Archive for the ‘R&B’ Category

Eric Burdon releases new solo album

May 16, 2013

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To coincide with The Animals’ 50th anniversary this year, Eric Burdon has released a new solo album, ‘Til Your River Runs Dry. It contains 12 songs, mostly written by Burdon, and is said to be his most personal album to date.

  He is currently writing his third memoir (follow-up to I Used to Be An Animal, But I’m Alright Now and Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood). Details of an international tour will also be announced soon.

  Watch the promo video HERE…

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Boz Scaggs unveils new album, Memphis

May 2, 2013

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Boz Scaggs has released a new studio album, titled Memphis, which was recorded at Willie Mitchell’s legendary Royal Studio in Memphis.

The 12-track album features a number of new songs written by Scaggs plus several cover versions – including his take on ‘Rainy Night in Georgia’ and the country blues classic ‘Corinna, Corinna’.

Guest musicians on the album include Ray Parker Jr. on guitar, Spooner Oldham on keyboards, and the Memphis Horns.

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R&B legends Etta James and Johnny Otis die within days of each other

January 21, 2012

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Legendary R&B singer Etta James, best known for her versions of ‘At Last’, ‘I’d Rather Go Blind’ and Muddy Waters’ ‘I Just Want To Make Love To You’, died on 20 January 2012, aged 73. She had been undergoing treatment for leukaemia.

Coincidentally, the man who discovered her – bandleader Johnny Otis – died a few days earlier on 17 January 2012, aged 90. Dubbed the “godfather of rhythm and blues”, Otis was best known for his 1958 hit ‘Willie and the Hand Jive’.

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Mick Jagger is named Ambassador of the Amazon Rainforest

October 19, 2011

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Peruvian government officials have named Rolling Stones star Sir Mick Jagger as an honorary ambassador for the Amazon rainforest.

The 68-year-old rocker, who is currently travelling through South America, will now be responsible for helping to raise awareness of the Amazon rainforest and its need for protection.


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Which artist do you find most uplifting? Leave a comment below and let us know…

Eric Clapton celebrates as Layla turns 40

July 3, 2011

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IT’S HARD to believe, but Layla – with all her timeless beauty and raw emotion – turns 40 this year.

   In August 1970, Derek & The Dominos (alias Eric Clapton, keyboardist/singer Bobby Whitlock, bassist Carl Radle and drummer Jim Gordon) teamed up with legendary producer Tom Dowd in a Miami studio – fortuitously bumping into guitarist Duane Allman in the same building – and created one of the most revered albums in rock history: Layla And Other Assorted Love Songs.

   Often regarded as Eric Clapton’s greatest musical achievement, the album broke new ground by blending British rock, electric blues and Southern gospel.

   The double slide-guitar work of Clapton and Allman would go on to define the famous title track as one of the greatest rock guitar anthems, recorded only a few months before Allman died in a motorcycle accident.

   In August, Eric Clapton is celebrating the short-lived band’s classic double-album with the release of several 40th anniversary commemorative editions.

   There is a remastered single-CD edition of the original album, a two-LP remastered vinyl edition, and a two-disc Deluxe Edition featuring original album tracks and previously unreleased material.

   A Super Deluxe Edition includes the original double album in both digital and vinyl formats, along with a remastered CD of Derek and the Dominos: In Concert, pop-up 3D artwork, and an exclusive hardback book of photographs, essays and new interviews.

   Clapton originally wrote ‘Layla’ as a ballad, with lyrics describing his love for Pattie Boyd. But the song became a ‘rocker’ when Duane Allman reportedly helped to compose the song’s signature riff.

   With the band assembled and Tom Dowd producing, ‘Layla’ was recorded in its original form. The recording consisted of six guitar tracks: a rhythm track by Clapton, three tracks of harmonies played by Clapton against the main riff, a track of slide guitar by Allman, and one track with both Allman and Clapton playing duplicate solos.

   Shortly afterward, Clapton returned to the studio and overheard Jim Gordon playing a piano piece he had composed separately. Clapton, impressed by the piece, convinced Gordon to allow it to be used as part of ‘Layla’. It famously became the song’s ‘second movement’ and was recorded roughly a week after the first – with Gordon playing his piano part, Clapton playing acoustic guitar and slide guitar, and Allman playing electric and bottleneck slide guitar.

