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Artist of the Month: KOJATO & The Afro Latin Cougaritas PDF Print E-mail
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Wednesday, 07 November 2012 12:05

Artist of the Month: KOJATO & The Afro Latin Cougaritas

 KOJATO is one of the most important musical figures of the modern Afro-Jazz movement. He first appeared on the 2010 project by BAHAMA SOUL Club on an album called Bossa Nova Just Smells Funky.  His contribution was a track called “Afro Shigida”. KOJO EBENEZER SAMUELS is a multi-instrumentalist and a singer from Monrovia, Liberia. His resume has included working with Fela Kuti and Cecil Taylor. All about Jazz is the first album (on Buyu Records) by the group and is the finest in Afro-Jazz. He is able to combine the rhythms of Latin, Soul, Afro beat, and Jazz into his own sound which is displayed on this CD. The CD All About Jazz opens with the title track which contains a Jazzy R&B type of groove, the track Like A Gypsy is a swinging jump tune containing some eastern European elements. Everywhere You Go Now, Kuti is homage to Fela Anikolapo Kuti and a combination of Jazz and African rhythms. Afro Shigida - Original Lagos Cut, no doubt about it is a funky dance tune. It could also be a traditional line dance that people could dance to at parties. Feel Sexy Feat. Tina Lux is very funky and rhythmic. Kojo speaks a lot about the importance of Jazz during this project and also on this song. A real upbeat tune is Funky Man and is African Funk. Other funky tunes on the CD are Oudo Makasan, That Kind Of Feeling Feat. Pat Appleton, Good Morning Africa Feat. Britta Rex and Let Loose. Be sure to check out “All About Jazz” and keep your eye on KOJATO & The Afro Latin Cougaritas. They are Funk, they are Afro-Jazz and they are All about Jazz.

Last Updated on Monday, 12 November 2012 21:30
Artist of the Month: Freda Payne PDF Print E-mail
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Tuesday, 25 October 2011 07:45

Freda Payne was born in Detroit and is royalty in the R&B / Pop music world. Besides from being very beautiful and glamorous, she is extremely talented and is a legend.

Her recording career began in 1962 releasing a 45 on the ABC-Paramount label titled Slightly Out Of Tune / He Who Laughs Last”. The following year she released her first album which was Jazz recording on the Impulse! label. It was titled After The Lights Go Down Low And Much More!!!The album featured her fronted a big band including Zoot Sims, Phil Woods, Hank Jones, Art Davis, Jimmy Nottingham, Ernie Royal, Jim Hall and others conducted by Manny Albam and produced by Bob Thiele. It was a great Jazz album. She would not record again until 1966 until her “How Do You Say I Don't Love You Anymore” album was released on MGM Records. It was arranged and conducted by Jazz legend Benny Golson. The album was a Pop, Jazz and R&B product and one single release came from it, “You've Lost That Loving Feeling / Sad, Sad September”. Between the years of her first recordings and 1969 Freda Payne was busy touring, appearing on television and appearing in Theater.

Brian Holland, Edward Holland, Jr. and Lamont Dozier known as Holland–Dozier–Holland were three former Motown song writers. They were responsible for hits by Marvin Gaye, the Supremes, Mary Wells, Martha and the Vandellas, the Isley Brothers, The Four Tops, Jr. Walker & the All-Stars and others. By 1968 / 1969 they formed their own record company and called it Invictus Records. Freda Payne was their biggest star and one of the first to be signed.

She became a success at Invictus when her songBand of Goldwent to #3 in the U.S. and #1 in the UK. An album soon followed also named Band of Gold” in 1970 that contained singles Invictus singles included "Deeper and Deeper", "You Brought the Joy", and the Vietnam War protest song "Bring the Boys Home”.

Howard Burchette and Freda Payne

Howard Burchette and Freda Payne

Invictus Records released a follow-up album in 1971 calledContact”. This project includedYou Brought The Joy”, “Cherish What Is Dear To You (While It's Near To You)“,I Shall Not Be Movedand another version of Bring The Boys Home”. A greatest hits album and thenReaching Outwas the last of her Invictus discography. The rest of the 1970’s saw her moving to ABC Records and then to Capitol.

