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Thursday, 30 July 2015 12:01 Charles Waring E-mailPrintPDF

Gwen_Dickey"I never wanted to be a singer or be in the music business - I wanted to be a flight attendant so I could travel the world for free." So says Gwen Dickey and it's a surprising admission given that the super-talented and magnetic Mississippi-born singer - who fronted soul-funk aggregation Rose Royce between 1976 and1980 - was the voice that shined brightly on the group's memorable Norman Whitfield-produced international hits 'Car Wash,' 'Wishing On A Star,'  'Love Don't Live Here Anymore' (the latter song was also covered by Madonna, Faith Evans and Beyonce) and 'Is It Love You're After.' Touring with Rose Royce, Gwen fulfilled her wish to travel and see the world but the pressures of stardom caused her to quit the group after the band's fourth album, 1979's 'Rose Royce IV: Rainbow Connection.' Initially reluctant to return to the music business, in the '80s Gwen slowly began rebuilding her career as a singer with a series of soulful, dance-oriented singles.

Today, in 2015, Gwen is still in demand as a performer, particularly in the UK, where she's been a popular live attraction for many years. On Sunday 15th November, Gwen appears on the bill of the keenly anticipated 'Great Voices Of Soul' concert at Wembley's SSE Arena and ahead of the gig, she talked to SJF's Charles Waring about her music, career, and, of course, her time as a member of the influential Rose Royce...


Last Updated on Thursday, 30 July 2015 12:32



Wednesday, 29 July 2015 14:42 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

Chris_Jasper1'Kiss Me' is the simple request in the title of CHRIS JASPER'S latest single. The tune was always one of the highlights on the sometime Isley Brothers last long player, 'The One'. 'Kiss Me' is a driving ballad and Chris is in fine form and, as with most of the man's work, there's a definite flavour of the Isleys about it... hardly surprising given his CV!

Chris Jasper's 'Kiss me' is out now on Gold City Records and you can learn more @



Wednesday, 29 July 2015 14:41 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

clFans of more esoteric jazz could do worse than check out a new album from Scandinavian husband and wife team, CAECILLIE NORBY and LARS DANIELSON. The 13 tracker is called 'Just The Two Of Us' and the songs range from the familiar (Leonard Cohen's 'Hallelujah') through to the self-penned – like the semi- classical 'Toccata'. Amongst the highlights is a version of Joni Mitchell's 'Both Sides Now'. The writer called her song "a meditation on reality and fantasy" and Caecillie's languid vocal and Lars' plangent bass deliver just that!

Jazz buffs will know that Ms Norby was the first European female artist to be signed to Blue Note while Mr. Danielson is considered one of Europe's' top jazz bassists.

CAECILLIE NORBY and LARS DANIELSON'S 'Just The Two Of us' is released on Act Music on September 18th.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 29 July 2015 14:49



Tuesday, 28 July 2015 18:45 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

Earl_Young_Trammps_Darryl_GrantLovers of the sounds of Motown and Philly could do worse than check out a brand new record by two veritable soul veterans.... EARL YOUNG and DARRYL GRANT. Earl, of course, was the leader of/ the drummer in The Trammps while Darryl fronted smooth soul vocal group, Spectrum.

The two have just crafted a new single called '(Don't Underestimate) The Power Of Love '. The song was written by Mervin and Melvin Steals ("Mystro and Lyric") – best known, of course, for the Spinners' 'Could It Be I'm Falling In Love' and the producer credits go to McKinley Jackson. The trio call the sound they've conjured up on the tune 'MoPhilly'... and a quick listen let's you know that that's a good description.

'(Don't Underestimate) The Power Of Love' is a steady mid-tempo groove with a passionate, soulful feeling created from the start by Young's semi-spoken, Barry White-flavoured intro and maintained by Grant's sweet lead. Their vocals are complemented by a track featuring an A list of Philly and Detroit musicians – amongst them bassist Jimmie Williams ('Ain't No Stopping Us Now'), keyboardist Alfie Pollitt (one time MD for Teddy Pendergrass) and the Detroit Horns. MoPhilly? You bet!

Earl Young and Darryl Grant – '(Don't Underestimate) - The Power of Love' - is out now via all the usual download platforms

Last Updated on Wednesday, 29 July 2015 14:45



Monday, 27 July 2015 11:03 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

bobThe sad saga of BOBBI KRISTINA BROWN ended yesterday (Sunday, 26th July) when the 22 year old daughter of the late Whitney Houston died. Family spokesperson, Kirsten Foster said; "Bobbi passed away on Sunday surrounded by her family. She was finally at peace in the arms of God".

In January Bobbi was found unresponsive in a bath and placed in a medically induced coma from which she never regained consciousness.

Ms Brown, of course, was the daughter of Whitney (who herself was found dead in a hotel bath in 2102) and Bobby Brown. (The critically acclaimed Cissy Houston was her grandmother).

The Houston family posted a poignant photo of mother and daughter (which we have reproduced). The accompanying text read; "It is hard to say goodbye. On Sunday, July 26, Bobbi Kristina Brown made her transition peacefully. The family thanks everyone for their loving thoughts and prayers. As Bobbi Kristina would say: 'The wind is behind me and the sun is in my face."

Whitney's cousin Dionne Warwick posted: "She will be missed, that's for sure. She was a good girl. She was a good little girl. She really was."

Last Updated on Monday, 27 July 2015 11:08


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