John Legend

In the news....Veteran reggae superstar Freddie McGregor, and reggae princess Etana will host the 32nd staging of the International Reggae and World Music Awards (IRAWMA), making its fifth return to South Florida since 1993. The star-studded event is scheduled for Saturday, May 4 at the prestigious Coral Springs Center for the Arts, in Coral Springs, Florida. The celebrity red carpet arrival and reception begins at 6 p.m. and the awards showcase at 8 p.m. This year's top nominee, Mr Vegas, and other leading reggae and world music entertainers, will perform live on the awards showcase. Saxophonist Dean Fraser, IRAWMA's musical director, will lead the The Dean Fraser All Star Band in providing musical backing for performers.Top nominees for IRAWMA are Mr Vegas with six, Damian Marley five, and Sean Paul, Konshens, Romain Virgo and Third World with four. Jimmy Cliff, Marcia Griffiths, Tarrus Riley and Busy Signal have three nominations.(gleaner)

Aretha Franklin marks 71st birthday with Motown musical in N.Y. Nobody can deny that Aretha Franklin knows how to celebrate her birthday. This year, the Queen of Soul was in one of her favorite cities — New York — and according to Roger Friedman of Showbiz 411, a swanky party was planned for the Ritz-Carlton Hotel on Central Park South. But first, Franklin and a party of friends attended a performance of "Motown: The Musical" at the Lunt-Fontanne Theater. Franklin had seen a brief preview of the musical last fall, and enjoyed it immensely. As she told The News, although she never worked directly with Motown, she grew up nearby and was friends with Gordy and many of the Motown stars.  The Musical" premiers April 15; preview performances are ongoing until then. (detroit news)

BeyoncĂ© Knowles and Madonna led a red ‘revolution’ across social networks this week when they joined the fight for equal marriage across the US. The Single Ladies singer joined thousands of users on the sites by changing her Facebook profile pictures to a red and pink version of the Human Rights Campaign equal-sign logo that has been taken up by campaigners to back two cases challenging the same-sex marriage ban in the US Supreme Court.  (elle)

Motown songwriter, producer and arranger Deke Richards, who logged his biggest successes with the Jackson 5 and the Supremes in the ’60s and ’70s, died on March 24 in Bellingham, Wash., after suffering from esophageal cancer. He was 68. A member of Motown hitmaker groups the Clan and the Corporation, Richards co-wrote the breakout Jackson 5 singles “I Want You Back,” “ABC” and “The Love You Save,” as well as hits for the Supremes, Diana Ross and Martha Reeves and the Vandellas. (Variety)

Keith Sweat interview on-line

Check out the new album by Kat Web out soon!

Playlist Sunday 31st. March 2013 (Easter Sunday)

Hour One

R-Kelly - Slow Dance
Norman Connors - Easy Livin' [welcolme bed]
Jade - One Woman
Glenn Jones - Can We Try Again
The Jones Girls - This Feeling Killing Me
Freddie Jackson - Calling
Bobby Nunn - Do You Look That Good In The Morning
Men Of Vision - Mase keeper

'Masters book co-writer'

Hour Two
John Legend - Refuge When It's Cold Outside /
                       Humanity (Love The Way It Should Be)
PDA - We Just Don't Care
Leon Ware - What's Your Name
The Whispers - Home Made Lovin'
Gerald Levert - Greater Later
Benny Golson - I'm Always Dancin' To The Music
Randy Brown - We Oughta Be Getting It On

John Legend Biography:
 John Roger Stephens (born December 28, 1978), better known by his stage name John Legend, is an American singer-songwriter and actor. He has won nine Grammy Awards, and in 2007, he received the special Starlight Award from the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
Prior to the release of his debut album, Stephens' career gained momentum through a series of successful collaborations with multiple established artists. Stephens added his voice to those of other artists, assisting in them reaching chart-topper hits. He lent his voice to Magnetic Man's "Getting Nowhere," Kanye West's "All of the Lights", on Slum Village's "Selfish" and Dilated Peoples' "This Way". Other artists included Jay-Z's "Encore", and he sang backing vocals on Alicia Keys' 2003 song "You Don't Know My Name" and Fort Minor's "High Road". Stephens played piano on Lauryn Hill's "Everything Is Everything". (more at wikipedia)