By 1982 she had recorded another hit, “In Motion, which was co written and produced by Edmund Sylvers and arranged by Leon Sylvers III.

Freda Payne continues to perform and entertain her fans all over the work to this very day. She has been a special guest of Howard Burchette on the FUNK SHOW twice.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 07 November 2012 15:16
Chee Chee & Peppy - The Young Sweethearts of Soul! PDF Print E-mail
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Tuesday, 31 August 2010 09:12

Chee Chee & Peppy - A History

If you can imagine a teenage act that was a cross between Peaches & Herb and Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell, then you can imagine Chee Chee & Peppy. The pair debuted in 1971 on Buddah Records with "I Know I'm In Love" which became a big hit for them. Chee Chee was 12 year old Dottie Moore, and Peppy was 14 year old Keith Boiling, who was the son of Sam Cooke. The young singers were from Philadelphia and were managed by Jesse James who was a record producer. He was responsible for "Boogaloo Down Broadway" by the Fantastic Johnny C and "The Horse" by Cliff Nobles and Company.

Jesse James discovered Dottie Moore, when he was asked to speak to a group of young kids at the local YMCA. Someone in the crowd told James that one of the girls could sing and he asked Dottie Moore to stand up and sing. She not being shy, got up and sang for Jesse James and the crowd. James liked what he heard and spoke with her mother about using her in an act that he would like to put together. Philadelphia DJ Jimmy Bishop and his wife Louise, knew Keith Boiling and introduced him to Jesse James. The two were teamed up and were given the stage names of Chee Chee and Peppy

Chee Chee & peppy were managed by Jesse James. Their first public appearance was at a WDAS record hop MC'd by Butterball, a Philadelphia DJ. Their stage act was choreographed by Lennie Elaine James who was the daughter of Jesse James and R. R. Armond. 

Their début album was released on Buddah records in 1972. It contained a combination of originals and cover tunes including "This Magic Moment", "Mockingbird" and "A Lovers Question". Chee Chee & Peppy appeared on several television shows which included the popular American Bandstand with Dick Clark on July 17, 1971. They also appeared on a Houston television show on June 14, 1971 performing "I Know I'm In Love" and "My Love Will never Fade Away", plus an interview.

Chee Chee & Peppy Buddah Records LP 1972

Chee Chee & Peppy Buddah Records LP 1972

Their first charted hit was "I Know I'm In Love", which reached #12 on the R&B chart and #49 on the Hot 100 Pop chart in May, 1971. Jet Magazine listed "I Know I'm In Love" as number 6 on it's Soul Brothers Top 20 Listing in it's June 24, 1971 issue. This was followed up by their second release which was titled, "Never, Never, Never".

I Know  I'm In Love - 1971

I Know I'm In Love - 1971

Chee Chee & Peppy would tour with Linda Jones and The Ponderosa Twins # 1 in 1972 and 1973 traveling from city to city. They were the opening act for Ray Charles, James Brown, The Five Stairsteps and Gladys Knight & The Pips.They also toured the islands a lot.

A followup album was released almost ten years later in 1981, also produced by Jesse James. It was titled "Super You" on the Branding Iron label owned by James. Dottie Moore was again Chee Chee, but Keith Boiling was replaced by Charles Campbell, who became the new Peppy. The LP "Super You" album is a collector's item. 




Ms. Dottie Moore-Thomas is a member of the Word of Deliverance Church of Ohio with Bishop Bobby Hilton. She is also a member of the Word of Deliverance Mass Choir. They have released a CD entitled: Bishop Bobby Hilton & Word Deliverance Mass Choir "GOD Did That Thing".

