Today 09:01 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 07:49 PM

Ethics and "Think About Tomorrow"

This has to be my favorite Ethics track. Of course, it features current Temptation Ron Tyson on lead.

Today 12:19 PM

Why So Many Temptations???

I was thinking today ( I know, scary huh? LOL!) why were there so many Temptations, replacement members or what have you? I think there were something like 300 Temptations and counting. Well, maybe not quite that many, but there were a lot of them.

Why do think there were so many individual Temptation members?
07-01-2020 01:08 PM

For fans of the Chicago Sound

Hi all,

Hope everybody is well given the current circumstances.

If you are a fan of the Chicago Sound, the link below will take you to an excellent website on the Chicago Sound. It is especially interesting because it heavily features interviews with the arrangers and musicians who were the architects of the Chicago Sound, for example Thomas ’Tom Tom’ Washington, Willie Henderson, Gene Barge, And James Mack, as well as artists such as Gene Chandler.

And what an amazing institution Crane College was: “Prominent Crane grads include Tom Washington, fellow Brunswick Records arranger Willie Henderson, Nancy Wilson, Jerry Butler, Tyrone Davis, Della Reese, Walter Jackson, Little Milton, Verdine White, and founding members of Earth, Wind & Fire, Louis Satterfield, Don Myrick, and Maurice White.”

Oh, and and excellent tracks representing Chicago in a playlist.



Today 04:59 PM

Tyrone davis - chiccago sound exemplar

I thought this recording of Eddie Floyd's hit 'Knock On Wood' by Tyrone Davis would be of interest to fans of the Chicago Sound. Everybody knows the Stax rendition and there are countless recordings following the same format, amd most don't add anything to the original.

However, Tyrone and his crew gave it the full Chicago treatment in 1968 and it is hardly recognisable. It illustrates just how definitive and distinctly different the Chicago Sound was, with its big fat bubbling bass, the space and air, the guitar chords and the full blaring horns, all supporting a great performance by Tyrone pleading his case.


Ralph Terrana

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