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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!

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Showing posts with label Detroit. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Detroit. Show all posts

Monday, February 6, 2017

Smokin' Sleddog Records artist: John Latini - The Blues Just Makes me Feel Good - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, The Blues Just Makes Me Feel Good, by John Latini and he gives his music his own flavor. Opening with Black-Eyed Blues, Latini, who sings and plays guitar is joined by Nolan Mendenhall on bass, Brian Roscoe White on guitars and Todd Glass on drums as well as Jamie-Sue Seal and Greg C Brown on backing vocal, Ross Huff on trumpet, Tim Haldeman on sax and Bethanni Grecynski on trombone. Lord Made Me A Weak Man has just a touch of R&B with a nice organ solo by Neil Donato and a laid back solo by Latini. Blues shuffle, Three AM, has a real nice feel with rugged vocals and cool slide soloing. Woodchuck Blues has a taste of country with a bit of a CCR sound. Very cool. Funky, Pull Me Up has a really nice groove. Hot country blues flavored guitar soloing and the horn section, coupled with the vocal blends make this one of my release favorites. Title track, The Blues Just Makes Me Feel Good is another of my favorites on the release with a New Orleans style and jazzy flavored guitar work over horn backing. Very nice! Hot stepping, Gotta Have My Babies is deliberate with nice horn punctuation and lower fret soloing. Hard Walkin' Woman has a distinct Jimmy Reed sound with a solid bottom and nice vocals. Low slung guitar soloing and warm horn work fits this track to a tee. Easy paced, country blues track, I Will be Haunting You, has great presence and solid guitar accompaniment. This is a really nice conclusion to a solid release.

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Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Mr. Rick - Mr. Rick Sings About God + Booze - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, Mr. Rick Sings About God + Booze, from Mr. Rick and it's quite entertaining. Opening with One Kind Of Favor, an adaptation of Blind Lemon Jefferson's See That My Grave Is Kept Clean, has a hillbilly jazz feel with a hot beat. Lead acoustic guitar and vocal by Rick, Alec Fraser on bass, Drew Jurecka on fiddle and Ted Hawkins on drums show this track with a real spark. On It's The Bottle Talking, Ricks solid vocals lead the way with cool fiddle riffs by Jurecka and light percussion by Hawkins. Blind Willie Johnson's You'll Need Someone on Your Bond gets a real cool boogie take with slick guitar riffs from Steve Briggs, Tyler "Uncle Junior" Thompson on bass and cool backing vocals by the Ted Hawkins singers. Traditional hymn, I'll Fly Away, gets a Piedmont style and Mr. Rick keeps it simple and clean, joined by "Blues Doctor" Julie Hill. Very nice! Sister Rosetta Thorpe's Two Little Fishes retains the blues solidity but with a definite Louisiana taste with real nice clarinet work by Jono Lightstone and warn deep backing vocals by the Ted Hawkins singers. Excellent! Sleep John Estes' Liquor Store Blues is up next with a rural country feel but warm vlcals and a cool rock a billy guitar riffs by Briggs and fiddle solo by Jurecka. Very nice! Another spiritual track, Hush, gets a really cool, traditional uptempo country rework with a shuffle drum rhythm, and fun country guitar riffs. This is almost Porter Wagoner or Bob Wills territory...yes. Very cool! Mississippi Fred McDowell's Death Come In My Room has a real eerie country/blues feel with mando-guitar by Rick and the simplest of drums with fiddle by Jurecka. Classic track doe with a nice twist. Very cool! Champagne Don't Drive Me Crazy, a rework of Taj Mahal's Ain't Nobody's Business is real nice with clean Piedmont picking and fiddle work. Rick really knows how to work these tracks and with his arrangements, vocals and rhythm, really presents this material as fresh. I Know I've Been Changed is a hot track. I think it was penned by LaShun Pace but this track really sounds like the work of Gary Davis. This is probably my favorite track on the release with a terrific arrangement, super backing vocals, cool guitar riffs and wailing clarinet by Jono Lightstone. Excellent! Ernest Tubbs' Drivin' Nails In My Coffin is up next and retains a bunch of it's classic country swing honesty. Rick and the Hawkins Singers do an excellent job on this track and Rick's guitar work is clean and tight. Don't Put My Bourbon Down is a super country swing track with a great hook and clever lyrics with a real nice bass solo by Uncle Junior. Very cool! Wrapping the release is Sister Rosetta Thorpe's, Beams of Heaven, with an almost Elvis arrangement. Warm, 50's style rock ballad with an almost Hawaiian twist seems a perfect closer to this really surprising delight of a release. You really owe it to yourself to check this out!

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Friday, September 27, 2013

Ready Or Not - Jawbone

Jawbone is a one-man blues/garage/punk band based in Detroit, Michigan. His self-released, basement-recorded 2004 album 'dang blues' was discovered by legendary BBC Radio 1 dj John Peel, who championed the cd on his national UK broadcast over a period of several weeks early in 2004. A visit to London soon followed in April 2004 for a series of club gigs and a live session for Mr. Peel at Maida Vale studios. Jawbone was signed to London-based Loose Music in July 2004. A Jawbone cover version of Johnny Cash's Sun Records classic 'Get Rhythm' was included in the October 2004 Mojo Magazine Johnny Cash tribute cd. The end of 2004 saw Jawbone return to the UK for another small tour, and 2 songs from 'dang blues' ending up in the top 20 of the annual Peel Festive 50 listener’s poll. 2005 included an appearance at SXSW Music Conference in Austin, Texas, gigs in and around Detroit, and another UK tour, which included a set in a special Peel Tribute concert at Queen Elizabeth Hall in London. Jawbone's second full-length album titled Hauling was released in Spring of 2006 on Loose, and resulted in further touring throughout Ireland and the UK, and festival dates in Belgium and Italy in the summer of 2007.  

