ShadesOfSepia.com

I am the proud owner of 2 blogs. The first is called VintageNewscast. The primary purpose for this blog is to help my visitors rediscover rare & perhaps out of print classic music and film on digital format; the kinds of music & film that usually are NOT promoted in the digital realm! This includes most internet radio, “On Demand” audio/video streaming services, printed magazines and advertisements for DVD’s and Blu-Rays, and online entertainment (especially non-collector) stores. My blog is about cultural diversity! So, if you’re expecting to see only one type of music or movies here, this is NOT the blog site for you! :-) I am one of the very few multicultural bloggers of color to own one of the most diverse classic music/movie blogs in cyberspace. Here, you will see many genres of music and movies from 1995-ish and older. I also try to keep my fans/visitors informed as to the direction of music and film within digital technology. The second blog is called ShadesOfSepia. My goal there is to capture history, culture & our community through my camera lens. In essence ShadesOfSepia will serve as my photographic diary; telling stories of New York City with my camera; taking photographs all over; sharing subjects I find to have beauty, or of special quality. Creating an historical archive of the people of New York City. I also like to share my photographic art, mostly derived from my photo taking. I am attracted to many different types of photography, and I hope you enjoy my photographs. Please don't forget to bookmark both my sites. I think you will grow to enjoy and love them both; as I work hard to give you the best content not seen anywhere else. Thank you!
1 2 3 29

There just isn’t enough time in the world, to go down every single hit the group “Mother Father Sister Brother” has given us! They have made MAJOR contributions to our music culture. MFSB was in essence a massive orchestra of more than 30 musicians, of different races, color  and backgrounds. In my opinion, I feel as tho they’re like a soulful version of Lawrence welk’s Orchestra (if you’re old enough to remember that far back). They were originally put together as a “house band” for their Philadelphia International Records label. They’ve played music for many artists, including the legendary Jerry Butler, The Trammps. And with their brilliant talent, have help to boost the careers of female groups such as “First Choice,” and “Three Degrees.” MFSB’s most memorable song known around, is the song that would eventually become Soul Train’s opening theme song. The song is called “TSOP (The Sound Of Philadelphia),” and I imagine that every Black bell-bottom’d person on the planet was dancing to that song by the second, or third episode of Soul Train. The very short, and limited background vocals were of none-other than “The Three Degrees.” In 1974, TSOP hit #1 and although it only stayed on the charts for 18 weeks, the medley stayed in our hearts for decades and decades. Another funky song I recommend you listen to off this same album, is a song called “Sexy,” released in 1975. Although “Sexy” only peaked at 42, it was still a very favorite instrumental of mine as a kid.

VintageNewscast.com

Save

You know, I’ve always had mixed feelings concerning Diana Ross. It was well known that she was not a very nice person (and probably still the case); not to mention claiming that she was the one who “discovered” the Jackson 5. Sorry to all the Diana Ross fans, but, I never saw her as a talented singer. I mean, not in the sense of Aretha Franklin talent, or Gladys Knight, or even a Chaka Khan. I don’t think her career would have been as successful as it was, had it not been for Barry Gordy. Sorry, just my opinion. But that doesn’t mean I think she didn’t have great music, however, that’s just it, without that great music, her voice was just mediocre to average. I’ve always felt that she was a better actress than she was a singer, and her role as Billie Holiday, in the cult classic movie “Lady Sings The Blues” proves that hands down. The movie grossed over $20M, and her soundtrack album grossed about over $2M, that’s pretty huge for what is in essence a biographical film. Although, to my understanding, the entire soundtrack “Lady Sings The Blues” was a #1 hit; however, one of the most memorable and profound songs from that soundtrack “Good Morning Heartache,” only peaked at #34 and stayed on the charts for 12 weeks in 1973.

VintageNewscast.com

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Here’s a fun song I really loved back in the day. It’s called “I Can’t Wait,” from a 2 person group from the U.K. called Nu Shooz, and the song was released in 1986. The song comes from the album called “Poolside.” This is a fun dance/pop song that always kept me moving. The song peaked @ #3, and stayed  23 weeks on the charts. I just love the beat to this song, it’s so unique, I really can’t think of another song right now to compare it too. The song was so popular, I’ve seen it on just about every compilation CD advertised, and I think that included “Time Life.” There was also another hit from this same album (which is also cute I think), and it’s called “Point Of No Return.” “Point Of No Return” peaked at #28, and stayed on the charts for 22 weeks. The title “Point Of No Return,” sounds like it could be a movie theme doesn’t it? LOL..

VintageNewscast.com

Save

Save

Born Gilberto Miguel Calderón, but to the world he was known as Joe Cuba. He became a huge success in the sixties, and if I understand his story, it appears it has happened quite by accident. Joe hit it big at a time when Spanish club music was starting to change and evolve. It was at a time when both Tito Puente & Machito once dominated the club scene with their amazing  mambo style music in the 40s through the mid 60s I guess. One night, while performing with his band in NYC, he was playing for a mostly Black audience, unfortunately, the crowd wasn’t digging the flavor of mambo music. That night, the piano player (sensing the audience lack of interest) started playing random tunes, and adlib/improvised. All of a sudden the audience started to raise their hands and dance. Shortly after the band followed the piano player in improvisation, and the next thing you know, the audience started saying “beep beep.” The song later was called Bang! Bang! released in 1966. A new style of music was now embraced called “boogaloo.” Bang! Bang! hit #30 on the music charts, and it was a huge unexpected success for the small record label they were under, which was “Tico” records at the time. The song was such a hit, it inspired the hit song “Bad Girls” sung by the late disco queen Donna Summer in the very late 70s.

