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Rediscover Extremely Rare & Forgotten Classic Music

Feat. Old School Artists

I would imagine that absolutely no one from this generation would know anything about The Carpenters.  The Carpenter's music appeals to a specific type of audience, that I think hardly exists anymore. To be honest, I'm not sure what genre they even belong to; they weren't really country, and they weren't really folk artists either; yet quite a few of their music comes very close to sounding like elevator music. I guess the best category for them would be "easy listening?" Their music is extremely mellow. In fact, some of their music is so mellow that I wouldn't recommend listening to it if your mood is down. However, I think it's the perfect music to listen to whilst reading a magazine, or just chillin. Actually, a lot of their music would make great "cool down" choices (after an exercise).  My favorites are, "(They Long To Be) Close To You," "We've Only Just Begun," "Rainy Days And Mondays," "Superstar," which was again redone by Luther Vandross, and "Yesterday Once More."

I would imagine that absolutely no one from this generation would know anything about The Carpenters. The Carpenter's music appeals to a specific type of audience, that I think hardly exists anymore. To be honest, I'm not sure what genre they even belong to; they weren't really country, and they weren't really folk artists either; yet quite a few of their music comes very close to sounding like elevator music. I guess the best category for them would be "easy listening?" Their music is extremely mellow. In fact, some of their music is so mellow that I wouldn't recommend listening to it if your mood is down. However, I think it's the perfect music to listen to whilst reading a magazine, or just chillin. Actually, a lot of their music would make great "cool down" choices (after an exercise). My favorites are, "(They Long To Be) Close To You (1970)," "We've Only Just Begun (1970)," "Rainy Days And Mondays (1971)," "Superstar (1971)," which was again redone by Luther Vandross in 1983, and "Yesterday Once More (1973)." Karen Carpenter died of cancer on February 1983. She had a very unique and distinct voice and music. There was no one else like them. Her brother, Richard Carpenter had made a couple of albums since Karen's death; however, they have not done well. I guess the public was to used to hearing Karen's distinct voice.

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As I’ve always said, I am really not a fan of rap music. I can’t recall any rap record I’ve listened to where I liked the entire album. However, every once in awhile I come a cross one or two songs that I liked, provided that it was “bubble gum” in nature. Although for this particular album it has an advisory on it, the beats are very bubble gum. This was the era when every rapper in the world was trying to mimic Run-D.M.C. In fact, LL sounded so much like Run-D.M.C., if I didn’t know better I would have said his album was them. To be honest, I love LL more as an actor than a rapper; but I managed to find two classic gems from him on this album. They are called “Bad,” and “I need Love.” I think what attracted me to “Bad” was the beat really. Even if you didn’t understand what LL was rapping about, you couldn’t help but to move your feet to the “Courageous Cat and Minute Mouse” tune. “I Need Love” was a tune that made just about every girl melt from the start of the first note. This is probably the only real song I liked from LL (that I can remember). I think it was because it sounded more of a serenade than a rap “song” (if you want to call rap that).

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Anita Baker at Austin Music Hall on February 12, 2010

The 80’s songstress had a warrant out for her arrest, because of failure to appear in court. Back in 2011-12, a contractor sued Anita for 15,000+ for work work that was done to her home, and she never paid. Anita claimed that she was never served the subpena, and had no knowledge of the charges. The Judge granted a dismissal for the warrant. I also read  somewhere that someone else took her to court for an expensive painting she got at an auction; she never paid them either.

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I’m sure I’ve written before, of how much I love The Mamas & The Papas. In my opinion, they had the most beautiful and unique voices of their time. I can’t remember any other sound like theirs. The only group that could somewhat come close is “The Fifth Dimensions.” The Mamas and The Papas group formed just at the beginning of the folk music era; and during the huge success of The Beatles to my understanding. I really loved how they harmonized; all four of their voices were so different and yet they blended beautifully. I found it interesting how Mama Cass had such a powerful and dominant voice, yet it never over powered the other three.You know, even though they’ve been put in the “folk” category, I never viewed their music as folk. To me, their music was more like very, very soft rock kind of; the kind of “easy listening rock” of their time. This group was so talented, it saddens me when I think about how drugs spoiled their career. They broke up around 1968. The Mamas and The Papas “Gold” album is a collection of their greatest hits. My favorites are, “Monday, Monday,” “Do You Wanna Dance,” “Go Where You Wanna Go,” “California Dreamin,” “”Dedicated To The One I love,” “My Girl,” “Creeque Alley.”

