Al Green

In the news this week.... Lauryn Hill has managed to avoid jail time by signing a last minute deal with Sony. In order to pay the $504,000 in back taxes which she owes, Sony will receive five songs from Hill, and will also provide recording funds for a new album, which the label will release. (AP)

 Mention Omar is known as "The Godfather of UK Soul" for his unique mix of R&B, jazz, funk and Latin music. Artists from Erykah Badu to Stevie Wonder have worked with him and his work has been influential, especially to the growth of the neo-soul movement. Yet he has never truly broken through in the United States, despite the massive success of his seminal hit “There’s Nothing Like This” in the UK. He has only released a handful albums in his more than 20 years of recording—which means that the release of any new Omar album is truly an event. On June 18, 2013, Shanachie Entertainment will release Omar’s first new album in seven years, a work titled most aptly THE MAN, featuring Caron Wheeler of Soul II Soul, Stuart Zender of Jamiroquai and Pino Palladino.

We have a sneak peek at the album with the title track, another great piece of funky, jazzy soul from the master. Check out "The Man" below and tell us what you think! (soultracks)

TJ  Boyce
The Houston, Texas R&B man T.J. Boyce is gearing up to release his debut EP entitled “The Life,” and he's letting out some snippets here and there to a welcoming audience around the world. While TJ is finalizing the EP, he's released to SoulTracks another sneak peek at The Life. It's a smooth, slinky slow jam called "Heaven" that has an old school vibe we think you'll like. Check it out and tell us what you think of T.J. Boyce! His site (soutracks)

On a final note, last week we sadly lost singer/actor  Richie Havens. He was one of those rare guys that soul fans, folk & rock music lovers all liked, he'll be sadly missed. This is his version of a rock song re-aimed at 'The Man', or the System.

This weeks playlist, Sunday 28th April 2013

Hour One
Maze feat: Frankie Beverly - Can't Get Over U
Anita Baker - Same Ole Love (365 Days A Year)
Euge Groove - Livin' Large [bed]
Mtume - C.O.D (I'll Deliver)
Teddy Pendergrass - 2AM
The Impressions - I Wish I'd Stayed In Bed
Maze feat: FB - I Want To Feel Wanted
Shirley Jones - Do You Get Enough Love
Millie Jackson - Love Is A Dangerous Game
Chocolate Milk - Action Speaks Louder Than Words
Bobby Womack - How Could You Break My Heart
Barry White - Midnight & You (inst)

Hour Two
Al Green 'Three-Inna-Row':
1 How Can You Mend A Broken Heart?
2 God Is Standing By
3 What A Wonderful Thing Love Is

Rick Clark/Emma - I Really Want To Be With You
Light Of The World - London Town
Rick Clarke - One Dance (Don-E edit)
Kenny Thomas - Turn It Up
Keni Burke - I Need Your Love
Carrie Lucas - Hello Stranger
Juicy - Sugar Free
Maze feat: FB - While I'm Alone

Al Green Biography:
Born Al Greene, 13 April 1946, Forrest City, Arkansas, USA. Having served his musical apprenticeship in the Greene Brothers, a fraternal gospel quartet, this urbane singer made his first recordings in 1960. Four years later he helped form the Creations with Curtis Rogers and Palmer Jones. These two companions subsequently wrote and produced "Back Up Train", a simple, effective ballad and a 1967 R&B hit for his new group, Al Greene And The Soul Mates. Similar releases fared less well, prompting Green's decision to work solo. In 1969, Green shared a bill with bandleader Willie Mitchell, who took the singer to Hi Records. The combination of a crack house band, Mitchell's tight production and Green's silky, sensuous voice, resulted in some of soul's definitive moments. The combination took a little time to gel, but with the release of "I Can't Get Next To You" (1970), they were clearly on course. Previously a hit for the Temptations, this slower, blues-like interpretation established an early pattern. However, the success of "Tired Of Being Alone" (1971), a Green original, introduced a smoother perspective. A US number 11 and a UK number 4, it was followed by "Let's Stay Together" (1971), "I'm Still In Love With You" (1972), "Call Me (Come Back Home)", "Here I Am (Come And Take Me)" (both 1973), each of which increased Green's stature as a major artist. (edited/music.us)


Aaron Neville

 My good friend and soprano saxophonist Courtney Pine is performing in Birmingham next week at The Drum, please check his show out, it is going to be a great album launch. You may remember I played some tracks from his new album a while back when I spoke to him at The Andy Hamilton tribute show when Courtney he was last in town.

