Tag: Soul

In Memoriam: John Fletcher (1964 – 2020)

John ‘Ecstasy’ Fletcher, of influential hip-hop group Whodini, dies at 56

Whodini is an American hip hop group that was formed in 1982. The Brooklyn, New York-based trio consisted of vocalist and main lyricist Jalil Hutchins; co-vocalist John Fletcher, a.k.a. Ecstasy (who wore a Zorro-style hat as his trademark); and turntable artist DJ Drew Carter, a.k.a. Grandmaster Dee.

Coming out of the fertile New York rap scene of the early 80s, Whodini was one of the first rap groups to add R&B twist to their music, thus laying the foundation for a new genre – new jack swing. The group made its name with good-humored songs such as “Magic’s Wand” (the first rap song accompanied by a video), “The Haunted House of Rock”, “Friends”, “Five Minutes Of Funk” and “Freaks Come Out at Night”. Live performances of the group were the first rap concerts with the participation of breakdance dancers from the group UTFO. Russell Simmons was the manager of the group in the 80s.

The group has released six studio albums. 14 singles of the group hit the charts of the American magazine Billboard. 4 albums of the group were certified Platinum by RIAA, due to their loud single “Friends” that hit Billboard Hot 100.

On December 23, 2020, Fletcher died at the age of 56.

The group’s Grandmaster Dee confirmed the news to Variety after the Roots’ Questlove first announced Fletcher’s death on social media on Wednesday. No cause of death has been given.

A Brooklyn native known for his trademark Zorro hat, Fletcher formed Whodini with fellow rapper Jalil Hutchins in 1982, quickly rising to prominence in the early ’80s New York hip-hop scene. Pioneering from the start — their debut single “Magic’s Wand” was among the first rap songs with an accompanying music video — the duo was later joined by DJ Grandmaster Dee, and saw a breakthrough with their second album, Escape, in 1984. Featuring the tracks “Five Minutes of Funk,” “Freaks Come Out at Night,” and “Friends” — the latter of which would be sampled by Nas and Tupac Shakur, among others — the album received critical praise and would later be ranked among the best of the 1980s.

Pioneering from the start — their debut single “Magic’s Wand” was among the first rap songs with an accompanying music video — the duo was later joined by DJ Grandmaster Dee, and saw a breakthrough with their second album, Escape, in 1984. Featuring the tracks “Five Minutes of Funk,” “Freaks Come Out at Night,” and “Friends” — the latter of which would be sampled by Nas and Tupac Shakur, among others — the album received critical praise and would later be ranked among the best of the 1980s.

Though lesser-known than other early rap groups such as Run-DMC and Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, Whodini are considered pioneers of the genre, cited as an influence by such rappers as Jermaine Dupri. In a tribute to Fletcher posted to Twitter, Dupri wrote, “My God, this one hurts me so bad, I can’t even believe I’m posting this, Ex you know I love you. Thank you for every word, every conversation, every good time, may your soul Rest In Power.”

Other musicians posted tributes to social media as well, including Questlove, who broke the news of Fletcher’s death. “One Love to Ecstasy of the Legendary #Whodini,” the drummer and Tonight Show bandleader wrote. “This man was legendary and a pivotal member of one of the most legendary groups in hip hop. This is sad man.”

(Combined multiple reports)

Thursday 12/17/2020 2am ET: Feature LP: Wilson Pickett – Don’t Knock My Love (1971)

Wilson Pickett / Don’t Knock My Love / December 1, 1971

1 Fire and Water 3:38
2 A Mighty Long Way 3:08
3 Covering the Same Old Ground 3:13
4 Don’t Knock My Love, Pt. 1 (2006 Remaster) [Single Version] 2:16
5 Don’t Knock My Love, Pt. 2 (2007 Remaster) [Single Version] 4:05
6 Call My Name, I’ll Be There 2:25
7 Hot Love 3:11
8 Not Enough Love to Satisfy 2:59
9 You Can’t Judge a Book by It’s Cover 2:51
10 Pledging My Love 3:20
11 Mama Told Me Not to Come 2:51
12 Woman Let Me Down Home 2:59

Tuesday 12/15/2020 4pm ET: Feature Artist: The Temptations


The Temptations are an American vocal group who released a series of successful singles and albums with Motown Records during the 1960s and 1970s. The group’s work with producer Norman Whitfield, beginning with the Top 10 hit single “Cloud Nine” in October 1968, pioneered psychedelic soul, and was significant in the evolution of R&B and soul music. The band members are known for their choreography, distinct harmonies, and dress style. Having sold tens of millions of albums, the Temptations are among the most successful groups in popular music.

