is successful, it should lead to more work for Kimball. Here's Chad Kimball with Montego Glover and cast performing The Music Of My Soul from the Memphis DVD.
Friday, August 12, 2016
Song:There Ain't No Land Like Dixieland To Me
Album:Singin' The Blues
The most notable thing about this 1927 recording is that legendary cornetist Bix Beiderbecke played on it. The Broadway Bell-Hops were a name that bandleader Sam Lanin used anytime there was a record with a vocal on it. Lanin started out as a drummer but in the 20s he was more of an arranger and producer. He didn't play on any of these recordings. And he released music under so many different names it's impossible to keep track of it. The Broadway Bell-Hops started out in 1926 as a band featuring trumpeter Red Nichols recording for RCA Victor. There were vocals on the recordings featuring guys like Billy Jones, Arthur Fields and Irving Kaufman. From what I could tell, the Broadway Bell-Hops were not a vocal group. Lanin then recorded some songs with Frankie Trumbauer and Bix Beiderbecke. This was at a time when they were working for Paul Whiteman and Beiderbecke was not a happy camper. Trumbauer recorded for Okeh. Kaufman was the featured vocalist on these records so Lanin released them under the Broadway Bell-Hops name. They probably didn't want Okeh to know that Trumbauer and Beiderbecke recorded for RCA. Kaufman was a singer for hire who worked usually anonymously for Lanin and other bandleaders. Though he sometimes worked with jazz musicians, I would not describe him as a jazz singer. All four songs featuring Kaufman and Beiderbecke are on this budget CD. Other solos on this record are by Joe Venuti on violin, Don Murray on clarinet, Bill Rank on trombone and Trumbauer on sax. Venuti was a jazz legend. Murray died in a car accident in 1929 at age 25. Rank was a Trumbauer regular. Beiderbecke is really on his game here so these recordings are worth checking out. Here's a video for There Ain't No Land Like Dixieland To Me featuring Irving Kaufman and Bix Beiderbecke.
Thursday, August 11, 2016
Song:In The Dead Of Night
U.K. was a progressive rock "supergroup" that for the most part was a spinoff of King Crimson. They only recorded two albums and then the individual members went on to other things. The man behind U.K. was lead singer and bassist John Wetton. I first heard of him when he led the group Family. But in 1972 he joined King Crimson. When Robert Fripp decided to disband King Crimson, Wetton started work on a solo album with King Crimson drummer Bill Bruford. This led to a band with former Yes keyboard player Rick Wakeman. But A&M Records refused to allow Wakeman out of his solo contract. Bruford claims that was an excuse for Wakeman to back out. So instead Wetton and Bruford each chose a guy they wanted in this band. Wetton chose Eddie Jobson who he knew from Roxy Music. Bruford chose former Soft Machine guitarist Allan Holdsworth who played on Bruford's album Feels Good To Me. They called themselves U.K. and they released the 1978 album U.K. on EG Records which was also King Crimson's label. The album was very successful and critically acclaimed. In The Dead Of Night is a suite of three songs that takes up most of side one of the album. They went on tour and Holdsworth was fired and Bruford was replaced by Frank Zappa drummer Terry Bozzio. As a trio, U.K. released the 1979 album Danger Money. The album did fine though it wasn't considered to be as good as the first album. And then they split up because Wetton and Jobson had different ideas about how the band should proceed. It looks like Wetton wanted to go in a more commercial direction. After the split, Wetton released a solo album and then he formed Asia with Steve Howe of Yes. Jobson went solo and got into film and TV work. An attempted U.K. reunion turned into a 1998 Jobson solo album. U.K. did reunite in 2011. It was Jobson and Wetton with Alex Machacek on guitar and Marco Minnemann on drums. They didn't record new music but they did release live CDs and DVDs. U.K. has done occasional shows. It doesn't look like any future activities are planned. Wetton still tours with a version of Asia. That first U.K. album is worth checking out. Here's U.K. performing In The Dead Of Night 1978.
