Rufus & Chaka Khan

floydIn the news this week...US Blues news sources are carrying the story that Floyd Taylor died last Thursday 20th February. He was aged 60. His younger brother TJ Hooker Taylor said "He died pretty much the way my dad died: a heart attack at the age of 60." "Dad" of course was soul legend Johnnie Taylor who died of a heart attack aged just 66.

Floyd Taylor was born in Chicago in 1954 to Mildred Singletary and Johnnie Taylor who was then an itinerant Gospel singer. As a young man, Floyd was determined to pursue a music career and in 1973 he formed a group called The Peace Band. He then spent some time in his father's road band before signing a solo deal with Malaco Records where he released two albums. He then worked for CDS Records and Arita Records for whom he cut his last long player 'Shut 'Um Down' which featured a passable cover of his father's 'What About My Love'. In 1998 he was voted "Entertainer Of The Year" by the Chicago Blues Society. (soultracks)

The first Black woman to win the crown of Miss Israel says she believes the country has real problems with its treatment of refugees and immigrants from Africa, but that the situation is improving. I’m not ashamed to say that there is racism in Israel; it’s a problem, but it’s a problem that Israel is working on and it’s something that Israel is trying to fix and it’s actually improving,” Yityish “Titi” Aynaw, 22, told BuzzFeed in an interview at the lobby of Washington, D.C.’s Palomar Hotel.“ I don’t feel the racism, me, exactly,” Aynaw said. “But my family feels it sometimes.” more: atlantablackstar

Seven people have been charged with drug offences after a series of police raids at homes on the road dubbed 'Benefits Street', including one of the stars of the Channel 4 programme known as 'Black Dee' .Samora Roberts, 32, who is known as 'Black Dee' on the programme which follows the life of people living off benefits in James Turner Street, Winson Green, was among those charged following the raids. She has been charged with conspiracy to supply a class B controlled drug, conspiracy to supply a class A controlled drug (crack cocaine), possession of a Class A controlled drug (diamorphine), and possession of ammunition for a firearm without a certificate. The drug raids took place in June 2013 following concerns raised by the local community. Also charged is Tina Thomas, 46, on counts of conspiracy to supply Class B drugs (cannabis) and possession of ammunition without a certificate. Charlene Wilson, 29, faces counts of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs (crack cocaine) and Class B drugs (cannabis) and possession of diamorphine. Ian Wright, 38, is charged with conspiracy to supply Class A drugs (crack cocaine) and conspiracy to supply Class B drugs (cannabis). Monique Walker, 28, is charged with conspiracy to supply Class A drugs (crack cocaine) and Marvin Scott, 37, faces a count of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs (crack cocaine).All six live on James Turner Street. express&star

Mr Merry gave away a free ticket today for Mary Wilson's show; The Drum will present Up Close with Mary Wilson of The Supremes on Tuesday, February 25 at 7pm, as part of the venue's 20th anniversary celebrations. A spokesman for The Drum said: "This will be a unique opportunity to hear Mary perform, ask her questions, and learn more about the life, influences and experiences of a sensational artist whose career clashed with an era of great political and social transformation. "Ms Wilson and The Supremes broke colour barriers in the 1960s as one of the era's most successful singing groups, charting an amazing twelve Number 1's between 1964 - 69, spreading the sound of Motown across America and opening the door for future African American R&B and Soul musicians to find mainstream success. "Still performing with the same passion, Mary is now using her fame and flair to promote humanitarian efforts around the world as an author, motivational speaker, and former US Cultural Ambassador. Join us for an unforgettable evening of fantastic music and fascinating discussion with a true legend." birmingham mail

 This Weeks play list, Sunday 23rd. February 2014

Hour One
Johnnny Gill - Feels So Much Better
Deborah Cox - Sound Of My Tears
Euge Groove - Just My Imagination
Dianne Reeves - Dreams
Eric Benet - Don't Let Go
Jeniqua - Making Love
Jennifer Holiday - It's Not ABout You
Seasons & Reasons - Rewind
Jean Terrell - How Can I Live Without Love
Kase Sounds - Cover Me
Lauren Hill - Nothing Even Matters
Betty Wright - I Miss Ya

Hour Two
Rufus & Chaka Khan: Sweet Thing,
You Can Make The Story Right & Do You Know What I Feel

Gap Band - Keep Holding On
Two Tons Of Fun - Never Like This Before
Joe - Express Yourself
Charles Wright  - Express Yourself
Beres Hammond - Do This World A Favor
Algebra Blessett - U Do It For Me
Atlantic Starr - Silver Shaddow
James Brown - Get On The Good Foot (Pt. 1)
Glen Goldsmith - Dreaming

Rufus & Chaka Khan Biography:

