Classic Music & Movie Reviews/MultiCultural Blogger
What I’m Listening to?
The group called "The Fifth Dimension" had a harmonic sound equivalent to "The Mama's and The Papa's." The only real difference between them was that "The Fifth Dimension" had more soul in their music (in my opinion). One reason I loved The Fifth Dimensions, was the fact that they sang a range of different types of music; including jazz. The lead singer was Marilyn McCoo. She had one of those distinct voices; when she sang, you knew immediately who it was. To my understanding, McCoo left the group in the mid 1970s. Interesting that all of my favorite hits seem to all have Marilyn McCoo in them. My number one favorite is "Aquarius (1969)," "Up Up and Away (1967)," "Wedding Bell Blues (1969)," "(Last Night) I Didn't Get To Sleep At All (1972)," and "Go Where You Wanna Go (1969)".

The group called "The Fifth Dimension" had a harmonic sound equivalent to "The Mama's and The Papa's." The only real difference between them was that "The Fifth Dimension" had more soul in their music (in my opinion). One reason I loved The Fifth Dimensions, was the fact that they sang a range of different types of music; including jazz. The lead singer was Marilyn McCoo. She had one of those distinct voices; when she sang, you knew immediately who it was. To my understanding, McCoo left the group in the mid 1970s. Interesting that all of my favorite hits seem to all have Marilyn McCoo in them. My favorite number one hits are the following: "Aquarius (1969)," "Up Up and Away (1967)," "Wedding Bell Blues (1969)," "(Last Night) I Didn't Get To Sleep At All (1972)," and "Go Where You Wanna Go (1969)".

Though Joe Simon had quite a few hits in the 70's, I only liked very few of them. His rhythm is the same for almost all his music it seemed.  I used to confuse him a lot with Percy Sledge, because both of their voices sounded so much a like. The only difference between them I think is, when Percy tries to hit those high notes, he sounds like he is singing from the back of his neck (I hated that). However, Joe Simon actually sings, and he doesn't necessarily try to over do it for his audience; and that is the kind of performance I can appreciate. My favorite songs are "Chok'n Kind (1969)," and the theme song for the movie "Cleopatra Jones (1973)." I really love Cleopatra Jones I guess it's because it came from the blaxploitation era. There also was a song called "Music In My Bones (1975)."

Though Joe Simon had quite a few hits in the 70's, I only liked very few of them. His rhythm is the same for almost all his music it seemed. I used to confuse him a lot with Percy Sledge, because both of their voices sounded so much a like. The only difference between them I think is, when Percy tries to hit those high notes, he sounds like he is singing from the back of his neck (I hated that). However, Joe Simon actually sings, and he doesn't necessarily try to over do it for his audience; and that is the kind of performance I can appreciate. My favorite songs are "Chok'n Kind (1969)," and the theme song for the movie "Cleopatra Jones (1973)." I really love Cleopatra Jones I guess it's because it came from the blaxploitation era. There also was a song called "Music In My Bones (1975)." © 2014 / Yogi

I loved Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes. Actually, I should say, I loved Teddy Pendergrass in HM & TBN. Having said that, I realized two things I took issue with concerning this group. First, whilst the group was officially called "Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes", Teddy Pendergrass has always been the lead singer for 90% of all their hit songs.  Second, They never really acknowledged him in any of their albums (that I'm aware of); they didn't at least print the words "featured Teddy P" on any of the albums I own. I guess that's one of the reasons Teddy went solo. Not that the entire group wasn't talented, but, let's be serious here, after Teddy left the group, it was curtains for the group entirely. I shouldn't be surprised. The Commodores career died the same way after Lionel Ritchie left the group. Thank goodness they have all those royalties to  fall back on. My most favorite, and probably the their biggest hit is called "Bad Luck (1975)" and "If You Don't Know Me By Now (1972)" and "The Love I Lost (1973).

