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* BIOGRAPHY - Charles Wright

* PRESS RELEASE - Charles Wright

* CD REVIEW - Charles Wright: "Finally Got It Wright"

* CONCERT REVIEW - Charles Wright - "Finally Got It Right" CD Release Party


Welcome To The Soul-Patrol Newsletter

Charles Wright is one of the ORIGINATORS of the music that we celebrate here on Soul-Patrol. He is also one of the pioneers of the Black Internet. Back in 1997 Charles Wright became one of the first artists period to participate in a then brand new concept called a "chat session". You can read the transcript where Charles Wright gave us a comprehensive look at his career in our chat room at the following link:

One of the things that FUNK represents is the idea that for the first time young Black people had the chance to do something quite simple as "Expressing Yourself". Back in the late 1960's and early 1970's these young "funkateers" expressed themselves in their music, politics, culture and lifestyle. Charles Wright was one of the leading voices from a musical perspective, urging these young "funkateers" to 'express themselves'.

Today in many respects we have grown to take that level of expression for granted. However we are indeed fourtunate to have with us Mr. Charles Wright to remind us that indeed it may be even more important today to EXPRESS YOURSELF as a first step torwards making the world we live in a much better place. Join us in celabrating the release of his BRAND NEW STANK FUNKY album called: "Finally Got It Wright" by spreading the news of it's release as far and wide as you can by sharing this email with your friends accross the internet.

--Bob Davis

BIOGRAPHY - Charles Wright

Charles Wright - Finally Got It Right Listening Party Charles Wright was born in 1940 in Clarksdale, Mississippi, to a family of six boys and six girls. They were sharecroppers.

Shortly before he turned 12, the family moved to Los Angeles where he entered Manual Arts High School at a time when members of groups like The Youngsters, Chimes and Flames were rehearsing doo-wop behind schoolyard bungalows.

After hearing Jesse Belvin's "One Little Blessing" on the radio, Wright looked the singer up in the phone book and called him.

Belvin, the cornerstone of the L.A. vocal-group scene, started using the youth on various projects (including the Sheilds' classic "You Cheated").

When Wright began forming vocal groups of his own, he had to learn guitar because he couldn't find anyone who played the way he liked. His biggest influence was Adolph Jacobs, who contributed to most of the Coasters' late-50's gems. James Brown, Otis Redding and Antonio Carlos Jobim were also musical influences.

In the early 60's, he launched his own band, Charles Wright & the Wright Sounds....

While working clubs around South-Central L.A. and in Hollywood, the consistent live performing helped hone the band's skills and built their reputation as formidable funkateers.

The Band played steadily in a place called the Haunted House, a Hollywood night spot where they performed for two-and-a-half years with lines around the block every weekend.

By 1967, Wright was also playing guitar in studio groups, becoming one of the most sought-after studio musicians of the era as he played with an astonishing line-up of music greats!

Bill Cosby helped get the band off the ground by giving them appearances at his gigs. They then began recording for Keyman Records in 1967, then moved to Warner Bros. in 1969. While "Do Your Thing" and "Till You Get Enough" were Top 20 R&B hits, their finest selection was "Express Yourself," a song that "expressed the urge for freedom as adroitly as the Isley Brothers' "It's Your Thing" had in the '60s. It has also been among the most sampled
funk tracks for hip-hop and rap groups."
- Jason Ankeny, All Music Guide

"It seems truly fitting the initial batch of releases from Warner Brothers archives should include the music Of Charles Wright And The Watts 103rd street Rhythm band since Wright and his pioneering group can in retrospect be considered Warner Bros. Records' first successful R&B act."
- Warner Brothers Press Release

Today Charles and his band's version of "Express Yourself," sell Nike shoes, Rhodes Furniture, Burger King Whoppers, Red Lobster dinners, Gatorade and Hanes underwear throughout the United States. In addition, they sell Bailey's Irish Cream, Bitburger Beer and Algida Ice Cream across the European continent. Express Yourself was also played at the 2004 Olympics in Athens.

Charles and the band's music enjoy an unusual measure of motion picture soundtracks credits as well: Addams Family Values, Cops & Robberson, Cotton Comes to Harlem, The Boogie Nights, The People vs. Larry Flint, Panther, Never Die Alone, Stander, The Dinner Party and others. Yet, Charles continues his never ending quest for creative excellence.

The 1970's hit "Express Yourself" has taken on a life of its own, being revived in the 1990's by a wide variety of creative people who are excited by that joyful Wright style: "I can hardly believe this," Wright says, "it's been twenty six years since we first released it, yet the song adds more meaning to my life on a daily basis. This could only happen under the watchful eyes of God himself."


