Tuesday, 07 June 2011 20:08 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

jai_reedReal soul seekers know that some of the very best modern soul comes from the Gospel community and one Gospel singer currently making soul waves is New Orleans' JAI REED. REED was born and bred in the Crescent City and though he's always sung in church he's also been influenced by the city's distinct soul idioms. He began his professional career working in the groups ENDURANCE and NU BEGINNINGS but in 2000 he took the decision to go solo.

He's currently promoting his latest album – 'Anointed For Purpose' and the promo single currently doing the rounds indicates that the LP will be worth investigating. The cut – 'How Much You Mean To Me' is a delicious down tempo groove that delivers its message via insinuation. The melody's sweet, the harmonies are superb and JAI'S delivery is faultless... a feel of the best of BILLY and SARAH GAINES about this one. Find out more by going to



Tuesday, 07 June 2011 20:06 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

famikly_businessThere were loads of entries to our BRANDY/FAMILY BUSINESS competition... and most got the answer right... mind you, the question wasn't that difficult! The duettist on BRANDY'S hit 'The Boy is Mine' was indeed MONICA.

Congratulations to our five winners – GRAHAM ROBERTS of Great Yarmouth, IZZY MURPHY of Merseyside, KEVIN MURRAY from the Wirral, RICHARD MARZETTI of London and IAN RYAN from Cardiff. Copies of the CD on the way to you all right now. Well done!



Thursday, 02 June 2011 19:43 BIll Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

bookAt the end of the June, TITAN BOOKS are releasing 'Fever', the first-ever official biography of LITTLE WILLIE JOHN. A charismatic performer, JOHN sang with passion and soul in all kinds of styles - blues, rock 'n' roll, and ballads. His sound and style inspired a generation of musicians and he can be rightly called one of soul's founding fathers. Witness MARVIN GAYE'S summation – "Little Willie John was the soul singer's soul singer."

WILLIE was also JAMES BROWN'S favourite singer and STEVIE WONDER (who provides the book's foreword) recounts, "My mother told me, if you call yourself 'Little' Stevie Wonder, you'd better be as good as Little Willie John".

The book's author is acclaimed music journalist and sometime editor of Creem, SUSAN WHITALL and she covers all the bases of the singer's hectic life and strange death at the age of just 30.

FEVER – the biography of LITTLE WILLIE JOHN is published by TITAN BOOKS at the end of June.

Last Updated on Thursday, 02 June 2011 19:46



Wednesday, 01 June 2011 10:00 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

trueIt was one of soul's best kept secrets.... few soul people knew too much about it, but now thanks to the efforts of inveterate crate-digger EOTHEN ALAPATT, the whole soul world can enjoy the authentic southern soul of TRUE SOUL RECORDS.

The little-known label was based in Little Rock, Arkansas and was the brain child of LEE ANTHONY. LEE opened a record store in Little Rock in 1966 and the store - Soul Brother Records – became a magnet for local musicians. In '68, therefore, he built a studio and launched his own label - which he called, with unnerving accuracy, True Soul. True Soul had an eclectic (some might say, chaotic) recording policy – almost anyone could walk in off the street and make a record... provided they had a good song. The records were issued in small quantities and few had any impact beyond the immediate Little Rock area, though 'Funky Music' from THOMAS EAST sold over 200,000 copies after being licensed to MGM.

None of the True Soul artists were stars, though members of THE CONSPIRACY went onto become the rhythm section of the GAP BAND, but that didn't seem to matter. They all performed with enthusiasm and commitment and LEE ANTHONY was happy to provide them with an outlet for their talents. Then, in the 80s –as rap became the youthful choice – he disbanded the label; he then closed the store in 1998 after being shot by intruders.

The following year, Nashville student and collector, ALAPATT tracked him down and since then has been working on getting the True Soul catalogue released on CD. At last his plans have come to fruition. Now Again Records are about to release two volumes of True Soul material – so everyone can at last enjoy the authentic rustic, soul of Arkansas. Each volume offers an overview of the label and comes in a special book style pack with extensive notes from ALAPATT and ANTHONY. As a bonus each pack also has a DVD of True Soul artists performing. Clearly both sets are unmissable for all soul collectors - especially those with a penchant for the rough, real sounds of the South. Release date is August 1st and expect full reviews in SJF very soon.



Monday, 30 May 2011 14:42 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

supremesFive years ago Motown released a wonderful 3D CD set that chronicled the story of the SUPREMES in the first part of the seventies. Entitled 'This Is The Story ... The Jean Terrell Years' the box set covered the girls' career up to 1973. Now the label has just issued another box that concludes the SUPREMES' Motown story.

'Let Yourself Go ... The Final Sessions' covers the period 1974 – 1977 and includes all the girls' albums from that period along with numerous bonus cuts which include remixes, alternate takes and a complete alternate mix of the acclaimed 'High Energy' album. The mainstay throughout is MARY WILSON who is joined (variously) by SCHERRIE PAYNE, CINDY BIRDSONG and SUSAYE GREENE.

As with that first SUPREMES' box set, this one comes in a lavish book style package which is stuffed with lengthy liner notes, interviews with MARY, SCHERRIE, CINDY and SUSAYE, exclusive pictures and quotes from BRIAN HOLLAND. SUPREMES' fans (and, indeed, all collectors) will need the album – but they'll need to be quick. The set is a strictly limited edition of 5,000 and the release date is 4th July.

Last Updated on Monday, 30 May 2011 14:49


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