Calvin Richardson

In the news this week..welcome to the 'new look' Mr Merry page, also new a album from Don-E being spun in the show today.... He (Don-E) broke onto the music scene in the Nineties on Island Records with his now classic underground club and sound system smash ‘Unbreakable’ and the Top 20 hit ‘Love Makes The World Go Round’. The new album is a beautifully crafted collection of songs from the up-tempo party vibe of the opening track ‘i got it’(Barkays Open up your heart) to the infectious Eighties-flavoured Barry White Early Years groove ‘Feelin U’.  Don-E's additional production on the tracks brings them right up to date with the sonics of the 21st century! Banging basslines and hard hitting drums and infectious guitar riffs makes sure to keep u grooving! As don like to say "your neck knows its phat!"

There is a stand-out duet,feat Natasha Watts on top of the rare groove classic by Esther Phillips "i hope you'll be unhappy without me", The album closes with a stunning mid-tempo jam ‘live it up"on top of the rare groove classic "lover to lover"  Don-e is a perfect product of his environment rooted in the heart of Brixton, the busy multicultural London suburb where he has built his own studio and has absorbed the diversity and wealth of musical influences of the street.  In recent years he has been focusing primarily on writing and producing for other artists, among them Sean Kingston, Jordan Sparks, Cheryl Cole, Kiesha White,Omar and,The British Collective.the list goes on! His other activities have included touring with Grace Jones and also studio and live work with genius producer Brian Eno also presenting vocal master classes on MTV.

Following his father’s gift of a home made guitar on his fifth birthday, Don-e became hooked at an early age. Several years - and instruments -later he stepped out of school straight into the UK music scene. He was influenced by his parents’ collection of gospel and classic soul legends Aretha, Marvin, Stevie, Sly, Curtis and Donny Hathaway. He also listened to Parliament, Funkadelic, Earth, Wind & Fire but he soon found there were other influences available in the music of Bob Marley, Dennis Brown and Sugar Minott. All around him were the sounds of Reggae, Dub, Lover’s Rock, Jazz, Funk, Pop and then later Bashment, Jungle and House and Garage. He embraced all this and more, combining melodies, sounds and rhythms to create a style that would be identified as his own.

 A former roadie for The Clash who was awarded £17,000 in damages after being racially abused and attacked by a group of police officers says he is still waiting for an apology – seven years after the attack. Donville Lorenzo began civil action after he was held in a police cell in November 2007 for more than 23 hours, assaulted and called a ‘f****** n*****’ by officers.Nineteen people, including two retired officers, two civilian police staff and 15 serving officers are still under investigation for the incident, which started in Mr Lorenzo’s Edgbaston home and left him covered in bruises in a police cell. The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) launched an investigation last June, which is also looking at the forces subsequent professional standards investigation, which found ‘no case to answer’. More

Track list for Sunday 31-08-2014

(show in mono as NS studio mixer faulty)
Joe - Come Get To This
Karyn White - Sista Sista
Vince Ingala - Just Imagine
J. Poww - Thank You
Liz Hougue - Dream Lover
Thelma Jones - Salty Tears
Don-E - Big People Tings
Maxi Priest - One More Chance
Whitney Houston - For The Love Of You
Omar Cunningham - Beauty Shop
Aysha - Stay With Me

Calvin Richardson x3
1 Vibe 2 Lovin' You
3 There Goes My Baby

Archie Bell - It's Hard Not To Like You
Charles Wright - Express Yourself
Lin Rountree - You Rock My World
Don-E - You're Special
Sylvia Striplin - You Can't Turn Me Away
Teddy Pendergrass - Good To You
Lisa Stansfield - You Can't Deny
Quincy Jones - I'll Be Good To You

Calvin Richardson Biography:
He is friends with K-Ci & JoJo whom he met while singing on the gospel circuit. Richardson was signed to Tommy Boy Records in the early 1990s as a member of the R&B group Undacova, whose song "Love Slave" appeared on the soundtrack to the 1995 film New Jersey Drive. In the mid 1990s, Richardson went solo and signed with Universal Records. His debut album, Country Boy, was released on August 24, 1999, selling 100,000 units. Despite this he was dropped by Universal. Shortly thereafter, he signed a contract with Hollywood Records. On September 16, 2003, he released his second album, 2:35 PM. The album was given that name because Richardson's child was born at that time, just before completing the album. It featured the minor R&B hit "Keep On Pushin'", a song Richardson wrote and produced by himself. He originally recorded the song "More Than a Woman" a duet with Angie Stone which originally appeared on her 2001 album Mahogany Soul. Richardson would later re-record the song as a solo track for 2:35 PM. An alternate version of the song- which replaces Richardson's vocals with new ones from Joe- was nominated for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal at the 2003 Grammy Awards. The album also included popular songs such as The Underdogs produced single "Not Like This as well as the Raphael Saadiq produced "Falling Out". The album was produced by The Underdogs, Jake & Trevor, Young RJ, and Raphael Saadiq. more at Wiki