If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, ”LIKE” ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorite band!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Lazy Brothers Records artist: Howard Glazer - Stepchild of The Blues - New release Review

I just received the newest release (September 17, 2013), Stepchild Of The Blues, by Howard Glazer and he lives up to his guitar man reputation. Opening with Don't Love You No More, a blues based rocker, Glazer punctuates his vocal phrases with searing riffs. On Shakin', a R&B style track along the lines of Willie and the Hand Jive. With a lot of Bo Diddly rhythm, Glazer opens a door for open range soloing and he lays it down over a fairly open rhythm pattern. Nice! Gas Pump Blues is a basic acoustic with metal bodied resonator, vocal and featuring Harmonica Shah on harp. Cool change up. Telephone Blues digs down and gets BB King style tension and bend vibratos of Johnny Winter. Larry Marek adds some really nice organ work on this track but its the bend vibrato that is king here. Honey and Spice has the rhythm pattern of Wilson Picket but with a healthy dose of blues rock guitar. Somewhere really has the feel of an early Bob Dylan or Lou Reed track but with a bit ore rock ballad intention. Solitary guitar riffs over a stripped down rhythm section of Chris Brown on bass and Charles David Stuart on drums does the trick. Cried All My Tears has a Rollin and Tumblin feel with Glazer whipping out some hot flash on slide guitar. Hurtful Feeling is a greasy slider along the lines of It Hurts Me too. With Harmonica Shah on harp, the boys dig down deep for the hottest track on the release.

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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The New Blues - Sonny Red Sextet

Sonny Red (December 17, 1932 in Detroit as Sylvester Kyner Jr. – March 20, 1981) was an American alto saxophonist associated with the hard bop idiom among other styles. He had some success in the 1960s, but had fallen into obscurity by the late 1970s

  If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, ”LIKE” ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorite band!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Pretty Good Love - Thornetta Davis Band

For over fifteen years this multi-talented native Detroiter has graced and dominated Michigan's most attended events. She has performed over two hundred shows a year with grace and stamina. Her voice is strong, commanding, melodic and smooth. She tells her stories with incredible delivery and leaves her audiences wanting more. She first gained attention in 1987 when she became back up singer for the Detroit soul band "Lamont Zodiac and The Love Signs". Shortly after, the lead singer left the band and the name changed to "The Chisel Brothers featuring Thornetta Davis". In 1996 Thornetta recorded her first solo album "Sunday Morning Music" on the Seattle based label "Sub Pop" which received a rave revue in the national Entertainment Weekly magazine. The song "Cry" from that album was featured on the HBO hit cable drama "The Sopranos". Thornetta has opened for legendary blues and R&B greats such as Ray Charles, Gladys Knight, Smokey Robinson, Etta James, Buddy Guy, Koko Taylor, Junior Wells, Lonnie Brooks, Johnnie Johnson and many more…her history is extensive and her performances are memorable…like the time she opened for Bonnie Raitt at Michigan's Ann Arbor Blues & Jazz festival in 1992. Bonnie asked Thornetta to join her and Katie Webster (queen of the swamp boogie) for an encore song which received a standing ovation. In 1999 Thornetta brought down the house with her astounding performance at the"Lillith Fair" at Michigan's Pine Knob Music Theatre hosted by SarahMclachlan…that same evening she attended the "Detroit Music Awards" where she proudly accepted 2 of the over 20 Music Awards that she has won over the last 15 years for "Best R&B/ Blues vocalist" and "Best R&B Group". In 2000 Thornetta opened the VH1 Vogue fashion awards at Madison Square Garden with Detroit phenomenon Kid Rock. New York's star-studded event captured Detroit's "Princess of the Blues" in all her glory! In 2001 Thornetta Davis is inducted into the Detroit Music Hall of Fame! Thornetta performed on Wednesday nights for 7 years at one of Detroit's favorite live music venues "The Music Menu" located in Greektown in downtown Detroit until it's closing in 2003. Three years before that final Wednesday, Thornetta recorded a live performance on one magical night at the "Menu" and called it "Thornetta Davis covered Live at the Music Menu". This CD is a collection of Thornetta's most requested cover tunes. The magic comes through and touches you and makes you feel like you're right there watching her as she takes you on a spiritual journey to the depths of her soul. "Thornetta Davis covered Live at the Music Menu" won "Best R&B/ Blues Recording" at the Detroit Music Awards 2002. Thornetta Davis has appeared on the covers of Living Blues Magazine and Big City Blues Magazine. Thornetta has also performed background vocals for artists such as Bob Seger on his album "The Fire Inside", The Little Steven VanZandt produced U.S. debut of Nigerian reggae artist Majek Fashek, on "Spirit of Love", Sub pop recording artist "alternative rock band" Big Chief on the album, "Mack Avenue Scull Game", and Kid Rock on his self titled 2003 CD "KID ROCK". Thornetta also performed on the sound track for the film "Osmosis Jones" starring Bill Murray. Her powerful singing voice has been heard on the hit television show Xena Warrior Princess. Her Cadillac commercial aired for the first time during the 2001 Academy Awards Thornetta was also chosen to represent the DETROIT PISTONS 2001-2002 If you're from Michigan you are sure to have seen Thornetta in the Michigan State Lottery commercials. Coca-Cola selected Thornetta to revive the late 1960's "I'd Like to teach the world to sing" commercial. Pizza Hut loved our blues diva enough to "twist and dip" It's clear that the Motor City knows just who Thornetta is and now it's time the rest of the world found out. So we would like to introduce to you in all her splendor a Detroit talent as original as her name… THORNETTA

  If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, ”LIKE” ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorite band!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Open E / Vizz Tone artist: The James Montgomery Band - From Detroit... To The Delta

