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jerryking : r&b   41

(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay — why Otis Redding’s biggest hit wasn’t actually a soul song
October 6, 2019 | FT.com | by Dan Einav.

“This is my first million seller,” announced Otis Redding to nervous-looking studio bosses in early December 1967. He was referring to his upcoming record, “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay”, which would indeed prove to be his first seven-figure release, eventually selling several times that amount. It would also be the last song he ever worked on. Two days after his second recording session on this breezy new ballad, he was dead — killed in a light-aircraft crash.

Executives at Atlantic Records cynically requested that a new song be released immediately. Redding’s collaborator and studio guitarist, and the song’s co-writer, Steve Cropper, was forced to set aside his grief and transform the rough cuts of “The Dock of the Bay” into a coherent track in just 24 hours. The result was an unassuming yet near-perfect composition that would serve as a fitting legacy for one of soul’s greatest talents.

But “The Dock of the Bay” wasn’t really a soul song in the conventional sense. In the summer of 1967, Redding immersed himself in The Beatles’ Sgt Pepper and was inspired by the band’s devotion to stress-testing the limits of popular music. “It’s time for me to change my music,” said Redding, as his wife and employers voiced concerns about his “poppy” new direction which took him away from his roots in soul and R&B.

That autumn Redding was recovering after a punishing touring schedule on a houseboat in Sausalito, across the bay from San Francisco, owned by promoter Bill Graham. It was there, idly watching the ferries sail to-and-from the harbour, that he conceived of that scene-setting first verse and the basic chords for “The Dock of the Bay”. Back in the studio, he asked Cropper to flesh out the melody and the brilliant, bittersweet lyrics.
'60s  1967  Beatles  music  Otis_Redding  pop_music  R&B  singers  songs  soul  Stax  tributes 
october 2019 by jerryking
James Ingram, a Hitmaking Voice of ’80s R&B, Is Dead at 66 - The New York Times
By Jon Caramanica
Jan. 29, 2019

James Ingram, whose voice — technically precise, crisp and reserved, yet full of audacious feeling — made him one of the defining singers of R&B in the 1980s, has died. He was 66.

Just as R&B’s “quiet storm” phase was peaking, Mr. Ingram was plucked from side-gig obscurity by the producer Quincy Jones to appear on his 1981 album, “The Dude.”
'80s  African-Americans  obituaries  R&B  singers  smooth_jazz 
january 2019 by jerryking
Jazz Singer Al Jarreau Dies at 76 - WSJ
Associated Press
Feb. 12, 2017

The Milwaukee native won seven Grammys over the course of his half-century in music. His biggest single was 1981’s “We’re in This Love Together” from the album “Breakin’ Away.” Mr. Jarreau was also a vocalist on the all-star 1985 track, “We Are the World,” and sang the theme to TV’s “Moonlighting.”

Al Jarreau performing at the Rock in Rio music festival on Sept. 27, 2015, in Rio de Janeiro. Mr. Jarreau, 76, died Sunday in Los Angeles.

He is one of the few artists to have won Grammys in three separate categories—jazz, pop and R&B. Time Magazine once called him the “greatest jazz singer alive.”
singers  jazz  obituaries  African-Americans  '80s  R&B  pop 
february 2017 by jerryking
Bill Withers: Still Himself, but He’ll Allow the Attention - The New York Times
SEPT. 18, 2015 | NYT | By BEN SISARIO.

In a recording career that lasted only 14 years, starting with the album “Just As I Am” in 1971, Mr. Withers developed a style that drew on gritty blues, R&B and the confessional singer-songwriter style of the era, in ways that could be muscular or vulnerable. He turned out danceable hits like “Use Me”; the drippy AM gold of “Just the Two of Us,” which he released with the saxophonist Grover Washington Jr.; and the stark poetic detail of “Grandma’s Hands.”
music  singers  songwriters  '70s  African-Americans  R&B 
september 2015 by jerryking
'Muscle Shoals': Land of 1,000 Hit Records - WSJ.com
September 19, 2013 | WSJ | By MARC MYERS

'Muscle Shoals': Land of 1,000 Hit Records
A New Documentary About the Alabama Music Mecca
music  music_industry  soul  R&B  the_South  movies  films  Jerry_Wexler  '60s  '70s  Alabama  Wilson_Pickett 
september 2013 by jerryking
▶ Broke Ass by datgyaldeh
Heartfelt and real, this song captures the frustration of being educated and unemployed.
R&B  music  Toronto  unemployment  African_Canadians  new_graduates 
august 2013 by jerryking
How The Weeknd became R&B’s next big thing - The Globe and Mail
J.D. CONSIDINE