Final thought for the day:


The Controllers

In the wake of the police shooting of Michael Brown and the resulting unrest in Ferguson, Mo., Black leaders of all stripes have traveled there to seek justice, support the residents and bring resolution to the ongoing conflict. Iyanla Vanzant, a nationally recognized spiritual life coach, was among those leaders. And, in an upcoming special episode of “Iyanla: Fix My Life,” which airs on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, the ordained minister takes to the streets of the city to listen and talk to the people who have been negatively impacted and join the community in its search for a path from violence to healing. More:

Fish eye view of the Diskery
Nick Byng, a writer for the Birmingham Grapevine Magazine paid a visit to the Diskery this week and took many photographs. The record business on the corner of Bromsgrove Street, B1, has been in continual operation since 1952 when the late owner Maurice Hunting had his first shop in the city center, Moor Street, he later moved into Hurst Street in the 1960's. When the China Town redevelopment started to take place they moved to the present location in 1972. It's one of a very few surviving vinyl outlets still running and that's thanks to Liam & Jimmy who run it from day-to-day and look after it's many loyal customers, some of which have been visiting the shop for over 50 years! The photographer Nick spends quite a bit of his time recording 'the old' Birmingham, and its good that someone takes the time to hold on to our history. Grapevine pages

Playlist for Sunday 2 4-08-2014

Kenny G - If I Ain't Got You
Anita Baker - Same 'ole Love (365Days a year)
George Howard - Steppin' Out
Dylan Jenet Collins - Could It Be
Hill St. Soul - Until You Come Back
Dwele - Without You
DaPaul - She's So Entertaining
Jon B - They Don't Know
C+C Music Factory - Share The Beat Of Love
Conscious Plat - Black Pharaohs
Emotions - The Feeling Is
Intro - Ribbon In The Sky

Controllers x3
1 Listen To The Children 2 We Don't
3 Secret Fantasy

The Futures - Ain't Got Time Fa Nothin'
Wornell Jones - The Love We Share
Archie Bell - It's Hard Not To Like U
Barbara Mason - On & Off
Shirley Brown - After A Night Like This
Billy Paul - Bring The Family Back
Linda Clifford - Runaway Love

The Controllers Biography:
Originally part of an eight-member gospel group, the group became four in number by the time they entered junior high school, comprising Reginald McArthur (baritone lead), Ricky Lewis (tenor lead), Larry McArthur and Leonard Brown. Their growing reputation in the Birmingham area led to an introduction to Cleveland Eaton, bassist for the Ramsey Lewis Trio. Under Eaton's guidance, The Soul Controllers, as they were then called, recorded their first single, called "Right On Brother, Right On". It became a regional hit while they were still attending Fairfield High School.

In 1976, the group came to the attention of Juana Records, run by Frederick Knight, also from Birmingham. Recording at the Malaco Studios in Jackson, Mississippi, their first single on Juana charted, but it was their second release, "Somebody's Gotta Win, Somebody's Gotta Lose", that really established them. The song, a ballad lasting over eight minutes on the album, climbed to #8 on US Billboard R&B chart, and #3 on the Cash Box soul chart in 1977. The group's on-stage performances also helped them to open for Ray Charles, Nancy Wilson, B.B. King and The Temptations. More


Algebra Blessett

In this weeks news .... Everything about the new Smokey Robinson album, Smokey and Friends, warned me to have low expectations. There have been too many similar albums that have shown the formula -- the pairing of a musical legend with younger singers on duet remakes of that artist's biggest songs -- is more about flash than music. However, I nonetheless had hope because, after all, this is Smokey Robinson. But history rarely lies; it has shown that it is best not to think about an album like Smokey and Friends as a meaningful musical event. It is best to think it in the way you would think about the covers band at your cousin's wedding: you'll know all the words to the songs, everything will hopefully be in tune, and it will all sound better if you're drinking. - See more at:

