Cupid’s Hunt: An Evening With Boyz II Men

boyz

 

615_boyz_II_men_100814

It was quite a challenge focusing on the “Countdown To Love” this year. There have been family losses; and farewells to so many who were part of the soundtrack of our lives.

But, I have to hand it to Greg.  He’s not even much of an RnB fan (he prefers C&W); but, to kick off the Valentine’s Day (and Cupid’s Hunt) weekend after celebrating our 37th anniversary, he whisked us off to spend Friday evening with Boyz II Men.  It was our first live concert since 1979 (!).

The Boyz have grown to men.  The group has suffered a loss as well – Mike McCrary left the group in 2003 due to health issues – but, they are still here, serving up that Motownphilly groove like warm, melted chocolate.  They inspired quite a few of us that night.   (During “Open Arms”, a young man in the front row went down on one knee in front of his lady, ring box in hand; and the Boyz serenaded them.)

Still it was a challenge bringing this one home; until the angel on my shoulder took me to my Motown ‘home’.

CupidsHunt2016Logo_noSubtext

 

 

 

 

 

Boyz II Men

Ribbon In The Sky (A Cappella) –  Motown: A Journey Through Hitsville, USA

TGrundy

Uhh Ahh –  Cooleyhighharmony

Please Don’t Go –  Cooleyhighharmony

Losing Sleep – Collide

DarrenKeith

Hey Lover (with LL Cool J) – Legacy: The Greatest Hits Collection

Water Runs Dry – Twenty

What You Won’t Do (with MC Lyte) – Throwback

Sista Suga

I’ll Make Love To You (Boyz II Men/Babyface Mix) – Babyface Unplugged NYC 1997/II

50 Candles – II

Four Seasons of Loneliness – Twenty

Mr. Fresh

End Of The Road – Twenty

On Bended Knee – Twenty

More Than You’ll Ever Know (with Charlie Wilson)

AnjiBee

Flow – Twenty

In the Still Of The Night (I’ll Remember) – Legacy:  The Greatest Hits Collection

Open Arms – Love

TGrundy

Just My Imagination (Temptations/Boyz II Men Mix) – Hitsville USA/Motown: A Journey Through Hitsville, USA

 

Yeah, there was some MJ in there, too.  Did you hear it?

For Mom and Dad…This Is Not Our Radio Sam Cooke

Sam Cooke Recording at RCA Studios

Our radio Sam Cooke sent pop tunes, designed to ‘cross over’ and appeal to a wider audience, dancing from our hi-fi speakers.  But, Sam Cooke also recorded some bluesy, smoky room, chit’lin circuit, slow-drag-across-the-floor tunes that reminds us why he was known as the King of Soul and The Man Who Invented Soul.

Born January 22, 1931, Sam Cooke was one of the first (if not THE first) Black artists to own his own record label, publishing imprint and management firm.  He wrote most of the songs he recorded; oversaw some of the song arrangements; and groomed other up-and-coming artists.  His talent was undeniable. His death, at the age of 33,  was mysterious, senseless and tragic.

I’ve included some of his pop tunes that were so popular when I was growing up.  But, I’ve also included some of his more soulful ballads. My favorite is  “For Sentimental Reasons” – definitely not the version I heard growing up.  I can just picture my Mom and Dad, slow-dragging across the floor.

Today marks the first anniversary of the day my Mom joined Dad at his stage-side table on the Night Shift.  I miss them terribly.  This is my Valentine to them.

dad and mom

I hope they’re dancing.

 

 

 

cupid's hunt 8

 

1. Cupid – Solo

2. JBethune

3. Cupid – Sam Cooke

4. You Send Me – Sam Cooke

5. You Send Me – The Ovations (featuring Louis Williams)

6. There I’ve Said It Again – Sam Cooke

7. Darling, I Need You Now – Sam Cooke

8. Bring It on Home to Me – The Drifters/Sam Cooke

9. TGrundy

10. For Sentimental Reasons – Sam Cooke

11. Get Yourself Another Fool – Sam Cooke

12. Falling In Love – Sam Cooke

13. Angel Turner

14. Only Sixteen – Sam Cooke

15. Try A Little Tenderness – Sam Cooke

16. Tenderness – Sam Cooke

17. Chains Of Love – Sam Cooke

18. DarrenKeith

19. Touching Me – The Ovations (featuring Louis Williams)

20. Cry Me A River – Sam Cooke

21. Fool’s Paradise – Sam Cooke

22. Smoke Rings – Sam Cooke

23. Mr. Fresh

24. Nothing Can Change This Love – Sam Cooke

25. Send Me Some Lovin’ – Sam Cooke

26. These Foolish Things – Sam Cooke

27. You’re Nobody ’til Somebody Loves You – Sam Cooke

28. TGrundy

29. Lovable – Sam Cooke

30. You Send Me – The Manhattans

 

 

“These Three Words…”

cupid's hunt 8

 

…are the heart and soul of Cupid’s Hunt.

