Friday, April 30, 2010

You put a move on my heart- Tamia

"You put a move on my heart" was Tamia's first single which appeared on Quincy Jones' "Q's Jook Joint" album in 1995. It made it to number 12 on the Billboard R&B charts. In this YouTube video clip, she performs the song at a concert celebrating Quincy Jones music.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

American Idol reject performs on results show

On last night's American Idol's results show, the platinum selling country group "Lady Antebellum" performed. Ironically, lead singer Hillary Scott tried out twice for American Idol but never made it past the first audition. She joined the group in 2006.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Random music trivia

1. Garth Brooks was the first country artist to sell 10 million copies of an album.

2. The U.S. national anthem "Star Spangled Banner" was originally called "The Defense of Fort McHenry".

3. Dottie West was the first ever country artist to win a Grammy.

4. Bruce Springsteen was once the opening act for Anne Murray.

5. Wolfgang Mozart began composing music at the age of 5.

6. Billy Joel had his first hit "Piano Man" in 1973.

7. The very popular BBC music programme "Top of the Pops" was first aired on January 1, 1964 and ran until July 30, 2006.

8. In 1964, Louis Armstrong became the oldest artist at the age of 63 to have a number 1 Billboard hit with "Hello Dolly."

9. Barbara Streisand's first album "The Barbra Streisand Album" was released on February 25,1963.

10. Bob Marley and the Wailers album "Rastaman Vibrations" peaked at number 8 on the Billboard 200 charts in 1976.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Aswad had a number one hit on the U.K. charts with this song in 1988. It had been originally recorded by Tina Turner on the B-side of her 1986 hit single "Typical male."

Monday, April 26, 2010

Remember Craig David?

Craig David was born on May 5, 1981 in England of a Grenadian father and English mother. He burst onto the music scene in 2000 with "Fill me in" which made number 1 on the British charts making him the youngest ever person to do this. It was released in the United States the following year and made it as far as number 15 on Billboard's Hot 100. He also had a big hit with 7 days.

Craig has continued over the years to make the British charts over the years with his music even though he didn't become as big in the U.S. as many expected. However he has sold more than 13 million albums worldwide.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Fast facts on Yolanda Adams

* Full name Yolanda Yvette Adams.

* Born August 27, 1961.

* Worked as a schoolteacher and part time model before becoming a full time singer.

* Was the lead singer of Houston's Southeast Inspirational Choir.

* Released her first single "Just as I am" in 1987.

* Her album "Mountain High Valley Low" released in 1999 sold a million copies.

* Best known singles include "Still I rise", "Open my heart", "I believe", "Never give up".

* It is estimated that all her records have sold over 4.5 million copies.

* Has won 4 Grammy Awards.

* Has been married and divorced twice.

* Is the mother of a daughter Taylor Ayanna born on January 26, 2001.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Anita Baker - Sweet Love

"Sweet Love" was Anita Baker's first hit single. It came from her second album "Rapture" and reached number eight on the Billboard Top 100 charts in 1985.

Friday, April 23, 2010

YouTube sensation Lin Yu Chun

This is a video clip of contestant Lin Yu Chun singing "I will always love you" on the Taiwanese talent show "Super Star Avenue".

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Fast facts on American Idol judge Kara DioGuardi

* Full name Kara Elizabeth DioGuardi

* Born December 8, 1970

* Daughter of former New York Congressman Joseph DioGuardi

* Worked at Billboard magazine after graduating from college

* Has written songs for Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Kelly Clarkson, Pink, Enrique Iglesias, Marc Anthony, Leona Lewis

* Was a judge on a short lived 2006 ABC show "The One: Making a Music Star". It was cancelled after 2 episodes

* In 2007 was nominated as a co-writer for a Latin Grammy "Song of the Year". The song was "Bella Traicion"

* Joined "American Idol" as the 4th judge for the 8th season in 2008

* Also in 2008 she became Executive Vice President of Talent at Warner Brothers Records

* Married to general contractor Mike McCuddy on July 5, 2009

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Maxi Priest - Close to you

Maxi Priest had a big hit with this song in 1990. It peaked at number 7 on the U.K. Singles charts and number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Secret Garden

In 1990, Quincy Jones released the single "Secret Garden" featuring the vocals of Barry White, James Ingram, El Debarge and Al B.Sure. Fast forward to 2010 and Quincy is doing remakes of his old hits with current artists, this song being one of them.