Wednesday, August 10, 2016
Song:Fantasia Suite For Two Guitars
Album:This Is Jazz 31
A while back I looked at Al Di Meola's albums with John McLaughlin and Paco De Lucia. This time I wanted to look at his early solo albums on Columbia. Di Meola is one of the most versatile and technically proficient jazz guitarists. He can play electric guitar but he prefers acoustic guitar. He was born July 22, 1954 in Jersey City, NJ. His main influence is Django Reinhardt but obviously he studied classical guitarists like Andres Segovia. After studying at Berklee in Boston, He replaced Bill Connors in Chick Corea's Return To Forever for the 1974 album Where Have I Known You Before. After three albums, Return To Forever split up in 1976. Di Meola signed with Columbia and he released his debut album Land of the Midnight Sun in 1976. Fantasia Suite For Two Guitars is from Di Meola's 1978 album Casino. Musicians are Barry Miles on keyboards, Anthony Jackson on bass, Steve Gadd on drums and James Mingo Lewis and Eddie Colon on percussion. Casino is available as a budget CD. But I recommend this comp for beginners. Di Meola was already very successful. But his success was solidified by the 1981 album Friday In San Francisco with John McLaughlin and Paco De Lucia. Di Meola also performs Fantasia Suite on that album. He also toured with Carlos Santana in 1980. Di Meola left Columbia in 1983. Since then he has recorded for Manhattan, Tomato, Atlantic, Telarc, and Concord. He currently records for the German label In-Akusitik. His latest CD Elysium was released in 2015. Di Meola is currently on tour. He still plays mostly acoustic guitar though he has returned to the electric guitar in recent years. Here's Al Di Meola with Phillippe Saisse on vibes performing Fantasia Suite on The David Letterman Show 1980.
Tuesday, August 09, 2016
Song:I Don't Want To Wait
I Don't Want To Wait was one of two big hits for singer songwriter Paula Cole. I Don't Want To Wait was best known as the theme for the popular TV series Dawson's Creek. This and her other hit Where Have All The Cowboys Gone? are on the 1996 album This Fire. By the time she released her next album, she was forgotten. She was born Apr. 5, 1968 in Rockport, MA. Her father was a professor of biology and ecology at Salem State University and he also played bass. Paula performed in plays in high school. Then she studied jazz at Berklee in Boston and she turned down a record deal from the jazz label GRP. Paula got her big break when Peter Gabriel invited her to perform on his 1993 tour. This led to a contract with Imago Records. She released her debut album Harbinger in 1994. But Imago soon had their funding pulled by BMG and they went out of business. Paula signed with Warner Bros. and This Fire was released in 1996. In the meantime, Paula was the featured female singer with Peter Gabriel and she appeared in the concert film Secret World Live which won a Grammy. Paula wrote and produced all the songs on This Fire. Where Have All The Cowboys Gone? was the first single and it reached #8 on the Billboard Hot 100. I Don't Want To Wait was the second single and it reached #11 on the Billboard Hot 100. That song got a big boost when it was the theme for Dawson's Creek, a show that was very popular with teens. This Fire was certified 2XPlatinum. It is available as a budget CD. Paula toured with Sarah McLauchlan's Lilith Fair. Ironically, the major criticism of Paula was she was too similar to Sarah. Paula won a Best New Artist Grammy. Then she went on hiatus to raise her daughter. By the time she returned with the 1999 album Amen, she was forgotten. She also tried to add R&B and hip hop elements to her music and it just didn't catch on. She left Warners and returned with the 2007 album Courage on Decca Records. Her two albums on Decca were more jazz influenced than previous albums. Paula currently records for her own label 675. She has funded all her albums through Kickstarter with a new album scheduled for a 2017 release. Paula also teaches at Berklee. So she's still around but I don't think she's going to have any more hit singles. Here's the video for I Don't Want To Wait by Paula Cole.