VintageNewscast.com

Save

As I’ve said in previous posts, I am a huge Godzilla fan and I think it’s safe to say that I have watched just about all of the Godzilla movies, from the 1954 classic all the way up to 2014. And now, finally “Shin Godzila (2016).” It is with great disappointment that I have to say I still hate all the more recent Godzilla movies. Unless I am forgetting one, it is my opinion that most Godzilla movies beyond “Mechagodzilla (1974)” is trash. Sorry 🙁 However, when I saw the trailer for “Shin Godzila (2016),” I just knew I had to see it. It’s a good thing I’m a Netflix member, ’cause if I had to pay for this movie, I would have been one pissed-off fan. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy the special effects, but the acting was just bad… Look, I know the ratings on IMDB & RT where good. But those phenomenal reviews have got to be for the movie’s special effects, not it’s actors. Let’s start off with the way Godzilla looks in this movie. Now, this Godzilla is a big bitch, and I do mean HUGE, and once you see how big he actually gets, you know he’s about to destroy some cities. But, I understand that Godzilla is a monster, he was never meant to look cute. But what’s with this obsession (and I’m including both American and Japanese film makers) with making Godzilla looking more Demonic rather than Extraterrestrial? Is this an attempt in giving Godzilla a scarier and “monstrous new look?” By the time I got to the middle of the movie, Godzilla’s skin looked like it was burnt and chard, with larva emanating out of open wounds. This doesn’t compute in my head, how Godzilla would look like, if he’s a monster that feeds off radio active energy (that’s just me).

Godzilla reminds me of an Alien movie that I saw, where the whole bottom of his jaw splits to release something out of his mouth. I gotta tell you, the best part of this whole entire movie is when Godzilla breaths fire. At some point, Godzilla got so huge and powerful, that he didn’t even breath fire, he shot beams of light that cut planes in half. Now that was something I’ve never seen before. Godzilla created mass destruction, as I expected. And the beautiful part was, Godzilla did this type of mass destruction without looking like a man in a dinosaur suit. LOL

I have to be honest, the English dub made it almost unbearable to watch. Why? The actors were all monotone. I almost thought it was just a bad comedy. This is one of those movies were it looked more exciting watching it in their native language w/subtitles. Despite the horrendous acting in this movie (and I do mean horrible), there were some interesting “takeaways” from this movie. First, how the Japanese did not want to rely on the American president to help them destroy Godzilla. they were so animate about it, I thought to myself that, that  was a political statement right there. The other takeaway was, so many people in “power,” yet almost no one really wanted to be in charge or take charge (or knew what they were doing), pointing fingers at each other when things went wrong. In the end, I give this movie an A+ for special effects and visual direction, and for using no or very little CGI if any. It really looked realistic. But the acting really, really sucks (at least the English dub does). But then again, maybe I’m too harsh? Let’s be honest, for most of us, when we hear about a new Godzilla movie, all we really care about is watching him destroy sh*t. LOLOL.

VintageNewcast.com

 

Save

Save

I love this song, “Space Children” by Labelle, released in 1975. This song was during the peak of Pattie Labelle’s career. Indirectly, this song represented the music culture in the seventies. Why, many artists (Black artists in particular) that were considered under the category of rock, wore a lot of space suits and really outrageous outfits to out do each other. This included acts such as Bootsy Collins, The Commodores, George Clinton, and perhaps we can add Afrika Bambaataa to that list as well. But this was a time when music was fun! Watching a concert was almost like watching a circus and musical performances at the same time. Of course, I had loads of trouble trying to find good stats for “Space Children.” However, I know this had some success, because included on this same album were the 2 hugely successful songs “Lady Marmalade,” and “What Can I Do For You;” Marmalade probably being the biggest hit out of this album; yet what a shame I’ve never heard it in most seventies parties (unless it’s the redo with Christina Aguilera, Lil’ Kim, Mya, and Pink (I hate that version)).

VintageNewscast.com

Save

Save

Save

Smokey Robinson & The Miracles was another awesome group that laid down hit after hit back in the day. But right now, I’d like to write about a great song called “More Love,” which was released about two months before I was born in 1967. Along with Mr. Robinson’s good looks, he has a unique falsetto, unlike any male singer I’ve ever heard! His distinct & recognizable voice is so smooth that he can damn near serenade any one or anything. Add music to that voice and he’ll at least have your head popping (at bear minimum). Now, here is the interesting part, about the end of July in 1967, the song peaked at 23, and stayed in the top 100 for only 11 weeks. The reason why this is so interesting to me, is because it did not do nearly as well (in comparison to their other mega hits), yet it is one of the most memorable songs of their career. Go figure?!?!? However, this does prove one thing…. It proves that music is of the heart, and not of the stats! Do you want to know another tidbit? The song was so popular that Kim Carnes recorded her version of More Love in 1980, and it too became a hit with it peaking at #10, and stayed on the charts for 19 weeks. I absolutely loved how Kim started the song off with the stringed instruments. The song itself is just a beautiful medley.

