Monday, 27 September 2010 10:49 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

solar-dickDICK GRIFFEY – legendary soul music entrepreneur – died on Friday 24 September in Los Angeles from the complications of quadruple heart surgery. Musically GRIFFEY was best known as the CEO of Solar Records. He was the manager and producer who made SHALAMAR, THE WHISPERS, LAKESIDE, DYNASTY and many more into star names. Once famously described as "being the BERRY GORDY of the disco funk era", he was a real music pioneer.

GRIFFEY will be remembered for much more than that though ... for the last 10 years of his life he lived in West Africa and was involved in commodities, international trade and humanitarian causes.

Widow CARRIE LUCAS GRIFFEY said, "We walked these last steps with him and held him close.  But all who knew him understood he belonged to the world. He acknowledged failures but rejected defeat. The doors he helped open, he reached back to bring others with him. He loved life and people. He did a hard day's work and expected the same from those around him. We celebrate his 'going home'."



Wednesday, 22 September 2010 11:15 Charles Waring E-mailPrintPDF

reddings_class_101bAnyone remember the '80s soul and funk group THE REDDINGS? For the uninitiated, they were a trio comprising two of tragic soul legend Otis Redding's children – siblings Otis Redding III (guitar) and Dexter Redding (vocals and bass) plus their cousin, keyboardist and singer, Mark Locket. Between 1980 and 1984 the trio released four LPs on the CBS-distributed, Washington DC-based Believe In A.D. label. They were 'Awakening' – featuring the group's biggest US hit, the Top 10 song 'Remote Control' - 'Class,' 'Back To Basics,' and 'Steamin' Hot.' All four albums are remastered and back in circulation thanks to the Dutch reissue label, Vinyl Masterpiece.

Look out for reviews of these titles soon at SJF.

For more info go to:



Friday, 17 September 2010 13:18 Charles Waring E-mailPrintPDF

sisterslove_withlove_101bStateside reissue specialist, REEL MUSIC, has a couple of noteworthy releases out this month.

First up is the debut release of the legendary lost album by the LA vocal group, SISTERS LOVE. 'With Love,' a 10-track offering containing the group's singles 'Mr Fix-It Man,' and 'I'm Learning To Trust My Man' was originally scheduled for release in 1973 on Motown's MoWest imprint but was eventually canned and then left languishing in the Motown archives.

As well as the original album, the new Reel CD includes five bonus cuts, among them the girls' take on Curtis Mayfield's 'Give Me Your Love,' and a previously unissued version of Van McCoy's 'Giving Up.' The CD booklet features extensive liner notes by A. Scott Galloway that includes interviews with the group's surviving members as well as rare photos.

Galloway also penned the notes to Reel Music's reissue of jazz drummer TONY WILLIAMS' 1979 Columbia album, 'The Joy Of Flying.' In the CD booklet's fascinating 10,000 word essay, Galloway elicits insightful quotes from almost all the participants on Williams' album, including Herbie Hancock, Stanley Clarke, Jan Hammer and George Benson as well as observations about Williams from legendary bebop drummer, Max Roach. Although issued on CD in Japan, the set's never been available in the US or UK before in digital format.

Look out for reviews soon of these titles at SJF. For more information go to:

Last Updated on Friday, 17 September 2010 14:52



Sunday, 12 September 2010 18:07 BILL BUCKLEY E-mailPrintPDF

unsignedPHIL DRIVER'S Soul Unsigned label goes from strength to strength with the launch of news series of albums that focuses on the more urban side of the contemporary soul scene. Imaginatively-titled 'The Urban Soul Connection; (Urban Vibes... Nu-Soul Grooves)', the first CD in the series offers a big 14 tracks from artists like BASHIYRA, ANGEL B, BROOKE TAYLOR and Ms MONIQUE (who can forget her steamy 'Mr Do Right'?). Describing the music, PHIL says, "I feel that all the tracks on the album fit somewhere in the middle ground between the main genres of soul and urban". Intrigued? Find out more at Full review @ SJF very soon.

Last Updated on Sunday, 12 September 2010 18:10



Friday, 10 September 2010 15:44 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

orlonsPhiladelphia's CAMEO-PARKWAY label was one of America's iconic musical imprints. In a comparatively short 12 year life span the label was responsible for numerous hits and countless underground classics across a range of genres – including, of course, soul. Many of the musicians who played on the Cameo-Parkway material went on to form the core of GAMBLE and HUFF'S mighty MFSB while many of their writers, arrangers and producers cut their teeth with Cameo-Parkway.

For all kinds of reasons, archive Cameo-Parkway material has been unavailable for decades. Occasional compilations have dipped into the vault but there's been nothing that could be called comprehensive... till now. Ace Records have just acquired the rights to a number of classic Cameo-Parkway albums and their release hopefully heralds a proper reissue programme.

There are just six albums currently available, but they offer a great snapshot of a classic moment in popular music history. There's a "twofer" on CHUBBY CHECKER, and yes, the music is heavily orientated to dance crazes but MR. EVANS sure does 'The Watusi', 'The Mashed Potato', 'The Stroll' and many more with bags of panache. More soulful, maybe, is the pairing of two albums from THE ORLONS. Again, a lot of dance gimmick songs – but checkout a super pair of "street" songs – 'South Street' and 'Between 18th and 19th On Chestnut Street'.

Soul group, THE TYMES feature on 'Remember Me Baby' – a 24 track compilation of Cameo-Parkway vocal groups while the other releases focus on BOBBY RYDELL, CLINT EASTWOOD (singing cowboy songs on the back of his role in the TV series 'Rawhide') and beat combo TERRY KNIGHT and the PACK. Ace execs are unsure right now how much more Cameo-Parkway material is to follow – let's hope they manage to secure the rights to a lot more!

Last Updated on Friday, 10 September 2010 15:48


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