Yesterday 11:34 PM

25 Years Ago Today We Lost Phyllis Hyman

On June 30, 1995 the terrible news came out that the incomparable Phyllis Hyman had died in New York City shortly before she was scheduled to take the stage at the legendary Apollo Theater. She had suffered from bi-polar issues for quite some time but of course no one will ever know exactly what happened that day.

For those of you who were fans and already have her in your collection, I hope you will salute her today by listening to some of her music and remembering where you may have been in your life back then. For me, I can remember it just like yesterday, right down to where I was living at the time and even which room I was in when I read the news.

As for those of you who may have never heard of her either back then or now, I would encourage you through the clip I have attached or the many others that you can find on YouTube, to take some time and explore her extraordinary talent.

Phyllis was very difficult to categorize. I have seen her of course in R & B sections on the shelves, I have seen her in the Jazz bins, or she was equally adept at pop songs. But the most consistent thing about her was that she sang about pain and heartache as well or better than anyone who has ever come along before or since. (In my day, we called them "torch singers.)"

If I had to recommend specific songs in that vein, it would be "I Refuse to Be Lonely" (the title song of her posthumous album), as well as "Just Another Face in the Crowd", "Give Me One Good Reason to Stay," "Living All Alone," and of course the real tearjerker that I have linked for you today. (I won't name it just to make you listen but it was in my opinion the CONSUMMATE Phyllis Hyman song about lost love.)

However, she was by no means one-dimensional in her music, and she could also deliver a foot-stomping good time and sing of joy and celebration. So if and when you want to hear that side of her, check out songs like "You Know How to Love Me," "You Sure Look Good to Me," and her number one R & B dance hit "Don't Wanna Change the World."

Any way you slice it, she was a remarkable singer and it was so sad that her demons overtook her that day. One week from today would have been her 71st birthday if she were still with us, and considering what some of her peers (Dionne, Gladys, Patti, etc.) have continued to give us all these years, it makes it that much sadder to realize how much more Phyllis might have had to offer.

I know I have overdone it with this tribute, especially considering how much other trouble and heartache we have going on in the world at the moment. But maybe someday we can put all of that behind us. For now I felt as if I just HAD to post this memory of this incredible songstress.

And now, here is Phyllis at her best.............

Today 12:09 AM

The Four Tops - Reach Out, the album

I listened to this today. It had 6 single releases that spanned 1966 to 1968.
In terms of releases, that must be a record. I think there might have beeen 1 or 2 more potential releases on it.
I think it is the equivalent to the Supremes A Go Go in terms of mix of motown songs and non motown songs, and very well produced.
Today 12:13 AM

The Emotions Unsung

Anyone interested in viewing this? It answered a lot of my questions and
includes a lot of footage I've never seen. I thought it was generally well done...

Yesterday 10:56 PM

Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On" still relevant and revealing, 50 years on

Great lengthy article on the 50th anniversary of the recording of "What's Going On". Had no idea they recorded the instrumental in June, the vocals in July and the DSO in September!

Yesterday 01:28 PM

The 5 most iconic Motown Musicians

Attachment 17920

Motown Records is one of the world’s most influential labels and helped to launch the careers of many of the world’s biggest artists – let us explore some of the very best.
Motown Records, launched in Detroit in 1959 and named after the city of the motor, has a long and storied history. As an African-American owned label hiring black artists they achieved huge crossover success which brought a whole range of amazing black artists to the forefront of popular music.

Their cultural significance can not be overstated, but as socially powerful as their movement was they are also that a bunch of the world’s most iconic artists are known to us.

In celebration of this incredible label we wanted to take a look at 5 of Motown’s most significant, most talented, and wonderfully brilliant artists.

Yesterday 06:16 PM

Soulful detroit quality control thread


Okay gang. If you ever have wanted to sit in on a QC meeting, now is your chance, The song is "Suddenly There's You" Clay McMurray's former wife, Pree, is the artist and the song was produced by long time forum member, Carl Dixon. The song was recorded in Philadelphia in 2008 and many Detroit musicians are represented on the session. The song has a nice 60s Detroit R&B feel. Carl did his homework on this. Pree delivers in spades. So, check it out and post your thoughts. Would you spend your last buck on a hot dog or download the song.


Ralph Terrana

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