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2012-10-26-musicstreaming-624x420-1351279641Music has changed so much since the first phonograph was invented. iCloud and streaming services has permanently changed music forever. In fact, not only has music changed, but how we get our movies too! We’ve gotten to the point that, as soon as bandwidth becomes faster (actually we have the ability, but the ISPs don’t allow it), movie theaters just may be a thing of the past (especially as good HDTV brands have become extremely affordable now).  These days you can build a little mini theater right in your home, and don’t have to worry about someone else uncontrolled kids; or have to worry about someone’s big hair disrupting your view of the movie. I dream of the day, that we no longer have to worry about the high priced popcorn and snacks at the counter; dealing with rude employees;  and saving money on travel. Even if I had to pay a little more for a movie, I recon it will still be cheaper than a trip to the theater. LOL I feel very sorry for people who still procrastinate learning technology; These are the very same people who would pay high prices for Pay-per-view.

However, as much as I love this new technologies and the new way we receive our entertainment, I realize we’ve also lost a lot as well. As a collector, things like “limited edition memorabilia” will practically be extinct. But even more importantly, because we are now in the age of “licensing to hear a song (or movie),” and more and more companies like Rhapsody have gone solely subscription, if a license has expired on an old song, you no longer have an option to purchase that hulu-netflix-plus1song. The only thing you can do really is write a request for that song or album again, or hunt for it on the internet, and hope you find it. This can actually create another huge problem. We all know the music industry is a bunch of greedy wolves, all the CD’s for popular classic artists will all magically become “imports.” The word “import” will allow the music label to charge you 50x more the CD’s value. A good example is Donna Summer. I’ve seen a couple of her CD’s that said “import” on it, however when you look at the text on the packaging, it will say NY, NY.; for this they are allowed to change an insane price. Not only that, when Donna died, one of her albums called “Another Place In time (1989),” could not be found anywhere on the streaming services (not even iTunes had it at the time). The CD was insanely priced; and it wasn’t until the news of her death died off, the album was made available for streaming and iTunes. We can’t blame the artists for this! You want to support your artists, but the music industry is fucked up towards the fans.

I’m pretty sure there will become a time when streaming services will be the only way we receive our entertainment, and it will literally put piracy to a full halt. Using torrents will one day be seen as primitive and nonsensical. I never had a problem purchasing my music and movies, so long as it is of good quality, the price is reasonable, and extras such as, sound/pdf/movie clips, etc.

I got to be honest though, in terms of movies, there is so much CRAP on television that cable companies should be ashamed of themselves changing the money they do for these dumb as reality TV shows. Honestly, it’s probably better to just get basic cable, and you’ll come out cheaper with both HULU and Netflix together; and choose what ever movie you want, when you want it, and how much you want it. Lets just hope the streaming services will stay affordable; Otherwise people will be recording movies off their TV using their cellphones… LOL

 

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Hey guys, I’m back with another look alike for you! Karen Carpenter and Barbara Feldon. Barbara is best known for her character as agent 99, in the hit 70’s TV show “Get Smart.” Unfortunately, I was never in to that show, I thought the jokes were very dry. I was amazed on how much of a big hit the show was. Karen Carpenter was the lead singer of The Carpenters, along with her brother, Richard Carpenter. Sadly Karen died of heart failure due to anorexia (I actually thought it was cancer at first (google is such a beautiful thing)); she got so thin during the last stages of her life, that she really looked like a cancer patient. I couldn’t really find a better picture of Karen to show the similarities, I guess it was because around the date of the above picture, she gone down hill from there. I loved almost all The Carpenters music. Still listen to them today as a matter of fact.

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Yesterday I found a real nice classic oldies album on Rhapsody that had all my favorite songs on it. However, only Volume 3 was available. So I decided to browse my favorite site (amazon) to see if they had the rest of the Volumes; but unfortunately they only have Vol. 3 as well. Then I decided to browse Google Play, and unfortunately they only had Vol. 3 too. However, I happen to notice there was a HUGE price difference between the two. Amazon is selling the same album for $8.99, and Google Play is selling the same album for $5.99! Holy cow! Now, I understand how the music industry works (especially when it comes to streaming); no one company is going to have every music known to man in their library; it’s just a fact. However, I should not expect to see about a 50% markup on another competitor’s site which is also digital. I can understand if it was a physical CD, because now there is more value because it’s an original; not only that, it could be worth exponentially more if it turns out to be a collector’s item. Now, having said this, that doesn’t mean that I still don’t think Google sucks ass, because it still does as a streaming service. But by all means, there is no reason not to get the sale from Google (especially since it is DRM free), it’s all about who’s cheaper for the same music! On the real, we need to have a more even and standardized prices for full albums (especially the classics). Unfortunately, the music industry is so powerful that nobody can regulate them. Lesson for this class is, we have to “window shop” around for music digitally in the same way we “window shop” for good deals on clothes, food, etc. Hope this helps newbies.