This Chicago-based group evolved from the American Breed when three original members, Al Ciner (guitar), Charles Colbert (bass) and Lee Graziano (drums), were joined by Kevin Murphy (keyboards), Paulette McWilliams (vocals), Ron Stockard and Dennis Belfield. Initially known as Smoke, then Ask Rufus, it was several months before a stable unit evolved. Graziano made way for Andre Fisher, but the crucial change came when Chaka Khan (Born Yvette Marie Stevens, 23 March 1953, Great Lakes Naval Training Station, Illinois, USA) joined in place of McWilliams. The group, now known simply as Rufus, signed with the ABC label in 1973, but made little headway until a chance encounter with Stevie Wonder during sessions for a second album. Impressed by Khan's singing, he donated an original song, "Tell Me Something Good", which, when issued as a single, became a gold disc. It began a run of exceptional releases, including "You Got The Love" (1974), "Sweet Thing" (1975) and "At Midnight (My Love Will Lift You Up)" (1977), all of which topped the R&B chart. By this time Rufus had stabilized around Khan, Murphy, Tony Maiden (guitar), Dave Wolinski (keyboards), Bobby Watson (bass) and John Robinson (drums), but it was clear that the singer was the star attraction. She began recording as a solo act in 1978, but returned to the fold in 1980 for Masterjam, which contained "Do You Love What You Feel", another number 1 soul single. Khan continued to pursue her own career and perform with Rufus, who secured an international hit in 1983 with "Ain't Nobody". The song was written by Wolinski, by now an established figure in soul circles through his work on Michael Jackson's Off The Wall. The distinction between Chaka Khan's successful solo recordings and her work with Rufus has become blurred over the years, but it remains arguable whether or not she achieved the same empathy elsewhere.

Rufus (ABC 1973)**, Rags To Rufus (ABC 1974)****, Rufusized (ABC 1975)****, Rufus Featuring Chaka Khan (ABC 1975)***, Ask Rufus (ABC 1977)***, Street Player (ABC 1978)***, Numbers (ABC 1979)*, Masterjam (MCA 1979)***, Party 'Til You're Broke (MCA 1981)**, Camouflage (MCA 1981

Chaka Khan & Rufus - Sweet Thing by PeteRock


The Impressions

Eric & Roy
In the news this week...Eric Roberson: "Mr Nice Guy at The Drum 9th. February." I first discovered 'Erro' back in 2001 by chance and have never looked back since. I have been to see him 7 times before this and can never tire of viewing this talented performer. His stage presence is so warming and infectious you can’t help but get involved, as he connects so easily with his audience. I’ve seen him several times at the Jazz Café and every visit he makes to Birmingham ....... I’m there! I have introduced so many people to this man I have lost count, his music never disappoints. Well done to Punch Records for bringing him to the Drum here in Birmingham.   

The show I'm told was sold out!, but I think we could have had at least 100 more people, I’m sure we would have squeezed them in? What a fantastic show, if you weren’t there you missed a show that had it all; passion, humour and great vocals. Absolutely amazing! He just gets better and better with time, the free-styling set is always good fun; bun and cheese, bench and batty,effervescent, and Benefits Street were the chosen topics, which he then creates songs from and somehow manages to tie it all together. He is simply a genius, I must apologise for Benefits Street, as this was my input, just to make it relevant to Birmingham, but as usual he smashed it. (check my video at foot of the page) A true entertainer, the band were on the money and were so tight, when you see people leaving with a smile you know you’ve been to a good show. I feel like I know him personally as he has so much time for his fans, which he never leaves out, spending time to sign albums and take pictures. I know his music touches so many people, I can only wish him great success and longevity. A true Mr nice Guy! - Roy Grey (aka Crazy G)

"Well Eric Roberson was in town at The Drum as Roy just said. I was there too, did see him a few years before this time, thinking;"Can he top the last time I saw him" well Yes! You cannot beat seeing artists live. He made sure that who came to see him, well .. they was made to feel part of the show! As a few people said to me; "What does Eric Roberson sing?", I just said; "No Matter what he sings, just go to the show!",

Being a DJ on the radio, not all the songs he sings I know, but they were good! He is the King of the Independent Soul and you can tell. I did try to get an interview, but his back-room helpers were no help, and I did buy my own ticket for the show, Please also support  the other live acts in Birmingham soon, S.W.V, Angie Stone and Kenny G" (+The Impressions are at Islington Ass. Hall, London 9/3/14) - Mr Merry

Playlist for Sunday 16th February 2014

Hour One
Lalah Hathaway - Breathe
Marvin Gaye - What's Going On
Weldon Irvine - What's Going On
Paris [Holley] - I Chose You
Latoya London - Scandalous
Archie Bell - It's Hard Not To Like You
Gwen McCrae - I Can Only Think Of You
Jahiem - Looking For Love
Charlie Wilson - There Goes My Baby
Harold Melvin - I Really Love You
Luther Vandross - I Think About You
Quincy Jones - Heaven's Girl

