Billy Paul’s career was not limited to one hit single
Natalie Cole emerged from a large shadow to become a star in her own right
The Fantastic Johnny C scored with a funky hit in ’67
The world lost a musical giant when Maurice White died last week at 74
Young-Holt Unlimited scored with a ’68 hit … but was it them?
Maxine Nightingale delivered a British soul smash in 1976
Stevie Wonder broke new artistic ground with a trio of classic albums
Saying goodbye to Otis Clay and David Bowie
Happy New Year! In 1967, Aretha Franklin released “A Natural Woman (You Make Me Feel Like)” on Atlantic Records. The song was written by Carole King and Gerry Goffin, with some help from Jerry Wexler, who also produced the single. The backing musicians included members of the legendary Swampers from Muscle Shoals — Spooner Oldham on keys, Tommy Cogbill on bass, guitarist Jimmy Johnson — along with King Curtis on sax, and backing vocals by the Sweet Inspirations and Aretha’s sisters Carolyn and Erma.
Ken Shane selects his favorite albums of 2015
It’s New Year’s Eve! Everybody’s waiting for The Midnight Hour
Peace on earth, and goodwill to all.
Donny Hathaway’s 1970 single has become a holiday standard
Brook Benton scored a big comeback hit in 1960
Ken Shane recommends some of the year’s best music books
A funked up cover of an already funky Bill Withers tune scored in ’74
Luther Ingram released his indelible soul classic in 1972
There is much to be thankful for today
Robert Parker and the legendary Wardell Quezergue collaborated on a ’65 smash
The world lost a musical giant when Allen Toussaint died this week
A rare foray into the ’80s for a neo-soul smash with a classic soul pedigree
The stars aligned in Muscle Shoals and produced a big hit for R.B. Greaves
JJ Jackson scored big with his classic dance hit in 1966 and again in 1969
Lee Dorsey had a string of classic Crescent City hits in the ’60s
Leon Haywood has had more than 20 R&B hits in a long and varied career.
A career of brilliant variety came to an end when Wilton Felder died this week
New York City had one big hit and a history of legendary connections
The Zombies were the second English group to have a #1 single in the US, trailing only the Beatles for that distinction, when their 1964 debut single “She’s Not There” reached the top of the Cashbox chart in this country. Now, more than 50 years later, the Zombies are still going strong. Their latest album, Still Got That Hunger, will be released on October 9. On September 30 the band will embark on their latest US tour. In recent years lead singer Colin Blunstone and keyboard player Rod Argent, both founding members of the Zombies, have been touring with a band that includes bass player Jim Rodford (formerly of Argent, and the Kinks), Rodford’s son Steve on drums, and guitar player Tom Toomey. The upcoming tour will be special in that the band will be playing their fabled 1968 album Odessey & Oracle in its entirety for the first time in the US, and they will be doing it with original Zombies drummer Hugh Grundy, and songwriter/bass player Chris White who joined the band in …
James & Bobby Purify launched their career with a Muscle Shoals classic
An overlooked group, a legendary producer, and a songwriter I should have gotten to know better