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 founding members came from 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 released four Billboard Hot 100 number-one singles and fourteen R&B number-one singles. Their music has earned three Grammy Awards. The Temptations were the first Motown recording act to win a Grammy Award – for “Cloud Nine” in 1969 – 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 ranked at number 68 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 100 Greatest Artists of all time.

As of 2020, the Temptations continue to perform with founder Otis Williams in the lineup (Williams owns the rights to the Temptations name).

Thursday 12/10/2020 2pm ET: Feature Artist – Dionne Warwick


Marie Dionne Warwick (born December 12, 1940) is an American singer, actress, television host, and former Goodwill Ambassador for the Food and Agriculture Organization.

Warwick ranks among the 40 biggest hit makers between 1955 and 1999, based on her chart history on Billboard’s Hot 100 pop singles chart. She is one of the most-charted female vocalists of all time, with 56 of her singles making the Hot 100 between 1962 and 1998 (12 of them Top Ten), and 80 singles in total – either solo or collaboratively – making the Hot 100, R&B and/or adult contemporary charts.

In 2020, she appeared as the Mouse on season 3 of The Masked Singer. Despite being eliminated in the second round, Warwick came back during the first part of the season three finale to sing “What the World Needs Now is Love” with the finalists Night Angel, Frog and Turtle as a tribute to the healthcare workers working on the front lines during the coronavirus pandemic. This performance was created after the season wrapped production in March. Warwick made a guest appearance during Gladys Knight’s and Patti Labelle’s Verzuz battle. Together they performed Warick’s song, That’s What Friends Are For. They closed with their collaborative song Superwoman (Karyn White song).

 

Monday 12/7/2020 6pm ET: Feature Artist / Writer – Linda Creed


Linda Diane Creed (December 6, 1948 – April 10, 1986), also known by her married name Linda Epstein, was an American singer-songwriter and lyricist who teamed up with songwriter-producer Thom Bell to produce some of the most successful Philadelphia soul groups of the 1970s.

Born in the Mount Airy section of Philadelphia in December 1948, Creed was active in music at Germantown High School. After graduation, Creed decided against college and devoted her energies to writing and producing music. Her career was launched in 1970 when singer Dusty Springfield recorded her song “Free Girl.” That same year, Creed teamed with Bell, a staff writer, producer, and arranger at Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff’s record label Philadelphia International Records.

Their first songwriting collaboration, “Stop, Look, Listen (To Your Heart)”, became a Top 40 pop hit for the Stylistics, beginning an extended collaboration that also yielded the group’s most successful recordings, including “You Are Everything”, “Betcha by Golly, Wow”, “Break Up to Make Up”, “People Make the World Go Round”, “You Make Me Feel Brand New,” and “I’m Stone in Love with You” (the latter with Anthony Bell). Creed and Bell also paired on a number of hits for the Spinners, including “Ghetto Child”, “I’m Coming Home”, “Living a Little, Laughing a Little”, and “The Rubberband Man.” Linda Creed also worked with fellow Pennsylvania native Phyllis Hyman on many of her songs, most notably “Old Friend.”

Though diagnosed with breast cancer at 26, Creed kept on working, teaming with composer Michael Masser and writing the lyrics to the song “The Greatest Love of All”, the main theme of the film “The Greatest”, a biopic of the great boxer Muhammad Ali, launched in 1977. The song was originally recorded by George Benson and released as a single in 1977, becoming a big hit, peaked at #2 on the R&B chart. The lyrics of the song were written in the midst of her struggle with breast cancer. The words describe her feelings about coping with great challenges that one must face in life, being strong during those challenges whether you succeed or fail, and passing that strength on to children to carry with them into their adult lives. In December of 1984, the song was recorded by Whitney Houston for her 1985 self-titled debut album and it would top the charts in May of 1986. Weeks before Houston reached number one, Creed died of breast cancer on April 10, 1986, at the age of 37. She was survived by her husband, Stephen “Eppy” Epstein, a longtime music promoter around Philadelphia, and their two daughters, Roni Lee and Dana Creed.

The following year, her family and friends established the Linda Creed Breast Cancer Foundation. In 1992 she was posthumously inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

 

Friday 11/4/2020 12pm ET: Feature Artist – Little Richard

Richard Wayne Penniman (born December 5, 1932 – May 9, 2020), known as Little Richard, is an American musician and singer-songwriter.

