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  LISTEN TO: Bob Davis Interviews Sheila and Wanda of the Emotions

Soul-Patrol Newsletter Headlines (9/29/2004)

1. Queen Latifah: The Dana Owens Album
2. Black History: Al Bell Reflects on ``WATTSTAX'' Phenomenon and Its Impact Today
3. Event Review: Dance Music Hall Of Fame Inductions
4. Van McCoy & the Preservation of the Black American Musical Legacy

5. Mighty Sam McClain Update
6. Editorial: The Dana Owens Album - A Watershed Event in Black Music

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1. Queen Latifah: The Dana Owens Album

Queen Latifah has aptly titled her first full-length album as a vocalist with her given name. She explains the genesis of the project, The Dana Owens Album, as follows: “I was looking through my record collection one day and realized there are so many songs that have impacted my life, and that’s when the idea for the new album came about. I wanted to choose songs that have shaped me artistically and affected me emotionally.”

Click here and listen to a 1 hour broadcast featuring cuts from Queen Latifah's new CD along with new music from artists that will change the very definiton of what Jazz is: Queen Latifah, Marlon Saunders, D-Erania, Eloise Laws, Bobbi Humphrey, Kne-O'Chaw Hampton

The twelve tracks comprising The Dana Owens Album—half of which are produced by Arif Mardin, the other half by Ron Fair—span a wide stylistic range that includes soul, blues and pop songs from every decade between the 1920s and 1970s. The recording opens with “Baby Get Lost,” a 1949 hit for one of Latifah’s musical heroines, Dinah Washington. Replete with a big band arrangement, the track reveals the extent to which the late jazz singer has influenced Latifah’s own singing. A cover of the 1974 Bill Withers hit “The Same Love that Made Me Laugh” is followed by a Nina Simone-inspired rendition of “I Put a Spell on You,” featuring Herbie Hancock on piano. Latifah takes on Al Green’s bluesy ballad “Simply Beautiful,” in which Green duets with her. She is joined by Dizzy Gillespie cohort James Moody on “Moody’s Mood for Love.” Also included is a Mervyn Warren (Take Six) production of “Lush Life,” as well as songs from the repertoires of Peggy Lee, Cannonball Adderly, Dr. Buzzard’s Original Savannah Band, José Feliciano and Barbara Lewis.

Click here and listen to a 1 hour broadcast featuring cuts from Queen Latifah's new CD along with new music from artists that will change the very definiton of what Jazz is: Queen Latifah, Marlon Saunders, D-Erania, Eloise Laws, Bobbi Humphrey, Kne-O'Chaw Hampton

Already an accomplished television and film actress and an indisputably seminal hip hop artist, Queen Latifah reaffirmed yet another of her talents in the recent film adaptation of Chicago. As Mama Morton, she emerged as a formidable singer, rendering “When You’re Good to Mama” and other songs in a standout performance that earned her an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress, a Golden Globe nomination, and a SAG Award nomination. Although it is her most recently revealed talent, singing has been one of Latifah’s primary artistic passions since she was a child in Newark, NJ, when she was steeped in her parents’ records. Even on her landmark rap debut All Hail the Queen, she punctuated rhymes with sung verses.

Click here and listen to a 1 hour broadcast featuring cuts from Queen Latifah's new CD along with new music from artists that will change the very definiton of what Jazz is: Queen Latifah, Marlon Saunders, D-Erania, Eloise Laws, Bobbi Humphrey, Kne-O'Chaw Hampton

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2. Al Bell Reflects on ``WATTSTAX'' Phenomenon and Its Impact Today  

Soul To Soul

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Sept. 27, 2004 -- At the special screening and gallery exhibition of the movie WATTSTAX: The Living Word, Al Bell, executive producer of the film and former owner of Stax Records spoke during the panel discussion held at The Stax Museum of American Soul Music in Memphis. Joined by Jesse Jackson and Isaac Hayes, who were featured in the award winning movie and Rap artist, Chuck D., Bell, now a consultant for Alpine Records, reflected on how the truth of the movie and its message has made it a classic documentary.