Monday, August 08, 2016
Song:Samba Per Vinicius
Ornella Vanoni has been one of Italy's most popular singers since the 60s. Her most interesting music is from the 70s when she collaborated with Brazilian musicians. Samba Per Vinicius is from the 1976 album La Voglia with Brazilian legends Vinicius de Moraes and Toquinho. She was born Sept. 22, 1934 in Milan, Italy. Ornella started out as a model and actress and she has done movies and TV. But in 1961 she met and married Gino Paoli. The two were very successful for a few years. Ornella was a regular participant in the San Remo Music Festival and that kept her on the Italian charts for several years. In the 70s she started her own label Vanilla. She started working with Brazilian musicians. The 1976 album La Voglia with Vinicius de Moraes and Toquinho is probably her best album from this era. She would sing in Italian and Toquinho sang in Portuguese. The album is available on CD but it's short and it costs too much. So I recommend this 2CD overview of Ornella's career. Ornella continues to record today. She posed in the Italian edition of Playboy in 1977. She continues to do movies. In 1986 she recorded some of her biggest hits with jazz musicians Gil Evans, Herbie Hancock, George Benson and Ron Carter. There was renewed interest in North America when one of Ornella's songs appeared on the soundtrack of the 2004 film Ocean's Twelve. Ornella still tours Europe and she released her latest CD in 2013. Here's Ornella Vanoni featuring Toquinho performing Samba Per Vinicius 1976.
Sunday, August 07, 2016
Here's the match video of Maryna Moroz vs Danielle Taylor from last night's UFC show in Salt Lake City, UT. Danielle was a late replacement after Justine Kish broke her hand. I guess the thing we all noticed is that Maryna is a lot taller than Danielle. But Maryna and her husband were concerned about Danielle's power. So their strategy was to keep away from Danielle and roll the dice with the judges. It's not a strategy that results in a quality fight. So round one was light sparring. Maryna controlled the center of the cage but did nothing with that control. Danielle couldn't get close enough to do anything. The solution to this problem is the ref can warn them to step it up. We saw this recently when John McCarthy warned Sara McMann and Jessica Eye after one round of nothing. Most refs won't do this and in this case Herb Dean warned them late in round three when he should have warned them much earlier in the fight. There is also the reluctance of judges to score tie rounds. I scored round one 9-9 because they did nothing. Round two wasn't much better except Danielle landed one big punch. And round three was like round one to the point where Dean warned them to engage. In the end, Maryna won by split decision because one of the judges inexplicably scored the fight in her favour 30-27. I think it should have been a no contest due to inactivity. I think if Dean had warned them much earlier and threatened to take off a point, that would have gotten results. In her post match interview, Maryna and her husband admitted the strategy was deliberate. Rolling the dice hoping for a split decision from the judges is very risky strategy. And it results in a crappy fight. I guess a win is a win. But that kind of win doesn't do Maryna any favours especially since I think she's ranked too high already. Check out the fight video for yourself.
The Stills had modest success in their native Canada. When they first started out, they seemed influenced by punk and new wave. The 2006 CD Without Feathers signaled a change to a more mainstream sound probably in the hope of breaking in the US. When that didn't work, they split up. The Stills were from Montreal and they went to school together. Tim Fletcher was lead singer and guitarist. Other members were Gregory Paquet on guitar, Olivier Corbeil on bass and Dave Hamelin on drums. The Stills were formed in 2000 and they signed with Vice Records. After a 2003 EP, the album Logic Will Break Your Heart was released in 2004. The music was compared to bands like Interpol and Echo and the Bunnymen. But then Paquet left The Stills to go to school. Hamelin switched to guitar and took over the songwriting. Julian Blais was the new drummer and keyboard player Liam O'Neil joined as a permanent member after contributing to the first album. The 2006 album Without Feathers was more mainstream than the first album probably because Hamelin wrote most of the songs. There were guest appearances by Sam Roberts, Emily Haines of Metric and Jason Collett of Broken Social Scene. They toured with Kings of Leon. For the 2008 album Oceans Will Rise, The Stills signed with Arts & Crafts and reverted to their original sound. They opened for Paul McCartney in Quebec City and also won a couple of Juno awards. In 2010, Paquet returned and Hamelin went back to the drums. The Stills then announced they were disbanding in 2011. I guess it just wasn't working out. Hamelin and O'Neil formed Eight and a Half with Justin Peroff of Broken Social Scene. They released and album in 2012. The formation of that band may have hastened the end of The Stills. And Hamelin and O'Neil also work as session musicians in the Montreal music scene. It looks like the other members left the music business. Here's the video for Destroyer by The Stills.