Bobby Smith

In this weeks news ... Alicia Keys is the new Creative Director for Blackberry. You know that already. But maybe you don't know just how much work goes into creating Alicia Keys. The people, places and things that inspire her and just how she goes about putting it all together to turn out something truly amazing for her fans To that end, she's starring in a short two-part docu-series called "Keep Moving," which details the aforementioned as well as how she's attacking her Set The World on Fire tour. Also, she discusses her plans for incorporating you -- yes you, reading this -- into her stage show. You can upload photos of yourself to blackberry.com/keepmoving and she'll be performing a special song each night wherein the photos are incorporated into a unique and exclusive music video. You can check out what one of the videos looks like here. Pretty awesome.(boombox)

Chinua Achebe, the Nigerian writer seen by millions as the father of African literature, has died at the age of 82. Achebe won the Commonwealth poetry prize for his collection Christmas in Biafra. He was a finalist for the 1987 Booker prize for his novel Anthills of the Savannah, and in 2007 won the Man Booker international prize. Simon Winder, publishing director at Penguin, called him an "utterly remarkable man", adding: “Chinua Achebe is the greatest of African writers and we are all desolate to hear of his death," he said. His family requested privacy, and paid tribute to "one of the great literary voices of all time. He was also a beloved husband, father, uncle and grandfather, whose wisdom and courage are an inspiration to all who knew him." His first novel Things Fall Apart, was published in 1958 and tells the story of the Igbo warrior Okonkwo. "The white man is very clever. He came quietly and peaceably with his religion. We were amused at his foolishness and allowed him to stay. Now he has won our brothers and our clan can no longer act like one," says Okonkwo's friend, Obierika, in the novel. The poet Jackie Kay hailed Achebe as "the grandfather of African fiction" who "lit up a path for many others", adding that she had read Things Fall Apart "countless times”. She added: "It is a book that keeps changing with the times, as he did." (contactnews) On with this weeks show...

The weeks playlist Sunday 24th March 2013
 Hour One 
Dennis Edwards - Don't Look Any Further
Sunshine Anderson - Heard It All Before
Norman Connors - Easy Livin' [welcome bed]
AC Black - Emotional Feeling
Bobby Womack - That's The Way I Feel 'bout You
The O'Jays - Close To You
Seek - Talk About It
The Kazu Matsui Project - Let's Pretend
Angie Stone - Time Of The Month
Hil St Soul - Don't Forget The Ghetto

 Hour Two 
The late Bobby Smith (The Spinners) 
 1  If You Can't Be In Love  You Go Your Way  3  Love Is In Season   
Loose Ends - Love Controversy
Rock My World (Instumental jazzy track)
Jahiem - Looking For Love
Liz Hogue - Dream Lover
Glenn Jones - At Last
Simply Red - Angel
Gwen Guthrie - Love In Moderation

Gweneth Paltrow/Babyface - Just My Imagination
Maze - We Are One 

* Sorry due to the weather conditions the track listing is a bit of a mess -Merry