And, what touches the heart and soul deeper than a Stevie Wonder love song?  There were so many of those slow jams; dating back to the days of Little Stevie Wonder.  A Stevie album made you learn (“How Long, How Come”), protest (‘You Haven’t Done Nothin”) and fall in love (your favorite goes here); all between the beginning of the first cut and the end of the last.  But, it’s those love songs that leave imprints deep inside so strong that hearing them now takes you back to the days when your lights were dim, the incense was glowing and you were with that special someone who made you feel like Stevie wrote that song just for you two.

Who comes to mind when you dim your lights, light your incense and listen to your favorite Stevie Wonder love songs?  If they are near, have a dance or two, courtesy of The Night Shift.  If they aren’t near, smile at the memory and wish them well.

And, remember These Three Words…

stevie wonder

https://nightnursedj.files.wordpress.com/2015/02/cupidshunt2015_stevie-love-rev3.mp3

JBethune

Angel Turner

These Three Words – Stevie Wonder

Weakness – Stevie Wonder

Too Shy To Say – Stevie Wonder

If It’s Magic – Stevie Wonder

TGrundy

Creepin’ Stevie Wonder/Luther Vandross

For Your Love – Stevie Wonder

You And I – Stevie Wonder

How Will I Know – Stevie Wonder and Aisha Morris

Can’t Imagine Love Without You – Stevie Wonder

Overjoyed – Stevie Wonder

Ribbon In The Sky – Stevie Wonder

Joy Inside My Tears – Stevie Wonder

Angel Turner

How Come, How Long – Babyface and Stevie Wonder

Easy Goin’ Evening (My Mama’s Call) – Stevie Wonder

Do I Love Her – Stevie Wonder

You Are The Sunshine Of My Life – Stevie Wonder

Fave

All In Love Is Fair – Stevie Wonder

Cause We Ended As Lovers – Syreeta Wright/Jeff Beck

 

I wouldn’t have been able to bring you a righteous Stevie podcast without the help of TGrundy – otherwise known as Mr. Brilliant, the Chief Chef of the RIBS Kitchen.  There were songs in this mix that I either never knew, or didn’t remember; and secrets about beat-matching and harmonic mixing that will make every project from now on that much more fun.  Aside from all things technical and many things musical, there are few things more fun than sharing the music, the memories and the task at hand with someone who was there when the lights were dim, and the incense glowed.

Thanks, T.

 

Cupid’s Hunt 8 – Happy Valentine’s Day!

cupid's hunt 8

For the past six of Cupid’s Hunt’s eight consecutive years, I have had the pleasure of producing love music mixes to contribute to the Valentine’s Day celebration.  This year, we’re dancing and loving to two more of my favorite mellow men:  Freddie Jackson and Luther Vandross.

Let’s get this love journey started.

https://nightnursedj.files.wordpress.com/2015/02/freddie-and-luther.mp3

Forever, For Always, For Love – Lalah Hathaway – Outrun The Sky

TGrundy

Me & Mrs. Jones – Freddie Jackson – Classic Masters

So Amazing – Luther Vandross – The Essential Luther Vandross

Angel Turner

Knocks Me Off My Feet – Stevie Wonder/Luther Vandross

Rock Me Tonight/Let’s Get It On (Medley) – Freddie Jackson - The Greatest Hits

TGrundy

Hit It Again – Luther Vandross and Queen Latifah – Dance With My Father

You Are My Lady – Freddie Jackson – The Greatest Hits

Creepin’ -Luther Vandross – The Essential Luther Vandross

Mr. Fresh

There’s Nothing Better Than Love – Luther Vandross and Gregory Hines – The Essential Luther Vandross

Tasty Love – Freddie Jackson – The Greatest Hits

If Only For One Night – Luther Vandross - The Essential Luther Vandross

Love Me Down – Freddie Jackson – The Greatest Hits

Power Of Love/Love Power – Luther Vandross – The Essential Luther Vandross

I Could Use A Little Love (Right Now) – Freddie Jackson – The Greatest Hits

Buy Me A Rose – Luther Vandross – Dance With My Father

TGrundy

A Little Bit More – Freddie Jackson and Melba Moore – Classic Masters

Our Anniversary

cupidshunt14_coverart

Four years ago, I worked feverishly to release my first Cupid’s Hunt mix in time for our February 10 wedding anniversary.  Well, I managed to do it again this year, although posting it in time for our celebration was delayed by…our celebration.

