Archive for Smokey Robinson

Springsteen appears on “Spectacle” with Costello

Posted in Bruce Springsteen with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 20, 2009 by 30daysout

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UPDATED: Read about the magical night at the Apollo at Backstreets Magazine.

Let me start off by saying “Spectacle” featuring Elvis Costello on the Sundance Channel is the best music program on TV…hands down. Costello asks insightful questions, artists like Lou Reed, Herbie Hancock, Kris Kristofferson, Smokey Robinson, Rosanne Cash and The Police, looked comfortable talking about themselves, and then there is the music. Costello usually plays with the artist, and whether they are his songs or their songs, the performances are outstanding.

This year’s guest list will feature, among others, Bruce Springsteen. The Boss is set to tape his segement at the Apollo Theater in Harlem on Sept. 25. It will be interesting to see if he spills the beans on the future of the E Street Band and to see what they play together. Costello recorded an excellent version of “Brilliant Disguise” and Bruce played “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding” on the Vote for Change Tour a few years ago, so we can probably count on at least those two. All I know is that whatever they play, it will rock. There is no air date at this time, but stick with us and we’ll let you know when it will come to a TV set near you.

Elvis Costello Official website

Bruce Springsteen Official website

Official “Spectacle” website

The Sundance Channel Official website

“London Calling” – Springsteen/Costello/VanZandt/Grohl

Motown 50th anniversary: The 1970s Supremes

Posted in Rock Moment with tags , , , , , , , , on July 27, 2009 by 30daysout
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Still Supreme, 1970: From left, Cindy Birdsong, Mary Wilson, Jean Terrell

Reader Steve Weaver pointed out last week that the 1970’s era Supremes – after Diana Ross’ departure – are often unfairly ignored.  And he’s right: although the Supremes had an evolving lineup between 1970 and 1977, the group still managed to put out quality music and even get to the upper reaches of the pop charts.

Even as the Supremes’ final No. 1 single, “Someday We’ll Be Together,” echoed on the nation’s radios, Diana Ross stepped aside and was replaced most ably by Jean Terrell.  Where Ross had a good “pop” voice, Terrell was more appropriately a soul belter – listen to her vocal on the “River Deep, Mountain High” team-up with the Four Tops (1970) and you can see where Terrell’s rougher approach may have been more fitting for the direction that soul music, and popular music in general, was moving in those days.

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Motown Turns 50: The Supremes

Posted in Rock Moment with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 22, 2009 by 30daysout

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We have neglected this feature of late, but Motown is celebrating its 50th year as a record label throughout 2009.  Today we take a look at two albums from a group that wasn’t really known for its long-players:  The Supremes.

The Supremes, of course, were Motown’s most commercially successful act, charting an incredible twelve No. 1 singles in the Billboard pop charts between 1964-69.  The classic trio of Diana Ross, Mary Wilson and Florence Ballard hit the radio consciousness with their second album, Where Did Our Love Go (1964).  This album was the linchpin of the Supremes’ success, as it featured four songs that would storm the Top 40 (all written by Holland-Dozier-Holland) and temporarily hold back the British Invasion.

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30 Days Out (from Christmas): Motown, Part 1

Posted in 30 Days Out (From Christmas) with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 28, 2008 by 30daysout

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Day Two – Nobody in the music industry is above a little holiday exploitation, and Berry Gordy’s Motown label was certainly no exception.  Gordy often put his star roster to work in the early summer recording finger poppin’ versions of holiday classics and a few originals, in hopes that he’d find a gold record under the Christmas tree.  Some of these are classics – Stevie Wonder’s “Ave Maria” is one of the better holiday records ever made – while others have justifiably faded into the mists of time.  There are so many Motown holiday songs, we’ll visit Detroit again on our 30-day Christmas odyssey.