The Spinners (Bobbie 2nd)
DETROIT — Bobby Smith, longtime lead singer of The Spinners (Detroit Spinners, UK), died Saturday in Orlando of complications from pneumonia and the flu, his family said. He was 76. Smith had been diagnosed with lung cancer in November. The funeral will take place Monday in Detroit, where Smith will be interred, said the group's Jessie Peck. Smith's final performance came in mid-February during the Soul Train Cruise, said Peck. Smith, who had missed several gigs since his cancer diagnosis, was present on the cruise but not expected to perform during The Spinners' set. Then the group began to perform its 1974 hit Then Came You. "Like something out of a movie, Bobby shoots right out onstage and, showman that he is, grabs a mike and sings right on cue," Peck recounted. "The audience went bananas." Smith joined the group in 1956 when it was known as the Domingoes. Frustrated with frequent misspellings, group members soon sought a new name, and it was the suggestion of Smith, a lifelong car buff, that won the day: "Spinners" was a nickname for high-end hubcaps. Smith, whose first name was periodically spelled Bobbie, was lead voice on the group's first hit, 1961's That's What Girls Are Made For, produced with Harvey Fuqua, a link that led the group to Motown Records two years later. Smith and the Spinners enjoyed only minimal success during their Motown tenure, but broke big after signing with Atlantic Records in 1971 at the suggestion of Aretha Franklin. A stream of hits followed with Smith's prominent vocals: I'll Be Around, Could It Be I'm Falling in Love, One of a Kind (Love Affair), Then Came You, Games People Play. As the group maintained a busy touring and recording schedule, Smith left Detroit for New Jersey in the 1980s, later settling in Florida. (usa today)



Eric Roberson

A nice new album out  this week is from Nicola Willis and The Soul Investigators. The American singer, songwriter and painter who now lives and works in Finland! The stand-out Stepper track is best Days Of Our Life, nice retro soul sound production with stings and kitchen sink thrown in, the lyrics deal with how things always better when you look back at them. I'll just Sit And Daydream has a nice Chicago type production that would fit-in as a Week-ender type spin. Overall lots of variation in styles with good old fashioned production techniques. (mn) 

Also picking up a little interest is the new album by Lady entitled 'Lady', again good old-fashioned soul seems to be working for a lot of R&B outfits at this present time. The stand-out track for me is 'Sweet Mother' a song that would have not been out of place in last weeks Mothers Day Special. The catchy title track with it's piano riff is another Stepper to delight. I think having a good road band these days hold you in good sted for touring and also reproducing your own song live, unlike many so-called contemporary 'superstars' these days.

We have received several reports that Bobby Smith, co-founder and longtime lead singer of the Spinners, has died at age 76. Smith sang lead or co-lead on many of the group's biggest hits, including "I'll Be Around," "Could It Be I'm Falling In Love" and "Games People Play," and remained part of the legendary group for nearly 60 years. (souttrax)

Unsung (Documentary) - The Spinners... by GENERATIONDISCOFUNK

 Don't forget the free concert with Mr Merry's friends: The Notebenders, shown below.  Onto this weeks show.

This weeks playlist Sunday 17th March 2013

Hour One
Whitney Houston - Why Does It Hurt So Bad
The Escoffery's - Soul Searching
George Howard - I Apologise [welcome bed]
Melissa Young - Rock With Me
Ms Monique - Mr Do-Right
Lola - Let's All Call It A Day
Anthony David - Body Language
Bigg Robb - Macaroni & Cheese Song
Karyn White - Sista Sista
J. Blackfoot - Taxi
L.J Reynolds - Say You Will
Lynden David Hall - Crescent Moon
Luther VanDross - My Sensitivity

Hour Two
Eric Roberson: '3-Ina-Row'
 1  How Could She Do It Been In Love Right Back To You
Alfonzo Hunter - Girlfriends
A Few Good Men - Tonight
Curtis Mayfield - Only You Babe
T.S Monk - Can't Keep My Hands To Myself
Paulino De Costa - DeJavu
Jeffrey Valentine - You Stayed Still
Stevie Wonder - All I Do
Matt Covington - We Got Love
Charlie Wilson - I Still Have You

Eric Roberson biography
Eric Roberson (born September 25, 1976) is an American R&B and soul singer-songwriter from Rahway, New Jersey, United States. He is sometimes referred to simply as Erro. Roberson started his journey as a high school actor, landing prominent roles in "The Tap dance Kid", Grease", and "Anything Goes". In 1990, he won "Mr. Black teen Universe, winning a scholarship to Howard University in Washington, DC. His first single, "The Moon", was released through Warner Bros. records in 1994. Roberson recorded an album for that label, which remained unreleased. He subsequently returned to Howard University to complete his studies in Musical Theatre. After performing in a number of musicals and plays, he landed a songwriting deal through the EMI label, and went on to collaborate with Philadelphia-based artists such as Jill Scott, Musiq Soulchild, and most extensively, DJ Jazzy Jeff. As a member of Jeff's A Touch Of Jazz production company, Roberson made contributions to Jeff's debut album, The Magnificent in 2002. He continues songwriting work as well as releasing his own material through his Blue Erro Soul imprint. He also appeared on DJ Spinna's Intergalactic Soul LP in 2006. It was rumored in 2009, that Eric was going to team up with recording artist sensation One_Over with his debut album "In Loving Memory of J Dilla". (wikipedia)


