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Southern Soul Corner March 12

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Southern Soul is Hot!

 

Corner Talk:  The explosion of music that can be classified as Southern Soul is clearly evident if you look on the Internet at key information sites, many of which allow for charts from industry individuals that are spinning the tunes. Music and artists range from A to Z and everything in between. It is a good place to discover what you are missing as a participant in the genre. 

The Boogie Report ((http://boogiesmusicreporters.ning.com/) /) is an extremely informative website with almost 1200 members. It allows radio and club reporters to post their charts on the member comments page. It is a great place to learn about what's hot and what's new. The site also has a blog, a message board capability among members and does a recorded Top 20 Countdown. 

Another great site, Blues Critic (http://www.soulbluesmusic.com/), also posts reporter playlists on a periodic basis. A Top 40 Albums chart, a radio station, artist bios and CD store are all key features of this site. Blues Critic has also conducted annual awards in multiple music categories since 2005 based on polling their readers. They also compile a yearly 'best of' list in multiple categories. 

The site with the most information has to be Daddy B. Nice's Southern Soul RnB.com which can be found at www.southernsoulrnb.com / Daddy B. must do nothing but review music and collect information 24/7, the site is so comprehensive. It has a monthly Top 10 chart and news column with featured artists every month. There are detailed artist bios with Daddy B. opinions and ratings on individual artist songs. He also does a yearly 'Best Of' series with roughly 15 categories. There are new CD reviews, a concert calendar and mailbag, a CD store, bunches of articles,  a complete index of every artist mentioned anywhere on the website and a whole ton more. You gotta see it to believe, it is simply amazing!!

A site that has changed formats a few times, Soul and Blues Report, can now be found at http://soulandbluesreport.com/. This site actually evolved from collecting radio and club charts from reporters and mailing them out with a Top 25 in hardcopy form. The latest iteration of the site appears to be limiting the number of charts that are being reported. The site also features a 24/7 radio link, a merchandise store, gospel and R&B news and more.

Check out all these informative sites to learn more about the movers and shakers in Southern Soul.

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Montgomery, Alabama native Alonzo Reid started playing the drums not long after he learned to walk! He was raised on the roots of gospel and the music of such elite groups as The Brooklyn All Stars and The Swan Silvertones. His first gig was with Chicago's Pilgrim Jubilees, leading to the  opportunity to play behind greats Shirley Caesar, Dorothy Norwood, The Mighty Clouds of Joy and The Soul Stirrers. Switching over to secular music, he was with the late Marvin Sease for 14 years and backed up Mel Waiters for 3 years. Stepping out now to center stage Alonzo has released his first CD entitled Undercover Freak on the Quietstorm Records label. In contains 10 cuts – the title track along with She Freaks 4 Me, Whatcha Want Me 2 Do and My Work Gloves all bring the mail! Alonzo learned some of Marvin's phrasing style in those 14 years he spent with the incredible Candy Licker man. Gotta love it! Look for future stardom for the annointed Mr. Quietstorm of Southern Soul!

Classic Soul and R&B Holiday Compilations

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I just had to do a follow-up on this sweet lady from Warner Robins, Georgia,  her presence in support of the music that is Southern Soul and Blues has been relentless. LGB is enjoying tremendous success with her latest single Jealous Wo-Man, Yes I Am. Some of the folks that follow this music do not realize that she had a previous sleeper hit, Reality Slowly Walks Us Down, that was also the title of her early 2010 album release. The song was on the Daddy B. Nice 'Best Out Of Left Field' list for the year.  There are at least 3 additional cuts on the album that have the potential to be hits in this market. Weekend Widow Dressed In Black, I'll Always Love You But I Won't Always Be Your Fool and He Called Me Baby all have either a mid tempo or three quarters groove that would work well on the radio and in the clubs. The jocks just need to go back and give the album another listen!!

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Mobile, Alabama's Simone De broke into the Southern Soul scene with his 2005 debut album I Can't Take It No More!,  10 tracks of pure Soul music with gospel undertones. Although none of the singles were individually highly acclaimed, the album garnered a #13 ranking on Blues Critic's Top 25 Southern Soul/R&B albums for the year. His 2007 The Definitive Collection had a distinctive old school flavor that produced hits with Since I Lost You Baby and Show Me, the latter which is still getting air and club play from the Beach music jocks. The album was voted to the #4 spot in that years' Top 25. Additional songs that caught my attention from the release were the uptempo Sweet Memory and a beautiful ballad called Tonight Is The Night. Simone De sings with a consistent smooth soul tenor range that has both power and emotion. His 2011 Soul Enchantment release was a combination of re-mastered tracks from his earlier recordings as well as a strong cover of the late Johnnie Taylor's A Love To Call Mine. Simone De currently has a new single, Feel So Good, a mid tempo dancer that is already making waves in Southern Soul. He may just be getting warmed up in terms of potential impact in the world of Soul music!

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There'll Come A Time is a song first recorded by Betty Everett in 1969. The tune, written by Floyd Smith and Eugene Record of the Chi-Lites, made it to #2 R&B and #26 Pop on The Billboard Top 100 Charts. The strong rhythmic track was later covered by soulsters Sly, Slick & Wicked, Texas Blues belters Kay Kay & The Rays and more recently, a tremendous upbeat version by Jerry Wilson & The Jewels. Uvee Hayes, however, has recently created a soulful rendition that is as unique as it is good!  Uvee is a veteran performer but relatively new in the Southern Soul spotlight. Her release of  Play Something Pretty was voted the 23rd  Best Soul/R&B Album for 2009. The powerful title track, a duet with the legendary Otis Clay, won  Best Performance By a Duo or Group for the year. She also recorded an album with Barbara Carr in late 2009 entitled Southern Soul Blues Sisters. Uvee actually first recorded the single There'll Come A Time in 2002. The latest version was included on the release of her most recent album entitled True Confessions.