PRESS RELEASE - Charles Wright

Charles Wright - Finally Got It Right Listening Party Charles Wright, founder/leader of The Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band famous for the hit song "Express Yourself", has dedicated his life to sharing good times, good grooves and good messages. For the summer of 2006, he is proudly releasing Finally Got it Wright, a new 16-song CD that surveys some of the more obscure yet no less authentic R&B he's written and recorded over the last three of those decades with various groups of live musicians. Enjoyable from end to end, every musical arrangement on Finally Got it Wright (issued on Charles Wright's own label, Million Dollars worth of Memories Records - M$WM) imparts a mind-blowing experience down memory lane.
In his pursuit of continuing creative excellence, Charles Wright's Finally Got It Wright illustrates his extensive range within the universe of Black American music that pleases people of every shade. Charles gets straight down to soul business on the CD's comical first single "Funk Junk in Your Trunk" (in-stores April 9, 2006) with an eye-popping video forthcoming. An instrumental, "Funk Junk Pt. 2," features some tasty trumpet.
While primarily known for his funk hits, Charles Wright indulges the love man inside of him on Finally Got it Wright with the sumptuous ballads "You Babe," the blue lights in the basement corner grinder "Is it Real," the dynamic "Let Me Make Love to You" (featuring the great Don "Sugarcane" Harris on violin) and the album opener "No Greater Love" (which uses the drum groove from "Express Yourself" in a gentler new way). Charles gives his playing chops a workout on the appropriately titled "So Hot" (featuring James Jamerson Jr. on bass, Eddie "Bongo" Brown on percussion and Clydeen Jackson on piano), as well as his clever writing chops on "Sweet Heart 2 Beat." Of course, there are a couple of his patented food for thought numbers such as "Follow Your Spirit" and "Unseen Dirt Still Hurts (the latter reminiscent of Zapp's "Doo Wah Ditty"). Plus two heart-on-sleeve gems: "I'll Give You Time" and "This is Your Night."


CD REVIEW - Charles Wright: "Finally Got It Wright"

Charles Wright - Finaly Got It WRIGHTIf there was a category called something like "Most Fun Album of the Year", and then the album "Finally Got It Wright" would certainly be one of the front runners for that award in the year 2006. But since there is no such category, I suppose that it will probably end up as one of the best FUNK albums of 2006. Charles reminds us all that you can address some serious issues and have fun at the same time. This album is packed with 15 songs and unlike some albums with 15 songs, there is NO FILLER here. Charles Wright demonstrates his versatility by using almost every style from Funk, to Slow jams, to Latin to Doo Wop to Gospel to Jazz to Comedy to just about anything else you can think of!!!

Charles Wright is of course one of the ORIGINATORS and as such he stands as one most important artists in the history of FUNK music. The fact that he can produce such an album in the year 2006 stands not only as a testament to his phenomenal talent, but also for his longevity. He's best known for the song "Express Yourself" which was a big crossover hit 35 + years ago. At the time when "Express Yourself" was riding high on the charts, it was right in the middle of the Black Power Movement here in the United States. And of course the song was not only a perfect reflection of it's times, it also served as an inspiration to many young Black Americans, including yours truly. At the time it was released it inspired me to always be myself and know that all things were possible as long as I remained true to myself.

One the album "Finally Got It Wright", Charles Wright has included an updated version of the song "Express Yourself" as if to remind us all that in the year 2006, we not only need to continue to "express ourselves", but also that Charles Wright is going to be "expressing himself" as well. "Express Yourself" isn't the only Charles Wright hit song that Charles Wright covers on the album "Finally Got It Wright". He also "covers another one of his big hit songs "Loveland" here and he does it quite nicely. "Follow Your Spirit" is damn near a follow up to "Express Yourself", here Charles is once again talking about the power in self expression.

Some of the topics that Charles Wright wants to express himself about on this album are infidelity in a smoking FUNK jam called "Unseen Dirt", fake women (with "fake fingernails, fake hair, fake breasssassis and fake love ) on the push her up against the wall slow jam called "Is it Real", the subversive "Funk Junk".

On the front cover of the CD, there is a disclaimer that says."PLAYED BY HUMAN BEINGS, NOT BY MACHINES". There is Charles Wright making yet another statement, this time about the prevailing trend of "artificial music".

And as if to put the exclamation point on that topic, Charles Wright includes two doo woppers on this album, one is an original called "Doo Wop Man" and the second one closes the album and it's a cover version of 'Goodnight My Love". The appearance of 'Goodnight My Love" on this album is significant. The original was done by Jessie Belvin, the mentor of Charles Wright.

If you are a person who cares at all about the past, present and future of this music, then you owe it to yourself to check out this new CD from one of our living legends.