I’ll post the playlist later.  Until, then, I hope you just sit back and enjoy the surprise.

I dedicate this to Gregory T. Bethune, Sr.; and to February 10, 1979.

tns-cupids-hunt-our-anniversary.mp3

For Mom and Dad – Cupid’s Hunt Old School Mix

                 

I have to thank my mother and father for my love for music; and for my love for the mellow men of rhythm and blues.  Brook Benton, Tony Williams (of The Platters), Jackie Wilson, Ray Charles and the ever-growing stable of Motown mellow men  filled our house, especially after the addition of  the ‘hi-fi’.

Maybe a little later, I’ll add more to this post about watching Mom and Dad ‘slow drag’  to Ray or Brook; or about the Ray Charles concert we attended at the Steel Pier in Atlantic City; or about the New Year’s night my brother and I woke to Tony Williams and my dad standing in our bedroom doorway.   But, for now, I’ll wipe away a tear and listen to Brook Benton sing “Think Twice’.

Mom and Dad, this is my Valentine to you.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

 

184545_10151365768213188_49075917_n

 

http://nightnursedj.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/tns-cupids-hunt-for-mom-and-dad.mp3

 

  1. It’s Just A Matter Of Time – Brook Benton
  2. JBethune
  3. The Great Pretender – The Platters
  4. A Woman, A Lover, A Friend – Jackie Wilson
  5. Here We Go Again – Ray Charles
  6. DarrenKeith
  7. A Rainy Night In Georgia – Brook Benton
  8. Only You (And You Alone) – The Platters
  9. Doggin’Around – Jackie Wilson
  10. Doggin’Around – Michael Jackson
  11. Fave
  12. I Can’t Stop Loving You – Ray Charles
  13. Kiddio – Brook Benton
  14. Crying Time – Ray Charles
  15. One In A Million – The Platters
  16. Lonely Teardrops – Jackie Wilson
  17. Angel Turner
  18. Baby (You’ve Got What It Takes) – Brook Benton & Dinah Washington
  19. Heaven On Earth – The Platters
  20. To Be Loved – Jackie Wilson
  21. Enchanted – The Platters
  22. TGrundy
  23. Hotel Happines – Brook Benton
  24. Twilight Time – The Platters
  25. You Don’t Know Me – Jackie Wilson
  26. You Don’t Know Me – Ray Charles
  27. Anji Bee
  28. Smoke Gets In Your Eyes – The Platters
  29. For Your Precious Love – Jackie Wilson (with Count Basie)
  30. (You’ve Got) The Magic Touch – The Platters
  31. Angel Turner
  32. Think Twice – Brook Benton
  33. (Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher & Higher

I have to give a special shout-out to Scottie L. Smith, Sr.  (I promised I’d tag you for this mix); and, to Jonathan C. Morton, who sat in many a study hall with me singing some of these songs to my little portable tape player.

He Draggged Me Out Of The 70s…

Cupid's hunt 6

I have to admit…I’m stuck in the 70s.

The songs of my youth – and the songs of my early childhood played by my parents –  were truly the soundtrack of my life.  When I left home and began building a life with my husband and kids, the kids were rocked to sleep and danced across the floor to the sounds of classic R&B.

So, as we entered the 90s, when I finally had the right combination of time and funds to add a few songs to that soundtrack, where had all the crooners gone?

They were working with Quincy Jones and Babyface.

My tribute to Quincy is in the archives of previous Cupid’s Hunts mixes.  It’s still one of my favorite backgrounds to romantic moments.  This tribute to Babyface started out as an exercise in beat-mixing, and took off on its own.

Thank-you, Kenneth Edmonds, for helping me step out of the 70s (at least, for a little while).

Thank-you, Margaret Bethune Borman and Sara Bethune, for sitting me in down for Toni Braxton’s white jumpsuit video.

Thank-you, Greg Bethune, for providing me with many a romantic moment that inspired my Cupid’s Hunt mixes.

And, to my girls in L&D, NICU and MBU at Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center:  this is for the cool in you.

