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A Fallen Star

Posted by Edie Antoinette on March 23, 2009 at 7:30pm 17 Comments

As the Christmas season arrived in 1964, the soulful pop crooner Sam Cooke was at the crest of his career.

Cooke, 33, had enjoyed a remarkable run of hit songs, beginning in 1957 with "You Send Me" and continuing with "Wonderful World," "Chain Gang," "Cupid," "Bring It on Home" and "Another Saturday Night," among many others.

Sam Cooke
Sam Cooke

He had sold 10 million records as a true crossover artist. His songs, with broad appeal to all races, rated high on both the pop and R&B charts. He had begun to dabble in acting, and talent agents saw limitless potential—film roles, a la Sammy Davis Jr., or a variety show, like Nat King Cole.

Born to humble roots in the Mississippi Delta, he had accumulated a personal fortune. He drove a $15,000 Ferrari convertible and lived with his lovely wife, Barbara, in a Hollywood mansion. A clever businessman, he seemed destined for even greater fame and unspeakable wealth.

But Cooke had a flaw of Biblical proportion: his unbridled libido.

He was a skirt-chaser and serial philanderer, a problem that shadowed his entire life since adolescence. At age 22, as he was blossoming as a star gospel singer, Cooke juggled three pregnant girlfriends—two in Chicago, one in Cleveland.

Cupid's well-worn arrow pricked Cooke yet again on December 10, 1964.…


The 1973 Save The Children Benefit Concert

Posted by Shelley "SoleMann" King on January 26, 2009 at 10:29am 10 Comments

Save the Children [aka Brothers and Sisters in Concert] (1973) - Made originally as a documentary film based on the 1972 PUSH Expo theme. The 123-minute version goes into depth on the theme of black self-determination; contains footage of Reverend Jesse Jackson and Black Expo; shorter version places emphasis on the various artists' performances.


Stan Lathan, who was already a veteran of directing multiple camera variety shows on network television in the early '70s, approached his landmark concert film, Save the Children, with the precision of a military campaign.

"Operation Push, which was a Jesse Jackson organization, was giving a huge exposition in Chicago in 1972 to encourage black-owned businesses," Lathan recalled. "It was always planned to have this gathering of black talent, and myself and a few other people including Quincy Jones and Matt Robbins, got together about six months before and came up with the idea of doing this film to help support the Black Expo. We raised $750,000 from the Ford Foundation as a grant and put it together."

At the time of Save the Children, Lathan was a director on Sesame Street and had done both dance and music specials for PBS, as well as multi-camera musical variety shows. "The big challenge for me was that we were shooting on film," Lathan noted, "and we were in this massive convention center with terrible acoustics. We used eight cameras, all shooting 16mm film, and I devised an elaborate com­munications setup with each camera. I took a bird's-eye position and directed as if it were a live TV show. The difference, of course, is that I had no video feed, so I tried to keep the coverage varied from camera-to-camera, and keep track of who was shooting what."

Lathan said that despite the technical challenges involved,… Continue




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Stand By Me!

Started by Ronn Nichols in Poetry and Spoken Word. Last reply by Edie Antoinette Jun 12, 2018. 5 Replies

If you're a fan of world music, then you're in for a treat with Mark Johnson and Jonathan Walls' Playing for Change: Peace Through Music, a film that premiered at the 7th Annual Tribeca Film Festival. It isn't really a documentary as much as a…Continue


Started by Edie Antoinette in Whatever. Last reply by Edie Antoinette Jan 1, 2017. 2 Replies

Available Yahoo! Messenger Emoticons (1)EmoticonKey CombinationDescription:o3puppy dog eyes:-??I don't know%-(not listening:@)pig3:-Ocow:(|)monkey~:>chicken@};-rose(~~)pumpkin~O)coffee*-:)ideaAvailable Yahoo! Messenger Emoticons (2)EmoticonKey…Continue

Just a hot hot mess!!!!! lol

Started by Ur Sweet Sensation in Whatever. Last reply by Edie Antoinette Jun 23, 2015. 88 Replies

Ok, you guys let me ask you all a question...Have you ever gone out to the mall, maybe out to eat or to a formal dance, and when you arrive, their is that one somebody that catches your attention? You try not to stir but you just can't help it and…Continue


Started by Al Greer in Poetry and Spoken Word. Last reply by Edie Antoinette Jun 3, 2015. 1 Reply

Can some one please tell me why we don't have a Dusties radio station here in Chicago? And what can we do to get one started. Call me at 773-675-2400.


