Tuesday, May 26, 2009

ൠ Movin' to New Blogsite

Dear Viewers
Please take note this blogsite shall be moved to a new URL : http://bringingbackthegoodtimes.blogspot.com to be in synchrony with the blog title. Looking forward to  your strong continuos support and invaluable comments & feedback. Cheers!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

ക JENNIFER LOPEZ, If You Had My Love|Love Don't Cost A Thing|Play|I'm Real|Ain't It Funny|Get Right|Hold You..|Control Myself|Do It Well|Hold It..|

Jennifer Lynn Lopez (born July 24 1969) popularly nicknamed J.Lo is an American actor singer record producer dancer fashion designer and television producer. She is the richest person of Latin American descent in Hollywood according to Forbes and the most influential Hispanic entertainer in the U.S. according to People en Español's list of "100 Most Influential Hispanics". Jennifer Lopez was born and grew up in the South Bronx New York to Puerto Rican parents Guadalupe Rodrígueza kindergarten teacher and David Lopeza computer specialist. She has two siblings Lynda and Leslie. Lopez spent her entire academic career in Catholic schools finishing at the all-girls Preston High School in the Bronx. She financed singing and dancing lessons for herself from the age of 19. 

'On the 6' Lopez's debut album 'On the 6' a reference to the 6 subway line she used to take growing up in Castle Hill was released on June 11999and reached the top ten of the Billboard 200. The album featured the Billboard Hot 100 number-one lead single "If You Had My Love".

Lopez's second album J. Lo was released on January 23 2001 and debuted at number one on the Billboard 200. When her film The Wedding Planner achieved number one shortly after Lopez become the first actress-singer to have a film and an album at number one in the same week. The lead single "Love Don't Cost a Thing" was her first number-one single in the United Kingdom and took her into the top five on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.

Lopez played the lead role in the 1997 film Selena for which she was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for "Best Actress - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy" in 1998. She became the first Hispanic actress to get paid $1 million or more for a film role.

She followed it up with "Play" which gave her another top twenty hit on the Billboard Hot 100 and reached number three in the UK. Her next two singles were "I'm Real" and "Ain't It Funny" which were quickly rising up the charts. To capitalize on this Lopez asked The Inc. Records (then known as Murder Inc.) to remix both songs which featured rap artists Ja Rule (on both) and Caddillac Tah (on the "Ain't It Funny" remix). Both remixes reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 for several weeks. She re-released J. Lo on her thirty-second birthday with the remix of "I'm Real" as a bonus track. Also"Is Ya Se Acabó" was released in Spain due to the success "Que Ironia".

After a year away from the music scene Lopez released her fourth studio album Rebirth on March 1 2005.  Although debuting and peaking at number two on the Billboard 200 the album quickly fell off the charts. It spawned the hit "Get Right" which reached the top fifteen in the U.S. and became her second Platinum hit (after "If You Had My Love"). "Get Right" was also successful in the UK becoming her second number-one single there.

The second single "Hold You Down" which featured Fat Joe reached number sixty-four on the U.S. Hot 100 it peaked at number six in the UK and ascended to the top twenty in Australia. Another song "Cherry Pie" was slated for a release in late 2005 but the plans to make a video were canceled as the album sales were definitely too weak and the promotion budget exceeded. It was released to radio stations in Spain. Rebirth was certified Platinum in the U.S. By the RIAA.

Lopez was then featured on LL Cool J's single "Control Myself" which was released on February 1 2006.  It reached number four on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and number two on the UK Singles Chart.  It was Lopez's first U.S. Top ten hit in three years.

"Do It Well" was released as the lead single and reached the top 20 in many countries. Lopez has sold over 48 million albums worldwide. Lopez made the 2007 Forbes magazine's list of The 20 Richest Women In Entertainment ranking ninth. Her wealth is estimated to be $110 million.

"Hold It Don't Drop It" was released as the second single in only in some countries from Europe. Starting in 1999 Lopez released seven albums including two number one albums on the Billboard 200 charts and four Billboard Hot 100 number one singles. She won the 2003 American Music Award for Favorite Pop/Rock Female Artist and the 2007 American Music Award for Favorite Latin Artist. She has appeared in numerous films and has won ALMA Awards for outstanding actress for her work in Selena Out of Sight and Angel Eyes. She parlayed her media fame into a fashion line and various perfumes with her celebrity endorsement.

