Friday, 06 August 2010 08:22 Charles Waring E-mailPrintPDF

ben_e_kingRhino is about to unleash a second batch of titles in their ongoing back catalogue campaign, 'Original Album Series.' Each collection – which retails between £12 and £15 in the UK - comprises five classic albums housed in replica LP sleeves. Of interest to soul fans are collections by WILSON PICKETT, BEN E KING, and MARGIE JOSEPH, while funk fanatics will gravitate to a 5-CD collection of CHARLES WRIGHT'S work. For jazz junkies, sets dedicated to the early work of saxophonist DAVID SANBORN and the 1990s Warner tenure of keyboard wizard GEORGE DUKE, should also set pulses racing.

Here's the full album rundown:

WILSON PICKETT – 'In The Midnight Hour,' 'The Exciting Wilson Pickett,' 'The Wicked Pickett,' 'The Sound Of Wilson Pickett,' and 'I'm In Love.'

BEN E KING – 'Spanish Harlem,' 'Sings For Soulful Lovers,' 'Don't Play That Song,' 'Seven Letters,' and 'What Is Soul?'

MARGIE JOSEPH – 'Margie Joseph,' 'Sweet Surrender,' 'Margie,' 'Hear The Words, Feel The Feeling,' and 'Feeling My Way.'

CHARLES WRIGHT & THE WATTS 103RD STREET RHYTHM BAND – 'The Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band,' 'Together,' 'In The Jungle, Babe,' 'Express Yourself,' and 'You're So Beautiful.'

DAVID SANBORN – 'Taking Off,' 'David Sanborn,' 'Heart To Heart,' 'Hideaway,' and 'Voyeur.'

GEORGE DUKE – 'Illusions,' 'Snapshot,' 'Is Love Enough,' 'After Hours,' and 'Cool.'

Look out reviews of some of these titles soon at SJF



Thursday, 05 August 2010 16:14 Charles Waring E-mailPrintPDF

jEAN_CARNJust released on the Netherlands' reissue label, Vinyl Masterpiece, is a tantalising clutch of collectable '80s albums that have been out of print for many years.

Best of the bunch is JEAN CARN'S 1982 Motown album, 'Trust Me' (pictured), an 8-track set helmed by Norman Connors which includes the Philly singer's versions of Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes' 'If You Don't Know Me By Now' and Minnie Riperton's 'Completeness.'

Fans of vocal trio THE MAIN INGREDIENT (featuring the lead vocals of CUBA GOODING) will be pleased that the group's long-deleted RCA album 'Ready For Your Love' (1980) is back in circulation. Its highlights include 'Think Positive' and 'Spoiled.'  The group's 1981 Patrick Adams-produced album, 'I Only Have Eyes For You,' is also available via Vinyl Masterpiece (it was previously reissued as part of a twofer by Expansion).

Oregon funk group PLEASURE were famed for their Wayne Henderson-helmed albums for Fantasy in the '70s. The group's final release, 'Give It Up,' came out on RCA in 1982 and comes to CD for the first time via Vinyl Masterpiece's new reissue. It includes the US R&B chart entries 'Sending My Love' and 'Give It Up.'

For something obscurer, collectors should check out 'Arrival,' the 1982 album by Mississippi aggregation, WYND CHYMES. The nine-piece band's original vocalist was Alexander O'Neal but he left before they recorded this one-off album for RCA. For those that like brassy funk mixed with sweet, sophisticated soul, then Vinyl Masterpiece's reissue of this rare set shouldn't be ignored.

For more information on the above releases go to



Thursday, 05 August 2010 13:09 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

JAZ34e59f_Bobby_HebbBOBBY HEBB, the writer (and original performer) of one of soul's most enduring hit songs has died aged 72. The song in question, of course, is 'Sunny' and HEBB claimed he wrote it after his brother, HAROLD had been murdered outside a Nashville night club just days after the assassination of JOHN F KENNEDY. Whatever, the tune is hugely optimistic and that optimism coupled with a catchy tune meant that 'Sunny' has become one of the most covered songs of all time. Even without 'Sunny', however, HEBB'S place in musical history would be assured. Born in the Country music capital of Nashville in 1938, HEBB always had an attraction for cowboy music and in 1952 –as part of ROY ACUFF'S SMOKEY MOUNTAIN BOYS - he became one of the first Afro-Americans to appear at the Country music shrine of the Grand Ole Opry... quite an achievement for the early 50s.

