Friday, 16 December 2011 15:20 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

Soul-Time-LP-FrontFurther to a news story that we ran in September, we're pleased to report that, despite a few delays, the fab new album from the wonderful SHARON JONES has just hit the stores. Recorded with her regular DAP KINGS, 'Soul Time' is A collection of rare tracks, B-sides and vinyl-only releases. Tracks include the supercharged funk of 'Genuine' ( Pts. 1 & 2), 'Longer And Stronger', a soulful Christmas track - 'Ain't No Chimneys In The Project' and a cover of SHUGGIE OTIS' 'Information'.

To support the album SHARON has just announced a series of UK dates. She'll be bringing her full soul and funk, all singing and all dancing revue over in March ... the dates are as follows -

Sat 3 Mar – O2 Academy

Sun 4 Mar – Stylus, Leeds

Tue 6 Mar – ABC, Glasgow

Wed 7 Mar – Rock City, Nottingham

Thu 8 Mar – Birmingham, HMV Institute

Fri 9 Mar – O2 Shepherds Bush Empire, London

Sat 10 Mar – Project, Brighton

Check the venues for full details in the meantime learn more @



Wednesday, 14 December 2011 15:59 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

southportThe famous SOUTHPORT WEEKENDER is set to celebrate its 25th anniversary. It's without doubt Europe's biggest soulful music festival and it's come a long way since its inception at the storm-tossed Berwick-Upon Tweed Caravan Park. For many years the festival was based in Pontins at Southport, but last year the show decamped – lock stock and soulful barrel – to Butlins at Minehead. For obvious reasons, though, they kept the "Southport" brand – a brand that dance connoisseurs know and trust.

Those same devoted fans (6,500 at the last bash) also know and love the annual Southport Weekender compilation albums and the good news is that the ninth volume in the series is set to hit the racks in February... though those of a digital bent can access the music via iTunes as from now.

The new double CD collection has been picked and mixed by MR SCUFF and DJ SPINNA. SCRUFF is known for his genre bending sets... though this time around his 25 tunes are all soulful foot tappers, none more so than WINFIELD PARKER'S 'I Want To Be With You'. Brooklyn's DJ SPINNA keeps things tight and soulful too and his set includes fab cuts from the likes of KERRI CHANDLER, REEL PEOPLE and PEVEN EVERETT.

Find out more @



Sunday, 11 December 2011 20:47 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

waymanWAYMAN TISDALE lost a battle with cancer in 2009. When he died he was in his mid forties but in that relatively short life he'd packed in more than most could ever hope to achieve.

A native of Tulsa, Oklahoma, at school he became an acclaimed basketball star. Graduating to the University of Oklahoma, he represented his country at the sport whilst still a freshman... going on to win an Olympic Gold in 1984. In '85 he turned pro and enjoyed a successful basketball career with the Indiana Pacers, the Sacramento Kings and the Phoenix Suns.

Even while playing NBA basketball, TISDALE continued playing his bass guitar – a skill he'd developed in order to offer music during his preacher father's Sunday services back in Tulsa. Then as his basketball career was drawing an end, he released his debut jazz album, featuring his talent as a bassist. He went on to release a further 8 albums – four of which hit #1 on the jazz chart.

In 2007 WAYMAN TISDALE was diagnosed with bone cancer and despite debilitating treatment and the amputation of part of his right leg, the man remained positive and optimistic – establishing the WAYMAN TISDALE FOUNDATION to assist those in need of prosthetic limbs. He died on May 15, 2009 at the age of 44 and since then tributes of all kinds have made to his courage, fortitude and decency.

Earlier this year the US TV networks screened a biography of WAYMAN. 'THE WAYMAN TISDALE STORY' was a detailed account of his career, told chiefly through his own words... a story of courage in the face of personal adversity. The film has just won a DVD release via Rendezvous Music/Mack Avenue. The DVD is part of a two pack set that combines the movie with a 13 track CD which features the best of the bassist's work. Included is 'Crying' For Me' – a TISDALE tribute written and performed by TOBY KEITH along with the previously unreleased 'Slam Dunk'.