I loved Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes. Actually, I should say, I loved Teddy Pendergrass in HM & TBN. Having said that, I realized two things I took issue with concerning this group. First, whilst the group was officially called "Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes", Teddy Pendergrass has always been the lead singer for 90% of all their hit songs. Second, They never really acknowledged him in any of their albums (that I'm aware of); they didn't at least print the words "featured Teddy P" on any of the original albums I own (not including the best of). I guess that's one of the reasons Teddy went solo. Not that the entire group wasn't talented, but, let's be serious here, after Teddy left the group, it was curtains for the group entirely. I shouldn't be surprised. The Commodores career died the same way after Lionel Ritchie left the group. Thank goodness they have all those royalties to fall back on. My most favorite, and probably the their biggest hit is called "Bad Luck (1975)" and "If You Don't Know Me By Now (1972)" and "The Love I Lost (1973)". © 2014

To be honest, I've never really been a Nat King Cole fan, his music just wasn't my cup of tea. His style of singing was more like a Black version of Lawrence Welk. Although I was listening to one song today I forgot he sang, and it appears to be the only song from him I really like, and it's called Unforgettable (1954). This song "unforgettable is clearly nostalgic, and each time I hear it I go through childhood flash backs when my grandpa used to listen to it. The only other music I used to like from him was his xmas music. Come to think about it, that may have been the problem as to why I didn't like his music; I've always associated his voice with xmas. He could have sang a song about a bicycle  and it would still sound like xmas.

To be honest, I've never really been a Nat King Cole fan, his music just wasn't my cup of tea. His style of singing was more like a Black version of Lawrence Welk. Although I was listening to one song today I forgot he sang, and it appears to be the only song from him I really like, and it's called "Unforgettable (1954)". This song "unforgettable" is clearly nostalgic, and each time I hear the song it invokes childhood flash backs when my grandpa used to listen to it. The only other music I used to like from him was his xmas music. Come to think about it, that may have been the problem as to why I didn't like his music; I've always associated his voice with xmas. He could have sang a song about a bicycle and it would still sound like xmas. ©2014/VintageNewscast

I absolutely love James Taylor's music. His music is the kind of music you would listen to, to relax your mind from a ruff day. I consider his genre of music "easy listening/modern folk". The mood of his music and tempo is similar to Jim Croce.  James Taylor is another artist that looks nothing like himself as he got older. However, he still has that same smooth soothing voice. James has been around musically for a very long time, and continues to have a long successful  career. If you're not a member of Rhapsody or Spotify, your better off finding one of his greatest albums. My favorite hits are "Carolina In My Mind (1968)", "Fire And Rain (1970)", "You've Got A Friend (1971)" (I also like Carole Kings Version too), "Handyman (1977)", "Shower The People (1976)", and "How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You (1975)"

I absolutely love James Taylor's music. His music is the kind of music you would listen to, to relax your mind from a ruff day. I consider his genre of music "easy listening/modern folk". The mood of his music and tempo is similar to Jim Croce. James Taylor is another artist that looks nothing like himself as he got older. However, he still has that same smooth soothing voice. James has been around musically for a very long time, and continues to have a long successful career.
If you're not a member of Rhapsody or Spotify, your better off finding one of his greatest hits albums.Please note, if you're not in to folk music, chances are you will not like James Taylor's music. My favorite hits are "Fire And Rain (1970)", "You've Got A Friend (1971)" (I also like Carole Kings Version too), "Handyman (1977)", "Shower The People (1976)", and "How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You (1975)"

I could be wrong about this but, I'm going to be bold enough and say, anybody younger than 20 years of age probably never heard of the Osmonds. According to Wikipedia, the Osmonds started performing around 1958, and still continues to perform today. To be honest, I only like 3 songs out of their entire career, but I think these songs are great enough to mention on my blog. When they started performing, they started off with "Lawrence Welk" type of music (which I find very BORING unfortunately), but when Donny Osmond was added to the group, they obviously became the "Jackson 5 sound-a-likes". When they released a song called "One Bad Apple (1971)", every single person (even till today) mistaken them for The Jackson 5. Later on, I guys as Donny grow older and passed puberty, he no longer had that same "Jackson 5 magic", then the next thing we new, the Osmonds were singing country (and pretty much been their type of music ever since). I remember as a young kid, I used to watch their TV show called "Donny & Marie" in the late 70's. Unfortunately, thi show was boring as all hell. This show was so boring, I would not even tell you to rented on Netflix, it's that boring. I've noticed that Marie is like a male version of Dick Clark, this bitch will not grow old for nothing LOL! She still looks fabulous after all these years, and I don't remember reading about any plastic surgeries either click here. Well, after they gone country, there were only two other songs I liked from them, and they were "I'm leaving It Up To You", and "Love Me For A Reason".

