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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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Milo Greene Set to Play Amoeba With Live Webcast As Debut Record Lands

Posted by Billy Gil, July 15, 2012 04:00pm | Post a Comment
Milo GreeneMilo Greene is British. He’s well-dressed — three-piece suit and the like. He’s incredibly confident and charming, he’s well-spoken, he’s an intellectual, but also a man’s man. He’s exactly six feet tall to the millimeter, and if he were a dad, he’d be the No. 1 dad.
 
Milo Greene the man also isn’t real — they are a band, not a dude. He’s a fictional character band member Robbie Arnett invented when forming the band with Andrew Heringer. When contacting venues, Milo Greene would send the requests, and Arnett and Heringer saw their fortunes rise accordingly, getting better shows.
 
Now a five-piece who’ve taken the moniker Milo Greene as their own, in a bit of Belle & Sebastian-style alluring bewilderment, is set to release its debut, self-titled record July 17. The band plays Amoeba Hollywood the same day, at 7 p.m. with a live webcast.
 
milo greene milo greeneThe L.A.-based band’s debut record, Milo Greene, offers the same sort of intimate harmonies and natural harmonies of a Fleet Foxes or, further back, Fleetwood Mac just as Stevie and Lindsay joined the band. Written in part in a cabin in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, and recorded with co-producer Ryan Hadlock (Ra Ra Riot, Blonde Redhead, The Gossip, The Lumineers) at Bear Creek Studio, a converted early 1900s barn in the country outside of Seattle, it’s a beautifully crafted set of songs that makes the most the band’s five-person set-up. They offer lush harmonies on songs like “Don’t You Give Up On Me,” which sounds like a gorgeous gospel intervention. Lone girl Greener Marlana Sheetz in particular stands out on songs like “Perfectly Aligned,” in which Sheetz’s testimonial vocals are wrapped in just the right amount of gauzy reverb while the boys (who include Graham Fink and Curtis Marrero, in addition to Arnett and Heringer) back her up with swaying folk-rock, along with electric swells of sound and strident harmonies when necessary. The whole thing’s, you know, perfectly aligned.
 
I sat down to talk with Fink about what it’s like to be in a folk band in L.A. in 2012, and what records and songs are doing it for him these days (Hint: Lots of ’90s R&B).
 
Me: Truthfully it was a bit hard to find out more about you guys, and along with the whole “Milo Greene” concept, it seems to me sort of an early Belle & Sebastian situation where you want the music to stand for itself and not for any member of the collective to stand out. Is that fair to say?
 
Fink: Absolutely. This is a very collective group, and the music has always stood at the forefront. We liked the idea of just releasing some live videos early, so people could see the five of us in a room, making music. No lead singer, no gloss, music first and foremost. That being said, I'm really trying to get famous so I can be gifted courtside Clippers tickets.

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