LISTEN TO: Baron Keels and Mike Boone count down the Jet Magazine Soul Brothers Top 20 part 2 from April 1967: James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Frankie Crocker, John R, Joe Tex, Larry Williams, Johnny Guitar Watson, Jackie Wilson, Gene Chandler, Eddie Floyd, Little Willie John, Platters, Dyke & Blazers, Marvin Gaye/Kim Weston
Soul-Patrol Newsletter Headlines (11/11/2004)
1. Concert Review: Children On The Corner In NYC (A Tribute To Miles Davis Electric Years 1969-1975)
2. A Philly Style Surreal Moment: Bristol Stomp and South Street
3. Soul-Patrol Covers GospelSuperFest NY
4. Listener Feedback: Soul-Patrol Radio
5. Technology, Culture and Freedom (& 50th Anniversary of the Transistor)
6. RIP - Lenny Mays/Dramatics Memories
A brief introduction to
those of you who might be new to Soul-Patrol.com. The award winning Soul-Patrol.com website has been featuring the best on the net in Soul, Jazz, Slow Jams , Black Rock , Funk , Doo Wop , Neo Soul and about the
culture since 1996.
We call the concept...
'GREAT BLACK MUSIC FROM THE ANCIENT TO THE FUTURE'
The Soul-Patrol Newsletter is designed to keep you abreast of news and views regarding this music/culture on a bi-weekly basis. Our objective is to provide you with information (CD Reviews, Concert Reviews, Commentary, Online Events, Offline Events, etc) on a timely basis that will lead to your participation either online or offline in the many musical/cultural things that the great artists we love provide for us.
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1. Concert Review: Children On The Corner In NYC
(A Tribute To Miles Davis Electric Years 1969-1975)
A Tribute To Miles Davis Electric Years 1969-1975
* Sam Morrison Sax,
* Michael Wolf Keyboards,
* Badal Roy Tabla Drums,
* Michael Henderson Bass,
* Victor Jones Drums,
* Billy "Spaceman" Patterson, Guitar
(note: Michael Wolf was sick with the flu and replaced by Xavier Davis, on keyboards)
What can I say...
(THE SHOW WAS OFF THE HOOK)
Also in attendance from Soul-Patrol were Matt Rogers, DJ Caz, Brotha Rodney and Rick Frimmer.
After watching this group perform for the third time (I saw them in LA at BB Kings and in NYC at Joe's Pub as well), that they are now at the point where it really is at the level of the Miles Davis 1970's band. They flawlessly played the SERIOUS FUNK on most of the entire "On The Corner" album!
"10FootHighAfroChickenFatBurntHairOnTheStove BBQSauceDrippinDownYourArmsAllTheWayToYourArmPitsProjectApt#2C FUNK"
A couple of notes...
1. You know the sequence fron the original "On The Corner", where there is a kind of "duel" between the Tabla Drums and a Sitar? Well "Spaceman" had his guitar sounding EXACTLY like a sitar. And he & Badal Roy did that "duel" to perfection. The overall effect was to give me a damn FLASHBACK (and I swear that I wasn't under the "influence"...lol).
2. Near the end of the show, I had my head down, just kinda "bobbing" and I wasn't looking at the stage, just grooving with the sounds and having my damn "flashbacks"...lol. All of the sudden I heard this "muted tone" somewhere in the sonic mixture and things got just a bit mellow. I looked up at the stage and I saw and AMAZING thing... There was drummer VICTOR JONES standing in front of the drums, slightly bent over and PLAYING THE MUTED TRUMPET (KindaBlue are you feelin me here????).
Prior to the show, Micheal Henderson had told me that VICTOR JONES SOUNDED EXACTLY LIKE MILES DAVIS ON THE TRUMPET. (however I paid him no mind, guess I learned my lesson......lol)
It was an amazing thing for me to see :)
I arrived at about 7:30ish, spent some time backstage with the band and then went out front and greeted Soul-Patroller Matt Rogers (a huge fan of "On The Corner"), the show started and he was amazed by what he saw & heard. Matt told me that he didn't really get into "On the Corner" until 1980, so for him it was a first time experience. After the first song was over, DJ Caz and brotha Rodney came in. Now brotha Rodney is a younger member of the "Brew Crew" (bout 30) and is into hip hop, but he's got some serious knowledge, but wasn't hip to "On The Corner". He is also blind/sightless, and as he folded up his cane to sit at the table, Rodney says...
