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Music History Monday: June 15

Posted by Jeff Harris, June 15, 2015 09:05am | Post a Comment

To read more Behind The Grooves, go to http://behindthegrooves.tumblr.com.

Born on this day: June 15, 1941 - Singer, songwriter, and musician Harry Nilsson (born Harry Edward Nilsson III in Brooklyn, NY). Happy Birthday to this brilliant and visionary artist on what would have been his 74th Birthday.
 


Born on this day: June 15, 1969 - Rapper and actor Ice Cube (born O'Shea Jackson in Los Angeles, CA). Happy 46th Birthday, Cube!
 


On this day in music history: June 15, 1966Gettin' Ready, the fourth studio album by The Temptations, is released. Produced by Smokey Robinson, Norman Whitfield, William "Mickey" Stevenson, Ivy Jo Hunter, Robert Staunton, and Robert Walker, it is recorded at Motown Studio A in Detroit from late 1965 - mid 1966. The album will mark a major turning point in the career of the superstar Motown group as producer Norman Whitfield takes over duties as The Tempts main producer from Smokey Robinson. Berry Gordy will challenge Robinson and Whitfield to see who can score a bigger hit on the pop charts for the group. Robinson will respond with the song "Get Ready," which will top the R&B charts but falls short on the pop chart, peaking at #29. Whitfield will get his shot with "Ain't Too Proud To Beg." It will also hit #1 on the R&B chart and peak at #13 on the pop chart, leading him to being the group's producer almost exclusively for the next seven years. The album will also include the first recording of the song "Too Busy Thinking About My Baby," which will become a big hit for Marvin Gaye three years later. Gettin' Ready will spend six weeks (non-consecutive) at number one on the Billboard R&B album chart, and peak at number 12 on the Top 200.
 

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The Queen Of Soul Returns To The Bay Area For First Time In 30 Years

Posted by Billyjam, March 9, 2015 05:45pm | Post a Comment
Quiz fans of soul/RnB or check any top 100 Best Soul Female Vocalists lists and odds are that Aretha Franklin will be either number one or at least ranking in the top two or three picks. Rolling Stone magazine ranked her #1 on their "100 Greatest Singers of All Time" list - and that is not just female singers or soul/rnb but all. Hence it is a very big deal that the 18 time Grammy Award winning "Queen of Soul" will be returning to the Bay Area this summer for her first concert in the San Francisco Bay Area in 30 years! Just announced today, in time for Women's History Month, the concert tickets will go on sale this Friday, March 13th at all Ticketmaster outlets for the scheduled Monday August 10th concert at the Oracle Arena on a bill that she will be joined by special guest Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds. Franklin, who will celebrate her 73rd birthday in two weeks, released her latest album last year - a tribute collection to a selection of her personal fellow female vocalists spanning several decades. Descriptively titled Aretha Franklin Sings The Great Diva Classics, it includes her interpreation of Gladys Knight's "Midnight Train To Georgia," Barbra Streisand's "People," Alicia Keys' "No One" and Destiny's Child's "I'm A Survivor." The album's five producers include André 3000, Harvey Mason, Jr., Terry Hunter, Eric Kupper, and the aforementioned Kenny 'Babyface' Edmonds (hence why he is her special guest on this tour). Along with doing many of the songs from this new album of hers Franklin is expected to (she has to!) include in her set such classics of hers as the Otis Redding penned "Respect," "Rock Steady," "Chain Of Fools," "I Say A Little Prayer For You," and "Think" - three of which appear below in video format, including Aretha in the Bay Area in 1971 at the Fillmore in San Francisco (one of the earlier times she performed in the Bay) doing an inspired and energetic version of "Respect." Peep these videos as a reminder to why Aretha earned the title of the "Queen of Soul." 

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Music History Monday: January 12

Posted by Jeff Harris, January 12, 2015 10:57am | Post a Comment

To read more Behind The Grooves, go to http://behindthegrooves.tumblr.com.

Born on this day: January 12, 1946 - Keyboardist and producer extraordinaire George Duke (born in San Rafael, CA). Happy Birthday to this brilliant artist on what would have been his 69th Birthday.
 