I just received the newest release, From Detroit... To The Delta by the James Montgomery Band. James has put together a really entertaining set of tracks here beginning with Intoxicated, a high stepping blues track with strong backing from The Uptown Horns. Montgomery, always a cool singer and fire breathin' harp player screams out some hot riffs on this track and George McCann adding cool some guitar flash. Montgomery gives a whole new look at Dixon's Same Thing and it it ends up sounding more like Foghat than old school Chicago. I think that they do a real nice job on this track with McCann on slide and Montgomery on harp. I also like the vocal effects used on this track. Johnny Winter and Brad Whitford add hot guitar riffs on rockin' track Little Johnny but let's face it...this band is cookin' and that is just gravy on an already hot biscuit! Motor City Is Burning opens with David Hull on a bass riff and Montgomery takes over with that singing harp tone that he's known for. Tom West adds some cool key work on this track as well. I Don't Want To Have A Heart is set to the basic riff from the Stones "Hot Stuff". I've got no objection to that at all and it develops to a totally different track... a really nice groove. McCann plays out some really nice jazz like guitar riffs on this track and Montgomery plays organ like sounds from his harp. Delta Storm, a ballad format, has a light key base from Sandy MacDonald and McCann adds nice punctuation with his ax over top of the Uptown Horns. On Bo Diddley's Who Do You Love, the band lays down a a high energy funk riff featuring DMC on vocals. On Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is, Montgomery eases into a nice slinky blues track with a strong contemporary Delta flavor. James lays down some really rich harp work on this track over top of McCann's solid guitar playing. On Percy Mayfield's Hit The Road Jack, Montgomery kicks it up a few notches leading the band to a very cool place. Heard this song done numerous times but this is definitely a worthwhile cover. Montgomery with assistance from Charise White does a nice job on vocals and McCann plays a blistering solo on this track. Rivers Edge is really a study on soundscaping and quite effective featuring McCann and Montgomery building a really nice painting with music. Changing Of The Guard is a a rockin' track with a bit of southern flavor and some sweet guitar effects. Lightnin' Hopkin's Black Cadillac rounds out the set and a nice finish it is. Montgomery really digs on on this track and the band is humming. Featuring James Cotton on harp along with Marc Copely on Guitar and Marty Richards on drums this is a great track. This is a really entertaining release and one I hope that you get the opportunity to hear.

 If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, Like ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorites band! ”LIKE”

Sunday, January 6, 2013

The Kim Wilson Blues All-Stars Live at KPLU

Kim Wilson (born January 6, 1951) is an American blues singer and harmonica player. He is best known as the lead vocalist and frontman for The Fabulous Thunderbirds on two hit songs of the 1980s; "Tuff Enuff", and "Wrap It Up." In this KPLU/Jazz24 studio session, singer and harmonica player Kim Wilson goes three rounds with blues, accompanied by two of his All-Stars: guitarist, Kirk Fletcher and pianist, Barrelhouse Chuck. The set includes two old blues tunes - "Bad Boy" by Eddie Taylor, and "That's Alright" by Jimmy Rogers. They cap it off with one of those spontaneous jams that just seem to happen when three talented friends are having a ball playing the blues together. Wilson was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1951, but he grew up in Goleta, California, where he sometimes went by the stage name of "Goleta Slim." He started with the blues in the late 1960s and was tutored by people like Muddy Waters, Jimmy Rogers, Eddie Taylor, Albert Collins, George "Harmonica" Smith, Luther Tucker and Pee Wee Crayton and was influenced by harmonica players like Little Walter, James Cotton, Big Walter Horton, Slim Harpo and Lazy Lester. Before he moved to Austin, Texas in 1974, he was the leader of the band Aces, Straights and Shuffles in Minneapolis, Minnesota; this band released one single. In Austin he formed The Fabulous Thunderbirds with guitarist Jimmie Vaughan, and they became the house band at the blues club, Antone's, owned by Clifford Antone. Muddy Waters called Wilson, "The greatest harmonica player since Little Walter". Wilson continues to perform up to 300 concert dates per year at blues music festivals and clubs all over the world, both as leader of The Fabulous Thunderbirds and with the Kim Wilson Blues Allstars. His powerful style of blues harp playing has been described as "loaded with the textures of a full-blown horn section." If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, ”LIKE” ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorite band!

Monday, December 31, 2012

One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer - George Thorogood And Destroyers