"This sounds like Weather Report..."
I said.... "This is where Weather Report comes from, Joe Zawinul and Wayne Shorter were with Miles BEFORE Weather Report even existed..."
Rodney said...."Ok, I guess I'm gonna learn something up in here tonight..."
(Made my day)
2. A Philly Style Surreal Moment: Bristol Stomp and South Street
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Today, while driving thru Bristol, PA, and listening to WPEN-950 AM (pre 1964 oldies radio in Philly) the song..."BRISTOL STOMP" - DOVELS came on the radio
(How strange is that???)
A few years ago, I was interviewed on a radio program and the host asked me...
"Bob what's your favorite Philly song"?
I replied without hesitation...
"BRISTOL STOMP" - DOVELS
The guy's eyes looked like they were gonna pop out of his head. He told me that he expected me to name something from the "Philly International", Gamble/Huff era.
I said..."Bristol Stomp is slamin and jammin man, why shouldn't I like it"?
In the PHILLY GROOVE...One of the all time GREAT dance records EVER!!!!!!!!!!
Somehow the "geniuses" at VH-1 managed to leave this one off of their list of the "100 Greatest Dance Songs" (as well as many others....)
I love this song and oh, the city of Bristol, PA is literally a "stones throw" away from my house :)
Then he said..."Ok Bob, what's your second favorite Philly song..."?
I said (once again without hesitation)....
"Where do all the hippies meet, SOUTH STREET, SOUTH STREET...."
He said...."Man you are impossible.....lol"
I said..."Hey man, I'm a hippie and SOUTH STREET always sounded like my kinda place..."
So today when I was driving thru BRISTOL, PA and heard..."BRISTOL STOMP" - DOVELS While listening to my NEW favorite radio station, WPEN-950 AM, pre 1964 oldies radio in Philly. (I have TOTALLY given up on the local Knee-gro radio station WDAS-FM at this point...lol)
It was indeed a "surreal moment", and it made me think back to that interview.
I guess in the minds of the people who figure out things like "radio demographics", little black boys from Brooklyn aren't really supposed to like songs like "BRISTOL STOMP" - DOVELS or "SOUTH STREET" - ORLONS.
Anyway, that was pretty cool for me to hear the song, right at that moment in time!
3. Soul-Patrol Covers GospelSuperFest NY
No there isn't a typo in the title of this article...
For the past
two evenings (October 29-30) I have had the pleasure of covering a very special event featuring: Ruben Studdard, Karen Clark Sheard, Howard Hewett, Rance Allen Group, Shirley Murdock, Mom & Pop Winans, Hezekiah Walker, Melba Moore, Bishop Paul S. Morton, Williams Brothers, Tracy Ward, Corey Red & Precise,Keith Wonderboy Johnson, Rizen, Gary Anglin, Desmond Pringle, Leo Green, Lonnie Hunter, Bridgette, Rosalyn McDuffy, Jonathan Slocumb, Byron Cage, Rev. Timothy Wright, Lexi, John Gray, Eugene Cole & Persuaded, The Choir Boyz, Chuck & Lolita, Corey Red & Precise, Tanya Baker, Freda Battle & The Temple Worshippers in my hometown of Brooklyn, NY at the beautiful 3,500 seat Christian Cultural Center, right in the heart of Brooklyn's Black community in East New York.
(And no, I didn't get struck by lightning upon entry into the building......lol)....
SOUL-PATROL COVERS GOSPEL SUPERFEST NEW
4. Listener Feedback: Soul-Patrol Radio
I just wanted to share this letter with all of you and to also take this occasion to give some props to all of the contributors to our "experimental radio station"...
This letter comes from a longtime listener to Soul-Patrol.Net Radio. That means he was with us when we were getting 100 listeners/month, long before we reached the point we are at now of 80,000 listeners/month. So at this point I would like to thank the following Soul-Patrollers for their contributions to Soul-Patrol.Net Radio:
Kevin Amos (the Funkoverlord), E. Norman Harris, Bradley Alston, Mike & Baron, Mr C, Will Chill, DJ Caz, Darrell McNeil, LaRonda Davis, Earl Douglas, Gary Tyson, POP EB, "nightrain", Giant Gene Arnold, John Wilson and Mr Byron Woods (the voice of Soul-Patrol Radio) for making it all possible.
I'd also like to thank all of the artists and other entities for giving us permission to play their music and to interview them as a part of our experimental effort to provide an audio component to the other educational resources on our website.