Chee Chee & Peppy circa 1972

Chee Chee & Peppy circa 1972

Ms. Dottie Moore-Thomas (Chee Chee) recently was a special guest of Howard Burchette on THE FUNK SHOW.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 07 November 2012 15:19
Willie Mitchell & Teddy Pendergrass PDF Print E-mail
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Thursday, 07 January 2010 21:23

Wille and Teddy: Remembering Willie Mitchell and Teddy Pendergrass


The Man Behind The Hits! The Willie Mitchell Story     

Willie Mitchell (March 23, 1928 – January 5, 2010)

Willie Mitchell (March 23, 1928 – January 5, 2010)

Musician, band leader, producer, arranger and song writer Willie Mitchell (March 23, 1928 – January 5, 2010) ran Royal Recording in Memphis Tennessee. During the 1960's and 1970's he recorded and produced many classic R&B hits for HI Records with The Willie Mitchell Combo, The Bill Black Combo, Al Green, Syl Johnson, and many others.  On many of his records he used the Hi Rhythm Section including the Holmes Brothers and drummer Al Jackson from Booker T & the MG's. Some of the titles made popular by The Willie Mitchell Combo were 20-75, Mercy Mercy Mercy, Up Hard, Soul Serenade and Sunrise Serenade. He also produced Ann Peebles who probably was his second most popular artist that he was associated with. Her signature recording is I Can't Stand The Rain from 1974. He is responsible for producing the 1970’s classic hits for Al Green. Several of the Al Green hits went gold and were "I Can't Get Next to You" "Tired of Being Alone" "Let's Stay Together", "Look What You Done for Me", "La-La For You", "I'm Still in Love with You" , "You Ought to Be with Me”, "Call Me (Come Back Home)" ,"Here I Am (Come and Take Me)" , "Livin' for You" , "Sha-La-La (Make Me Happy)" , "L-O-V-E (Love)" and "Full of Fire".


Life Is A Song Worth Singing: Remembering Teddy Pendergrass

Teddy Pendergrass (March 26, 1950 – January 13, 2010) grew up in Philadelphia. His career began as the drummer for the Doo-wop group The Cadillacs in the late 1960’s. In 1970 Teddy Pendergrass was hired as a drummer for a Philadelphia spin off Doo-Wop group called the Blue Notes. The group had previously morphed into two groups, who became Bernard Williams & the Original Blue Notes and also Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes. The Cadillacs merged with Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes. Soon drummer Teddy Pendergrass was promoted to lead singer, replacing John Atkins in the group. The result was classic hits with Teddy as lead singer plus Gamble & Huff writing and producing the material. The record company Philadelphia International used MFSB as the backing band. Some of the hits from Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes featuring Teddy Pendergrass included "If You Don't Know Me By Now", "I Miss You", "The Love I Lost" and "Don't Leave Me This Way", "Wake Up Everybody" and "Bad Luck".

Teddy Pendergrass left Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes in 1977 staying with the Gamble & Huff Record Company Philadelphia International. His solo career included hits:  "I Don't Love You Anymore", "The Whole Town's Laughing at Me", “Close The Door”, "Only You", "Turn Off the Lights", "Come Go with Me", "Shout and Scream”, "It's You I Love", "Can't We Try" , “Love TKO”,  "Two Hearts" (duet with Stephanie Mills), "I Can't Live Without Your Love" and "You're My Latest, My Greatest Inspiration".

            He was one of the greatest male singers in Soul music history – Teddy Pendergrass!  

Last Updated on Wednesday, 07 November 2012 19:39
Bail Out for Fun : The Story of Maxayn PDF Print E-mail
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Tuesday, 29 December 2009 19:02

 Bail Out For Fun: The Story of Maxayn!


          The story of the band Maxayn originated in Boston and Miami. The core members of the group came from Nebraska and Oklahoma. The Buddy Miles Express contained some of the core members of Maxayn as well. The 1970 albums "A Message To The People" and "Them Changes" contained both Andre Lewis and Marlo Henderson. Hank Redd saxphonist who played on The Buddy Miles Express album "A Message To The People" and "The Buddy Miles Express Live" also was present on the first Maxayn album and Mandre I. The first Maxayn self titled album was recorded in 1971. The original members of Maxayn were Andre Lewis, Maxayn Lewis, Marlo Henderson, Emiry Thomas. Andre & Marlo were still with The Buddy Miles Express. Some of the highlights from this album were the Rolling Stones classics Gimme Shelter, and You Can't Always Get What You Want. Gimme Shelter was released as their first single in 1972. It was produced by Andre Lewis. The band was unique at the time. They were a solid funk band with a female lead singer and pre dated Rufus featuring Chaka Khan. Their second album release was entitled Mindful in 1973. It contained the single Check Out Your Mind which was written by Curtis Mayfield and first done by The Impressions. The single from the album was produced by Andre Lewis. That same year the band appeared on Soul Train performing Check Out Your Mind. The album opened up with a funky track that features Andre Lewis keyboard riffs on Moan To The Music. The final album was released in 1974 entitled Bail Out For Fun! 