2120 South Michigan Avenue, home of Chicago’s Chess Records, may be the most important address in the bloodline of the blues and rock ‘n’ roll. That address – immortalized in the Rolling Stones’ like-named instrumental, recorded at an epochal session at Chess in June 1964 and included on the band’s album 12 X 5 – serves as the title to George Thorogood’s electrifying Capitol/EMI salute to the Chess label and its immortal artists. Thorogood has been essaying the Chess repertoire since his 1977 debut album, which included songs by Elmore James and Bo Diddley that originated on the label. He has cut 18 Chess covers over the years; three appeared on his last studio release, 2009’s The Dirty Dozen. On 2120 South Michigan Avenue, he offers a full-length homage to the label that bred his style with interpretations of 10 Chess classics. The album also includes original tributes to the Windy City and Chess’ crucial songwriter-producer-bassist Willie Dixon, penned by Thorogood, producer Tom Hambridge, and Richard Fleming, plus a cranked-up version of the Stones’ titular instrumental. Chess Records had been making musical history for a decade before it moved into its offices on Michigan Avenue, in the heart of the Windy City’s record business district, in 1957. Leonard and Phil Chess, sons of a Polish immigrant family and South Side nightclub operators, bought into a new independent label called Aristocrat Records in 1947. The brothers bought out their partners in 1950 and gave the label the family name; by that time, they had racked up blues hits by Muddy Waters, Sunnyland Slim, Robert Nighthawk, and St. Louis Jimmy. Chess’ studio spawned timeless ‘50s and ‘60s recordings by Waters, Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, and Howlin’ Wolf, which served as inspiration for the Stones and their blues-rocking brethren, and then lit a fire under their successors George Thorogood and the Destroyers. Thorogood recalls, “I remember as a teenager reading about Mick Jagger meeting Keith Richards on a train. Jagger had a Chuck Berry record, and he said he wrote to Chess Records and got a catalog sent to him. Just out of curiosity, I took out one of my Chess records, got the address, and I wrote to Chess Records. And they sent me a catalog of the complete Chess library, and I started buying up these Chess records. I bought every single one of them I could possibly get. “And I remember reading the backs of those Chess records and seeing the address, 2120 South Michigan Avenue, and I said, ‘That’s the same address as the Rolling Stones’ instrumental!’ And I started putting one and one together and coming up with a big two.” Over time, Chess’ catalog and artists became the sources of Thorogood’s higher education in music. “That was my school, the college that I had to learn my trade in,” he says. “I had to figure out how these people did these things.” The new album also celebrates the performers who shared stages with Thorogood and the Destroyers and encouraged them when they were just coming up on the East Coast blues scene. He says, “The people who helped me out were all the guys in Muddy Waters’ band, all the guys in Howlin’ Wolf’s band. They were wonderful to me, and they wanted to help me. They saw what I was trying to do.” 2120 South Michigan Avenue isn’t just Thorogood’s salute to a great record label – it also pays homage to the tough, larger-than-life men who made the music. “It was a lifestyle as well as an art form, as far as music goes,” Thorogood notes. “They were singing about what their life was like on a daily basis. Sonny Boy Williamson and Wolf and Muddy Waters – they didn’t think they were the baddest cats in the world, they knew they were the baddest cats in the world. They had to be, or they wouldn’t have survived. There’s nothing glamorous in it – that’s just the facts. They had to fight their way through on a daily basis just to keep their heads above water. That’s very clear in a lot of their songs.” Some of the songs from the Chess catalog heard on 2120 South Michigan Avenue were staples of the Destroyers’ live repertoire; Thorogood says, “A lot of the things I recorded I was doing 25 or 30 years ago, and I had stopped doing them.” He adds that since many Chess recordings have become linchpins of the rock and blues repertoire, both on record and in concert, some careful winnowing had to be done for the album: “We did a lot of research and said, ‘Wait a minute, the Rolling Stones did that song, John Hammond did that song.'" Producer Tom Hambridge is the ideal collaborator for 2120 South Michigan Avenue. A veteran of tours with Chuck Berry, Roy Buchanan, the Drifters, and other stars, Hambridge won a 2010 Grammy for his work on Buddy Guy’s Living Proof, and wrote the album’s Guy-B.B. King duet “Stay Around a Little Longer.” He received Grammy nominations for Guy’s Skin Deep (2008), Johnny Winter’s I’m a Bluesman (2004), and Susan Tedeschi’s Just Won’t Burn (1998). He also fronts his own band, Tom Hambridge & the Rattlesnakes. The special guests on 2120 South Michigan Avenue sport direct connections to Chess and Chicago’s blues scene. Guitarist Buddy Guy made his Chess label debut 51 years ago. Thorogood remembers, “I went to [the Austin blues club] Antone’s for the first time in 1977, and I saw Buddy Guy play. It was the first time I saw him, and I never forgot that he led off with [Chess artist Tommy Tucker’s] ‘High Heeled Sneakers.’ I thought that was just unbelievable. Buddy just tore it apart, like he does everything – that’s his style.” Harmonica master Charlie Musselwhite is heard on two of the album’s tracks, a cover of Little Walter’s hit “My Babe” and the Stones’ “2120.” “Memphis Charlie” haunted Chicago’s South Side clubs in the ‘60s, learning at the feet of Chess titans like Little Walter Jacobs and Sonny Boy Williamson and hanging out with such like-minded contemporaries as Paul Butterfield, Mike Bloomfield, and Elvin Bishop of the pathfinding Paul Butterfield Blues Band. Thorogood says, “I don’t play harmonica. Little Walter plays harp, and Sonny Boy Williamson plays harp, and Howlin’ Wolf plays harp. So I said, ‘Well, what am I gonna do about this?’ It’s an easy choice. I said, ‘There’s only one cat we can get to play ‘My Babe’ by Little Walter, and that’s Charlie.’ He’s the last cat!” Through the entire project, Thorogood and the Destroyers attempted to put their own distinctive spin on the Chess material while maintaining fidelity to the originals’ attack. “When you do Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley, when you play Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf, there’s no experimenting,” Thorogood explains. “That’s a religion, and you’ve gotta do it right.” The historic music heard on 2120 South Michigan Avenue didn’t merely change George Thorogood’s life, as he himself notes. “It’s not a musical phenomenon, it’s a social phenomenon. The man who created rock ‘n’ roll was Chuck Berry, and he listened to Muddy Waters. Bo Diddley went to the same school and listened to the same people. Rock ‘n’ roll changed the whole world. That never would have happened if it hadn’t been for Chess Records. It’s the source of the whole thing.” If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, ”LIKE” ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorite band!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

A Little More Love - Kim Weston

Kim Weston (born December 20, 1939) is an American soul singer, and Motown alumna. In the 1960s, Weston scored hits with the songs "Love Me All the Way" and "Take Me in Your Arms (Rock Me a Little While)". Born Agatha Nathalia Weston in Detroit, Michigan, she was signed to Motown Records in 1961, scoring a minor hit with "Love Me All the Way" (R&B #24, Pop #88). Weston's biggest solo hits with Motown were "Take Me in Your Arms (Rock Me a Little While)" (R&B #4, Pop #50, 1965, later covered by The Isley Brothers, Blood, Sweat & Tears and The Doobie Brothers, and "Helpless" (R&B #13, Pop #56, 1966, previously recorded by The Four Tops on their Second Album LP). Her biggest claim to fame was singing the classic hit "It Takes Two" with Marvin Gaye in 1966 and her later recording of the Black National Anthem, "Lift Every Voice and Sing". It was the success of "It Takes Two" that caused Motown to partner Gaye with Tammi Terrell, spawning even more success for the label. Weston left Motown in 1967 and later sued the label over disputes about royalties. She and her then-husband William "Mickey" Stevenson (former A&R head at Motown) both went to MGM Records. Weston cut a couple of singles for MGM, "I Got What You Need," and "Nobody," which went largely unnoticed due to lack of airplay and promotion. She made an album for the label, This Is America, which included her popular version of the Black National Anthem, "Lift Every Voice and Sing." This was released as a single and featured in the movie Wattstax. All the money from the single was donated to the United Negro College Fund. She recorded several more albums for various labels, Stax/Volt among them, and also made an album of duets with Johnny Nash. None of these recordings charted, and Weston reportedly relocated to Israel, where she worked with young singers. Weston made a guest appearance on The Bill Cosby Show (1969–1971), in episode #50 in March 1971. Along with many former Motown artists, she signed with Ian Levine's Motorcity Records in the 1980s, releasing the single "Signal Your Intention", which peaked at #1 in the UK Hi-NRG charts. It was followed by the album Investigate (1990), which included some re-recordings of her Motown hits as well as new material. A second album for the label, Talking Loud (1992), was never released, although all the songs were included on the compilation The Best Of Kim Weston (1996). Today Weston is a disc jockey on a local Detroit radio station, where she sponsors the summer events at Hart Plaza. She also tours sporadically, often alongside former Motown colleagues Mary Wilson, Martha Reeves and Brenda Holloway. She is also featured on the 2006 four-CD release of the Motortown Revue series. If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, Like ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorites band! ”LIKE”