Lopez is one of the highest-paid actresses in Hollywood and the highest-paid Latin actress in Hollywood history though she's never had a film grossing over $100 million in the U.S. Lopez appeared in the 2007 Guinness World Records as the most powerful actress. She was on the The Hollywood Reporter's list of the top ten actress salaries in 2002 2003 and 2004. She received $15,000,000 for her role in 'Monster-in-Law'. Her top-grossing film domestically is 'Maid in Manhattan' which grossed $94,011,225 and her most successful international film 'Shall We Dance?' grossed $112,238,000 at the international box office. Domestically 'Shall We Dance?' grossed $57,890,460 and a total of $170,128,460 worldwide.

The second single released is called "Me Haces Falta" and the third is "Por Arriesgarnos". Lopez won an American Music Award as the Favorite Latin Artist in 2007. Como Ama una Mujer holds the record for the best opening week Internet sales for a Spanish album. With Como Ama Una Mujer Jennifer Lopez is one of the few performers to debut in the top 10 of the Billboard 200 with a Spanish album.[wikipedia]

Thursday, May 21, 2009

ക JANET JACKSON, Love Song For Kids|Don't Stand Another..|Nasty|When I Think..|Let's Wait..|Again|Scream|All For You|Call On Me|Does'nt Really Mat..|

Janet Damita Jo Jackson (born May 16, 1966) is an American recording artist and actress. Born in Gary, Indiana and raised in Encino, Los Angeles, California, she is the youngest child of the Jackson family of musicians. She first performed on stage with her family beginning at the age of seven, and later started her career as an actress with the variety television series The Jacksons in 1976.

Although Jackson was initially apprehensive about starting a music career, she agreed to participate in recording sessions with her family. The first of these, a duet with her brother Randy titled "Love Song for Kids", took place in 1978. When Jackson was sixteen, her father arranged a contract for her with A&M Records.

Jackson's second album, Dream Street, was released two years later. Her father recruited her brothers to help produce the album: Marlon co-wrote two of the album's tracks, while Tito, Jackie and Michael provided background vocals. Dream Street reached number nineteen on the R&B albums chart; its sales were less than that of Jackson's debut album. The album's only hit, "Don't Stand Another Chance", peaked at number nine on Billboard's R&B singles chart.

Control was certified five times platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America, and has sold over ten million copies worldwide. Billboard credited it as being the fifth best-selling album of 1986 in the United States. It won four American Music Awards, from twelve nominations—a record that has yet to be broken—and was nominated for Album of the Year at the 1987 Grammy Awards.

Richard J. Ripani Ph.D., author of The New Blue Music: Changes in Rhythm & Blues, 1950-1999 (2006), observed that the album was one of the first successful records to influence the rise of new jack swing, incorporating R&B, funk, jazz, soul and various production techniques which emerged in the late-1980s. The success of Control, according to Ripani, bridged the gap between R&B and rap music.

Released in February 1986, the album peaked at number one on the Billboard 200. The Newsweek review of Control noted that the album was "an alternative to the sentimental balladry and opulent arrangements of Patti LaBelle and Whitney Houston."  Rob Hoerburger of Rolling Stone asserted, "Control is a better album than Diana Ross has made in five years and puts Janet in a position similar to the young Donna Summer's—unwilling to accept novelty status and taking her own steps to rise above it." Five of the album's singles—"What Have You Done for Me Lately", "Nasty", "When I Think of You", "Control", and "Let's Wait Awhile"—peaked within the top 5 of the Billboard Hot 100.

In July 1993, Jackson made her film debut in Poetic Justice. Rolling Stone described Jackson's performance as "a beguiling film debut" despite her inexperience, while The Washington Post considered her "believably eccentric".  Jackson's ballad "Again" was featured on the film's soundtrack, and garnered a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Original Song.

She later collaborated with her brother Michael on "Scream", the lead single from his 1995 album HIStory, which was written by both siblings as a response to the media scrutiny he suffered from being accused of child sexual abuse. The song debuted at number five on the Hot 100 singles chart, becoming the first song ever to debut in the top 5. Scream is featured in the Guinness Book of Records as the "Most Expensive Music Video Ever Made" at a cost of $7 million. Jackson and her brother won the 1995 Grammy Award for Best Short Form Music Video for Scream.