I could be wrong about this but, I'm going to be bold enough and say, anybody younger than 20 years of age probably never heard of the Osmonds. According to Wikipedia, the Osmonds started performing around 1958, and still continues to perform today. To be honest, I only like 3 songs out of their entire career, but I think these songs are great enough to mention on my blog. When they started performing, they started off with "Lawrence Welk" type of music (which I find very BORING unfortunately), but when Donny Osmond was added to the group, they obviously became the "Jackson 5 sound-a-likes". Yet when we watched them perform on TV they looked more like the first Menudo. When they released a song called "One Bad Apple (1971)", every single person (even till today) mistaken them for The Jackson 5. Later on, I guys as Donny grow older and passed puberty, he no longer had that same "Jackson 5 magic", then the next thing we knew, the Osmonds transitioned to singing country (and pretty much stayed with that genre of music ever since). I remember as a young kid, I used to watch their TV show called "Donny & Marie" in the late 70's. Unfortunately, this show was boring as all hell. This show was so boring, I would not even tell you to rented on Netflix, it's that boring. I've noticed that Marie is like a male version of Dick Clark, this bitch will not grow old for nothing LOL! She still looks absolutely fabulous after all these years (better than all her brothers), and I don't remember reading about any plastic surgeries either click here, in fact she almost looks like Valerie Bertinelli (from One Day At A Time). Well, after they gone country, there were only two other songs I liked from them, and they were "I'm leaving It Up To You", and "Love Me For A Reason". Update: I couldn't find any official news on Youtube so far about any work done to her face, but I read a few articles on the net about face lifts. I'm skeptical because a lot of them came from gossip sites and "plastic surgery sites" which are notorious for making celebrities appear to endorse something. The other thing is, she had a tremendous weight loss, which can alter facial features significantly, as well as make you look younger. I did see a video that stated she had an obsession with trying to look younger, so I guess it is likely she had something done. If she did have something done, thank goodness she didn't go overboard. there are some celebs that have faces that look like plastic now. ©2014

Yes guys! Believe it or not, I like Paul Anka's music too! Like I've said I'm musically diverse. I bet my younger blog fans probably have never heard of Paul Anka (unless you've heard your grand parents play his songs). Mr. Anka was one of those teen heartthrobs that girls used to scream their heads off for. Personally, I didn't think he was all that handsome, but I did and still do like some of his music. If you see the way he looks now you would never think he was the same person. Growing up, I remembered my grandfather  jamming to a long called "Diana". This was a very catchy and infectious tone back then; and even as a small child, I remember singing this all over the place. There were two more favorites of mine, the first is called "Put Your Head On My Shoulders", which was a huge hit in 1968. The other song is "Puppy love". © 2014

Yes guys! Believe it or not, I like Paul Anka's music too! Like I've said before I'm musically diverse. But how many of my younger blog fans actually heard of Paul Anka (unless you've heard your grand parents play his songs maybe)? Mr. Anka was one of those teen heartthrobs that girls used to scream their heads off for. Personally, I didn't think he was all that handsome, but I did and still do like some of his music. If you see the way Mr. Anka looks now you would never think he was the same person. Growing up, I remembered my grandfather jamming to one of his songs called "Diana". Here is the first original version, however, I like his remake better when he was older. This was a very catchy and infectious tone back then; and even as a small child, I remember singing this all over the place. There were three more favorites of mine, the first is called "Put Your Head On My Shoulders", which was a huge hit in 1968. Also song "Puppy love" and "Lonely Boy". I liked only boy, because it was one of the few sad songs you heard that had an up beat tempo. © 2014

I really love the temp of many of Gregory Isaacs's music. R.I.P. Although his sometimes nasally voice in some of his music gets a little annoying at times. However, one of his biggest hits called "Night Nurse (1982) was the exception to the rule. I love this song so much. I also think he did a remake with Lady Saw. I don't like Lady Saw's music at all, but I loved the collaboration with this particular song. Gregory has been around musically for a long time, and has had a long healthy music career before his passing a few years back. Some of these hits were "No Speech (1991)", "Each Day (2001)", and "Willow Tree (1995)" just to name a few. Just to give you a fair warning, a lot of his very early 70's reggae albums tend to sound a lot a like. However, I think my older Caribbean blog members can appreciate his music.

I really love the temp of many of Gregory Isaacs's music. R.I.P. Although his sometimes nasally voice in some of his music gets a little annoying at times. However, one of his biggest hits called "Night Nurse (1982)" was the exception to the rule. I love this song so much. I also think he did a remake with Lady Saw. I don't like Lady Saw's music at all, but I loved the collaboration with this particular song. Gregory has been around musically for a long time, and has had a long healthy music career before his passing a few years back. Some of these hits were "No Speech (1991)", "Each Day (2001)", and "Willow Tree (1995)" just to name a few. The "Willow Tree" has been remade by so many reggae artists, but I think the original singer was Elton Ellis. Just to give you a fair warning, a lot of his very early 70's reggae albums tend to sound a lot a like. However, I think my older Caribbean blog members can appreciate his music.

