The Winans

In this weeks news...Beyonce and Make-A-Wish Foundation grants a wish of terminally ill fan, Taylon Davis. In cahoots with The Make A Wish Foundation, Beyonce made the dying wish of one of her biggest fans come true. Twelve-year-old Taylon Davis is suffering from an inoperable tumour on her brain, and with her future uncertain, only her wish to dance with Beyonce became a reality. Taylon attended the "Mrs. Carter World Tour" stop in Las Vegas earlier this month, and got the surprise of a lifetime when Beyonce swooped down in front of her, gave her a hug and kiss on the cheek, then serenaded and danced with the brave, young girl. The two rocked out to “Survivor” and “Love on Top.” “Here’s a little girl literally fighting for her life,” philanthropy strategist Ivy McGregor says in the clip. “Tomorrow’s not promised, next week’s not promised, but right now, ‘I’m here.’ And her thought that will forever stay with me is, ‘Since I’m here, I might as well live.’ Watch Taylon’s dream come true in the touching clip: (singersroom)

When Mary J. Blige released her holiday album, A Mary Christmas, in October (2013), it was a monumental moment for her long and illustrious career. The Queen of Hip Hop Soul had never released a Christmas project since her 1992 debut album, What’s The 411?, so it was a lifelong ambition that she saw to fruition.
“Christmas is my favorite holiday, my favorite time of year, and I've always wanted to record a Christmas album... but I never found the time,” says Blige. “When (producer) David Foster suggested the idea, and there was space in my schedule, it was a dream come true.”A Mary Christmas is available now and include versions of traditional holiday classics like “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” and “Little Drummer Boy.” (Singersroom)

This Weeks Playlist for Sunday 29th December 2013

Hour One
Anita Baker - Angel
Maze  Can't Get Over You
Euge Groove  Don't Let Me Be Lonely Tonight
Anthony David  Body Language (Rmx)
Le'Jit  No Woman
Rose Royce  Would You Please Be Mine
Charlie Wilson  There Goes My Baby
CeeLo Green  My Kind Of People
Ca$e/Joe  Faded Pictures
Phil Perry  You Send Me
Paltrow & BabyFace  Just My Imagination
Luther Vandross  Think About It

Hour Two
Three-Inna-Row: The Winans/Bee Bee Winans
1 What About It 2 I Am 3 Additive Love

Kenny Latimore  Weekend
Foxy  Madamoiselle
Miles Jaye  Let's Star Over
Curtis Hairston  Chillin' Out
Curtis Hairston  In The Morning
Natalie Cole  Cn We Get It Together
Amos Milburn  One Scotch, One Bourbon
Staple Singers  Love Me, x3
Staple Singers  Do It Again
Maze  We Are One


Christmas Special with Betty Wright

People love dressing there pets up these days and Christmas is no exception. This is Digger, he's a Jack Russell and as you can see is very photogenic, his owner Dave, loves to send him to friends at Christmas and I'm passing him on in the same way for the readers.

Dave tells me that if he takes him a walk and it's raining, he refuses to go out the door and insists on going to the back door to make sure it's not raining there too! If you have a nice picture of your pet in a Christmas theme, please forward it to us and we will show the best ones here next week.

Jolly & Flo retire!
Jollies card shop to close! It’s the Afro-Caribbean card shop that has become an institution among Birmingham’s black community. But now Handsworth is bidding a fond farewell to Jolly’s Greetings Shop after 22 years. Owners husband-and-wife Flo and Jolly Bailey will retire and pull down the shutters on their Soho Road store for the last time on New Year’s Eve. Selling everything from birthday cards, to artwork and sculpture reflecting black culture, Jolly’s first appeared in Nechells in 1988 before moving to Soho Road in 1991. Since then, Jolly’s has featured in the BBC’s Olympics coverage when it was visited by Midland gold medallist Denise Lewis. The former athlete, who visited the shop as a child, interviewed the owners on the day of Jamaica’s 50th independence anniversary. “Denise was doing a piece on herself and she bought the BBC here to look at the shop and the community in which she grew up. We had no idea, so it was a great surprise,” said Jolly, 71. (B,ham mail)

Ruben Studdard with Donny Hathaways Christmas anthem.
Merry Xmas from Mickey & Mr. Merry!

Tracklisting for Sunday 22nd December 2013

Hour One
Anita Baker - My Favorite Things
Brian McKnight - The Christmas Song
Joe Sample - The Road Less Traveled (chat over)
The Isley Brothers - Have Youself A Merry Xmas
The Drifters - White Christmas
Teddy Pedergrass - Happy Kwanzaa
Dianne Reeves - I Want You
R. Kelly - Love Letter At Xmas
Randy Crawford - Endlessly
Al Green - What Xmas Means To Me
Carla Thomas - White Xmas
The Emotions - What Do The Lonely Do At Xmas

Hout Two
Three-Inna-Row with Betty Wright
I Miss Ya / No Pain, No Gain
Thank You For The Many Things You Do

Aaliyah - Rock The Boat
Aaliyah - Rock The Boat (rmx)
Sylvia Striplin - You Can't Turn Away
Benny Golson - I'm Always Dancing To The Music
Maze feat: Frankie Beverly - Before I Let Go
George Benson - Breezin'
Milton Wright - Keep It Up
Starvue - Body Fusion

Betty Wright Biography:

Born 21 December 1953, Miami, Florida, USA. A former member of her family gospel group, the Echoes Of Joy, Wright's first recordings were as a backing singer. She later embarked on a solo career and scored a minor hit with "Girls Can't Do What The Guys Do" in 1968. "Clean Up Woman" (1972), a US R&B number 2/pop number 6 hit, established a punchier, less passive style which later releases, "Baby Sitter" (1972) and "Let Me Be Your Lovemaker" (1973), consolidated. Although "Shoorah Shoorah" and "Where Is The Love?" reached the UK Top 30 in 1975, the singer was unable to sustain a wider success. Wright nonetheless continued recording into the 90s and also forged a career as a US television talk show hostess.