   After Dowd spliced the two movements together, ‘Layla’ was complete… and a piece of music history was born.

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Soul singer Solomon Burke dies aged 70

October 10, 2010

US soul singer Solomon Burke once said: “As long as I have breath to do it, I’ll sing, with God’s help”.

Sadly, the warm bass voice of this larger-than-life ‘King of Rock and Soul’ is now silent. He died early on Sunday October 10, 2010 at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport after arriving on a flight from Los Angeles. He was 70.

Solomon Burke was born to the sound of music in an upstairs room of a church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on March 21 1940. He began his adult career as a preacher and hosted a gospel radio show. But he also played guitar and sang, and his talent and church-trained voice were soon spotted.

In 1960, he signed with Atlantic Records – home to Ray Charles. Like Charles, his songs blended soul, gospel, country and R&B. His first hit record, in 1961, was a cover version of the country song ‘Just Out Of Reach (Of My Two Open Arms)’. This was followed in 1962 with ‘Cry To Me’ which was famously used 25 years later in the film Dirty Dancing.

In 1964, Burke wrote and recorded his most influential song, ‘Everybody Needs Somebody to Love’, which was later covered by artists such as The Rolling Stones and Wilson Pickett. Dan Ackroyd and John Belushi also performed the song in the 1980 film The Blues Brothers.

Legendary Atlantic Records producer Jerry Wexler dubbed him “the best soul singer of all time”. But Solomon Burke was more than just a great soul singer. He was first and foremost a man of God. He was the bishop of Solomon’s Temple – an evangelical church with 40,000 followers and 170 missions that had been founded by his grandmother after she reportedly dreamed of his birth 12 years before the event.

It was Burke’s religious beliefs that led Atlantic Records to market him as the first ‘soul singer’ after he objected to the record label describing his music as rhythm ‘n’ blues. At that time, many black churchgoers equated R&B with the music of the Devil.

Solomon Burke was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001 and won a Grammy in 2003 for his album Don’t Give Up On Me. The album featured 11 tracks written for him by admirers such as Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Tom Waits, Brian Wilson and Elvis Costello. He recorded every song in one take.

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Phil Collins Motown tribute tops UK album chart

September 27, 2010

Phil Collins’ 18-track Motown tribute album Going Back has lived up to its title by putting him back at the top of the UK album charts for the first time since 1998.

Going Back is Collins’ eighth studio album and his first full solo release for eight years. It features cover versions of many of the soul gems that influenced him as a teenager – including The Temptations’ ‘Papa Was a Rolling Stone’ and ‘Girl (Why You Wanna Make Me Blue)’, Martha and The Vandellas’ ‘Heatwave’ , and Stevie Wonder’s ‘Uptight’, along with other classic songs recorded by The Four Tops, The Supremes and Smokey Robinson & The Miracles.

To make the album as faithful to the original Motown sound as possible, Collins brought in three surviving members of Motown’s legendary in-house Sixties studio band The Funk Brothers – bassist Bob Babbitt and guitarists Eddie Willis and Ray Monette.

Collins – who was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame earlier this year – says the album was a deeply personal labour of love for him. “These Motown songs, along with a couple of Dusty Springfield tracks, a Phil Spector/Ronettes tune, and one by the Impressions, make up the tapestry, the backdrop, of my teenage years.”

He says his intention was to make an ‘old’ record, not a ‘new’ record. “I didn’t try to bring anything new to these already great records,” he says. “I tried to recreate the sounds and feelings that I had when I first heard them.

“To be able to have three of the Funk Brothers play on all the tracks was unbelievable. I learned more about production skills and the wonderful songwriting of those concerned whilst making this album than I have from anything else.”

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Telling it like it was: Clay Cole’s “Sh-Boom! – The Explosion of Rock ‘N’ Roll, 1953-1968”

August 22, 2010

The name Clay Cole may not be too familiar to some Sh-Boom! Magazine readers in the UK and Europe, but anyone who grew up loving all those great US hits of the late 1950s and early 1960s owes him a debt of gratitude.