The "experiment" continues...
For a few years I have been hearing bits and pieces of Soul-Patrol Radio, focusing on our rich African-American musical heritage.
Delaying the growth of the seeds planted, it could have been the distractions and business of life. It definitely was not my personal interest in music. For I am a music aficionado, music major, freelance drummer and dedicated "ol' schooler" from the 60's and 70's.
Appreciating every note that was put out from my "stereophonic" jukebox back in the sixties, I played 45's to the tune of one every 3 minutes, when that "time limit" was the standard. I would save my pennies to buy "45's" and "33's"(vinyl records). I knew at an early age (9 Years old) that our music was sacred.
As time moved on, without the groups I knew and loved, so did my my musical focus; like scenery on a train ride, it changed with the destination. But with our music; where was it going?
Little did I know that a slow and unawaring disconnect was occurring. Funk, then Disco, and then Rap transitioned on a wave of commercial redundancy and economic sellout. With all due respect, not moving me as in the past. Where has all of the music gone?
The music now is not as sweet as the Delfonics. The music now is not as empowering as Earth, Wind and Fire. The music now is not as funky as The Godfather ; James Brown. Where has all of the music gone? It's here, but it's not here. I hear it, but I don't "hear" it. What has happened to the music I once knew?
It is here! It is all here! It has never left! Our culture; our lives; our achievements; our struggles. Our loves; our losts; our hurts; our pains. It is all here; in the music at Soul-Patrol. Contained in our music is all of the pride and dignity of a great people, and what it means to be African-American.
All that our culture is about is here. It's in the music. Recorded and preserved in time is our music that speaks to the heart and soul of a people about the heart and soul of a people. This intangible phenomenon of such a spiritual quality is what we are made of-spirit. It gets into your spirit; it gets down into your soul: thus the term Soul Music. It can't be imitated, it can't be duplicated, It can't be processed. It can't be sampled. It is the soul of a people- Black people. The essential "ingredient" in Classic African-American Music.
A music that will never die, but as the spirit, eternally grow brighter and brighter, as it is appreciated by individuals who come to the knowledge of the tremendous inherent wealth and riches of Classic African-American Music. May all of you at Soul-Patrol receive my eternal gratitude for the uncompromising efforts you are putting forth. May God continue to Bless you in all you do. Again, their is no price that can be put on the work you are doing. Amen!
Charles W. Gaines Jr.
5. Technology, Culture and Freedom (& 50th Anniversary of the Transistor)
"Freedom, freedom, give it to me, that's
what i want now, freedom, freedom, give it to me, that's what i need now, freedom, freedom, give it to me, to live, freedom, freedom, give it to me, so i can give…"
I have always been fascinated by the connection between technology, culture and freedom. One of the underlying principles at the heart of Soul-Patrol is the relationship between those three things. One of the reasons why my brother Mike and I created Soul-Patrol was to experiment with the convergence of these ideas and to use the past present and future of Black music as the catalyst:
1. I attended WT Clarke HS, which is located in the East Meadow school district on Long Island. I along with 23 other Black students went to this previously lily-white school under a government mandated forced busing program in 1970. WT Clarke HS is one of the top 5 public high schools in the state of New York. One of the reasons why it is so highly ranked is because you can take a "pre-engineering" (Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering or Architectural Engineering) track of study there along with a regular academic program. In my case, I took Electrical Engineering (10th Grade: DC Electrical Engineering, 11th Grade AC Electrical Engineering, 12th Grade: Solid State Electrical Engineering). If you listen to Soul-Patrol Radio's Mandrill Live broadcast, you can hear the voice of someone that I referred to as "The Rocket Scientist". Well that individual was one of the 23 Black students who went to High School with me. A few weeks ago we put together that Internet radio broadcast. One of the things that we discussed was the power of technology to effect cultural/political change and how the fundamentals of how to do that in the year 2004 were not radically different that what they were in 1974. He wanted to do that broadcast with me, not only because he is a fan of Mandrill, but also because he was fascinated by the immediate impact we could have by doing a broadcast and then within a few hours being able to make it available to many people. You see, "back in da day", he and I had built our own radio receivers and transmitters...