Saturday, August 06, 2016
Tame Impala started out as a home recording project for Aussie Kevin Parker. Now it's grown to a full band getting critical acclaim and touring internationally. You may have heard them on the HBO series Entourage. Parker is from Perth, Australia. After being in several bands, Parker launched Tame Impala as a home recording project in 2007. He posted some of the songs on MySpace and that led to a contract with Modular Recordings. Parker agreed to hire musicians for touring. A 2008 EP did well and Tame Impala toured England. Their first full length CD Innerspeaker was released 2010. The album was critically acclaimed and Tame Impala toured the US for the first time. Elephant is from the 2012 album Lonerism. The psychedelic influence is fairly typical of Tame Impala and this extends to the video. Several Tame Impala songs including Elephant have appeared on the HBO series Entourage. And for the 2014 CD Currents, Tame Impala signed a US record deal with Interscope. Since then, Tame Impala continue to tour. But Parker seems less enthusiastic about continuing the band because it costs too much money. He feels he can go back to his own studio and record anything he wants. Interscope may have other ideas. Recently Parker said he is recording new music. But he's not sure if it will be for Tame Impala or something else. Here's the video for Elephant by Tame Impala.
Friday, August 05, 2016
Album:Last Night!/Do The Pop-Eye
The Mar-Keys were the very first Stax Records studio house band. They backed up Stax artists and scored a top five pop hit in 1961 with Last Night. They called themselves The Royal Spades when they were in high school in Memphis. Members included Steve Cropper on guitar, Donald "Duck" Dunn on bass, Terry Johnson on drums, Jerry Lee "Smoochie" Smith on piano, Don Nix and Charles "Packy" Axton on sax and Wayne Jackson on trumpet. Axton's mom Estelle Axton founded Stax Records with Jim Stewart. She changed the band name to The Mar-Keys and they backed up Carla Thomas and other Stax artists. They recorded Last Night in 1961 and it reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100. This instrumental was written in the recording studio by producer Chips Moman, Jerry Lee Smith and the horn section of Charles Axton, Floyd Newman and Gilbert Caple. Cropper said Smith came up with the basic riff. There's no guitar on the song but Cropper played organ. The Mar-Keys recorded two albums which have been reissued on one CD by Ace Records. Soon after, Cropper left The Mar-Keys to form Booker T & The MGs with Booker T. Jones, Lewie Steinberg and Al Jackson Jr. and they became the house band at Stax. Dunn replaced Steinberg in 1964. The Mar-keys horns were brought in when needed. Though The Mar-Keys continued to record, some of their recordings were credited to Booker T & The MGs because they sold better under that name. The Mar-Keys disbanded in 1966 though the horn section continued to record and tour with Stax and would later become The Memphis Horns. The Mar-Keys reunited to record in 1969 but they split up for good in 1971. A version of The Mar-Keys led by Packy Axton's son Chuck Axton toured a few years ago. I think that was a one shot deal. Here's The Mar-Keys performing Last Night on the 1967 Stax British tour.
Thursday, August 04, 2016
|Cris Cyborg, Lina Lansberg|