            Maxayn Lewis (Paulette Parker) is from Tulsa, Oklahoma and was the lead singer of Maxayn which was named after her. She joined the Ike & Tina Turner Review as an Ikette about 1967. Early in her career she sang with Bobby Blue Bland. In 1969 she recorded a 45 on Bobby Bland’s label Duke Records entitled (Gimmie Back) My Love / Should I Let Him Go. A second Duke release occurred in 1970 named Driving Wheel / I Pity The Fool. Maxayn and Andre first met through Ernie Fields, Jr. who was Bobby Blue Bland's Band Leader. Ernie Fields, Jr. was the son of bandleader Ernie Fields Sr. who had an international hit in 1959 which was an R&B version of Glen Miller's "In The Mood". Ernie Fields, Sr. and Andre Lewis's father had played together in a band many years prior to this. Maxayn (Paulette Parker) was in a recording contract with Don Robbie the owner of Duke – Peacock Records. Andre approached Robbie to release Maxayn from his contract, but he refused. Eventually, Don Robbie let her go and he put out a rumor that Andre was with Miles Davis. He was actually with Buddy Miles at the time. The couple moved to Boston and that is where song writer and producer Luther Dixon introduced them to Sam Moore of Sam and Dave. During this period Andre Lewis was still a member of The Buddy Miles Express and he let Luther Dixon know that he was trying to market a demo tape of his personal band. Luther Dixon sponsored the production of the project resulting in the first Maxayn album. Mario Medious then made the arrangements for Andre to meet with the Capricorn Records. With only $10 in his wallet and a $5 parking ticket in his pocket, he was able to get a recording contract awarded to him immediately that day. The new act Maxayn were now in contract with Capricorn Records.     

    After the third Maxayn LP, Andre would record under his new name Mandre which included some of the Maxayn core members like Marlo Henderson and Maxayn Lewis. Other important highlights in Andre’s career was time with Frank Zappa’s band and also with Johnnie Guitar Watson. He also was a band member with The Ike & Tina Turner Review. In 1972 a self titled album was recorded called "High Voltage" on the CBS label. This project included Maxayn Lewis on background vocals, Andre Lewis on the organ, Marlo Henderson on guitar, Fred Allen from The Buddy Miles Express on drums, The bassist was Bobby Watson and other guitarist and vocalist was Tony Maiden. The two of them would leave High Voltage and joining Rufus featuring Chaka Khan making history. Lalomie Washburn was the vocalist for the group.

             Andre Lewis and Marlo Henderson not only played together in Maxayn and Mandre but also with Labelle. They can both be heard on the song Moonshadow which is taken from a album of the same name. After Maxayn, Marlo Henderson would play and record with Syretta, The Emotions, Minnie Ripperton, DJ Rogers, Bloodstone, Tata Vega, Patrice Rushen, Michael Jackson (Off The Wall album), Earth Wind & Fire, The Gap Band, The Pointer Sisters, Norman Conners, Billy Preston and others. The veterans of The Buddy Miles Express regrouped as The Mighty Rhythm Tribe in 1993. They were Buddy Miles; André Lewis; Billy Rich; Marlo Henderson; and Harold Hunter.

            Maxayn Lewis was also present on the Labelle Moonshadow album playing the piano. Her vocal tracks can also be heard on recordings by Mary McCreary, High Voltage, Johnny Guitar Watson, Bonnie Raitt, Tata Vega, Billy Preston, Rufus, plus others. 

Maxayn: (L- R) Emry Thomas, Maxayn Lewis, Marlo Henderson, Andre Lewis

Maxayn: (L- R) Emry Thomas, Maxayn Lewis, Marlo Henderson, Andre Lewis

           Andre Lewis, Maxayn Lewis and Marlo Henderson have been guests of Howard Burchette on the Funk Show more than once.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 06 January 2010 16:16
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