An influential figure in popular music and culture for seven decades, Penniman’s most celebrated work dates from the mid-1950s, when his dynamic music and charismatic showmanship laid the foundation for rock and roll. His music also played a key role in the formation of other popular music genres, including soul and funk. Penniman influenced numerous singers and musicians across musical genres from rock to hip hop; his music helped shape rhythm and blues for generations to come, and his performances and headline-making thrust his career right into the mix of American popular music.

Penniman has been honored by many institutions. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as part of its first group of inductees in 1986. He was also inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. He is the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Recording Academy, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Rhythm and Blues Foundation, and a Rhapsody & Rhythm Award from the National Museum of African American Music. Little Richard’s “Tutti Frutti” (1955) was included in the National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress in 2010, which stated that his “unique vocalizing over the irresistible beat announced a new era in music”.

Thursday 11/26/2020 10am ET: Feature LP: Beastie Boys – Beastie Boys Music (2020)

Beastie Boys Music is a compilation album from American hip hop/rap rock group Beastie Boys, released on October 23, 2020.

“So What’cha Want” – 3:36 (from Check Your Head, 1992)
“Paul Revere” – 3:41 (from Licensed to Ill, 1986)
“Shake Your Rump” – 3:19 (from Paul’s Boutique, 1989)
“Make Some Noise” – 3:40 (from Hot Sauce Committee Part Two, 2011)
“Sure Shot” – 3:20 (from Ill Communication, 1994)
“Intergalactic” – 3:51 (from Hello Nasty, 1998)
“Ch-Check It Out” – 3:12 (from To the 5 Boroughs, 2004)
“(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party!)” – 3:29 (from Licensed to Ill, 1986)
“Pass the Mic” – 4:16 (from Check Your Head, 1992)
“Don’t Play No Game That I Can’t Win” – 4:11 (from Hot Sauce Committee Part Two, 2011)
“Body Movin'” – 3:09 (from Hello Nasty, 1998)
“Sabotage” – 2:58 (from Ill Communication, 1994)
“Hold It Now, Hit It” – 3:27 (from Licensed to Ill, 1986)
“Shadrach” – 4:08 (from Paul’s Boutique, 1989)
“Root Down” – 3:32 (from Ill Communication, 1994)
“Brass Monkey” – 2:37 (from Licensed to Ill, 1986)
“Get It Together” – 4:05 (from Ill Communication, 1994)
“Jimmy James” (Single Version) – 3:04 (from Check Your Head, 1992)
“Hey Ladies” – 3:47 (from Paul’s Boutique, 1989)
“No Sleep till Brooklyn” – 4:09 (from Licensed to Ill, 1986)

Tuesday 11/24/2020 11:15pm ET: Feature LP: Santana – Supernatural Legacy Edition

Supernatural is the eighteenth studio album by Latin rock band Santana, released on June 15, 1999, on Arista Records. After the group found themselves without a label in the mid-1990s, founding member and guitarist Carlos Santana began talks with Arista president Clive Davis, which led to a new record deal. Davis had originally signed the group to Columbia Records in 1969 when he was president of that label. The pair collaborated with A&R man Pete Ganbarg on the production of Supernatural, as Santana wanted to focus his musical direction towards pop and radio friendly material and proceeded to do so by collaborating with various contemporary guest artists, including Eric Clapton, Rob Thomas, Eagle-Eye Cherry, Lauryn Hill, Dave Matthews, Maná, KC Porter and Cee-Lo Green.

Supernatural became a significant commercial success worldwide, generating renewed interest on Santana’s music. It reached No. 1 in eleven countries, including the US for 12 non-consecutive weeks where it is certified 15× Platinum. The first of six singles from the album, “Smooth” featuring Matchbox Twenty singer Rob Thomas, was a number one success worldwide and topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart for 12 weeks. The next, “Maria Maria”, featuring the Product G&B, was number one in the US for 10 weeks. Supernatural has sold an estimated 30 million copies worldwide.

In 2000, the album was the subject of nine Grammy Awards including Album of the Year, making Santana the first Hispanic to do so, and Best Rock Album, tying the record held by Michael Jackson for the most number of awards in a single night. Davis won Album of the Year. Santana also won three Latin Grammy Awards including Record of the Year.

