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NEWS
March 27, 2013
Motown songwriter-producer Deke Richards, 68, died Sunday in Bellingham, Wash. Mr. Richards, whose real name was Dennis Lussier, died at the Whatcom Hospice House, Peace Health St. Joseph Medical Center spokeswoman Amy Cloud confirmed Monday. Mr. Richards had been battling esophageal cancer, according to a statement from Universal Music. As leader of the Motown songwriting, arranging, and producing team known as the Corporation, Mr. Richards was involved in writing and producing many Jackson 5 hits, the Universal Music release said.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 2, 2007 | By TOM DI NARDO For the Daily News
Instead of the usual repertoire - emanating from Broadway, Hollywood and Tin Pan Alley - Peter Nero's next Philly Pops outing is inspired by the Motor City. Detroit's enormous Motown catalog is the theme, interpreted by the four-man vocal group Spectrum, appearing as Nero's guests. Their R&B repertoire also samples the Philly Sound, with music from the O'Jays, Delfonics and Stylistics. It'll be the first trip back to Philly in 31 years for Spectrum founder Cushney Roberts.
SPORTS
May 7, 2008 | Daily News Wire Services
Throughout the shellings, blown leads and other indignations he has endured at Detroit's Joe Louis Arena, Dallas Stars goaltender Marty Turco has pacified himself with one thought: "At least it's not the playoffs. " Well, now it is. Turco will carry an 0-7-2 career record and a 3.17 goals-against average at "The Joe" into the Western Conference final against the Detroit Red Wings, which starts tomorrow night. "This is totally a different animal," Turco said. "To say I'm looking forward to this is an understatement.
NEWS
July 18, 2012
Motown bass player Bob Babbitt, 74, whose work lit up a host of hits in the '60s and '70s, died Monday morning in Nashville, friends said. Mr. Babbitt had been diagnosed in early 2011 with an inoperable brain tumor. He was recently readmitted to the hospital after a year of home hospice care. "Bob was a teddy bear of a guy," former Motown engineer Ed Wolfrum said. "And he was an extraordinary musician - a player's player. " At Motown Records in the late '60s, Mr. Babbitt's thick, fluid bass lines drove the groove on songs by the Temptations ("Ball of Confusion")
ENTERTAINMENT
January 27, 2015 | By A.D. Amorosi, For The Inquirer
Philadelphia DJ legend Jerry Blavat has booked and hosted Kimmel Center shows before, dedicated to the glories of rock, roll, soul, and doo-wop's past. He's featured lady singers, vocal groups and such, leaving no stone unturned in the happy excavation and continued curation of the "oldies" genre. One thing though, that was noticeably dynamic about Saturday's concert at the Kimmel - dedicated to early rock-and-roll and R&B vocalists whom the Geator believed paved the way for Motown - was that his selection of singers, each and every one, was unparalleled in execution.
NEWS
January 19, 2004 | By Fred Beckley FOR THE INQUIRER
Snow didn't show and Bryson barely sang, but the bill's biggest names, Phoebe and Peabo, didn't fill Glenside's Keswick Theatre Saturday night; that task fell to the Funk Brothers. Always heard and rarely seen, Motown's house band charted more than 300 hits between 1960 and 1972, but went mostly unsung until Allan Slutsky's Standing in the Shadows of Motown movie and soundtrack. Both earned honors last year and spurred next month's Lifetime Achievement Award at the Grammys. "We thought all of this passed us by," said Philadelphia-born percussionist Jack Ashford.
NEWS
January 2, 2015
SO, THERE you are, putting together what would ultimately become the Tony-glomming smash "Motown the Musical," the national tour of which on Tuesday opens a 13-day run at the Academy of Music. How in the world do you decide which songs from the label's impossibly rich and important catalogue to use, and which don't make the cut? "I always say, 'Motown the Musical' should be a 10-hour miniseries, but we have to do it in 2 1/2 hours," offered producer Kevin McCollum , the musical-theater powerhouse ("Avenue Q," "Rent," "In the Heights")
NEWS
April 28, 2003 | By Leonard Pitts Jr
After all, the news of his death came and went last week, little noticed in the rush of other things. It's not surprising, given all that's going on in the world. But it seems to me that he deserves a little more. You know him, even if you think you don't. Charles Atkinson, born in rural Pratt City, Ala. Worked as a street performer, a singing waiter, a tap dancer. Did a stint in the Army, formed a dance team with Charles "Honi" Coles, performed on Broadway in "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" with Nat King Cole.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 10, 2015 | By Jim Rutter, For The Inquirer
Motown the Musical packs its score with some of the greatest hitmakers in music history: the Jackson 5, Diana Ross and the Supremes, Stevie Wonder, Gladys Knight and the Pips, the Temptations, and the Commodores. As a story, though, it's missing only a cross for Motown records founder Berry Gordy to hang on. Gordy based the musical on his 1994 autobiography, To Be Loved: The Music, The Magic, The Memories of Motown . There's plenty of music and magic in the production now on tour at the Academy of Music; in addition to the bands or artists listed above, all the Motown records stars from the 1960s to 1980s get their 15 seconds of stage time in this 21/2-hour show (some, such as Teena Marie and Rick James, merely bookend a short-shrift collection of Motown's late-period hits)
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NEWS
December 10, 2015 | BY JOHN F. MORRISON, Daily News Staff Writer morrisj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5573
MARIE FLORASTINE KING really wasn't Diana Ross' twin sister, separated at birth. But she got a kick out of imagining such a relationship, because she was a big fan of the Motown singer and her group, the Supremes. "You could not convince her that she and Diana Ross were not twins separated at birth," her family wrote in a tribute. "At family get-togethers, Marie and middle sister, Mary, good good-naturedly contested for the role of Miss Ross. " Marie, who worked as a Bell Telephone operator and for banks in the city, a busy Baptist churchwoman whose goal was to pass on her faith to the youth, and a devoted family matriarch, died Dec. 2 of cancer.