Special to The Globe and Mail

Published Saturday, Nov. 17 2012
music  R&B 
february 2013 by jerryking
He gave rhythm and blues a voice - and a name
August 16, 2008 | Associated Press via The Globe and Mail | by Hillel Italie who profiles Jerry Wexler, music producer (Atlantic Records) who died at the age of 91. He was a business partner of Ahmet Ertegun.
Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, Solomon Burke and Percy Sledge were among other R&B greats who benefited from Mr. Wexler's deft recording touch.
obituaries  R&B  music_labels  Jerry_Wexler  Wilson_Pickett  producers 
august 2012 by jerryking
The sweet, sharp, melancholy Etta James - The Globe and Mail
LYNN CROSBIE | Columnist profile | E-mail
From Tuesday's Globe and Mail
Published Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2012
tributes  R&B  singers  obituaries  Lynn_Crosbie 
january 2012 by jerryking
Faculty of Fine Arts | Faculty: Profs: R. Bowman
Professor Bowman pioneered popular music studies at York University. He lectures, publishes and broadcasts in many areas of popular music, from country, R & B and gospel to reggae, rap and funk. He has written liner notes for dozens of recordings and regularly authors, produces and advises on major documentary and CD reissue projects for record companies in Europe and North America....Professor Bowman's book, Soulsville, U.S.A. - The Story of Stax Records (1997), a definitive history of the legendary Memphis-based record label, has garnered numerous honours, including the Sweet Soul Music Award at the Poretta Soul Festival, Italy, and the ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award.
Stax  Colleges_&_Universities  professors  York_University  R&B  gospel  reggae  hip_hop  music_festivals  funk 
november 2011 by jerryking
What Was Going On - WSJ.com
NOVEMBER 25, 2006 | WSJ | By MARTIN JOHNSON.
The turbulent birth of one of the greatest R&B recordings of all time.

During the '60s, Gaye was known as a prince of Motown. The label churned out one hit after another, and Gaye's unique voice, both gritty and suave, was at the forefront of many of them....The song "What's Going On" was written by Obie Benson, a member of the Four Tops, and he didn't consider the tenor of the song, a tract about the disintegration of the social fabric in the black community, appropriate for the Tops. He shopped it around, even taking it to Joan Baez, but found no takers until Gaye read the lyrics. To Gaye, the song reflected the feelings of his brother, Frankie, who had just returned from Vietnam and was astonished by the turmoil that engulfed America.