Friday, November 30, 2012

Our Love Is In The Pocket - J.J. Barnes

J. J. Barnes (born James Jay Barnes, November 30, 1943, Detroit, Michigan) is an American R&B singer. He first recorded in 1960. His early releases including "Just One More Time" and "Please Let Me In", on the record labels Mickay and Ric-Tic, had relatively little success, but were subsequently picked up as Northern soul favorites. He also covered The Beatles' "Day Tripper"”, before moving for a short period to Motown. His biggest hit single came in 1967 with "Baby Please Come Back Home", which, like many of his records, he co-wrote. The song reached #9 on the US Billboard R&B chart. However, subsequent singles on a variety of labels, including covers of "Black Ivory" at Today/Perception Records, failed to repeat the success. On the recommendation of his friend, Edwin Starr moved to England in the 1970s becoming very popular. Starr had arranged for Barnes to appear on a series of shows which led to him signing a deal with Contempo. He became a favorite artist of the UK Northern soul scene, and performed frequently in the UK. Early recordings from Barnes, such as "Please Let Me In" and "Real Humdinger", were re-released in the UK on the Tamla Motown label to cater for the buyers of Northern soul records.[4] In the 1970s Contempo records released seven singles and an album, Sara Smile, from Barnes, all without chart success. In the 1980s he released five more records including a version of the Northern soul favorite by Frank Wilson, "Do I Love You (Indeed I Do)" If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, Like ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorites band! ”LIKE”

Sunday, November 18, 2012


          THIS MONDAY, NOV 19, 2012       
      LUCKY LLOYD    
       A.C. MYLES       
      JON CROSSEN    
                     AND MORE !                    



        THIS UPCOMING MONDAY, NOV 19, 2012            
             $15 or $20 SUGGESTED DONATION           
                               PER PERSON                                

Please join us and over 100 friendly blues fans and musicians for a tremendous evening celebrating sizzling, blues guitar and featuring three young blues guitar virtuosos who deserve the widest possible recognition: THE LAST BLUES GUITAR SHOWDOWN OF 2012 stars KIRK FLETCHER, LUCKY LLOYD & A.C. MYLES !  Astounding blues guitar virtuoso, Kirk Fletcher is a Los Angeles native;  The big man, Lucky Lloyd hails from Detroit, and A.C. Myles - fresh off the road with The John Nemeth Band - is flying in from Fresno for this one special show.  All three will converge on the stage for one delicious Pre-Thanksgiving blues guitar feast!

 THAT'S THIS MONDAY, NOV 19, 2012, from 8 pm til 9:30 pm at the MAUI SUGAR MILL SALOON in Tarzana.  Audience seating begins at 7:00 pm.  A huge jam will rage after the concert, and go until 2 am.  We greatly look forward to partying with you!

Your pal,
Cad Zack




   *** LUCKY LLOYD ***   

  *** A.C. MYLES ***   



Due to the overwhelming popularity of Monday blues night at The Maui Sugar Mill we recommend coming early to grab a table and chair - say around 7:00 pm.  

Please note there is a 2-drink minimum
at the Maui Sugar Mill Saloon

The Sugar Mill does not currently serve food but there are plenty of take-out places nearby and you are always welcome to bring any and all food into the club.  Come eat your food while we spin classic blues tunes on our nifty Hi-Fi stereo beginning at 7 pm sharp.  



 will take place from 8:00 to 9:30 pm

 at the door for this show, but a $15 or $20 donation per person is requested for this event, to help with the costs associated with such a special evening. 

Maui Sugar Mill Saloon
18389 Ventura Blvd.
(one-block east of Reseda Blvd.)
Tarzana, CA 91356



This world-famous weekly blues jam has become very popular amongst the top blues musicians.  Every Monday a legendary blues artists drops by to play or just hang out, including: John Mayall, Kim Wilson, Coco Montoya, Arthur Adams, Finis Tasby, Robert "Bilbo" Walker, Barbara Morrison, Phil Upchurch, Deacon Jones, James Harman, Larry Taylor, Al Blake & Fred Kaplan, Roy Gaines, Albert Lee and many others!  If you are a great blues musician PLEASE come jam with us!

If you would like to bring your full band to do a 15-minute showcase we'd love that, but please e-mail us first so that we can schedule you and give you the details.  We have a limited amount of these slots.

 Sign up begins at 7:00 pm.
The jam typically starts at 9:30 pm and rages until 1:00 am.   Please note: Due to the popularity of this weekly event, musicians are only guaranteed to play if they sign up before 9 pm, although, we have never turned anyone away in 4 years.  Wait times vary from 1/2 hour up to 3 hours, depending on how early you sign up.  This past Monday, for example, we had 22 jammers.