 

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I remembered many years ago, sometime in 2001-2002; I got to meet Kenny Lattimore. I absolutely love his music, and I think he has one of the most beautiful and romantic male voices I’ve heard in a very long time. When I was in retail, I remember he came in to the store holding his laptop. He came in seeking a memory upgrade. I didn’t recognize him at first, but when I did, I  was happy that I was the one to help him. I was such a dummy, ’cause I didn’t ask for an autograph. Oh well. I gotta say this though, to my understanding, he was married to Shante Moore. The minute you meet him, you can tell that he is a beautiful and respectful human being. However, I’m not trying to be mean or anything, but I felt that gay energy strong honey. It’s just one of those things that gay people have in us, we can usually spot another gay guy from a mile away. I’m saying to myself, “why this dude gone ahead and married Shante Moore (which I never cared for her music unfortunately, I didn’t think she was particularly talented), when he knew he really wanted Shemar Moore.. LOL :-)

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Interesting article on Rhapsody’s blog. I was just complaining that it didn’t appear that Rhapsody was doing enough promotion. Well, unbeknown to me, they actually were. Rhapsody is working on promoting their music stream services under the brand name Napster, internationally. I thought this was interesting, I didn’t realized they kept the name “Napster” after they bought out the company. Napster got such a bad rap after the music industry literally tore it a new a-hole in the 90’s (I think it was). Anyway, according to this article they are making plenty of deals, and it looks like they are blowing up in Latin America and Europe. Check out the article here. BTW, Rhapsody music library has reached a little over 34+ million songs! That’s 32 more million classic possibilities! Take THAT Crapify!

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My apologies, I didn’t realize how long it’s been since my last blog post. I have a doozy of a look-a-like for you guys in this blog post. I happen to stumble upon a picture of the openly gay Christian gospel artist Tonex. I took a real good look and all of a sudden realized, he has a striking resemblance to the very straight gangster rapper Ludacris. I couldn’t believe it, I mean they could actually pass for brothers. I didn’t care to much for Tonex music or his style of look early in his career; but I think he looks very handsome these days (just as Ludacris). I loved some of Ludacris earlier music. Damn, I know how to pick’em.

GaryHow is it possible that a once handsome guy like this, blew his life away like that? Anyone who still thinks that drugs are harmless, is in serious denial. What a damn shame. That’s all I can say. Instead of harassing gays and lesbians, we need to see what “recreational” drugs and alcohol is doing to our society. Can’t blame this on gays bringing down the “fabric of family values.” So much more serious pressing problems in the world, and we choose to ignore them when it’s convenient. I know he isn’t vintage, but he really got on my nerves when I saw this.

checkernewsI found a big piece of news in the “Pittsburgh Courier” of 1966,  on the singer Chubby Checker. During the dance craze of the early 60’s, Chubby Checker hit the jackpot, for his sensational hit “The Twist (1960),” it was so popular, that the following year he re-recorded “let’s Twist again (1961).” He also made a song called “pony time (1961),” which the melody still sounded like the twist a lot. I know he’s made many other records, but as far as I’m concerned, he’s a one hit wonder.

So, I have never heard of this before. But then again, I wasn’t even born yet when this happened. Mr. Checker (born Ernest Evans), who was then 24 years of age at the time, was charged with three counts of “contributing to the delinquency of a minor,” shortly after a performance in some night club. He was released on $500 bail. This happened after a mother’s daughter claimed that she stayed in chubby’s hotel one night. The mother then filed a formal complaint against checker. Chubby acknowledged the mother’s daughter, but denied any sexual relations with her.

At the same time, his wife was also taking him to court for desertion, because according to this article, he left the home since Jan 12 (the article was published in feburary), and she was asking for support for her and their 4 children at the time. Not only that, the wife was looking for full ownership of their home.

Hmmmm.. It seemed to me that either Chubby was a victim of fame, or he was “twistin again,” in every other female’s bed too. I just thought this was interesting, cause when I was growing up, I never heard this at all about him. I guess by the time I became of age, he was irrelevant. © 2014

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How many of you remember Buster Brown? I was left so confused as a child, because the kid in the picture was so androgynous, I had no idea that it was actually supposed to be a boy? The dog freaked me out too. I’m sorry but, that did not look like a dog; it actually reminds me of that voodoo doll movie with Karen Black. I remember at least one of these shoes I used to wear from Buster Brown. Believe it or not, I used to love them a lot because they were extremely comfortable to me. So many shoes I used to have would cut me up. I’m not sure if they are still in business. The last time I remember seeing Buster Brown shoes, was just before “penny loafers” started becoming really popular around the end of the 70’s, beginning 80’s. Here is one of their earlier commercials click here.

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Do you remember Jiffy Pop? I remember my mom making this quite a few times in the mid to very late 70’s. To be honest, I don’t understand why these became such a hit, because every time we’d made it, it would always burn a little at the bottom. And let me tell you, once popcorn burns, that stays in the air for a looooong time. But it was fun watching the aluminum foil raise though. I much preferred air popped popcorn any day: plus they are healthier too.

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Sharing from my magazine archives. Handsome guy wearing what was in big style in 1971. Could you imagine finding a suit today for $39.95? If you did, it wouldn’t be made for a full grown adult I’ll bet ya? Even if you found a suit made out of pure cotton, it still wouldn’t cost $39.95 LOL.

 

 

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