Happy birthday to Maysa Leeke, born today in 1966. Mr Merry is spinning her tune 'Sophisticated Lover' today. Masa  after receiving her degree from Morgan State University, Maysa headed to Southern California to perform with Stevie Wonder’s female backup group Wonderlove, while with Wonder, Maysa was a vocalist on the Jungle Fever soundtrack and performed on numerous television shows including The Arsenio Hall Show, Oprah and The Tonight Show. It was during an over-the-telephone audition in the early 90s, that Maysa become a member of the acclaimed British jazz/funk/R&B band Incognito and in 1992 she relocated to London and recorded Tribes, Vibes & Scribes, featuring the hit single "Don't You Worry 'Bout A Thing." Since then, Maysa has appeared on over seven Incognito recordings.

Not Cool. This is one of those instants where family greed is just over the top! Music legend James Brown cannot rest in peace -- his body has reportedly been moved 14 times due to family disputes. In addition, his body has been dismembered as part of a paternity dispute. Speaking with London’s The Mail on Sunday, Brown’s widow, Tomi Rae calls the situation tragic after one of Brown’s was cut up following a DNA testing ruling by a judge to determine if Brown was the father of Rae’s son, James Jr. “They couldn’t do the normal DNA test because of all the embalming fluid in his body,” Rae said. “So they had to cut off his legs to get to his bone marrow. I wept uncontrollably when I found out. My husband, the greatest dancer in the world, had his legs hacked off in death.” This is horrific! (singersroom)

Sunday's playlist 18-08-2014

US only LP 2010
Smokey Robinson - Cruisin' (2010 remix)
Aretha Franklin - People Get Ready
Maxwell - Ascension (inst)
Maysa* - Sophisticated Lover (*born today!)
Jeniqua -  Makin' Love (remix)
Dee Robinson - I Like It
Deluxe - (I've Got A) Feeling
Gladys Knight - Old School
Somi - Ginger Me slowly
L.J. Reynolds - Say You Will
Syleena Johnson - Guess What
Jermaine Jackson - There's No Better Way

Algebra Blessett x3 (bio/vid below)
Japan only released CD
1 I Know 2 Mystery
3 Do It For Me

Next - Looking For Love
Tracy Carter - Everyday
B. Thompson - Jameela
Conscious Plat - Black Pharaohs
Sunny Hawkins - Love Me Too
Eric Benet' - Better & Better
Co_ed - Sumthin' On U
The Dramatics - Key To The World

Algebra Blessett Biography:
Blessett's mother was a gospel singer and bass player, and she grew up to the sounds of soul music, gospel and R&B. Like many R&B singers, she sang in a gospel choir when she was in school. As an original detail, however, she has added in interviews that this was not so much out of passion, but rather because she was not good at sports, and wanted to stay after school with her friends.
Music career
Blessett started doing background vocals, among others for R&B artists Monica and Bilal. This earned her a contract with Rowdy Records in Atlanta. She has toured with Anthony Hamilton, and collaborated with India.Arie. At a later age she learned to play the guitar, and started to do her own gigs in the Atlanta club scene. She writes her own songs. Blessett released her first single "U Do It For Me" on the Kedar Entertainment label in 2006. She released her first album titled Purpose in 2008.  In 2014, her sophomore effort Recovery was released.
Blessett's debut album Purpose was on the US Billboard R&B chart for 14 weeks, and reached #56. It also landed #37 on Heatseekers Albums.  The sophomore, Recovery made her first debut on Billboard 200 charting #149. It also entered #2 on Heatseekers Albums and #23 on Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums. (wikipedia)


The Stylistics

Video a foot of page!
In the news this week...Husband and wife duo, Kindred the Family Soul, released their new album A Couple Friends this past June. Now, the inspirational singers have released a music video for the albums title track, and united with iconic singer-songwriter Valerie Simpson for the visual. Often compared to Ashford & Simpson it’s fitting that Fatin and Aja join forces with Valerie for the video to the uplifting track. “Aja’s verse is a tearjerker to me and so eloquently expressed,” shares Fatin. “The song is special to us and to have Ms Valerie Simpson on it is the cherry on top.” Celebrate real love, commitment and romance with the new video below: (ThisIs&B)

