Friday 6pm: The Music of Aretha Franklin Part II – (1985 – 2018)

In 1985, inspired by a desire to have a “younger sound” in her music, Who’s Zoomin’ Who? became her first Arista album to be certified platinum. The album sold well over a million copies thanks to the hits “Freeway of Love”, the title track, and “Another Night”. The following year’s Aretha album nearly matched this success with the hit singles “Jumpin’ Jack Flash”, “Jimmy Lee” and “I Knew You Were Waiting for Me”, her international number-one duet with George Michael. During that period, Franklin provided vocals to the theme songs of the TV shows A Different World and Together. In 1987, she issued her third gospel album, One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism, which was recorded at her late father’s New Bethel church, followed by Through the Storm in 1989. Franklin’s 1991 album, What You See is What You Sweat, flopped on the charts. She returned to the charts in 1993 with the dance song “A Deeper Love” and returned to the top 40 with the song “Willing to Forgive” in 1994.

In 1998, Franklin returned to the top 40 with the Lauryn Hill-produced song “A Rose Is Still a Rose”, later issuing the album of the same name, which went gold. That same year, Franklin earned international acclaim for her performance of “Nessun dorma” at the Grammy Awards, filling in at the last minute for Luciano Pavarotti, who had cancelled after the show had already begun.] Her final Arista album, So Damn Happy, was released in 2003 and featured the Grammy-winning song “Wonderful”. In 2004, Franklin announced that she was leaving Arista after more than 20 years with the label. To complete her Arista obligations, Franklin issued the duets compilation album Jewels in the Crown: All-Star Duets with the Queen in 2007. The following year, she issued the holiday album This Christmas, Aretha, on DMI Records.

Franklin performed The Star-Spangled Banner with Aaron Neville and Dr. John for Super Bowl XL, held in her hometown of Detroit in February 2006. She later made international headlines for performing “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee” at President Barack Obama’s inaugural ceremony with her church hat becoming a popular topic online. In 2010, Franklin accepted an honorary degree from Yale University. In 2011, under her own label, Aretha’s Records, she issued the album Aretha: A Woman Falling Out of Love.

In 2014, Franklin was signed under RCA Records, controller of the Arista catalog and a sister label to Columbia via Sony Music Entertainment, and was working with Clive Davis. An album was planned with producers Babyface and Danger Mouse. On September 29, 2014, Franklin performed to a standing ovation, with Cissy Houston as backup, a compilation of Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” and “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” on the Late Show with David Letterman. Franklin’s cover of “Rolling in the Deep” was featured among nine other songs in her first RCA release, Aretha Franklin Sings the Great Diva Classics, released in October 2014. In doing so, she became the first woman to have 100 songs on Billboard′s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart with the success of her cover of Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep”, which debuted at number 47 on the chart.

In December 2015, Franklin gave an acclaimed performance of “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” at the 2015 Kennedy Center Honors during the section for honoree Carole King, who co-wrote the song. During the bridge of the song, Franklin dropped her fur coat to the stage, for which the audience rewarded her with a mid-performance standing ovation. She returned to Detroit’s Ford Field on Thanksgiving Day 2016 to once again perform the national anthem before the game between the Minnesota Vikings and Detroit Lions. Seated behind the piano in a black fur coat and Lions stocking cap, this rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” lasted more than four minutes and featured a host of improvizations by Franklin.

Franklin released the album A Brand New Me in November 2017 with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, which uses archived recordings from her past. It peaked at number 5 on the Billboard Top Classical Albums chart. – Wikipedia

 

Thursday 6pm: The Music of Aretha Franklin Part I – (1961 – 1982)

(1961–1966)
In January 1961, Columbia issued Franklin’s first secular album, Aretha: With The Ray Bryant Combo. The album featured her first single to chart the Billboard Hot 100, “Won’t Be Long”, which also peaked at number 7 on the R&B chart. Mostly produced by Clyde Otis, Franklin’s Columbia recordings saw her recording in diverse genres such as standards, vocal jazz, blues, doo-wop and rhythm and blues. Before the year was out, Franklin scored her first top 40 single with her rendition of the standard, “Rock-a-Bye Your Baby with a Dixie Melody”, which also included the R&B hit, “Operation Heartbreak”, on its b-side. “Rock-a-Bye” became her first international hit, reaching the top 40 in Australia and Canada. By the end of 1961, Franklin was named as a “new-star female vocalist” in DownBeat magazine. In 1962, Columbia issued two more albums, The Electrifying Aretha Franklin and The Tender, the Moving, the Swinging Aretha Franklin, the latter of which reached No. 69 on the Billboard chart.

