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Natalie Cole, daughter of Nat King Cole has had many challenges; from drug abuse, to being on dialysis as a result of kidney failure, and came close to losing her life quite a few times because of illness. Through all that, Natalie still persevered!  She is an inspiring woman. Well, being the daughter of one of the most famous men in the world in his time, the public had a lot of expectations for Natalie, and she did not disappoint.  This is for me, the most memorable album from Natalie, and it has 3 of my most favorites! “This Will Be (An Everlasting Love),” “I’ve Got Love On My Mind,” and finally “Inseparable.” Those three songs were the bomb back in the day (I don’t care what anybody says)!  I also like “Mr. Melody,” in some weird way, it reminds me of “Copacabana” song by Barry Manilow. There is one other song that I really liked which is not on this album; it’s the song she released using prerecorded sound clips of her father; it’s called “Unforgettable.” Unfortunately, I don’t like a lot of Nat’s music (I can probably count on one hand), but I feel that “Unforgettable” was a really beautiful and romantic song, and Natalie did an excellent job paying tribute to her father.

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Ok guys, I am REALLY dating myself here. What are the chances of you finding Black American talking about this oldie (in this day and age)?!! LOL. To be honest, I don’t know if this is a one hit wonder or not, because I don’t listen to Japanese music (unless I am watching a martial arts picture). Mr. Kyu Sakamoto recorded an album in 1961, which included a song called Sukiyaki. Sukiyaki became a  huge hit in the United States, and around the world. It was basically a “puppy love” song; a guy singing about how sad he is because his girl basically dumped him. Interestingly, the song’s lyrics has nothing to do with the actual meaning of the word “Sukiyaki.” You can read more about the song and Kyu Sakamato from Wiki here. Many artist around the world covered this song, including “Taste Of Honey,” and Selena.

Rhapsody – Kyu Sakamoto

Spotify – Kyu Sakamoto

Rhapsody – Selena

Spotify – Selena

Rhapsody – Taste Of Honey

Spotify – Taste Of Honey

Youtube – 4PM

 

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The Righteous Brothers consisted of Bobby Hatfield and Bill Medley. Their career spanned from about 1963 to about mid 70-ish. Now, let me start off by saying, although I like many of the Righteous Brothers music, for many of you, their style would be an acquired taste. Their first big hit (which happens to be my very favorite) was a song called “You’ve Lost That Loving Feelin’,” in 1964 under the Philles record label. The song was such a huge hit that several other big named artist covered the song; including Dionne Warwick, Elvis, and Glen Campbell. Another very huge hit that came out of their career (and another big favorite of mine) was called “Unchained Melody (1964).” Till this day, I think it is one of the most beautiful love songs I’ve ever heard. Many big names have also covered this song, some of those artists include The Platters, Tom Jones, and Johnny Maestro and The Brooklyn Bridge . Last favorite from The Righteous Brothers, is a song called “You’re My Soul Inspiration.”

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I love “easy listening” type music, but I find much of Roberta Flack’s music to be way too slow, even for me. Actually, to be quite honest, I think that a lot of her music is very boring and depressing (and I am as open minded (musically) as they come). She has only had one hit every couple of albums that really struck my fancy; such as “Feel Like Making Love,” and “The Closer I Get To You.” However, “Killing Me Softly,” was the song that put her on the map! I think Roberta is probably best remembered for “Killing Me Softly,” than any of her songs. When Lauren Hill was with the Fugees, she made the song a big hit once more with her rendition. However, the album I wanted to write about is what I believe to be her first album called “First Take (1969).” This album contains another huge hit from Roberta called, “The First Time I Ever Saw Your Face.” The song was number one for 6 weeks, and to my understanding, it became a hit by word of mouth only! There is another song from the album that has a really thick jazzy funk rhythm to it, it’s called “Compared To What.” It has a sick beat to it, and it has become one of my favorites that few people remember. I enjoyed the song called “Hey That’s No Way To Say Goodbye,” again, very heavy rhythms with the use of base violins, very nicely done. Lastly, I thought the song called “Angelitos Negritos” was interesting. It was the one and only time actually heard her sing Spanish. Anyone who loves traditional jazz, I think you’ll like the song entitled “Tryin’ Times.”

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Soul II Soul is a group from London, that hit big with their 1989 album “Keep On Movin’.” I most say, this remains to be the most favorite album of mine from Soul II Soul. Their music is very unique (I think). The mood of the album is a mixture of funk, jazz and pop. I’ve checked their website http://soul2soul.co.uk/events/wildlife-festival, and it appears they haven’t performed in the states for ages. That is a shame, I’m sure a lot of Americans would have loved to see them perform again. My favorite songs off this album are “Keep On Movin’,” “Back To Life,” “Fairplay,” and “Jazzie’s Groove.”

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Calypso Rose (McArtha Linda Sandy-Lewis) was dubbed the calypso queen of of all time. At age 75, Mrs. Rose is still performing and filling people’s hearts with culture and dance! In 2011, she was given the Africa Festival Lifetime Achievement Award. Rose is probably best known for a song I believe was responsible for making her the megastar she is today, called Fire In Me Wire. Unfortunately, I am having trouble pin pointing the original release date right now. I only see the digital release date, which is 2009. But I’m guessing it was between 1970 and 1975. Everybody was dancing to “Fire In Me Wire!” Most of the time I hated to dance, but when that song came on, I was dancing it up! This was one of those songs you HAD to dance, simply because it’s fun and it made you move your body. If you ever throw a Caribbean party with seasoned folks, throw that song on your playlist, and you’re guaranteed to get the entire house dancing! Calypso Rose also has a documentary I recommend everyone see and it’s called “Calypso Rose – The Lioness Of The Jungle.” Lastly, I heard a song  recently, again I’m not sure what is the original release date (sounds resent tho); but she sang an absolutely BEAUTIFUL rendition of Aretha Franklin’s “I Say A Little Prayer For You.” I never heard anyone sang this song so nice before. Any Calypso Rose fans out there, I highly recommend you check that out.

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