Sandra Bland's life and death provides the inspiration for graveyard shift

The Goodman's production is lyrical and heartbreaking. Quentin Tarantino's movie Once Upon a Time . . . in Hollywood is in part a gauzy wish fulfillment fantasy that fictionalizes and rewrites the true-life brutal murder of actor Sharon Tate.…

Stick Fly takes flight at Writers

A wealthy Black family confronts secrets and internalized self-loathing in Lydia Diamond's acerbic drama. In 2017, First Floor Theater premiered Leah Nanako Winkler's Two Mile Hollow—a send-up of what Winkler terms "white people by the water" plays, in which a wealthy clan gathers at a beach house to fight, reveal secrets, and reminisce. The catch for Winkler's work was that the characters were all played by people of color, offering ironic counterpoint to white privilege's ridiculous insularity.…

Shear Madness is retro, but not rewarding

Mercury Theater Chicago's revival of this murder mystery party game can't overcome the dated material. Adapted by Marilyn Abrams and Bruce Jordan from the original play Scherenschnitt, (scissors cut), by German playwright Paul Pörtner, Shear Madness is not so much a fully realized work of comic theater as a kind of silly party game writ large. The premise is reminiscent of interactive murder mysteries: setting—a beauty salon; characters—a brace of stereotypes (gay hair dresser, ditsy beautician, bulldog homicide detective); McGuffin—the murder of an upstairs neighbor.…

Drummer Jeremy Cunningham releases a dense but delicate jazz record to honor his late brother

Drummer Jeremy Cunningham releases a dense but delicate jazz record to honor his late brother; the Black, Brown, and Indigenous Crew rocks the Vaginal Davis exhibit at the Art Institute; and more. Since moving here from Cincinnati in 2009, drummer Jeremy Cunningham has anchored several local ensembles, including orchestral jazz squad Resavoir and a crack quartet with guitarist Jeff Parker, bassist Paul Bryan, and saxophonist Josh Johnson—which is also the core group on most of his solo album The Weather Up There, due Friday, February 28, via Northern Spy.…

Invictus Theatre brings light and heat to A Raisin in the Sun

Lorraine Hansberry's classic gets a sturdy and heartfelt revival. Before Ta-Nehisi Coates laid out "The Case for Reparations" in the Atlantic in 2014, Lorraine Hansberry's 1959 classic A Raisin in the Sun clearly showed the effects of racism on Black Americans seeking better living conditions—a problem we've yet to fully address. The Younger family—so cramped for space in their roach-infested apartment that son Travis has to sleep on the living room couch—hopes to buy a better piece of the American pie, thanks to a life insurance payout from their late husband and father.…


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Spotlight | Maze

  1. play Maze — 03 Feel That You're Feelin'
  2. play Maze — 04 Somebody Else's Arms
  3. play Maze — 04 Southern Girl
  4. play Maze — Can't Get Over You
  5. play Maze — Golden Time Of Day
  6. play Norman Brown — Night Drive
  7. play Norman Brown — Feeling
  8. play Norman Brown — Still
  9. play Miles Davis — miles 1
  10. play miles 2
  11. play miles 3
  12. play miles 4
  13. play miles 5
  14. play Marvin Gaye — I Met A Little Girl
  15. play Santana — 01 Singing Winds, Crying Beasts
  16. play Santana — 02 Black Magic Woman-Gypsy Queen
  17. play Mongo — 02. Afro Blue

The history of the Butlers/Raw Soul is dense, but for all of us music nerds, that's normal. It is not totally clear what year the Butlers actually formed but they released their first single in 1963 on Liberty Records. That single was "She Tried To Kiss Me" and another single followed on Guyden entitled "Lovable Girl." After the Guyden single the Butlers took a break not recording another record until the single "Laugh, Laugh, Laugh" was released on the Phila label in 1966. The group also backed Charles Earland and Jean Wells on one Phila single ("I Know She Loves Me"). 