My First Time Around (Atco 1968)***, I Love The Way You Love Me (Alston 1972)***, Hard To Stop (Alston 1973)***, Danger: High Voltage (Alston 1975)***, Explosion (Alston 1976)***, This Time It's Real (Alston 1977)**, Betty Wright Live (Alston 1978)***, Betty Travellin' In The Wright Circle (Alston 1979)**, Betty Wright (Epic 1981)**, Wright Back At You (Epic 1983)***, Sevens (First String 1986)****, Mother Wit (Ms B 1988)***, 4U2 Njoy (Ms B 1989)**, Passion And Compassion (Vision 1990)***, B-Attitudes (Solar 1993)***, Distant Lover (Ms B 1995)***.


Gerald Albright

This is a nice tribute that that was passed on to myself via Facebook last week and I would like to share it with Mr Merry's readers. It's a video that seems to come from Woolworths in South African and features... well I'll let you watch it for your selves - enjoy!

Setting the world on fire with the unexpected release of her self-titled fifth studio album, Beyoncé has wasted no time in getting praise for this album. Undoubtedly one of the most creative and impressive body of works that we’ve seen from the gorgeous Mrs. Carter since the start of her career, she has announced which two singles will be the first to hit radio next week.

Local girl Jacque is fund-raising this Sunday again for the troops. She runs her own business 'Jacque-Of All-Trades' doing repairs around the house including decorating and she will turn up with her own pink tool kit! We salute her... and she can be found today at Earlswood Garden Center. So go and give her your support!

Playlist for Sunday 15th December 2013

Hour One
 (with studio guests: Andy Hamilton's Notebenders)
Stephen Bishop On And On
Keni Stevens You
 [Welcome Music - Steel Pan]
Maysa Sophisticated Lover
The Impressions Star Bright (b-side, new 45)
Wilton Felder/Bobby Womack Someday
Boney James Wait For Love Forever For Always
Dokey Brothers/Dianne Reeves Waiting In Vain
Yemi Marie Saturday
Aretha/Levi Stubbs I Wanna Make It up To You

Hour Two
Three-Inna-Row: Gerald Albright
1 Don't Worry About It 2 My, My, My
3 Bermuda Nights

Rahsaan Patterson I'll Go
Mary J Blige Before I Let Go
Loose Ends Gonna Make You Mine
Billy Paul Bring The Family Back
R Kelly Spending Money
Rock My World
Rahsaan Patterson Were You Are

Gerald Albright Biography:

Born in Los Angeles, Albright grew up in its South Central neighborhood. He began piano lessons at an early age, even though he professed no great interest in the instrument. His love of music picked up considerably when he was given a saxophone that belonged to his piano teacher. It was further reinforced when he attended Locke High School, a breeding ground for many young West Coast musicians. After high school, he attended the University of Redlands where he received a B.S. degree in business management, minoring in music. Already a polished saxophonist by the time he enrolled in college, Albright suddenly switched to bass guitar after he saw Louis Johnson in concert.

Immediately after college, Albright began to master his talent by working extensively in the studio with such artists as Anita Baker, Ray Parker, Jr., The Temptations and Olivia Newton-John. A few months after graduating from college, Gerald joined Patrice Rushen, who was in the process of forming her own band, in which he played the saxophone. Later, when the bass player left in the middle of a tour, Albright replaced him and finished the tour on bass guitar. Consequently, he often performed on both instruments. Around the same time, he also began to tour Europe with drummer Alphonse Mouzon.

He has also toured with Jeff Lorber, Teena Marie, Quincy Jones, Whitney Houston, Phil Collins, Johnny Hallyday, Anita Baker and many others. In addition to numerous appearances at clubs and jazz festivals, Albright had also been a part of the popular Jazz Explosion tours, which saw him teaming up with contemporary jazz stars like Will Downing, Jonathan Butler, Hugh Masekela, Chaka Khan and Rachelle Ferrell, among others. Albright has also made several television appearances on shows such as A Different World, Melrose Place and BET jazz segments, as well as piloting a show in Las Vegas with Designing Women star Meshach Taylor. Albright was one of the ten featured saxophonists who performed at Bill Clinton’s inauguration. He was also featured at the Presidential Summit, as well as several private functions for the President. Albright is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity. Albright now lives with his family near Denver, Colorado. (wiki 2013)


Nelson Mandela

This Sunday we remember Nelson Mandela's life. He sadly died on Friday the 5th. December. He was known as 'The Father Of His Nation', that of course being South Africa. But the whole world had warmed to his peaceful ways of reconciliation during the 23 years that followed his release from prison in his home land. He was soon elected to be their president for a large part of those 23 years. We this Sunday remember remember his gracious ways.