Mothers Day Special

In this weeks music news...Great new album out by the ex-Montclairs singer Phil Perry this week entitled 'Say Yes'. Contains the killer  quiet storm track "Peel The Veil". Two other storm songs feature saxophonist Najee and other guests include Chante Moore. Perry was also in the Group, Perry & Sanlin with great tracks too. He has now released over eleven solo albums and overall this is a fine addition to his unbroken series of  fine albums, don't hesitate to purchase. (MN)

If you haven't caught the TV series 'Unsung' yet, you must. It's broadcast in the States by TVOne it makes fabulous one-hour programs about forgotten soul heroes. The latest episode is about the Whispers, who incidentally are celebrating their 50th year in the music business this year, well done guys. Oh you can watch old shows on YouTube, new ones here: tvoneonline.com

By now you will all have heard about the Hagley Road murder in the week near Five Ways, Birmingham of Christina Edkins. The police have arrested a man but are still looking for the the murder weapon. This is a photo of the suspected murderer as he got off the bus. If anybody can help further, then please do so. He was wearing a distinctive jacket seen here.  A book of remembrance has been opened at nearby St Peter's Church, in Lapal, Halesowen, where people can go to light a candle. Several supermarkets in Halesowen have started collections for Christina's family.

This weeks radio program is devoted to our Mothers everywhere! Thank you for the love you give us. Please enjoy some music that was made for you today...

This weeks playlist for Sunday 10th  March 2013

Hour One
Ms Monique - A Single Mother
Dennis Edwards - Mothers Love
Gerall Albright - So Amaizing [welcome bed]
The Impressions - That's What Mama Say
Cheryl Pepsii Riley - Thanks For My Child
Jaheim - Back Together Again
Jamie Foxx - Wish You Were Here
Sanchez - Amazing Grace
Terry Garman - Any Way
Spice Girls - Mama
Jill Scott - Family Reunion (edit)

Hour Two
Betty Wright - Thank You
Sizzla -Thank You Mama
Maze feat Frankie Beverly - Lady Of Magic
The Intruders - I'll Always Love My Mama
2-Pac - Mama
Kandice - Mama Was Right
Nina Simone - My Baby Just Cares For Me
Natalie Cole - This Will Be
Barbara Acklin - Love Makes A Woman
Jean Knight Mr. Big Stuff
Candi Staton - Yourg Hearts Run Free
The Emotions - The Best Of My Love
Jill Scott - Family Reunion


Chantay Savage

Richard Street (far left) Damon Harris (right)
More departures in the Soul news this week...Richard Street, a member of legendary Motown Records group The Temptations, died early Wednesday morning (Feb. 27) at a hospital in Las Vegas. He was 70. "He was really fighting for his life," his wife Cindy told CNN. "He's a fighter. They're dancing up there in heaven, him and Damon. I'm in disbelief right now." She's referring to Damon Harris, another member of The Temps, who passed away last week. Street officially joined the group in 1971, replacing Paul Williams, for whom he was already singing vocals for from off-stage, while Williams lip-synched. Prior to that, he worked in Motown's quality control department and also sang in other groups like the Distants and the Monitors, which included future members of the Temptations.