Work With Me Annie - Hank Ballard & Midnighters

Hank Ballard (November 18, 1927 – March 2, 2003), born John Henry Kendricks, was a rhythm and blues singer and songwriter, the lead vocalist of Hank Ballard and The Midnighters and one of the first proto-rock 'n' roll artists to emerge in the early 1950s. He played an integral part in the development of rock music, releasing the hit singles "Work With Me, Annie" and answer songs "Annie Had a Baby" and "Annie's Aunt Fannie" with his Midnighters. He later wrote and recorded "The Twist" and invented the dance, which was notably covered by Chubby Checker. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990. Born John Henry Kendricks in Detroit, Michigan, Ballard along with his brother, Dove Ballard, grew up and attended school in Bessemer, Alabama after the death of their father. He lived with his paternal aunt and her husband, and began singing in church. His major vocal inspiration during his formative years was the "Singing Cowboy", Gene Autry, and in particular, his signature song, "Back in the Saddle Again". Ballard returned to Detroit in his teens and later worked on the assembly line for Ford. n 1953, Ballard joined doo-wop group The Royals, which had previously been discovered by Johnny Otis and signed to Federal Records, (a division of King Records), in Cincinnati. Ballard joined Henry Booth, Charles Sutton, Sonny Woods and Alonzo Tucker in the group, replacing previous singer Lawson Smith. The Royals released "Get It" (1953), an R&B song with possibly sexually oriented lyrics, which some radio stations refused to play, although it still made it to number 6 on the Billboard R&B chart. The group then changed its name to The Midnighters to avoid confusion with The "5" Royales. In 1954, Ballard wrote a song called "Work with Me, Annie" that was drawn from "Get It" It became The Midnighters' first major R&B hit, spending seven weeks at number 1 on the R&B charts and also selling well in mainstream markets, along with the answer songs "Annie Had a Baby" and "Annie's Aunt Fannie"; all were banned by the FCC from radio air play. Their third major hit was "Sexy Ways", a song that cemented the band's reputation as one of the most risqué groups of the time. They had four other R&B chart hits in 1954–55, but no others until 1959, by which time the group was billed as "Hank Ballard and The Midnighters" with their label changed from Federal to King, the parent label. Between 1959 and 1961 they had several more both on the R&B and Pop charts, starting with "Teardrops on Your Letter", a number 4 R&B hit in 1959 that had as its B-side the Ballard-written song "The Twist". A year later, Chubby Checker's cover version of the song went to number 1 on the pop charts. It would return to the top of the charts again in 1962–the only song in the rock'n'roll era to reach number 1 in two different years. Ballard & the Midnighters had several other hit singles through 1961, including the Grammy-nominated "Finger Poppin' Time" and "Let's Go, Let's Go, Let's Go" which hit number 7 and number 6, respectively, on the Billboard pop charts. They did not reach the charts again after 1962 and dissolved in 1965. After the Midnighters disbanded, Ballard launched a solo career. His 1968 single, "How You Gonna Get Respect (When You Haven't Cut Your Process Yet)", was his biggest post-Midnighters hit, peaking at number 15 on the R&B chart. James Brown produced Ballard's 1969 album You Can't Keep a Good Man Down. A 1972 single, "From the Love Side", credited to Hank Ballard and the Midnight Lighters, went to number 43 on the R&B chart. Ballard also appeared on Brown's 1972 album Get on the Good Foot, in a track ("Recitation By Hank Ballard") that features Ballard describing Brown and the album. During the 1960s, Ballard's cousin, Florence Ballard, was a member of the Detroit girl group The Supremes. In the mid-1980s, Ballard re-formed The Midnighters and the group performed till 2002. In 1990, Ballard was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; the other Midnighters were not. On March 2, 2003, he died at age 75 of throat cancer in his Los Angeles home. He was buried at Greenwood Cemetery in Atlanta, Georgia. Ballard was the great uncle of NFL player Christian Ballard. If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, ”LIKE” ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorite band!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Daydreamer - Eddie Holland

Edward Holland, Jr. (born October 30, 1939, Detroit, Michigan, known during his recording career as Eddie Holland) is an American singer, songwriter and record producer. Although Holland was an early Motown artist who recorded minor hit singles such as "Jamie", he started working behind the scenes due to stage fright. He was a member of Holland–Dozier–Holland, the songwriting and production team responsible for much of the Motown Sound and hit records by Martha and the Vandellas, The Supremes, the Four Tops, and The Isley Brothers, among others. Holland served as the team's lyricist, and also worked with producer Norman Whitfield on lyrics for the songs he produced for The Marvelettes and The Temptations, like "Too Many Fish in the Sea" and "Beauty's Only Skin Deep". If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, Like ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorites band! ”LIKE”

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Johnnie Bassett has passed

Blues guitarist Johnnie Bassett, a much-loved statesman of the Detroit scene, died late Saturday. He was 76.

Bassett had been in declining health – recently diagnosed with cancer — and was moved last month to hospice care at St. John Hospital in Detroit.

In a long and storied career, the musically versatile Bassett had been a go-to player on the city’s bustling club scene of the ’50s and ’60s, and was a member of the Fortune Records house band the Blue Notes.

He accompanied a litany of brand-name artists, including fellow Detroiters John Lee Hooker, Little Willie John, Smokey Robinson and Nolan Strong, and was friendly with a young Jimi Hendrix during the latter’s early, blues-oriented Seattle years.

“This is one those artists where everything just came together — jazz, soul, blues, R&B,” said publicist Matt Lee. “We’ll never see his like again.”

The past two decades saw the laconic Bassett emerge as a singer and front man at the encouragement of musician R.J. Spangler, who spotted the guitarist playing on a low-key side stage at the Montreux Detroit Jazz Festival in 1991. Together they formed the Blues Insurgents, and Bassett enjoyed a late-life second wind as his name became acclaimed in international blues circles.

Spangler declared Bassett to be the best Detroit bluesman of all time.

“He had the tone, and the feeling, and the ability, and the subtlety in his playing that far suprassed all the others,” he said. “The same fire and musicianship that you heard on his early sides as a session guitarist — he still displayed that right up to his death.”

He became known as Detroit’s Gentleman of the Blues, with a playing style that fit the moniker.

