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Black Music

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NEWS
July 1, 2005 | By Vernon Clark INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
He was hailed as an icon of Philadelphia's black community, a groundbreaking radio personality, and an impresario who brought the nation's best rhythm-and-blues artists to the landmark Uptown Theater, and a champion of racial equality and social justice. At a church on a street named for Cecil B. Moore, a civil-rights leader with whom he often collaborated, Georgie Woods was remembered yesterday by about 2,500 people who attended his funeral as, above all else, his radio handle: "The Guy with the Goods.
NEWS
June 12, 1998 | by Al Hunter Jr., Daily News Staff Writer
To African-Americans over the centuries, music has been more than entertainment. And the purpose of the National Association of Negro Musicians Inc., which celebrated its 79th anniversary May 3, is to make sure the tradition of black music - including spirituals, anthems and gospel as well as European classical - is maintained. "Music is our hope," said Bessie Ferris, a member of the W. Russell Johnson Music Guild Inc., the association's Philadelphia chapter. "We shouldn't forget that.
NEWS
December 17, 1986 | By Joe Logan, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Black Music Association, the troubled Philadelphia-based trade group, has quietly closed its doors, perhaps till next month, perhaps forever. "It's closed down but not out of business," Lee Michaels, a Chicago radio executive and newly elected president of the BMA, said yesterday. "We have some back debts - about $60,000 worth - that have to be taken care of, and there's no money coming in, so we decided it was best to close it down for now. " Michaels said that the BMA's 1500 Locust St. office closed about two weeks ago and that its four employees, including executive director Rick Morrison, were off the payroll.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 5, 1995 | By Dan DeLuca, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The four-day gathering of the International Association of African American Music, which concluded yesterday at the Philadelphia Marriott, got down to brass tacks at Sigma Sound Studios Thursday night. In the rooms where Kenny Gamble, Leon Huff and Thom Bell defined the Sound of Philadelphia 20 years ago, IAAAM convened a closed-door "producers collective" to discuss the state of African American popular music. The consensus: Black music is "in crisis. " Its best-sellers are little more than "cookie-cutter" hits.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 19, 1986 | By Joe Logan, Inquirer Staff Writer
To Rick Morrison's way of thinking, the man at the microphone exemplified precisely what is wrong with the Philadelphia-based Black Music Association. A dues-paying BMA member attending the group's eighth annual convention in Miami two weeks ago, he stood among some of the elite of the black-music industry. Before him were record company and radio station executives, entertainment lawyers, songwriters, producers and a few artists. And this man had a question. "What I want to know," he said, "is exactly what the BMA can do for me. " Morrison, executive director of the BMA, made no attempt to hide his frustration as he stood to answer the question.
NEWS
July 1, 1987 | By JIM NICHOLSON, Daily News Staff Writer
Joseph J. Loris, editor and publisher of "Impact," a national publication about black urban music, died Monday of a heart attack. He was 44 and lived in Lafayette Hill, Montgomery County. Loris, who started the weekly magazine in 1976, was described by industry observers as being on the "cutting edge of trends and artists. " He was an early booster of the careers of rock stars Prince, Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson. A few months ago Loris and Jules Malamud put together the Impact Super Summit Conference at Bally's Park Place and Casino in Atlantic City, which brought together executives in the communications and record industries.
NEWS
November 20, 2006 | By Leonard Pitts Jr
One day, maybe 20 years ago, I ran into Eddie Levert, a charter member of the legendary O'Jays, one of the greats, a singer of thunderous power. Back then, his son Gerald was just starting out as a singer. "You better look out," I told Ed. "He's gaining on you. " "Aw, don't tell that boy that," growled Eddie. "It'll go to his head. " For all his feigned indignation, he couldn't hide his pride. You saw it in him whenever they performed together, the son mimicking dance steps he grew up watching from backstage, or egging the father on with vocal tricks straight from the old man's own playbook.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 23, 1989 | By John Milward, Special to The Inquirer
British musicians have long been enamored of American black music. The sounds of Chicago blues, hard-edged rhythm and blues, Motown and Southern soul were the inspiration of such mid-'60s British bands as the Rolling Stones, the Animals, Manfred Mann, Them (and lead singer Van Morrison) and, to a lesser degree, the Beatles. The sounds of black America have never stopped percolating through British pop - who could forget Scotland's aptly named Average White Band? - but it's hard to think of a time since the original flood of English groups when so much of that country's music was rooted in musical soil fertilized by American soul.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 5, 1995 | By Tom Moon, INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
After years developing pop sounds, launching careers and setting trends, Quincy Jones has concluded that the way to go forward is to reach back. "It's not always productive to just look for the next sound," explains Jones, sitting in his Central Park hotel, fielding phone calls between interview questions. One urgent call: a request to mediate a dispute between two rap kingpins; another, his daughter asking for advice on how to beat the flu. He's patient and compassionate as he takes care of business, but it's talking about music that gets this unlikely media mogul in gear.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 13, 1991 | By William R. Macklin, Special to The Inquirer
The first time Joe "Butter" Tamburro heard "I Wanna Sex You Up," he loved it. The single has been in heavy rotation at WDAS-FM (105.3), where Tamburro is program director, ever since. Singing that song is a new vocal group, Color Me Badd, four 21-year-olds from Oklahoma City who sound like a perverse cross between the Stylistics and the New Kids on the Block. Three of the group's four members are white, including lead singer Bryan Abrams - but Tamburro didn't know that when he picked "Sex You Up" for his station, whose contemporary format attracts a largely black audience.