"He was part of black history," said his wife. "He was always proud of that. He sang on a lot of those classic songs: 'Papa Was a Rollin' Stone,' 'Hey Girl,' 'Heavenly,' 'Superstar,' 'Masterpiece.'" According to his wife, Street was troubled by back pain and had difficulty breathing last Friday (Feb. 22). Once in the hospital, doctors found a clot in his lung. Though he left the Temptations in the early 90s, Street continued on stage, reportedly performing 45 dates in Europe just last Fall. (Boombox)

 Zoe Saldana is playing Nina Simone in an upcoming biopic on the late singer, but she's not letting criticism of her being cast in the role get her down. "I guess what kept me from being hurt by the negative comments was that I'm doing it for my sisters and my brothers," she said in an interview with Hip Hollywood. "And I don't care who tells me I'm not this or I'm not that. I know who I am, and I know what Nina Simone means to me." She went on to explain that even if the film is met with a negative reaction, she'll keep her chin up. "Nina was like that too," she explained. "I did it all out of love. Out of love for Nina. Out of love for my people and who I am. And my pride of being a black woman and a Latina woman and an American woman, and that's my truth." (boombox)

Playlist for Sunday 3rd March 2013
 Hour One 
Gladys Knight & The Pips - Neither One Of Us 
Curtis Mayfield - Only You Babe
Art Porter - Under Cover [welcome bed]
Gweneth Paltrow & Babyface - Just My Imagination
Ledisi & Jaheim - Stay Together
Sounds Of Blackness - He Took Away All My Pain
Eddie Towns (ET) - Magic In The Air
Black Street - Falling In Love Again
Sunfire - Young, Free & Single  
Barbara Mason - On And Off
Candy Brown - Since I Found You
Shirley Brown - After A Night Like This

 Hour Two 
Chantey Savage: 'Three in a Row'
 1  All Of My Love Round & Around  Let's Do It Right
Eric Benet - Why You Follow Me
Brian Cuthbertson/Kenny Lattimore - Another Love
Chaka - Everywhere
Dwele Who Knows Your Name?
The Manhattans - Crazy 
Eric Benet - Don't Let Go
George Benson - Turn Your Love Around
Gwen Guthrie - Love In Moderation
Foxy - Mademoiselle

Chantay Savage Biography:
 Before Savage signed a recording contract, she parlayed success into gigs as a session musician, singer, and songwriter with artists such as CeCe Peniston and Tanya Blount, she co-wrote Peniston's number one Dance single "We Got a Love Thang". In 1993 she released her first single "If You Believe" from her debut album Here We Go..., her follow-up "Betcha'll Never Find" became a top twenty dance and R&B hit on the Billboard chart. She also released the singles "Don't Let It Go to Your Head" and "Give It to Ya".

In 1995 she teamed up with Aaliyah, En Vogue, BlackGirl, Mary J. Blige, Vanessa Williams, SWV, and others for the single "Freedom" from the movie Panther.

Savage took two years off before she returned in 1996 with "I Will Survive" from her second album I Will Survive (Doin' It My Way). The lead single became a moderate smash in the U.S., where it reached #5 on Billboard's R&B chart, and number 12 in the UK Singles Chart. The single was also certified gold by the RIAA for US single sales of over 500,000 units. In 1997 she, along with Deborah Cox, Heavy D, and Brownstone performed Janet Jackson's #1 single "That's the Way Love Goes" at the Soul Train Music Awards tribute to the popular icon. In 1998 Savage scored another minor hit with "Reminding Me (Of Self)", performed by Common. It was a top 10 hit on Billboard's Hot Rap chart.

In 1999 she released her third album This Time, its first single "Come Around" which peaked at number 62. Savage wrote all the lyrics and played piano and drums. In 2003, she collaborated with spoken word artist Malik Yusef on the song "Auto-Eroticism" on his album The Great Chicago Fire: A Cold Day In Hell. Three years later, she appeared on a remake of the Earth Wind & Fire hit "September" for Full Flava's Music is Our Way of Life album. Also that year, she recorded the theme song for BellaNutri titled "Always Beautiful" as well as an additional track "Shine" which was released on a CD for the company.

In 2012, she collaborated with another spoken word artist, Quill, on his track "Everything Must Change." (wiki)