“He told me many times that unlike these guys who play really loud, he liked to turn his amp down and draw the listener in,” said Lee. “That’s how you’d know somebody is really listening.”

Bassett was a living link to a vintage blues era. Lee recounted a 1991 show at Ann Arbor’s Michigan Theater, where Bassett opened for Chicago great Buddy Guy.

“Buddy stood on the side watching,” Lee recalled. “He turned and said, ‘That’s how they really played the blues.’.”

In a Free Press interview in June — tied to his new fifth album, “I Can Make That Happen” — Bassett remembered that he had aspired to comedy as a child. He embraced the guitar at 18 when his brother bought a guitar and amplifier at a pawn shop, turning to the blues he’d grown up listening to on the radio.

“I didn’t emulate anybody, but I listened to everybody. Originally I had no aspirations of being a musician,” he said.

“Being a musician — it got me. I didn’t get it.”

His new record opens with the song “Proud to Be From Detroit,” which includes a career-defining line: “I’m proud to be from Dee-troit,” he sings, “a town with a style all its own.”

Bassett told the Free Press in 2009 that even in the blues idiom “I like to keep my music fun and upbeat.”

“I like jump-type stuff because it gives you energy. There’s enough draggy blues to be found, if you’re so inclined. But when you put a little jump into it, people come alive. They need upbeat music to help take them to a better place. I know I do; that’s why I play upbeat blues.”

Bassett is survived by his wife, Deborah Bassett; daughters Benita Litt, Cortney Campbell and Lynn Tolbert; and a son, Kenneth Pringle. Funeral arrangments are pending.
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Thursday, August 2, 2012

James Jamerson Tribute

James Lee Jamerson (January 29, 1936 – August 2, 1983) was an American bass player. He was the uncredited bassist on most of Motown Records' hits in the 1960s and early 1970s (Motown did not list session musician credits on their releases until 1971), and he is now regarded as one of the most influential bass players in modern music history. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000.
A native of Edisto Island (near Charleston), South Carolina, Jamerson moved with his mother to Detroit, Michigan in 1954. He learned to play the double bass at Northwestern High School, and he soon began playing in Detroit area blues and jazz clubs.
Jamerson continued performing in Detroit clubs after graduating high school, and his increasingly solid reputation started providing him opportunities for sessions at various local recording studios. Starting in 1959 he found steady work at Berry Gordy's Hitsville U.S.A. studio, home of the Motown record label. There he became a member of a core of studio musicians who informally called themselves The Funk Brothers. This small, close-knit group of musicians performed on the vast majority of Motown recordings during most of the 1960s. Jamerson's earliest Motown sessions were performed on double bass, but in the early 1960s he switched to mostly playing electric bass - a Fender Precision.

Like Jamerson, most of the other Funk Brothers were jazz musicians who had been recruited by Gordy. For many years, they maintained a typical schedule of recording during the day at Motown's small garage "Studio A" (which they nicknamed "the Snakepit"), then playing gigs in the jazz clubs at night. They also occasionally toured the U.S. with Motown artists. However for most of their career, the members of the Funk Brothers went uncredited on Motown singles and albums, and their pay was considerably less than the artists or the label received. Eventually Jamerson was put on retainer with Motown for one thousand dollars a week, which afforded him and his ever-expanding family a comfortable lifestyle.

Jamerson's discography at Motown reads as a catalog of soul hits of the 1960s and 1970s. His work includes Motown hits such as, among hundreds of others, "Shotgun" by Jr. Walker & the All Stars, "For Once in My Life", "I Was Made To Love Her" by Stevie Wonder (also claimed by Carol Kaye), "Going to a Go-Go" by The Miracles, "My Girl" by The Temptations, "Dancing in the Street" by Martha and the Vandellas, "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" by Gladys Knight and the Pips, and later by Marvin Gaye, and most of the album What's Going On by Marvin Gaye, "Reach Out I'll Be There" and "Bernadette" by the Four Tops, and "You Can't Hurry Love" by The Supremes. According to fellow Funk Brothers in the 2002 documentary Standing in the Shadows of Motown, Gaye was desperate to have Jamerson play on "What's Going On", and went to several bars to find the bassist. When he did, he brought Jamerson to the studio, who then played the classic line while lying flat on his back. He is reported to have played on some 95% of Motown recordings between 1962 and 1968. He eventually performed on nearly 30 No. 1 pop hits—surpassing the record commonly attributed to The Beatles. On the R&B charts, nearly 70 of his performances went to the top.
Shortly after Motown moved their headquarters to Los Angeles, California in 1972, Jamerson moved there himself and found occasional studio work, but his relationship with Motown officially ended in 1973. He went on to perform on such 1970s hits as "Rock the Boat" (Hues Corporation), "Boogie Fever" (The Sylvers), and "You Don't Have To Be A Star (To Be In My Show)" (Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis, Jr.) and also played on Robert Palmer's 1975 solo album "Pressure Drop". But as other musicians went on to use high-tech amps, round-wound strings, and simpler, more repetitive bass lines incorporating new techniques like thumb slapping, Jamerson's style fell out of favor with local producers and he found himself reluctant to try new things. By the 1980s he was unable to get any serious gigs working as a session musician.

Long troubled by alcoholism, Jamerson died of complications stemming from cirrhosis of the liver, heart failure and pneumonia on August 2, 1983 in Los Angeles. He was 47 years old and was said to be broke and bitter about his lack of recognition at the time of his death. He left behind a wife, Anne, three sons, James Jamerson Jr., Ivey (Joey), and Derek, and a daughter Doreen. He is interred at Detroit's historic Woodlawn Cemetery on Woodward Avenue.
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Friday, July 27, 2012

My Guy - Mary Wells

Mary Esther Wells (May 13, 1943 – July 26, 1992) was an American singer who helped to define the emerging sound of Motown in the early 1960s. Along with The Miracles, The Temptations, The Supremes, and the Four Tops, Wells was said to have been part of the charge in black music onto radio stations and record shelves of mainstream America, "bridging the color lines in music at the time."

