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Funk, Funk-Jazz, Soul, R&b - the Music of Yesterday Today - Vibes for the Body, Soul, Spirit and Mind ~ Side A

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Got To Get Funking'....

Funk Soul R&B Is funky Soulful Rhythms and Blues

Funk Soul R&B Is funky Soulful Rhythms and Blues

Let the Funking Spunk Begin - Welcome Aboard All the Funktsers

All Music Lovers and Funk Fans, Welcome "On The Block" That is this Hub, hoping Everyone Will enjoy enjoy this 'Fantastic Musical Voyage'

I have composed and arranged in a funky and improv-like manner the Hub below. This is done with the people who love music and can relate o the sound system below. What I have done in this Hub below is give the listener viewer a picture of the group, artist and so on, and then added the most sweet sounding vibes and licks that many people know and have listened to. I have written and tried to put together various types of Musical Video Hubs, but in this case, I will be doing less talk and more music posting. My intention is for the listener/viewer to listen to Golden Oldies and cut the rug again, whatever their age.

I have even tried to give the listener/viewer some semblance of the bio of the group or musician concerned, just like we used to have on the sleeve of the Vinyl or the vinyl would come with some inserted notes and history/bio of the group/artist. I have tried to keep it as short as possible so's not to take away from the musical videos. Some videos have live performances, others show covers or the vinyl, but the quality and freshness of the music is not lost in either way/cases.

I do not want to take up too much time from the viewer/listener of this Hub, but would venture to say that this will be on the many series I will be composing, and creating as Hubs, purely for musical appreciation enjoyment a series; for that matter, a Hub is on the Works which will be the "B" Side of this type of musical potpourri, which too, I think will be chockfull of polyrhythmic kaleidoscopic melange of vibes, rhythms and sound systems that have entertained us over the decades. I hope everyone reading this and begins to listen to the music remembers that it was music of Yesterday that I am posting and dropping, and it is now the music of today-in these times.. So, Let the Music begin, and enjoy.

Some people who created and know or listened to this music have passed on, and others think that it has been lost, and there are still those who still follow it up, for everyone that is here or in the spirit world, along with the musicians themselves, alive or in spirit form, this is for you. This is the respect one can pay to the composers and listeners of this musical genre that I say, it might have been of yesteryear/yesterday but if one listens carefully, it was music ahead of its time.. It is Today's Music and Vibe.

1984 Paul Hardcastle's "Rainforest"

Paul Hardcastle

Paul Hardcastle

Paul Hardcastle's Brief Bio

British synth player, born December 10, 1958. Enjoyed success on the 'underground dance' scene in the early 80’s before breaking into the mainstream with "19”, an international smash which spent five weeks at number one in the UK. In the latter half of the 1980s he specialised in TV Soundtrack work. He made the theme tunes for Top of The Pops and Saturday Live, popular British entertainment shows. Paul now records mainly under the pseudonym 'Jazzmasters'.

Early tracks of note include the popular 'Rain Forest’ and King Tut’, both were big dance hits in the U.S.

Paul was also half of the pop-funk duo 'Kiss the Sky'.

Paul has also remixed countless artists including ‘D-Train'’, 'Third World'’, 'Barry White’, Five Star'’ to name but a few!

Lakeside group

Lakesides image for "Fantastic Voyage"

Lakesides image for "Fantastic Voyage"

Lakeside - "Fantastic Voyage ~ 1980

"Fantastic Voyage" was a 1980 funk single by the Dayton, Ohio-based group Lakeside. The song hit number one on the R&B chart and was the group's only entry on the Billboard Hot 100, where it peaked at number fifty-five. It was the title track from "Fantastic Voyage", the fourth album from by the funk band. Released in 1980 on the SOLAR Records label, it was produced by the band's members. Personnel on the album, considered to be the most famous lineup of Lakeside, included Mark Adam Wood Jr., Stephen Shockley, Fred Alexander Jr., Fred Lewis, Norman Beavers, Otis Stokes, Marvin Craig, Tiemeyer McCain, and Thomas Shelby. In 1994, hip-hop artist Coolio sampled "Fantastic Voyage" for his own hit of the same title. This channel is dedicated to all the great 'old school' R&B music I grew up with, the stuff that originally made me tap my feet and want to be a DJ. Funk, soul, disco, R&B, dance, hip-hop, pop . . . 60s, 70s, 80s . . . whatever you call it, it's all 'Old School' and it's all here!

Cameo - "Candy"

Cameo

Cameo

The legendary Soul/Funk group CAMEO best known for 80′s hits Word Up, Candy and Single Life will be making a highly-anticipated return to the UK this autumn with a rare series of intimate gigs at the Jazz Cafe.

Led by the charismatic Larry Blackmon, the chart-topping band are considered to be pioneers of their era churning out trailblazing hits and pivotal sounds that are apart of music history! Celebrating more than 33 years of funk Blackmon, along with founding member Tomi Jenkins are once again ready to challenge the way the world listens to music! CAMEO is ready to introduce a new generation to their timeless classics.