Oliver Cheatham, best known for the 1983 dance hit Get Down Saturday Night, died on Friday, November 29 after suffering a heart attack whilst asleep. He was 65. Encouraged to sing by his mother, the young Oliver joined several local groups in his hometown of Detroit, including The Young Sirs, Mad Dog And The Pups and Gaslight, before releasing a single, Hard Times, on the Tier label. He then joined another outfit, Sins of Satan, the group later being renamed Roundtrip. Ultimately the band took his name and recorded two albums as Oliver. In the early eighties Cheatham landed a solo recording contract with MCA, starting on his debut album, The Boss, with producer Al Hudson. In ’83 he enjoyed a hit in both the US and UK with Get Down Saturday Night, a tune co-written with Kevin McCord of One Way. (echoes)

This weeks play list Sunday 8th. December 2013

Hour One
Angie Stone - Brotha
Sounds Of Blackness - Black Butterfly
Mongo Santamairia - Groovin'
Jen Jones/Hugh Masekela - Father Of Our Nation
Amazonics - Redemption Song
Leyroy Hutson - Heaven Right Here On Earth
Springfield Smooth Group-Dance With My Father
William Devaughn - Be Thankful 4 What U Got
The Impressions - People Get Ready
Stevie Wonder - I Am Singing
Sounds Of Blackness - He Took Away My Pain

Hour Two
'Three Inna-Row' Labi Siffre
1 Hard Road 2 Listen To Me
3 (Something Inside) So Strong

Bobby Glover - Your Spell
Oliver Cheatham - Get Down Saturday Night
Carl Anderson - Buttercup
Cherrelle/Alexander O'Neal - Saturday Love
Jamiroque - Your To Young To Die
Teddy Pendergrass - I Believe
Miss Jones -Where I Want To Be Boy
Lamont Dozier - Going Back To My Roots

Labi Siffre Biography:

Siffre was born and brought up in Bayswater, London, England, the son of an English mother and Nigerian father. He first took employment as a minicab driver and delivery man but practised guitar whenever he could, going on to study music harmonics. He played his first gigs as one of a trio of like-minded youngsters, before taking up a nine-month residency at Annie's Rooms. His tenure completed, he travelled to Cannes, France, and played with a variety of soul musicians and bands. He returned to the UK in the late 60s and enjoyed solo hits in 1971 with "It Must Be Love" (later covered by Madness) and "Crying, Laughing, Loving, Lying". Although "Watch Me" in 1972 was his last hit of the 70s, he made a spectacular comeback in 1987 with "(Something Inside) So Strong". In recent years Siffre has devoted most of his time to his poetry and has shown a sensitive and intelligent grasp of world issues. His relaxed nature and engaging personality has made his poetry readings more popular than his songs.

Labi Siffre (1970)***, Singer And The Song (Pye 1971)***, Crying, Laughing, Loving, Lying (Pye 1972)***, Remember The Song (1975)***, So Strong (Polydor 1988)***, Make My Day (Connoisseur 1989)***.

Jerry Dammers & Friends - 'Free Nelson Mandela' by mickeynold


Ray, Goodman & Brown

A film Mr Merry went to see this week is showing at Odeon's all around Birmingham, it's 'The Butler,' staring the chat show host Oprah, and he tells me that he can fully recommend it. It's funny and also educational. The Butler (full title Lee Daniels' The Butler) is a 2013 American historical fiction drama film directed by Lee Daniels, written by Danny Strong, and featuring an ensemble cast. Loosely inspired by the real-life of Eugene Allen, the film stars Forest Whitaker as Cecil Gaines, an African-American who eyewitnesses notable events of the 20th century during his 34-year tenure serving as a White House butler. It was the last film produced by Laura Ziskin, who died in 2011. The film was theatrically released by The Weinstein Company on August 16, 2013, to mostly positive reviews and was a box office hit, grossing over $145 million worldwide against a budget of $30 million.

Females are not gonna like this video above, but it needs to be said.

The holidays are a great time to be in love, or fall in love, and Ruben Studdard wants to be apart of your soundtrack.  The American Idol alum has not only returned to reality TV, as a contestant on ‘The Biggest Loser,’ but he has returned with new music. Studdard advocates everlasting love on “Meant To Be,” the first single off his forthcoming album Unconditional Love. The grown and sexy song was produced by legendary composer David Foster, and is one of two original tunes off the new project, which will hit stores in February via Verve Records. (r&b news)

This weeks playlist for Sunday 1st. December 2013

 Hour One 
Deniece Williams - It's Gonna Take A Miracle
Al Wilson - Show And Tell
Quincy Jones - Groovy Gravy (bed)
Alicia Keys/Maxwell - Fire We Make
Hot - Who's Gonna Love You
Joe - Come Get To This
Fabulous/Tamara - Into You
Nicholas _ The Closer I Get To You
Janice Bullock - Do You Really Love Me
Nina Simone - I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel
John Legand - (above)
William Devaughn - Figures Can't Calculate
Blackstreet - Don't Leave Me (Rmx)

 Hour Two 
Three-inna-row: Ray,Goodman & Brown
1 Mood For Loving 2 Take It To The Limit 3 Where Did You Get That Body

EWF - September
Al Hudson & His Soul Partners - Spread Love
Kenny Thomas - Turn It Up
Allure - Enjoy Yourself
Phyliss Hyman - Don't Tell Me, Tell Her
Manhattans - Let Your Love Come Down
Ashford & Simpson - Love Or Physical
Latoya Jackson - Camp Kuchi Kaiai
Sunfire - Young, Free & Single

Ray Goodman & Brown Biography:

Ray, Goodman & Brown is an American R&B vocal group. The group originated as The Moments, who formed in the mid-1960s and whose greatest successes came in the 1970s with hits including "Love on a Two-Way Street", "Sexy Mama" and "Look at Me (I'm in Love)". In 1979, for contractual reasons they changed their name to Ray, Goodman & Brown and had further hits, including "Special Lady". A lineup of the Moments (featuring original member Mark Greene) also tours.



Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds is opening up in a must-see interview on tonight's "Oprah's Next Chapter." In his sit-down with Oprah, the award-winning recording artist and producer talks about everything from being humble and shying away from stardom to the crash course he believes new stars, including those who win "American Idol," are on in the music industry. "Pop culture today is so wishy-washy. It's I'm into you... now I'm not. And it's hard," Babyface tells Oprah. "You get beat up a lot quicker and a lot harder and everybody is not strong enough to go through that. American Idol kids, and those kind of shows, they don't get a chance to really work their craft." (singersroom)

The Delfonics were a soul band in the late ‘60s and ‘70s, known for popularizing the “Philadelphia sound.” Their sleek and smooth style heard on the hits “La-La (Means I Love You),” “Didn’t I (Below Your Mind This Time),” and “Ready or Not Here I Come (Can’t Hide From Love),” among others.
Last weeks “Unsung” chronicled The Delfonics’ rise to fame, and explained how their soulful sound even influenced The Jackson 5. link

Tracklisting for Sunday 24th. November 2013

Hour One
Astrud Gilberto/Stan Guest - The Girl From Ipanema
Aretha Franklin - People Get Ready
Mongo Santamaria - Groovin' [bed]

Big Bub - Zoom
Patti LaBelle - If Only You Knew
Angis Stone - Stay For A While
Jeff Redd - Down Low
The Whispers - So Good
Jaheim - Hush
Futures - Ain't Got Time Nothin'
Bromfield - Don't Cover Up Your Fleelings
Guy - Peace Of My Love

Hour Two
'Three-inna-Row': Lo-Key?
1 I Got A Thing 4 Ya 2 Tasty 3 Sweet On U
Donald Byrd - Lovin You
Dexter Wansell - Sweetest Pain
Detroit Spinners - Love is In Season
EWF - On Your Face
TS Monk - Can't Keep My Hands To Myself
Curtis Mayfield - Your So Good To Me
Teena Maria - Portuguese Love
Best Man - Ooh, Yeah

Low Key Biography:
Lo-Key? formed in Kansas City, Missouri and Minneapolis, Minnesota, consisting of singer Darron "D" Story, singer/multi-instrumentalist Andre "Dre" Shepard, bassist Tyrone "T-Bone" Yarbrough, producer/keyboardist Lance "L.A." Alexander, and rapper/singer Tony "Prof-T" Tolbert. The group honed their skills around the Minneapolis club circuit, where Alexander and Tolbert became in-house producers (called the B-Team) for Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis' Flyte Tyme Productions. The group signed to Jam & Lewis' record label, Perspective Records, and released their debut album, Where Dey At?, on October 6, 1992. They had a hit with the single "I Got A Thang 4 Ya!" in 1992, which spent a week at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot R&B Singles chart, and reached No. 27 on the Hot 100.[1] Arthur Jafa, director of photography for the independent film Daughters of the Dust (1991), directed the video for the single.[2]

Alexander and Tolbert also were hitmaking songwriters and producers in their own right. Among the hit songs they've produced for other artists were "Butta Love" by the group Next, "Love Makes No Sense" for Alexander O'Neal, "I Wish" for Shanice and "Strawberries" for Smooth. Tolbert continued to work with Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, appearing as a songwriter and background vocalist on albums by Earth, Wind & Fire, Janet Jackson and Usher.


Dennis Taylor

Mr Coptic, Felix & Merry
Following the death of Felix Dexter, aged 52 on 18th October, this year, BBC2 will be running a special program tonight at 10 pm. He was born in Saint Kitts in the Caribbean and moved to London at the age of 7. He studied at University Collage there as a barrister before turning to a career in comedy. On Radio 4 he appeared in Down The Line and on television in  The Real McCoy and Citizen Khan (2011). He had been suffering with multiple Myeloma . More about his life at felixdexter.com. Or on PCRL history pages.

Don Cheadle / Miles Davis

Don Cheadle has been pushing to make a film about Mile Davis’ life for a few years, and now it looks like his dreams will come to fruition. BiFrost Pictures has agreed to finance and produce the film. Don Cheadle will star in the lead role as Davis and serve as director, the Associated Press reports. He also co-wrote the screenplay with Steven Baigelman. The film, which begins production in June 2014, won’t be taking on the life of a traditional biopic. Instead, it will zero in on the period when Davis retired from music to his return to the craft in 1979. The Davis family as well as Herbie Hancock will be collaborating in the production of the film. Ewan McGregor and Zoe Saldana have already been casted as a writer for Rolling Stone and Davis’ former wife, Frances, respectively. Cheadle makes his directorial debut with this project. (theboombox)

Sunday's tracklisting fo 17th November 2013

Hour One
? - So Good
? - Love Sweet Sensation
Gabor Szabo/Bobby Womack - Breezin' (bed)
Luther Vandross - My Sensitivity
Marc Sadane - On-way Love Affair
Chevelle Franklyn - Spirit Fixed (rmx)
R Kelly - Just Like That
Robyn Thicke - Love After War
Carrie Lucas - Hello Stranger
Lauryn Hill - So Much Things To Say
Deniece Williams - Cause You Love Me Baby
Jaheim - Hush

Hour Two
Three-Inna-Row: Dennis Taylor: (2 feat: Beverlie Brown)
1 Could Be You 2 Bad As You 3 Rock U Good

Melba Moore Hard Not To Like You
Micia Paris - Six Street
Rupert Holmes - Pina Colada Song
Wornell Jones - Must Have Been Love
I-Level - In The Sand
Jodeci Get On Up
Teddy Pendergrass - Believe
Glen Goldsmith - Dreamin'
Kashif - I Just Gotta Have You

Dennis Taylor Biography:
Dennis Taylor (born in Brooklyn, New York) is a soul singer and performer, best known in the UK.

