Soul-Patrol Newsletter



SPN: Soul/R&B - RIP: Levi Stubbs, Four Tops, Chuck D, Each One Teach One Music Seminar @ Canegie Mellon University/Pittsburgh, Music, Culture, Technology & Economics, Presentations and Broadcasts
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Welcome To The Soul-Patrol Newsletter

Levi Stubbs passed away the other day. I saw the email in my inbox the other day and I just stared at it for a few moments and then I prepared to relay it to folks that I knew would need to know about it. Then I looked down and there was a second email that came, informing me that 50 Cent had a new album. I wasn't sure if I should laugh or cry about the sheer irony of that.

Soon I was bombarded with emails and telephone calls about the passing of Levi Stubbs and I decided to imerse myself in the music of the Four Tops for the rest of the day and ponder the importance of Mr. Levi Stubbs and his music in the larger scheme of the world.

On Sunday night, 10/19 - Bob Davis on Air America Radio this Sunday nite 12m est (On the Chuck D. Show)

I'll be on for my monthly appearance to discuss the passing of Levi Stubbs of the Four Tops, some of the new releases that yall should be checking out, the recent music seminar in Pittsburgh that I participated in, our upcoming chat session next thursday in the Soul-Patrol Chat Room w/Leon Ware, the oppurtunity for yall to create cultural change among a few other things for Chuck's Natonwide audience.

Check it out on your local Air America station or on http://www.airamerica.com

In the meanwhile I invite you to scroll down and check out the rest of this newsletter, which features some commentary from the daily Soul-Patrol Mailing List about Levi Stubbs, a special Soul-Patrol.Net Radio broadcast, featuring a tribute to the Four Tops and my report & presentation from the recent Each One Teach One Music Seminar & Radio Concert (10/3/2008 - 10/5/2008) @ Canegie Mellon University/Pittsburgh.

With each passic of an iconic artist it causes me to think about how few of these artists we it seems that we actually have left. - The music of Levi Stubbs/Four Tops is emblamatic of the Black Music music of the past.

- Our second topic here in the Newsletter, Each One Teach One Music Seminar & Radio Concert is all about the prospects for Black Music in the Future

To help us figure out "who is left?", we are going to compile a list of the top "100 Artists In Black Music of All Time." If you would like to contribute to this list, just email me your list of the "Top 100 Artists In Black Music of All Time", going accross all Black music styles. Use whatever criteria you like, but give us some of your rationale. We will publish the compiled list sometime soon.

Check it all out and let me know what yall think?

Thanks in advance...

--Bob Davis
609-351-0154
earthjuice@prodigy.net




Listen To a Soul-Patrol.Net Radio Exclusive:
FourTops: Breaking Thru Album + Greatest Hits- Same Old Song,I'm Falling For You, Stll Water, This Can't Be Love, On The Street Where You Live,Gee Baby Ain't I good To You,The Way Nature Planned It, Nice and Easy, Maybe Today, Stranger On The Shore, Young & Foolish, Function At The Junction
Hosted by "nightrain"


Four Tops lead, Levi Stubbs Passes

Four Tops lead, Levi Stubbs Passes Levi Stubbs ........No Greater Lead Singer, in ANY Group. I'll just be damned. You couldn't have known a better man. We loved the "Tops"

--mmdells

What else can I say about the great Levi Stubbs?

Even through the 'Tops' weren't bringing the steppin or even the real heavy doo-wop harmonies of so many of their predecessors and labelmates they brought so much more to the table. They were (similar to the Pips in this way) so much more polished and professional WITHOUT Motown's 'artist development' folk. They were always sort of an adult act in comparison with the others and Levi's bari was the quintessence of pop/soul singing. Let's face it the man could sing anything and often did.

I always liked watching and listening to him. It took me until my adult years to recognize the rest of the Tops as being worth anything because I was always riveted by cool-ass Levi Stubbs. As a boy he was the artist that I sort of wanted to grow up and be like. As much as I loved JB, Jackie, Wicked, Joe Tex and all of those guys, Levi was always just cool with his stuff. He seemed to look good AND be able to sing his ass off. The honies were always at his feet.