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The legendary SOS Band were founded in Atlanta, Georgia in 1977. Originally known as Santa Monica, the ‘SOS’ stands for Sounds of Success. The band, fronted by Mary Davis, was initially famous for 2million selling smash the hit “Take Your Time (Do It Right)” in 1980.

In 1983, they joined forces with then new production team of Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, who went on to craft a string of R&B hits for the group, including “Just Be Good to Me”, “Tell Me If You Still Care”, “Borrowed Love”, “No One’s Gonna Love You”, “Just the Way You Like It” and “The Finest”.

ZAAP & Roger Band Crew

ZAPP & Roger Band

ZAPP & Roger Band

ZAPP & Roger's Funk

"More Bounce To The Ounce" was an influential funk single recorded by the Ohio-based band Zapp, led by singer-songwriter Roger Troutman. Released in 1980 on the Warner Brothers Records label, the song was originally recorded in 1979 while Troutman's group was part of George Clinton's Uncle Jam Records. When the label folded due to tensions Clinton had with Warner Brothers Records (his label dispute also ended the releases of Parliament and Funkadelic albums after 1981), Troutman and the group moved to sign with the parent label cutting ties with Clinton. The song, which featured Troutman playing nearly all the instruments including his famous vocoder/talk box in which allowed him to perform all the vocals on the song. Roger's production of the song (Bootsy Collins, who played guitar on the song also, co-produced it as well) would later often be sampled by hip-hop artists ranging from classic hip-hop artists such as EPMD to gangsta rappers such as Ice Cube and The Notorious B.I.G. The original song eventually reached number two on the Billboard Hot Selling Soul Singles chart, setting the group and its front man on their way to a successful tenure on the R&B charts throughout the 1980s. Zapp (also known as The Zapp Band or Zapp & Roger) is a soul and funk band formed in 1978 by brothers Roger Troutman, Larry Troutman, Lester Troutman, Tony Troutman and Terry 'Zapp' Troutman. Known for hits such as "More Bounce To The Ounce", "Dance Floor" and "Computer Love", the group was a partial source of inspiration to West Coast hip-hop and G-funk, which came out of the handclapped-drumbeat-styled funk of Zapp's records, with Roger's use of the talk box becoming another reason for the group's impact and its success. This channel is dedicated to all the great 'old school' R&B music I grew up with, the stuff that originally made me tap my feet and want to be a DJ

P-Funk Crew

George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic

George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic

Funakdelic/P-Funk!

Since 1955, George Clinton (a.k.a. Dr. Funkenstein, the Maggot Overlord, Uncle Jam) has headed a loose aggregation of musicians known variously as "The Mothership Connection," his "Parliafunkadelicment Thang," or "P-Funk All-Stars." Composed of members of two main groups, Parliament and Funkadelic, and various offshoot bands, the organization made some of pop's most adventurous (and sometimes popular) music of the Seventies. Since then, Clinton and Parliament-Funkadelic have been felt in the music of a wide range of postdisco and postpunk artists, including Prince, Dr. Dre, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Clinton's music mixes funk polyrhythms, psychedelic guitar, jazzy horns, vocal-group harmonies, and often scatological imagery. His lengthy concerts are unpredictable, characterized by extended, improvised jams. One of his many quotable mottoes is: "Free your ass and your mind will follow."

As a teenager in Plainfield, New Jersey, Clinton straightened hair working in a local barbershop, where he also founded a vocal group called the Parliaments. They struggled through the Fifties and most of the Sixties, by which time Clinton had moved to Detroit to work as a staff writer for Motown. In 1967, the Parliaments had a major hit with Clinton's "(I Wanna) Testify" (Number 20 pop, Number Three R&B), a straight love song. The Parliaments' next charted single, "All Your Goodies Are Gone" (Number 21 R&B), suggested Clinton's future direction. Hanging out with Detroit hippies and listening to local hard-rock bands like the MC5 and the Stooges influenced Clinton's approach to music, and he began to contemplate making a radical change in the Parliaments' sound.

At the same time in 1967, a legal battle over the Parliament name ensued, so Clinton and the group's singers began recording with their backup band as Funkadelic for Westbound Records in 1968. After winning the lawsuit, Clinton would record Parliament (the "s" was dropped) and Funkadelic separately. Initially Parliament was more commercially oriented and Funkadelic more experimental and gritty, though as time went on these distinctions blurred.

Early Funkadelic albums built a cult audience. Parliament/Funkadelic concert appearances featured Clinton jumping out of a coffin, musicians running around in diapers, smoking marijuana, and simulating sex acts. On both Parliament and Funkadelic albums, Clinton wrote about the dark realities of funk—which he had elevated to a philosophy—utilizing negative imagery from the Process Church of Final Judgment and clear-eyed wit. He wrote for denizens of "Chocolate City" surrounded by "vanilla suburbs."

