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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 Shirley Brown. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Shirley Brown. Show all posts

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Woman To Woman - Shirley Brown

Shirley Brown (born January 6, 1947, West Memphis, Arkansas) is an American soul singer, best known for her million-selling single "Woman to Woman" which was nominated for a Grammy Award in 1975. Brown was born in West Memphis, but was raised in Madison, Illinois, where she started singing in church when she was nine years old. Early experience singing gospel gave her a powerful but expressive voice likened to Aretha Franklin. Albert King discovered her at age 14, singing in the Harlem Club in Brooklyn, Illinois. Young Shirley went on the road with King for nine years. While King made sure she had a tutor, Brown often cut her classes to work with the band. By 1972, Shirley was living in East St. Louis, Illinois, where she made her first record for the Abet label called, "I Ain't Gonna Tell" and "Love Built on a Strong Foundation". Bandleader Oliver Sain produced the record; Sain worked with King on his first hit record ten years earlier. By 1974, King recommended Brown to Stax Records in Memphis, Tennessee, where he had been one of the label's stars for some time. Her 1974 hit, "Woman to Woman" spent two weeks at #1 in the Billboard R&B chart and climbed to #22 in the Billboard Hot 100. It sold over one million copies by December 1974, and was awarded a gold disc. It was to prove to be Stax's final major hit record, (the song was later covered by Barbara Mandrell in 1978 and became a top-five country hit). A successful debut album, Woman to Woman, was released by Stax on their Truth label, but by 1975, the company was struggling financially and also facing litigation. A follow-up single, "It Ain't No Fun" was only a moderate success, and Stax closed soon afterwards. Her signing to Arista Records in 1977 resulted in the album Shirley Brown, produced by the former Stax owner Jim Stewart and writer-producer Bettye Crutcher, who provided most of the songs. These included "Blessed Is The Woman" which reached #14 R&B (#102 pop). Brown continued to record for several labels since then, including Fantasy, on the re-formed Stax label, and Sound Town. She has been with the Mississippi based blues and soul label, Malaco Records since 1989. She remains a popular live performer, mainly in southern states of the US, without having found the recording success of her earlier years 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, September 8, 2011

Woman to Woman - Shirley Brown - Remaster release Sept 13 - Review


This release by Shirley Brown is just a blast. Shirley is backed by Donald "Duck" Dunn and the Memphis Horns. There just isn't a lot of good music like this being released. I thoroughly loved listening to this release and was thrilled to see that there were 5 bonus tracks added to the original line up. If you like blues/soul singers who don't need booty shakers dancing along side to make them interesting, then you're in for a treat! Now I'm not saying that you won't be moving in your seat or dancing around the room while listening to it... only that you don't need an entourage of crap going on while you listen to it.

This is a recording to buy!

Friday, September 2, 2011

CONCORD MUSIC GROUP’S STAX REMASTERS SERIES CONTINUES ON SEPTEMBER 13 WITH REISSUES FROM RUFUS THOMAS, THE DRAMATICS, AND SHIRLEY BROWN





CONCORD MUSIC GROUP’S STAX REMASTERS SERIES
CONTINUES ON SEPTEMBER 13
WITH REISSUES FROM

RUFUS THOMAS, THE DRAMATICS, AND SHIRLEY BROWN



Rufus Thomas’s Do the Funky Chicken, Shirley Brown’s Woman to Woman, and the Dramatics’ Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get

are fortified with bonus tracks
LOS ANGELES, Calif. — In 1968, on the heels of the label’s severance from Atlantic Records, Stax Records president Al Bell decided to initiate a massive 28-LP release program that would auger the label’s return to the top. The initiative fostered a new generation of Stax hitmakers including the Dramatics and Shirley Brown. And, it proved an artistically and commercially fertile time for Stax veteran Rufus Thomas.



On September 13, 2011, Concord Music Group, as part of its Stax Remasters series , will reissue Rufus Thomas’s Do the Funky Chicken, the Dramatics’ Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get and Shirley Brown’s Woman to Woman — each featuring a chart-topping title track. All three reissues feature 24-bit remastering, rare bonus tracks, and new liner notes to frame the recordings in historical context.