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NEWS
March 6, 2012 | By Annette John-Hall, Inquirer Columnist
It's lunchtime in East Mount Airy, and pianist Orrin Evans is working on a killer salad complete with boiled eggs, nuts, and colorful produce - a garden bounty. Healthy eating keeps his blood pressure down, Evans says. So I'm guessing I'm not helping much when I bring up Evans' life's work, the African American classical music he is passionate about - jazz. See, these days, just uttering the word jazz is bound to get some people's pressure up. That's because Evans, 36, along with a small group of multiracial, multigenerational artists led by New Orleans trumpeter Nicholas Payton, want to deep-six jazz - the name, not the art form - and resurrect it as Black American Music (BAM)
NEWS
January 20, 2012
Johnny Otis, 90, "godfather of rhythm and blues" who wrote and recorded the R&B classic "Willie and the Hand Jive" and for decades evangelized black music to white audiences as a bandleader and radio host, died Tuesday in Altadena, Calif. Mr. Otis, who was white, was born John Veliotes to Greek immigrants and grew up in a black section of Berkeley, where he said he identified far more with black culture. He was leading his own band in 1945 when he scored his first big hit, "Harlem Nocturne.
NEWS
January 20, 2012 | ASSOCIATED PRESS
LOS ANGELES - Johnny Otis, the "godfather of rhythm and blues" who wrote and recorded the R&B classic "Willie and the Hand Jive" and for decades evangelized black music to white audiences as a bandleader and radio host, has died. He was 90. Otis, who had been in poor health for several years, died Tuesday at his home in the Los Angeles foothill suburb of Altadena, said his manager, Terry Gould. Otis, who was white, was born John Veliotes to Greek immigrants and grew up in a black section of Berkeley, where he said he identified far more with black culture than his own. As a teenager, he changed his name because he thought Johnny Otis sounded more black.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 12, 2012 | By A.D. Amorosi, For The Inquirer
When David Bryan phones from a stage in Houston, the Bon Jovi keyboardist isn't calling to discuss his band's tour updates or studio news. He's not giving love a bad name. He's not talking about Slippery When Wet , Richie Sambora, or other topics typically Bon Jovi. The New Jersey native who started playing with Jon Bon Jovi when the singer still used his given name "John Bongiovi" (Bryan's real last name is Rashbaum) is in the Lone Star State, readying a theatrical production of The Toxic Avenger , his second musical stage pairing with playwright/novelist Joe DiPietro.
NEWS
April 15, 2011 | Associated Press
LOS ANGELES - The founder of Dot Records, who helped introduce black rhythm-and-blues to white audiences in the early rock era, has died in California. Randy Wood was 94. His son, John, told the Los Angeles Times that Wood died on Saturday at his La Jolla home from injuries he suffered in a fall. Dot Records grew out of a record shop that Wood owned in Tennessee. In the 1950s, when black music couldn't get radio play, Wood made white covers of songs by Fats Domino and other musicians whose "race records" were hits in the black community but largely unknown to whites.
NEWS
September 8, 2010 | By JOHN F. MORRISON, morrisj@phillynews.com 215-854-5573
BACK in the 1960s, Philadelphia had many impromptu singing groups, kids who would cut school and harmonize on the corners, at El stations and anywhere else they could find an audience. One of the groups was started on the streets of Kensington by youngsters who cut class at Edison High School and got together to sing R&B, doo-wop, whatever moved them. Jerry Utter was just 12 when he started harmonizing with the older kids who started the group. The boys took the name Destinations and for the next 40-some years, through the ups and downs of the music business, constant changes in personnel, hope and discouragement, they persisted.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 12, 2007 | By Dan DeLuca INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
In honor of the greatest woman who has ever lived - that means you, Jane DeLuca - I hereby submit this list of my five favorite Mother's Day songs. The Intruders are the no-brainer, but after, that the competition was steep. So with apologies to Randy Newman's "Mama Told Me Not to Come," Kanye West's "Hey Mama," and the Rolling Stones' "Mother's Little Helper," let the mother-loving music begin. "I'll Always Love My Mama," The Intruders. The greatest of all mother-loving songs, from the Philadelphia soul group fronted by Sam "Little Sonny" Brown.
NEWS
November 20, 2006 | By Leonard Pitts Jr
One day, maybe 20 years ago, I ran into Eddie Levert, a charter member of the legendary O'Jays, one of the greats, a singer of thunderous power. Back then, his son Gerald was just starting out as a singer. "You better look out," I told Ed. "He's gaining on you. " "Aw, don't tell that boy that," growled Eddie. "It'll go to his head. " For all his feigned indignation, he couldn't hide his pride. You saw it in him whenever they performed together, the son mimicking dance steps he grew up watching from backstage, or egging the father on with vocal tricks straight from the old man's own playbook.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 16, 2005 | By Nick Cristiano INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
When he plays the House of Blues on Saturday night, Dion will be focusing on the hits that gave him his Rock and Roll Hall of Fame credentials, from the doo-wop of "I Wonder Why" with the Belmonts to the swaggering rock of "The Wanderer" and the folk-oriented meditation of "Abraham, Martin and John. " You can get an idea of the fun, freewheeling nature of the show - and why Bruce Springsteen once said Dion would fit in both the Rat Pack and the E Street Band - by listening to this year's Live New York City, which chronicles the Bronx bomber's triumphant 1987 homecoming.
NEWS
July 6, 2005 | By Annette John-Hall INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Like many of his fans, I cried when I learned of Luther Vandross' passing on Friday. I cried because that distinctive voice, an unparalleled instrument of sensuous soul, is silenced - forever. "I was listening to his music on the way over here," said Alicia Keys, when asked about her J Records labelmate at the Live 8 concert Saturday, "and it put me in this space. . . . " She didn't have to elaborate. Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff changed rhythm-and-blues in the late '70s and '80s by adding lush orchestrations and sophisticated arrangements that frolicked on top of the groove.
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