Parliament's 1974 hit on Casablanca, "Up for the Down Stroke" (Number 63 pop, Number 10 R&B), introduced Clinton's concepts to a wider audience and helped Funkadelic, get signed to Warner Bros. Over the years, the group attracted top R&B instrumentalists, including bassist Bootsy Collins (ex–James Brown), guitarists Eddie Hazel and Gary Shider, keyboardist Bernie Worrell, keyboardist Junie Morrison (ex–Ohio Players), and reedmen Fred Wesley and Maceo Parker (ex–James Brown). Parliament's Mothership Connection and gold single "Tear the Roof Off the Sucker" (Number 15 pop, Number 5 R&B) made Clinton and company a major concert attraction. With a weird, lengthy stage show that included a spaceship descending onstage from a huge denim cap, the P-Funk crew rivaled Earth, Wind & Fire as black America's favorite band. From 1976 to 1981, Clinton's salesmanship and success landed recording contracts for many P-Funk offshoots: Bootsy's (Collins) Rubber Band, Eddie Hazel, the Horny Horns, Parlet, Bernie Worrell, the Brides of Funkenstein, Phillippe Wynne, Junie Morrison, and Zapp.

Parliament's "Flash Light" (Number 16 pop, Number One R&B)—in which Worrell introduced the synthesized bass lines later imitated by many funk and new-wave bands—and the platinum Funkentelechy vs. the Placebo Syndrome in 1977, "Aqua Boogie" (Number One R&B) in 1978, and Funkadelic's funk anthem "One Nation Under a Groove - Part I" (Number 28 pop, Number One R&B) in 1978 were Parliament-Funkadelic commercial peaks in the Seventies.

Beginning in 1980, internal strife and legal problems temporarily sapped Clinton's P-Funk tribe of its energy and key performers. And while P-Funk's sound got absorbed into mainstream funk and hip-hop, Clinton's many projects became entangled. Drummer Jerome Brailey left P-Funk to start his own group, Mutiny, which pointedly devoted its first album to imprecations against the "Mamaship." Other ex-sidemen actually recorded as Funkadelic, although their album (the poorly received Connections and Disconnections) carried a sticker to the effect that Clinton was not involved. After Warner Bros. refused to release The Electric Spanking of War Babies (with guest Sly Stone) as a double album, Clinton cut it to a single LP and began proceedings to end his Warners contract. He recorded two singles, "Hydraulic Pump - Part I" and "One of Those Summers," with the P-Funk All-Stars on an independent label, Hump Records. Then he reemerged with a name that was not in litigation—his own—on a George Clinton solo album, Computer Games(1982), which included P-Funk's core members and the hit single "Atomic Dog" (Number One R&B, 1983).

In 1983, Clinton began a six-year sabbatical from the pop limelight, during which time his music showed up (both in spirit and as samples) in rap and hip-hop (as well as on albums of Clinton's collected works). "Atomic Dog" became one of the most-requested dance-floor songs. In 1985 he produced the Red Hot Chili Peppers' second album, Freaky Styley. Clinton returned to music making in 1989 with The Cinderella Theory (featuring guests Chuck D and Flavor Flav) on Prince's Paisley Park label and regrouped the P-Funk All-Stars for concerts.

In the early Nineties, P-Funk's music was the inspiration for the G-Funk sound largely created by Dr. Dre, who heavily sampled Clinton and P-Funk for his landmark 1992 album, The Chronic, and particularly the breakout single, "Let Me Ride." In the "Let Me Ride" video Dre is on his way to a Parliament concert. G-Funk raised Clinton's profile considerably. In 1993 he and P-Funk performed at President Clinton's Youth Inaugural Ball. Later that year he released Hey Man...Smell My Finger (with an all-star lineup of guests including rappers Ice Cube and Yo-Yo and members of the Chili Peppers), and, though the album was not a commercial smash (peaking at Number 145), it appeared as though Clinton's career was back on the upswing. In the summer of 1994, he appeared on the Lollapalooza Tour. In 1997, Parliament-Funkadelic was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

A followup album, T.A.P.O.A.F.O.M. [The Awesome Power of a Fully Operational Mothership], reunited Clinton in the studio with Worrell, Collins, and other original P-Funk sidemen for the first time in more than a decade. The record peaked at Number 121 in 1996 and was followed that same year by Greatest Funkin' Hits (Number 138), which gathered modern remixes of his work and included such guests as Coolio, Digital Underground, and Ice Cube. Two years later Clinton returned with a concept album about dogs and the drug war called Dope Dogs.

The solo albums How Late Do U Have 2BB4UR Absent? and George Clinton and His Gangsters of Love — a covers album featuring Sly Stone, Carlos Santana and the Red Hot Chili Peppers — followed in 2005 and 2008, and as the next decade dawned, Clinton continued to tour with the P-Funk All Stars.