Usher and Robin Thicke are good singers but I prefer the original. The amazing Quincy Jones is one of my musical heroes. However, I would prefer if he did not remake this song.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Desmond Dekker - Israelites

Desmond Dekker (Desmond Alphonso Dacres) was born in Jamaica on July 16, 1941. In 1968 he became one of the earliest Jamaicans to have an international hit record. "Israelites" made it to the top of the UK Singles chart and into the U.S. Billboard top 10. He died of a heart attack in England on May 25, 2006.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Sunday inspiration

"Count on me" came from the soundtrack of the 1995 movie "Waiting to Exhale." Released as a single in early 1996, it peaked at number 8 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts. It was written and produced by Babyface.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Respect - An Otis Redding original

"Respect" was written and first performed by Otis Redding. It became a hit in 1965 reaching number 35 on the pop charts. In 1967 Aretha Franklin recorded it and had an even bigger hit taking it to number one. It also became her signature song.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Corinne Bailey Rae

Corinne Bailey Rae was born on February 26, 1979 in England to a Kittian father and an English mother. She first started playing the violin at school before turning to singing. She released her first single "Like a Star" from her debut album "Corinne Bailey Rae" in 2005 which debuted at number 1 on the U.K. charts and went to number 4 on the U.S. charts.

In March 2008, Corinne lost her husband of 7 years Jason Rae to a drug overdose and took a break from the music business. In 2009 she released a single "I'd do it again" ironically written after an argument with her husband 2 months before his death. She released her second album "The Sea" on January 20, 2010. It debuted on the U.S. Billboard top 200 album charts at number 7.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Black Uhuru - Solidarity

Jamaican group Black Uhuru was formed in 1972 and with legendary drum and bass duo Robbie Shakespeare and Sly Dunbar, created a truly distinctive sound. They were the winners of the first ever Grammy given out in 1985 for their album "Anthem" which included the single "Solidarity". The group at this time comprised Derrick "Duckie" Simpson, Michael Rose and the late Sandra "Puma" Jones who was from the United States.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Random music trivia

1. The word "music" come from the Greek word "mousike" which translate to "Art of the Muses."

2. The cassette tape was invented by The Philips Company of the Netherlands in 1962.

3. The world famous Carnegie Hall was built by industrialist/philanthropist Andrew Carnegie in 1891. It was originally called "Music Hall" but was renamed in 1893 after board members of the Music Hall Company convinced Carnegie to use his name.

4. Elvis Presley's first number 1 pop hit was "Heartbreak Hotel" released in 1956.

5. German piano maker Heinrich Engelhard Steinweg migrated to the U.S.A. and founded Steinway & Sons in 1853. By that time he had changed his name to Henry Steinway.

6. "The Sound of Music" which was originally a Broadway production and subsequent film was the last musical written by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein.

7. Luciano Pavarotti became the first and only opera singer to perform on NBC's Saturday Night Live. This happened on December 12, 1998.

8. In 1987, Aretha Franklin became the first female to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

9. Quincy Jones and co-writer Bill Russell were the first African-Americans to be nominated for an Academy Award in the "Best Original Song" category for the 1967 movie "In Cold Blood."

