Archive for the ‘Soul Music’ Category

Cupid’s Hunt – The Secret Garden

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

When I first heard Quincy Jones’s “The Secret Garden”, my first reaction was, “Wow!  Who are all those guys singing with Barry?”

But, it really wasn’t all about Barry, was it?  It was about Quincy Jones, and all the people who play with him in his garden.

I may explore that garden a little more later.  But, for now, my final submission for this year’s Hunt…

TNS – Cupid’s Hunt – The Secret Garden

Song – Artist – Album

  1. Heaven’s Girl – R. Kelly, Ron Isley, Aaron Hall, Charlie Wilson & Naomi Campbell – Q’s Jook Joint
  2. TGrundy
  3. The Secret Garden (Sweet Seduction Suite) –  James Ingram, Barry White, El DeBarge, Al B. Sure! – Just For You
  4. Love Me By Name – Sounds…And Stuff Like That!
  5. You Put A Move On My Heart – Tamia – Q’s Jook Joint
  6. Moody’s Mood For Love – Brian McKnight, Take 6 – Q’s Jook Joint
  7. Weak – SWV – It’s About Time
  8. Slow Jams – SWV, Babyface, Portrait & Barry White- Q’s Jook Joint
  9. One Hundred Ways – James Ingram – The Dude
  10. Angel Turner
  11. Tomorrow – The Brothers Johnson – Strawberry Letter 23: The Best of the Brothers Johnson
  12. Just Once – James Ingram – The Dude
  13. I’m Yours – El DeBarge – Ultimate Collection
  14. Everything – Tevin Campbell – Ultimate Collection
  15. At The End Of The Day (Grace) – Q’s Jook Joint
  16. Jook Joint Outro  – Barry White – Q’s Jook Joint

Let The Hunt Begin…!

Friday, February 11th, 2011

And so, it has begun.

Cupid’s Hunt 2011!

Podcasters have already begun posting their music mixes for what is the fourth annual Cupid’s Hunt Podcast Collaboration in celebration of Valentine’s Day.  Throughout this weekend, the mixes posted will provide hours of love music for the soundtrack of that most romantic day.

I love mellow men.  The rich baritones and the sweet falsettos of Marvin GayeThe TemptationsSmokey RobinsonThe O’JaysEl DeBarge, and (of  course) Barry White help me study, chill, finish chores inside and out;  and are my lullabies.  They stop me cold.  Twenty seven years after Marvin’s passing, when I hear “Let’s Get It On”, I’m 15 again, wondering if anyone will ever make me feel that wanted.  Thirty six years after first hearing “Memories”, I still get misty hearing, as a friend once said “some of the best lyrics to begin a soul ballad… ever” and smile at the memory of Warinaco Park.

When I heard Gerald Levert’s version of “Let’s Get It On”, this playlist of Gerald, The O’Jays, Marvin Gaye and Barry White practically wrote itself.  Four more mellow men lend their voices to this mix:  Todd Grundy from Rhythms In Black Satin; Fave from Friday Favecast; DarrenKeith Wyatt from My Love For Music; and Mr. Fresh from Vibes and Scribes; and I’d like to thank them.

I’m dedicating this mix to my husband, Gregory T. Bethune, Sr., who, on this day (Feb. 10), 32 years ago, said, “I will.”  He had his hands full…I’d spent a lifetime (until then) listening to mellow men.