With a string of hit singles composed mainly by Smokey Robinson, including "Two Lovers" (1962), the Grammy-nominated "You Beat Me to the Punch" (1962) and her signature hit, "My Guy" (1964), she became recognized as "The Queen of Motown" until her departure from the company in 1964, at the height of her popularity. She was one of Motown's first singing superstars.
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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

What You Gonna Do - Washboard Willie Hensley

Lena Hall:Vocals

Washboard Willie and his Super Suds of Rhythm:

Washboard Willie Hensley:Washboard

Calvin Frazier:Guitar

Recorded in Detroit, MI. 1956
Washboard Willie (July 24, 1909 – August 24, 1991) was an American Detroit blues musician, who specialised in playing the washboard. He recorded tracks including "A Fool On a Mule in the Middle of The Road" plus "Cherry Red Blues", and worked variously with Eddie "Guitar" Burns, Baby Boy Warren, and Boogie Woogie Red
Born William Paden Hensley in Columbus, Georgia, Washboard Willie, as he became known, did not take up music until his thirties. By 1948 he had relocated to Detroit, and in 1952, he watched Eddie "Guitar" Burns performing and played along with Burns' backing group. He impressed the proprietor and ended up with a three year residency with the band.

Working full-time washing cars for a living, he decided to name his own musical ensemble, Washboard Willie and the Super Suds of Rhythm, working off of the name of a once-popular laundry detergent! He graduated from just playing the washboard to incorporate a bass drum and snare and, in 1955, gave Little Sonny his first booking. In 1956, Hensley made his own debut recording of "Cherry Red Blues," with "Washboard Shuffle;" and then "Washboard Blues Pt. 1 & 2." His recording career continued until 1962 utilising Boogie Woogie Red on piano accompaniment. The recordings were not issued until 1969 on Barrelhouse Records. However, in 1966, Willie did release a single with the tracks "Natural Born Lover," and "Wee Baby Blues." His band remained in demand playing nightly in both Detroit and Ann Arbor.

In 1973, he toured Europe with Lightnin' Slim, Whispering Smith, Snooky Pryor, Homesick James and Boogie Woogie Red; he also played at the Ann Arbor Blues & Jazz festival that year on the Saturday afternoon "Detroit Blues" show. A compilation album, American Blues Legends '73 was issued on Big Bear Records with Willie contributing the tracks, "I Feel So Fine" and "Kansas City." Six years later he stopped playing professionally.

He died in Detroit in August 1991, at the age of 82.
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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

messin with a fool - Eliza Neals - New Release Review

I just received a new release by Eliza Neals, messin with a fool, and it has a definite, contemporary sound. The first thing that I like about it is that i can't really categorize it. It's a good sign that it doesn't sound like everything else (or a certain body of works). The recording opens with Misery, a R&B style track with with a 50's vibe. Tino Gross throws out a cool guitar riff on this track too! Neals has a voice comparable in quality with Bonnie Raitt but with stylistic approaches that are more power pop or punk. It sounds fresh and not overused. Man's Man is a simple stripped down rock song with bluesy singing but keeping it's edge. Lets say the Yeah Yeah Yeah's sing Stax. ESP is a cool track and the vocals are smoother and really lean toward soul and Bonnie Bramlett. The arrangement of the music remains uneven and interesting as opposed to predictable. Rather Go To Jail has a cool Latin feel but is more stylistic than bluesy. Rainin in Detroit is a solid blues ballad with phrasing that puts me in mind of Ricki Lee Jones but with a totally original voice an really nice guitar riff by Mike Smith to set off the vocals. Coming out of the gates on Berry Gordy's Money, Neals sounds terrific showing her vocal quality not unlike Brode Dalle on a classic track. I really like the sound of Neals voice on PiG (and I really like the overdriven sound of the basic guitar that accompanies her). The cd wraps with a simple ballad, Love Hurts More, over primarily acoustic guitar. This is a real strong track and a nice selection to complete an unusually cool cd.

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Monday, July 2, 2012

My Girl - Temptations

The Temptations are an American vocal group known for their success in the 60s and 70s at Motown Records. The group's repertoire has included, during its five-decade career, R&B, doo-wop, funk, disco, soul, and adult contemporary music. Known for their recognizable choreography, distinct harmonies, and flashy onstage suits, the Temptations have been said to be as influential to soul as The Beatles are to pop and rock.

Formed in Detroit, Michigan, in 1960 as The Elgins (not to be confused with another Motown group with the same name), the Temptations have always featured at least five male vocalists/dancers. Having sold tens of millions of albums, the Temptations are one of the most successful groups in music history. As of 2010, the Temptations continue to perform and record for Universal Records with its one living original member, Otis Williams, still in its lineup.

The original lineup included members of two local Detroit vocal groups: from The Distants, second tenor Otis Williams, first tenor Elbridge "Al" Bryant, and bass Melvin Franklin; and from The Primes, first tenor/falsetto Eddie Kendricks and second tenor/baritone Paul Williams (no relation to Otis). Among the most notable future Temptations were lead singers David Ruffin and Dennis Edwards (both later solo artists), Ali-Ollie Woodson, Ron Tyson, Glenn Leonard, Damon Harris, Richard Street, Theo Peoples, and G. C. Cameron. Like its "sister" female group, the Supremes, the Temptations' lineup has changed frequently over the years.

Over the course of their career, the Temptations have released four Billboard Hot 100 number-one singles and 14 Billboard R&B number-one singles. Their material has earned them three Grammy Awards, while two more awards were conferred upon the songwriters and producers who crafted their 1972 hit "Papa Was a Rollin' Stone". The Temptations were the first Motown act to earn a Grammy Award. Six Temptations (Dennis Edwards, Melvin Franklin, Eddie Kendricks, David Ruffin, Otis Williams, and Paul Williams) were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989. Three classic Temptations songs, "My Girl", "Ain't Too Proud to Beg", and "Papa Was a Rollin' Stone", are among The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.
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