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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.…


Curtis McNair - The Man Behind The Album Covers At Motown

Posted by KnightD12 on April 26, 2009 at 2:30pm 111 Comments


N.C. native Curtis McNair spent various parts of his 76 years as an inventor, artist, teacher and civil rights activist, but he is best known as the designer for some of Motown's best-known album covers, including Marvin Gaye's “What's Going On.” He's now retired and living outside of Wadesboro, with his wife, Donna, a prison chaplain.

McNair, would rather be known for marching for civil rights in the ’40s, helping to integrate the Army in the ’50s, and that he was among the first blacks hired at Chrysler’s corporate office in the early ’60s — a man of firsts. Instead, McNair is most known for his time at Motown where he created some of the most memorable album covers of the time.

On Friday, the McNairs make their first visit to the Belk Theater uptown, where several dozen of his covers will be displayed as part of a two-night Charlotte Symphony tribute to Motown, featuring the band Spectrum. Following are excerpts of an interview with McNair by reporter Mark Price

Q. How many covers are you bringing to the show?

About 70. That's not all the covers I designed. I don't have copies of about 30 percent. The ones I don't have are the ones I'm not proud of. We didn't have a big budget for covers, so I did what I could with what they gave me, including paintings, old photos, even busts.

Q. What's your best stuff?

Marvin Gaye, the Temptations, Diana Ross and the Supremes, the Undisputed Truth, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, and some lesser-known acts like Brass Monkey. Some of my favorites are ones by those little-known bands that Motown picked up in an attempt to break into the white market. They wanted to compete with the Beatles. Rare Earth was one. Another was called Magic and then there was Lost Nation, who I thought was a lot of fun. I did an album cover for them at…





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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.


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Spotlight | Maze

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 ::


  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

Power...Through Simplicity ♪♫♪



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