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DENNIS EDWARDS... SORDID ALLEGATIONS

Wednesday, 07 February 2018 21:08 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altLess than a week since his sad passing, US media is reporting on alleged domestic abuse meted out to Dennis Edwards by his wife, Brenda.

Stories currently circulating suggest that Mrs Brenda Edwards was served a protective order on January 12 by the Healthcare Consortium of Illinois. The order prevented Mrs Edwards having contact with her bedridden husband as it was suggested that she'd been abusing him- not allowing him use of his hearing aids and other items of medical equipment and, more seriously, even trying to suffocate him. It's further stated that the Chicago Police have begun a criminal investigation.

Prior to the alleged incidents and Dennis Edwards' ill health, the couple had lived in St Louis but they moved to Chicago to seek better health care for Dennis. In a prepared statement, Brenda Edwards stated that she cared diligently for her bedridden husband and that: "I loved Dennis, and we were married for 18 years. I would have never done anything to harm him. These allegations are false and defamatory and will be proven as such. Until this is all over, I have no further comment."

 

LEON CHANCLER DIES....

Sunday, 04 February 2018 19:16 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altJazz and soul master drummer LEON 'NDGUGU' CHANCLER died on Saturday February 3rd. He was 65 and few details about his passing are currently available.

Avid soul and jazz fans will be familiar with Leon's work. He worked with dozens of major names – notably George Duke, Santana, Patrice Rushen, Hubert Laws, The Crusaders, Weather Report, Lionel Richie, Thelonious Monk and John Lee Hooker ... even Kenny Rogers and Frank Sinatra.

Chancler's first proper gig was with working with Willie Bobo and the Harold Johnson Sextet whilst he was still at school. From there he graduated to the bands The Jazz Prophets and The United Groove.

In the early 70s Leon was part of the George Duke Band before moving onto work with Carlos Santana. In '78 he led his own group - The Chocolate Jam Co. His reputation was such that Quincy Jones had no hesitation in drafting him in to play on 'Thriller'

In later years Leon Chancler was Adjunct Assistant Professor of Jazz Studies at the University of Southern California.

Last Updated on Sunday, 04 February 2018 19:23

 

REACHIN’ OUT FOR LAMONT.....

Saturday, 03 February 2018 14:14 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altAt the back end of 2017 we published details of an upcoming UK tour by soul icon LAMONT DOZIER. Lamont arrives in June for 8 shows and he'll be promoting what will be his latest album - 'Reimagination'. The set, we're told, is an acoustic re-interpretation of some of Dozier's most famed compositions and it's set to be released in early Spring. The record includes guest appearances from people like Gregory Porter, Sir Cliff Richard, Graham Nash, Todd Rundgren, Rumer and UK newcomer Jo Harman.

Ms Harman joins Lamont on a new, piano-led version of the 4 Tops' 'Reach Out' and previews reveal something quite, quite different to what you might expect. The power of Levi Stubbs is replaced by an intimate tenderness though the new version does build to its own climax as dramatic as the Tops'. And a nice touch.... the song will be released as a single on Valentines Day.... aah!

Lamont says of the new record: "It's a brilliant idea to reclaim these songs in this fashion and we're just having a ball with it. I'm sure Motown fans will dig the new interpretations just as much as we all are here". Jo Harman, who is also support artist for the tour adds: "For me, two major pillars of modern music are The Beatles and Motown. To play even a small part in this, well, historic record is genuinely mind blowing for me. It's such a total honour to be involved".

Last Updated on Saturday, 03 February 2018 14:34

 

DENNIS EDWARDS DIES.....

Saturday, 03 February 2018 14:08 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altMuch-loved, and one of the distinctive lead voices with THE TEMPTATIONS, DENNIS EDWARDS has died. Dennis passed away in Chicago on February 1st – two days before his 75th birthday. No official cause of death has been given. Last May we reported that the stentorian voiced ex Tempt was seriously ill and different news sites have suggested he was suffering with meningitis and/or pneumonia. Other sources suggest Dennis had had a stroke while one source says that he'd been going through rehabilitation suffering from an aneurysm. His nephew, Jason Quebec, posted that: "My uncle Dennis Edwards passed away this morning. Please keep my family in prayer. You were truly a class act, Dennis. I will miss you more than words can describe. It's been a privilege to have been in your presence.

Dennis Wayne Edwards Jnr was born on 3rd February 1943 in Fairfield, Alabama and he began his singing career with The Mighty Clouds of Joy. After a stint in the army he auditioned for Berry Gordy and was signed to Motown in 1966. His first Motown opportunity came when he was drafted into the Contours who often opened for the Temptations on tour. When David Ruffin left (or was sacked from, depending on who you believe) the Temptations, Dennis Edwards was the natural choice – already known and popular with the rest of the group.

Just as Edwards joined, musical tastes were changing and Motown suits decided the Temptations needed a new direction – tougher, funkier and more adventurous. Dennis Edwards' voice was the perfect vehicle for this new sound. Working with producer Norman Whitfield, Edwards led the legendary group on the hits 'Cloud Nine', 'Papa Was A Rolling Stone', 'I Can't Get Next To You' and many more.

altDennis Edwards stayed with the group for nine years. He remained with Motown when they left for Atlantic, but when they rejoined the Motown fold he slipped back into his old role with them. He left again in 1984 and scored a major solo hit with 'Don't Look Any Further' but was back with the Tempts three years later. Two years later he was out again and as his solo career stuttered he set up the Temptations Revue (pictured below)which at times also featured Eddie Kendricks and David Ruffin. Trading on the Temptations brand naturally brought him into legal wrangling with the "original" group but he kept his version on the road for almost thirty years.

Dennis was briefly married to Ruth Pointer with whom he had a daughter, Issa – who went onto work with her mother and aunts in the Pointer Sisters. His second wife was Brenda Edwards.

Yesterday Berry Gordy posted: "Dennis was the perfect artist to join the Temptations at a critical time in the group's rise. He epitomized their style - tall, dark, handsome - and a voice like no other."

alt

 

NIGHT CRAWLIN’

Friday, 02 February 2018 19:30 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altIn 1992 Scottish soul man JOHN REID came out from behind the decks he'd been spinning and formed his very own band THE NIGHTCRAWLERS. The outfit enjoyed huge success with tunes like 'Push The Feeling' and 'Surrender Your Love' with the former winning reactivated success at the backend of 2017.

Reid, who's also a busy writer (he's penned hits for Westflife, Rod Stewart, Tina Turner, Kelly Clarkson and Leona Lewis amongst others), has just resurrected the Nighcrawlers for a wonderful new three track EP – 'Soul Sessions'. Produced by Michael J McEvoy and Ernie McKone, all three tunes on the mini album are winning maximum airplay across the very best soul stations. No wonder... all are easy on the ear and feature real instruments that perfectly complement the inherent soulfulness in Reid's vocals.

'Watchin' You Watchin' Me' is a tight, classic modern soul dancer, matched for catchiness by the zippy, 'I Need Your Love' but the cherry on this delicious soul cake is the mid-tempo 'Love Comes Around'. This is the one currently grabbing all the headlines and rightly so...a proper song, sweet melody, catchy hook, sympathetic backing and a convincing vocal. Lovely!

Last Updated on Friday, 02 February 2018 19:45

 

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