Song Of The Day today is actually Group of the Day. I received an email from Brian Asselin, a member of an R&B/Funk group known as Delbert & The Commotions. The best part, the group includes Delbert Nelson, once with the legendary Funk Brothers. Brian met Delbert while touring with the Funk Brothers and ended up collaborating on an album about a year ago. An interesting story, a Canadian sax player and an American singer teaming up to write a soul album. Please enjoy, visit the links and maybe pop a song or two onto your iPod.
The Little Things
British soul singer, John Newman nails it with this terrific tune, Cheating. Only 21, he shows great maturity in his songwriting and his vocals. Now if I could just find a place to buy it.
- Youtube Talent: John Newman – Cheating (thenext2shine.com)
RIP Herb Reed. The last Platter passed away on June 4 at 83. Enjoy this one and remember one of the classics. One of the great voices of the time.
Trivia at the end of the post.
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.
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
- ‘Shaft’ guitarist Charles Pitts dies at 65 (thegrio.com)
- Charles “Skip” Pitts, Shaft Guitarist and Soul Mainstay, Dead at 65 (eonline.com)
I heard this on CBC2 this morning. The artist, Michael Kiwanuka is a UK singer with 1 disk under his belt, “Home Again”. It was released in March of 2012 and had great success in Europe, reaching #4 in the UK. In Canada and the USA, not so much, 35 in Canada and 120 to the south of us. This tune is off the album, also titled “Home Again”. I think I will need to hit iTunes up for this one. Very soulful. Liked it a lot.
- Michael Kiwanuka: Home Again – review (guardian.co.uk)
- Listen to Michael Kiwanuka, Debut Album ‘Home Again’ Out Now (earbits.com)
I am deeply saddened. Etta James and Johnny Otis have a distinct musical relationship. I cannot add to what Matthew Coleman has outlined at The Music Court as he has explained their relationship. For both to pass away in the same week is very disheartening.
Etta James – I’d Rather Go Blind
Johnny Otis – Hand Jive
The creator of the classic hit “Drift Away” died today, December 6. He was 71. His career began way back in the 60’s, releasing his first hit in 1965, “The ‘In’ Crowd“, which reached 13 on the US Billboard chart. His next chart success was “Drift Away” a classic staple of today’s radio, in 1973. It reached number 5 on Billboard. Uncle Kracker, in a duet with Dobie, released a version in 2003 which charted as the number 19 hit for the year. His career spanned pop, soul and country. he reincarnated himself as a country artist in the mid 80’s, having moderate success.
Drift Away is a terrific tune, and one that should stand the time test. I have inserted 2 versions of it below. The first is Dobie Gray, live at the BBC in 1974. The second is the version with Uncle Kracker. RIP Dobie Gray.
- Obituary: ‘Drift Away’ singer Dobie Gray dies aged 71 (100gf.wordpress.com)
- [RIP] Dobie Gray (1940 – 2011) (loudersoft.com)
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.
- Nickolas Ashford of Motown duo Ashford and Simpson dies (cnn.com)
- Ain’t No Mountain’s High Enough songwriter Nickolas Ashford dies aged 70 (telegraph.co.uk)
- Songwriter Nickolas Ashford dies at age 70 (omg.yahoo.com)