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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!

Freddy Fender was an American Tejano, which basically means a descendant of a Mexican family (or Spanish speaking people) who migrated to Texas. Therefor, much if not all of his music is basically “country Spanish music (for a lack of a better word).” About 42 Years ago, Freddy released an album called “Before The Next Teardrop Falls” in 1975; the song from that album “Before The Next Teardrop Falls” became an instant major cult classic. Although the song only peaked @ #20, According to the American Billboard, it stayed on the charts for a whopping 43. weeks. However, on the country music charts,  the song peaked at #1. This gave Freddy somewhat of an immortal status. This song was so popular, there was a time when you could scan all the entire FM band, and you’d find at least 3 stations playing the song almost at the same time. Quite frankly, once I got older, I realized this song confused quite a bit. Why? The song in it’s entirety sounds like he was saying he wasn’t good enough for her, and he’ll just let some other dude have the girl he loves without putting up much of a fight.Then again, maybe this is a song when the woman was already dating someone else?  The world at the time saw this as one of the most beautiful love songs ever recorded. Freddy and his cult classic has indeed been mostly forgotten. This was the biggest song of his entire career.

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This song was the sh** back in the day. You young kids don’t know nothing about club music. From their album titled “Foundation,” published in 1989; the song called “That’s the way love is,” was given to the radio DJ’s. The rest was history. 10 City’s new song reached #1, and stayed on the top 100 for 12 weeks. Ooooh, we used to dance our *sses of to this song. Byron Stingily’s falsetto was freakin’ amazing! Very rare do you hear male performers who can project their voices like that. Lots of heavy base, and constant danceable beats. This musical sensation was a mixture of R&B and house mixed together. Another amazing favorite of mine from the same album is called “Devotion,” and it hit #17, and stayed on the charts for about 9 weeks. Now, there have been other hits, however, none had the same success and popularity as the two songs I’ve mentioned. I’m not sure if they’re still performing, but I really wished they’d stayed on the path of club music. I really wasn’t feeling their slow jams 🙁 You know what? Let me change that! Maybe it wasn’t a matter of whether or not their slow jams were good; it may have been the fact that they’ve mixed hard hitting club music; then changed the mood to almost slow dancing type rhythms on the same album. I hate that!!!

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I have to say, I’ve never been a fan of Julian Lennon at all, with the exception of one song. When his first album came out, every rock critique expected him to be a sensational replica of his famous (then deceased) father. In 1984, Julian released an album called, “Valotte,” which I believe this was his first album. On that album there was a song called “Too Late For Goodbyes,” and the song peaked at #5, and stayed on the American Billboard charts for 17 weeks. It also reached #6 on the UK charts. This song was released about 4 years after his father’s murder, and remains to be his most successful work in his career. Unfortunately, this was the only song I ever liked from Julian. There had been a couple more songs that became chart topping hits, but I have to be honest, personally, I didn’t like any of them.

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There weren’t too many songs I liked from the rock band “The Young Rascals,” (later changed name to just “The Rascals”) but I really liked the song they released in 1967, called “A Beautiful Morning.” This is the kind of song where, you’d enjoy listening to in the backyard just chillin’ out. Maybe a barbecue or something. The song peaked @ #3, and stayed on the charts for 13 weeks. The song was so loved, it also reached #36 on the R&B charts. The song sold over a million copies by the end of 1968. You know, for most of my childhood life, I thought that the “4 Tops” sang this song. I had no idea. Boy, life would have been very different had streaming existed then. Another song you may enjoy by them is a song called “Goovin‘,” also released in 1967, and it hit #1, and stayed on the music charts for about 13 weeks.

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I came across an article quite by accident. The article is called “Why Music Streaming Services Need To Attract An Older Audience,” published about a year ago. As my followers know, getting some older folk to use technology is like pulling teeth, and two toes!!! While the industry recognize this is a challenging issue, I’m thinking just how hard it would be to overcome this? I’m also seriously wondering if this is even possible? I would like to have a real talk for a minute here. Despite the negative feelings many independent/or new artists have concerning music streaming, streaming services like Spotify have single handedly saved the music industry from being sucked in by the black piracy hole (or vortex, if you will).

With few exceptions, the majority of streaming platform users tend to be largely in the under 35 set, but these services might do well to start courting an older demographic, with their deep pockets and streaming compatible tastes in music.

Although I don’t agree with the above quote (in regards to the “deep pocket” reference), I found it interesting how they broke down “the older demographic,” but did not compare data to older people who are on a “fixed income.” Which is a segue to almost the heart of what I really wanted to discuss. I think it’s safe to say that any change is difficult for most older folk; that is especially true when it comes to sticking with familiarity. Things have changed so much in regards to technology that most are overwhelmed with it. Some don’t even bother, assuming they won’t be able to understand it. But guys, you don’t need to be a programmer to know how to use Spotify. It is so freakin’ easy, you’ll say to yourself, why the f**k did I wait so long? 😀 And most importantly, its absolutely FREE!!! Legal!!!!! And the premium service is only optional. But even at $10/mo. is a steel!

