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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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Do Vinyl Reissues Lessen the Value of Originals?

Posted by V.B., September 29, 2014 05:40pm | Post a Comment

Head to the Vinyl Beat website to check out extensive LP label guides and wild cover galleries!

One would correctly assume that a record is reissued because there is a pent up demand for an out of The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Are You Experiencedprint title. Let’s take the latest reissue of Jimi HendrixAre You Experienced for example. Once this demand is sated, one might conclude that the elevated value for the original would come down, citing the law of supply and demand. This should be especially true because the newest release is pressed on 180 gram vinyl and sounds superior to previous versions.

My experience however, is that the added buzz and exposure adds to the mystique of owning the original and raises the value, especially if the original is in great shape. If you buy records just to hear the music, you absolutely shouldn’t pay more just to get an original. But, if you’ve crossed the line into being a “record collector,” all kinds of other considerations start to creep in. Suddenly condition starts to matter, you tend to be more of a completest in regard to an artist’s catalog, you weigh mono versus stereo, and you start to favor original issues.

A simple analogy would be: if you were an art collector would you want the original Mona Lisa, or a $29 copy? No matter how beautiful they might think it is, most art collectors would not put a repro up in their house, even though they could never afford the original.

Getting back to Hendrix, we see below the original Reprise tri-tone label, which was soon replaced by the two tone label, and then by the 1970s a solid brown label was used.
 

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Music History Monday: May 12

Posted by Jeff Harris, May 12, 2014 10:18am | Post a Comment

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

Born on this day: May 12, 1928 - Legendary pop songwriter, producer, and arranger Burt Bacharach (born Burt Freeman Bacharach in Kansas City, MO). Happy 86th Birthday, Burt!
 


Born on this day: May 12, 1948 - Singer, songwriter, and musician Steve Winwood (born Stephen Lawrence Winwood in Handsworth, Birmingham, UK). Happy 66th Birthday, Steve!
 


On this day in music history: May 12, 1958 - "All I Have To Do Is Dream" by The Everly Brothers hits #1 on the Billboard Best Sellers chart for four weeks, topping the Rhythm & Blues Best Sellers chart for five weeks on May 19, 1958, and also topping the Country & Western Best Sellers chart for three weeks on June 2, 1958. Written by Felice and Boudleaux Bryant, it is the second chart topping single for the rock & roll duo from Brownie, KY. Having also penned The Everly Brothers first number one single "Bye Bye Love," the husband and wife songwriting duo will write the ballad "All I Have To Do Is Dream" in only fifteen minutes. The Everlys will record the song at RCA Victor Studios in Nashville, TN on March 6, 1958, in just two takes. Legendary guitarist Chet Atkins will also play electric guitar on the track. Released as a single in April of 1958, it will quickly become a smash. Entering the Best Sellers chart at #9 on April 28, 1958, it will leap to the top of the chart two weeks later. When it tops the country singles chart on June 2, 1958, it will become the first record in Billboard chart history to top the pop, R&B, and country charts simultaneously. The single will also backed by the song "Claudette," written by a then relatively unknown musician named Roy Orbison, inspired by his wife. "Claudette" will also chart, peaking at #30 on the pop Best Sellers chart on the same date that "Dream" tops the chart. A rock & roll standard, "All I Have To Do Is Dream" will be covered numerous times over the years including versions by actor Richard Chamberlain (#14 Pop), Bobbie Gentry and Glen Campbell (#27 Pop, #6 Country), and Andy Gibb and Victoria Principal (#51 Pop). The Everly Brothers original version of "All I Have To Do Is Dream" is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA and is inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame in 2004.
 

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Music History Monday: December 16

Posted by Jeff Harris, December 16, 2013 09:30am | Post a Comment

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

Remembering dance music icon Sylvester (born Sylvester James in Los Angeles, CA) - September 6, 1947 - December 16, 1988.
 


On this day in music history: December 16, 1966 - "Hey Joe", the debut single by The Jimi Hendrix Experience is released (US release is on May 1, 1967). Written by Billy Roberts, the song tells the story of a man on the run after shooting his wife for her infidelity. A garage band standard, it is covered by numerous acts including The Leaves, The Byrds, Love, The Standells, and The Surfaris to name a few. Hendrix's version is recorded on October 23, 1966 at De Lane Lea Studios in London. The single is first offered to Decca Records in the UK who decline to release it. Polydor will pick it up for UK release (and Reprise in the US) and it will immediately hit the charts. "Hey Joe" will peak at #6 on the UK singles chart.
 


On this day in music history: December 16, 1972Across 110th Street - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack is released. Produced by Bobby Womack, it is recorded at American Sound Studios in Memphis, TN from Spring - Fall 1972. Issued as the soundtrack to the blaxploitation crime drama starring Anthony Quinn, Yaphet Kotto, and Antonio Fargas, it features a song score written and produced by Bobby Womack and is performed by Womack and his backing band Peace. It also features the instrumental score from the film written by J.J. Johnson. The title song will be issued as a single and will peak at #19 on the Billboard R&B singles chart and #56 on the Hot 100. It will also be featured in director Quentin Tarantino's film Jackie Brown in 1997 and in American Gangster in 2007. Across 110th Street - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack will peak at #6 on the Billboard R&B album chart and #50 on the Top 200.
 

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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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