As a child, Dennis was singing as part of a church choir in Brooklyn at the age of 7, but later moved to Virginia, and signed up to the US Air Force at 18, with whom he served for six years. Taylor then returned to New York, and following his earlier success in a talent competition, was able to secure a minor recording contract, although he failed to garner any wide-scale success. His biggest break came when he was asked to perform backing vocals on the Robin S hit Gonna Raise The Child in the early 1990s.

It wasn't until the year 2000 that he recorded his first album, 'Enough is Enough' at the Homeboy Studios in New Jersey, working with producers Fred McFarlane and Darryl James, a DJ well known for his mixes on New York radio station WRKS. The album was received favourably, particularly among UK soul critics. Taylor performed his first UK concert at the Jazz Café in London, a gig that was partially responsible for the artist securing a contract with UK-based record label Dome in 2001. Dennis was well received by the UK audience who particularly loved his songs 'Enough is Enough' and 'Out of Control'. His second album 'Unconditional' also won over reviewers, and owed its success in part to the heavy airplay of singles Steppin' and It's Over on the London radio station 102.2 Jazz FM (and then jazzfm.com which relaunched as Jazz FM). A subsequent UK tour followed.

Taylor also duetted with soul performer Beverlei Brown on her album 'Next To You', collaborating on the song Could Be You.

Taylor's most recent album, 'In The Mood', was released in 2003 and included the Sam Dees-penned duet Am I Dreaming?, recorded with Wincey Terry. He continues to sporadically tour the UK. (Wiki)


Deborah Cox

In the news this week...(first off many thanks to Marcus B for covering my show in my absence)...Mary J. Blige has been tapped to perform during the annual Nobel Peace Prize Concert. Slated to perform December 11 in Oslo, Norway, the Grammy-winning queen of hip-hop/soul joins James Blunt, Envy and Zara Larsson, who will also perform at Norway's Spektrum Arena. The concert will be broadcast in the U.S. via AXS TV. In total, it will be aired in over 100 countries worldwide. In related news, Mary J. Blige released "A Mary Christmas" on October 15 via Verve. The set includes Holiday favorites like "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" and "The Christmas Song." Blige is joined by a number of A-list guests, starting with Barbra Streisand, who duets with Blige on 'When You Wish Upon A Star,' along with Jessie J on 'Do You Hear What I Hear' The Clark Sisters join Blige on 'The First Noel' and 'Noche de Paz,' is a Spanish collaboration with Mark Anthony. "A Mary Christmas" is available now.  (themusicroom)

New record from Prince, and he is a musical and marketing genius. He has been able to stay in tuned with not what the people want, but with what they need. We need an icon that can add humor (Dave Chappelle cover), amazing music (Prince's extraordinary music & sound) with pure beauty (lead actress/dancer in video). The teaser for "Breakfast Can Wait" gives you that good old throwback feeling when you waited for videos to premiere back in the day. Check it out and let us know if you have the same feeling. (The musicroom)

Al Johnson
Sadly we recently lost a superb soul singer in Al Johnson. While never long in the spotlight, he quietly created some very memorable Soul music for himself and others over a more than forty year career, and developed a small but loyal following over that period as a top notch songwriter, singer and musician.
Johnson first scored as the lead singer of the Unifics, a group formed at Howard University in Washington, D.C. which had a big hit with "The Court of Love."  After another minor hit, "The Beginning of My End," the group split and Johnson began a long string as a session musician, songwriter, arranger and producer. He then went solo with two albums including the much loved 'Back For More' after witch he concentrated on producing others, he'll be missed. (soultracks/editor)

Today of course is Remembrance Sunday and 1 minute silence was observed by Newstyle Radio at 11 am today to remember all the deaths of WWI and II and more recent conflicts. There were plenty Caribbean Women serving in WW2. When we think of the British Armed Forces, there is often a tendency to think exclusively of men.  In the past this has been largely due to the majority of Armed forces being made of almost entirely of men. However, WW2 saw plenty of Women sign up to the British Armed Forces.  The exact numbers of Caribbean women serving in the British Armed forces can be difficult to pin down to an exact number.  However, Richard Smith, writing in the Oxford Companion to Black British History.  Read more

This weeks playlist for Sunday 10th November 2013

Hour One
Wendell B - When Love Don't Make No Sense
Eddie Holman - It's All In The Game
George Howard - No, No (bed)
Maze/Frankie Beverly - Call On Me
Gwen Guthrie - Sweet Bitter Love
Babyface - This Is 4 The Lover In U
Phil Perry - You Send Me
Zhane - Request Line
Jeniquea - Making Love
Harold Melvin/Bluenotes - I Really Love You
Plush - We Got The Love
Aretha Franklin - Giving Him Something He Can Feel

Hour Two
'Three-Inna-Row': Deborah Cox
1Could Have Been You 2 One Wish 3 Sound Of His Tears

The Manhattans - Crazy
Michael Wycof - Lockin Up To You
Sinai - Get Up On The Floor
The Staple Singers - Love Me, Love Me, Love Me
Maze/Frankie Beverly - Before I Let Go
James Brown - Cold Sweat
Alex Lattimore - Rising To The Top (inst)
Melba Moore - Standing Right Here