I think the problem consist of 3 main factors. First, we know that for most people, music stops around the age of 35. Meaning, after that age, we usually don’t have the desire to listen to newer music past that age. Therefore, I think if streaming services want to attract the older demographic, you need to promote older music. Second, I really do think the the younger generation can be a huge help. The best way to get an older person’s attention is to show your older loved one just how easy it is. Not just show them how easy it is, go and find one of their old records that is so scratched and f**ked up it can’t be played. Then show them how to search for it on Spotify, then play it. Then watch their eyes pop out of their socket! LOL  I never understood how older folk who love music as much as they do, not have the slightest bit of curiosity? Maybe they’re confusing today’s streaming with the old Napster? I don’t know. Lastly, if your loved one decides they want to go with the premium, show them how easy it is to download using Spotify! Now they can take their music with them, and not be chained to YouTube! Show them what Shazam is, and how they can use it to discover almost all their old music on cassette! Not only will they be happy their listening to their childhood music, they’ll have fun doing it.

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This is another great album I have, which I hadn’t listened to in a very long time. The sounds of Temprees, are comparable to “The Blue Magic.”  My most favorite song from this Temprees album is called “Dedicated To The One I Love,” which was released in 1972. I feel that performed this song beauitifully, however it only peaked at #93, and stayed on the charts for only two weeks. What a shame. However, what I find really interesting to note was that, “The 5 Royales” first recorded “Dedicated To The One I love,”  in 1958, and only peaked at #81. Then the song was recorded by “The the Shirelles,” and their version of “Dedicated To The One I Love,” peaked at #83 in 1959. Then The Shirelles changed the song entirely and re-released the song in 1961, and “Dedicated To The One I love” risen to number #3, and stayed on the pop charts for 20 weeks. Finally, “The Mamas & The Papas” released their version of “Dedicated To The One I love” in 1967, and the song peaked at #2, and stayed on the charts for 10 weeks. Why did I find this interesting? All of these versions were released closely to each other in only about a 11 year span, and people had totally different reactions to different versions of the same song. It was almost as if they’re saying, “which one of use will have the biggest hit?” Personally, I love them all equally.

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I just love Daryl Hall and John Oats. I don’t think they’ve came out with any new material since about 2004-ish, other than their live concerts, and some of their biggest hits that has been remastered. Out of the many songs I know and love from Hall & Oats, my very favorite has got to be “One On One,” from the album H2O, released in 1983.  How cleaver is that? That they’ve used the chemical symbol for water (H2O), as a double meaning for “Hall & Oats.” The song hit #7 on the hot billboard charts, and hit #8 on the hot R&B charts. The beat to this song is so perfectly sweat, and the baseline is amazing. I used to almost always stop what I was doing when I heard this on the radio, the music was just to sweet to ignore.

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You know, I haven’t listened to Celia Cruz’s music in a really long time. But one things for sure, when I put on a sing such as “Quimbara,” I always wind up rewinding about 3-4 times. The song was released in 1974, and peaked in the U.S. at number #15. I can’t seem to find a record as to how long it’s been on the top 100/200. This is indeed my ultimate favorite from her. You can’t help but to dance to this song, and if you don’t, you either have no rhythm, or you’re just boring. This song almost appears to take over your body by the middle of the song. Absolutely no one else was able to sing this song like Celia Cruz. It’s like the song was just made for her and her alone. The only other version I somewhat like, is one that was done by an old school group called “DLG.” Do you remember DLG? Or “Dark Latin Groove?” It’s called “Magdalena, mi amor,” I know it’s not Celia’s Quimbara, but there’s enough essence of Celia’s song that makes it just as good. I just wish’d that lead singer Huey Dunbar didn’t sound like he was straining his voice so much. Yes, Celia was a legend… Do you guys know why I love her so much? She was a TRUE artist, in that She’d sing ANYTHING! She was truly versatile. I’ve heard her sing Cuban music, marengue, bachata, & disco. I’ve even heard her sing in English. Although her English was not that good, she did it because that’s how much she loved music, this was how music influenced her as a child. She also have done many duets with people you would least suspect. Like the duet with Patti Label, singing Quimbara. Oh my goodness, I laughed my ass off when I saw this. It was HILARIOUS!! Not that I thought the performance was bad, I laughed because they were two woman having fun and sharing their positive energy with their fans! Celia was so popular she even appeared on Sesame Street. Sometimes I think even Spanish people don’t know what a legend we’ve lost. She always stayed connected to her Cuban culture, down to her traditional Cuban garbs. The Cuban woman with the golden, and unmistakable voice.

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I found one of my old Prince posters and thought, it’s time for another playlist. This playlist is packed with Prince’s greatest hits, extended mixes, and a few songs performed with “The Revolution.” This playlist also includes titles re-interpreted by other big artists; such as “Nothing Compares To You,” “Do Me Baby,” and “When You Were Mine.” Sometimes I still have trouble processing the fact that, not only Prince is gone, but for the same reason that other celebs had died from…… A accidental mixture of prescription drugs & “over the counter medicine.” This is why you can’t take advice from people. Not even the pharmacist. Always ask your doctor, and perhaps double check behind that doctor and research again whenever & wherever possible. Enjoy the Prince collection!

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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.

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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.

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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..

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