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KEEP SMILING!

Friday, 30 January 2015 16:30 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

neo_labelOne of last year's biggest tunes was the revitalised 'Your Smile' from NEO. The tune – a collaboration between French pianist Stephane d'Esposito and US soul man Rudi Wilburn had been around since 2005 but had never really taken off. Fast forward to last autumn when, of course, the song was remixed by Drizabone's Billy Freeman and the rest, we know, is news.

'Your Smile' became an instant anthem – the staple of every modern soul room and a mainstay on the playlists of the best soul stations. To guarantee extra mileage more remixes followed but the one the collectors really wanted was the elusive "CW Unlimited Gold Mix" remix that channelled all the big Barry White influences – the drawn out intro and the full 'Love's Theme' thing.

Good news for those soul starved collectors is that that remix is all set for release on a very limited edition 7" single via Expansion Records. The disc's a double A sider. One side is the Drizabone remix but the CW tweak on the flip is the one that everyone wants.... be warned though... it is a limited edition and demand is bound to outstrip supply. If you want it you know what you need to do!

Last Updated on Friday, 30 January 2015 16:41

 

SLY VICTORY...

Friday, 30 January 2015 16:27 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

slyA Los Angeles Supreme Court has awarded pioneering soul singer SLY STONE $5 million in unpaid royalties. Last Tuesday, 27th January, Stone emerged victorious after a protracted four year legal battle. His lawyers had successfully argued that his former manager and entertainment lawyer Jerry Goldstein and Glenn Stone had misled him as to exactly what his role was in a music company which he actually owned, Even St.

Defence lawyers argued that the royalty monies had been used to pay the musician's tax debts. They claimed that the singer had approached their clients to revitalize his career and promised to make comeback records that he never recorded. The jury rejected the claims.

Nicholas Hornberger, one of Stone's lawyers said,"Sly's a deeply religious guy and he loves everybody and they just took him. It's sad that people would treat other people like that. This is endemic of the entertainment industry. There are bad people who leech off people and this has got to stop." He added, "It's a good day for Sly, it's a good day for entertainers in general. This was an important verdict for people that are artists, entertainers, music composers".

Stone, now aged 71, was reported to have fallen on hard times and it's rumoured he was living in a van prior to the court case

sly-family-stone

Last Updated on Friday, 30 January 2015 16:41

 

CHARLES MCMILLAN DIES....

Thursday, 29 January 2015 13:57 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

nackChicago music entrepreneur, CHARLES "MACK" McMILLAN died on Monday January 26th. He was 81.

Born in North Carolina in 1933, his first employment was as a teacher of physical education in Chester, Pennsylvania. There he became the first African-American Director of the Chester Boys Club from 1956-1969, mentoring and teaching young men in health and physical education.

In 1969 McMillan moved to Chicago and changed career tack, forming Entertainment Consultants Inc, taking over the management of soul legends Jerry Butler, the Impressions and Curtis Mayfield when the latter went solo. His other clients included (at various times) Gene Chandler, Chuck Jackson, Ben E. King, The Temptations, Nancy Wilson, Diane Cannon, Richard Roundtree, Jessie Jackson, George Foreman, Blue Magic, The Dramatics, Jeffery Osbourne, The Chi-Lites, Reba McIntyre, Flip Wilson, Dionne Warwick, Shirley Reeves, Smokey Robinson, Aretha Franklin, Thelma Houston, Cissy Houston, Phyllis Hyman, Patti Labelle and the Dells. Quite a list!

Jerry Butler in particular has always been strong in praise of the man his artists knew as "Mack". In his autobiography, the Ice Man wrote, "By 1983 I was spending so much time attending to the affairs of my beer business (a Butler side line) that I literally let the entertainment side go. Consequently my bookings began to dip. Had it not been for my long-time manager, Charles 'Mack' McMillan, my singing career probably would have been over years ago. He kept me working and my name before the public."

Interestingly McMillan also appeared as an extra in a number of movies – most notably in Steve McQueen's 'Bullitt'. In later years McMillan returned to Chester and was again active in mentoring students and helping run activity clubs for teenagers.

Charles McMillan is survived by his two sons Karlton and Andre, his sister Loretta and numerous grandchildren.

Last Updated on Friday, 30 January 2015 14:08

 

GOOD TIMING....

Wednesday, 28 January 2015 15:49 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

carmen_hendricks_cover_CD20BABY_timingAustralia-based soulstress CARMEN HENDRICKS debuted back in 2010 with the acclaimed 'Rhythmic Soul Revealed' long player and now she's about to unleash her sophomore effort – 'Timing'. Carmen tells us that the new ten tracker illustrates her personal belief that things happen at the right time if you get out of the way and just let the universe lead you!

The album is preceded by a taster – two tunes that give the flavour of what we can expect. 'Timing', the title tune, is brash and brassy and features some intriguing rhythmic changes. It's already getting plenty of attention from stations like Jazz FM. 'I Will Not Let You Go' is more groove based and is a perfect vehicle for Ms. Hendricks' slinky vocal styling.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 28 January 2015 15:54

 

KATHY KEEPS MOVIN’....

Wednesday, 28 January 2015 15:46 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

KATHY_SLEDGE_Remember SISTER SLEDGE? Sure you do. Tunes like 'Mama Never Told Me' , 'We Are Family', 'He's The Greatest Dancer' and 'Love Don't Go Thru Changes' are accepted as genre classics while in the 90s lead voice KATHY SLEDGE kept the feeling with her Epic album, 'Heart'.

Kathy is currently signed to Pacific Electronic Music – owned by ex Atlantic exec Jerry Greenberg – and is working on lots of new stuff. In the meantime, though, she's just surfaced as featured vocalist on a classy slice of soulful house from a team going out as ARISTOFREEKS.

Aristofreeks is an Ibiza-based DJ/producer/remix duo - Max Martire and Shantti Matkin and their mission statement is to re-inject some disco magic into modern house and what better artist to help them out than Kathy Sledge (we're told they're also lining up Linda Clifford, Martha Wash and Norma Jean!)

The Aristofreeks/Kathy Sledge collaboration is called 'Keep It Movin'' and, as you can imagine, the energized dancer comes in a plethora of remixes with the tweak from Eric Kupper topping the pile. The tune itself is a proper little bouncer – aimed shamelessly at the club crowd – but Kathy's in great form and all augers well for what she's working on with Pacific Electronic.

AUDIOFREEKS feat KATHY SLEDGE - KEEP IT MOVIN is out now on PEM Records

Last Updated on Wednesday, 28 January 2015 15:54

 

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