NEWS
August 19, 2015 | By Jenny DeHuff
ON HIS 16TH BIRTHDAY, Stevie Wonder came to Philly, met a girl and played Seven Minutes in Heaven for the first time. "I'd never been there before, naw . . . It was a Friday going on Saturday. I thought I could see," he joked. The crowd erupted with laughter. Then he launched into "Hey Love . . . may I have a word with you . . . " As most of Philadelphia now knows, the Motown multi-instrumentalist performed a free, outdoor show for thousands of fans at Dilworth Park yesterday afternoon.
NEWS
February 13, 2015
AMONG THOSE who took in the touring production of "Motown The Musical" when it played the Academy of Music last month was Kenny Gamble , who, along with Leon Huff and Thom Bell , made the Philadelphia International Records label a music powerhouse in the 1970s. So, it was pretty much a no-brainer to ask Gamble about a "Motown"-style musical based on PIR's prodigious catalog of soul and R&B hits, universally tagged "The Sound of Philadelphia. " We are happy to report that Gamble answered in the affirmative.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 27, 2015 | By A.D. Amorosi, For The Inquirer
Philadelphia DJ legend Jerry Blavat has booked and hosted Kimmel Center shows before, dedicated to the glories of rock, roll, soul, and doo-wop's past. He's featured lady singers, vocal groups and such, leaving no stone unturned in the happy excavation and continued curation of the "oldies" genre. One thing though, that was noticeably dynamic about Saturday's concert at the Kimmel - dedicated to early rock-and-roll and R&B vocalists whom the Geator believed paved the way for Motown - was that his selection of singers, each and every one, was unparalleled in execution.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 10, 2015 | By Jim Rutter, For The Inquirer
Motown the Musical packs its score with some of the greatest hitmakers in music history: the Jackson 5, Diana Ross and the Supremes, Stevie Wonder, Gladys Knight and the Pips, the Temptations, and the Commodores. As a story, though, it's missing only a cross for Motown records founder Berry Gordy to hang on. Gordy based the musical on his 1994 autobiography, To Be Loved: The Music, The Magic, The Memories of Motown . There's plenty of music and magic in the production now on tour at the Academy of Music; in addition to the bands or artists listed above, all the Motown records stars from the 1960s to 1980s get their 15 seconds of stage time in this 21/2-hour show (some, such as Teena Marie and Rick James, merely bookend a short-shrift collection of Motown's late-period hits)
NEWS
January 4, 2015 | By A.D. Amorosi, For The Inquirer
When Berry Gordy talks about the legendary record company he started in Detroit back in 1959 (originally Tamla Records, it became the Motown Record Corp. in 1960), he describes an entity transcending music. "My Motown is like a tree," he says with relish. "We go out on branches in every different direction. " The sounds and sights of Smokey Robinson's Miracles, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, the young Michael Jackson, the Temptations, the Four Tops, and Diana Ross (Gordy's onetime, longtime paramour)
NEWS
January 2, 2015
SO, THERE you are, putting together what would ultimately become the Tony-glomming smash "Motown the Musical," the national tour of which on Tuesday opens a 13-day run at the Academy of Music. How in the world do you decide which songs from the label's impossibly rich and important catalogue to use, and which don't make the cut? "I always say, 'Motown the Musical' should be a 10-hour miniseries, but we have to do it in 2 1/2 hours," offered producer Kevin McCollum , the musical-theater powerhouse ("Avenue Q," "Rent," "In the Heights")
ENTERTAINMENT
November 12, 2014 | BY JONATHAN TAKIFF, Daily News Staff Writer takiffj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5960
  S TEVIE WONDER - just announced as a 2014 Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient - makes a rare appearance this Sunday, at the Wells Fargo Center. Better still, he'll devote the gig to recreating his 38-years-young "Songs in the Key of Life" mega-album. Helping him out: expect singer India.Arie, a large string section and at least 20 other musicians. How great is all this? Let's count the ways. After seizing artistic control of his career from Motown in the early 1970s, the former "Little Stevie" Wonder set out to prove his mettle.
NEWS
August 8, 2014 | BY CHUCK DARROW, Daily News Staff Writer darrowc@phillynews.com, 215-313-3134
HUMAN NATURE is a vocal quartet consisting of four white young men from suburban Sydney, Australia, whose stock-in-trade is the Motown Records canon of the 1960s and '70s. As such, it's easy to dismiss the unit, which tonight begins a two-weekend run at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa. After all, how could these guys do justice to music made by African-Americans before, in some cases, they were even born? If you agree with those sentiments, we suggest you take it up with Smokey Robinson - yes, that Smokey Robinson, the one who wrote and sang some of the most enduring songs in pop-music history.
NEWS
June 20, 2014
THE IDEA of "Broadway on the Boardwalk" has been a staple of the Atlantic City casino era. For decades, gaming halls have staged both Broadway-themed revues and actual musicals, from full-blown renditions to "tab shows" truncated to get gamblers back to the casinos within 90 minutes. But the Broadway-to-Boardwalk blueprint will be taken to unprecedented levels next month as the Atlantic City Alliance - the town's casino-funded marketing agency - stages a series of free Monday night concerts on the Great Wood Way. What makes the program dubbed (what else?
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