Wednesday 9pm: Feature Artist – Valerie Ghent

Tonight on Feature Artist we place the music of Valerie Ghent.  Two albums are featured – first from 2016 – Velours and from 2012 – Day To Day Dream.  

Valerie Ghent (born May 2, 1964) is an American singer, songwriter, musician, record producer, and recording engineer from New York City. She began by playing the piano at age three and started taking cello lessons at the age of five before beginning to write songs when she was eight years old. Valerie later began her performing career when she joined Dizzy and the Romilars at the age of 15.

Valerie is a longtime keyboardist, vocalist and engineer with Ashford & Simpson. As a solo artist Valerie has released five albums under her own name: Unstoppable (1996), Day to Day Dream (2012), Muse (2014), Velours (2016), and The French Sessions (2017), and a remake of the Ben E. King hit Supernatural Thing (2013). Her first solo album, Unstoppable, was self-recorded with Jimmy Biondolillo employed as co-producer. In 2012 the single “Love Enough For a Lifetime” from Day to Day Dream hit #1 on iHeart Radio. Velours, which features 11 original songs written by Ghent, was recorded in the South of France and in New York. SoulTracks named Velours one of the Top 50 Albums of 2016.

Valerie has toured, performed and recorded with world-renowned artists including Ashford & Simpson, Debbie Harry, Defunkt, Valerie Simpson, Dr. Maya Angelou, Billy Preston, TM Stevens, and has worked as a recording engineer with Ashford & Simpson, Sir Cliff Richard, Nina Simone, Roberta Flack, and Luther Vandross.

Valerie started performing and touring in France in 2014 with French musicians affiliated with Association BLUES’UP, and recorded two more albums, Velours (2016) in New York and the South of France, and The French Sessions (2017), the latter recorded entirely in France and released on the Blanc Musiques label. – Wikipedia

Thursday 12:10pm: Alice’s Restaurant by Arlo Guthrie

“Alice’s Restaurant Massacree” is a record by singer-songwriter Arlo Guthrie, released as the title track to his 1967 debut album Alice’s Restaurant. It is notable as a satirical, first-person account of 1960s counterculture, in addition to being a hit song in its own right and an inspiration for the 1969 film, also named Alice’s Restaurant. The song is Guthrie’s most prominent work, based on a true incident from his life that began on Thanksgiving Day 1965 with a citation for littering, and ended with the refusal of the U.S. Army to draft him because of his conviction for that crime. The ironic punch line of the story is that, in the words of Guthrie, “I’m sittin’ here on the Group W bench ’cause you want to know if I’m moral enough to join the Army—burn women, kids, houses and villages—after bein’ a litterbug.” The final part of the song is an encouragement for the listeners to sing along, to resist the draft, and to end war.

The song consists of a protracted spoken monologue, with a constantly repeated fingerstyle ragtime guitar (Piedmont style) backing, bookended by a short chorus about the titular diner; Guthrie has used the short “Alice’s Restaurant” bookends and guitar backings for other monologues bearing the Alice’s Restaurant name. The track lasts 18 minutes and 34 seconds, occupying the entire A-side of the Alice’s Restaurant album. The work has become Guthrie’s signature song and he has periodically re-released it with updated lyrics.

Wednesday 8pm: Across The Tracks Featuring The Miracles

The Miracles (also known as Smokey Robinson and the Miracles from 1965 to 1972) were an American rhythm and blues vocal group that was the first successful recording act for Berry Gordy’s Motown Records, and one of the most important and influential groups in pop, rock and roll, and R&B music history. Formed in 1955 by Smokey Robinson, Warren “Pete” Moore, and Ronnie White, the group started off as the Five Chimes, changing their name to the Matadors two years later. The group then settled on the Miracles after the inclusion of Claudette Robinson in 1958. The most notable Miracles line-up included the Robinsons, Moore, White, Bobby Rogers and Marv Tarplin. After a failed audition with Brunswick Records, the group began working with songwriter Berry Gordy, who helped to produce their first records for the End and Chess labels before establishing Tamla Records in 1959 and signing the Miracles as its first act. The group eventually scored the label’s first million-selling hit record with the 1960 Grammy Hall of Fame smash, “Shop Around”, and further established themselves as one of Motown’s top acts with the hit singles “You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me”, “What’s So Good About Goodbye”, “Way Over There”, “I’ll Try Something New”, “Mickey’s Monkey”, “Going to a Go-Go”, “(Come ‘Round Here) I’m the One You Need”, “Just A Mirage”, “If You Can Want”, “More Love”, “I Don’t Blame You at All”, “Ooo Baby Baby”, The multi-award-winning “The Tracks of My Tears”, “Special Occasion”, “I Second That Emotion”, “Baby Baby Don’t Cry”, the number-one Pop smashes “The Tears of a Clown” and “Love Machine”, “Do It Baby”, and “My Girl Has Gone”, among numerous other hits.

Sunday 12pm: Bobby Jay’s Artist Profile – The Temptations

The Temptations are an American vocal group notable for their success with Motown Records during the 1960s and 1970s. Known for their choreography, distinct harmonies, and flashy wardrobe, the group was highly influential in the evolution of R&B and soul music. Having sold tens of millions of albums, the Temptations are one of the most successful groups in music history. As of 2017, the Temptations continue to perform with one original member, Otis Williams, still in the lineup.