"It was over 30 years ago that Larry Shaw (producer and co-director), Forrest Hamilton (associate producer) and I had the vision of taking the roster of STAX's recording artists to Los Angeles, CA, - put on a concert at the Los Angeles Coliseum, - record it, - film it, - produce a documentary titled WATTSTAX, The Living Word, - and contribute a substantial portion of the net proceeds to an annual Los Angeles, CA African American cultural event - the Watts Summer Festival, and to varied other African American social, humanitarian and Civil Rights organizations." shared Bell.

"We believed that WATTSTAX would demonstrate the positive attributes of black pride and the unique substance found in the lives, living and lifestyle of the African American working class and middle class while revealing some insight into their internal thoughts during a time when we were still struggling to be recognized, respected, accepted as human beings and to be granted "equal rights" as enjoyed by every other ethnic group in the larger segment of American society."

Second only to the March on Washington, the WATTSTAX concert, with a turnstile count of 112,000 people, was the largest gathering of African Americans at that time. The seven hour show in the Los Angeles Coliseum featured the Stax Records roster of celebrated artist such as Isaac Hayes, The Staple Singers, Rufus Thomas, Carla Thomas, Albert King, The Bar-Kays, The Soul Children, Rance Allen Group, Luther Ingram, Little Milton, Kim Weston was captured for prosperity in the Cannes celebrated, Golden Globe nominated, Sundance honored film. The movie also featured the witty social commentary from former Stax artist Richard Pryor. From the nightclub performance by Johnny Taylor to the church pulpit performance by The Emotions, the WATTSTAX movie told the human experience of being black in America through their music and insightful on- the-street interviews with Watts' residents, seven years after the 1965 social rebellion in Watts.

"We believed that WATTSTAX would provide somewhat of a "mirror" for us to see ourselves, and an opportunity for other Americans to peer through a small "window of our existence" and gain a better insight into the kind of caring, and sensitive, family oriented people that we really are!!!"

"This was a time when African Americans dreamed of, and desired, to merely be granted, "equal rights" thereby becoming" "equal partners and equal participants" in the American Dream. WATTSTAX graphically demonstrates how a people, living in the land of plenty, possessing so little, found refuge in the "spirit of celebration."

Making it True to the Experience

"It is very important to realize and note that WATTSTAX: The Living Word was financed by white and black money for at that time STAX Records and STAX Films were owned fifty percent by Jim Stewart (white) and fifty percent by Al Bell (black). WATTSTAX: The Living Word's Executive Producers were Al Bell (black) and David Wolper (white). The producers were Larry Shaw (black) and Mel Stuart (white). The director was Mel Stuart, a white man, whose directing, editing and finished product was guided and co-directed by a black man. Larry Shaw."

Impact of the Movie

Bell went on to tell how the movie gave the 75% black film crew entry into closed Hollywood unions at the time. And how co-producer David Wolper gained valuable insight that inspired him later to produce Alex Haley's Roots.

"As a result of the heavy black participation, the perspective of this movie was one of "truth!" Bold - sincere - undiluted!!!" continued Bell. "The "truth" of WATTSTAX: The Living Word - thirty years later inspired Scott Roberts and Michael Kelly, of The Saul Zaentz Film Center to serve as the instruments to resurrect and restore WATTSTAX: The Living Word to its original state," explained Bell. Now the movie is out on DVD distributed by Warner Bros.

He shared with the audience that even today WATTSTAX holds a place in African American history and inspires entertainment stars, like David Chappelle, to mimic with hip hop artist the WATTSTAX experience.

Working Together

"STAX, WATTSTAX personified how white and black people working side by side could make music for people, and a documentary about how the music reflected what was going on in black lives, living and life styles, without compromising in any manner the authenticity of the presentation," concluded Bell. "Is this a miracle, or is this merely an example of what we whites and blacks can achieve in America by working together, respecting each other, and accepting each other as we really are?"