10. Anne Murray is the first Canadian to have a number 1 hit on U.S. charts. The song was "Snowbird" released in 1970.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Mariah Carey's first hit record

"Vision of Love" was Mariah Carey's first hit record. She co-wrote this song with Ben Marguiles. It stayed at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 charts for 4 weeks during August 1990. Mariah won a Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal for this song as well as winning for Best New Artist. She has gone on to have 18 number 1 Billboard hits making her second only to the Beatles who have 20

Monday, April 12, 2010

Celia Cruz and friends - yo vivire (I will survive)

This is a video clip of a 2003 tribute concert to the late "Queen of Salsa" Celia Cruz singing with a host other Latin music stars like Gloria Estefan, Albita, Marc Anthony, Jose Felciano, Arturo Sandoval. Also featured was Gloria Gaynor, the original singer of "I will survive. This was Celia's last public appearance before she passed away on July 16, 2003.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Take 6 - If we ever

Take 6 is primarily an a cappella style sextet. "If We Ever" came from their first album "Take 6" released in 1988. They have gone on to win 8 Grammy Awards. 6 in the Gospel category and 2 in the Jazz category.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Dennis Brown - Promised Land

One of my favorite songs from the late Dennis Brown.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Alejandro Sanz and Destiny's Child

Spanish singer Alejandro Sanz and Destiny's Child teamed up on the Grammy Awards 2002 show performing this beautiful song "Quisiera Ser."

Thursday, April 8, 2010

India.Arie - Video

This female self-esteem and empowerment anthem was India.Arie's first single released in 2001. It came from her double platinum debut album "Acoustic Soul". The song was nominated for 4 Grammy Awards. These were "Record of the Year", "Song of the Year", "Best Female R&B Vocal Performance" and "Best R&B song".

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Poor Solomon Linda

Solomon Linda

Many people don't know the name Solomon Linda but many know his very famous song. Solomon was born in South Africa and is the writer of "The Lion Sleeps Tonight." He recorded this song in 1939 with his group "Evening Birds". It was first called "Mbube" which is the Zulu word for lion. The song was based on Solomon's boyhood experience chasing lions away from his family's cattle. It was released in South Africa and sold 100,000 copies. Solomon died in 1962. It is said that he had U.S. $25 to his name.

Solomon did not reap the full benefit of his song because he got a one time payment estimated at 10 shillings for recording it. In 2006, after 6 years of legal wrangling, Solomon's 3 daughters were able to benefit financially from their father's legacy because of a copyright law which says that all rights should revert to the creator's heirs 25 years after his death.

There have been over 160 versions of the song and it was used in the hit movie "The Lion Sleeps Tonight." It was recorded by the Weavers as "Wimoweh"(original word "uyembube") in 1951. The most famous version was done in 1961 by the Tokens as "The Lion Sleeps Tonight". It became a number 1 hit. It is estimated that all of this should have earned Solomon's estate in the region of U.S. 15 million dollars in royalties.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

For Real - Amel Larrieux

Amel Larrieux has been around since the 1990s as one half of the R&B/hip hop duo "Groove Theory". In my view she has one of the best voices but has not gotten the recognition that she is due. This single "For Real" was from her solo 2004 album "Bravebird."

Monday, April 5, 2010

Bob Marley - Simmer Down

Bob Marley's first hit song "Simmer Down" in Jamaica was not reggae but ska which was it's predecessor. This was done with fellow Wailers Junior Braithwaite, Beverley Kelso, Bunny Wailer, Peter Tosh, and Cherry Smith. The song was produced in 1963 by legendary Jamaican producer Clement "Coxsone" Dodd.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

One voice - Billy Gilman

Rhode Island born Billy Gilman released this inspiration song in 2000. At the age of 12, he was the youngest person ever to have a number 1 hit on the Billboard country music charts.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

TV theme music from Charlie's Angels and Dynasty: A tribute to John Forsythe

Actor John Forsythe died on April 1 at the age of 92. He was the voice of "Charlie" on the detective drama "Charlie's Angels" and never appeared in person. This show ran from 1976 to 1981. The theme music was composed by Jack Elliot and Allyn Ferguson.

John went on to star in "Dynasty" as oil tycoon "Blake Carrington." The series ran from 1981 to 1989. The theme music was composed by Bill Conti.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Jamaican entertainers' U.S. visas revoked

Bounty Killa

Dancehall performers Bounty Killer, Beenie Man, Mavado, Aidonai and selector Ricky Trooper all had their visitors and work visas revoked. So far there have been no reasons given.

Beenie Man