My favorite chumpie that made me go back and start listening to all of the background harmonies on their records was Still Water (Love). That's right I dug the slow intro side much better than the actual hit (Peace) because it showcased the vocal talents of these cats in an almost sacred way. Still Water (Love) was like an anthem of sorts with it's dirge-like somber tones.Almost like their contribution to the Marvin Gaye/ Flyin High In The Friendly Skies concepts of the day. As always Levi was the anchor holding things down.

Another of my favorites was a sort of obscure album called Night Lights Harmony. There were two really nice cuts on there that I remember striking me as very special. One was a nice breezy little tune called We All Gotta Stick Together. Another was the powerful Let Me Know The Truth. The latter had an MFSB/Something For Nothing majesty and orchestration to it. Also how bout their version of Hey Man /We Gotta Get You A Woman that was a fave for the Soul Train line back in the day?

My condolences to the family of Mr. Stubbs. Abdul Fakir is the last in one helluva line of lions. --LP This is sad news :( May he RIP...I am glad that I did see the Four Tops once, live in Vegas during a visit in the early 1990's. It was a fabulous show, and they sang almost all of their hits. I "swooned", too, seeing this handsome fellow, with the rest of the Tops, from a distance after the show, as they waited for their limo.

--Debra

This one hurts. Maybe if had just read the report and went on about my day instead of putting some "Tops" on, I wouldn't feel like I just got kicked in the head.

Levi Stubbs is one of the most unique stylists of that Motown era. There was "something" about his voice and the way he delivered those H-D-H lyrics. I remember the first time I heard "Baby I Need Your Lovin' ". I still get that "rush" all through my body NOW as I did then. You know the feeling. You hear a song and it just engulfs you. Everything disappears and it's just "you and that tune".

"Shake Me, Wake Me" is my all-time favorite "Tops" tune but they had so many great songs and sometimes have taken for granted their place in the fabric of the 60's and the Motown Era. Quietly and consistently rolling out hit after hit,classic after classic. Sad day for "me"...

--Earl Gregory

This is indeed a sad day for us all with the passing of Mr. Stubbs "The Keeper of the Castle".That song among others that the Tops did sums it up for me of who he was.

I met Mr. Levi on several occasions here in Pittsburgh. One was the "Beat Birthday Bash" and the other time was for one of those PBS specials done by TJ Lubinsky. I got to talk to him and told him how much that song inspired me.

May condolences go out to his family and to the remaining members of the "Tops"

--Kevin Amos tha Funkoverlord

It was fall 1964...and I had just written and produced a single for a truly great Philly group called "The Good Guys"..We took them on a cross-country tour and when we got to Detroit.

We were booked at a huge CKLW radio record hop across the river in Windsor. There's a tunnel between the two cities and we were due on at 8..but got delayed in tunnel traffic. We arrived at 9....to the I N C R E D I B L E  sounds of "BABY..I NEEEEEEED YOUR LOVIN.PLAYING OVER A HUGE SOUND SYSTEM WITH THAT CHOIR BEHIND THE TOPS FILLING THE ROOM WITH A SOUND I WILL REMEMBER FOREVER.

The Good Guys panicked when they heard this, and saw the awesome uniforms and the footwork of the Tops, and wanted to leave......When the Tops went off, Levi came up and SAID HI..HE KNEW ME FROM THE uPTOWN AND WAS ALWAYS NICE. I INTRODUCED HIM TO THE GOOD GUYS AND HE SAID "get out there and kick their ass...".....They did...and were VERY well received. To this day Artie and the guys can say they followed THE best there was....AND survived it. He, along with so many of the "fathers" Bob and I discuss often as leaving far too soon.. WILL N E V E R  BE REPLACED...... SING ON IN HEAVEN, BROTHER LEVI.

--Giant Gene (Terry too)

I am sitting here with tears in my eyes while I listen to McArthur Park. I remember sitting in my friends basement and watching The Four Tops on TV. I was in elementary school and I remember telling my boy how fortunate we were to have the Four Tops because if we did not have them "WHO WOULD MAKE THE MUSIC FOR US"? Of course I've been exposed to so much more music since I was 11 years old but there is a small part of me that will always feel the same way about Levi Stubbs, Duke, Obie and Lawrence. There are times when words fail to express one's musical impact on you and this in one of those times. He will be deeply missed.