On The Funkified, Partied, Soulful and Discograph Tilt

Party Mix, Funk, soul and Disco

Party Mix, Funk, soul and Disco

Funk, Soul, R&B and Disco Rules..

The following sets of video/discs below are on my part to cover as much ground on the shifting environment of music. With the Advent of Disco, Funk musicians adapted, and made their incredible contributions to the music meme, zine and musical zeitgeist. This means that, as Disco fever pitched, so did musicians of different related genres thrive under the Disco genre. At the same time, the music who were into soul, R&B, and Jazz funk did their best to adapt, but forged new sound vibes that (those of Jazz funk) will be dealt with in the upcoming Hub which is a sequel t this one and I will label it "Side B". The Present Hub is dubbed "Side A".

When Disco slowly faded away, the radio station DJ were coming up with long Jams on Fridays and Saturday nights and dishing for us programs titled "Saturday Night Dance Party Mixes" in the 80s all through to the Mid-Y2K present-day era. These DJ's gave us a treat of the diet of music they dropped on the Air. These times and artists, cannot be fully captured by this Hub, but the Party Mixes, and Disco Funk videos will take the lester through this time period.

The Addition of Jamaican Funk and the track of Southern Girl, is to keep up with the ever blossoming sounds that postdated Disco, and this too is a very interesting the one should cover in the future Hubs.

The Hub up to this point has some gems and classical golden oldies, but what they have all in common is that they are evergreen and they are the music of today. The Radio DJs of New York stations like Kiss FM and WBLS, Z100, Hot 97, and the like, (although Kiss FM is now defunct), they have kept up with this musical trend and jucnture. What I am attempting to do in this Hub, is to showcase Funk, Soul, R&B and Disco in the multiple varieties and , diversities and this is edifying spiritually, in the soul,mind, body and wholly and completely/totally satisfying and the music keeps on giving.

The Rest Of The Hub is for the listener to judge and enjoyment themselves as much as possible because here in we go into the meat of the Hub- Funkin', digging soul, and Rhythmin', Discoing our hears content and mind and body reawakening and sharpening. Time. With the emerging Media a constant and daily reality in our lives, it should also be use to transport, transmit and bring forth the music that is in our DNA and Here and Now

Phyllis Hyman

The history of modern soul music is unfortunately littered with stories of truly magnificent artists who spent much of their adult lives fighting personal demons while creating seminal music. Phyllis Hyman is, sadly, one of those stories. The Philadelphia native was a popular jazz club singer in New York when hot producer Norman Connors witnessed her show and pegged her to perform a cover of the Stylistics' "Betcha By Golly Wow" on his You Are My Starshipalbum. Her emotive, jazzy stylings melded perfectly with Connors' production, and her stunning performance resulted in her being signed by Buddah Records for a 1977 self-titled solo debut.

Her first album was a moderate success, and included a very nice cover of the Spinners' "I Don't Want To Lose You." The next year Buddah merged into Arista Records and Hyman embarked on a series of albums that scored well in the emerging urban adult contemporary format, but with little crossover success. The material provided to her during this period was somewhat uneven, but on each album she demonstrated that she was developing into one of the finest soul vocalists in the world. And while she was not a "singles" artist, she recorded her share of memorable radio cuts, including "You Know How to Love Me," "Riding the Tiger," "Can't We Fall In Love Again" (with Michael Henderson), and the dramatic "Somewhere In My Lifetime" (produced by, of all people, Arista stablemate Barry Manilow). She also emerged as a fine concert performer, and became a headliner in multi-artist soul shows around the world.

Unfortunately as she reached age 40, while she was approaching her creative peak, Hyman was increasingly facing personal problems. Alcohol dependency, weight gain and the fear of losing her fashion model-like beauty haunted her, leading to more erratic behavior. Ultimately, her personal demons overcame her, and she committed suicide before a show in 1995, shocking her legions of fans. Later that year, a posthumous album, I Refuse To Be Lonely, her final work, clearly showed lyrically the problems she was facing in her last days, though at times displaying a hope that she could escape them. Another album of unreleased PIR cuts, Forever For You, was released in 1998 and in 2004 Expansion Records issued In Between the Heartaches, with rare tracks not found elsewhere (including the much talked about "Magic Mona" from the soundtrack toThe Fish That Saved Pittsburgh).

As with many great artists, Hyman has become more appreciated posthumously. Though her popularity during her life was generally limited to soul and smooth jazz audiences, her influence on songstresses from Anita Baker to Tamia is evident, and her music has aged wonderfully, much of it sounding as engaging now as it did a quarter century ago.