 

http://nightnursedj.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/babyface1.mp3

  1. TGrundy
  2. For The Cool In You – Babyface
  3. For The Cool In You – The Whispers
  4. Angel Turner
  5. Well Alright – Babyface
  6. Angel Turner
  7. Whip Appeal – Babyface
  8. Whip Appeal – The Whispers
  9. You’re Making Me High – Toni Braxton
  10. You’re Making Me High – The Whispers
  11. Mr. Fresh
  12. Until You Come Back – Whitney Houston
  13. Good Enough – Bobby Brown
  14. Soon As I Get Home – Babyface
  15. Soon As I Get Home – The Whispers
  16. DarrenKeith
  17. My, My, My – Johnny Gill
  18. My, My, My – The Whispers
  19. Two Occasions – The Deele
  20. Two Occasions – The Whispers
  21. All The Things I Should Have Known – K-Ci and Jojo
  22. TGrundy
  23. I’ll Make Love To You – Babyface
  24. I’ll Make Love To You – Boyz II Men

Class of ’75 – Blue Lights In The Basement

Shortly after Cupid’s Hunt 2010, I promised some Class of ’75 mixes to celebrate classmates and friends lost and found.  I haven’t forgotten.  Every once in a while, a playlist forms in my head, only to (poof!) vanish like a puff of smoke.  There were so many memorable songs that year (at least, I think so); I wasn’t sure where to start.

So, for Cupid’s Hunt 2012, I’ll focus on some of the love songs that rocked those blue-light-in-the-basement parties brought to mind whenever I hear one played on the radio.  Nothing by Smokey (I’m glad I was able to finish his mix); and nothing by the Tempts (I’m working on their mix, too).  I probably should have paid special attention to Barry White as well.  Working with “Let Me Live My Life Loving You” has given me a few ideas.  Also, there’s a little surprise by Solo from 1995.  Hearing it the first time reminded me of “Let’s Do It Again”.  Their sound it reminiscent of Sam Cooke; and will be featured in a tribute for him later this year.

But for now, pick your spot on the wall.

For Todd Grundy and the Furys, who threw the best basement parties I can remember.

TNS – Cupid’s Hunt – Class of ’75: Blue Lights in the Basement

  1. Lovin’  You – Minnie Ripperton – Perfect Angel
  2. TGrundy
  3. Let Me Live My Life Lovin’ You – Barry White – Just Another Way To Say I Love You
  4. I Belong To You – Love Unlimited – Best of Love Unlimited
  5. Let Me Make Love To You – The O’Jays – The Essential O’Jays
  6. Fave
  7. Love Won’t Let Me Wait – Major Harris – My Way
  8. Just A Thing That I Do – Major Harris - My Way
  9. TGrundy
  10. Reasons (Live) – Earth, Wind & Fire – Gratititude
  11. Your Smile – Rufus – Rufusized
  12. I Can’t Say No – Natalie Cole – Inseperable
  13. Inseperable – Natalie Cole – Inseperable
  14. Mr. Fresh
  15. Remember What I Told You To Forget – Tavares – Anthology
  16. Sweet Love – The Commodores – Motown Love
  17. For The Love Of You (Part 1 & 2) – The Isley Brothers – Love Songs
  18. DarrenKeith
  19. Let’s Do It Again - The Staple Singers
  20. Where Do U Want Me To Put It – Solo – Solo
  21. Hope That We Can Be Together Soon – Harold Melvin & The Bluenotes (feat. Sharon Paige) – To Be True

For Whitney

Once again, our Day of Love comes on the heels of heartbreak.  On Saturday, February 11, 2012, Whitney Houston left us to sing on the Night Shift.  She was 48.

As we inch toward the harrowing days until she is laid to rest; until the cause of her untimely death is made known; and, until the press is finished picking her life apart bit by bit, I would like us to remember the contribution she made to the soundtracks of our lives.  She was, truly, one of the great voices of our time.

Last August, as I was trying to add the finishing touches to a birthday mix for Whitney, the news of Nick Ashford’s passing blared on the tv behind me.  Whitney’s mix went to the ‘back burner’ while I worked on a tribute mix for Nick, and stayed there until Saturday.  (Some of my students might – and I mean might - have gotten better grades on their homework this weekend, thanks to Miss Whitney’s mix.)  So, here I am with another tribute for Cupid’s Hunt: some of the Whitney love songs that have graced many a summer evening on my porch.  Included is my favorite of hers, one of her duets with Jermaine Jackson (of course).  I one sang it to a patient who told me I had “pretty brown eyes”.  Those who have heard me sing might get a chuckle from that.

{raising a glass}

To you, Miss Whitney.

Godspeed and God bless.