Jackson's seventh album, All for You, was released in April 2001, debuting at number one on the Billboard 200.  Selling 605,000 copies, All For You had the highest first-week sales total of Jackson's career. The album's title-track, "All for You", debuted on the Hot 100 at number fourteen, the highest debut ever for a single that was not commercially available. Teri VanHorn of MTV dubbed Jackson "Queen of Radio" as the single made radio airplay history,"[being] added to every pop, rhythmic and urban radio station that reports to the national trade magazine Radio & Records" in its first week. The single peaked at number one, where it topped the Hot 100 for seven weeks. Jackson received the 2001 Grammy Award for Best Dance Recording for "All for You".

The album's lead single "Call on Me," a duet with rapper Nelly, peaked at number twenty-five on the Hot 100. 20 Y.O. Was certified platinum by the RIAA. Billboard magazine reported the release of 20 Y.O. [wikipedia]

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

ക JAMES TAYLOR, Fire & Rain|Carolina In My Mind|You've Got A Friend|Sweet Baby..|Handy Man|Up On The Roof|How Is The..|

James Vernon Taylor (born March 12, 1948) is a Grammy Award winning American singer-songwriter and guitarist born in Boston, Massachusetts, and raised in Carrboro, North Carolina. Taylor's career began in the mid-1960s, but he found his most devoted audience in the early 1970s, singing sensitive and introspective songs. He was part of a wave of singer-songwriters of the time that also included Cat Stevens, Carole King, Paul Simon, Joni Mitchell, Tom Rush, and Jackson Browne, as well as Carly Simon, whom Taylor later married, although it did not last.

Just yesterday morning they let me know you were gone
Suzanne the plans they made put an end to you
I walked out this morning and I wrote down this song
I just can't remember who to send it to

I've seen fire and I've seen rain
I've seen sunny days that I thought would never end
I've seen lonely times when I could not find a friend
But I always thought that I'd see you again...

His 1976 album Greatest Hits was certified diamond and has sold more than 11 million copies. He has retained a large audience well into the 1990s and early 2000s, when some of his best-selling and most-awarded albums were released. Taylor signed to Warner Bros. Records and moved to California keeping Asher as his manager and record producer. His second album, Sweet Baby James, was a massive success, buoyed by the single "Fire and Rain," a song about his experience in psychiatric institutions and the suicide of his friend, Suzanne Schnerr.

The success of this single and the album piqued interest in Taylor's first album, James Taylor, and propelled the album and the single, "Carolina in My Mind," back into the charts.

During the time Sweet Baby James was released, Taylor appeared with Dennis Wilson of The Beach Boys in a Monte Hellman film, Two-Lane Blacktop. Also, 1971 saw the release of Mud Slide Slim and the Blue Horizon, another hit album.  He won a Grammy Award for his version of his friend Carole King's "You've Got a Friend".

This was followed by In the Pocket in 1976 and then a greatest hits album that included some re-recordings of Apple Records-era material. It became a huge hit and remains Taylor's best selling album. It was certified diamond, and to date has sold over 11 million copies.Taylor signed with Columbia Records and released JT in 1977 winning another Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance for his cover version of "Handy Man."

After collaborating with Art Garfunkel and briefly working on Broadway, Taylor took a two-year break, reappearing in 1979 with the cover-studded album Flag, featuring a Top 40 version of Gerry Goffin and Carole King's "Up on the Roof." Taylor also performed at the No Nukes concert in Madison Square Garden and appeared on the album and the film from the concert. [wikipedia]

Sunday, May 17, 2009

ക JAMES INGRAM,Just Once|I Don't Have A Heart|Baby Come To Me|Yah Mo B There|Somewhere Out There|The Day I Fell In Love|

James Ingram (born February 16, 1952) is an American soul musician. He is best-known as a vocalist. He is also a self-taught musician who plays piano, guitar, bass, drums and keyboards. Additionally, he is a producer and songwriter. James Ingram was born in Akron, Ohio. He began his career in the '70s as part of the band Revelation Funk with Bernard Lawson, Sr., also from Akron. During this time, Ingram developed a reputation in the Los Angeles area as a session vocalist, and came to the attention of ex-Motown songwriter and producer Lamont Dozier.

In 1981, Ingram provided the vocals to "Just Once" and "One Hundred Ways" on Quincy Jones's album The Dude. He won a Grammy award for best R&B vocal performance for his work on this album. Ingram's debut album, It’s Your Night, appeared in 1983, including the ballad "There’s No Easy Way." He also worked with other notable R&B artists such as Ray Charles, Anita Baker, Viktor Lazlo, Nancy Wilson, Natalie Cole, and Kenny Rogers. In 1990, he scored a No. 1 hit on the pop charts with the love ballad "I Don't Have the Heart" from his It's Realalbum.