1. “(Da Le) Yaleo” 5:51
2. “Love of My Life” (featuring Dave Matthews and Carter Beauford) 5:48
3. “Put Your Lights On” (featuring Everlast) 4:47
4. “Africa Bamba” 4:40
5. “Smooth” (featuring Rob Thomas) 4:56
6. “Do You Like the Way” (featuring Lauryn Hill and CeeLo Green) 5:52
7. “Maria Maria” (featuring Sincere (David McRae) and Money Harm (Marvin Moore-Hough) as the Product G&B) 4:21
8. “Migra” 5:24
9. “Corazón Espinado” (featuring Maná) 4:32
10. “Wishing It Was” (featuring Eagle-Eye Cherry) 4:59
11. “El Farol” 4:49
12. “Primavera” 5:17
13. “The Calling” (featuring Eric Clapton) 12:27

“Bacalao con Pan” — 5:08
“Angel Love (Come for Me)” — 4:42
“Rain Down on Me” — 4:01
Featuring Dave Matthews and Carter Beauford
“Corazon Espinado (Spanish Dance Remix)” — 8:49
“One Fine Morning” (Lighthouse Cover) — 5:19
“Exodus/Get Up Stand Up (Bob Marley cover)” — 6:09
“Ya Yo Me Cure” — 4:17
“Maria Maria (Pumpin’ Dolls Club Mix)” — 8:39
“Smooth (Instrumental)” — 4:56
“The Calling Jam” — 4:30
“Olympic Festival” — 6:10

Thursday 11/19/2020 1pm ET: Feature Artist: Betty Everett

Betty Everett (November 23, 1939 – August 19, 2001) was an American soul singer and pianist, best known for her biggest hit single, the million-selling “Shoop Shoop Song (It’s In His Kiss)”, and her duet “Let It Be Me” with Jerry Butler.

Until her death, Everett resided with her sister in South Beloit, Illinois, where she was involved in the Rhythm & Blues Foundation and the churches of the Fountain of Life and New Covenant. In 1989, a handler of Everett brought her to the attention of Worldwide TMA, a management consulting firm in Chicago. Under the direction of Steve Arvey and Scott Pollack, former Chairman of The Chicago Songwriters Association, the firm started work on reviving Everett’s singing career. Within a year she contracted with Pollack taking on all management decisions and management financing.

In 1990, her signature hit, “The Shoop Shoop Song (It’s in His Kiss)”, had been used in the movie Mermaids for the end credits, and recorded by the star of the film, Cher. This reached #1 in the UK Singles Chart and charted well elsewhere in Europe.

Everett had secured an indie label deal in the US and a new single “Don’t Cry Now” had been recorded, penned by Larry Weiss (Trumpet Records, unreleased). In connection to the preceding events, Everett was booked and aired a 20-minute appearance on the hit TV show at the time, Current Affair. She was then booked to star at the 1991 Chicago Blues Festival which aired live worldwide on over 400 PBS radio channels, marking Everett’s last live appearance on radio. Later that year, two concerts were booked for consecutive weekends in late October 1991; one at Trump’s Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, the other at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles. All had been arranged through management and Charles McMillan, Jerry Butler’s longtime friend and personal manager. However, Everett declined to show for the engagements. Despite exposure, she was unable to resurrect her career because of health problems.

She was inducted into the Rhythm and Blues Foundation’s Hall Of Fame in 1996 and, about four years later, made her last public appearance on the PBS special Doo Wop 51, along with her former singing partner, Jerry Butler. This, according to The Independent (c. August 2001), was met with raves about the brief reunion where she “brought the house down”. Butler, in his autobiography, Only The Strong Survive, compared Betty with Gladys Knight as a singer in that she seemed to do everything so effortlessly.

Everett died at her home in Beloit, Wisconsin, on August 19, 2001; she was 61.

On June 25, 2019, The New York Times Magazine listed Betty Everett among hundreds of artists whose material was reportedly destroyed in the 2008 Universal fire.

 

Thursday 11/19/2020 12am ET: Feature LP: Sarah McLachlan -Remixed (2001)

Remixed is the first remix album by Canadian singer Sarah McLachlan, released in Canada on July 4, 2001 by Nettwerk and in the United States on December 16, 2003 by Arista Records. It includes various dance club versions of McLachlan’s songs, remixed by DJs such as William Orbit, Tiësto, BT, and Rabbit in the Moon.

Remixed features mostly new remixes of songs which originally appeared on McLachlan’s studio albums: Solace (1991), Fumbling Towards Ecstasy (1993) and Surfacing (1997). Three tracks were previously released on club compilations or 12″ promotional singles: “Possession” (Rabbit in the Moon Mix) in 1995, “I Love You” (BT Mix) in 2000 and “Sweet Surrender” (DJ Tiësto Mix) in 2000. Remixed also features “Silence” by Delerium and McLachlan, which became one of the greatest trance songs of all time. Here, it was remixed by Tiësto.