The theme of both of the DVD and the CD is summed up in WAYMAN'S own words – "You can never give-up because quitting is not an option. No matter how dark it is or how weak you get, until you take the last breath, you must fight".

'The Wayman Tisdale Story' is available now on Rendezvous Records

Last Updated on Sunday, 11 December 2011 20:56



Friday, 09 December 2011 18:59 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

spinnersMUSIC CLUB/RHINO have just released the last of their 2011 soul retrospectives. This time the spotlight has been turned onto legendary vocal group THE DETROIT SPINNERS. Known just as "THE SPINNERS" in the States, they began their recording career with HARVEY FUQUA'S Tri –Phi label which eventually brought them into the Motown fold.

Despite some excellent Motown recordings, they were only ever considered second stringers by BERRY GORDY'S execs and decision makers, so in 1971 they joined Atlantic and didn't look back as the hits flowed. MUSIC CLUB/RHINO have assembled all those Atlantic hits and many more memorable cuts on 'THE DETROIT SPINNERS... THE ULTIMATE COLLECTION'. The double CD offers 31 great songs and comes complete with critical essay from our own CHARLES WARING.

We have five copies of this wonderful collection to give away. Simply answer our question, send it to us via our e-mail address and the album could be "working its way back to you" (yes, poor punning... we know!!!). The closing date is Friday 16th December... good luck.

QUESTION: Name the legendary Philly producer/writer/arranger responsible for the first flush of the SPINNERS' Atlantic success.....

Last Updated on Friday, 09 December 2011 19:05



Friday, 09 December 2011 15:26 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

The last week has seen the passing of two great soul stylists – HOWARD TATE and DOBIE GRAY. TATE died on Friday, December 2, while GRAY passed on Tuesday, December 6.

howard-tate4HOWARD TATE was born in Macon, Georgia in 1938 but his singing career only took off after relocating to Philadelphia where he teamed up with GARNET MIMMS in the GAINORS. He then worked with organ grinder BILL DOGGETT before coming to the attention of JERRY RAGOVAY who recorded him for a number of labels. His biggest hit was 'Get It While You Can' (1966) but he never really made the major leagues remaining something of a cult figure. Personal problems – relationships, addiction, business conflict and other issues – saw him drop off the radar till 2003 when he teamed up with RAGOVAY again for the 'Rediscovered' "comeback" album'. Though it was Grammy nominated, it failed to reignite his career. He was nevertheless embraced by soul purists and even managed to win back royalties from Verve with whom he'd enjoyed his moderate 60s success. By then TATE had cleaned up and, he said, "found his God".

He was found dead at his Burlington, New Jersey apartment on Friday 6 December and the Coroner later confirmed that he'd died of natural causes. He's survived by three children.

DobieGray_article_story_mainDOBIE GRAY was born in Brookshire, Texas in 1943 and there's some conflict regarding his given name. Some suggest he was born LAURENCE DARROW BROWN, while others say he was LEONARD VICTOR AINSWORTH. Whatever, he moved to Los Angeles in the early 60s to break away from his family's share-cropping poverty and seeing music as the way forward he came into contact with SONNY BONO who suggested a name change to DOBIE GRAY – after a then popular US sit com character - DOBIE GILLIS.

In 1965 he recorded his breakthrough hit – the truly anthemic 'In Crowd' but despite the glory and his adoption by the UK Northern soul fraternity (who avidly collected his more obscure sides), DOBIE veered to musical theatre spending two and a half years in 'Hair'.

In '72 he resurfaced as a solo recording artist. Working with MENTOR WILLIAMS, he recorded the wonderful 'Drift Away' and 'Loving Arms'. The engaging mix of country and soul made them huge hits and the singer decided that for him, at least, country music was the way forward and he relocated to Nashville. Sadly he failed to score anymore hits as an artist but his songs were regularly recorded by others.

In later years GRAY suffered from cancer, though after his passing on Tuesday, December 6, no cause of death was given.


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