In Otis Redding: An Unfinished Life, Jonathan Gould finally does justice to Redding’s unfinished life, drawn on exhaustive research, the cooperation of the Redding family, and previously unavailable sources of information to present the first comprehensive portrait of the singer’s background, his upbringing, and his professional career.
Note: This item is pre-order only now. Expected release date is May 16, 2017.
In chronicling the story of Redding’s life and music, Gould also presents a social history of the time and place from which they emerged. His book never lets us forget that the boundaries between black and white in popular music were becoming porous during the years when racial tensions were reaching a height throughout the United States. His indelible portrait of Redding and the mass acceptance of soul music in the 1960s is both a revealing look at a brilliant artist and a provocative exploration of the tangled history of race and music in America that resonates strongly with the present day.
Mavis! is the first feature documentary on gospel/soul music legend and civil rights icon Mavis Staples and her family group, The Staple Singers. From the freedom songs of the ’60s and hits like “I’ll Take You There” in the ’70s, to funked-up collaborations with Prince and her recent albums with Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy, Mavis has stayed true to her roots, kept her family close, and inspired millions along the way.
Featuring powerful live performances, rare archival footage, and conversations with friends and contemporaries including Bob Dylan, Prince, Bonnie Raitt, Levon Helm, Jeff Tweedy, Chuck D, and more, Mavis! reveals the struggles, successes, and intimate stories of her journey. At 75, she’s making the most vital music of her career, winning Grammy awards, and reaching a new generation of fans. Her message of love and equality is needed now more than ever.
The Staple Singers
360 is a complete return to the soul/funk roots of Hamish Stuart, Molly Duncan and Steve Ferrone: iconic members of The Average White Band.
The new record is a phenomenal homage to the band members’ origins. Between them, they have created and played on numerous stand-out projects, and have amassed a following as some of the greatest soul and funk musicians of all time.
Recorded live in the studio, the chemistry between the players is undeniable when listening to the tracks. If you’re an AWB fan, or a fan of the genre, this is not to be missed.
The purpose of this blog post is to promote awareness of the inherent genius of the late Bert Berns. He was born in New York in 1929 and died tragically of a heart attack at just 38 years of age. But in his short career, Berns left an indelible mark on popular music; he made fifty-one pop chart singles in seven years and became one of the most successful songwriters of the 1960s.
Recordings – There is an interesting catalog of Bert Berns that spans three volumes from Ace Records, UK.
Here Comes the Night is both a definitive account of the golden age of rhythm and blues of the early ’60s and the harrowing, ultimately tragic story of songwriter and record producer Bert Berns, whose meteoric career was fueled by his pending doom. His heart damaged by rheumatic fever as a youth, Berns was not expected to live to see 21. Although his name is little remembered today, Berns worked alongside all the greats of the era—Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, Ahmet Ertegun and Jerry Wexler, Burt Bacharach, Phil Spector, Gerry Goffin and Carole King, anyone who was anyone in New York rhythm and blues. In seven quick years, he went from nobody to the top of the pops—producer of monumental r&b classics, songwriter of “Twist and Shout,” “My Girl Sloopy,” “Piece of My Heart,” and others.
This book serves as a major source for the documentary about Bert Berns mentioned below. Joel Selvin wrote the narration for the film.
I have a great deal of respect and admiration for Bob Sarles. He has captured on film many moving testaments about the important music industry giants of our time. He has an incredible knack for highlighting people who deserve our focus and attention. I’m grateful for his work.
Bang! The Bert Berns Story – Music meets the Mob in this biographical documentary, narrated by Steven Van Zandt, about the life and career of Bert Berns, the most important songwriter and record producer from the sixties that you never heard of. His hits include “Twist and Shout”, “Hang On Sloopy”, “Here Comes The Night” and “Piece Of My Heart.” He helped launch the careers of Van Morrison and Neil Diamond and produced some of the greatest soul music ever made. Filmmaker Brett Berns brings his late father’s story to the screen through interviews with those who knew him best and rare performance footage. Included in the film are interviews with Ronald Isley, Ben E. King, Solomon Burke, Van Morrison, Keith Richards and Paul McCartney.