--Ron

Goodbye Levi thanks for the songs. I hope you meet up with brother Joe. My favourite memory of Levi is when I saw the Tops in Bristol UK back in the late 60's Levi had a broken leg, many artist would of called off but not Levi he sang all the hits with the guys rotating on his Plastered leg in place of the choreography. That's real professionalism.

--Alan



Listen To a Soul-Patrol.Net Radio Exclusive:
FourTops: Breaking Thru Album + Greatest Hits- Same Old Song,I'm Falling For You, Stll Water, This Can't Be Love, On The Street Where You Live,Gee Baby Ain't I good To You,The Way Nature Planned It, Nice and Easy, Maybe Today, Stranger On The Shore, Young & Foolish, Function At The Junction
Hosted by "nightrain"


Bob Davis @ Each One Teach One Music Seminar & Radio Concert (10/3/2008 - 10/5/2008) @ Canegie Mellon University/Pittsburgh

(Music, Culture, Technology & Economics)

Click Here to get more info about Bob Davis @ Each One Teach One Music Seminar & Radio Concert (10/3/2008 - 10/5/2008) @ Canegie Mellon University/Pittsburgh And let me start out by saying that I had a great time. The whole weekend was just what I needed. Most of it took place at a most unlikely place for me (the campus of the elitist Carnegie Mellon University, since I am a graduate of the more pedestrian University of Pittsburgh), in a most likely place for me (Pittsburgh, Pa).

I had a blast, it was educational and it was fun. Most of all for me on a personal level it was inspirational. As you all know, these past few months have been very tough for me and I have spent quite a bit of time looking inward. For me looking inward is usually the worst place for me to find inspiration. I am the type of person who finds inspiration from external people & things. And this weekend I was given the opportunity to be around people, some of whom I knew (ex: Dr. Kimberley Ellis - AKA "Dr. Goddess") but most whom I did not previously know (ex: Tim Stevens), all of whom provided for me with much inspiration and many ideas.

The fact that this all happened for me in the city of Pittsburgh is not lost on me. It is of course the very place where much that has formed me as an adult took place. Pittsburgh is a place that is the butt of many jokes, however for me it is a magical place, that allows me to find the kind of inspiration that ultimately ends up in new ideas. It is also a place that for me is the origin of many personal relationships that have lasted a lifetime, mostly with other people who have the capacity to inspire me to either "do better" or to "do more" (not always the same thing)

There were artists in attendance from the worlds of rock n' roll, jazz, soul, funk, hip hop, reggae, jazz & spoken word. There were broadcasters/writers there from TV, Radio, Print & the Internet. So it was a great cross section of people to have communicating with each other.

Obviously you all know Kevin Amos, he engineered the entire weekend and I am sure that he is going to document his thoughts.

But you don't know Dr. Carlos Broussard. He is someone that was one of my Political Science professors at the University of Pittsburgh. He came to Saturday's Music Seminar specifically to hear my presentation. He ended up hanging out for not only my presentation, stayed for the entire seminar, and then hung out with us in a more "informal setting." Then he showed up for the 6 hour radio concert, featuring about 10 of the artists at radio station WRCT-FM this morning. At the station this morning, Dr. Carlos Broussard pulled me aside to tell me how proud he was of me. He also said that he wanted to contribute his expertise, and he has much to contribute in the way of tangible information is a specific arena that is currently a major problem for many of the artists here. This meant the world to me...

Also in attendance for various parts of the 3 days were a few folks that I know quite well and who have been important contributors to Soul-Patrol over the years:

--Stephan Broadus (New Pittsburgh Courier)
--JereB (of SounDoctrine)
--Jerome "Hawk" Freeman
--Aaron Claussell
--Rick Adams

It meant a whole lot to me to witness not only their personal participation, but also to see and hear their own personal commitments to many of the concepts that we have not only espoused, but have actually implemented many times over. These folks not only shared their knowledge/perspectives, but also went much further by actively engaging other people that they had not previously met on various levels and in some cases providing not just concepts or theories, but tangible assistance in helping other people try to realize their goals.