But Ingram was best known throughout the decade for his hit collaborations. He went to No. 1 on the pop charts with Patti Austin on "Baby, Come to Me," a song made popular on TV's "General Hospital." A second Austin/Ingram duet, "How Do You Keep the Music Playing?" was featured in the movie "Best Friends" and earned an Oscar nomination. A few years later, he won a 1985 Grammy Award for "Yah Mo B There," a duet with Michael McDonald.  And he teamed up with Kenny Rogers and Kim Carnes for the Top 40 ballad "What About Me?" in 1984.

In 1987, he teamed with American vocalist Linda Ronstadt, and had a US Pop No. 2 Hit with Somewhere Out There, the theme from the animated feature film, An American Tail. The song garnered Grammy and Academy Award nominations and was certifed gold (over 500,000 U.S. Copies sold) by the RIAA.

His 1994 composition "The Day I Fell in Love", which he dueted with Dolly Parton, was the theme song for the movie Beethoven's 2nd and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song. [wikipedia]

Thursday, May 14, 2009

ക JAMES BROWN, PleasePleasePlease|Try Me|Nite Train|Papa's Got A Brand..|I Feel Good|Cold Sweat|Sunny|

James Joseph Brown (May 3 1933 – December 25 2006) originally James Joseph Brown Jr. was an American entertainer. He is recognized as one of the most influential figures in 20th century Popular music and was renowned for his vocals and feverish dancing. He was known and still is as "The Godfather of Soul".  As a prolific singer songwriter dancer and band leader Brown was a pivotal force in the music industry. He left his mark on numerous artists. Brown's music also left its mark on the rhythms of African popular music such as afrobeatjùjú and mbalax and provided a template for go-go music.

In 1955 Brown and Bobby Byrd's sister Sarah performed in a group called "The Gospel Starlighters". Eventually Brown joined Bobby Byrd's vocal group the Avons and Byrd turned the group's sound towards secular rhythm and blues.  After the group's name was changed to The Flames Brown and Byrd's group toured the Southern "chitlin' circuit" and the group eventually signed a deal with the Cincinnati Ohio-based label Federal Records a sister label of King Records. The group's first recording was the single "PleasePleasePlease" (1956). The single was a #5 R&B hit selling over a million copies.  Nine subsequent singles released by The Flames failed to live up to the success of their debut and the group was in danger of being dropped by King Records.

Brown's group returned to the charts to stay in 1958 with the #1 R&B hit "Try Me".  This hit record was the best-selling R&B single of the year becoming the first of 17 chart-topping R&B singles by Brown over the next two decades.  By the time "Try Me" was released on record the group's billing was changed to James Brown and The Famous Flames. "The Famous Flames" was a vocal group not a backing band contrary to popular belief.

During his childhood Brown earned money shining shoes sweeping out stores selling and trading in old stamps washing cars and dishes and singing in talent contests. Brown also performed buck dances for change to entertain troops from Camp Gordon during the start of World War II as their convoys traveled over a canal bridge near his aunt's house. Between earning money from these adventures Brown taught himself to play a harmonica given to him by his father and he learned to play some guitar from Tampa Red (who was "dating" one of the girls from his aunt's house) in addition to learning to play piano and drums from others. Brown was inspired to become an entertainer after watching Louis Jordana popular jazz and R&B performer during the 1940s and His Tympany Five in a short film performing "Caldonia".

Whoa-oa-oa! I feel good, I knew that I would 
I feel good, I knew that I would. So good, so good, I got you

Whoa! I feel nice, like sugar and spice
I feel nice, like sugar and spice. So good, so nice, I got you
When I hold you in my arms, I know that I can't do no wrong
And when I hold you in my arms, my love won't do you no harm

Whoa! I feel nice, like sugar and spice
I feel nice, like sugar and spice. So good, so nice, I got you
When I hold you in my arms, I know that I can't do no wrong
And when I hold you in my arms, my love won't do you no harm

I feel nice, like sugar and spice. I feel good, I knew that I would
So good! so good! I got you. So good! so good! I got you
So good! so good! I got you

During the mid-1960s two of Brown's signature tunes "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag" and "I Got You (I Feel Good)" both from 1965 were his first Top 10 pop hits as well as major #1 R&B hits with each remaining the top-selling singles in black venues for over a month. In 1966 Brown's "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag" won the Grammy for Best Rhythm & Blues Recording (an award last given in 1968). Brown's national profile was boosted further that year by appearances in the movie Ski Party and the concert film The T.A.M.I. Showin which he and The Famous Flames (Bobby Byrd Bobby Bennett and "Baby Lloyd" Stallworth) upstaged The Rolling Stones. In his concert repertoire and on record Brown mingled his innovative rhythmic essays with Broadway show tunes and ballads such as his hit "It's a Man's Man's Man's World" (1966).