Deborah Cox Biography:
Born 13 July 1973, Toronto, Canada. R&B singer Cox was signed by Arista Records' famed president Clive Davis, previously responsible for discovering names such as Bruce Springsteen, Whitney Houston, Janis Joplin and TLC. Davis' reputation in the industry meant that he was able to unite Cox with some of American R&B's finest producers.
  Her debut album was recorded with the aid of Keith Thomas (Vanessa Williams, Amy Grant), Keith Crouch, Darryl Simmons and Dallas Austin. Cox had begun singing in her childhood and turned professional at the age of 12, playing small Toronto clubs before attending a performing arts school.
  She first met her songwriting partner Lascelles Stephens when she was 18, forging a productive creative relationship. A demo recorded together served to alert Davis to Cox's presence, and within months she had moved to Los Angeles and signed with Arista. Before the recording of her debut album was complete she had toured Canada with Celine Dion and performed at showcases in Europe and Asia. Her first single, "Sentimental", was released in October 1995. The second single, "Who Do U Love?", sold over half a million copies. As a self-proclaimed R&B diva, her material falls equally between up-tempo/swingbeat numbers and slickly produced ballads.
  While she is clearly a more able vocalist than many of her peers, sometimes that attribute is lost in her conservative choice of material. Her eagerly anticipated sophomore set, One Wish, helped to establish the singer as a recording star. Justifying the praise heaped on the album, the old school ballad "Nobody's Supposed To Be Here" topped the R&B charts for a record-breaking 14 weeks, and climbed to number 2 on the Hot 100 in January 1999. She enjoyed another US Top 10 hit in October with "We Can't Be Friends".

Deborah Cox (Vaz/Arista 1995)***, One Wish (Arista 1998)****, The Morning After (J 2002)***.


Marcus B (cover II)

Crier (right)
 Reports from American press agencies reveal that KEITH 'SABU' CRIER, bassist with 70's disco band, G. Q died last Sunday, 29th September. He was aged just 58. Crier grew up in the Bronx, son of the well-known R&B singer (he was a member of doo-wop group, The Halos) and community activist Arthur Crier. He was also the uncle of Keith Sweat. Keith formed his first band in 1968, Sabu and the Survivors. They evolved into a funk band called the Rhythm Makers in the 1970s, with Emanuel Rahiem Leblanc, Herb Lane and Kenny Banks. The Rhythm Makers recorded their first album in 1976, 'Soul on Your Side'; then in '78 they changed their name to G. Q ("Good Quality"). They later reworked the title track of their LP into 'Disco Nights' which became their biggest hits. The band continued until the early 1990s and reunited in 1999 to record a tribute to Billy Stewart and Marvin Gaye and enjoyed minor hits with covers of Stewart's 'I Do Love You' and 'Sitting In The Park'. (soulandjazzandfunk)

The new logo
Choice FM/Smooth 70's will disappear today (Sunday) to make way for Global Radio’s latest brand extension – Capital XTRA – on national DAB and in London on FM. The new station will launch this Monday with “Kojo & Jade with XTRA in the morning” at 6am. Carrying the strapline, DANCE.URBAN.UK., the new station will play new music and break urban dance acts.  New Choice signing Tim Westwood will be on the station, along with Capital’s Craig David and Avicii from a recently refurbished studio in London’s Leicester Square. Ashley Tabor, founder and executive president at Global said: “The launch of Capital XTRA is a great moment for listeners, for commercial radio, for the DAB platform and for our team here at Global. People right across the UK will now get to enjoy a truly national station in Capital XTRA – the only commercial station to play urban dance music nationwide. We’re taking the best presenters and shows and building on that by adding even more new talent to the line up and we believe Capital XTRA has a very bright future.” Charity appeals, partnerships and events will continue under the Capital XTRA banner and a new marketing campaign will start today. (radio today)

Sunday 6th. October 2013



Marcus B (cover)

In the news this week...Beyonce and Jay Z continue their run as entertainment's top earning couple. They beat out Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie, Tom Brady & Gisele Bundchen, and more for the top spot on Forbes' Highest-Earning Celebrity Couples List with an estimated $95 million in earnings between June 2012 and June 2013. After taking a short break following the birth of her daughter Blue Ivy, Beyonce came back with a vengeance, securing several lucrative endorsement deals (H&M, Pepsi) as well as launching her "Mrs. Carter World Tour", which grossed an average $2 million per night. Husband Jay-Z's stake in the Brooklyn Nets (which he sold recently), his 'Watch The Throne' collaborative album with Kanye West, a world tour that brought in $1.4 million per night in America, and his other Roc Nation ventures also added plenty to the pot. Bey & Jay's latest deals sees them being a billionaire couple. Check out the full list below and read more on Forbes. (singersroom)

05. Kanye West & Kim Kardashian - $30 million
04. Ashton Kutcher & Mila Kunis - $35 million
03. Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie - $50 million
02. Tom Brady & Gisele Bundchen - $80 million
01. Jay Z & Beyoncé Knowles-Carter - $95 million

Two of America's top soul singers have just come together for what, on the surface at any rate, is an unusual project. Philadelphia's neo-soulster Musiq Soulchild has joined forces with Chicago's Syleena Johnson for a reggae album. Entitled '9INE' (yes there are 9 new songs on it), the album, we're told, was a spontaneous affair. The project was the brain child of top reggae producer Kemar McGregor whose vision has always been to get established non-Jamaican singers to work in the reggae genre. While working on what was to be a various artists set, he recorded a duet between Soulchild and Syleena and the chemistry was such that the trio decided to record a whole album. The nine new songs were a collaborative affair and the whole thing was recorded in just nine days. The set's big tune is the lead single – 'Feel The Fire'. It's a big blend of pop and soul with just a garnish of reggae and Syleena's in fine soulful form – as befits the daughter of soul legend Syl Johnson. The tune comes in a dance hall style remix at the end (so there are actually ten songs on the set). 'Pieces Of You' is another cut that comes recommended... a light, pleasing jaunt in the lovers rock style... two great voices combining in soul.(soulandjazzandfunk.com)