The singer organized an unusually large session to record the song. He went beyond the usual stable of Motown musicians to add drummers and saxophonists from Detroit's jazz scene. He also recorded street sounds for part of the introduction. The result was a far more ruminative song than the usual Motown fare. Rather than a ditty about love or loss, this was a sober and sobering look at the state of black America.
R&B  Motown  Marvin_Gaye  jazz  music  rumination  music_labels  Berry_Gordy  singers  '60s  '70s  soundscape  turmoil  fusion  disintegration  African-Americans  social_fabric 
november 2011 by jerryking
Stax 50th Anniversary Celebration CD Album
For those daunted by the idea of wading through the multi-volume COMPLETE STAX/VOLT SINGLES series, this two-CD best-of celebrating the label's 50th anniversary is a much more manageable item. Featuring well-known milestones in the label's history, such as Booker T. & The MGs' "Green Onions," the Staple Singers' "I'll Take You There," and Otis Redding's "(Sittin' on) The Dock of the Bay," and lesser-known gems like William Bell and Judy Clay's "Private Number," Frederick Knight's "I've Been Lonely for So Long," and Shirley Brown's "Woman to Woman," STAX 50TH is a well-chosen, informatively annotated overview of one of the 1960s and '70s' finest R&B labels.Spin (p.91) - 4.5 stars out of 5 -- "[A] fine introduction to Southern soul's greatest label, form its '60s R&B heyday to its '70s funk science.
music  anniversaries  Stax  the_South  soul  music_labels  '60s  '70s  R&B  funk  music_catalogues 
november 2011 by jerryking
Golden Oldies: Stax Releases A 50th-Anniversary Boxed Set - WSJ.com
APRIL 4, 2007 WSJ JIM FUSILLI. A joy from the first cut to the
last, "Stax 50th Anniversary Celebration" is a reminder of the glory
days of R&B, when singer, song & band came together with fervor
to spark body & soul. The music all but sweats with the musicians'
passion: No drum machines & no vocal bent to pitch by software. The
punchy horns are real brass & reeds, not lines played on
synthesizers. Now & then, a musician flubs a note or misses a cue,
but an absolute reliance on musicians' creativity can deliver brilliant
pop music that's timeless. Especially if the vocalists are the likes of
Eddie Floyd, Otis Redding, Sam & Dave and the Staple Singers...Stax
began when Jim Stewart & his sister Estelle Axton started Satellite
Records in Brunswick, Tenn. They moved it to Memphis and converted a
movie theater into a recording studio; Stewart and . Axton retained the
theater's sloping floor and angled walls, creating a room that was
responsible for the label's distinctive clean sound.
Stax  soul  R&B  blues  anniversaries  music_labels  Jim_Fusilli  music  Memphis  golden_oldies  music_catalogues  pop_music 
june 2011 by jerryking
Wounded Soul, Healing Heart - WSJ.com
AUGUST 19, 2003 | WSJ | By MARTIN JOHNSON. Marvin Gaye is
widely recognized as one of the greatest soul singers, yet until now one
of the most intriguing and creative phases of his career had gone
neglected....Universal Records, which in 2003 owned the Motown and Tamla
imprints that recorded Mr. Gaye has released his 1976 "I Want You" in a
two-disc set that includes voluminous notes and features alternative
versions of key tracks....In 1971, after a bitter dispute over artistic
control with the head of Motown, Berry Gordy, the singer released
"What's Going On," a probing suite of songs that chronicled his dismay
over the demise of optimism in the black community......"I Want You"
leads with the title track, which sets the mood for the program to
follow. The sound is broad and deep. During the minute-long intro, horn
ostinatos arrive and fade. Then a guitar plays a short solo before
Gaye's voice enters singing a pained ode to desire.
'70s  Berry_Gordy  Marvin_Gaye  Motown  music  R&B  singers  soul 
june 2011 by jerryking
Berry Gordy Jr. | What's Going On | When Marvin Gaye Broke Pattern | Cultural Conversation by Marc Myers - WSJ.com
JUNE 7, 2011 | WSJ | By MARC MYERS.

Released first as a single in January 1971, "What's Going On" marked a major turning point for Gaye, Motown and soul music. Rather than continue to record formulaic pop hits, Gaye co-wrote a song that expressed his deep concern about the Vietnam War and the toll it was taking on American society. ....The single was considered a gamble for Motown. Its blunt protest theme was in stark contrast with Gaye's sexy public persona and Motown's congenial image. But as "What's Going On" raced up the Billboard Hot 100 chart, Gaye rushed back into the studio to complete a concept album that included "Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)" and "Inner City Blues." The new songs—supported by horns, strings and a choir arranged by David Van DePitte—took on urban decay, poverty, unemployment, Vietnam veterans, children and pollution.
songs  Motown  anniversaries  commemoration  Marvin_Gaye  R&B  singers  music  music_industry  soul  Berry_Gordy  '70s  turning_points  protests 
june 2011 by jerryking
Not learning the hard way
Apr. 05, 2010 | The Globe and Mail | Brad Wheeler.
Brooklyn-based Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings' new album (I Learned
the Hard Way).
R&B  music  soul  singers 
april 2010 by jerryking
Condolences
January 15, 2010 |The Atlantic |Ta-Nehisi Coates. R.I.P. Teddy
Pendergrass. Check out "The Sound of Philadelphia: Gamble & Huff's
Greatest Hits":
R&B  Teddy_Pendergrass  singers  obituaries 
january 2010 by jerryking
Tribute to a Tortured Soul Singer - WSJ.com
November 19, 2008| The Wall Street Journal | by Jesse Drucker

Profile of soul singer, Overton Vertis Wright, a.k.a O.V. Wright.
soul  singers  music  tributes  R&B  churches  obituaries 
april 2009 by jerryking
Princess of Wails
May 9, 2008 WSJ profile by John Jurgensen of Aimee Duffy and
the other members of the wave of young British (Amy Winehouse, Estelle,
Adele, Leona Lewis) who are retooling classic American soul ballads.
music_reviews  music_industry  United_Kingdom  soul  R&B  Amy_Winehouse 
january 2009 by jerryking

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