I met other people from around Pittsburgh this weekend that knew me from the Soul-Patrol Newsletter, but that I had never met before. It never ceases to amaze me when I meet folks in person who read what I write and tell me that it makes a difference in their lives. And I was glad to see these folks putting "skin in the game", with people they had never met before.

Perhaps most inspirational of all was a young woman named Rainey Vexen. She's an R&B singer who came all of the way from North Carolina after reading about the event in the Soul-Patrol Newsletter. During the Seminar, the radio concert and in between, she impressed all of us with her determination, eloquence and more. This lady put some "serious skin in the game", based solely on the belief in her own talents & abilities. She asked for nothing except to be allowed to be in attendance. She walked away with everyone who was there willing to put some of their own "skin" into the "game" of Rainey Vexen.

It was a reminder once again to me, that very little of this is actually about music. It's mostly all about values that we as Black folks used to have, but have forgotten. It is truly about family/extended family. As a person who now has one less member in his "blood family", I am more than happy to welcome Rainey Vexen into my extended family. And she is welcome into it, simply because she saw it from afar, decided that she wants to be a part of it.

So I got to "share" Rainey Vexen with Dr. Carlos Broussard (among others).

One person I have known for over 1/2 of my life and is clearly one of my own personal mentors/role models and the other, I just met for the first time yesterday. And then to see the two of them making commitments to each other about the future. And the two of them are but a single example.

The monetary cost of admission into this extended family costs zero dollars. However the real cost is extremely high. That cost is determined by demonstrating in deeds and not words that you belong to that ever shrinking group of people who actually practices those ancient values that the vast majority of Black Americans have discarded in favor of a philosophy & behavior that actually does us a whole lot more damage than good. So when I see people putting their own personal "skin in the game", that inspires me.

It's really the "old & outdated" values embodied in the overall theme that Kevin Amos selected for the event.

"EACH ONE, TEACH ONE"

In order for a person to commit to that particular value, it doesn't cost even one dollar, however the cost is extremely high...

My observation of this event is that all of the participants, regardless of their role, were willing to make that level of commitment to each other. Watching important people from my distant past, interacting and making these levels of commitment to others that they had never met before about the future was an exciting thing for me to witness. And that is what inspired me.

There were a few "a-holes" in attendance as well, these people shared nothing, except for the fact that they are "a-holes." However even they were contributors as well. Their behavior exposed to the rest of us exactly the type of philosophy that has caused us to become disconnected from our younger people in recent years.

Anyhow, that's it for me right now. There are probably 1,001 stories that I could tell about this 3 day event. However I am not going to tell them. I'd much rather see the ideas turn into action from the people who made those commitments to each other and report about those activities as success stories that you will be reading about in the months ahead on the Soul-Patrol.com website.

Here is my presentation document:
http://www.soul-patrol.com/somethings_happening_here.pdf

This document is full of data and statistics. However the text & graphics contained in the document isn't what I talked about. What I talked about was the need for people to communicate and to share information. To build the bridges that will be required in order to make use of those statistics in the future to sustain their career's and to help sustain the careers of others who weren't in attendance.

Yeah I realize that all of this conversation about "values", "sharing", "commitment", "building bridges", etc. sounds like "hippie talk" (but it really isn't.)

The name of the presentation is: "SOMETHINGS HAPPENING HERE..."

And it's all about the future of the "music business" (not the "music industry")

I invite you all to read the document, however realize that the document isn't what we discussed:
http://www.soul-patrol.com/somethings_happening_here.pdf

What we discussed was an action plan, with specific action items for the future, that was based on applying some of the statistical data presented to specific individual situations. A plan that you will see unfold on the pages of the Soul-Patrol.com website and beyond...

My thanks to Kevin Amos for allowing me to participate and it will be my honor to assist in making those commitments become a reality!

--Bob Davis




Listen To a Soul-Patrol.Net Radio Exclusive:
FourTops: Breaking Thru Album + Greatest Hits- Same Old Song,I'm Falling For You, Stll Water, This Can't Be Love, On The Street Where You Live,Gee Baby Ain't I good To You,The Way Nature Planned It, Nice and Easy, Maybe Today, Stranger On The Shore, Young & Foolish, Function At The Junction
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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798 Woodlane Rd
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609-351-0154




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