During his long career James Brown received several prestigious music industry awards and honors. In 1983 Brown was inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame. In addition Brown was named as one of the first inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at its inaugural induction dinner in New York on January 23 1986. However the members of his original vocal group The Famous Flames, Bobby Byrd, Johnny Terry, Bobby Bennett and Lloyd Stallworth were not. On February 25 1992 Brown was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 34th annual Grammy Awards. Exactly a year later he received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 4th annual Rhythm & Blues Foundation Pioneer Awards. A ceremony was held for Brown on January 10 1997 to honor him with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. [wikipedia]

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

ക JACKSON 5IVE, bIG bOY|I Want You Back|ABC|The Love You..|Never Can Say..|Dancing Machine|The Lovely..|Can You Feel..|

The Jackson 5 (also spelled The Jackson Five or The Jackson 5ive, and later known as The Jacksons) were an American popular music family group from Gary, Indiana. Founding group members Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon and Michael formed the group after performing in an early incarnation called The Jackson Brothers, which originally consisted of a trio of the three older brothers. Active from 1966 to 1990, the Jacksons played from a repertoire of R&B, soul, pop and later disco. During their six-year Motown tenure, The Jackson 5 were one of the biggest pop-music phenomena of the 1970s, and the band served as the launching pad for the solo careers of their lead singers Jermaine and Michael, the latter brother later exploiting his early Motown solo fame to greater success as an adult artist.

One night, their father Joe caught one of the brothers playing his guitar after a string broke. Initially upset with his sons playing behind his back, he saw their potential and in 1964, Jackie, Tito and Jermaine formed The Jackson Brothers, including hometown friends Reynaud Jones and Milford Hite on guitar and drums respectively. By the end of the following year, the group's younger brothers Marlon and Michael joined the instrumental band playing tambourine and congas. Cartman got The Jackson Five a record deal with Gordon Keith's local Steeltown label, and the group began making their first recordings in October 1967. Their first single, "Big Boy", was released in January 1968 and became a regional hit. This was followed by a second and final single—"We Don't Have To Be Over 21 (to Fall in Love)".

Before releasing their first single, Motown renamed them slightly from "The Jackson Five" to "The Jackson 5". The Jackson 5's first single, "I Want You Back", was written and produced by four Motown songwriters and producers — Berry Gordy, Alphonzo Mizell, Deke Richards  and Freddie Perren — who were collectively billed as "The Corporation". "I Want You Back" was released as a single for The Jackson 5, as Motown decided to officially bill the group, on October 7.

The Jackson 5 were the first act in recorded history to have their first four major label singles ("I Want You Back", "ABC", "The Love You Save", and "I'll Be There") reach the top of the American charts. Several later singles, among them "Mama's Pearl", "Never Can Say Goodbye" and "Dancing Machine", were Top 5 pop hits and number-one hits on the R&B singles chart. Most of the early hits were written and produced by a specialized songwriting team known as "The Corporation".

"Jacksonmania" swept the nation, and within a year of their debut The Jackson 5 were among the biggest names in popular music. The group essentially replaced The Supremes as Motown's main marketing focus, and, capitalizing upon the youth-oriented appeal of the Jackson brothers. Significantly, they were the first black teen idols to appeal equally to white audiences thanks partially to the successful promotional relations skills of Motown CEO Berry Gordy. Upon their departure from Motown for CBS in 1976, The Jacksons were forced to change their name and replace Jermaine (who remained at Motown) with younger brother Randy.

In 1979, The Jacksons received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 1980 the group released the Triumph album, which featured the hits "Lovely One" and "Can You Feel It".  The following year's The Jacksons Live! Used recordings from the group's Triumph Tour, which in 1988 was described by Rolling Stone magazine as one of the best 25 tours from 1967 to 1987. The group has never formally broken up, but has been dormant since then, although all six brothers performed together at two Michael Jackson tribute concerts in September 2001.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

ക IRENE CARA, Fame|Out Here On My Own|Why Me|Flash Dance..What A Feeling|Breakdance|

Irene Cara (born March 18 1962) is an American singer and actress. Cara won an Academy Award in 1984 in the category of Best Original Song for co-writing "Flashdance... What a Feeling".  She also starred in the 1980 film version of "Fame". Cara captivated her first audience - her family - sometime after her fifth birthday when she began to play the piano by ear. Cara soon moved into serious studies of music acting and dance. At the age of three she was one of five finalists for the "Little Miss America" pageant.