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Syl Johnson is a true original Soul man that began singing and recording way back in the 50's. Like so many great musicians born in the South in the 30's and 40's, he migrated to Chicago with his family at a young age. He possessed sufficient harmonica and guitar skills to get gigs playing with Magic Sam, Billy Boy Arnold, Muddy Waters and Junior Wells. Syl recorded his first songs on King/Federal in 1959, the same label where James Brown was already becoming famous.

Signing up with the Twinight label in the mid-60's, Syl recorded several singles, some which became hits.  Come On Sock It To Me, Is It Because I'm Black, Concrete Reservation, Different Strokes, Dresses Too Short and Get Ready all made the Billboard R&B charts during this period. Several years later, he would have to go to court to successfully win the rights to his Twinight tunes. Syl then began what would become a long association with Willie Mitchell in the late 60's.

Syl moved over to Mitchell's Memphis based Hi Records label in the early 70's. His singing voice sounded so much like the label's rising superstar, Al Green, that his recordings were often mistaken as being Al's. While establishing his own strong presence at Hi, Syl again had several R&B charting hits including Back For A Taste Of Your Love, We Did It, I Want To Take You Home (To See Mama) and Take Me To The River. He co-wrote many of the songs that he recorded over the years and also did his share of arranging and producing as well. As the Soul music era began to wane in the late 70's and early 80's, Syl's career, like so many of his counterparts, began to slow down dramatically as well. 

After a long absence, Syl finally returned to the studio in 1994 to record what became a  watermark album on the Delmark label, one that they still occasionally feature in their printed advertisements.  Reunited and backed by the legendary Hi Rhythm Section, Syl punches out 14 tracks of rollicking raw R&B and Soul on Back In The Game. He quickly followed that one up in 1995 with This Time Together By Father And Daughter, an album with his daughter Syleena, who has become an accomplished singer in her own right in R&B music. Syl's 2002 release, Two Johnsons Are Better Than One, featured killer tracks with Dangerous and I Can't Survive. The other Johnson was his brother Jimmy, who has played guitar on performances and/or recordings of  artists such as Denise LaSalle, Garland Green, Jimmy Dawkins, Otis Rush, Cher, Aretha Franklin, Rod Stewart, Buddy Guy and Paul Simon, to name a few. Jimmy has also had quite a recording career on his own. 

The legend in music that is Syl Johnson has seen quite a resurgence in recent years. Well into his 70's, he continues to selectively tour and perform to sellout crowds. The latest of many compilations of his long career, the 80 plus track Complete Mythology,  was nominated for two Grammy Awards in 2012. Many of Syl's original tracks have been sampled by other artists over the years. He continues to represent some of the best in the history of Soul music!

          

 

 Soul Dog’s Smokin' Top 45 Southern Soul Hits

                                  March 2012

 

 

1)    Do Right – Omar Cunningham

2)  Got No Curfew - Mel Waiters

3)  I'm Takin' My Man Back – Stephanie Pickett

4)  Go Get That Love – Wilson Meadows

5)  Jealous Woman - Yes I Am – LGB

6)  Big Party - Michelle Sweeney & Kenny Hamilton

7)  Who's Rockin' You - Donnie Ray

8)  There'll Come A Time - Uvee Hayes

9)  Something I Want – David Brinston & Ms. Jody

10)          The Party Don't Start Until I Get There – Jonathan Burton

11)          Let's Have A Party – Gina Brown

12)          Go Home – Klass Band Brotherhood

13)          Love Mechanic - Jesi Terrell

14)          Let's Get A Room – Jesse James & Millie Jackson

15)          Rent Man – DieDra

16)          Feels So Good - Simone De

17)          Gone On Part 2 - Larry Shannon Hargrove

18)          Show You A Good Time - Bobby Rush

19)          Ask Me What You Want - Chandra Calloway

20)          We Gonna Party Tonight - T.K. Soul

21)          U Won't Miss Yo Water - Falisa JaNaye

22)          I Ain't Going Nowhere - Floyd Lawson

23)          Giddy Up – Charli'

24)          I'll Take Care of You - Chuck Roberson

25)          Let Your Mind Go Back - Sheba Potts-Wright

26)          Walk Away – Big G

27)          Southern Soul Dip - Ms. Jody

28)          Red Dress – Hog Pin

29)          I'm Writing You A Ticket – Ms. Me Me

30)          Playing Catch Up - Sonny Mack

31)          21st Century Grown Folks - Carl Marshall and Friends

32)          You Fooled Me This Time - T. Honey Brown

33)          You Got It Going On - Jimmie Ja

34)          Rebound Love Affair - Luther Lackey

35)          Sexy In The Saddle – Soulshot Riders

36)          Country Twang - Bigg Robb

37)          I'm 'Bout It 'Bout It (Remix) – Simeo & Floyd Taylor

38)          I'm Knockin' - Larome Powers

39)          Let Me Do – Tutu Jones

40)          Whatcha Want Me To Do – Alonzo Reid

41)          Cheaters Never Win - Bobbye Doll Johnson

42)          Keep On Gettin' It On - Al Lindsey

43)          Give Me Some Credit – La'Que

44)          Footloose – Adrena

45)          One Man's Trash – Avail Hollywood

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