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Award
Bert Berns was inducted as a non-performer and given the Ahmet Ertegun Lifetime Achievement Award with the 2016 class to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Piece of My Heart tells Bert’s triumphant and tragic story through the eyes of Jessie, the daughter he never knew. Experience what Rolling Stone calls “one of the great untold stories of rock and roll.” This world premiere musical pulls you into a journey of discovery told through his chart-topping hits (and some rare gems) including “Twist and Shout,” “I Want Candy,” “Hang on Sloopy,” and the immortal title song, “Piece of My Heart.” Meet the man you never knew through the music you’ve loved for years.
I was amazed at his transformation into James Brown. He has him down pat. My favorite eras of James Brown are well represented in the combination of history and the interactions he has with Bobby Byrd, Maceo Parker, the audience at The Apollo (probably the best live recording of all time) and Dan Ackroyd as his manager.
You learn how integral James Brown was in forming the Funk for Soul and R&B. Watch this movie when you can. You will not sit still trust me.
We saw the documentary Muscle Shoalsyesterday afternoon. All I can say is if you love music and want to know why it sounds so good, go see this movie. The film captures the beauty of Alabama along the Tennessee River and the engineered audio excellence of so many time proven recorded classics.
The Muscle Shoals Soundtrack captures the film’s music essence. I would have loved to have seen “Wild Horses” by the Rolling Stones and “Main Street” by Bob Seger on the soundtrack but oh well that’s show business 😉
It’s a mind blower to know that “Sitting in Limbo” was NOT recorded in Jamaica! How I love that song. The versatility of The Swampers is amazing.
Forty years on the excitement continues with Earth, Wind & Fire. This week saw the release of their latest studio recording, Now, Then & Forever. (September 10th)
Earth, Wind & Fire have a proud history with CBS Sony and Legacy Recordings. I have hung tough with Earth, Wind & Fire the past decade as they attempted to strike flint and make fire with two previous studio recordings on the Sanctuary Records label, The Promise (2003) and Illumination (2005). I liked both recordings for the collaborative inventiveness exhibited.
Now, Then & Forever on Sony Legacy is the 21st studio album from this prolific group. This is the first album produced without musical input from founder Maurice White.
Earth, Wind & Fire used a sales formula that a couple of their musical peers (The Beach Boys, Rod Stewart) have been effective masterminding. They staged a product launch and musical concert with The Home Shopping Network and HSN Live The HSN marketing machine has tremendous reach with cable shoppers and InterWeb fans. The live television event helped Earth, Wind & Fire sell 10,000 albums in 90 minutes.
Welcome Back Earth, Wind & Fire your perseverance is awe-inspiring.
We are invited to a private show featuring the O’Jays at the Mohegan Sun Casino Arena later this month. We are excited to witness live the Philadelphia Soul sounds classically forged by the O’Jays and Gamble and Huff, an American songwriting and record production team who have written and produced over 170 gold and platinum records!
Can’t wait to join hands and board the Love Train.
Earth, Wind & Fire are energetically back with a new album, Now, Then & Forever It marks the return of the band’s signature sound. The album drops on September 10th and includes 10 brand new, vibrant songs. You can preview the newest single, “My Promise,” exclusively at EarthWindandFire.com!
Featuring 17 previously unreleased track this deluxe edition box set offers the chance to experience the songs you know and love but often in alternate versions, including mono singles, demos, instrumental tracks, live concert and television recordings, and more.
Housed in a colorful slipcase with a lavishly-illustrated 104-page book, the box set will feature 77 tracks, 17 of them previously unreleased.
Three major elements are central to the 104-page book. There is the authoritative liner notes essay written by Jeff Kaliss, author of I Want To Take You Higher: The Life And Times Of Sly & The Family Stone, the group’s only authorized biography. The booklet also contains a comprehensive, lavishly-illustrated timeline compiled by Dutch authorities Edwin & Arno Konings. Nearly 100 entries span from March 15, 1943 (“Sylvester Stewart is born in Denton, Texas. Six months later, the family moves to Vallejo, California”) to a final update in late-2012. The Koningses have also contributed track-by-track annotations for all 77 cuts in Higher! The notes contain excerpts from Thank You, the Koningses’ own forthcoming biography of Sly & The Family Stone. (Go to www.slystonebook.com).