TNS – Cupid’s Hunt – Whitney

  1. TGrundy
  2. You Give Good Love
  3. Saving All My Love For You
  4. All At Once
  5. Didn’t We Almost Have It All
  6. One Moment In Time
  7. TGrundy
  8. I Wanna Dance With Somebody
  9. Queen Of The Night
  10. Heartbreak Hotel (featuring Faith Evans & Kelly Price)
  11. My Love Is Your Love
  12. Angel Turner
  13. Could I Have This Dance Forever (featuring Enrique Iglesias)
  14. I Learned From The Best
  15. A Song For You
  16. All The Man That I Need
  17. If You Say My Eyes Are Beautiful (featuring Jermaine Jackson)
  18. DarrenKeith
  19. Exhale
  20. I Believe In You And Me
  21. Greatest Love Of All
  22. When You Believe (featuring Mariah Carey)
  23. I Will Always Love You

I’d also like to dedicate this piece to Ms. April Rogers.  This has been a rough few days for us; we lost a friend this time last year.  Ms. April told me Whitney was her idol; so, I hope hearing Whitney’s voice will be spirit-lifting.

Where There’s Smoke…

Writer and singer of love songs; smooth, falsetto voice; record producer; Motown executive; easy on the eyes; easier on the ears; lullabies on sleepless nights– these all come to mind when I think of Smokey Robinson.  My earliest memory of Smokey Robinson is hearing “Shop Around” on a Motown tour album my parents stacked on the ‘hi-fi’ among albums by Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Sam Cook and The Platters.  When I was nine, a family vacation in Atlantic City turned out into a concert fest that included Ray and his revue; Freda Payne (my brother could barely contain himself); and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.  But, the most memorable afternoon of that trip was one spent seeing Smokey Robinson & the Miracles rocking the Steel Pier.

Later, when Smokey went solo, he and the Miracles played one last time on “Midnight Special”.  Ninety minutes of just THEM.  The show opened with Smokey in the spotlight and his preamble to Sweet Harmony.  By the end of the song, I thought I saw a tear.  I know I cried a few.

In the years that have passed since then, Smokey, with and without the Miracles, has continued to be a fixture on the soundtrack of my life.  His love songs along with those by The Whispers, The Manhattans, The Temptations, Barry White and other Mellow Men, grace my quiet nights when I want to enjoy the stars in the sky or the romance in the air.  And, they are my lullabies, still.

So, today, more than ever, where there’s Smoke, there’s love.

(This is for all my friends at Todd Grundy’s Question Of The Day;  especially Scottie, who, like me, thinks excluding Smokey from any ‘best of’ song list is simply criminal.  No cuffs will be needed today.)

TNS – Cupid’s Hunt – Where There’s Smoke…

  1. Quiet Storm – Smokey Robinson – A Quiet Storm
  2. You’ve Really Got A Hold On Me – Smokey Robinson & the Miracles – Motown Love
  3. TGrundy
  4. (You Can) Depend On Me – Smokey Robinson & the Miracles – The Ultimate Collection
  5. Ooo Baby Baby – Smokey Robinson & the Miracles – Motown Love
  6. Fave
  7. The One Who Really Loves You – Mary Wells – Motown Love
  8. I’ll Try Something New – Smokey Robinson & the Miracles – The Ultimate Collection
  9. Tracks of My Tears – Aretha Franklin - Respect and Other Hits
  10. DarrenKeith
  11. My Girl – The Temptations – The Temptations Sing Smokey
  12. The Love I Saw In You Was Just A Mirage – Smokey Robinson & the Miracles – The Ultimate Collection
  13. Since I Lost My Baby – Luther Vandross – The Essential Luther Vandross
  14. We’ve Come Too Far To End It Now – Smokey Robinson & the Miracles – The Ultimate Collection
  15. Who’s Loving You – Smokey Robinson & the Miracles – The Ultimate Collection
  16. Who’s Loving You – The Jackson 5 – Love Songs
  17. Angel Turner
  18. Sweet Harmony – Smokey Robinson – Sweet Harmony
  19. Baby Come Close – Smokey Robinson – Sweet Harmony
  20. Everything You Touch – Smokey Robinson – The Solo Anthology
  21. One Heartbeat – Smokey Robinson – Motown Love
  22. Cruisin’ – Smokey Robinson – The Ultimate Collection
  23. Blame It On Love – Smokey Robinson, Deniece Williams – The Solo Anthology
  24. Ebony Eyes – Smokey Robinson, Rick James – Motown Love
  25. Wedding Song – Smokey Robinson – A Quiet Storm