Soul-Patrol Newsletter



SPN: Classic Soul/Black History - Gerald Alston, Manhattans, Sam Cooke, Barrack Obama, You Send Me, Sentimental Reasons, Only Sixteen, Wonderful World, Chain Gang, Cupid, Twistin'The Night Away,Bring It On Home To Me, Having A Party, A Change Is Gonna Come, Good Times,That's Where It's At, A Change Is Gonna Come - Live
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A Historic Album, In a Historic Year

I want to start his issue of the Soul-Patrol Newsletter with a review of this new album from our friend Erik Greene, the author of the book "Our Uncle Sam" and nepheew of the late/great Sam Cooke:

Bob, Good to hear from you!

I've been aware of this album for the past few years since Gerald regularly attended the Sam Cooke Tributes. This month's Tribute was the first one he's missed in a while. I saw him and the Manhattans here in Chicago last November and spoke to him then. He does capture Sam's spirit and I hope the album does well...(Erik Greene - ourunclesam.com)


That in my opinion is quite an endorsement of Gerald Alston and his new album "Gerald Alston Sings Sam Cooke (Featuring Gerald Albright)"

Of course in this edition of the Soul-Patrol Newsletter, we also have a review of the album, plus we are going to let you listen to a streaming broadcast of the entire album. My feeling is that this is a historic album in a historic year of Barrack Obama and as such it is right in keeping with the kind of person that Gerald Alston himself is. Check it all out and let us know what cha think?

Thanks in advance...

--Bob Davis
609-351-0154


Listen To a Soul-Patrol.Net Radio Exclusive:
Gerald Alston Sings Sam Cooke: You Send Me, Sentimental Reasons, Only Sixteen, Wonderful World, Chain Gang, Cupid, Twistin'The Night Away,Bring It On Home To Me, Having A Party, A Change Is Gonna Come, Good Times,That's Where It's At, A Change Is Gonna Come - Live
Hosted by "nightrain"


Album Review: Gerald Alston Sings Sam Cooke (Featuring Gerald Albright)

Album Review: Gerald Alston Sings Sam Cooke (Featuring Gerald Albright)I can recall having two very serious conversations with Gerald Alston. The first one took place at Cliff Perkins (Soul Generation) studio in Jersey City, NJ on a Sunday morning. It was a meeting/hang out session with several NYC area Classic Soul artists. That day Gerald got up and spoke with much eloquence about the need for the Classic Soul artists to unify and support each other, or else they would soon find themselves out of existence. The second one took place in Atlantic City, NJ. It was the day of the taping of one of those PBS specials. The Manhattans were performing on the special and after the rehearsal I hung out with Gerald and Blue, with the idea that I was going to interview the two of them. What started out as an interview really ended up being mostly a monologue, with Gerald Alston reminding me of what my responsibility was as the creator of Soul-Patrol and what it could possibly mean to Black artists like him, if only they could get themselves together?

http://www.gerald-alston.com

I mention all of this simply because on a personal level these conversations serve as a backdrop to me in listening to the new release; Gerald Alston - Sings Sam Cooke (Featuring Gerald Albright). If you have ever seen Gerald Alston perform live, either solo or as the lead singer of the Manhattans, you already know that one of the highlights of the show is when Gerald comes out and does a cover version of the Sam Cooke classic "A Change is Gonna Come." Gerald never fails to bring the house down, often leaving audience members in tears, because of his ability to evoke the memory and spirit of Sam Cooke, while singing "A Change is Gonna Come." If you have ever seen Gerald Alston perform this song live, then you already know this to be a fact. However what you don't know is that Gerald Alston isn't just "channeling" Sam Cooke's singing voice, but he is also "channeling" the spirit of the things that Sam Cooke stood for as an artist and as a man.

http://www.gerald-alston.com

If you are a fan of Sam Cooke's music (and I can't imagine anyone reading this who isn't) and/or you are a fan of Gerald Alston (and I can't imagine anyone reading this who isn't), then making a descion to pick up on this album is really a "no brainier." The catalog of Sam Cooke, can be thought of as "the building blocks of soul music" and they are a part of the DNA of anyone who loves the music. As I listen to this album I not only am able to hear Gerald's singing these classic songs, like the jewels they are, but there is more. When these songs were first released, they were targeted for a teen audience, back in the days of American innocence, before the assaination of JFK. Gerald is singing each one in a way that is true to the original, however they sound "all grown up."

http://www.gerald-alston.com

We know what Sam Cooke "the pop star" sounded like from his many hit records. We know what Sam Cooke "the soul singer" sounded like from the "Live at the Harlem Square" album. But because of his early death, we will never know what "the mature" Sam Cooke would have sounded like. Now because of this album we now know and that's because of the great musicians that Gerald brings to the table. Yall already know about Gerald Albright, but the guy who really shines here is Eban Brown on guitar. You know Eban Brown best as the current lead singer of the Stylistics, but don't sleep on his guitar playing, he is one of my current favorites and he truly "brings it on home' on the studio version of "A Change is Gonna Come." As I open up the liner notes, I can see the names of other artists (most notably Mr. Al Goodman) from the North Jersey Classic Soul music scene. You see, Gerald Alston isn't just "talking loud & sayin nuthin" when he talks about Classic Soul artists unifying. He "talks the talk' and "walks the walk."