Today would have been the 99th birthday for Pauline Henriques. She was born today in 1914. Herself along with Connie Smith was the first Black actresses on British television (BBC) on the 16th September 1946 in Eugene O'Neil's 'All God's Chillin' Got Wings', shown here in a rare photograph from 1950.

Also born today was soul singer Bobby McClure. Departed we have Al Wilson (2008) and Earl Hooker (1970) Information from PCRL web site.

Above is a facebook clip we thought we needed to share with you. people of a sensitive disposition please don't watch!

Check this link for a free download of the Silvia Striplin remix:

Playlist for Sunday 21st April 2013

Hour One
Karyn White - Sista Sista
Melisa Morgan - Heartbreaking Decision
Gerald Albright - Bermuda Nights [bed]
Mike Winans - You Deserve A Break
Jeffrey Valentine - You Stayed Still
Dylan Janet Collins - Could It Be
Phil Perry - You Send me
Charlie Wilson - I Still Have You
Barbara Mason - Shakin' Up
Curtris Mayfield/Linda Clifford - Love's Sweet Sensation
Beyonce - Party
Hil St. Soul - Don't Forget The Ghetto
Bilal - Soul Sista

Hour Two
'Three-Inna-Row' - Aaron Neville:
1 I Can't Imagine
2 Say What's In My Heart
3 Tell It Like It Is

Al Hudson & Soul Partners - Spread Love
Portrait - All Natural Girl
Loose Ends - Choose Me
Dennis Taylor - Enough Is Enough
Keni Burke - I Need Your Love
LaToya Jackson - Camp Kucha Kia
Roy Ayers - Everybody Loves The Sunshine
Chuki Booker - Games
Luther Vandross - She Loves Me Back

Aaron Neville Biography:
Born 24 January 1941, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA. Neville began performing in the Hawkettes, a group that also featured his brother Art Neville. Aaron was signed to Minit Records as a solo artist, but despite a minor hit with "Over You" (1960), he remained largely unknown until the release of "Tell It Like It Is" (1966). This simple, haunting ballad showcased the singer's delicate delivery while the song's slogan-like title echoed the sentiments of the rising Black Power movement. Sadly, the single's outlet, Par-Lo, went bankrupt, and despite subsequent strong releases, Neville was unable to repeat its commercial success. In 1978, following the break-up of the Meters, Aaron joined Art, Cyril and Charles in the Neville Family Band, later renamed the Neville Brothers. He continued a parallel solo career and in 1989 enjoyed an international hit with "Don't Know Much", a duet with Linda Ronstadt. The first of several recordings for the A&M Records label, Warm Your Heart was a strong collection but the subsequent releases failed to do justice to Neville's astonishing voice. The singer found more worthy material with a pair of gospel releases (Devotion and Believe) in the new millennium.


Don Blackman

Ca$h Converters no more!
For those of you, like myself that didn't catch it in the local news, the Ritz Ballroom in Kings Heath burnt down a short while back (27/3/12.) It was more recently a branch of the national pawn brokers 'Cash Converters,' I purchased my first guitar from them when they occupied the new market building just over the road. So many people from this branch will now out of work. No one was hurt when the fire broke out at about 5am but police are treating the fire as suspicious. 

The old Ritz as it was
Smoke damage has also caused problems for other shops in the area. The building is located next to the now famous 'Hare & Hounds,' the Victorian public house, venue to many great Soul/Jazz acts over the last few years. The Ritz itself has had a few big bands itself such as the Rolling Stones & the Beatles in the 1960's. (nold)

The Late Don Blackman
Sad news with the death of Don Blackman on Friday (12-4-13). The American pianist, singer, songwriter, producer, was 59.  Don passed away after a long fight against cancer. At the beginning of the 1970's, Don played with the likes of Parliament, Funkadelic, Earth, Wind and Fire, and Roy Ayers. He later became a member of Lenny White's group Twennynine. Don penned the tracks 'Peanut Butter' and 'Morning Sunrise' for the group. He released his self-titled debut solo album in 1982 on the Arista Records imprint 'Don Blackman' contained the songs 'Holding You, Loving You', 'Heart's Desire' and 'Since You've Been Away So Long. The album later became a rare groove release in the later eighties, with 'Holding You, Loving You', later being sampled on the hip hop track 'Too Complex' by L. The Head Toucha. Don wrote many tracks as a session musician for the likes of Kurtis Blow, Bernard Wright, Sting, Roy Ayers, Jay-Z, Janet Jackson and Tupac Shakur. Mr Merry will feature three of his songs/productions in today's show! (soulwalking)