In early 2002, the edit of “Angel” (Dusted Remix) was released on the “Angel” single in the United Kingdom. Later in 2002, the edit of “Fear” (Hybrid’s Super Collider Mix) was included on the Roswell soundtrack. Also in 2002, the edit of “Plenty” (Fade Mix) appeared on the second Queer as Folk soundtrack.

1. “Fear” (Hybrid’s Super Collider Mix) 9:00
2. “Sweet Surrender” (DJ Tiësto Mix) 7:02
3. “Angel” (Dusted Remix) 5:28
4. “I Love You” (BT Mix) 9:01
5. “Silence” (DJ Tiësto’s in Search of Sunrise Remix) 11:32
6. “Black” (William Orbit Mix) 7:01
7. “Possession” (Rabbit in the Moon Mix) 5:51
8. “Hold On” (BT Mix) McLachlan 7:44
9. “Plenty” (Fade Mix) McLachlan 10:19

 

Wednesday 11/18/2020 10pm ET: Feature Artist – Tina Turner (Part 1)


Tina Turner (born Anna Mae Bullock; November 26, 1939) is an American-born singer, songwriter, dancer, and actress who later became a Swiss citizen. Known as the Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll, Turner rose to prominence as part of the Ike & Tina Turner Revue before launching a successful career as a solo performer. Turner is noted for her energetic stage presence, powerful vocals, trademark legs, and career longevity.

Turner began her recording career as a featured singer with Ike Turner’s Kings of Rhythm under the name “Little Ann” on “Boxtop” in 1958. Her introduction to the public as Tina Turner began in 1960 with the hit single “A Fool in Love”. She married Ike Turner in 1962. The duo went on to become “one of the most formidable live acts in history” and released notable hits such as “It’s Gonna Work Out Fine”, “River Deep – Mountain High”, the Grammy-winning “Proud Mary”, and “Nutbush City Limits”. Raised a Baptist, she became an adherent of Nichiren Buddhism in 1973, crediting the spiritual chant of Nam Myoho Renge Kyo with helping her to endure during difficult times. Ike & Tina Turner disbanded in 1976, ending both their personal and their musical partnership; they divorced in 1978. In her 1986 autobiography, I, Tina: My Life Story, Turner revealed that she had been subjected to domestic violence.

In the 1980s, Turner launched “one of the greatest comebacks in music history” as a solo artist. Her 1983 single “Let’s Stay Together” was followed by the release of her fifth solo album, Private Dancer (1984), which became a worldwide success. The album contained the hit song “What’s Love Got to Do with It”, which won the Grammy Award for Record of the Year, and it became her first and only Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 hit. At the time, aged 44, she became the oldest female solo artist to top the Hot 100 chart. Turner’s chart success continued with “Better Be Good to Me”, “Private Dancer”, “We Don’t Need Another Hero (Thunderdome)”, “Typical Male”, “The Best”, “I Don’t Wanna Fight”, and “GoldenEye”. During her Break Every Rule World Tour, she set a then-Guinness World Record for the largest paying audience (180,000) for a solo performer. Her final Tina!: 50th Anniversary Tour is one of the highest-grossing tours of all time. In 1993, What’s Love Got to Do with It, a biographical film adapted from Turner’s autobiography, was released with an accompanying soundtrack album. Turner also acted in the films Tommy (1975), Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985), and Last Action Hero (1993).

Having sold over 100 million records, Turner is one of the best-selling recording artists of all time. She has won 12 Grammy Awards, which include eight competitive awards, three Grammy Hall of Fame awards, and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. Turner was the first black artist and first female to cover Rolling Stone. Rolling Stone ranked her among the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time and the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time. Turner has her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and the St. Louis Walk of Fame. She was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with Ike Turner in 1991, and is a 2005 recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors.

Monday 11/16/2020 1pm ET: Best Music of The 60’s and 70’s

Thursday 11/12/2020 12pm ET: Feature Artist: Dr. John

Dr. John

Malcolm John Rebennack Jr. (November 20, 1941 – June 6, 2019), better known by his stage name Dr. John, was an American singer and songwriter. His music combined blues, pop, jazz, boogie-woogie, funk, and rock and roll.