But it was 'Sunny' that made his name. In fact at the height of the song's popularity HEBB shared headlining status with the BEATLES on their 1966 US tour! After 'Sunny' HEBB continued to write and record with mixed success. Some of his songs – notably 'Love, Love, Love' and 'You Want To Change Me' became big on the Northern scene and like many vintage soul artists he was coaxed back into the studio in recent years – most notably with 'That's What I Wanna Know' (2005).

In recent years HEBB had been fighting a battle with lung cancer and he died in hospital in Nashville on 3rd August. He's survived by a daughter and 4 sons.

Last Updated on Thursday, 05 August 2010 16:24



Thursday, 05 August 2010 13:07 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

ArethaFRANKLIN_450x350ARETHA FRANKLIN – still everybody's Queen Of Soul – has been injured in a fall. It's reported that she is now recovering after slipping in the bath and breaking several ribs. The accident means that the singer will miss two free concerts in Brooklyn - which promoters are busy trying to reschedule. Ms FRANKLIN joked that she "was very much looking forward to being in Brooklyn and having a foot-long hot dog at Coney Island!". The fall has also meant the cancellation of a private performance at the birthday party of CHARLES RANGEL – a prominent Democratic Congressman.

Last Updated on Thursday, 05 August 2010 16:24



Wednesday, 04 August 2010 10:23 Charles Waring E-mailPrintPDF

Glenn_JonesThe Northampton-based reissue label Funky Town Grooves (FTG) has just released a batch of fascinating titles that should be of interest to '70s and '80s funk and soul fans.

'Finesse,' the debut album by singer GLENN JONES – originally issued on RCA in 1984 – is arguably the pick of the bunch. Not only is the FTG version digitally remastered but it includes three bonus cuts – among them the 12-inch single versions of 'Finesse' and 'I Am Somebody' (the latter was the Florida-born singer's first Stateside hit).

For disco-soul aficionados, FTG has also reissued 'Hot Butterfly,' the 1977 album by GREG DIAMOND'S BIONIC BOOGIE. The set includes the classic title cut featuring a young Luther Vandross on lead vocals, as well as the club favourite 'Cream (Always Rises To The Top).' Other stellar contributors to the record include Cissy Houston and David Lasley.

From the same timeframe are the albums 'We're All In This Together' and 'Milky Way' by New Orleans' funk and soul aggregation, CHOCOLATE MILK. Both sets can be found on a new FTG 'twofer,' which features the group's biggest US R&B hit, 'Girl Callin'.'

Another FTG 2-on-1 release is a set by NEW HORIZONS, a family group from Dayton, Ohio. The group's 1983 Columbia album 'Something New' – featuring their solitary US R&B hit, the Zapp-style funk workout, 'Your Thing Is Your Thing' – is included alongside 1984's follow-up, 'Gonna Have Big Fun.' Both sets were produced by Roger Troutman.

More 2-on-1s from FTG come from keyboardist MICHAEL WYCOFF – comprising the RCA albums 'Come To My World' (1980) and 'On The Line' (1983) and featuring the US chart entries 'Feel My Love,' 'One Alone' (with vocals from Merry Clayton) and 'Tell Me Love' – and the SKOOL BOYZ (a CD comprising the trio's mid-'80s albums 'Skool Boyz' and 'This Is The Real Thing').

'Do You Believe In Music,' the 1979 RCA album by the New York group, WAX, is also reissued via FTG (it includes the group's only US smash, 'Get Loose'), along with the self-titled Arista album from 1981 by MADAGASCAR. The group's two biggest tunes – 'Baby Not Tonight' and 'Rainbow' – are the standout cuts.

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


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