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Today 11:13 PM

Singin' Sammy Ward

Might anyone know any biographical facts about Singin' Sammy Ward? I tried Wiki but it was not very helpful. thanks to everyone in advance!
Today 10:40 PM

"Tears of a Clown" - Smokey Robinson - Wynn Las Vegas - 18 Sep 2019

Mary is not the only "mature" Motown artists still throwing it down. Check this out!

Today 12:53 PM

Phil Spector - Part E - "A&M Records"

Disenchanted with the music business, Phil Spector withdrew from record production for two years after the 1967 darkening of the lights at Philles Records. By 1969, however, he had grown bored with retirement, as well as with the state of pop music he was hearing on the radio. Phil was growing antsy!

Rather than reactivate his Philles label and operate as an independent again, Phil arranged a partnership deal with Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss' A&M Records which guaranteed big-time distribution AND his own A&M/Phil Spector Productions label and logo which pictured a caricature of a little man in a black cape and a top-hat representing Phil, himself. Especially instrumental in Phil's new partnership was recording engineer Larry Levine who had engineered nearly all of Phil's Philles sessions at Gold Star for 5 years running, and who was now working at A&M after having been hired to design A&M's new recording studios in the newly-renovated Charlie Chaplain Theatre on North La Brea Avenue near Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood.

Just as Jack Nitzsche had been Phil's right-hand man at the Gold Star sessions by writing out the musicians' sheet-music arrangements during Philles' heyday, Phil hired Perry Botkin, Jr., as his new music arranger for his A&M recordings. Perry Botkin was famous for his sweeping string passages which were his trademark, as were Phil's. In addition, Phil had also formed a new songwriting partnership with Toni Wine and Irwin Levine. Toni had composed the hit "Groovy Kind Of Love", and Irwin had written Gary Lewis & The Playboys' "This Diamond Ring". Together, they would provide hit material for Phil in 1969, and a string of hits for Tony Orlando & Dawn in the early '70s.

Everything sounded promising at A&M, as Phil was given 'carte blanche' to record anyone he liked. He had chosen a relatively unknown act who specialized in the music he understood best and loved most -- the black voice. The Checkmates, Ltd. were a mixed-race soul group featuring two strong black lead singers -- Bobby Stevens and Sonny Charles -- who alternated on lead vocals and who showed great promise. And Phil also honored wife Ronnie's pleading to get back into the studio by releasing a new Spector-Wine-Levine record billed as The Ronettes. He even released, for the first time ever, Ike & Tina Turner's aborted "River Deep" Philles LP with a slightly altered and improved track list.

Despite all this, including grand announcements of the A&M/Spector merger in all the important trade papers, Phil's return to the music scene was not exactly met with open arms as everyone had hoped. The Checkmates, Ltd.'s first single stalled at #69 on the charts, and the new release by The Ronettes sunk with barely a trace despite Spector/Wine/Levine's exciting melodious/lyrical composition, Perry's beautiful arrangement, Phil's top-notch production, and Ronnie's perfect performance. The Ike & Tina album also sold poorly. The Checkmates' next 45, however -- "Black Pearl" -- was a success, hitting #13 on the Billlboard Pop Chart and #8 on the R&B chart. With only one more single and an LP release by The Checkmates, Ltd., that was the extent of Phil Spector's 1969 stint at A&M Records.
Today 09:11 PM

Unissued Motown 45

Is anything known about this outfit and their recording for Motown ?
Did they get anything released on any other labels ?
Attachment 16261
Yesterday 10:30 PM

Classic Soul JAMS!

Today is my birthday and with each one I am blessed with I like to look back some. In this case I am looking back at some of the BEST Classic Soul Jams in my opinion. Are you with me? Here's a few that make the cut:

Eddie Floyd - Knock On Wood - 1966

Today 10:43 AM

Four Tops Second Album

This certainly was one the Tops’ strongest albums, with three songs becoming very successful singles: “I Can’t Help Myself,” “It’s The Same Old Song” and “Something About You.” But there are other tunes here that might have been successful singles. Does anyone know if Quality Control considered any others for release as A-side 45’s?

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Ralph Terrana
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