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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: September 15

Posted by Jeff Harris, September 15, 2014 10:23am | Post a Comment

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

On this day in music history: September 15, 1962 - "Sherry" by The Four Seasons hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for five weeks, also topping the R&B singles chart for one week on October 6th. Written by Bob Gaudio, it is the first chart-topping single for the Newark, New Jersey-based vocal quartet. Originally written as "Jackie Baby" in honor of then First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, the title will be changed several more times before it is recorded. Gaudio will write the song in just 15 minutes on the way to a band rehearsal. The Four Seasons were first known as The Four Lovers, recording an album and several singles for RCA Victor, and scoring their first chart record with "You're The Apple Of My Eye" (#62 Pop) on Epic Records in 1956. The group will go through numerous line up changes before 1961 when they change their name to The Four Seasons. Entering the Hot 100 at #65 on August 25, 1962, the single will quickly rocket to the top just three weeks later. "Sherry" is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.
 


On this day in music history: September 15, 1965Otis Blue: Otis Redding Sings Soul, the third album by Otis Redding, is released. Produced by Jim Stewart, Isaac Hayes, and David Porter, it is recorded at Stax Recording Studios in Memphis from April 19 - July 10, 1965. It features covers of three songs by Redding's idol Sam Cooke, as well as originals "I've Been Loving You Too Long" (#2 R&B, #21 Pop) and "Respect" (#4 R&B, #35 Pop). The album will also become a big hit in the UK both through word of mouth and a now-legendary tour that features Redding backed by Booker T. & The MG's. In time it will be acclaimed as a landmark R&B album, and one that will help to define the "Memphis Soul" sound. In 2008, Rhino Records will release a remastered version of the album featuring both the stereo and mono mixes along with non-LP B-sides, alternate takes, and tracks from his live albums In Person At The Whisky A Go Go and Live In Europe. Otis Blue will spend one week at number one on the Billboard R&B album chart on October 30, 1965, peaking at number 75 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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Music History Monday: December 10

Posted by Jeff Harris, December 10, 2012 10:30am | Post a Comment

michael jackson paul mccartney say say say music history monday To read more Behind The Grooves, go to http://behindthegrooves.tumblr.com.

Remembering R&B legend Otis Redding (born Otis Ray Redding, Jr. in Macon, GA) - September 9, 1941 - December 10, 1967.

Also remembering Ronnie Caldwell, Carl Cunningham, Jimmy King, and Phalon Jones of The Bar-Kays.


On this day in music history: December 10, 1966 - “Good Vibrations” by The Beach Boys hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for one week. Written by Brian Wilson and Mike Love, it is the third number one single for the Southern California based band. The song will have its origins in a conversation that Brian Wilson has with his mother during his childhood; she will tell him that dogs bark at people depending on the "vibrations" they sensed from them. Wilson tells this to his bandmate Mike Love and Love will come up with the title "Good Vibrations." Initially, Wilson will collaborate with lyricist Tony Asher on the song. Not entirely pleased with the lyrics, Love will completely re-write them. "Vibrations" will be recorded in 17 sessions over a period of six months in four different studios. The song will incorporate a number of instruments not typical for a pop song including cellos and a electro-therimin.  At an approximated cost of over $50,000, it is the most expensive single record ever produced (at the time), with the final version being edited together from various sections recorded over the lengthy sessions. The song’s innovative production and structure will make it an immediate smash on both sides of the Atlantic, stoking demand for the band’s next album Smile, which is currently in the works. The album itself will not surface in its intended form until nearly 45 years later in 2011.
 

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The Wisdom of Teeth: Part III

Posted by Job O Brother, July 27, 2009 11:54am | Post a Comment

America's Next Top Model

Hello, everybody. Today is my second full day without Vicodin, and my first full week without my bottom two wisdom teeth. (The surgeon decided, after slicing my upper gums, that the teeth there could and should stay put, leading me to ask, what did he see in there that wasn't on the x-ray that changed his mind? Did my upper teeth have protection from the Insane Popes?)

As my legions of readers know, I was excited to realize my life-long dream of being put under general anesthesia; I’m happy to report that I was not disappointed.

I was led into the operating room – a tiny, square space, entirely colored in the lightest shade of grey and almost exactly what I picture when I contemplate what Hell might look like, though without the constant re-looping of “Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay” piped in, which I have decided will be the soundtrack to my eternal damnation.
dentist
I relaxed back into the chair and the surgeon and his nurse went to work prepping the scene. I stared at the fluorescent lighting, noting that sticker tags were still inside the fixtures, which struck me – I imagined that, if I were to have an office building of my very own, I wouldn’t want ugly manufacturing stickers glued willy-nilly over my establishment. Did these practitioners of dental artistry have no pride? Or were they so focused on peering into dark depths of mucosal tissue and alveolar bones that they never thought to cast their gaze upwards into the blinding brilliance of tubes of excited mercury vapor that adorned their ceiling and lit their paths? I mean, you guys – kind of tacky, okay?

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