Many early US rock and pop artists might never have been heard in Europe had they not first been popularised on Clay Cole’s TV and radio shows in New York, and then gone on to achieve huge chart success across the United States.

In his new book Sh-Boom! – The Explosion of Rock ‘N’ Roll (1953-1968), New York television personality Clay Cole gives a compelling personal account of his years spent hosting his own Saturday night pop music television show, The Clay Cole Show.

But this is no typical showbiz autobiography. In a fast-paced, conversational and witty style, Cole combines highly personal recollections with a comprehensive and detailed history of rock ‘n’ roll itself. Packed with fascinating facts and funny anecdotes, it’s a behind-the-scenes look at the shaping of an era. It’s pop music history told from the inside out, by someone who was there at the beginning.

He was only 15 – and still at high school in Ohio – when, in 1953, he began presenting his own local teenage music TV show. By 1955, the music had evolved and he recalls: “I was, without fully becoming aware, now hosting a rock ‘n’ roll show”.

In 1957, he moved to New York City to try his luck, armed with “a 10 year plan” for success. In fact, it only took a few months for him to land a Saturday evening live TV show in Providence, Rhode Island.

By 1959, at the age of 21 (although the TV channel’s publicity department claimed he was only 19), he was hosting a major TV show in New York. He was the youngest host on US TV – and already challenging for the crown held by the legendary Alan Freed and Dick Clark.

When Alan Freed’s TV career was ended by the great music industry payola scandal of 1959, it proved to be a stroke of luck for Clay Cole. After less than two months on air, he now had a “clear reign” on New York television. “I was spotless … I was never offered, nor would I accept, payola,” he says.

The Clay Cole Show attracted all the big names of the day, including Bobby Darin, Tony Bennett, Ray Charles, Brenda Lee and Connie Francis (who later confessed she’d always had a secret crush on him).

With a good ear for a hit, Cole also became a champion of talented newcomers, such as Paul Anka, Neil Sedaka, Tony Orlando, Dionne Warwick, Neil Diamond, Bobby Vinton, the Four Seasons, and Dion. In 1960, he launched a nightclub tour and hired three teenage sisters as dancers. They would later become The Ronettes.

He was the first to introduce Chubby Checker performing ‘The Twist’. And the first to present the Rolling Stones in America. He also pioneered music video clips and go-go girls, and gave debuts to young stand-up comedians like Richard Pryor.

Cole also helped to break the colour barrier on US television. He was the first rock ‘n’ roll TV host to have a multi-racial audience and regularly featured soul and R&B artists such as Ray Charles, Little Anthony and The Imperials, Steve Wonder, The Supremes and Dionne Warwick – often in direct defiance of his TV bosses who warned him he was welcoming too many black artists onto the show.

A singer and dancer himself, he once sang on stage with the Four Seasons after being invited to “sing along” by his friend Frankie Valli. “I was so intimidated by their perfect harmonies,” says Cole, “I simply mouthed the words and snapped my fingers – to their great relief, I’m sure.”

Sh-Boom! – The Explosion of Rock ‘N’ Roll (1953-1968) covers Clay Cole’s “fifteen years of TV fame” – and explores every pop music phenomenon from rhythm and blues, cover records, rockabilly, folk-rock, teen idols, and girl groups … to the arrival of The Beatles, the British Invasion, the creation of the American boy band, and Flower Power.

It was the shift to acid rock and heavy metal that eventually prompted Clay Cole to walk away from his highly popular TV show in 1968, at the age of 30. He realised he’d become “a black-tie, tuxedo guy, adrift in a tie-dyed T-shirt world”. His final show featured Jerry Lewis, Paul Anka, and the Cowsills.

Over the 40 years since, he has been the writer, producer and director of over 3500 broadcast TV shows, including several award-winning programmes.

Sh-Boom!’ … great title for a song … great name (we think) for a music magazine for ‘baby boomers’ … and now a great title for an important book that doesn’t just chronicle the early beginnings of rock ‘n’ roll, it tells you how it felt to be there.

