Blog Archives

Song Of The Day – Mavis Staples – “Can You Get To That”

Mavis Staples

Mavis Staples (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Song of the day returns with a gem.  CBC2 is playing the crap out of this new song (yes new) from 74-year-old Mavis Staples of The Staple Singers fame.  A great R&B/Gospel/Countryish tune that really gets you going.  Enjoy.  I’ll be doing some travel updating over the next few days, so much in the brain, so little time to spew it out.

Music Trivia Question for the Day – September 15, 2012

The first album to feature the group's name ch...

The first album to feature the group’s name change from “The Miracles” to “Smokey Robinson & The Miracles” was 1965’s Top 10 album Going To A Go-Go.Clockwise from top left: Pete Moore, Bobby Rogers, Ron White, Smokey Robinson.(not shown: Claudette Robinson, Marv Tarplin) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The previous question was:

Q: What was Motown‘s first million selling hit?

The answer is:

“Shop Around” by The Miracles.  The song was recorded and released in 1960.  This was before they were known as Smokey Robinson and the Miracles.  The artist on this classic was credited as The Miracles (featuring Bill “Smokey” Robinson”.

Shop Around

We had no winner on this one, so Rebecca’s stupendous award has, once again, been forced to wait on it’s introduction to the world.

Today’s question will leave Motown and move on to Blackburn, Lancashire.

Q: In the song “A Day In The Life” by the Beatles, there is a line referring to a particular place.  What is Blackburn, Lancashire and why does it have 4,000 holes in it?



Song of The Day – Marvin Gaye – "Heavy Love Affair"


Marvin Gaye in 1973

Marvin Gaye in 1973 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Marvin Gaye.  Not much to say about one of the greats.  Terrific singer, smooth R&B guy who is missed to this day.  It is hard to believe he died in 1984, holy crap.  I heard this song on my way to work the other day and was blown away….again.



Heavy Love Affair



Music Trivia Question for the Day – September 12, 2012

Motown 4 album set

Motown 4 album set (Photo credit: vintage_breda)

The previous question was:

Q: What was Motown’s first hit?

The answer is

Money – Barrett Strong

Recorded in 1959, Money reached number 2 on the charts.  Beatle fans will instantly recognize this song as they did a cover version in 1962 with Peter Best on drums.

Money – The Beatles

Interestingly, Berry Gordy, Motown’s driving force and owner,  wrote this song, which helped turned Motown into the hit factory it was known for in the 1960’s and beyond.

No one guessed the answer, so I am unable to bestow my newly minted award on anyone.  Thanks to Rebecca for designing the award.

Today’s question, and we will continue in Motown mode is:

Q: What was Motown’s first million selling hit?

Song Of The Day – Remembering Sweet Joe Russell



The Persuasions

The Persuasions (Photo credit: cisc1970)


Sweet Joe Russell died on May 5.  Best known as a singer for The Persuasions, Joe recorded 22 albums with the group.  Strange as it sounds, frank Zappa discovered them and was responsible for their first recording.  The group was a capella and recorded songs by such diverse people as Elvis Presley and The Grateful Dead.  The clip here covers The Everly Brothers tune, “Dream” and an old gospel song “Somewhere To Lay My Head”.  Love this era of music.  Very diverse and very fresh, at the time.


The Persuasions


Trivia Question of the Day

What was the first album released on CD?

The last Question answered

Q: Who was the first British musician to have a #1 single in the USA.

A: Mr Acker Bilt.  He topped the charts in 1962 with “Stranger On The Shore”

Stranger On The Shore




Song Of The Day – Remembering Charles Pitts

Trivia at the end of the post.

Skip Pitts

Skip Pitts (Photo credit: Paul Lowry)

On May 1, music lost a true giant, Charles Pitts.  He was 65 and suffered from cancer.  Charles was a renowned soul and blues guitarist.  His major accomplishments included playing with Al Green and Cyndi Lauper on their Grammy nominated albums, a session player at Stax Records, and his time with Isaac Hayes.  He played with Hayes for 30 years and created the wah-wah at the beginning of the “Theme from Shaft“.  Other credits include backing Sam and Dave, Wilson Pickett, Gene Chandler and the Isley Brothers (he created the riff in It’s Your Thing).  An outstanding career.  His legacy will stay with us forever.

Theme From Shaft

It’s Your Thing


Trivia Question of the Day

What was the first “rock” double album?

The last Question answered

Q. What was the first double album?

A: Benny Goodman‘s “Live At Carnegie Hall” in 1938.

English: Benny Goodman in concert 1971

English: Benny Goodman in concert 1971 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The winner (although admitting it was googled) is A Gripping Life.  She has a terrific blog with a mix of movies and music and miscellany.

Sing Sing Sing

Listening To Canadians – Chris Kirby

The Real Canadian Music Blog

I first heard this song from Chris Kirby on CBC2.  It was created for their compilation album in 2011 called Road Songs.  A really great song with echoes of Steely Dan among others.  Up till now, I have not been able to find in online to present here for all of you to enjoy.  I did a search yesterday (I do this on a regular basis for this song) and it was recently uploaded.  But first, a bit about the artist.  Chris is from St John’s, Newfoundland.  His sound can only be coined as R&B, but R&B with an east coast twist.  He is an up and coming star with astonishing song writing skills.  The band is Chris Kirby and the Marquees and they have 2 albums out with a new one on the way.  The video below is actually 2 songs.  The first is “Free Man” and…

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JD Greer – Twitter Thursday

The Real Canadian Music Blog

JD Greer is the subject of today’s post, @jdgreer is his how to find him on Twitter.  JD is from California and plays and writes his music.  He is an R&B/Pop style artist with a very good voice, well suited to what he does.  He is working on an album, and has recorded several songs in the past.  This song is a pretty good R&B number called Never Alone.  I could not find material for purchase, so if JD reads this maybe drop a comment on where one can buy his music.

Never Alone

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Remembering – Nickolas Ashford

Nick Ashford

Nickolas Ashford passed away on August 22, 2011.  He had been suffering from throat cancer.  He was 71 years old.  An integral part of Motown, Ashford and his wife Valerie Simpson ran the gamut.  From writing to backing vocals to solo endeavours, and most famously, as a duo, they were major players in the Barry Gordy network.  Their songs were recorded by such diverse talents as The Shirelles, Ray Charles and Marvin Gaye.  The song list is phenomenal, “Let’s Get Stoned”, “I Don’t Need No Doctor“, “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” and their own big hit “Solid“.

It always amazes me how true talent somehow hides in the background, surfacing from time to time in short bursts into the spotlight.  Once the exposure fades, they move comfortably and easily into the background to once again write and produce, always creating, always sharing their talents.  Nickolas Ashford was one of those people.  His body of work supports this fact.

The video is a live version of “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”, performed by Ashford and Simpson.  Rest in Peace.


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