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3. Review: Dance Music Hall Of Fame Inductions

Last Monday, Spirit in New York City hosted an incredible Red Letter celebration of the music and stars of the 70's and 80's. This night was a 30-year odyssey thru the music that created the disco era. The Dance Music Hall Of Fame recognizes the contributions of those who have had a significant impact on the evolution and development of dance music. This past week 13 notable artists, producers, remixers, DJs and individual records were inducted. This industry event brought many of the genius's of yesterday together for an uplifting evening. To balance out the gala of performances, tributes, awards and DJ sets.... 7 hustle dance couples took to the stage to entertain the audience. Raluca Georgio & Walter Levy, Luis Rosa & Mary Poma, Chris Bates & Trisha Caballero, Ron Bess & Joanne Piazza, Donna Boyle & David Padilla, Susan Fritz & Carl Charles and Bobby O & Yvette Rivera.

The night got under way with a music set by Long Island DJ Jackie McCloy. The Masters of Ceremonies were Al Bandero, of radio station WKTU, along with Nile Rogers from the group Chic. Hall OF Fame Board member Thomas Silverman (CEO of Tommy Boy Records) inducted music legend Henry Stone. Mr. Stone was given the Life Time Achievement award for his six decades of contributions. Henry was a music pioneer/producer and signed K.C. and the Sunshine Band and many other important musicians to his TKO record label. Earl Young, from the Trammps, inducted Tom Mouton for his remixing. Tom is noted for the work he completed with Gloria Gaynor, First Choice, MFSB, the Trammps and many others.

Other recipients included: Thelma Houston's song "Don't Leave ME this way," DJ David Mancuso, the record "Love Is The Message" by MFSB, The BeeGees, DJ Larry Levan, Singer/composer Barry White, the song "You Make Me Feel Mighty Real" by Sylvester. Donna Summer was inducted and her award was received by her daughter Amanda, on her behalf. Amanda is the mirror image of her beautiful Mom. The tall, dark and gorgeous Singer/actress RuPaul inducted producer/composer/writer Giorgio Moroder. Donna Summer along with Giorgio set the Gold Standard for dance music in the 70's and 80's. Giorgio's production work with Donna Summer won them both numerous Grammy awards. However, he has also been the recipient of many Emmy awards for his motion picture soundtracks including Flashdance, Fame, Top Gun, Scarface and so much more. Mr. Moroder also composed the hits "Here TO Eternity," "The Chase" and "Get On the Funk Train" ...A true musical genius. Also inducted was the late DJ Tee Scott, and the song "I Feel Love" by Donna Summer.
Each year the nominating committee will select nominees in all the categories and then send the choices to an international voting committee made up of over 1000 dance music experts. Candidates become eligible 25 years after their contribution or record release.
Martha Wash, from the groups Weather Girls and Two Tons OF Fun, sung happy birthday to Nile Rogers and also wished a sad good-bye to her long time friend/singer Izora Rhodes Armstrong, who passed away just days ago. Izora and Martha were the singers for Sylvester. Evelyn 'Champagne' King sung her classic hit "Shame." Her song was inducted into the Hall of Fame. Kurtis Blow rapped his popular hit "These Are The Brakes"...and showed us that he can still get down and break dance.

D Train's lead singer took the stage and performed one of their classic hits that had the audience spelled bound. It was simply superb. A special tribute to Donna Summer was performed by contemporary artists Reina and Kim Sozzi. The two sung a duet of 'Last Dance' which was a defining moment of the night. Reina currently has the number one dance song in the nation "When I Close My Eyes" while Kim has the monster hit "How Did You Know" which is climbing the charts with a bullet.

Dance music royalty was in full attendance: Frankie Knuckles (the Whistle song), Vince Montana Jr. of the Salsoul Orchestra (composer/writer), Promoter Magique, DJ Nicki Siano, Randy Jones from the Village People, Marty Angelo from Disco Step by Step, Bernard Lopez from DiscoMusic.Com, DJ Pete Jones, The Ritchie Family, Mel from West End Records, DJ Nino Torre From Midnight Music company and singer Fonda Rae....
Proceeds from the gala go to Lifebeat in efforts to continue the fight against Aids. We look forward to next year's awards and the continued recognition these artists deserve. The honorable Mayor Bloomberg said it best by proclaiming September 20, 2004, Dance Music Hall Of Fame Day.