Mtume

Mtume Studio Photo

Mtume Studio Photo

Mtume

A former jazz percussionist, Mtume moved into urban contemporary and funk in the late '70s and became one of the more successful producers and performers in both styles during the '80s. The son of the great jazz saxophonist Jimmy Heath, Mtume was a conga player and percussionist who recorded and toured with Miles Davis and was featured on albums by the Heath Brothers, Sonny Rollins, Herbie Hancock, Joe Henderson, and Freddie Hubbard. He even recorded as a bandleader for Strata-East before turning to funk in the late '70s. Mtume's band included the sassy, sultry vocalist Tawatha Agee, keyboardist Phil Fields, and bassist Ray Johnson. They had a number one R&B hit with "Juicy Fruit" for Epic in 1983 and a number two single in 1984 with "You, Me and He." They recorded for Epic until the late '80s. Agee went solo in 1987. Their final Top Ten hit was "Breathless" in 1986. Mtume also teamed with another ex-jazz musician, Reggie Lucas, who had also been in Davis' '70s band. They produced and/or wrote for such artists as Stephanie Mills, Roberta Flack/Donny Hathaway, Phyllis Hyman, Gary Bartz, Sadane, Lou Rawls, Rena Scott, and Eddie Henderson in the late '70s. The duo worked on the LP In Search of the Rainbow Seekers for Epic in 1980. Mtume worked on his own as a producer with several artists, among them Levert, Tyrone Brunson, Roy Ayers, Henderson, Tease, and Sue Ann.

Lamont Dozier's Roots

Lamont Dozier

Lamont Dozier

Lamont Dozier

Kenyajin:

"Nice composition but please let everyone know that its ORLANDO JULIUS EKEMODE who composed the original song and handed it over to Lamont and Havens to sign off on and sing. OJ Ekemode also played some of the instruments and arranged for the chorus and choir part of the song.

He needs to be credited with that level creativity!

Lamont Dozier's Bio- Trivia:

Elected the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (with Brian Holland and Eddie Holland) in 1990.

Has two sons and one daughter with wife, Barbara. His sons are named Beau Alexandre (b. 26 November 1979) and Paris Ray (b. 12 September 1984). His daughter is named Desiree Starr (b. 1 August 1988).

His sons Beau and Paris were once in an R&B singing group called Platune.

His niece, Eden Dozier, is an aspiring actress who lives in Hollywood and works a lot in theatre.


Earth Wind And Fire - The Greatest Band Ever!

Earth Wind & Fire

Earth Wind & Fire

Earth Wind & Fire

  • The biggest R&B band of the '70s
  • Brought black consciousness and spirituality to '70s pop
  • A rare nine-piece group with three singers
  • Effortlessly melded funk, pop, and polished R&B
  • Singer Philip Bailey has one of the most celebrated falsettos in music
  • Toured with a legendary, Egyptian-themed stage show
  • Scored big hits in disco, R&B, pop, and adult contemporary

Early years:

Earth, Wind & Fire was the brainchild of Maurice White, a veteran session drummer who had, among other things, performed on Fontella Bass' 1966 hit "Rescue Me." After his original Chicago band, the Salty Peppers, flopped, White moved to Los Angeles and assembled a jazz-fusion big band, which became EWF. After two extensive revamps, a label change to Warner Bros., and several lineup changes, EWF finally scored its first hits in 1973 with "Evil" and "Keep Your Head to the Sky." White's "Kalimba Story" soon became a Top Ten R&B hit, and "Mighty Mighty" followed; their fanbase grew exponentially due to constant touring.

Success:

Having already performed a "blaxploitation" soundtrack with 1971's Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song, EWF were called on when that movie's producer, Sig Shore, decided to make a film about exploitation in the music business, starring Harvey Keitel. That film, That's The Way of the World, would be the group's breakthrough to the mainstream, with the title track and "Shining Star" becoming huge hits for the band. The band became a major concert draw, not only for their virtuoso performances but an elaborate stage show featuring African-themed props and pyrotechnics designed to highlight the group's spiritual leanings.

Later years:

The group remained huge throughout the decade, adopting disco and electro funk into its repertoire in order to stay current. But the scaling-back of the music business, along with the rise of hip-hop, brought an end to big jazz/R&B bands, even ones as accomplished as EWF. Philip Bailey went solo for a while, landing a hit duet with Phil Collins called "Easy Lover," and the band continued to be popular among older R&B fans. Earth, Wind and Fire still record today, mostly in a smooth-jazz mode, and Philip Bailey still leads the group on tour, though White has not toured with the group since 1995 for health reasons