 This weeks playlist, Sunday 22nd. September 2013

  1. Yarougough & Peoples feat: Doraian - Special
  2. Truce feat: Damage - Key To The City
  3. Gwen McRae - When I Think Of You
  4. Luther Vandross - I Won't Let You Do That To Me
  5. Omar - I Don't mean A Thing
  6. Randy Brown - We Oughta To Be Gettin' It On
  7. Zo! feat:Fonte & Chokolate - Making Time
  8. Full Flava/Romina Johnson - Round & Round
  9. Chante Moore - Making Love
  10. ? - I know You Want It
  11. Fatback Band - Shining Star
  12. Evelyn King - Shame
  13. Betty Whight - Keep It New
  14. By All Means - I'm The One Who Loves You
  15. (various mix)
  16. Gladys Knight - Saving My Overtime
  17. O'Jays - A Summer Fling
  18. Leyah Roberts - If You Don't Want My Love
  19. ? - I Just Don't Wanna Be Lonely
  20. (various mix)


The Isley Brothers

In the news this week....John Legend is officially a married man. The R&B crooner tied the knot with model Chrissy Teigen in Italy on Saturday. According to E! News, the couple wed in a small ceremony at an estate on Italy’s Lake Como, a favorite of celebrities including George Clooney and Madonna.  The Grammy-winning singer and Sports Illustrated model, who have been dating since 2007, got engaged in December 2011 during their holiday vacation in the Maldives. Legend professed his love for Teigen during an interview with Oprah earlier this year. “I knew I loved her,” he said. “I knew I could see myself living with her and spending time with her forever. I knew I could envision us having kids together.”  The couple showed just how deep their love is while shooting the intimate video for “All of Me,” a ballad Legend penned about his new wife. The newlyweds will have a little time to honeymoon before Legend returns to the U.S. to kick off his “Made to Love” tour on Oct. 20. (R&Bnews)

Ten years after his death in 2003, the late, great soul musician Barry White has finally received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and it couldn’t have been a better day, as he received the star on his birthday (Sept 12).  His wife, Glodean White, accepted the honor on his behalf, and the likes of Berry Gordy, Walter and Scottie of the Whispers, singer-songwriter Brenda Holloway, producer Jesus Barber, L.A. city councilman Tom LaBonge, and Soul Train producer Tony Cornelius were just a few of the many celebs who came out to pay tribute to the music virtuoso.  Producer of Walk of Fame ceremonies Ana Martinez said, "People can't get enough of Barry White's music, and even though he passed away many years ago, his songs will live on in the hearts of many. We are honored to have Barry White, his legendary voice and timeless songs immortalized on the Walk of Fame."  White was known for his bass voice and soulful, romantic songs, such as “Can't Get Enough of Your Love Babe,” and “Never, Never Gonna Give Ya Up” with his 40-piece ensemble The Love Unlimited Orchestra. (singersroom)

This weeks playlist for Sunday 15th September 2013

Hour One
Amazonics - Redemption Song
Monday Michiru - No Woman No Cry
Joe Sample The Road Less Traveled
Teddy Pendergrass - Good To You
The O'Jays - Used To Be My Girl
Yarbrough & Peoples - Special
Maze - I Want To feel I'm Wanted
Syleena Johnson - Guess What
George Benson - Let's Do It Again
Tony Stone - Can't Say Bye
The Controllers - Sleeping Alone
Anthony David - Body Language

Hour Two
'Three-inna-Row: The Isley Brothers
1 I Need Your Body
2 I Once Had Your Love
3 Groove With You

Kenny Lattimore - Weekend
Rahsaan Patterson - We You Are
Jon B - They Don't Know
Wornell Jones - Must Be Love
Coke Escovedo - Runaway
The Jones Girls - The Feeling Is Killing Me
Melba More It's Hard Not To Like You
Maze - While I'm Alone

The Isley Brothers Biography:

 Three brothers, O'Kelly (Born 25 December 1937, d. 31 March 1986), Rudolph (Born 1 April 1939) and Ronald Isley (Born 21 May 1941), began singing gospel in their home-town of Cincinnati, USA, in the early 50s, accompanied by their brother Vernon, who died in a car crash around 1957. Moving to New York the following year, the trio issued one-off singles before being signed by the RCA Records production team, Hugo And Luigi. The Isleys had already developed a tight vocal unit, with Rudolph and O'Kelly supporting Ronald's strident tenor leads in a call-and-response style taken directly from the church. The self-composed "Shout" - with a chorus based on an ad-libbed refrain that had won an enthusiastic response in concert - epitomized this approach, building to a frantic crescendo as the brothers screamed out to each other across the simple chord changes. "Shout" sold heavily in the black market, and has since become an R&B standard, but RCA's attempts to concoct a suitable follow-up were unsuccessful.

