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, BeyoncĂ© 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.