News just in, Saturday 13th, of the death of Vince Montana musician and writer for Philadephia International Records has now been reported, he was 83. A mainstay for the PIR labels/Artic

Dylan Duffus, son of Bill Duffus (PCRL poet) was featured in a two hour Channel Four TV documentary 'One Mile Away' about gangs in the Handsworth area of Birmingham. Dylan had took on a lead role in the controversial film about life in Handsworth's B6/B21 area's, '1 Day'  that the Guardian newspaper had called Brittan's first Hip-Hop musical in 2009. His father had written the poem 'Wake Up Black Man' that was in the form of an open letter to the Handsworth Community and had been used by Birmingham black radio station, PCRL as a jingle or station ID. (nold)

This weeks playlist Sunday 14th April 2013

Hour One
Magic Lady - Misty Eyed
Cheryl Lynn - If This World Were Mine
George Howard - No, No [welcome bed]
Barry White - Early Years
Stone Love - Can't say Bye
Intro - Ribbon In The Sky
Phil Perry - Say Yes
George Howard - I Wan't You For Myself
The Sounds Of Blackness - I Believe
H-Town - Full Time
Stevie Wonder - ?

Hour Two
Don Blackman (R.I.P.) 'Three-Ina-Row'
1 Sylvia St.James - So I say To Yo [wrote]
2 Weldon Irvine - I Love You [wrote]
3 Don Blackman - Holding You, Loving You

Rahshaan Patterson - I'll Go
Eddie Henderson - Prance On
Phil Perry - You Send Me
The Manhattans - Crazy
Anthony David - Body Language
One Way - Don't Think About It
Dexter Wansell - The Sweetest Pain
Angie Stone - Baby


James Brown

Cecil & DJ Frenchie
First off this week although I helped promote the book launch for Masters Of The Airways last Sunday I was quite embarrassed to find that the book does not include any contributions from Cecil Morris, although he was invited to speak at the book launch. For those that don't know Cecil is the reason that Birmingham and other cities around the UK (not including London incidentally) now have Black run radio stations. His work from the late 70's until 2003 (when he was forced to stop broadcasting by a court injunction) in Birmingham with Radio Star/PCRL and help from Anthony Jeffers (Daddy Pilot) and many presenters (over 250) including myself and Mickey Nold, proved to the UK Government the need for this type of radio license. So I do hope their next book will include some mention of this! - Merry (visit PCRL's site: www.pcrlfm.co.uk )

Onto the music news this week.... Ron Isley is more than just a great singer; he's an R&B legend, with over a half century as one of the most lauded singers in the world. The Isley Brothers lead singer and, more recently, Mr. Biggs, is getting ready to release a new solo album on EOne Music, and we have a sneak peek with a brand new soulful song called "Dinner and a Movie." click me to listen

For those that like a bit of sax, Boney James is back with Concord Records and with a dynamic, genre-busting album called The Beat. One of the most successful instrumental artists of our time with sales totaling over 3 million records, James’ new project fuses his R&B/Jazz roots with Latin rhythm and percussion. “This record was born of my love for both Latin and R&B music and became a mash-up of the two genres.  The initial inspiration for the record was Sergio Mendes’ “Batucada (The Beat),” which I re-imagined as a funk tune.” “Batucada (The Beat)” reunites Boney with trumpet great Rick Braun. “Rick and I have a wonderful history. There is a certain edge and energy that comes out when we play together that creates a really cool vibe.” Other special guests on the project include eclectic R&B soul singer Raheem DeVaughn and spoken word phenom The Floacist. The first Urban AC single, going for adds in mid-February, is “Maker of Love,” a sexy, soulful song featuring DeVaughn. “Raheem is an artist I’ve wanted to work with for a long time and we actually met by following each other on Twitter! I sent him the track and he came back with an incredible lyric and finished vocal,” says James
Cee Cee Winans
Motown Records takes a giant step into the ever-expanding Gospel music field as the result of a joint venture partnership with EMI Gospel, creating a new label Motown Gospel. The first signed was Cee Cee Winans. The announcement was made by Barry Weiss, Chairman & CEO, UMG East Coast Label Group and Bill Hearn, President & CEO, Capitol Christian Music Group.  "UMG's acquisition of EMI music offered the ideal opportunity to merge the EMI Gospel label with the strength of the newly revitalized Motown Records," said Mr. Weiss.  "The new Motown Gospel label will offer broader Urban AC crossover potential and further opportunities and synergy between Motown Gospel artists and the Motown and Island Def Jam urban roster."  Motown Gospel was officially launched tonight, with a gala press reception and artist showcase at the Arc Theatre in Los Angeles. The evening featured performances by Gospel best sellers Smokie Norful, Tasha Cobbs, Tye Tribbett, and Kierra Sheard.  In addition to the artists who performed at the showcase, the Motown Gospel roster includes multiple Stellar Award winning artists VaShawn Mitchell, Pastor Charles Jenkins and Fellowship Chicago and Grammy nominee Anita Wilson, among others. (soultracks)