VintageNewscast.com

Take It To The Limit” by the Eagles, is such a beautiful song. Then again, the Eagles are legendary for making great music. So many bands tried to imitate their sound, such as “Chicago,” “Ambrossa,” and “Alabama,” just to name a few. In fact, a lot of their music sounded so much alike, I used to get confused as to which band sang what. Personally speaking, as a fan, it was very frustrating, because it made going to the record store that much harder! Now we have Shazam, so those issues are a thing of the past (well almost). The lyrics talk about a subject I seldom hear str8 men talk about. Which is running around being self absorbed with personal desires, while wondering if a/or any woman around him had actually loved him. Some deep sh*t. I think the blunt and raw honesty of the lyrics is what also makes this song so beautiful. Check this classic out on Spotify!

O.K. I’m going to switch gears here a little bit. It’s been a while since I posted some reggae. I want to draw your attention to a Mr. Alton Ellis, a Jamaican singer and songwriter from back in the day. He was born in 1938, and started his musical career 1959 (about the age of 21). He had a long lasting career until just before his death in 2008 (about the age of 70). One of my most favorite songs from Ellis, is a song called “I’m Still In Love,” released under the Horse label in 1977. Now, this was and still is a beautiful song. What I love about this song, it wasn’t the typical love songs we used to hear (at least American songs), you know, the “I’m sorry, and I’m begging you please” type of songs with the doom and gloom musical backgrounds. Not only is the song upbeat, but it’s very danceable and fun to listen to. Unfortunately, I’m having a huge problem finding the stats to this song. What’s even more a disappointment is that, Sean Paul remade this song with Sasha in 2002 (which by the way, I also love their version as well), and his stats are all over the net. But, barely anything about Ellis. You see what I mean about Blacks losing our history in the digital age? A legendary singer, now lost and forgotten by most. Well, anyway, check it out on Spotify. It’s a beautiful song… Enjoy.

VintageNewscast.com

Save

Save

I feel extremely fortunate to be one of the very few to still own this classic masterpiece. Stevie has got a lot of great music on this album. But I think the song that is most remembered (in my opinion, then again he has just so many),  “For Once In My Life.” What a wonderful classic song to sing, or play for someone you really care about. The words just say it all. The album was released under the label of Motown, and in 1968, this song hit the number 2 spot on the music charts, and stayed on the top 100 for 14 weeks. Considering how popular this song was, I was pretty shocked that it did not stay on the charts longer. Another popular song on the same album is called “Shoo-Be-Doo-Be-Doo-Da-Day.” This song peaked at #9, and stayed on the charts for 13 weeks. Check this album gem on Spotify’s Web Player.

VintageNewscast.com

Save

Save

Save

Now, Michel’le is not a favorite artist of mine, but when her song “No More Lies” came out in the very later part of 1989, it was as though it went viral. Does anybody remember it? My opinion is that, the song became a hit because of its catchy phrase “doo doo doo doo.” She didn’t have a whole lot of vocal control (in my opinion); on a lot of her songs it was almost like listening to Minnie Mouse’s sister. She was just one of those lucky performers that got their hands on a good producer, that gave her great lyrics and good music to back it up. This is one of those situations where having a “good beat” paid off in the long run. Yet, the song did seem to appeal to a lot of young people then, and like many teenage songs in that era, they were often in response to the “playa” mind set. In 1990, the song peaked at #7, and stayed within the top 100 for 29 weeks. Oh, I almost forgot, there was another song I really liked, which she actually sang the best out of all the songs in this album. The song is called “Something In My heart,” and she really showcased all the power and potential of her voice. The sad part was, this song’s highest peak was only at 31 on the music charts.  I think it was then, I started to have an awareness that people started to care more about the beat, than the lyrics and quality. There were a couple of cute & danceable songs on this same album though. Check out her entire album on Spotify’s web player here. It’s kinda cute.

VintageNewscast.com

Save

Save

Save

Save

Here is a great song to add to your playlist! I know I’ve been doing a lot of easy-listening lately, but I couldn’t resist not sharing this awesome song from Michael McDonald. It’s called “I Keep Forgettin’ (Every Time You’re Near),” released in 1982. That year it peaked at number 4 on the music charts, stayed hot on the charts for about 19 weeks. The song is basically about a guy who’s so in love with his ex, that each time he sees her or think about her, it was as though they never broke up. Although technically its a sad song, but it has a sick & smooth beat to it. In fact, the song was so popular back in the day it was sampled by Warren G, in his rap called “Regulate (1994),” featuring Nate Dogg (which became another big hit as well). Michael McDonald was also the lead singer of a popular group called “The Doobie Brothers,” which I recommend that you search and check them out using your favorite streaming service.

Save

1 2 3 29