It seems as if singer Omarion and his girlfriend Apryl Jones have finally dropped their baby load! Delivering the 7 pound 4 oz baby only yesterday, the couple is already in love with their new addition to the family. Both taking to their respective Instagram accounts yesterday, they revealed to the world small details of the birth of their son. Naming him Megaa Omari Grandberry, the “MIA” singer is in complete awe with what he calls his “legacy”. Under his photo, Omarion praised his small family. (ThisIsR&B)

The American record company executive and producer, Henry Stone, has died. Henry was 93. He passed away on Thursday the 7th of August at the Mercy Hospital in Miami of natural causes. Henry’s active musical career spanned a period of over half a century. He was, probably best remembered for being the co-owner and president of TK Records.
Stone on phone, Lattimore on right, TK Studio
Henry’s was playing trumpet in his early childhood, later serving in the U.S. Forces, performing in inter-racial groups, and leaving the army in 1947. He relocated to Los Angeles, working for Jewel Records, Modern Records, before relocating again in Miami, Florida. In Miami, Henry set up a distribution company called Seminole. He worked for, or distributed sides for many artists, including Ray Charles, Earl Hooker, The Charms and James Brown. Henry later worked with several Miami based artists, including Betty Wright, Timmy Thomas, KC and the Sunshine Band, George McCrae, Beginning of the End, Latimore, Gwen McCrae, Peter Brown and Bobby Caldwell. His TK Records imprint ceased operating in 1981. Henry later became involved with Hot Productions, later setting up his own label, The Legendary Henry Stone Presents... In 2004, Henry was awarded the first ever Pioneer Award for the Dance Music Hall of Fame. Henry is survived by his wife Inez, and his children Donna, Joseph, Lynda, Crystal, Sheri, Kim and David and 14 grandchildren. (soulwalking.co.uk)

This weeks show 10-08-2014

Melissa Young - Rock With Me
Nina Simone - I Wish I Knew How It..
Nice Bossa remixes
..Would Feel To Be Free (Studio Rio mix)
Euge Groove - Just My Imagination
Sharon Jones/Dap Kings  - We Get Along
Keith Sweat - Think (Mama Used To Tell Me)
Gap Band - Keep Holding On
Allen Stone - Is This Love
Luther Vandross/Busta Rhythms - Lovely Day
Jill Scott - Family Reunion
Joe - Future Teller
Angie Stone - No More Rain in This Cloud
Ledisi - Stay Together

Stylistics x3 (bio below)
1 Your A Big Girl Now 2 Peek A Boo
3 Change Is Good Sometimes
New book

The Chi-LItes - Running Around
Thew Jackson Five - Blues Away
Jean Carne - Don't Let It Go Head
The Vibrations - Shake It Up
Benny Golson - I'm Always Dancin'
Randy Brown - We Ought To Be Doing It
The Staple Singers - Let's Do It Again
The Staple Singers - I'll Take You There
Maze - We Are One
Archie Bell - Don't Let Love Got U Down

The Stylistics Biography:

The Stylistics were formed in 1968 from the fragments of two Philadelphia groups, the Monarchs and the Percussions, by Russell Thompkins Jnr. (Born 21 March 1951, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA), Airrion Love (Born 8 August 1949, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA), James Smith (Born 16 June 1950, New York City, USA), Herbie Murrell (Born 27 April 1949, Lane, South Carolina, USA) and James Dunn (Born 4 February 1950, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA). The quintet's debut single, "You're A Big Girl Now" was initially issued on a local independent, but became a national hit following its acquisition by the Avco label. The Stylistics were then signed to this outlet directly and teamed with producer/composer Thom Bell. This skilful musician had already worked successfully with the Delfonics and his sculpted, sweet-soul arrangements proved ideal for his new charges. In partnership with lyricist Linda Creed, Bell fashioned a series of immaculate singles, including "You Are Everything" (1971), "Betcha By Golly Wow" and "I'm Stone In Love With You' (both 1972), where Simpkins" aching voice soared against the group's sumptuous harmonies and a cool, yet inventive, accompaniment.