The motion picture Fame earned Cara Grammy nominations in 1980 for Best New Female Artist and Best New Pop Artistas well as a Golden Globe nomination for Best Motion Picture Actress in a Musical. Billboard Magazine named her Top New Single Artist while Cashbox Magazine awarded her both Most Promising Female Vocalist and Top Female Vocalist.

The 1980 box office smash movie Fame catapulted Irene to stardom.  As Coco Hernandez she sang both the title song "Fame" and the film’s second hit single "Out Here on My Own". These songs helped make the movie sound track a chart-topping multi-platinum album. Further history was made when at the Academy Awards that year for the first time two songs from one film were nominated in the same category: "Fame" and "Out Here on My Own". Cara had the opportunity to be one of the few singers to perform more than one song at the Oscar ceremony. "Fame" written by Michael Gore and Dean Pitchford won the award that year.

Asked by the Fame TV series' producers to reprise her role as Coco Hernandez she declined so as to focus her attention on her recording career. As a result newcomer Erica Gimpel who looked similar to Cara played the role instead. However Cara did make a special guest appearance on the series in 1983 as a "successful alumna" of the performing-arts school portrayed in the series singing her then-current single "Why Me?".

In 1983 Irene reached the apex of her music career with the title song for the movie Flashdance "Flashdance...What A Feeling" which she co-wrote with Giorgio Moroder and Keith Forsey. Cara wrote the lyrics to the song with Keith Forsey while riding in a car in New York heading to the studio to record it Moroder wrote the music.

She won the 1983 Academy Award for Best Song (Oscar), 1984 Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance, 1984 Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song, Top Female Vocalist-Pop Singles Black Contemporary Female Vocalist-Pop Singles Top Pop Crossover Artist-Black Contemporary Singles Pop Single of the Year American Music Awards for Best R&B Female Artist and Best Pop Single of the Year.

Along with her career in acting and several hit singles Cara has released three albums thus far. Those albums are "Anyone Can See" in 1982,  "What A Feelin" in 1983 and "Carasmatic" in 1987 the most successful of these being "What A Feelin". Cara received two prestigious honors for her career in March 2004 with her induction into the Ciboney Cafe's Hall of Fame and a Lifetime Achievement Award presented at the sixth annual Prestige Awards. [wikipedia]

Monday, May 11, 2009


The Hues Corporation was a pop and soul trio formed at Santa Monica California in 1969. They are best known for their 1974 hit, "Rock the Boat". The group's name was a pun on the Hughes Corporation, with the 'hue' being the group's African-American heritage. The band's members were St. Clair Lee (born Bernard St. Clair Lee, 24 April 1944, San Francisco, California), Flemming Williams and Ann Kelley. The original choice for the group's name was The Children of Howard Hughes, which their record label turned down.

The group's first big break came in 1972 when they were invited to appear in the blaxploitation film, Blacula, starring William Marshall. They were also asked to record three songs for the film's soundtrack; "There He Is Again", "What The World Knows" and "I'm Gonna Catch You". Shortly after, RCA signed the group and their first single, "Freedom For The Stallion",  from the album of the same name, became a moderate hit, Reaching #63 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The follow-up single, "Rock the Boat," became a #1 hit on the Billboard chart and the group's signature song. "Rock the Boat" was written by Waldo Holmes, who also wrote the Blacula songs, and released in the U.S. In February 1974 and in the UK in July that year. [wikipedia]

ക HOT CHOCOLATE, You Sexy Thing|Everyone's A Winner|So U Win Again|It Started With A Kiss|

Hot Chocolate was an English pop band of the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s formed by Errol Brown (a Briton who was born in Jamaica). The band were chart regulars throughout the 1970s and 1980s. The act has at least one hit every year between 1970 and 1984 and "You Sexy Thing" made the Top 10 in three decades. With their seductive lead singer Errol Brown, Hot Chocolate became as entwined with 1970s pop culture as Star Wars. They were originally named 'The Hot Chocolate Band' by Mavis Smith, who worked for the Apple Corps press office. This was quickly shortened to Hot Chocolate by Mickie Most.