2. A couple of years ago, on a lazy Saturday afternoon, the famous NYC disc jockey, Ken Webb came to my house to spend an afternoon talking with Mike and I. Most of that afternoon was spent discussing technology, but not the technology that you might be thinking about. We talked about the technology that enables terrestrial radio broadcasting. When I told Kenny what HS I went to, he started talking about how he got his start in radio during the 1950's and the requirements to get an FCC license. Back then getting an FCC license meant that you had to pass a test which required you to demonstrate a detailed knowledge of two things: 1) Morse Code. 2) Ability to read and interpret detailed schematic diagrams. Back in the 1950's there were few Blacks who had passed this test. Ken told me stories about how he was not only able to operate a radio station board, but also that he was able to take one apart and put it back together again. He could also build one from scratch. He could knew and understood the physics behind things like transmitter operation as well. His point in telling me all of this was to impress upon me that it was most important to have a thorough understanding of the technical details of the operation and that the final product was merely the tip of the iceberg. When I told him that I had obtained my FCC license, while I was a High School Student, as a result of taking the Electrical Engineering courses, his eyes lit up. That was because Ken Webb knew that I knew the reason why he was an important figure in the history of radio. It had nothing to do with his "on air skillz", but it had everything to do with his knowledge of radio infrastructure and how to apply it.
3. A few weeks ago when we were talking about the origins of hip hop in NYC I alluded to certain information in Tricia Rose's book called "Black Noise". "Black Noise" is probably the very best book I have ever read on the topic of Hip Hop and its one that I strongly urge everyone here to read. In the section of the book where she talks about the beginning of hip hop in NYC, she goes into great detail in explaining that most of the early hip hop DJ's had taken advanced electronics training in NYC High Schools and actually built their own equipment. She goes on to say that without this technical knowledge, these early DJ's would not have been able to create their music.
4. I know that what Tricia Rose was saying is an absolute fact. During the mid 1970's I was a part of a DJ Crew in Brooklyn called the "Brew Crew". The "Brew Crew's" equipment set up (mixers, turntables, PA system, etc) was completely assembled from discarded Console TV's and Stereo Systems (ie: garbage) that we found on the street. The person who was the leader of the "Brew Crew" is DJ Caz. Some of you may recall that the very first show we ever put up on Soul-Patrol Radio is a show entitled: The FUNKIEST Station In The Whole Damn Nation: DJ Caz and the Brew Crew Featuring Bootsy Collins, ZAPP, Seawind, BT Express and more
That broadcast was created from an old tape that the "Brew Crew" did back in 1980.
A few months ago, DJ Caz finally got Internet access and listened to the show via his home computer.
It blew his mind...
5. This past weekend I was at a farmers market and there was a vendor there who was selling old radios from the 40's, 50's and 60's. He had both vacuum tube radios as well as transistor radios. I ended up talking with him for about an hour (the conversation started out with me asking him if he was celebration the 50th Anniversary of the transistor this past week.....lol) For example one of the things that we joked about was how similar not only the concept of an iPOD was to a transistor radio that could fit in your shirt pocket, but also how much the two devices physically resemble one another. Clearly he was impressed with my knowledge of solid state/vacuum tube analog circuitry and so we ended up in quite a deep discussion. Near the end he talked about how this type of knowledge was a lost art today and that it was a shame because having the knowledge to create your own communications mechanism literally from scratch means that there is actually less freedom today than there was 40 years ago. He started talking about how corporate conglomerates have not only destroyed the radio industry, but along with it the FREEDOM of people as individuals to create new forms of communication and with it new sources of information from multiple and often competing perspectives.
In fact I would go even further....
Technology is what actually enables culture itself. Without technology, communication would be limited and with limited communications, culture would be limited in it's reach and therefore have a limited impact.
In my view it is the combination of culture + technology that enables the spread of new ideas, concepts and more. When the enabling technology is concentrated in the hands of just a few individuals, that means that it is those few individuals who end up controlling the culture which surrounds us all.
When this happens my friends, it means that our FREEDOM is limited as well.
Today our FREEDOM is at grave risk here in the United States.
That is because control of mass information/culture is concentrated in the hands of just a few people. For the most part, Americans do not seem to be very concerned about this. Oh sure people may complain about things like the decline of the quality of the content in mass media, but they have pretty much accepted it as a reality that they have little or no real stake in. We just got through having an election here in the United States, and although that election was held, the citizens of the United States are unable to get accurate information about the results of that election.
How many times have we read people here saying things like:
"The music and the dj's aren't as good as they used to be, years ago..."
Well of course we know that no matter how many times a statement like this is made, it simply isn't true. We know that there are MANY great DJ's out there and we also know that there is a LOT of great music being produced today.