Rufus Thomas: Do the Funky Chicken:

Although Rufus and his daughter Carla Thomas had given Satellite Records (precursor to Stax) its first hit in 1960, followed in turn by Rufus’s solo hit “Walkin’ the Dog,” his star had faded by the late ’60s. The self-proclaimed “world’s oldest teenager” (age 51 in 1968) found inspiration in 1968 when he recorded Eddie Floyd’s “Funky Mississippi,” backed by Booker T. & the MGs and the Memphis Horns, for an album that never saw the light of day titled May I Have Your Ticket Please? A year later, Thomas entered the studio again — this time with his son Marvell Thomas on keyboards and members of the Bar-Kays — to record “Do the Funky Chicken.” The song was a smash, reaching #5 R&B and #28 Pop. Rufus was back on top, and the album Do the Funky Chicken was hailed as a career highlight. The follow-up, a two-sided hit of the menacing voodoo funk of “Sixty Minute Man” backed with the gospel-inflected “The Preacher and the Bear,” made it to #42 R&B. The reissue is rounded out by “Funky Mississippi,” “Funky Way” and “Itch and Scratch,” the last recorded not at Stax but rather at Jackson, Mississippi’s Malaco Studios. Stax historian Rob Bowman contributed liner notes.



The Dramatics: Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get:

In diversifying the A&R focus of Stax, Al Bell brought in Detroit producer Don Davis to work with core artists Carla Thomas and Johnnie Taylor. He brought with him a Motor City vocal group called the Dramatics. Davis turned to fellow Detroit producer and songwriter Tony Hestor to work with the group. Hestor wrote a great song with “Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get” and crafted an extraordinary arrangement as well. Annotator Bowman writes, “The slight Latin feel fit the first wave of disco like a glove while the use of claves and congas combined with a fuzzed lead guitar line and seraphonous strings and horns.” The chemistry of artist, song, and arrangement drove the record all the way to #3 R&B and #9 Pop in the summer of 1971 on the Volt label. The follow-up was “In the Rain,” of which then-lead vocalist Ron Banks recalls, “We looked at each other and said, ‘Whoa, that’s a smash.’ And for once we were right.” The song went to #5 Pop. The Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get reissue contains no fewer than nine bonus tracks including charting hits “Fell for You” and “Hey You! Get Off My Mountain,” both recorded in Detroit instead of Memphis. The closer “Hum a Song (From Your Heart)” was produced at Atlantic South Criterion Studios by the legendary production triumvirate of Jerry Wexler, Tom Dowd, and Arif Mardin.



Shirley Brown: Woman to Woman:

“Phenomenon means having your first single, ‘Woman to Woman,’ sell a million in its first eight weeks,” wrote Stax employee Deanie Parker in her liner notes for Shirley Brown’s Woman to Woman album, released in 1974 on Stax’s Truth imprint. The East St. Louis native came to Stax by way of Albert King, who’d discovered her when she was all of 14. When matched with the powerful James Banks, Eddie Marion, and Henderson Thigpen composition “Woman to Woman,” Brown hit a nerve with female listeners. In a spoken intro, Brown said: “Hello, may I speak to Barbara? Barbara, this is Shirley. You might not know who I am, but the reason I am calling you is because I was going through my old man’s pockets this morning. And I just happened to find your name and number.” After presenting her case, Brown sang earnestly about not letting anyone else “break up my happy home” because “I love that man and he’s mine.” The song notched #1 R&B and #22 Pop. A follow-up, “It Ain’t No Fun” by Fredrick Knight, charted #94 Pop. Songs by Knight, Sir Mack Rice, and the late Jerry Ragovoy round out the original album release. The reissue contains five bonus tracks by writers Carolyn Franklin, Otis Redding, Aretha Franklin, and Stevie Wonder. After Stax’s closure, Brown signed to Arista and with Stax’s co-founder Jim Stewart and Bettye Crutcher producing, reaching #15 with “Blessed is the Woman (With a Man Like Mine)” and has more recently recorded for Malaco.



About Stax Records:

Stax Records is synonymous with Southern soul music. Originally known as Satellite, the Memphis company was founded in 1959 by Jim Stewart and his sister, Estelle Axton, and took its new name in 1961 from the first two letters of their last names. Among the many artists who scored hits on Stax and its Volt subsidiary during the ’60s were Rufus and Carla Thomas, Booker T. & the MGs, Sam and Dave, Johnnie Taylor, Albert King, and Otis Redding. Redding's death in 1967 signaled the end of the first Stax era (to which Atlantic retains distribution rights). Subsequently the company spawned a new crop of hitmakers, among them Isaac Hayes, the Staple Singers, the Dramatics, and Shirley Brown. In June 1977, a year-and-a-half after Stax went bankrupt, the company’s masters were purchased by Fantasy, Inc. Concord Music Group purchased and reactivated Stax in 2004 to release both new soul recordings and catalog reissues