It was in the disco era of the mid-1970s onwards, that Hot Chocolate became a big success. A combination of high production standards, the Growing confidence of the main songwriting team of Wilson and Brown, and tight harmonies enabled them to secure further big hits like "You Sexy Thing" and "Every 1's A Winner", which were major U.S. Hits, peaking at #3 and #6, respectively. After Wilson's departure for a solo career that included a well received album in 1976 I Like Your Style, Brown assumed songwriting duties. Between those two well-loved tracks came Hot Chocolate's only UK chart topper.

Between those two well-loved tracks came Hot Chocolate's only UK chart topper. In 1977, after scoring 15 previous hits, they finally reached Number One with "So You Win Again". Oddly, it was one of the few of their recordings that was not penned, at least partly, by Brown. The track was a Russ Ballard composition.

Whilst their longevity had its highs and lows, they continued well into the 1980s, and clocked up another big hit record: "It Started With A Kiss", in 1982, which reached Number 5 in the UK. In all, the group charted no less than 25 UK Top 40 hit singles

When Hot Chocolate disbanded in 1986, Errol Brown did not have much solo success, although two of his singles did make the UK Singles Chart - "Personal Touch" and "Body Rockin'". In 2003 Errol Brown received the MBE; and in 2004, the Ivor Novello Award for his contribution to British music. [wikipedia]

Sunday, May 10, 2009

ക HOLLIES, Ain't That Just Like Me|Searchin|Look Thru..|Bus Stop|Carrie Anne|Sorry Suzanne|He Ain't Hea..|I Can't Tell..|Gasoline Alley..|Hey Will..|

The Hollies are an English pop band from Manchester formed in the early 1960s. Member Graham Nash told Public Radio International  that the group decided just prior to a performance to call themselves the Hollies because of their admiration for Buddy Holly. The original lineup included Allan Clarke as lead vocalist, Graham Nash as guitarist and backup vocalist, Jeremy Levine on rhythm guitar, with Eric Haydock and Don Rathbone rounding out the group on bass and drums. The group released their first album in the United States in 1964 as part of the first wave of British Invasion releases. They are commonly associated with Manchester, as some of the original Hollies grew up in the city. 

The Hollies had a squeaky-clean image, and were known for their bright vocal harmonies. Their EMI debut single "Ain't That Just Like Me," released May 1, 1963, hit #25 on the UK singles chart. Their second single, a cover of The Coasters' "Searchin," hit number 12. They scored their first British top-ten hit in early 1964 with a cover of Maurice Williams and The Zodiacs' "Stay," which hit #8 in the UK Singles Chart. It was from the band's Parlophone debut album "Stay With The Hollies." Released Jan. 1 1964, the album went to #2 on the UK chart. A version of the album would show up in the U.S. As Here I Go Again, on The Hollies' then-U.S. Label Imperial. 

After The Beatles, The Hollies were the most successful British 'singles' bands of the 1960s, scoring twenty-two UK Top 40 placings between 1964 and 1970. Their hits include "Here I Go Again" (#4, 1964); the bands first self penned hit "We're Through" (#7 1964); "Look Through Any Window" (#4, 1965, U.S. #32); "Yes I Will" (#9, 1965); their only British #1 single, the Clint Ballard, Jr. Penned "I'm Alive" (U.S. #103) (1965); three UK #2 hits during 1966 - "Bus Stop" (U.S. #5) (written by future 10CC member Graham Gouldman); "I Can't Let Go" (U.S. #42); and, such Clarke-Hicks-Nash-written material as "Stop Stop Stop" (U.S. #7);

"Carrie Anne" (#3, 1967, U.S. #9, from which actress Carrie-Anne Moss got her name, having been born when the song was on the charts); "On a Carousel" (#4, 1967, U.S. #11); and "Jennifer Eccles" (#7, 1968, U.S. #40).

When Nash left in 1968 due to creative differences, in particular over the plan to record a full album of Dylan songs, he joined forces with former Buffalo Springfield guitarist Stephen Stillsand ex-Byrds singer David Crosby to form one of the first supergroups, Crosby, Stills & Nash. He was replaced by guitarist-singer Terry Sylvester, formerly of the The Swinging Blue Jeans. This lineup had a hit in 1969 with "Sorry, Suzanne", which reached No. 3 in the UK. In time, too, Sylvester proved a capable substitution for Nash as part of the band's songwriting team.