The Bar-Kays

The Bar-Kays

The Bar-Kays Brief Bio

The Bar-Kays were formed in Memphis, Tennessee sometime in the mid-sixties and originally consisted of James Alexander (bass), Ronnie Caldwell (organ), Ben Cauley (trumpet), Phalon Jones (sax), Carl Cunningham (drums) andJimmy King (guitar). In early '67, they were signed to Volt, a Stax subsidiary. Al Jackson, the drummer with Booker T & the MGs, took a special interest in the Bar-Kays from the start and groomed them into a funky, instrumental R&B combo in the Mar-Keys' mold. Soon thereafter, the Bar-Kays became Stax' second house band, supporting Sam & Dave, Otis Redding and many other of the label's premier artists. The Bar-Kays' first single in their own right, "Soul Finger,"became a huge hit on both the R&B and pop charts in the spring of '67 and an album with the same title was issued as well. That summer, Otis Redding chose the Bar-Kays to be his regular backing band and it was on route to a gig on December 10, 1967 that tragedy struck. The plane, carrying Otis and the Bar-Kays, crashed into the frozen lake Monono, near Madison, Wisconsin. Everyone on board was killed except trumpeter Ben Cauley, who miraculously survived and bassist James Alexander, who had not been on the plane.



By 1970 drummer Roy Cunningham had left the band and so had keyboardist Ronnie Gordon. The latter was replaced by Winston Stewart. Under the guidance of manager/producer Allen Jones and with the addition of the band's first lead vocalist Larry Dodson, The Bar-Kays underwent an important transformation: from the small R&B combo they had begun their careers as, to a self-contained band. Complete with a radically new image to fit the musical direction, the Bar-Kays joined Sly & the Family Stone, Norman Whitfield and Funkadelic in their experiments with fusing rock, funk and R&B and released the"Black Rock" LP. Due to lack of support from Stax, the album went nowhere, but modern "black rock" bands like Living Color has acknowledged that the Bar-Kays' pioneering work had a great impact on their sound.

Further alternations in the line-up occurred when trumpeter Ben Cauley and lead guitarist Michael Toles left the Bar-Kays to join Isaac Hayes' band. Vernon Burch (guitar) and Charles Allen (trumpet) were their successors. At this point, the Bar-Kays turned down the volume of the electric guitars and moved closer to funk. They enjoyed their first top-ten hit since the sixties in 1972 when they launched "Son Of Shaft," a sequel to Isaac Hayes' "Theme From Shaft." In August that year, the Bar-Kays performed at Wattstax, the legendary so called "black Woodstock."

The Great Staple Singers

The Evergreen Staple singers on Stage

The Evergreen Staple singers on Stage

The Staple Singers At their Best

The Staple Singers At their Best

The Staple Singers

First as gospel singers and then as a soul-pop group, the Staples family has maintained a strong following and had several pop and soul hits, usually fronted by Mavis Staples' breathy vocals. The Staples family goes back to Mississippi, whereas a young man Roebuck Staples played guitar and sang in local choirs. In the mid-'30s, he and his wife, Oceola, traveled up the Mississippi River to Chicago in search of work, like many of their contemporaries. The Staples had three daughters and a son, each of whom sang from an early age. They put together a family gospel act (which, until the mid-'60s, included all but the youngest daughter, Yvonne) and by the mid-'50s were considered one of the finest vocal groups in the field. The group made its first recording in the early '50s, for Pop Staples' own label, "These Are They" b/w "Faith and Grace," which they sold at concerts. In 1953 they recorded for United, and three years later for Vee-Jay, both Chicago labels, without success. In the early '60s the Staples made their first pop (secular) recordings for Epic, but had no commercial success, although 1967's "Why" snuck onto the lower reaches of the pop chart, and a version of Buffalo Springfield's "For What It's Worth" also charted later that year. Everything changed after they signed to Stax in 1968. Their new material continued to reflect the Staples' commitment to making secular music with a message, but not until 1972's gold Bealtitude: Respect Yourself did they make the approach commercial. The Staples' first secular hit was "Heavy Makes You Happy" (Number 27 pop, Number Six R&B); and their next two hits, "Respect Yourself" (Number 12 pop, Number Two R&B) and "I'll Take You There" (Number One pop and R&B), went gold. "If You're Ready (Come Go With Me)" was a Number One R&B hit in 1973. The Staples had succeeded in meshing Memphis soul shuffles with their own messages, and might have continued to release crossover hits were it not for Stax's mid-'70s decline and eventual closing.

Curtis Mayfield's Curtom label was their next home, and in 1974 the Staples had a Number One pop and R&B hit with his "Let's Do It Again" and a Number Four hit with "New Orleans," both from the film Let's Do It Again. Mayfield also produced two of Mavis' solo albums. A couple of years later, at Warner Bros., the group changed their name to "the Staples" and released two R&B Top 20 singles: "Love Me, Love Me, Love Me" (Number 11 R&B, 1976) and "Unlock Your Mind" (Number 16 R&B, 1978). None of their singles charted again until 1984, when three, including a cover of Talking Heads' "Slippery People," appeared. Their last R&B Top 40 single was a 1985 version of "Are You Ready?" The group appeared in 1971's Soul to Soul, a documentary of a concert in Ghana, and in Wattstax (1973), and The Last Waltz (1978). In 1999 the Staple Singers were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Mavis Staples also recorded solo, but without comparable success, in part because her own career was frequently suspended due to group obligations. In 1987 Prince signed her to his Paisley Park label, for whom she recorded Time Waits for No One, which he coproduced with Al Bell (who had worked with the Staples at Stax). She opened for Prince on the overseas leg of his 1990 tour and appeared on his Graffiti Bridge album. In addition, she has appeared on records by a range of artists, including Aretha Franklin (One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism), John Mayall, Ray Charles, Kenny Loggins, and Marty Stuart. Pops, who also released solo albums, appears on Mavis' The Voice. His 1994 releaseFather, Father won that year's Grammy for Best Contemporary Blues Album. He died in 2000, after falling in his home and suffering a concussion; he was 85.