The group switched labels to Wand Records in 1962, where they enjoyed a major hit with an equally dynamic cover version of the Top Notes' "Twist And Shout", an arrangement that was subsequently copied by the Beatles. In the fashion of the times, the Isleys were forced to spend the next two years recording increasingly contrived rewrites of this hit, both on Wand and at United Artists Records. A brief spell with Atlantic Records in 1964 produced a classic R&B record, "Who's That Lady?", but with little success. Tired of the lack of control over their recordings, the Isleys formed their own company, T-Neck Records, in 1964 - an unprecedented step for black performers. The first release on the label, "Testify", showcased their young lead guitarist, Jimi Hendrix, and allowed him free rein to display his virtuosity and range of sonic effects. However, the record's experimental sound went unnoticed at the time, and the Isleys were forced to abandon both T-Neck and Hendrix, and sign a contract with Motown Records.

They were allowed little involvement in the production of their records and the group were teamed with the Holland/Dozier/Holland partnership, who effectively treated them as an extension of the Four Tops, and fashioned songs for them accordingly. This combination reached its zenith with "This Old Heart Of Mine" in 1966, a major hit in the USA, and a belated chart success in Britain in 1968. UK listeners also reacted favourably to "Behind A Painted Smile" and "I Guess I'll Always Love You' when they were reissued at the end of the 60s. Such singles were definitive Motown: a driving beat, an immaculate house band and several impassioned voices; but although the Isleys" records always boasted a tougher edge than those by their stablemates, little of their work for Motown exploited their gospel and R&B heritage to the full.

Tired of the formula and company power games, the Isleys reactivated T-Neck in 1969, along with a change of image from the regulation mohair suits to a freer, funkier "west coast" image, reflected in their choice of repertoire. At this point too, they became a sextet, adding two younger brothers, Ernie (Born 7 March 1952; guitar) and Marvin (bass), as well as a cousin, Chris Jasper (keyboards). While their mid-60s recordings were enjoying overdue success in Britain, the Isleys were scoring enormous US hits with their new releases, notably "It's Your Thing" and "I Turned You On'. These records sported a stripped-down funk sound, inspired by James Brown And The JBs, and topped with the brothers" soaring vocal harmonies. They issued a succession of ambitious albums in this vein between 1969 and 1972, among them a live double set that featured extended versions of their recent hits, and In The Beginning, a collection of their 1964 recordings with Jimi Hendrix. In the early 70s, the Isleys incorporated into their repertoire a variety of rock material by composers such as Bob Dylan, Stephen Stills and Carole King.

Their dual role as composers and interpreters reached a peak in 1973 on 3+3, the first album issued via a distribution agreement with CBS Records. The record's title reflected the make-up of the group at that time, with the three original vocalists supported by the new generation of the family. Ernie Isley's powerful, sustained guitar work, strongly influenced by Jimi Hendrix, became a vital ingredient in the Isleys' sound, and was featured heavily on the album's lead single, "That Lady', a revamped version of their unheralded 1964 single on Atlantic. 3+3 also contained soft soul interpretations of material by Seals And Croft, James Taylor and the Doobie Brothers. An important key track was the Isleys" own "Highway Of My Life", which demonstrated Ronald's increasing mastery of the romantic ballad form. Having established a winning formula, the Isleys retained it throughout the rest of the 70s, issuing a succession of slick, impressive soul albums that were divided between startlingly tough funk numbers and subdued Ronald Isley ballads. The Heat Is On in 1975 represented the pinnacle of both genres; the angry lyrics of "Fight The Power", a US Top 10 single, contrasted sharply with the suite of love songs on the album's second side, aptly summarized by the title of one of the tracks, "Sensuality". "Harvest For The World' (1976) proved to be one of the Isleys" most popular recordings in Britain, with its stunning blend of dance rhythm, melody and social awareness (the song hit the UK charts in 1988 in a version by the Christians).

In the late 70s, the increasing polarization of the rock and disco markets ensured that while the Isleys continued to impress black record buyers, their work went largely unheard in the white mainstream. "The Pride", "Take Me To The Next Phase", "I Wanna Be With You" and "Don't Say Goodnight" all topped the specialist black music charts without registering in the US Top 30, and the group responded in kind, concentrating on dance-flavoured material to the exclusion of their ballads. "It's A Disco Night', a UK hit in 1980, demonstrated their command of the idiom, but a growing sense of self-parody infected the Isleys' music in the early 80s. Conscious of this decline, Ernie and Marvin Isley and Chris Jasper left the group in 1984 to form the successful Isley, Jasper, Isley combination. The original trio soldiered on, but the sudden death of O'Kelly Isley from a heart attack on 31 March 1986 brought their 30-year partnership to an end. Ronald and Rudolph dedicated their next release, Smooth Sailin", to him, and the album produced another black hit in Angela Wimbush's ballad, "Smooth Sailin' Tonight". Wimbush now assumed virtual artistic control over the group, and she wrote and produced their 1989 release Spend The Night, which was effectively a Ronald Isley solo album. The artistic innovations of the Isley Brothers, continued by the second generation of the family in Isley, Jasper, Isley, belie the conservatism of their releases since the late 70s. Their 1996 release Mission To Please attempted to move them into the same smooth urban soul territory as Keith Sweat and Babyface. In 2001 they were awarded over $5 million in a lawsuit, to be paid by singer Michael Bolton for plagiarism of their song "Love Is A Wonderful Thing". Later in the year, their new album Eternal proved their enduring appeal when it debuted in the US Top 5. For a third time the Isley Brothers had managed to reinvent themselves, and even more success was to follow in 2003 when Body Kiss reached the top slot on the US album charts.

The Isley Brothers represented the apogee of gospel-inspired soul on their early hits, they pioneered the ownership of record labels by black artists, and invented a new funk genre with their blend of dance rhythms and rock instrumentation in the early 70s. Their series of US hits from the 50s to the 90s is one of the major legacies of black American music.