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New James Brown Biopic "Get On Up"

Posted by Billyjam, July 10, 2014 02:35pm | Post a Comment

          

"Get On Up" Trailer - movie opens August 1st, 2014

While some diehard James Brown fans are already skeptical of Get On Up (the forthcoming biopic on the Godfather of Soul that opens in theaters everywhere in three weeks) because they say that the star Chadwick Boseman doesn't look much like the singer, I say that's crazy because he's a great actor and he sure sounds and moves just like him - as evidenced in the above trailer. Also based on this trailer, as well as on the other clips I've seen of this movie on the life of one of the greatest artists of all time, my bet is that this film, directed by The Help's Tate Taylor, is going to be off the hook.  Besides incredible music (it sounds like they used all of Brown's original recordings and not reworkings as is often the case in music biopics), Get On Up has a killer cast and drama - lots of drama - from James Brown's real life. It starts with him as a five-year-old boy ("just a street kid from Augusta, Georgia") with a tough childhood and follows him through all of his ups and downs, including incarceration where he organized and led the prison gospel choir, three marriages, and meeting his estranged mother years later after he had found major success.

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Music History Monday: July 7

Posted by Jeff Harris, July 7, 2014 09:16am | Post a Comment

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

Born on this day: July 7, 1940 - Legendary Beatles drummer Ringo Starr (born Richard Starkey in Liverpool, UK). Happy 74th Birthday, Ringo!
 


On this day in music history: July 7, 1962 - "The Stripper" by David Rose And His Orchestra hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for one week. Written by David Rose, it is the biggest hit for the British-born bandleader and composer. In 1958, Rose will write music for a television series called Burlesque (starring Dan Dailey and Joan Blondell). Recorded during the last ten minutes of a recording session, the song will go unreleased as the rest of the tracks recorded are more string oriented and the brassy instrumental seems out of place. Four years later, Rose will record a version of the pop standard "Ebb Tide" to promote the Paul Newman film Sweet Bird Of Youth. Without any time to record a B-side, "The Stripper" is pulled out of the vault and issued as the single's flipside. A DJ in Los Angeles named Robert Q. Lewis will discover the obscure track and will play it over and over for 45 minutes on his show. The stunt will make the record a hit locally in L.A., eventually spreading to the rest of the country. Entering the Hot 100 at #90 on May 12, 1962, it will climb to the top of the chart eight weeks later. Rose will go on to write the music for the long-running TV series Little House On The Prairie and Highway To Heaven. "The Stripper" is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.
 

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Oakland Public Library Celebrates Black History Month with Soul Explosion!!!

Posted by Billyjam, February 4, 2014 09:44am | Post a Comment

Oakland Public Library (OPL) is celebrating Black History Month in various ways at its different branches throughout this month including its soul and R&B music-themed Black History Month Soul Explosion!!! this evening (Tuesday, Feb 4th) at 6pm at the OPL Lakeview branch on El Embarcadero down by Lake Merritt. Local DJ, musician, and record store owner Ed'N'Sted will curate a "multimedia excursion into soul" by playing music and videos by such soul/R&B legends as James Brown, Jackie Wilson, The Isley Brothers, and Little Willie John for two solid hours. Tonight's FREE event starts at 6pm sharp and goes until 7:45pm. It takes place in the Meeting Room of the Lakeview branch, located at 550 El Embarcadero Oakland, CA  94610. More info by calling (510) 238-7344 or online here.

In honor of tonight's East Bay Black History Month event, below are select live videos by three of these artists. Included are the Isley Brothers on Soul Train doing "Summer Breeze," James Brown and band in concert in 1989 doing "I Feel Good," and Jackie Wilson performing "To Be Loved," "Lonely Teardrops," and "Alone At Last" on The Ed Sullivan Show in the early 60's. Also below is a really great piece on the short life (he died at 30) of the underrated Little Willie John who Marvin Gaye dubbed "the soul singer's soul singer." This excellent short documentary, entitled Fever: Little Willie John's Fast Life, Mysterious Death, & The Birth Of Soul (also the name of the book), is well worth watching if you are into the history of soul/R&B.

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New "What's In My Bag?" Episode With Charles Bradley

Posted by Amoebite, October 23, 2013 05:40pm | Post a Comment

Charles Bradley

Many artists spend years paying their dues, honing their craft, grinding out tour after tour chasing the ultimate dream of being discovered and landing a record deal. For most, the dream never happens. That is, unless you are Charles Bradley. The ultimate "rags to riches" story, Bradley went from obscurity to international fame almost overnight, but that's not what's amazing about his story. The amazing part is Charles Bradley got his break at 62 years old and his newfound fame is relatively fresh.

Charles' life has been nothing short of burdensome. You can say he graduated top of his class from the school of hard knocks and was last in line when it came to catching a break in life. From growing up poor to contemplating suicide to the murder of his brother, his story is documented in the film Charles Bradley: Soul of AmericaBradley spent two decades criss-crossing the United States working odd jobs and singing in small dives. Struggling to keep his head above water, Bradley took to performing as a James Brown impersonator named "Black Velvet." His luck changed one night when he was discovered by Daptone Records co-founder Gabriel Roth.

Two full-length albums and a handful of singles later, Charles Bradley is a powerhouse in the current "retro soul" movement that has gained audiences all over the world. The James Brown influence in Bradley is clear and some critics have also compared him to the late great Otis Redding. Bradley is like a living time capsule. He's a window into an era that many generations of music lovers were not able to see. Charles Bradley is the modern day James Brown. Check out his debut album, No Time For Dreaming, and the newly released follow-up, Victim of Love, to hear for yourself.

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Music History Monday: September 9

Posted by Jeff Harris, September 9, 2013 11:30am | Post a Comment

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

Born on this day: September 9, 1941 - R&B vocal icon Otis Redding (born Otis Ray Redding, Jr. in Dawson, GA). Happy Birthday to The Big "O" on what would have been his 72nd Birthday.
 


On this day in music history: September 9, 1967 - "Cold Sweat Pt. 1" by James Brown hits #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart for three weeks, also peaking at #7 on the Hot 100 on August 26th. Written by Brown and Alfred "Pee Wee" Ellis, it is the fifth R&B chart topper for the Hardest Working Man in Show Business. The song is originally written in 1962, but is re-recorded and given a dramatic re-arrangement after Brown hears "Funky Broadway," the recent hit single by Wilson Pickett. The track is recorded at King Studios in Cincinnati in May of 1967 and is the first session for engineer Ron Lenhoff who will become Brown's recording engineer for the next eight years, recording and mixing numerous hits for the Godfather of Soul. The extended workout runs over seven minutes in its entirety, but is edited and split into two parts for single release. "Cold Sweat" will mark a major turning point in the evolution of R&B music, being the first record to introduce the subgenre known as Funk. By putting more emphasis on the rhythmic aspects of the song, rather than the melody, it will be regarded as one of the most influential records ever released. Released as single in July, "Cold Sweat" will climb the R&B and pop charts quickly. Ironically, it will be replaced at the top of the R&B charts by Wilson Pickett's "Funky Broadway," the very song that inspired James Brown to create "Cold Sweat."
 

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