http://www.gerald-alston.com

The album ends appropriately enough with a live version of "A Change is Gonna Come." Given the events and personalities surrounding the 2008 Presidential election, that song takes on additional signifigance. One would think that "A Change is Gonna Come" would be a natural for Mr. Obama to use as a part of his 2008 campaign, perhaps we will see him use it after the convention? If he does, he should strongly consider using Gerald Alston's version.

http://www.gerald-alston.com

This album has much to offer in terms of channeling the spirit of Sam Cooke. However there is perhaps one aspect of it that is most important of all. If Sam Cooke were alive today, there is little doubt in my mind that Sam Cooke would be an independent artist. We know from Erik Green's book "Our Uncle Sam", that Sam Cooke hated record labels, he thought they were plantations, that's why he created his own record company (SAR
Records.)

http://www.gerald-alston.com

Gerald Alston is following Sam Cooke's lead. Gerald Alston is an independent artist. The only place you can buy this album is on Gerald Alston's website.

http://www.gerald-alston.com

(And I have NO DOUBT that Sam Cooke is not only smiling about the overall quality of this album, he's got to be doing cartwheels, because of how Gerald is bringing his spirit, right up to the present time!!)

1. You Send Me
2. Sentimental Reasons
3. Only Sixteen
4. Wonderful World
5. Chain Gang
6. Cupid
7. Twistin' The Night Away
8. Bring It On Home To Me
9. Having A Party
10. A Change Is Gonna Come
11. Good Times
12. That's Where It's At
13. A Change Is Gonna Come (Live in K.C.)

http://www.gerald-alston.com
--Bob Davis



Listen To a Soul-Patrol.Net Radio Exclusive:
Gerald Alston Sings Sam Cooke: You Send Me, Sentimental Reasons, Only Sixteen, Wonderful World, Chain Gang, Cupid, Twistin'The Night Away,Bring It On Home To Me, Having A Party, A Change Is Gonna Come, Good Times,That's Where It's At, A Change Is Gonna Come - Live
Hosted by "nightrain"


BIO: Gerald Alston

Below: Manhattans Rehersal
BIO: Gerald AlstonAs any R&B enthusiast will attest, the name Gerald Alston has always been synonymous with soul, elegance and sophistication. The one voice you never get tired of.

Alston inherited some big shoes and has filled them admirably for over 17 years. Born in Henderson, North Carolina, Gerald Alston the son of Rev. J.B. Alston and the nephew of gospel great Johnny Fields of the Five Blind Boys of Alabama learned his trade in church. As a teen he formed Gerald Alston & the New Imperials, a group that performing both secular and religious music, called themselves The Gospel Jubilee when they appeared in churches.

During a local appearance, Gerald Alston met the Manhattans when they borrowed equipment from Alston's band. When The Manhattans heard Gerald rehearsing, they loved what they heard and asked the 17 year old to join the group. Alston took over as their lead singer in 1970. The group enjoyed enormous success in the 70s and 80s with songs such as: There's No Me Without You, Wish That You Were Mine, Hurt, We Never Danced To A Love Song, Don't Take Your Love From Me, I Kinda Miss You And It Feels So Good To be Loved So Bad. Their 1976 single Kiss and Say Goodbye was both a number one R&B and Pop hit. The Manhattans won a Grammy in 1980 for the big hit Shining Star.

After seventeen years, Gerald Alston left The Manhattans to pursue a solo career. His debut album with Motown Records was entitled Gerald Alston followed by Open Invitation in 1990. His third album in 1992 Always In The Mood was a blend of classic R&B songs with 90s music and nuances. In 1993, Gerald signed with Scotti Brothers/Street Life Records and recorded his debut album entitled First Class Only which Alston believes is one of the best albums he has recorded.

In the same year, Gerald reunited with Blue Lovett and The Manhattans for a 30th year reunion performance. For the past thirteen years The Manhattans featuring Gerald Alston and Blue Lovett have been enjoying new found success, performing nationally and around the world. Just to name a few places, Japan, South Africa, Jamaica, and Bermuda.

In the states at places like Star Plaza, Merrillville, Fox Theaters, Atlanta, and Detroit, Radio City, The Beacon Theater, Westbury Music Fair and B.B. King Supper club all in the New York area. Constitution Hall, Washington, DC. Grand Casino, Tunica, Universal Amphitheater, Los Angeles, and the Celebrity in Phoenix.

In September 2003 Gerald Alston was asked to perform at the Sam Cooke Tribute in Chicago, IL. In November of 2005 Alston and The Manhattans performed at The State Theater in Cleveland, OH - Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 10th Annual American Music Masters honoring the legend Sam Cooke. September 30, 2006 Alston was asked back to the Sam Cooke Tribute in Chicago. Gerald Alston is looking forward to a continued singing career and bringing joy, happiness and heart felt soul to his many fans around the world.




Listen To a Soul-Patrol.Net Radio Exclusive:
Gerald Alston Sings Sam Cooke: You Send Me, Sentimental Reasons, Only Sixteen, Wonderful World, Chain Gang, Cupid, Twistin'The Night Away,Bring It On Home To Me, Having A Party, A Change Is Gonna Come, Good Times,That's Where It's At, A Change Is Gonna Come - Live
Hosted by "nightrain"


If you have a news item, update, review, commentary, etc that you would like to submit to the Soul-Patrol Newsletter, please send them via email for consideration to:

earthjuice@prodigy.net


Hopefully you enjoyed this edition of the Soul-Patrol Newsletter.
We will be back soon with the next edition, with 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
earthjuice@prodigy.net

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609-351-0154






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