Featuring five male vocalists and dancers (save for brief periods with fewer or more members), the group formed in 1960 in Detroit, Michigan under the name The Elgins. The original founding members were originally members of two rival Detroit vocal groups: Otis Williams, Elbridge “Al” Bryant, and Melvin Franklin of Otis Williams & the Distants, and Eddie Kendricks and Paul Williams of the Primes. In 1964, Bryant was replaced by David Ruffin, who was the lead vocalist on a number of the group’s biggest hits, including “My Girl” (1964), “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg” (1966), and “I Wish It Would Rain” (1967). Ruffin was replaced in 1968 by Dennis Edwards, with whom the group continued to record hit records such as “Cloud Nine” (1969) and “Ball of Confusion (That’s What the World Is Today)” (1970). The group’s lineup has changed frequently since the departures of Kendricks and Paul Williams from the act in 1971. Later members of the group have included singers such as Richard Street, Damon Harris, Ron Tyson, and Ali-Ollie Woodson, with whom the group scored a late-period hit in 1984 with “Treat Her Like a Lady”.

Over the course of their career, the Temptations have released four Billboard Hot 100 number-one singles and fourteen R&B number-one singles, and their material has earned them three Grammy Awards. The Temptations were the first Motown recording act to win a Grammy Award – for “Cloud Nine” in 1969[5] – and in 2013 received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. Six of the Temptations (Edwards, Franklin, Kendricks, Ruffin, Otis Williams and Paul Williams) were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989. Three classic Temptations songs, “My Girl”, “Just My Imagination (Running Away with Me)”, and “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone”, are among The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll. The Temptations were also ranked at number 68 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 100 Greatest Artists of all time. – Wikipedia

Tuesday 6pm: Across The Tracks – Roy Orbison

Today we feature the music of Roy Orbison and The Traveling Wilburys.  A new release titles “A Love So Beautiful” featuring Roy Orbison and The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra with a remix of some of his popular music. 

Roy Kelton Orbison (April 23, 1936 – December 6, 1988) was an American singer-songwriter known for his distinctive, impassioned voice, complex song structures, and dark emotional ballads. The combination led many critics to describe his music as operatic, nicknaming him “the Caruso of Rock” and “the Big O.” Between 1960 and 1964, 22 of his songs placed on the Billboard Top 40, including “Only the Lonely” (1960), “Crying” (1961), “In Dreams” (1963), and “Oh, Pretty Woman” (1964).

Born in Texas, Orbison began singing in a rockabilly and country and western band in high school. He was signed by Sam Phillips, Sun Records in 1956, but his greatest success came with Monument Records in the early 1960s. While most male rock and roll performers in the 1950s and 1960s projected a defiant masculinity, many of Orbison’s songs instead conveyed a quiet, almost desperate, vulnerability. His voice ranged from baritone to tenor, and music scholars have suggested that he had a three- or four-octave range. During performances, he was known for standing still and solitary, and for wearing black clothes, to match his jet black hair and dark sunglasses, which lent an air of mystery to his persona.

From the late 1960s to late 1970s, Orbison was marred by a number of personal tragedies while his record sales declined. He experienced a resurgence in popularity through the success of several cover versions of his songs and the use of his 1963 song “In Dreams” in David Lynch’s film Blue Velvet (1986) and his hit “Oh, Pretty Woman” as the title track to film Pretty Woman in 1990. In 1988, he co-founded the Traveling Wilburys supergroup with George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, and Jeff Lynne. Orbison recorded his last solo album, Mystery Girl, the same year but died of a heart attack shortly thereafter.

His honors include inductions into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987, the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in the same year, and the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1989. Rolling Stone placed him at number 37 on their list of the “Greatest Artists of All Time” and number 13 on their list of the “100 Greatest Singers of All Time’. In 2002, Billboard magazine listed Orbison at number 74 in the Top 600 recording artists. – Wikipedia

Monday 6pm: Across The Tracks – Aretha Franklin

This edition of Across The Tracks features Aretha Franklin Hits and her latest release of hits “Brand New Me” with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

Aretha Louise Franklin (born March 25, 1942) is an American singer and songwriter. Franklin began her career as a child singing gospel at the church of her father, minister C. L. Franklin’s church. In 1960, at the age of 18, Franklin embarked on a secular career, recording for Columbia Records but only achieving modest success. Following her signing to Atlantic Records in 1967, Franklin achieved commercial acclaim and success with songs such as “Respect”, “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman”, “Spanish Harlem” and “Think”. By the end of the 1960s decade she had gained the title “The Queen of Soul”. Franklin eventually recorded a total of 112 charted singles on Billboard, including 77 Hot 100 entries, 17 top ten pop singles, 100 R&B entries and twenty number-one R&B singles, becoming the most charted female artist in the chart’s history. Franklin also recorded acclaimed albums such as I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You, Lady Soul, Young, Gifted and Black and Amazing Grace before experiencing problems with her record company by the mid-1970s. After her father was shot in 1979, Franklin left Atlantic and signed with Arista Records, finding success with her part in the film The Blues Brothers and with the albums Jump to It and Who’s Zoomin’ Who?. In 1998, Franklin won international acclaim for singing the opera aria “Nessun dorma”, at the Grammys of that year replacing Luciano Pavarotti. Later that same year, she scored her final Top 40 recording with “A Rose Is Still a Rose”. Franklin’s other popular and well known hits include “Rock Steady”, “Think”, “Jump to It”, “Freeway of Love”, “Who’s Zoomin’ Who”, “Chain Of Fools”, “I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)” (with George Michael),and a remake of The Rolling Stones song “Jumpin’ Jack Flash”.

Franklin has won a total of 18 Grammy Awards and is one of the best-selling musical artists of all time, having sold over 75 million records worldwide. Franklin has been honored throughout her career including a 1987 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, in which she became the first female performer to be inducted. She was inducted to the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2005. In August 2012, Franklin was inducted into the GMA Gospel Music Hall of Fame. Franklin is listed in at least two all-time lists on Rolling Stone magazine, including the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time, in which she placed number 9; and the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time, in which she placed number 1. – Wikipedia