Sh-Boom! – The Explosion of Rock ‘N’ Roll (1953-1968) can be purchased from and It is also available direct from the Clay Cole website at

UPDATE:  We are sad to report that Clay Cole died on December 18, 2010 at his home on Oak Island, N.C. He was 72. The cause was a heart attack, his brother Richard Rucker said. In addition to his brother, he is survived by another brother, James Rucker, and a sister, Tama Rucker. 


Vote for your favourite Motown hit and help choose tracks for a new ‘Motown 50’ album

September 24, 2008


Universal Music is mounting an online survey to find out UK music fans’ favourite Motown tracks.


The 50 most popular songs will be included on Motown 50 – a special 50th Anniversary compilation CD – which will be released in the UK on December 1, 2008.


Sh-Boom! readers can try to get their favourite Motown songs onto the Motown 50 album by visiting: – a special site set up by online polling community Poll the People.


You’ll be able to select your five favourite Motown songs from the database and place your vote.


Universal plans to release similar local versions of the compilation album in other countries, claiming this consumer-generated content approach is designed to “reflect each country’s favourite songs and celebrate the enduring popularity of Motown across the planet.”


Motown will celebrate its half-century on 12 January, 2009. Universal says celebrations are being lined up throughout the whole of next year under the banner: Motown 50 – Today, Tomorrow, Forever.


Berry Gordy Jr. founded the label as Tamla Records on January 12, 1959, with a loan of $800 from his family. The company was incorporated as Motown Record Corporation in 1960.


Vocal group The Matadors were the first act to be signed to Tamla by Gordy. They went on to find fame after changing their name to The Miracles.


By the mid-1960s, the groundbreaking Motown Sound had spread worldwide. And the label’s distinctive sound still resonates today – 180 Number 1 singles later – with Motown hits continuing to appear in TV commercials, TV shows and movies.

Tina Turner’s new hits compilation, ‘Tina!’, to include two exclusive new songs and rare live tracks

August 13, 2008


Tina Turner is set to release a new 18-track compilation – on CD and DVD – which will include hits from her entire career, along with rare live recordings and two exclusive new tracks: ‘It Would Be a Crime’ and ‘I’m Ready’.


Titled Tina!, the new album will include her classic hits: ‘What’s Love Got To Do With It’, ‘Private Dancer’, ‘Better Be Good To Me’, ‘We Don’t Need Another Hero’, ‘Proud Mary’, ‘Nutbush City Limits’, and ‘River Deep Mountain High’.


Tina! will also feature four live tracks – including ‘I Can’t Stand The Rain’ (recorded live at Amsterdam Arena in 1996), ‘Addicted To Love’ (recorded live at London’s Camden Palace in 1986), and two tracks not previously available on CD: ‘The Best’ (recorded live at London’s Wembley Arena in 2000) and ‘Let’s Stay Together’ (recorded live at Amsterdam Arena 12 years ago).


The album will be released on September 30 in the United States to coincide with the start of the eight-time Grammy Award winning singer’s new world tour. Turner, who will be 69 in November, will perform 59 live shows between October 2008 and April 2009. 


The tour will reach the UK early next year – with four nights of shows in London (March 3, March 4, March 7 and March 8 at the O2 Arena) and Manchester (February 20, March 30, March 31 and April 3 at the Manchester Evening News Arena).


Full list of tracks on Tina!:


Steamy Windows’
‘River Deep Mountain High’
‘Better Be Good To Me’
‘The Acid Queen’
‘What You Get Is What You See’
‘What’s Love Got To Do With It’
‘Private Dancer’
‘We Don’t Need Another Hero’ (from Thunderdome)
‘I Don’t Wanna Fight’
‘Let’s Stay Together’ (live at Amsterdam Arena, 1996)
‘I Can’t Stand The Rain’ (live at Amsterdam Arena, 1996)
‘Addicted To Love’ (live at Camden Palace, London, 1986)
‘The Best’ (live at Wembley Arena, London, 2000)
‘Proud Mary’
‘Nutbush City Limits’
‘It Would Be A Crime’ (new track, exclusive to this album)
‘I’m Ready’ (new track, exclusive to this album).

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