Hour Two
Impressions: Starbright, It's Alright &
Something To Look Back

Stevie Wonder - All I Do
Whispers - Crusin' In
Donell Jones - The Fines Things In Life
Faith Evans - I Jst Can't
Aaliyah - Rock The Boat (Rmx)
Maze - Joy & Pain
Koffee Brown - Weekend Girl
Justin Timberlake - Untii The End Of Time
Eric Benet - Better & Better

Biography for The Impressions:
Formed in Chicago in 1957 and originally known as the Roosters, this group comprised Jerry Butler (Born 8 December 1939, Sunflower, Mississippi, USA), Curtis Mayfield (Born 3 June 1942, Chicago, Illinois, USA, d. 26 December 1999), Sam Gooden (Born 2 September 1939, Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA), and brothers Richard Brooks and Arthur Brooks (both born in Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA). Mayfield and Butler first met in the choir of the Travelling Soul Spiritualists Church, from where they formed the Modern Jubilaires and Northern Jubilee Singers. The two teenagers then drifted apart, and while Mayfield was involved in another group, the Alphatones, Butler joined Gooden and the Brooks brothers in the Roosters. Mayfield was subsequently installed as their guitarist. Dubbed the Impressions by their manager, the group's first single for Abner/Falcon, "For Your Precious Love", was a gorgeous ballad and a substantial hit, reaching number 11 in the US pop chart in June 1958. The label credit, which read "Jerry Butler And The Impressions", caused internal friction and the two sides split after one more release, "Come Back My Love". While Butler's solo career gradually prospered, that of his erstwhile colleagues floundered. He and Mayfield were later reconciled on Butler's 1960 single "He Will Break Your Heart', the success of which (and of other Mayfield-penned songs) rekindled the Impressions" career. (more at: www.music.us/biography)

Eric Roberson performing "Bottom On My Beech" at The Drum (thanks to Roy Grey)


Eric Roberson

Fay Thompson - RIP
In the news this week... sad news about the passing (via Shirley Cooper) of Fay Thompson. Fay had done community work in the past and had recently been featured in a Birmingham Mail article about bad landlords.The celebration of life service for Fay Thompson will be on Wednesday 12th February, 2014, at Nechells Outreach Centre, 264 Long Acre, Nechells, B7 5JP. Time: 10:30am. She will be laid to rest at Sutton New Hall Cemetery, Lindridge Road, Sutton Coldfield, B75 7HX. Time: 13:30 We are also inviting all those who knew and loved her to join us for refreshments and food at The Emerald Suite, 214 Green Lane, Small Heath, Birmingham, B9 5DH. More at Shirley's Blog

A Motown fanatic from Detroit has discovered Marvin Gaye’s 1964 passport hidden in an album he bought for 50 cents from a house clearance. The incredible find is detailed in the latest episode of Antiques Roadshow (the U.S. version), with the collector explaining how he came across the passport:
“It came to me by pure accident. For years, I worked for the Motown Museum here in Detroit, started when I was 18 years old. I was a Motown collector – anything Motown, I loved. And after a Motown musician had passed, we had gone to their house to pick up some items that the family wanted to donate to the museum, and they had said, ‘Is there anything else you wanted? Because otherwise, it’s going to be in the estate sale this weekend.’ More at Factmag

This dog footage of Faith is from YouTube and is amazing. I think he wears a harness in the street but when in the park he gets to run free. Thought I'd would share it with you today. Have a nice Sunday. As a bonus ant the foot of this page I have put the new Unsung US TV show about the Manhattans, n-joy.

Sundays playlist & Podcast, 9th. February 2014

Hour One
Louis Armstrong/Leon Thomas - The Creator Has A Mastor Plan
Alan Stone - is This Love
Najee - Sweet Love
LaToya London - Every Part Of me
Will Downing - You Were Ment For me
Heatwave - Mind Blowing Decisions
Kenny G - If I Ain't Got You
Jermaine Jackson - You Like Me, Don't You?
Ty Causey - No More Broken Hearts
Barry White - You're The One I Need
R Kelly - Spendin' Money
Maxi Priest - One More Chance
Justin Timberlake - Take Back The Night

Hour Two
Eric Roberson x3 - Still, Lil Money & Been In Love

Bobby Womack - How Could I Break Your Heart
Betty Wright - Like Your Loving
Eric Benet - Better & Better
Cheryl Lynn - Sweet Kind Of Love
Candy Bowman - Since I Found You
Zushi - Suprise, Suprise
Darwin Hobbs - Everyday
Melba Moore - Standing Right Here

Eric Roberson Biography:
Eric Roberson (September 25, 1976) is a singer, songwriter and producer from Rahway, New Jersey. He is sometimes referred to simply as Erro, the name which he later used as part of his label Blue Erro Soul. His first single, "The Moon", was released through Warner Bros. Records in 1994 and recorded an album for that label which remains 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.


