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KEITH WILDER DIES...

Tuesday, 31 October 2017 11:05 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altVarious soul sites are reporting the death of HEATWAVE co-founder, KEITH WILDER. Details are scant but it appears that Keith died on Sunday, 29 October and he was aged 67.

Wilder formed Heatwave with his brother Johnny while serving with the US forces in Germany in the early 70s. After several personnel changes the band relocated to England and in '76 they released their first album, 'Too Hot To Handle' which spawned the huge disco hit 'Boogie Nights'. That hit was followed by the lovely 'Always And Forever' – an enduring ballad that's been covered by dozens of soul greats. The band's other hits included 'Grooveline' and 'Mind Blowing Decisions'.

Sadly the band suffered a number of sad setbacks – bass guitarist Mario Mantese was stabbed by his girlfriend and vocalist Johnny Wilder was in a car accident in his home town of Dayton that left him paralyzed from the neck down. Johnny continued to work with the band though touring vocalist was JD Nicholas. However by the mid 80s the band had started to disintegrate and, of course, keyboardist Rod Temperton was finding more and more work with the Quincy Jones/Michael Jackson nexus.

Though Johnny Wilder moved over to gospel (before his untimely death), brother Keith tried to keep the Heatwave brand alive forming various touring bands. Keith is survived by his mother Lucille; his wife, Linda; three brothers and four children.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 31 October 2017 11:10

 

TWO FOR THE PRICE OF ONE!

Sunday, 29 October 2017 19:53 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altThe latest vinyl 45 from ever-dependable reissue specialists SOUL JUNCTION offers two different groups on what is essentially a double A side!

One side features THE COOPERETTES on a sweet 1971 light dancer, 'Win All Your Love'. Proper soul fans will know the Cooperettes (sisters Janette, Angela, Debbie and Tina Cooper) from their '67 Northern monster 'Shing A Ling'. That record was actually the girls' third single and their final release for Brunswick. From there the quartet moved to ABC before pacting with IDB for whom they recorded 'Win All Your Love'. Long in demand with collectors, the Norman Harris co-production is now officially available.

Making this release irresistible is the putative B-side – a never-before-on-vinyl issue of the same 'Win All Your Love' song from a male group – THE TOPPIKS. The foursome recorded their version of the song for Larsam Records and it's quite lovely. Serious Philly collectors will (or should) instantly recognize the lead singer – the fragile falsetto belongs to a certain Ted Mills, who, of course, went on to front Blue Magic. Here hear him in all his majesty on this lovely, alternative  version of 'Win All Your Love'

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Last Updated on Sunday, 29 October 2017 20:04

 

DISCO...SOUL.... PROPER GOLD!

Friday, 27 October 2017 18:59 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altOne of the big UK soul success stories over the last few years has been the rise and rise of DSG Records. The label is the brainchild of long-time soul entrepreneur GARY VAN DEN BUSSCHE and it began as a spin-off from his always lively and informative Disco Soul Gold web site.

The first releases on DSG were, I think, three years ago and since then DSG has gained a momentum all of its own garnering over 10 UK Soul #1 tracks and the same amount of top 3 UK Soul hits. Back in the day someone called Berry Gordy would have been very happy with that success rate!

To celebrate the success of the last three years, Gary and his team have today (27th October) released a fab 16 track long player that brings together some of the very best DSG output.... must have been a hard job with so much soul excellence to pick from!

To narrow down his selection problem, Gary has opted to pick 16 tracks that have all been remixed by one of the UK's top mix wizards – Nigel Lowis. Nigel's been at the top of his game for more years than he cares to remember and if you know his work you'll know he has a penchant for the Philly sound and he's perfected the uncanny knack of recreating that very special Philadelphia sweet soul magic.

Dip in anywhere on 'DISCO SOUL GOLD The Album' and you'll hear that very unique sound – definitely retro but with a respectful contemporary edge. Highlights abound but right now we're loving Marc Staggers' slowed down version of the Motown classic 'This Old Heart Of Mine'. Staggers, of course, is known for his remarkable Vandross style delivery and here he absolutely nails the H-D-H classics. It's right up there with the way the great Lamont Dozier recreated his songs in the 80s and 90s.

Followers of DSG will know that the label is keen to promote UK talent too and there's plenty of Brit soul excellence here... try the remix of Ola Onabule's wonderful 'Soul Town' or Leanne McCrae's 'Stay A Little Longer' – a classy Whitney-esque slab of pop/soul. Then there's Peter Symphorien's epic 'State Of Mind' – as near to the classic Philly sound as you'll ever get.... and to think that 18 months ago Pete was a pub singer, picking up what work he could! Good on Gary and team for discovering him.... who knows what the next three years will turn up?

DISCO SOUL GOLD The Album - Nigel Lowis Mixes -DSG Released on CD 27th October

 

LISA STANSFIELD: TOUR and ALBUM

Wednesday, 25 October 2017 20:06 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altThe ever-lovely LISA STANSFIELD has announced that she is currently working on a new album –'Deeper' – to be released spring 2018.

What's more, to coincide with the album launch, Rochdale's finest will embark on major European tour.... the tour begins in Northampton on April 6th and finishes at the London Palladium on April 27th. For full details go to www.lisa-stansfield.com

Last Updated on Wednesday, 25 October 2017 20:15

 

FATS DOMINO DIES....

Wednesday, 25 October 2017 16:05 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altPioneering R&B and R&R star FATS DOMINO has died. He was aged 89 and Mark Bone, chief investigator with the Jefferson County, Louisiana, coroner's office, said Domino died of natural causes at 3.30am on Tuesday 24th October.

Born Antoine Domino Jr on 26 February 1928 in New Orleans, "Fats" was one of nine children. His father was an accomplished violin player but Fats taught himself piano styles perfecting a mastery of ragtime, blues and boogie-woogie. After school he played local juke joints before being signed to Imperial Records. His first recording was the semi-autobiographical 'The Fat Man'. His first crossover hit was 'Ain't That A Shame' but ,as was the norm in the 50s and 60s, a sanitised version by Pat Boone enjoyed greater chart success.

Domino's other hits include 'Be My Guest', 'I'm Ready', 'Walkin' To New Orleans' (a cover of a Bobby Charles R&B hit), 'Jambalaya' (his R&B take on the Hank Williams' country song) and, of course, 'Blueberry Hill'.

Fats Domino had a unique, identifiable sound and most pop music histories will explain his huge influence. In the early 60s most beat groups had at least one Domino song in their repertoire while Elvis Presley once opined that "Fats Domino was a huge influence on me when I started out". Its common knowledge too that Paul McCartney wrote 'Lady Madonna' in the style of Domino as a tribute to him. (Fats is pictured below with the Beatles).

Fats' profile waned in the late 60s as musical tastes changed; he preferred to stay true to his New Orleans musical roots but continued to find plenty of work on the oldies circuit and at festivals. In the 1980s, Domino decided he would no longer leave New Orleans. He had a comfortable income from royalties and he claimed that he could not get any food that he liked anywhere else! Even His induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and an invitation to perform at the White House failed to persuade him to make an exception to this policy. He was happy in his own house driving round town in his famous pink Cadillac!

Fats, like everyone in New Orleans, was a victim of 2005's Hurricane Katrina. His house was badly damaged and he lost three pianos and dozens of gold and platinum records, along with other memorabilia. Rumours abounded that he had died in the disaster but "The Fat Man" was a born survivor. By 2007 he was performing again, though his schedule slowed down after the death in 2008 of his wife, Rosemary; they had been married for fifty years.

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 25 October 2017 16:11

 

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