TNS – Cupid’s Hunt – Mellow Men

Song – Artist – Album

1.  Nightshift Intro – TGrundy

2.  Let Me Make Love To You – The O’Jays – The Essential O’Jays

3.  Made To Love Ya – Gerald Levert – Gerald’s World

4.  Cupid’s Hunt – DarrenKeith

5.  I’m Gonna Love You Just A Little More – Barry White – Ultimate Collection

6.  Forever Mine – The O’Jays – The Essential O’Jays

7.  Baby Hold On To Me – Gerald Levert – Private Line

8.  Cupid’s Hunt – “Looking for love in all the right places” – Fave

9.  Playing Your Game, Baby – Barry White – Ultimate Collection

10.  You Got Your Hooks In Me – The O’Jays – The Essential O’Jays

11.  Cupid’s Hunt – “On this special day” – DarrenKeith.

12.  You Got Your Hooks In Me – Gerald Levert & Eddie Levert – Father And Son

13.  Mr. Too Damn Good – Gerald Levert – G.

14.  Cupid’s Hunt – “Just for you” – Fave

15.  Just The Way You Are – Barry White – Ultimate Collection

16.  In My Songs – Gerald Levert – In My Songs

17.  Cupid’s Hunt – “This is Cupid’s Hunt” – Mr. Fresh

18.  Stairway to Heaven – The O’Jays – The Essential O’Jays

19.  Cupid’s Hunt – “All the right places” – TGrundy

20.  Let’s Get It On – Gerald Levert – Crank (Soundtrack)

21.  Let’s Get It On – Marvin Gaye – Let’s Get It On (Deluxe Edition)

22.  Keep Gettin’ It On – Marvin Gay – Let’s Get It On (Deluxe Edition)

23.  Practice What You Preach – Barry White – The Icon Is Love

Class of ’75 – A Song For You

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

When it comes to songs that bring memories (and the occasional tear), the one song that still stops me in my tracks, it’s the Tempts’ “A Song For You”.  You can’t dance to it; you just have to sit and listen.  Sing along if you think you can; but, even in private, I rarely try to drown out what I still think was Dennis Edwards’ finest performance.

The album was a bon-voyage present from a group of friends.  The title song was my favorite at the time (quite a feat, considering the slavish devotion I paid to those Jackson boys); and I was planning to buy the album with the first paycheck from my new job.  Instead, thanks to my friends, I got to take the album with me and play it all summer on my tiny portable record player.  “A Song For You” and “Memories” are on every ‘mellow’ playlist I write and disc I burn.  They are my lullabies; the background music when I study; the wind-down music when I want to sit and chill.  They have quieted fussy babies; and, kicked-off reunions with my friends.  But, most of all, they remind me of good people I miss; and more good people I’ve met along the way.

So, on Sunday evenings, when the local r&b channel airs its “Quiet Storm” show, I close my eyes and remember…

It’s June, 1975.  We’re done with high school; and looking forward to leaving (scattering, really) in September.  I can’t wait, and take an out-of-town summer job.  There’s one last hurrah, though:  a surprise party at my house; and two albums wrapped in paper (thanks, guys).  For the PCs, I pour a little on the ground for one of us, and toast the rest.

P.S.  That’s the Commodores backing up the Tempts on “Happy People”.  They were listed on the album as “The Temptations Band”.

Class of ’75 – The Temptations by JBethune

August Birthday Mix – For Michael

Saturday, August 28th, 2010

“Thriller-ites” just don’t understand.

Those who knew Michael Jackson only as the ‘King of Pop’ have no idea how important he was to those of us who were growing up during the Motown years; when “I Want You Back” could breathe life into the deadest party; when “Who’s Loving You” became his song long after Smokey penned and sang it; when we argued endlessly about whether Jermaine was a better singer or Marlon a better dancer; when we raced each other to the record store for the latest release; or when every garage band played at least one Jackson 5 song at local talent shows.  Those early years were the foundation of why we loved him so much and so faithfully later; through the craziness, the surgeries, the tabloid garbage and the trial.

It’s been more than a year since Michael Jackson passed away.  I’ve avoided including the Jackson boys from all but (I think) two of my mixes.  The truth is, I still have a hard time listening to the old stuff without shedding a tear or two; and converting my favorites from vinyl to mp3 is quite a task.  However, Michael’s birthday is approaching…it’s time.