Jamie Foxx

Sharon Jones keeps it real
In the news this week...Vocal powerhouse Sharon Jones isn’t going to let cancer stop her from giving the people what they want, she tells Fiona Shepherd. Sharon Jones lost her mother to cancer two years ago. The Brooklyn soul queen was touring Europe with her band The Dap-Kings when she was told that Ella Mae Price Jones had died, but chose to go ahead with her next scheduled date – in Glasgow. Jones, a powerhouse performer at the best of times, poured out her pain on stage at this worst of times in an unforgettable act of vocal catharsis.
For Jones is a soul singer of the old school, digging deep to deliver the kind of performances which have left audiences reeling at home and abroad. “I have to know the story,” she says of her approach to lyrics. “I have to live it, get to the stage that I can tell that story.”  Just over a year after that riveting night in Glasgow, Jones had her own cancer story to relate when doctors diagnosed stage one bile duct cancer. Fortunately, the early detection of the tumour gave her a good chance of full recovery. The release of her fifth album Give The People What They Want was put on ice last summer while Jones had surgery, followed by six months of chemotherapy. more at: scotsman.com

Anna Gordy Gaye, who was married to soul singer Marvin Gaye and whose brother Berry Gordy founded Motown Records, died at her Los Angeles home early Friday. She was 92. Ann Gordy founded Motown Records in Detroit in 1959. He named one label subsidiary after his sister. It was on that subsidiary, named Anna, that Marvin Gaye recorded some of his earliest work. He and Gordy Gaye were married about a decade and co-wrote some songs together before they divorced in 1976. She received $600,000 in royalties from him, while Marvin Gaye used it as inspiration for “Here My Dear,” a 71-minute musical recount of the breakup. The singer and his second wife met while he was still married to Gordy Gaye. He and his second wife married in 1977 but divorced four years later. He died in 1984, during a violent argument with his father. Gordy Gaye’s sister, Esther Gordy Edwards, proceeded her in death. She died in 2011, at age 91. Gordy Gaye’s survivors include her son, Marvin Gaye III. (AP)

Mr. Merry recommends...12 Years a Slave is a 2013 British-American historical drama film and an adaptation of the 1853 memoir of the same name by Solomon Northup, a New York State-born free negro who was kidnapped in Washington, D.C. in 1841 and sold into slavery. He worked on plantations in the state of Louisiana for twelve years before his release. The first scholarly edition of Northup's memoir, co-edited in 1968 by Sue Eakin and Joseph Logsdon, carefully retraced and validated the account and concluded it to be accurate.

Playlist for Sunday 2nd February, 2014

Erkah Badu - On & On
DeRobert & The Half-Truths - I just Don't Care
DeRobert - Inst-pan version
Lisa Stansfield - Never, Never Gonna Give You Up
Omar & Pino Palled - There's Nothing Like This
Margi Coleman - How I Miss You
Donnell Jones - The Finer Things In Life
Jaheim - Ain't Leavin' Without You
Sharon Jones & Dap-kings - We Get Along
Dawn Robinson - Set It Off
Chevelle Franklin - Spirit Filled (rmx)
Sire - Make It Everlasting
Eric Roberson - Better & Better

Jammie Foxx x3 - Warm Bed, Sexy, Wish U Were Here
Marine Girault -Been Thinking  About You
People, People - Are You Spoken For
Katie Cole - Think About It
LA Mix - We Shouldn't Hold Hands In Dark
Michael Cooper - Steppin' To A Love Song
Lot - Ain't Got Time
LaToya London - Scandalous
Sybil - Walk On By
Gwen Guthrie - Save Your Love For Me
Gwen Guthrie - Outside In The Rain

Jamie Foxx's Biography:

Born Eric Morlon Bishop on December 13, 1967 in Terrell, Texas, people know him as the American actor, Jamie Foxx. To divorce with her husband, his mother Loise, let Foxx be adopted by her parents, Mark and Esther Talley, when he was still seven months old. Wanted to be able to play piano, Foxx got his first piano lessons at the age three at his grandmother's insistence.

As he grew up, Foxx went to high school ...

during which he played quarterback for his high school team and was good enough that he got press in Dallas newspapers. Went on to college he kept continuing to study music and attended Julliard to study classical piano, where got a music scholarship. After his graduation, Foxx spent his two years time from 1986 to 1988 studying at the United States International University which currently known as Alliant International University.

Read more: http://www.aceshowbiz.com/celebrity/jamie_foxx/biography.html#ixzz2sBI1z2a0