Active as a session musician from the late 1950s until his death, he gained a following in the late 1960s after the release of his album Gris-Gris and his appearance at the Bath Festival of Blues and Progressive Music. He typically performed a lively, theatrical stage show inspired by medicine shows, Mardi Gras costumes, and voodoo ceremonies. Rebennack recorded thirty studio albums and nine live albums, as well as contributing to thousands of other musicians’ recordings. In 1973 he achieved a top-10 hit single with “Right Place, Wrong Time”.

The winner of six Grammy Awards, Rebennack was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by singer John Legend in March 2011. In May 2013, Rebennack received an honorary doctorate of fine arts from Tulane University.

 

Wednesday 11/11/2020 12:15am ET: Feature LP 2020: Kylie Minogue – Disco (2020)

Disco (stylized in all caps) is the fifteenth studio album by Australian singer Kylie Minogue, released on November 6, 2020 by Darenote and BMG Rights Management. A departure from her previous country-influenced album Golden (2018), it is influenced by 1970s and 1980s disco along with modern-day electronic dance music.  The lead single from the album, “Say Something”, was released on July 23 of the same year and premiered on BBC Radio 2. The second single, “Magic”, was released on 24 September while a promotional song, “I Love It”, was released a month later, on October 23.

Disco received acclaim from music critics, who praised its cohesiveness and sound. To promote the album, the singer made interviews, television performances, appeared in several magazines and live stream a special concert, ‘Infinite Disco’ featuring songs from the album as well as previously released songs spanning her career.

1. “Magic” 4:10
2. “Miss a Thing” 3:56
3. “Real Groove” 3:14
4. “Monday Blues” 3:09
5. “Supernova” 3:17
6. “Say Something” 3:32
7. “Last Chance” 3:03
8. “I Love It” 3:50
9. “Where Does the DJ Go?” 3:01
10. “Dance Floor Darling” 3:12
11. “Unstoppable” 3:34
12. “Celebrate You” 3:41
13. “Till You Love Somebody” 3:02
14. “Fine Wine” 2:44
15. “Hey Lonely” 3:28
16. “Spotlight” 2:42

 

Tuesday 11/10/2020 5pm ET: Feature Artist – Hank Ballard & The Midnighters


Hank Ballard (born John Henry Kendricks; November 18, 1927 – March 2, 2003) was a rhythm and blues singer and songwriter, the lead vocalist of The Midnighters and one of the first rock and roll artists to emerge in the early 1950s. He played an integral part in the development of the genre, releasing the hit singles “Work With Me, Annie” and answer songs “Annie Had a Baby” and “Annie’s Aunt Fannie” with his Midnighters. He later wrote and originally recorded (in 1959) “The Twist” which was notably covered a year later by Chubby Checker, this second version spreading the popularity of the dance. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990.

In 1953, Ballard joined doo-wop group the Royals, which had previously been discovered by Johnny Otis and signed to Federal Records (a division of King Records), in Cincinnati. Ballard joined Henry Booth, Charles Sutton, Sonny Woods and Alonzo Tucker in the group, replacing previous singer Lawson Smith.

The Royals released “Get It” (1953), an R&B song with possibly sexually oriented lyrics, which some radio stations refused to play, although it still made it to number 6 on the Billboard R&B chart.

The group then changed its name to the Midnighters to avoid confusion with the “5” Royales. In 1954, Ballard wrote a song called “Work with Me, Annie” that was drawn from “Get It”. It became the Midnighters’ first major R&B hit, spending seven weeks at number 1 on the R&B charts and also selling well in mainstream markets, along with the answer songs “Annie Had a Baby” and “Annie’s Aunt Fannie”; all were banned by the FCC from radio air play. Their third major hit was “Sexy Ways”, a song that cemented the band’s reputation as one of the most risqué groups of the time.

They had four other R&B chart hits in 1954–55, but no others until 1959, by which time the group was billed as “Hank Ballard and The Midnighters” with their label changed from Federal to King, the parent label. Between 1959 and 1961 they had several more both on the R&B and Pop charts, starting with “Teardrops on Your Letter”, a number 4 R&B hit in 1959 that had as its B-side the Ballard-written song “The Twist”. A few months later, Chubby Checker’s cover version of the song went to number 1 on the pop charts. It would return to the top of the charts again in 1962 – the only song in the rock and roll era to reach number 1 in two different non-consecutive years.

Ballard and the Midnighters had several other hit singles in 1962, including the Grammy-nominated “Finger Poppin’ Time” (1960) and “Let’s Go, Let’s Go, Let’s Go” (1960) which hit number 7 and number 6, respectively, on the Billboard pop charts. They did not reach the charts again after 1962 and dissolved in 1965.