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Prince Tag

Soul Serenade - Rufus and Chaka KhanOnce upon the ’60s there was a band out of Chicago called the American Breed, and in 1968 they had a big hit with a song called “Bend Me, Shape Me.” Eventually two of the band’s members, Chuck Colbert and Lee Graziano, encountered a bar band called Circus, and added a couple of that band’s members to a lineup that also included two latter-day members of the American Breed. They called the new band Smoke.

By 1970, Smoke had new managers, and a new name … Ask Rufus, which eventually became just plain Rufus. Lineup changes included the departure of Colbert and the addition of Dennis Belfield on bass. The following year the band signed to Epic Records, and following the recording of one unreleased album departed Epic in 1972. That year Graziano left as well, and Rufus added a young singer by the name of Chaka Khan.

This Mix Six originally posted in 2008 is being reposted in light of the death of Prince on April 21, 2016.  The Kid was only 57, yet his musical output was seemingly endless.  I became a fan of his music in the early ’80s when it was clear he was on his way to being a superstar.  Through the ’90s and 2000s, he was always trying to push himself into new musical territory that sometimes left his fans scratching their heads.  When I did this Mix Six, I wanted to feature songs that were both familiar and not-so-familiar. I think I got the right balance.  Though most will have their favorites, these are just a sampling of mine.  — Ted

DOWNLOAD THE FULL MIX HERE

The other day I was purifying myself in the waters of Lake Minnetonka and I started thinking about all the cruel, I mean, cool things Prince has done to me over the years. You know, when I covered “Nothing Compares 2 U,” I did so without his permission, and he invited me over to his house and started punching me. Because I’m a pacifist, all I could do was spit on him. And then there was this one time when I was hangin’ at Club 3121, and Prince walks up to me and says the club is only for “the select.” I replied that I wish he hadn’t disbanded the Revolution, and then he just went off on me. He took off his purple bandanna, put it around my neck, and said, “Don’t you make me ruin my favorite bandanna by chokin’ the life outta you, sucka.” I said “It’s coo’ … it’s coo’,” and Jerome personally threw me out of the club.

I love Prince!

Seriously, I do love Prince’s music, and have since I first heard him in high school. The album was Controversy, and while my high school soundtrack consisted of a lot of new wave, hard rock, and pop, soul music (which Prince’s music was considered prior to the release of 1999) was not a big genre in my record collection. I remember showing my older brother the Controversy album cover and asking him, “Hey, have you heard this guy?” He pulled out a copy of Dirty Mind from his record collection and said, “Yeah.” Stuck to the cover of his copy was a news story from the Associated Press wire (yellow paper and all) that basically recounted how shocked people were when they heard all the sexual references and noises on Prince’s records. Considering how sexually open many songs are nowadays, it seems kind of quaint to read stories like that. But the early ’80s were another time.

Soul Serenade - LatimoreThe music business has a long history of artists who go by just one name. Think Prince, or Cher, or Madonna. I suppose the feeling is that if you can be known by just one name you must be someone important, and as you can see from the list above, that’s usually the case. I don’t think Latimore can lay claim to the same rarified air that the others breathe, but earned his single-name designation in his own way.

Friday Five : |ˈfrīdā - fīv| : On the sixth day of every week, I hit the shuffle button in iTunes and share the first five tracks and thought for each track. Sometimes there is a playlist involved, occasionally we'll have a guest, but most