Rap is one type of music I rarely listen to know-a-days, because the quality of rap has really tanked over the last 20+ or so years. We've gone from "saying no to drugs" to glorifying anything that degrades women, and total disregard for respect, and a host of other things. I will say this, I will not get in to a long winded speech as to whether or not rap is an art form or not. I think this is a separate issue in terms of the quality of rap being played to day, and the o' so willing record companies willing to promote negative rap. I digress. Now, don't get wrong, rap was always about the rappers telling their story about the streets, however, it was very different in the 80's. In terms of rap, I don't really listen to anything else past bubble gum 80's, and maybe a few 90's stuff. Lately, I have been grooving to a old 2 man group called EPMD. One of the two named Erik Sermon wasn't particularly handsome, but he had beautiful eyes. It kinda kept me watching their videos, because his facial features were so unique. I kinda forget just how long they've been around. The first rap they did that drove me crazy was a song called "It's My Thing (1988)". This song had a sick beat, and most importantly, I understood what he was saying! It had a funk/James Brown kinda beat that I absolutely loved. Other favorites are "You Gots To Chill (1988)", "The Big Payback (1991)" and Your A Customer (1991)"

Rap is one type of music I rarely listen to now-a-days, because the quality of rap has really tanked over the last 20+ or so years. We've gone from "saying no to drugs" to glorifying anything that degrades women, and total disregard for respect, and a host of other things. I will say this, I will not get in to a long winded speech as to whether or not rap is an art form or not. I think this is a separate issue in terms of the quality of rap being played to day, and the o' so willing record companies willing to promote negative rap. I digress. Now, don't get wrong, rap was always about the rappers telling their story about the streets, however, it was very different in the 80's. In terms of rap, I don't really listen to anything else past bubble gum 80's, and maybe a few 90's stuff. Lately, I have been grooving to a old 2 man group called EPMD. One of the two named Erik Sermon wasn't particularly handsome, but he had beautiful eyes. It kinda kept me watching their videos, because his facial features were so unique. I used to mistaken Parrish Smith for Coolio a lot. I kinda forget just how long they've been around. The first rap they did that drove me crazy was a song called "It's My Thing (1988)". This song had a sick beat, and most importantly, I understood what he was saying! Other favorites are "You Gots To Chill (1988)", "The Big Payback (1991)" this song had a funk/James Brown kinda beat which I loved, and everyone could dance to this rap too, and "Your A Customer (1991)".

Monthly Archives: September 2009

 The GOLDEN GATE (JUBILEE) QUARTET

The GOLDEN GATE (JUBILEE) QUARTET

In 1925, four students at Booker T. Washington High in Norfolk, Virginia – Henry Owens, Clyde Riddick, Willie “Bill” Johnson, Orlandus Wilson – founded the Gates. It is of interest to know that another group called the Golden Gate Quartet was organized in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1892. In this podcast, I would like to share a negro-spiritual called “Anyhow” by The Golden Jubilee Quartet, song in 1943. Now in the public domain. Please click download to listen to song. Or subscribe to my podcast.

By Katherine Cole
Washington
© 2009 VOA

This undated photo shows Mary Travers, who was one-third of the popular 1960s folk trio Peter, Paul and Mary

Mary Travers, the glamorous blond who sang into the middle microphone with folk trio Peter, Paul and Mary, died September 16 at 72 after a long battle with leukemia. Born in 1936, Mary Travers was two years old when her parents moved the family from Kentucky to Greenwich Village in New York City. By the time she was a teenager, Mary was a full-fledged member of the 1950s Village folk scene, though, at the time, she said music was just a hobby, and she had no plans to sing professionally.

That changed in 1961, when Mary met Bob Dylan’s manager, Albert Grossman. Grossman had decided to put together a folk supergroup to rival the chart-topping Kingston Trio. He introduced Travers to Peter Yarrow and Paul Stookey. The story of how the group was formed caused many fellow folk singers to brand Peter, Paul and Mary as “too commercial,” and not “authentic”, but Mary Travers always defended the group’s sound and founding, saying they made the music accessible to everyone. There is no dispute that the trio made folk music popular. Their first album, “Peter, Paul and Mary,” reached Number One shortly after its March 1962 release, and remained at the top of the charts for seven weeks. The album contained two hit singles: “If I Had A Hammer”; and “Lemon Tree.”

