Classic Soul Music

Sunday, August 21, 2005

WHAT AM I LISTENING TO?


Being the 'Brit Ambassador of Soul' (!), folks do wonder what I listen to when I'm relaxing or working... Well, I do have a 'set' list of tunes I use for my own vocalizing and expressing whatever emotions I may be feeling - and we all know sweet (and sometimes bitter) soul music can be the best medium for such expression. This morning, I was feeling a little blue, a little lonely and - is increasingly the case living in L.A. - isolated. So who helped me lose the blues - or at least express what I was going through...an interesting mix! I kicked off with Billy Stewart's eternal "Sitting In The Park" and moved to Deniece Williams' "Silly" (and yes, I kept it gender true for those who might wanna know). Then, Quincy Jones/Patti Austin's jam "Betcha Wouldn't Hurt Me" (co-written by Steveland Morris aka Stevie Wonder) and onto Anita Baker's "Fairytales" (a constant reminder that love is truly never what our society would like us to believe it is) and finishing with Atlantic Starr's "Send For Me" which I sang along with with such passion I scared own self. Something to do with that line, "I'm just a telephone call away..." which seems to apply more often than ever in a city where real friendship and honest connection seem harder and harder to create...

When it was time to work, I put on a really unusual mix: started out with the gorgeous tones of Brazilian singer Celso Fonseca's "Rive Gauche Rio" (thanks for giving me the 'heads up' about this one, Michael!) and then on to the sanctified sound of Lori Perry's "Wrote This Song" which reminded me that when faced with the challenges of dealing with my own and other's humanity, I can always anchor myself with faith and belief in eternal life for the soul and spirit beyond the everyday trials and tribulations of earthly existence...

What did YOU listen to today and how did it affect you? Love to know...

EUGENE RECORD AND OBIE BENSON TRIBUTES

A lot of folks are at the beach today- for sure, most of the people I know are not home... I know because I've been busy making phone calls to see who would want the extra ticket I have for the Hollywood Bowl JVC Jazz show this evening - and I feel a little like Howard Tate (or BB King!) because 'ain't nobody home'! I have been....so while waiting to see who might respond to my invitation, I took the time to post tributes that had been sent in to the Soul Music.com website on Eugene Record (of The Chi-Lites) and Renaldo 'Obie' Benson (of The Four Tops). Soul music has known its share of losses in the past few years - Luther, of course, Little Milton (only weeks ago), Tyrone Davis, Fred Smith (who wrote and produced a lot of material for the Mirwood label), Johnny Bristol, Barbara Acklin, Erma Franklin, Doris Troy, Syreeta, Barry White, Ray Charles, Nina Simone...the list goes on and seems almost disproportionate for one musical genre. Not sure who 'invented' the compact disc but I will forever be grateful for whoever it was has left us the ability to celebrate the music of all these folks and many more (Lorraine Ellison, Phyllis Hyman, Esther Phillips, Junior Walker, Marvin Gaye, Mary Wells, Charles Brown and on and on) long after they've shed the mortal coil...