By 1964, Franklin began recording more pop music, reaching the top ten on the R&B chart with the ballad, “Runnin’ Out of Fools” in early 1965. She had two R&B charted singles in 1965 and 1966 with the songs “One Step Ahead” and “Cry Like a Baby” while also reaching the Easy Listening charts with the ballads “You Made Me Love You” and “(No, No) I’m Losing You”. By the mid-1960s, Franklin was netting $100,000 from countless performances in nightclubs and theaters. Also during that period, Franklin appeared on rock and roll shows such as Hollywood A Go-Go and Shindig!. However, Franklin struggled with commercial success while at Columbia. Label executive John H. Hammond later said he felt Columbia did not understand Franklin’s early gospel background and failed to bring that aspect out further during her period there.

(1967–1979)
In November 1966, after 6 years with Columbia, Franklin chose not to renew her contract with the company and signed to Atlantic Records. In January 1967, she traveled to Muscle Shoals, Alabama to record at FAME Studios and recorded the song, “I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)” in front of the musicians of the famed Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section. The song was later issued that February and reached number one on the R&B chart, while also peaking at number nine on the Billboard Hot 100, giving Franklin her first top ten pop single. The song’s b-side, “Do Right Woman, Do Right Man”, reached the R&B top 40, peaking at number 37. In April, Atlantic issued her frenetic version of Otis Redding’s “Respect”, which shot to number one on both the R&B and pop charts. “Respect” became her signature song and was later hailed as a civil rights and feminist anthem.

Franklin’s debut Atlantic album, I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You, also became commercially successful, later going gold. Franklin scored two more top ten singles in 1967 including “Baby I Love You” and “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman”. Franklin’s rapport with producer Jerry Wexler helped in the creation of the majority of Franklin’s peak recordings with Atlantic. In 1968, she issued the top-selling albums, Lady Soul and Aretha Now, which included some of Franklin’s most popular hit singles, including “Chain of Fools”, “Ain’t No Way”, “Think” and “I Say a Little Prayer”. In February 1968, Franklin earned the first two of her Grammys, including the debut category for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance. On February 16, 1968, Franklin was honored with a day in her honor and was greeted by longtime friend Martin Luther King Jr. who gave her the SCLC Drum Beat Award for Musicians just two months before his death. In June 1968, she appeared on the cover of Time magazine.

Franklin’s success expanded during the early 1970s in which she recorded top ten singles such as “Spanish Harlem”, “Rock Steady” and “Day Dreaming” as well as the acclaimed albums Spirit in the Dark, Young, Gifted and Black, and her gospel album, Amazing Grace, which sold over two million copies. In 1971, Franklin became the first R&B performer to headline Fillmore West, later releasing the live album Aretha Live at Fillmore West. Franklin’s career began to experience problems while recording the album, Hey Now Hey, which featured production from Quincy Jones. Despite the success of the single “Angel”, the album bombed upon its release in 1973. Franklin continued having R&B success with songs such as “Until You Come Back to Me” and “I’m in Love”, but by 1975 her albums and songs were no longer top sellers. After Jerry Wexler left Atlantic for Warner Bros. Records in 1976, Franklin worked on the soundtrack to the film Sparkle with Curtis Mayfield. The album yielded Franklin’s final top 40 hit of the decade, “Something He Can Feel”, which also peaked at number one on the R&B chart. Franklin’s follow-up albums for Atlantic, including Sweet Passion, Almighty Fire and La Diva, bombed on the charts, and in 1979 Franklin opted to leave the company.

(1980 – 1982)
In 1980, after leaving Atlantic Records, Franklin signed with Clive Davis’ Arista Records and that same year gave a command performance at the Royal Albert Hall in front of Queen Elizabeth. Franklin also made an acclaimed guest role as a waitress in the comedy musical, The Blues Brothers. Franklin’s first Arista album, Aretha, featured the No. 3 R&B hit, “United Together” and her Grammy-nominated cover of Otis Redding’s “I Can’t Turn You Loose”. The follow-up, 1981’s Love All the Hurt Away, included her famed duet of the title track with George Benson while the album also included her Grammy-winning cover of Sam & Dave’s “Hold On, I’m Comin'”. Franklin achieved a gold record—for the first time in seven years—with the album Jump to It. Its title track was her first top 40 single on the pop charts in six years.- Wikipedia

Saturday 7pm: Great Soul Performances with Bobby Jay

When “Great Soul Performances” comes your way this evening you’ll hear: Chuck Jackson, the Vibrations, Bruno Mars, Little Anthony & the Imperials, my brother Dickie Harmon & the Autumns; who BTW, is on the mend and is coming along nicely, James Brown, Bobby Hendricks & the Drifters, “Southern Soul” song stylists Uvee Hayes and Dabron, Jay & the Techniques, Ali Ollie Woodson, Eddie Brigati & the Young Rascals, 92 years young Tony Bennett, Stevie Wonder; live at the White House and more. It begins at 7PM ET, 6PM CT, 5PM MT and 4PM PT.

