June 5, 1998 |
Nineteen years ago, President Jimmy Carter declared June Black Music Month. One of the people who persuaded Carter to make his declaration was Philadelphia's own Kenny Gamble. To mark this annual celebration, Big Fat Friday is highlighting African-American music all month. This week, we kick it off with . . . In a cavernous New York loft high above the city lights, where candles are aglow and the jiggy set is in attendance, Universal Records' Ricky Jones steps on stage. He's the last singer in a three-night showcase of new Universal acts all performing under the banner of "organic soul.
November 6, 1990 |
Soul music is the bridge between Saturday night and Sunday morning. It takes songs that could lead as easily to sin as salvation and invests them with the uplifting spirit of gospel. The heyday of soul was brief, from the early-'60s hits of Solomon Burke to the late-'60s dominance of Aretha Franklin. But as long as Saturday night turns into Sunday morning, soul survives. Bobby King and Terry Evans know a few things about survival. They've been soul singers since the mid-'60s, when they left the South - and their respective gospel choirs - in hopes of achieving stardom in Los Angeles.
September 21, 2010 |
Are today's younger listeners sorely lacking knowledge of soul music, especially the protest classics of the 1960s and '70s? So suggests Salamishah Tillet, University of Pennsylvania assistant professor of English and Africana Studies, in her scene-setting liner notes for the vital (and in all ways Philly-connected) John Legend and the Roots collaborative project "Wake Up!" (Columbia, A-) , focused on period anthems of the Civil Rights Movement and leading our new releases parade today.
December 5, 2008 |
Raphael Saadiq is in a good mood. And why shouldn't he be? Soul-hop's finest player and producer put out his first solo CD in four years, The Way I See It; he has songs in Beyonc?'s forthcoming film, Cadillac Records; and he is opening for John Legend. We dig Legend, but the order should be reversed. Saadiq's no dummy, however. He knows people have short-term memories, despite the mega-hits his band Tony! Toni! Tone! recorded between 1988 and 1996. Saadiq, 42, realizes he barely toured for his previous solo dynamos, 2002's Instant Vintage and 2004's Ray Ray, while he was producing records for Whitney, D'Angelo, Joss Stone and the Roots.
January 30, 2000 |
It's like a Rolling Stones song from the '70s: You're strutting down the city sidewalk like a peacock, pimp hat cocked on your head. When you get to the corner of 15th and South, you hear James Brown's "Hi-Heel Sneakers" wafting through the air along with the smoky smell of barbecue ribs. You follow the beat and the aroma into Bob & Barbara's, where the music is blaring, the bar is packed, and the Pabst Blue Ribbon is flowing like the Mississippi - it's Juke, Jerk and Jive: Soul Barbecue night, which, on the second and fourth Wednesday of every month, re-creates the sounds, smells, and cut-rate prices of a Southern juke joint.
March 16, 2012 |
Who was that sweet lady passing out the Watchtower at 30th Street Station? And who would dare not take a copy from so earnest and charming a devotee of the faith? It was a devotion to the Jehovah's Witnesses that on many days led Ruby Gamble to hike from Stenton Avenue to City Hall with other witnesses, buttonholing passers-by and delivering their message of hope. Then she'd track down possible converts at the train station and other venues that might offer up interested people - or at least the curious.
January 11, 2001 |
James Carr, the troubled 1960s soul-music master best known for his 1966 recording of "(At the) Dark End of the Street," has died of cancer in Memphis. He was 58. Mr. Carr, who died on Sunday, produced a limited body of work, releasing only a handful of singles for the tiny Goldwax label in the '60s before returning to recording in the 1990s. But the artistic accomplishments of the gospel-trained singer, who was born in Clarksdale, Miss., stand at the pinnacle of Memphis soul. He never achieved the success of contemporaries such as Otis Redding, Percy Sledge, or even label mate O. V. Wright, but his abilities as a song interpreter of spectacular emotional depth surpassed them all. Mr. Carr's rugged-voiced reading of Chips Moman and Dan Penn's "Dark End of the Street," later recorded by Aretha Franklin and the Flying Burrito Brothers, among others, is the definitive 2 1/2-minute soul-music exploration of forbidden love.
February 15, 2013 |
HERB WARD, a Philadelphia R&B singer of the '60s and '70s, had the unusual distinction of being more popular in England at one point in his career than at home. His hit "Honest to Goodness" did make a splash when it was played on WHAT-AM in Philly in 1969, but in England it sold more than half a million copies. Another song, "Strange Change," was released on the Philadelphia Buddy label in 1965, then had a second life when it was re-released in 1970 in England and became a huge hit. Herb was also featured in a recent film about soul music for British television called "The Strange World of Northern Soul.
February 22, 1989 |
Do you like soul music? Sweet soul music? If so, you're definitely part of the music majority that laid a slew of pop and R&B awards on George Michael at the recent American Music Awards, and that's helped put albums like Michael's "Faith" and Stevie Winwood's "Roll With It," Joe Cocker's "Unchain My Heart" and Toots Hibbert's "Toots in Memphis" into the running for tonight's 31st annual Grammy Awards, which start at 8 on Channel 10. ...
January 30, 2004 |
On Sunday, Betty Davis - the funk singer, not the actress - will get her due. "We thought it was time," Funky All-Star Revue vocalist Mharlyn Merritt said of the homage. "Very few people heard of her, and she influenced so many people - you can hear her in Macy Gray," Merritt said. Thus Soul Sundays, a weekly funk party at Tritone, will remember the Nasty Gal who gave us the "Anti Love Song. " The event will include DJ Steve Ferrell and the Funky All-Star Revue, which has pared its sessions with Ferrell down to once a month.