--Ron Bess - DanceTalk®

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4. Van McCoy & the Preservation of the Black American Musical Legacy

Van McCoy

This message is from Mattie Taylor, was sent to me as a response to my posting yesterday on the Jimi Hendrix Estate lawsuit. I made a terrible error (omission) in my posting and the correction is here. gives me a chance to talk just a bit about another one of Soul-Patrol's sponsors, who also happens to be the OWNERS of an important Black Culture musical legacy.
That of Mr. Van McCoy...
It also gives me the opportunity to thank longtime Soul-Patroller Cynthia Smith (formerly the Community Leader for Prodigy's Black Experience) for representing Soul-Patrol back in July at the big Van McCoy 25 Year Legacy Commemoration in Washington, DC (which took place the same weekend as the 2004 Soul-Patrol East Coast Convention and prevented me from attending in person)

Hello Bob,

We have not been in touch since our great July 31st events. Our concert was very well received and we deeply appreciate the tribute to Van that Ms. Cynthia Smith presented from Soul-Patrol. I know your convention was a blast and we look forward to joining you next year.

Just read your very good article on the Jimi Hendrix case. Now that the courts are out of the matter I sincerely hope the family will be able to heal and find a way for all of them to be blessed by Jimi's legacy. Let me quickly point out to you a big error in your article. Jamie Hendrix and Michael Jackson are not the only two Black Americans you know who OWN AND CONTROL a substantial piece of the great cultural and musical legacy that has been created by Black Americans.

Van's father, Norman McCoy, Sr. was his sole heir and never sold or gave away any of the copyright interests he inherited. Our company was formed October 1989, 10 years after Van's death and after all of the back taxes, levys and liens had been satisfied. Most of Van's music was written under the 28-year copyright term law and we have been taking back the copyrights every year as renewals come due. The Hustle came home Jan. 2004 to kick off our 25 Year Legacy Commemoration. We have less than 100 of his 600+ songs to be renewed. The songs written in the last year and a half of his life will not renew as they are under the 95 year term. Of course we will always own the writer's part. However, if the publishers and/or the master recording owners bury the music the writers still cannot make any money. This is the case with much of Van McCoy's extensive catalog; it is locked up in vaults and kept away from new generations.

It is very rewarding for us to see the benefits that sharing Van's royalties has in the lives of the McCoy family. We distribute to them in June and in December. Two young people entered college this August, as the parents were able to pay the tuition and expenses. Another family was able to take a long desired trip to Disney World, yes, father, mother and four children together. We Thank God for being an example of how Black America can move ahead on its own merit when given access to its own money.

Bob I can stand on a mountaintop to proclaim that far too much of Black America is in financial lock down because we do not have, and have not had, the generational wealth that our work has produced. When are we going to wake up and see that America's most lucrative international product is her music, and the base of it is Black American Music. We have seeded and supported billion dollar industries with our music while our people struggle to pay the rent and feed families. Then we turned around and made a who new round of young millionaires who got instant tax free investment capitol from the drug money we earned for them on our neighborhood streets. We did not get rich from the drug traffic, filled up the jails, and savagely kill one another for the privilege of sending the money up the ladder.

Bob our people perish for lack of knowledge and lack of resolve. The strength and spirit of what you do with Soul-Patrol is a big step in the right direction and is the reason we are in support of your efforts. On the Michael Jackson case, I don't know if he molested young boys or not, but I do know there was no raid of his home and criminal prosecution until he yelled about Sony and others not paying all that was owed him. ---I would not have believed the stealing of money from Black Americans was as massive and as entrenched as it is until I took over my late brother's copyrights. I pray God will let me live to see this great evil brought to an end.

Love You All,

--Mattie Taylor:

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5. Mighty Sam McClain Update

Mighty Sam McClain
Mighty Sam McClain is a Soul Singer originally from Louisiana, now residing in New Hampshire. His powerful voice and presence have been captivating audiences of all ages for the past four decades. Mighty Sam McClain would like to share his music with you.

Here's what's been going on, and what you have to look forward to...

Mighty Sam McClain is proud to once again be nominated for the "Best Blues Act" by the Boston Music Awards. If you would like to show your support for Sam, please go to the Boston Music Awards website and vote!

While we're on the subject of awards, Living Blues Magazine has announced Sam to be the "Outstanding Male Vocalist of 2004". A great choice, in our opinion!

Sam would like to thank Bob Davis of Soul Patrol for presenting him with the "Past/Future Legend of Black Music Award" for Sam's outstanding contributions in Black American Standard Music.