The style reached its apogee in 1974 with "You Make Me Feel Brand New', a number 2 single in both the USA and UK. This release marked the end of Bell's collaboration with the group, who were now pushed towards the easy listening market. With arranger Van McCoy turning sweet into saccharine, the material grew increasingly bland, while Thompkins" falsetto, once heartfelt, now seemed contrived. Although their American fortune waned, the Stylistics continued to enjoy success in Britain with "Sing Baby Sing", "Can't Give You Anything (But My Love)" (both 1975) and "16 Bars" (1976), while a compilation album that same year, The Best Of The Stylistics, became one of the UK's bestselling albums. Despite this remarkable popularity, purists labelled the group a parody of its former self. Ill health forced Dunn to retire in 1978, whereupon the remaining quartet left Avco for a brief spell with Mercury Records. Two years later they were signed to the TSOP/Philadelphia International Records stable, which resulted in some crafted recordings reminiscent of their heyday, but problems within the company undermined the group's progress. Subsequent singles for Streetwise took the Stylistics into the lower reaches of the R&B chart, but their halcyon days seemed to be over, even though they released new material in the mid-90s.


Musiq Soulchild

In the news this week...Idris Muhammad, a funk, R&B and jazz drummer of the first order, has died at 74. His cause of death was not immediately known, but Muhammad had been receiving dialysis since retiring to his native New Orleans in 2011. In accordance with his conversion to the Muslim faith, Muhammad was immediately buried after dying on Tuesday (July 29). Born Leo Morris, Muhammad made an early name for himself in soul and R&B circles. At just 16, he played drums on Fats Domino’s 1956 smash ‘Blueberry Hill.’ Other early highlights included work with Sam Cooke, a turn on Curtis Mayfield‘s timeless ‘People Get Ready‘ and a stint with a group called the Hawkettes, which featured his neighbor Art Neville (later of the Meters and the Neville Brothers) on piano. (more at Boombox)

Jill Scott has returned to the cover of ESSENCE magazine as she shows off her New Look on the September issue. The soulful songstress, who recently dropped 63 pounds, flaunts her slimmer figure in a bodycon Ekineyo dress and a striking platinum blonde wig. In her cover story, Scott dishes on her weight loss journey and finding clothes that compliment her curves. “If you really enjoy fashion…then you have to be versatile,” she says. Jill has also found love again but she stresses the importance of keeping her love life private. “My only job is to be happy,” she says. “So for everybody that cares about me and is not trying to be all up in a celebrity’s business, just know that I’m happy. My son is happy. We enjoy our lives.” (if she can do, we all can??? - ed) More at This Is R&B

Track Listing for Sunday 3-08-2014

Amazonics - Redemption Song
Zara McFarlane - Police & Thieves
Maxwell - Ascension (inst)
EOL - Love The Way
Papik - Baby I Love The Way
Anthony David - Body Language
Don-E - Feelin' U
Latoya London - Scandalous
Ray,Goodman & Brown - Were
                      Did You Get That Body Baby
Carl Thomas - Anything
JS/R-Kelly - Angel Love
JP Cooper - What Went Wrong

Musiq Soulchild x3 
1 Soulstar 2 Newness 3 My Girl

Raphael Saadiq/Teedra Moses - Chic
Michael Cooper - Steppin' To A Love Groove
Cee Lo Green - My Kinda People
Quincy Jones & VA - I'll Be Good To You
People, People - Are You Spoken For
Glen Goldsmith - Dreamin'
Groove Association - Old Skool Magic
Maze - Before I Let Go

Musiq Soulchild Biography:

Philadelphia-born Taalib Johnson, aka R&B artist Musiq (Soulchild), grew up the oldest of nine children. The son of a die-hard '70s soul music fan, Musiq performed at Philly showcases like the Five Spot and Wilhemina's until his management team, Mama's Boys (Jerome Hipps and Michael McArthur), brought him to the attention of Def Jam Records. Musiq's debut album, 2000's Aijuswanaseing, was recorded mostly at Touch of Jazz Studios in Philadelphia. His first single, "Just Friends (Sunny)," appeared on the soundtrack to Nutty Professor II: The Klumps, and two years later, Musiq released his second album, the spiritual and personal Juslisen, which debuted at number one on Billboard's Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. The following year brought the widely acclaimed Soulstar, and after moving to Atlantic, Musiq released Luvanmusiq, (2007), OnMyRadio (2008), and MusiqintheMagiq (2011). While his albums largely retained a laid-back, ballad-oriented sound, two of his biggest hits -- "B.U.D.D.Y." and "Anything" -- were uptempo club numbers that sampled disco hits from 1981 (Taana Gardner's "Heartbeat" and Central Line's "Walking Into Sunshine," respectively). In 2013, he teamed up with Syleena Johnson and producer Kemar McGregor for 9ine, a set of contemporary reggae duets released on the Shanachie label. (allmusic.com)