This Weeks Playlist for Sunday 3rd April 2013

 Hour One 
Art Madison -  Moon Lite Lover
Lala - There 4 You
George Benson - Breezin' [welcome bed]
Pati LaBelle - When You've been Blessed
Aretha Franklin - It Only Happens
Brandy - Missing You
The Impressions - I'm So Proud
Ms Monique - ooh baby
Dawlins & Dawkins - Miracle
Luther VanDross - For You To Love
Anita Baker - Feel The Need

 Hour Two 
 'Three-Ina-Row': James Brown
Hot Pants / King Heroin / Cold Sweat (more info:)
Greg Willis - Give Her What She Wants (She's A Lady)
The Futures - Ain't Got Time Fa Nothin'
The Gap Band - Keep Holding On
The Chi-Lites - Running Around
The Jacksons - Blues Away
The Jones Girls - Nights Over Egypt
The Valentine Brothers - This Kind Of Love
? - Rock My World (Inst - Trumpet)

James Brown 'King Heroin' lyric:

full page add in Blues & Soul 1972
Ladies and Gentlemen
Fellow Americans
Lady Americans
This is James Brown
I wanna talk to you about one of our
Most deadly
Killers in the country today
I had a dream the other night, and I
Was sittin' in my living room
Dozed off to sleep
So I start to dreamin'
I dreamed I walked in a place and
I saw a real strange, weird object
Standin' up talkin' to the people
And I found out it was Heroin
That deadly drug that go in your veins
He says:
I came to this country without a passport
Ever since then I've been hunted and sought
My little white grains are nothin' but waste
Soft and deadly and bitter to taste
I'm a world of power and all know it's true
Use me once and you'll know it, too
I can make a mere schoolboy forget his books
I can make a world-famous beauty neglect her looks
I can make a good man forsake his wife
Send a greedy man to prison for the rest of his life
I can make a man forsake his country and flag
Make a girl sell her body for a five-dollar bag
Some think my adventure's a joy and a thrill
But I'll put a gun in your hand and make you kill
In cellophane bags I've found my way
To heads of state and children at play
I'm financed in China, ran in Japan
I'm respected in Turkey and I'm legal in Siam
I take my addicts and make 'em steal, borrow, beg
Then they search for a vein in their arm or their leg
So, be you Italian, Jewish, Black or Mex
I can make the most virile of men forget their sex
So now, no, my man, you must (you know) do your best
To keep up your habit until your arrest
Now the police have taken you from under my wing
Do you think they dare defy me, I who am king?
Now, you must lie in that county jail
Where I can't get to you by visit or mail
So squirm - with discomfort - wiggle and cough (hack!)
Six days of madness, hah! You might throw me off
Curse me in name! Defy me in speech!
But you'd pick me up right no if I were in your reach
All through your sentence you've become resolved to your fate
Hear now! younng man and woman, I'll be waitin' at the gate
Don't be afraid, don't run! I'm not chased
Sure my name is Heroin! You'll be back for a taste
Behold, you're hooked!
Your foot is in the stirrup
And make -- haste!
Mount the steed!
And ride him well
For the white horse of heroin
Will ride you to Hell!
To Hell!
Will ride you to Hell!
Until you are dead!
Dead, brother! Dead!
This is a revolution of the mind
Get your mind together
And get away from drugs!
That's the man!
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