Shalamar - Music To Remember

Shalamar

Shalamar

Shalamar

Formed 1976 in New York, New York, by Soul Train booking agent Dick Griffey and British producer Simon Soussan. The first Shalamar release, Uptown Festival, was recorded by faceless session singers. Griffey and Soussan decided to form a group proper when that single was a success, and plucked members Jody Watley (b. 30th January 1959, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.), Jeffrey Daniels (b. 24th August 1957), and Gerald Brown, from the Soul Train set where they were primarily dancers. Gerald Brown was replaced the following year by Howard Hewett (b. 1st October 1955 in Akron, Ohio, U.S.A.) thus completing the group's best known incarnation.

In 1983, Jody Watley and Jeffrey Daniels left the group for solo careers and were replaced by Delisa Davis and Micki Free. Howard Hewitt left the group in 1986 to embark on his own solo career, as well as production for acts such as his then wife Nia Peeples, and was replaced by Sidney Justin. Tha band broke up for good in 1991, though Sidney Justin is touring with a new incarnation of Shalamar.

Imagination - It's Might Be An Illusion

Imagination

Imagination

IMAGINATION

Imagination were a three piece British soul and dance band, who came to prominence in the early 1980s. They had chart hits in twenty eight countries, earning four platinum discs, nine gold disks and over a dozens silver discs around the world between 1981 and 1983.

Band Members

* Leee John was born John Lesley McGregor in Hackney, London, on 23 June, 1957, of St. Lucian descent. He was educated in New York, later studying drama at the Anna Scher Theatre School. He was working as a backing singer for The Delfonics, Chairmen of the Board, The Velvelettesand The Elgins when he met ...
* Ashley Ingram, a guitarist/bassist born on 27 November, 1960, inNorthampton. John and Ingram formed a songwriting partnership, resolving to start their own 'slinky, sexy and erotic' group, working in a short-lived band called Fizzz. Whilst auditioning for another short-lived band, Midnight Express, they met ...
* Errol Kennedy, born on 9 June, 1953, a drummer who was born inMontego Bay, Jamaica, and learned to drum in the Boys' Brigade and Air Training Corps.

Career

The trio took a demo tape of a track called "Body Talk" to producers Jolley & Swain. It was released as a Single in April 1981 under the group name Imagination, a name that the group chose as a tribute to John Lennon. The track reached number 4 in the UK Singles Chart in May 1981, selling 250,000 copies in the UK and spending eighteen weeks in the Top 50. They had two more hit singles that year, "In and Out of Love" (September) and "Flashback" (November), both of which peaked at number 16, all from their debut album, also called "Body Talk".

Their biggest hit, "Just an Illusion", peaked at number two in March 1982 ("Just an Illusion" would later be used as the end title song to the 1986 movie "F/X"), followed by "Music and Lights" (number five in June), "In the Heat of the Night" (number 22 in September, also the name of their second album) and "Changes" (number 31 in December). This was accompanied by a sell-out tour of Europe, with twenty two dates in the UK. The trio frequently appeared on BBC Television's "Top of the Pops", and other pop music TV programmes, with a distinctive exotic style, reminiscent of Roman Senators, harem orderlies and slaves. John made a guest appearance on "Doctor Who" in 1983. They were also known for their esoteric album sleeve notes.

Following this the success of the group in the UK waned, but they continued to perform, tour and record until the early 1990s. John went back to acting and recently re-surfaced in the reality TV show "Reborn in the USA". Ingram also enjoyed success as a songwriter for Des'ree. Kennedy still lives in London, and is in a band playing covers for weddings and functions, with his son, Spencer.