As you might be noticing, the Butlers were doing a fair amount of recording but not achieving much success. The group's recordings sold regionally but never had the promotion to make an impact on the national scene. After the single with Phila, the Butlers moved to the Fairmount label (part of the Cameo-Parkway family) and released a handful of singles, some being reissued singles of the past. The Butlers were with Fairmount for 1966-67 and then moved to Sassy Records. Sassy released the group's greatest single (in my opinion) "Love (Your Pain Goes Deep)" b/w "If That's What You Wanted." A copy of that 45 sold for just under $500 last summer on eBay. Even though that isn't that much in the world of record collecting--it's still a hefty sum. The Butlers released another single on Sassy ("She's Gone" b/w "Love Is Good") that appears to be even 
harder to come by then the "Love (Your Pain Goes Deep)" single.


The true history become a bit blurred here as the AMG biography states that the Butlers last record was released on C.R.S. in 1974 (". However, between 1971 and that single, Frankie Beverly formed a group called Raw Soul and released a number of singles. Some of the songs recorded by Beverly during this period are "While I'm Alone," "Open Up Your Heart," (both on the Gregor label) and "Color Blind." "Color Blind" was released by the Eldorado label and rerecorded by Maze. Beverly's big break came when Marvin Gaye asked Raw Soul to back him on a tour. Gaye helped Beverly/Raw Soul get a contract at Capitol. Beverly decided to take the group in a different direction, a name change occurred, and Maze was created. 

The above isn't the most complete history of Beverly but hopefully someone will know a way to get in touch with the man or his management because a comprehensive pre-Maze history needs to be done on Frankie Beverly (his real name is Howard, by the way). Below you'll find every Frankie Beverly (pre-Maze) song available to me right now ("Color Blind" will be up soon). 

If you have a song that is not included below, shoot it over to funkinsoulman (at) yahoo.com and it will go up in the next Frankie Beverly post (later this week--highlighting Maze). Also, if you have any more information please share your knowledge. The Butlers material has been comp-ed sporadically (usually imports) but the entire Maze catalog has been reissued and is available. 

Enjoy.  "She Kissed Me" (Fairmount, 1966 or 1967) 
 "I Want To Feel I'm Wanted" (not sure which label or year) "Laugh, Laugh, Laugh" (Phila, 1966) "Because Of My Heart" (Fairmount, 1966 or 1967)
 "Love (Your Pain Goes Deep)" (Sassy, 1967)
 "If That's What You Wanted" (Sassy, 1967)

Frankie Beverly is one of those cats that has lasting power. He started in the music business doing a tour with doo wop group the Silhouettes and then formed his own group called the Blenders. The Blenders never recorded a single, Beverly wouldn't appear on wax until forming the Butlers a few years later. Along with Beverly, the Butlers included Jack "Sonny" Nicholson, Joe Collins, John Fitch, and Talmadge Conway.

Beverly would later enjoy great success fronting Maze and Conway would become a
well-known penning Double Exposure's
"Ten Percent" and the Intruders' "Memories Are Here To Stay." 
 While Maze is a phenomenal group, Beverly's work before that group will always stand out as his best (imo).

The Butlers produced tunes that most Northern Soul fans would kill for and Raw Soul gave the funksters something to pursue. If, by chance, you know of a way to get in touch with Frankie Beverly or his management, please drop me an e-mail. It would be absolutely great to do an interview with him about his pre-Maze work. He's still playing out, most recently doing a New Year's Eve show in Atlanta.
:: Funkinsoulman ::

Power...Through Simplicity ♪♫♪



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