{Can remember vividly when I was at the live performance of The Hollies in Stadium Negara, Kuala Lumpur in the early 70s, during the harmonica intro of this song "He Ain't Heavy He Is My Brother..." goose bumps were all over me. Whoa! Awesome!..}

The group hit No. 3 again in 1970 with the emotional civil rights themed ballad "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother", which featured the piano playing of Elton John. The next single, "I Can't Tell The Bottom From The Top", also featured Elton John's piano playing and hit #7 in the UK in 1970. The UK hits continued with "Gasoline Alley Bred" (UK #14 1970) and the hard edged rocker" Hey Willy" (UK #22 1971). [wikipedia]

Thursday, May 7, 2009

ക HERMAN'S HERMITS, I'm Into Something Good|Mrs Brown You..|I'm Henry VIII..|Can't You Hear My..|A Must To..|Listen People|Dandy|There's a Kind..|

Herman's Hermits were an English pop band, formed in Manchester in 1963 as 'Herman & The Hermits'. The group's management and producer Mickie Most (who controlled the band's output) emphasized a simple, non-threatening and clean-cut image, although the band originally played R&B numbers. This helped Herman's Hermits become hugely successful in the mid-1960s but hampered the band's creativity, relegating Noone, Hopwood, Leckenby and Green's original songs to quickly recorded B-Sides and album cuts.

Their first hit was "I'm Into Something Good" (written by US songwriters Gerry Goffin and Carole King), which reached No. 1 in the UK and No. 13 in the US in 1964. They never topped the British charts again, but had two US No. 1's with "Mrs. Brown, You've Got a Lovely Daughter" (originally sung by Tom Courtenay in a 1963 British TV play) and "I'm Henry the Eighth, I Am" (a British Music Hall song by Harry Champion dating from 1911). These songs were aimed at a US fan-base, with Peter Noone exaggerating his Manchester accent; the band was not fond of either song and they were never released as singles in Britain.

Herman's Hermits had three Top 3 hits in the U.S. In 1965, with the aforementioned #1 hits, as well as "Can't You Hear My Heartbeat" (U.S. #2). They had the hits "A Must to Avoid" (U.S. #8), "Listen People" (U.S. #3), "Leaning on a Lamp Post" (U.S. #7), and "Dandy" (U.S. #3) in 1966. They appeared on the The Ed Sullivan Show, The Dean Martin Show and The Jackie Gleason Show. Commercial success would prove elusive after the late '60's and Peter Noone and Keith Hopwood left the band in 1971. The band reunited in 1973 to headline a hugely successful British invasion tour culminating with a standing-room-only performance at Madison Square Garden and an appearance on The Midnight Special (without Hopwood).

The group was nominated for two Grammy awards in 1965, both for "Mrs. Brown, You've Got a Lovely Daughter." According to Noone and Hopwood, the song was recorded as an afterthought in two takes, using two microphones, with Hopwood on guitar, Green on bass guitar, and Whitwam on drums.

Born in Manchester, England, Noone was a child TV star playing Stanley Fairclough in Coronation Street. He was also featured in Knight Errant. Noone was only 15 when he achieved international fame as teenage heart-throb, Herman. On stage, Noone initially used his existing stage name Peter Novak. The change to Herman came after the owner of a pub that they were rehearsing in, remarked on his resemblance to the character Sherman in Peabody's Improbable History, a supporting cartoon in The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show, which they misheard as Herman. The group, who by now were a popular dance hall and youth club attraction, and managed by Harvey Lisberg and Charlie Silverman, changed their name to Herman and The Hermits, and it soon became abbreviated to Herman's Hermits.

Original members were Keith Hopwood (guitar, vocals), Karl Green (guitar, vocals), Alan Wrigley (bass guitar, vocals), Steve Titterington (drums), and Peter Noone (lead vocals). Although the youngest of a remarkably young group, fifteen-year-old Noone was already a veteran actor, with experience on the British soap opera, Coronation Street. Derek "Lek" Leckenby (guitar, vocals), and Barry "Bean" Whitwam (drums) (born Jan Barry Whitwam, 21 July 1946, in Prestbury, South Manchester), joined later from another local group, The Wailers, Whitwam replacing Titterington, Karl Green switching to bass guitar to replace Wrigley, and Leckenby effectively taking Green's position. After Leckenby joined, the group obtained a deal with producer Mickie Most and signed to EMI's Columbia Graphophone label in Europe and MGM Records in the United States. [wikipedia]

{Save the best for the last two lovely songs, "My Sentimental Friend" & "I'll Never Dance Again" which were the most popular songs in the 60s, played during house parties for the slow dance probably almost at the finale.}