Tag: Soul

Monday 8/9/22 8am ET: Feature LP: Tribe Called Quest – The Low End Theory (1991)

The Low End Theory is the second studio album by American hip-hop group A Tribe Called Quest, released on September 24, 1991, by Jive Records. Recording sessions for the album were held mostly at Battery Studios in New York City, from 1990 to 1991. The album was primarily produced by group member Q-Tip, with a minimalist sound that combines bass, drum breaks, and jazz samples, in a departure from the group’s debut album, People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm (1990). Lyrically, the album features social commentary, word play, humor, and interplay between group members Q-Tip and Phife Dawg.

Supported by the lead single “Check the Rhime”, The Low End Theory debuted at number 45 on the Billboard 200 chart. Upon its release, the album’s commercial potential was doubted by music critics and Jive record executives. However, the release of two additional singles, “Jazz (We’ve Got)” and “Scenario”, brought further attention and popularity to the group. On February 19, 1992, the album was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), with shipments of 500,000 copies in the United States, and on February 1, 1995, it was certified platinum by the RIAA, with shipments of one million copies.

In the years since its release, The Low End Theory has garnered recognition from music critics and writers as a milestone in alternative hip-hop. The album is regarded as Phife Dawg’s breakout and is credited for helping launch rapper Busta Rhymes’s successful solo career. The album’s influence on artists in hip-hop, R&B and other genres has been attributed to the group’s lyricism and Q-Tip’s production, which bridged the gap between jazz and hip-hop. The album is widely regarded as one of the greatest albums of all time, appearing on many best album lists by music critics and writers. In 2020, it was ranked at number 43 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. In 2022, the album was selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the National Recording Registry for being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.

  1. “Excursions” 3:55
  2. “Buggin’ Out” 3:37
  3. “Rap Promoter” 2:13
  4. “Butter” 3:39
  5. “Verses from the Abstract” (featuring Vinia Mojica and Ron Carter) 3:59
  6. “Show Business” (featuring Diamond D, Lord Jamar and Sadat X) 3:53
  7. “Vibes and Stuff” 4:18
  8. “The Infamous Date Rape” 2:54
  9. “Check the Rhime” 3:37
  10. “Everything Is Fair” 2:58
  11. “Jazz (We’ve Got)” 4:10
  12. “Skypager” 2:12
  13. “What?” 2:29
  14. “Scenario” (featuring Busta Rhymes, Charlie Brown and Dinco D) 4:10

Bass – Ron Carter
DJ – Ali Shaheed Muhammad
Vocals – Phife Dawg, Q-Tip, Busta Rhymes, Charlie Brown, Diamond D, Dinco D, Lord Jamar, Sadat X

Sunday 5/8/22 3pm ET: Feature LP: Commodores (1977)

Commodores is the fifth studio album by the Commodores, released March 30, 1977. The album spent eight weeks at the top of the R&B/soul albums chart, the second of their albums to do so, and was their first Top 5 pop album. There is also a previously released extended version.

“Squeeze the Fruit” 3:00
“Funny Feelings” 4:51
“Heaven Knows” 4:41
“Zoom” 6:43
“Won’t You Come Dance with Me” 3:47
“Brick House” 3:27
“Funky Situation” 3:39
“Patch It Up” 3:58
“Easy” 4:16

Lionel Richie – vocals, saxophones, keyboards
Milan Williams – keyboards
Thomas McClary – vocals, guitars
Ronald LaPread – bass
Walter Orange – vocals, drums, percussion
William King – trumpet
Cal Harris – synthesizers
Darrell Jones – guitars

Sunday 5/8/22 2pm ET: Feature LP: Shalamar Friends (1982)

Friends is the sixth album by American R&B group Shalamar, released January 29, 1982 on the SOLAR label. The album, which features the ‘classic’ Shalamar line-up (Jeffrey Daniel, Howard Hewett and Jody Watley), topped the R&B chart and peaked at #35 on the Billboard chart. It has been certified Gold in the United States for sales over 500,000. It would eventually go Platinum. In the United Kingdom Friends gained impetus from a now-legendary demonstration of body-popping by Daniel during a performance of “A Night to Remember” on the BBC program Top of the Pops. It reached #6 on the UK Albums Chart and produced four top 20 singles.

