Soul and Jazz and Funk Latest

MORE MOTOWN MOMENTS!

Friday, 30 September 2016 13:27 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altWay back in 1963 two R&B fans from Bexleyheath set out to bring the Sound of Motown to the attention of Britain's teenagers, after they'd discovered the label a couple of years earlier. At the time the Detroit record company was hardly known outside of the United States and only a handful of their releases had been issued in the UK on labels like Fontana and Oriole.

The two fans were DAVE GODIN and CLIVE STONE who set up the UK's first ever Tamla-Motown Appreciation Society. Never faint-hearted, Dave contacted Motown's Berry Gordy, who was excited by this initial interest from England in his fledgling label, and invited Godin to Detroit for talks!

Imagining the fan base was a lot bigger than it turned out to be, Gordy quickly organized the first Motown tour of the UK in 1965 and with the aid of EMI started the Tamla-Motown label. Godin publicized the tour and kept UK fans up-to-date with all the Motown news, he also arranged informal meet-and-greets with the labels stars for the TMAS members, however other than a few devout Mods, the tour had very poor turnouts and was concluded to be a flop. Hard to believe, but true!

Forgotten about for over 50 years, a box was recently discovered in Clive's loft containing an array of Motown-related ephemera and artefacts ranging from a novelty key to the Motor City to an autographed programme for the 1964 Motown Company Christmas party held at the Graystone Ballroom in Detroit, all dating from Clive's days in the Tamla Motown Appreciation Society. There were also three Kodak photograph wallets and four folders of negatives in the bottom of the box, many of them covering that first tour of 1965. These unique photos had been briefly shown to family and friends at the time, with a few being given to Dave Godin for the fan club's magazine, but were never actually published or have been seen since the day they left the developers.

Now In conjunction with 'MODUS The House of Soul' , the Horse Hospital in London's Bloomsbury is presenting an exhibition of those unseen photos featuring the now big names of Motown playing and meeting fans in British pubs and small unlikely venues well before they became famous. Our picture (above) shows Diana Ross signing autographs for members in 1964. The photos feature alongside a whole host of supporting ephemera including a rare recording of personal messages by Motown stars to the society. The Exhibition will also see the launch Keith Rylatt's book 'Hitsville' which chronicles the entire story from Stevie Wonder's visit in 1963 through to the Four Tops' sell-out show at London's Saville Theatre in 1966 – credited as being the point when the Motown Sound finally entered Britain's pop mainstream.

The exhibition takes place at the Horse Hospital in London's Bloomsbury between 3 and 22 December.

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Last Updated on Friday, 30 September 2016 13:38

 

MORE MAURRO!

Friday, 30 September 2016 13:24 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altIn any litany of master music mixers Brooklyn's MIKE MAURRO would always be near the top of the list. He got into the crazy music biz in 1984, after watching the movie 'Beat Street', Mike was smitten by dance music and followed all the latest trends on New York City's hottest radio stations. Via the radio Mike discovered DJ's & producers such as Arthur Baker, John Robie, Afrika Bambaataa, John "Jellybean" Benitez, The Latin Rascals & "Little" Louie Vega and he soon determined to become a DJ himself.

By 1991, Mike owned his own DJ company and in '92 he became the resident spinner at NYC's Harbor Club and by the late 90s he was playing out at Studio 54's Clubhouse. As late as 2010 he decided to try proper remixing after a meeting with the legendary Tom Moulton. From Mr M he learned that the best mixers let the original music do all the work for you. Pick the best parts, the catchy hooks, the memorable lines and extend and highlight them. Yes, let the magic of the original shine through.

altSome of Mike's best mixes were issued last year in a wonderful Harmless compilation 'The Mike Maurro Peak Hour Remixes'. The quality of the album was such that it reached #1 on the Amazon chart and even charted nationally in the UK album chart.

Mike's latest 'Peak Hour' mixes are being released in limited edition 12" vinyl and just out is a double A sider from the Jones Girls that couples 'Dance Turned Into Romance' with an epic 11 minute version of 'Nights Over Egypt'. There's also a coupling of George Duke's 'I Want You For Myself' and Jackie Moore's 'This Time Baby'.

Both discs will be released on Brookside on 14th October 2016 on 12 inch vinyl only.

Last Updated on Friday, 30 September 2016 13:39

 

KEEP IT IN THE FAMILY!

Friday, 30 September 2016 13:16 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altB & THE FAMILY is a new soul duo made up of husband and wife team, Brian K. Morgan and Katie Goulet. Their debut single is the uplifting, optimistic, disco slanted, Chic flavoured, grove-heavy 'A Good Time'.

Brian tells us that the song is about the joy of spending time with the one you love and letting them know how you feel and that good-time feeling is paying off with the UK soul crowd as we're told that the limited edition vinyl 7" of the cut is almost sold out!

Listen (not too hard) and you'll hear shades of the aforementioned Chic and a hint of The Sugar Hill Gang 'Rapper's Delight.' Hardly surprising... Brian played guitar on that seminal classic. He's also well-known for his work with the late Kashif.

Keeping it in the family, Brian and Katie's daughter Tayler Morgan-Stephens plays drums on the track and Evie Goulet is on keyboards.

The single is the first from the Orlando-based production company Hitshack Entertainment and is currently available via all the usual download portals....

 

LITTLE ROYAL DIES....

Friday, 30 September 2016 10:19 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altVarious American news agencies are reporting the recent death, aged 81, of soul singer LITTLE ROYAL (TORRENCE).

Sadly real success eluded him and he's possibly best remembered for his claim to be the half brother of James Brown. The fact of the matter was never fully established, hardly surprising given Brown's chaotic upbringing, but the Godfather never disputed Royal's claim and indeed they were close friends and often worked together.

Royal also claimed to have "discovered" Teddy Pendergrass. It seems that when playing Edgehill's Club in Atlantic City, Torrence auditioned for a drummer for his band, the Swingmasters and Teddy got the gig.... and the rest....

Little Royal, like many second tier soul artists, did the rounds of various labels but enjoyed his most successful stints at Carnival and King where he had a little success with the album 'Jealous' in 1972. As is often the way, he enjoyed a cult following on the UK and European underground soul scenes.

Last Updated on Friday, 30 September 2016 10:24

 

LECRESIA CAMPBELL DIES

Friday, 30 September 2016 10:17 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altNoted gospel singer LECRESIA CAMPBELL died yesterday, Thursday, 29th September in hospital in Atlanta. She was aged 53 and cause of death was given as pulmonary embolism though she had earlier suffered a stroke.

Ms Campbell was a respected figure on the gospel circuit and toured regularly even making several European appearances, including shows at Wembley arena.

She made her solo recoding debut in 1987 with 'Draw Me Nearer' while her last noted release was 1999's 'Even Me'.

 

    

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