On this day in music history: January 12, 1939 - Pioneering vocal group The Ink Spots record "If I Didn't Care" at the Decca Recording Studio in New York City, NY. Written by Jack Lawrence, it is the first major hit record for the legendary vocal group. Formed in Indianapolis, IN in 1934 as The Four Riff Brothers, the group's original line up consists of Orville "Hoppy" Jones, Ivory "Deek" Watson, Jerry Daniels, and Charlie Fuqua. After the group perform at the Apollo Theater in Harlem the same year, their name will be changed to The 4 Ink Spots by legendary bandleader Paul Whiteman. The group will shorten their name to The Ink Spots and will record several singles for Victor Records, none of which will be commercially successful. A major turning point for the group will occur in 1936 with the departure of founding member Jerry Daniels, who is replaced by Bill Kenny as lead singer. Kenny's unique high tenor voice and vocal style will lift The Ink Spots to international stardom. The group will sign with Decca Records in late 1938, and will quickly see their fortunes turn around. "If I Didn't Care" will be among the first sides they cut for the label. After its release in February of 1939, it will become one of the biggest selling singles in the history of Decca Records, peaking at #2 on the Pop singles chart and selling over nineteen million copies worldwide, only being surpassed by Bing Crosby's "White Christmas." The Ink Spots distinctive vocal style will be hugely influential on rhythm & blues and Doo Wop vocal groups who will emerge in the coming decades. "If I Didn't Care" will have lasting popularity over several generations having been used in commercials, television, and period films including over the opening credits to The Shawshank Redemption in 1994. Comedian Redd Foxx will often quote the song on the sitcom Sanford & Son. The Ink Spots original recording of "If I Didn't Care" is inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame in 1987.

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New Life for Oakland's Continental Club

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, January 5, 2015 06:03pm | Post a Comment

Continental Club, OaklandBy Brent James

Nestled inconspicuously on 12th Street in West Oakland in a neighborhood known as Prescott (or the “Lower Bottoms” to the longtime residents of the area) is a quaint little building that you will probably miss if you blink. A structure of brick and hardwood and matted red carpets that haven’t been touched since the 1960s, the building standing at 1658 12th Street is the Continental Club – a once a mighty Jazz and Blues supper joint that helped Oakland and the East Bay Area garner the reputation of being the “Motown of the West.” Along with Slim Jenkins’ Supper Club, Esther’s Orbit Room, and dozens of other nightclubs that sprawled along 7th Street, the stages in these rooms once hosted the likes of Jackie Wilson, Aretha Franklin, Lou Rawls, Etta James, Otis Redding, Marvin Gaye, Ike and Tina Turner, and even Jimi Hendrix. The list goes on and the stories are endless if you’re lucky enough to get some face time with the “old timers” of the area. In this neighborhood, people still say “good morning” and spend many a Summer night on their porches, so that’s pretty easy to do.

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Music History Monday: March 10

Posted by Jeff Harris, March 10, 2014 09:15am | Post a Comment

To read more Behind The Grooves, go to http://behindthegrooves.tumblr.com.

Born on this day: March 10, 1903 - Jazz music icon Bix Beiderbecke (born Leon Bismark Beiderbecke in Davenport, IA). Happy Birthday to this legendary jazz cornetist, and one of the greatest musicians of the 20th century, born 111 years ago today, and taken far too young at the age of 28 on August 6, 1931.
 


On this day in music history: March 10, 1967I Never Loved A Man The Way I Love You, the eleventh album by Aretha Franklin is released. Produced by Jerry Wexler, it is recorded at Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals, AL and Atlantic Studios in New York City from January - February 1967. Following the immediate breakout success of the single "I Never Loved A Man (The Way I Love You)," producer Jerry Wexler will call Franklin and the musicians she recorded with in Alabama to New York City in early February to quickly record an album to accompany it. Racing through a week's worth of  recording sessions, the album will be completed and prepared for release. A huge critical and commercial success upon its release, the album will provide Franklin with her long awaited commercial breakthrough, and will also establish her as a major force in the music industry. It will spin off two singles including "Respect" (#1 R&B and Pop) and the title track (#1 R&B, #9 Pop). I Never Loved A Man The Way I Love You will spend 14 weeks at #1 (non-consecutive) on the Billboard R&B album chart, three weeks at #2 on the Top 200, and is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.
 

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