“Peter, Paul and Mary everyone loved,” said singer-songwriter Gretchen Peters. “And it’s not that it was ‘watered down’ at all. That’s not why it worked. I’m not exactly sure why it worked, except that Mary’s voice was just a thing of beauty. It was a classically-beautiful voice.” Peters took up the guitar at age 7, and Peter, Paul and Mary songs were the first she learned to play. But it wasn’t just Mary Traver’s voice that attracted Gretchen. The harmony singing was equally important.

“That was a great education, just picking apart who sang what on the albums,” she said. “Because sometimes she actually sang lower than one of the guys, she would sometimes sing lower than Peter. And you’d have to kind of weed out who’s singing what in the harmonies. It was not simple, simple stuff, but it was beautiful.” While the group’s music proved commercially successful, the group did not play it safe when it came to politics. Like Peter Yarrow and Paul Stookey, Mary Travers was quite outspoken in her support of civil rights and the anti-Vietnam war movement. Peter, Paul and Mary performed at the historic 1963 March on Washington, and also took part in the 1965 voting rights marches from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama.

After the group disbanded in 1970, Mary Travers continued to perform at political events around the world. The trio reunited in 1978, intending to perform just one show at a benefit to oppose nuclear power. It was such a success that they continued to perform as a trio until Mary Travers retired in May of this year. It’s no exaggeration to say that Mary Travers and the trio of Peter, Paul and Mary took folk music from the coffeehouse to the mainstream, and helped spread a message of peace and harmony around the world. Their recordings also proved that folk music could be commercially successful. Peter, Paul and Mary’s music won five Grammy Awards and scored six Top Ten hits, eight gold and five platinum albums. They also introduced millions to the music of Bob Dylan, and turned “Blowin’ In The Wind” into an anthem of the 1960s’ protest movement.

VintageNewscast.com has received permission by the author to republish this article.

By: VOA

Copyright © 2009

Mary Travers : AP

Mary Travers

Mary Travers, one third of the famous 1960s folk music trio Peter, Paul and Mary has died of cancer. She was 72. A publicist for the group says Travers died Wednesday at a Danbury, Connecticut hospital where she was being treated for leukemia. The publicist said she had been battling the disease for a number of years.

Travers and her band mates, Peter Yarrow and Noel Paul Stookey made up one of the most popular American music groups of the 1960s. Peter, Paul and Mary mixed folk music with political activism, promoting civil rights and protesting the U.S. war in Vietnam with such songs “Blowin’ in the Wind,” “If I Had a Hammer” and “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?.”

The group also scored major hits with “Leaving on a Jet Plane,” “Lemon Tree,” and “Puff (The Magic Dragon).” Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.

JAMES EARL JONES

JAMES EARL JONES

Jones had his acting career beginnings at the Ramsdell Theatre in Manistee, Michigan. In 1953 he was a stage carpenter. During the 1955 – 1957 seasons he was an actor and stage manager. He performed his first portrayal of Shakespeare’s Othello in this theater in 1955.

His first film role was as a young and trim Lt. Lothar Zogg, the B-52 bombardier in Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb in 1964, which was more famous for the work of Peter Sellers and Slim Pickens. His first big role came with his portrayal of boxer Jack Jefferson in the film version of the Broadway play The Great White Hope, which was based on the life of boxer Jack Johnson. For his role, Jones was nominated Best Actor by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, making him the second African-American male performer (following Sidney Poitier) to receive a nomination.

In 1969, Jones participated in making test films for a proposed children’s television series called Sesame Street; these shorts, combined with animated segments, were shown to groups of children to gauge the effectiveness of the then-groundbreaking Sesame Street format. As cited by production notes included in the DVD release Sesame Street: Old School 1969-1974, the short that had the greatest impact with test audiences was one showing bald-headed Jones counting slowly to ten. This and other segments featuring Jones were eventually aired as part of the Sesame Street series itself when it debuted later in 1969 and Jones is often cited as the first celebrity guest on that series, although a segment with Carol Burnett was the first to actually be broadcast.

In the early 1970s, James appeared with Diahann Carroll in a film called Claudine, the story of a woman who raises her six children alone after two failed marriages and one “almost” marriage. Ruppert, played by Jones, is a garbage man who has deep problems of his own. The couple somehow overcomes each other’s pride and stubbornness and gets married.

Read more of this article on Wikipedia