1. Express Yourself (Special Dance Version)
2. Is It Real
3. Unseen Dirt
4. Funk Junk PT. 2
5. No Greater Love
6. You Babe
7. So Hot
8. I'll Give You Time
9. Follow Your Spirit
10. Let Me Make Love 2 U
11. Funk Junk PT. 1
12. Doo Wop Man
13. This Is Your Night
14. Loveland
15. Goodnite My Love

"I like my music pure and simple, easy to understand.."

--Bob Davis (7/2006)


CONCERT REVIEW - Charles Wright - "Finally Got It Right" CD Release Party

Charles Wright - Finally Got It Right Listening Party A couple weeks back I had the absolute pleasure of attending a release party for Charles Wright's latest CD, "Finally Got It Wright".

Other listening/release parties that I've been to have been in clubs, studios, and even private homes. This one, however, was held at Tia Chucha's, a cafe/cultural center/bookstore. OK, so maybe not so unusual but Tia Chucha's (located in Sylmar, CA) caters primarily to the Chicano/a, Mexicano/a, and Latino/a communities. When I walked through the doorway to the small venue, I saw a few people sitting at tables chatting. There were maybe eight rows of eight chairs across filling the room and facing an entire set-up of instruments at the back of the room.

A short delay was announced so I took the time to look through the racks of videos, DVDs, and books; most in English, others in Spanish and a few in Spanglish. Books about the arts, culture, gang life, vatos and their homies, and living the vida loca. Again, I wondered, "why Tia Chuchas's?" I sat down, looked across the aisle and saw John "Sly" Wilson sitting there. We talked a bit before I headed outside for some air. Around 9pm, they called us all in and said they were ready to start. Little did I know what I was about to experience?

Luis Rodriguez, owner of Tia Chucha's and author of many of its books, gave the opening remarks. He spoke to the mostly Black audience of the global ness of Charles' music and how he listened to the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band in his younger days, etc, etc. You know, the typical words given in an intro. However, by the end of the night, those "typical" words and the venue made sense.

With Hense Powell on keys (also plays a mean trumpet), Sam Robes on bass, Melvin Dunlap also on bass (and one of the original Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band), Louis Taylor on sax, Michael Harris (also of Earth, Wind, & Fire) on trumpet, Greg Dalton (AKA G-Mack) on guitar, drummer Robert Miller, and Steve Baxter (who also performs with Baron's friend, Barry Manilow) on trombone, the band took the "stage". A few seconds later, Charles walked in and the show began.

The first song of the night was "Doo Wop Man" - some knew it, some didn't but everybody got into it. The second song, however, brought shouts of recognition from the audience. LOVELAND. Albeit a bit more "mature", Charles' unmistakable voice was still there. I couldn't believe I was sitting ten feet from Mr. Loveland himself! His energy and depth of performance was amazing.

The night went on with every song sounding better than the next. "Is It Real" and "Unseen Dirt" were the midway show crowd pleasers. The instrumental version of "Funk Junk" was true funk in its purest form.. When Charles came back to the stage and started singing the song, the crowd went wild. The audience sat on the edge of their seats waiting for the next lyrics, laughing, and oo-ing, and ahh-ing throughout. One of my favorites of the night was "Let Me Make Love to You". I thought I was a teenager at my first concert and Charles was singing directly to me. Wait! I still do that! Tell me y'all don't do that, too!!

The show ended with, what else, "Express Yourself". Everybody was on their feet dancing and singing and gave back to Charles and the band the energy they gave us. He and the band were in true funk form. It couldn't have been better.

An hour concert, a $100 a ticket show, a Disneyland E-Ticket ride. All for free. I sat there wondering what it would be like just to walk in off the street and find this remarkable show. That's when Luis Rodriguez's words and Tia Chucha's made sense. Growing up, my friends (predominately Black and Mexican) all knew Charles Wright and the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band. Everybody knew all the words to "Express Yourself" and "Loveland". You could hear those songs at parties on the Westside or the Eastside and from the lowriders cruising the beach on Sundays. The melding of cultures through Charles Wright's music back then still holds today be it in California, New York or anywhere in between. Regardless of race, ethnicity, class, or caste, EVERYBODY loves Charles Wright and his music.

If you're in the LA area and you didn't come out, you missed one helluva show. If he performs within 100 miles of you, it's worth the drive - you will NOT be disappointed. I'm sure John "Sly" Wilson will agree. When you listen to "Finally Got It...Wright", you'll agree, too.




Charles Wright - Finaly Got It WRIGHT On Nov. 12, 1997 at 9:30 pm est we were honored to have Charles Wright as our guest in the Soul-Patrol chat room to drop some knowlege on us about his distinguished career, tell us what he is up to today and to help us put in to perspective the past, present and future of Black music.
Charles really took us to school that night.

Click here and read the transcript !!

Bob Davis:


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