  1. “A Night to Remember” 5:08
  2. “Don’t Try to Change Me” 4:10
  3. “Help Me” 5:10
  4. “On Top of the World” 4:06
  5. “I Don’t Wanna Be the Last to Know” 4:02
  6. “Friends” 5:00
  7. “Playing to Win” 4:24
  8. “I Just Stopped By Because I Had To” 4:08
  9. “There It Is” 4:27
  10. “I Can Make You Feel Good” 4:20

Howard Hewett – lead and backing vocals
Jody Watley – lead and backing vocals
Jeffrey Daniel – lead and backing vocals
Leon Sylvers III – bass, percussion, keyboards
Wardell Potts, Jr. – drums
Foster Sylvers – bass
Joey Gallo – keyboards
Kevin Spencer – keyboards
James Ingram – bass, keyboards
Ricky Sylvers – guitar
Ed Green – drums
Ernest “Pepper” Reed – guitar
Richard Randolph – guitar
Michael Nash – keyboards
William Shelby – keyboards
Wayne Milstein – percussion

In Memoriam: Jewell Caples (1968 – 2022)

Jewell Caples (June 12, 1968 – May 6, 2022), better known as Jewell was an American singer who performed on multi-platinum R&B/Hip-Hop albums.

Jewell was signed to Death Row Records from 1992 to 1996, “The First Lady of Death Row Records,”. In 1994, she covered Shirley Brown’s song “Woman to Woman” which reached 72nd on the Billboard Hot 100, and peaked at #16 on Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop songs list. She also released “Love or Lust,” featured in Bill Duke’s film, Deep Cover (mis-credited in movie end-credits as “Jewel”). and is featured on two songs on the 1994 Above the Rim soundtrack.

Caples’ cause of death has not been made public. The news comes two months after she opened about about her health struggles on Instagram. She told fans that she was hospitalized on March 2 after doctors found 8 pounds of fluid around her heart, lungs and legs. She was readmitted to the hospital for treatment on March 16 and released days later.

Wednesday 5/4/22 11am ET: Feature Artist: Ashford & Simpson

Ashford & Simpson were an American husband-and-wife songwriting-production team and recording duo of Nickolas Ashford (May 4, 1941 – August 22, 2011) and Valerie Simpson (born August 26, 1946).

Ashford was born in Fairfield, South Carolina, and Simpson in the Bronx, New York City. Afterwards, his family relocated to Ypsilanti, Michigan, where he became a member of Christ Temple Baptist Church. While there, he sang with a group called the Hammond Singers (named after the founding minister, James Hammond). Later, Nickolas attended and graduated from Willow Run High School in Ypsilanti, Michigan, before pursuing his professional career, where he would ultimately meet his wife, Valerie. They met at Harlem’s White Rock Baptist Church in 1964. After having recorded unsuccessfully as a duo, they joined an aspiring solo artist and former member of the Ikettes, Joshie Jo Armstead, at the Scepter/Wand label, where their compositions were recorded by Ronnie Milsap (“Never Had It So Good”), Maxine Brown (“One Step at a Time”), as well as the Shirelles, the Guess Who, and Chuck Jackson. Another of the trio’s songs, “Let’s Go Get Stoned,” gave Ray Charles a number one U.S. R&B hit in 1966. That same year, Ashford & Simpson joined Motown, where their best-known songs included “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” “You’re All I Need to Get By,” “Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing,” and “Reach Out and Touch (Somebody’s Hand).” Ashford and Simpson wrote many other hit songs, including Chaka Khan’s “I’m Every Woman” (1978) and “Is It Still Good to Ya?”, originally recorded by the duo in 1978 and covered by Teddy Pendergrass in 1980.

As performers, Ashford & Simpson’s best-known duets are “Solid” (1984) and “Found a Cure” (1979). The duo were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2002. They are also recipients of The Rhythm & Blues Foundation’s Pioneer Award, ASCAP Founders Award, and the Grammy Trustee Award. Rolling Stone ranked them No. 19 on its list of the 20 Greatest Duos of All Time.

Wednesday 5/4/22 10am ET: Feature Artist: Tyrone Davis

Tyrone Davis (born October 3, 1937 – February 9, 2005) was an American blues and soul singer with a long list of hit records over more than 20 years. Davis had three number 1 hits on the Billboard R&B chart: “Can I Change My Mind” (1968), “Turn Back the Hands of Time” (1970), and “Turning Point” (1975).

A stroke in September 2004 ended his career and, following complications, he died in a Chicago hospital on February 9, 2005, at the age of 67.

Monday 5/2/22 10am ET: Feature Artist: Ray Parker Jr.

Ray Erskine Parker Jr. (born May 1, 1954) is an American musician, singer, songwriter, and record producer. As a solo performer, he wrote and performed the theme song to the 1984 film Ghostbusters. Previously, Parker achieved a US top-10 hit in 1982 with “The Other Woman”. He also performed with his band, Raydio, and with Barry White.