Mighty Sam McClain continues to spread love worldwide, with a seven week tour of Russia and Turkey! He will be the headliner of the Efs Pilsner Blues Festival. This tour will go from October 26th to December 16th. Sam is excited to be bringing his music to new audiences, especially at times like this when his message of love, respect and healing is sorely needed.

Mighty Sam will be heading to the studio once again as he prepares to record his second independent album, on his own label, Mighty Music. After the great success of his first independent album "One More Bridge To Cross", Sam will raise the bar once again with an album that he describes as being "the best of the best!". As he heads into the Cedar House Recording Studio to record this original music, he will be working with dynamic arrangements, Horns-Horns-Horns, and will be backed up by a 30 member choir (Jim MacDougal & The Funky Divas of Gospel). Sam will also be introducing Hip-Hop Rapper Jesse Lanno on this album. So be patient through the long winter and the spring will bring this new album to a store near you.

As always thank you for your support...Support Live Music

--McClain Productions:

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6. Editorial: The Dana Owens Album - A Watershed Event in Black Music

Urbanland Music
*I*, for one, am NOT surprised that Latifah could/can handle some real music, through song, as she did in live performance, tonight, as well as on this latest recording. Perhaps, eventually, more and more people will discover and feel the same way, once they hear "The Dana Owens Album"?

As always, just my own opinion :)...Debra Walker

Hey Debra,

Thanks for posting your review of the Queen's appearance on the Letterman show. Unfortunately I missed it :(

However I'm pleased to report that in addition to the appearances she is making on various talk shows that I have been seeing TV commercials for "The Dana Owens Album". (Somebody's truly got their marketing act together, and they have my respect)

In fact I noticed while flipping thru the channels that it's even being promoted to Black Americans!!! I even saw a commercial for "The Dana Owens Album" during one of UPN's COON style TV shows. This is a good sign because obviously someone realizes that Black people are indeed interested in being exposed to good music :)

(Unlike the "handlers" of the recent NEW CD's by Mavis Staples and Candi Staton, who chose to take the LILLY WHITE MARKETING PATH, with Black American Standard music)

Make no mistake about it....The release of "The Dana Owens Album" is a watershed event in the history of Black music.

- I hope that it becomes a HUGE HIT, A GRAMMY WINNER and helps to put a stop to the kind of "racist marketing campaigns" that we have seen in recent years with high quality Black music (like we have seen with recent releases from Mavis Staples, Candi Staton and others).

- My hope is that this will all take the logical next step and create opportunities in the commercial marketplace for artists who are creating "great black music from the ancient to the future".

- My hope is that it will cause the "handlers" other high profile artists (are you listening Usher, R Kelly, Whitney, Mariah, etc???) TO STEP UP THEIR GAME and realize that people are tired of the CRAP that they have been trying to FORCE DOWN OUR THROATS. Hell even young people want to hear some good music every now and then!

"The Dana Owens Album" is also having a major impact on Soul-Patrol. As some of you may have noticed, It's plastered all over the Soul-Patrol website. "The Dana Owens Album" is currently being featured on the:

**Main page of Soul-Patrol:

**Soul-Patrol's Classic Soul Site:

**Soul-Patrol's Jazz Site:

I have also intentionally paired up the music from "The Dana Owens Album" on Soul-Patrol radio with BRAND NEW MUSIC from Soul-Patrol members: Marlon Saunders, D-Erania, Eloise Laws, Bobbi Humphrey, Kne-O'Chaw Hampton, that is in a similar vein to the music "The Dana Owens Album".

**Soul-Patrol Radio:

Hopefully visitors to the website will also be willing to give these artists a few moments worth of their time to take a listen to some high quality black music that doesn't have the benefit of a well funded and high profile TV marketing campaign.

"time will tell...."

--Bob Davis (and I approve of this message)

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Hopefully you enjoyed this edition of the Soul-Patrol Newsletter.
We will be back in about two weeks with the next edition, with any email alerts for
local events, Soul-Patrol website updates/chat sessions or breaking news in between, as required.

If you have any comments, questions, etc feel free to drop me an email and let me know what's on your mind.

Bob Davis

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