Two Tons Of Funk Weathering the FVive

Two Tons Of Fun/The Weather Girls

Two Tons Of Fun/The Weather Girls

Two Tons Of Funky and Soulful Fun

The original Weather Girls were Martha Wash and Izora Armstead. They are best known for their 1982 #1 club and pop hit, “It’s Raining Men,” the recording of which music producer Paul Jabara supervised. Though the mainstream pop market considers the team a one-hit wonder, they were previously known as Two Tons O’ Fun, under which name they recorded three songs which peaked at #2 on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart: “Earth Can Be Just Like Heaven” (1980); “Just Us” (1980 and also made #29 on the US R&B chart); and the Hi-NRG song “I Got the Feeling” in 1981. They also backed Sylvester and Bob Seger (1986). After the success of “It’s Raining Men,” other hits with the original line-up included “Dear Santa (Bring Me a Man this Christmas),” for which, as with “It’s Raining Men,” an accompanying music video was made, and “No One Can Love You More Than Me.”
The core audience of the team’s original lineup consisted largely of homosexual men.
In the 90’s Izora Armstead moved to Germany, where she and her daughter Dynelle Rhodes re-formed the group for touring in Europe, and in 2002 they joined the “Disco Brothers” for a participation in the German National Final for the Eurovision Song Contest with the song “Get Up”. In the end, the group only managed a 13th place out of 15. The current members of the group are sisters Dynelle Rhodes and Ingrid Arthur, who are the daughters of Armstead, who died in 2004. They released a new Weather Girls album, Totally Wild, in late 2005. It scored an underground club hit with “Wild Thang.” Like the original Weather Girls, the duo has proven very successful with its gay male core audience.

Funky Jazzed Up soulful Herbie Hancock

Herbie Hancock

Herbie Hancock

Master of Jazz funk

Herbie Hancock began playing piano at his home in Chicago when he was seven years old. He gave his first public performance two years later. In high school, he picked up an ear for jazz.

Herbert 'Herbie' Jeffrey Hancock was born on 12 April 1940 in Chicago, Illinois, and was given classical music training at home. He started playing the piano at the age of seven and his talents were recognised from a young age.

After he graduated from Grinnell College in Iowa, he moved to New York City and, at age 20, joined with trumpeter Donald Byrd. Byrd introduced him to Blue Note Records executives, and Hancock recorded his first solo album in 1963.

Soon, Hancock won the attention of the legendary Miles Davis, who invited Hancock to join his new group. While working with Miles, Hancock developed an interest in funk.

Hancock then decided to form his own band, The Headhunters. He began to pioneer what would later be called fusion, a mixture of funk and rock with jazz.

'Headhunters' (1973) was the first album on which Hancock used a synthesizer, and went on to become the largest-selling jazz album in history.

After a few years, Hancock returned to his roots as an acoustic pianist, with the V.S.O.P. Quintet, a recreation of Miles' band (without Miles).

In 1983, Hancock released 'Future Shock', which was a pioneering electronic work, but also a hit on both R&B and dance charts. The single 'Rock It' won the Grammy for best R&B Instrumental, and the album went gold.

Hancock released 'Dis is Da Drum' in 1994, an album based on West African rhythms.

In 1997, Hancock released '1+1', a duet session with saxophonist, Wayne Shorter. The following year, he reunited with his old Headhunter bandmates, to record an album, 'Return of the Headhunters', and for a series of summer concerts.

In 2007, Hancock, a longtime associate and friend of Joni Mitchell, released an album, 'River: The Joni Letters', that paid tribute to her work. Norah Jones and Tina Turner were among the stars to record vocals on the album. Mitchell herself also made an appearance.

The album was released in September of that year, simultaneously with the release of Mitchell's album 'Shine'. 'River' was nominated for and won the 2008 Album of the Year Grammy Award, only the second jazz album ever to receive either honour. The album also won a Grammy for Best Contemporary Jazz Album, and the song 'Both Sides Now' was nominated for Best Instrumental Jazz Solo.

In 2010, Hancock released 'Herbie Hancock's The Imagine Project', which was critically acclaimed and won the Best Pop Collaboration and Best Improvised Jazz Solo Grammys at the 2011 award ceremony. It features several fellow musicians including Seal, Pink, Jeff Beck, Dave Matthews and Chaka Khan.

As well as music, Hancock maintains a thriving career outside of the recording studio as Creative Chair for Jazz at the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

He is also chairman of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, which is an international organisation devoted to the development of the genre. Hancock also founded the International Committee of Artists for Peace.

In July 2011, Hancock was named an honorary UNESCO goodwill ambassador due to his contributions to the promotion of peace through dialogue, culture and music.

On 12 April 2012, his 72nd birthday, it was announced that Hancock has signed a deal with the Viking Press to write his memoirs, which are expected in 2014. During a telephone call from Shanghai where he is on tour, Hancock said: "I am hoping this book will not only appeal to jazz fans."

Mothers, Fathers, Sisters & Brothers - Communal Family Affair

TSOP - MFSB

TSOP - MFSB

M.F.S.B. - "Let's Clean Up The Ghetto"

Coherent and TIght House Band Of Studio Musicians - MFSB

Bobby Martin is often referred to as The Sound of Philadelphia. Gamble & Huff were owners of Philadelphia International Records since 1970. Bobby Martin was a pioneer of the Philadelphia Sound, producing hit songs back in the early 1960s. He is a producer,