Tuesday 4/26/22 9pm ET: Feature LP: Earth, Wind & Fire – Raise! (1981)

Raise! is the eleventh studio album by the American band Earth, Wind & Fire, released on November 14, 1981, by ARC/Columbia Records. The album spent 11 weeks atop the Billboard Top R&B albums chart and peaked at No. 5 on the Billboard 200 chart. Raise! has been certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA, Gold in the UK by the BPI and Gold in Canada by Music Canada.

  1. “Let’s Groove” 5:37
  2. “Lady Sun” 3:39
  3. “My Love” 4:35
  4. “Evolution Orange” 4:37
  5. “Kalimba Tree” 0:25
  6. “You Are a Winner” 4:09
  7. “I’ve Had Enough” 4:36
  8. “Wanna Be with You” 4:36
  9. “The Changing Times” 5:54
  10. “Wanna Be with You” (single version) 3:58
  11. “Kalimba Tree” (12″ long version) 3:49
  12. “Let’s Groove” (special remixed holiday version) 6:44
  13. “Let’s Groove” (single version) 4:07
  14. “Let’s Groove” (instrumental) 4:01
  15. “I’ve Had Enough” (7″ version) 3:53
  16. “The Changing Times” (7″ version) 4:45

Maurice White – lead vocals, background vocals, kalimba, drums
Philip Bailey – lead vocals, background vocals, percussion
Ms. Pluto – additional background vocals
Michael Boddicker – vocoder, synthesizer, keyboards
Verdine White – bass guitar, additional background vocals
Selene Burford – cello
Larry Corbett – cello
Paula Hochhalter – cello

Jerome Kessler – cello
Frederick Seykora – cello
Mary Louise Zeyen – cello
Assa Drori – concertmaster
James Getzoff – concertmaster
Ralph Johnson – drums, percussion, additional background vocals
Fred White – drums, percussion
Roland Bautista – guitar

Johnny Graham – guitar
Marlo Henderson – guitar
Beloyd Taylor – guitar, additional background vocals
Larry Dunn – keyboards, piano, synthesizer, synthesizer programming
Greg Phillinganes – keyboards
David Foster – keyboards
Billy Meyers – keyboards
Wayne Vaughn – keyboards
Paulinho Da Costa – percussion
Don Myrick – alto saxophone, tenor saxophone

Tom Saviano – additional saxophone
Andrew Woolfolk – tenor saxophone
Bill Reichenbach – trombone
Charles Loper – trombone
Dick Hyde – trombone
George Bohanon – trombone
Lew McCreary – trombone
Louis Satterfield – trombone
Chuck Findley – trumpet

Gary Grant – trumpet
Jerry Hey – trumpet
Larry G. Hall – trumpet
Michael Harris – trumpet
Oscar Brashear – trumpet
Rahmlee Michael Davis – trumpet
Alan DeVeritch – viola
Pamela Goldsmith – viola

Allan Harshman – viola
Virginia Majewski – viola
Gareth Nuttycombe – viola
Arnold Belnick – violin
Denyse Buffum – violin
Thomas Buffum – violin
Henry Ferber – violin
Ronald Folsom – violin
Irving Geller – violin
Endre Granat – violin
Reginald Hill – violin
William Hymanson – violin

Myra Kestenbaum – violin
William Kurasch – violin
Betty LaMagna – violin
Brian Leonard – violin
Norman Leonard – violin
Marvin Limonick – violin
Jerome Reisler – violin
Nathan Ross – violin
Sheldon Sanov – violin
Anton Sen – violin
Arkady Shindelman – violin
Haim Shtrum – violin
Mari Tsumura-Botnick – violin
John Wittenbert – violin

In Memoriam: Andrew Paul Woolfolk II (1950 – 2022)

Andrew Paul Woolfolk II (October 11, 1950 – April 24, 2022) was an American saxophonist. Woolfolk was a longtime member of the band Earth, Wind & Fire. He also collaborated with artists such as Deniece Williams, Stanley Turrentine, Phil Collins, Twennynine, Philip Bailey, and Level 42.

Woolfolk attended East High School in Denver, Colorado. In 1972 he joined the band Earth, Wind & Fire as a saxophonist and became a longstanding member. Woolfolk was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Earth, Wind & Fire in 2000. In 2017, Woolfolk was inducted into the Colorado Music Hall of Fame.

Woolfolk died on April 24, 2022, after a long illness.