However we also know that in today's world the DJ isn't permitted to have the FREEDOM needed to be able to play music that they think is great or to even talk about it.
One of the reasons for that is that in today's world, a radio DJ is FAR REMOVED from the technology that enables broadcasting. Unlike someone like Ken Webb, radio DJ don't understand broadcasting technology, they are kept as far away from it as possible and today are only a voice coming out of your radio speaker. That is what the individuals who control the technology have dictated. And that is what the vast majority of Americans have learned to accept.
Music on the radio is but one form of this. It actually applies to all forms of mass media and the information that it carries. Mass media informational content is pretty much dictated by the few people who are the owners of the technology.
As a result it is really just those few individuals who in effect are in control of our FREEDOM.
When you have a situation where the distribution of information is concentrated in the hands of just a few individuals, it really does represent a totalitarian society.
And that's what we have today.
We should all be celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the transistor. We should celebrate it and reflect on the FREEDOM that the tiny, yet powerful device brought to our society.
We should celebrate it and reflect on the FREEDOM that we have lost over the past 10 years.
And get ready over the course of the next 4 years to lose even more of it as the BUSH EMPIRE takes away even more of our FREEDOM after he his SECOND CORONATION on 1/20/2005
6. RIP - Lenny Mays/Dramatics Memories
On Sunday Lenny Mays of The Dramatics, passed away at 4:30 am of heart failure. It was a tough battle but he is at peace now. Lenny was visited this past weekend by more then 1000 people, the cards and post sent to me through U.S. mail, and post were all read to him. The Dramatics performed in (Cleveland ) this past weekend, the second show was cancelled due to Lenny's slipping away. Please pray for his family, and The Dramatics, this has been hard on them all.
(Thanks to Iris Smith, Cleveland Soul-Patrol Coordinator for keeping us informed)
"Be My Girl" - Written by our own Michael Henderson. What a beautiful love song. It's right up there for me with "I Love You Secretly" - Miracles, "I Only Have Eyes For You" and others. Songs of "unrequited love" have a way of touching me.
"What Cha See, Is Whatcha Get" - Today the kids like to use the phrase "Keepin It Real". The lyrics of this song made the point much clearer. I remember using the lyrics of the song in chat rooms, whenever I could see that people were in there lying....lol. It's always been one of those types of songs that for me JUMPED RIGHT OFF THE NEEDLE when you first put it on. I remember seeing the Dramatics perform the song on Soul Train and remembering how sharp they were with their "finger snappin". I remember when the song comes on during the movie WATTSTAX during the montage showing everyday life in the Black community in Los Angeles. Whenever I see that scene, the song almost carries a political overtone to it.
Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get:
"Some people ...are made of plastic"
"Some people....are made of wood"
"Some people....have hearts of stone"
"Some people....are just up to NO GOOD"
"But baby.....I'm for REAL" "I'm as REAL...as REAL can get"
"And if what your lookin for.....is REAL lovin"
"Then What You See......Is What You Get" !!
"In The Rain" - What a song.... I remember pushing girls up against the wall in basements off of this song as a teenager and walking away all sweaty. I remember how true and how sad the words run.... Can you imagine hurting sooooo bad that all ya wanna do is...
"GO OUTSIDE IN THE RAIN, SO NOBODY CAN SEE YOU CRY..."
I know that kinda pain, so do you most likely if you are a human being...
"Toast To The Fool" - I remember how when that song first came out on the radio, me and my boys were walking around using the lyrics to "woof" each other, in a way that teenagers do that both endears themselves to each other and yet at the same time is also the cause of many fights....lol
"Devil Is Dope" - A Great Anti Drug Song
"Hey You, Get Off My Mountain" - Another great song to grind off of
"Dells vs. Dramatics" - a "battle of the bands" concept that would subsequently be "borrowed" by many others. Wasn't that LP cover fantastic?
"Doggy Dog World" - When it first came out, I really dug the music video because of the many 70's references. Later when I saw the Dramatics live in concert doing the song, there seemed to be something wrong with the sight of grown men in tuxedos singing that song....lol
However, it was at that very concert, held at the Westbury Music Fair on Long Island that I met Lenny Mays, for the first and only time backstage at the show. The conversation was brief and uneventful at the time.
Now I look back at it and know just how fortunate I was to meet one of my heroes before he left this earth.
RIP - Lenny Mays
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.
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798 Woodlane Rd
Mount Holly, NJ 08060
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