Following will be “Great Soul Performances 2: The 80s” where on tap are: Kool & the Gang, Lionel Richie, Cameo, Stevie Wonder, Shalamar, Sylvester, Freddie Jackson, Atlantic Starr, George Benson, Dionne Warwick & Friends (including Stevie Wonder), Al B. Sure!, Luther Vandross and several others. This show starts at 9PM ET, 8PM CT, 7PM MT & 6PM PT. I think you’re gonna love both show today, so join me this evening on RadioMaxMusic.Com.

Saturday 7pm: Great Soul Performances with Bobby Jay

We’re going to do something different on “Great Soul Performances” this evening, we’ll salute the music that has been the rage in the north of London for decades, “Northern Soul.” G.S.P. was born in London on VIP Radio and was launched by the King of “Northern Soul” Kev Roberts; who I hope will be listening today. “Northern Soul” is a music and a dance movement based on the style of American Soul Music, particularly the heavy beat and tempo of Motown. It turned out that several American artists had hits in the UK that frankly bombed in the U.S. but resonated across the pond. So you’ll hear songs by: Little Anthony & the Imperials, Barbara Acklin, the Contours, Doris Troy, Eddie Holland, Lou Johnson, Mary Wells, the Parliaments, Eddie Holman, Barbara McNair, Frankie Beverly & the Butlers, Roy C. and others. It will kick off at 7PM ET, 6PM CT, 5PM MT & 4PM PT.

After we finish with “Northern Soul” it will be time for “Great Soul Performances 2: The 80s” where on the playlist will be: Michael Jackson & Sir Paul McCartney, the O’Jays, my former co-worker at WWRL, Imhotep Gary Byrd & the G.B.E.; produced by Stevie Wonder, Carl Carlton, Billy Vera & the Beaters, Johnny Mathis, Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince, Fred Parris & the Satins, David Ruffin & Eddie Kendricks, Earth, Wind & Fire, Hall & Oates and more. It starts at 9PM ET, 8PM CT, 7PM MT and 6PM PT. I think it’s gonna an interesting and fun filled evening of music and entertainment on “Great Soul Performances” and “Great Soul Performances 2: The 80s” later on RadioMaxMusic.Com.

Saturday 7pm: Great Soul Performances & Eugene Pitt Salute by Bobby Jay

“I’m A Happy Man” to have known and loved Eugene Pitt since we were kids in the music business starting in the early 1960s. I’ll be paying tribute to the late lead singer of the Jive Five on “Great Soul Performances” this evening, when I play his outstanding songs recorded with the group and from his first; and now only solo album, “Eugene Pitt’s Steppin’ Out In Front ‘I Love Beach Music’.” You’ll also hear the great work he did in helping to establish Viacom’s children cable network, “Nickelodeon.”

If you’re a Eugene Pitt fan or just curious as to who he was, and what he was all about, this is going to be right up your alley. It begins at 7PM ET, 6PM CT, 5PM MT and 4PM PT.

After that, it’s time for “Great Soul Performances 2: The 80s,” where on the playlist will be: The Main Ingredient, DeBarge, the Four Tops, Richard “Dimples” Fields, the Temptations, B.B. King, Stevie Wonder, Peaches & Herb, Dennis Edwards, Heatwave, Whitney Houston and more. It kicks off at 9PM ET, 8PM CT, 7PM MT & 6PM PT. It’s gonna be a wonderful evening of music and memories, and I hope you’ll join me on the best station on the internet, RadioMaxMusic.Com.

Eugene Sampson Pitt (November 6, 1937 – June 29, 2018) was an American musician and the founding member of The Jive Five. He formed a group with some school friends in 1954 called the Genies, in which he was the lead singer. There were no recordings from this group.

In 1959 he, together with Jerome Hanna, Richard Harris, Norman Johnson, and Billy Prophet formed The Jive Five. Among their classic doo-wop recordings, released on Beltone Records, were “My True Story”, “Never, Never”, and “What Time Is It?”. In 1985, Pitt and The Jive Five were introduced to New York cable TV branding consultants Fred Seibert and Alan Goodman by his latest producer, Ambient Sound’s Marty Pekar. Together, they embarked on an almost ten-year relationship, creating and singing the a cappella signature sound of the American children’s television network Nickelodeon. Terry Stewart, President & CEO of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, called Pitt “the most underrated soul singer in America”.

Pitt’s cousin, Elijah Pitts, was an NFL running back and long-time assistant coach.

Pitt died at the age of 80 on June 29, 2018. – Wikipedia