When I heard about the memorial service at the Staples Center, I cringed at the thought of the media spectacle it might be.   Instead, it was a going home service reminiscent of those I’d grown up attending.  I sat among the Thriller-ites at work, and I was proud of those Jackson boys, the Jackson family and all who gave our boy that wonderful send-off.  But, I didn’t cry…not at work.

The service was rebroadcast later that night, when I was at home with my kids.  We sat and watched; and talked about the songs, the concerts, the records and the music.  We sang along with the performers. All the time, I kept my eyes on that gold coffin, trying to process that it held boy, laying inside, never to come back to us and sing “Who’ s Loving You” again.  We talked about the four concerts I attended: with my brother, Larry, in ‘72; with Todd, Curt and some friends from ‘the block’ in ‘73; with a group of girlfriends senior year; and with my husband and infant daughter (you could take a baby to a concert back then) in 1979.  We talked about how Curt and I used to race to be the first to buy the newest single.  Whoever was first would call and play it over the phone.  (I was first when “Sugar Daddy” hit the stores.)

After the rebroadcast was over, and the kids had gone back to their Xbox 360; and after I had let in the dog and put out the cat; I closed myself in the living room with a bottle of my favorite wine, my Crossley Stack-O-Matic, and a few stacks of Jackson vinyl.  It was mostly pre-Thriller stuff – the group hits and the solo albums from the Motown years that blasted in the basements of my house and Todd’s, and from the window of Curt’s living room to us on the porch.  I sang and I danced.  And, finally, I cried a while.

For a sweet-voiced little boy from the soundtrack of my life.

For Michael.

For Michael

Song – Artist – Album

  1. Intro – TGrundy
  2. This is For Michael –  JBethune
  3. With a Child’s Heart – Michael Jackson – Music And Me
  4. I Want You Back – The Jackson 5 – Diana Ross Presents The Jackson 5
  5. Who’s Loving You – The Jackson 5 – Love Songs
  6. Ain’t No Sunshine – Michael Jackson – Got To Be There
  7. Sugar Daddy – The Jackson 5 – Greatest Hits
  8. Honey Chile – The Jackson 5 – Maybe Tomorrow
  9. One More Chance – The Jackson 5 – ABC
  10. I’ll Be There – The Jackson 5 – Third Album
  11. Got To Be There – Michael Jackson – Got To Be There
  12. Promo – TGrundy
  13. Who’s Loving You (Live) – The Jackson 5 – Goin’ Back To Indiana
  14. Walk On (Live) – The Jackson 5 – Goin’ Back To Indiana
  15. Wings Of My Love – Michael Jackson – Got To Be There
  16. Ben – Michael Jackson – Ben
  17. We’ve Got A Good Thing Going – Ben
  18. To Know – The Jackson 5 – Lookin’ Through The Windows
  19. Get It Together – The Jackson 5 – Get It Together
  20. Dapper Dan – Michael Jackson – Forever, Michael
  21. Push Me Away – The Jacksons – Destiny
  22. One Day In Your Life – Michael Jackson – Forever, Michael
  23. We’ve Got Forever – Michael Jackson – Forever, Michael
  24. Music And Me – Michael Jackson – Music And Me

The Class of ’75 – Earth, Wind & Fire

Sunday, August 8th, 2010

What would those basement parties have been without Earth, Wind & Fire?  Every garage band wanted to play like them (when they weren’t playing Kool & the Gang); everyone who thought they could sing wanted to hit Philip Bailey’s high notes.  Oh, and the slow jams!

“That’s The Way Of The World” was my first EWF album. I’m not even sure when I bought it. I had “Shining Star” as a single (remember vinyl 45s?); but getting the album didn’t seem a priority until I heard “Reasons”. I remember that I arrived at college intent on showing how hip I was by letting EWF blast through my dorm door (the way kids were doing when I visited my brother at his school); only to hear EWF blasting through every third door I passed on the way to my room. Oh well, I could still fall back on J5 and the Tempts. I was sure that nobody there would have collections that rivaled mine. 😉

“Gratitude” was a Christmas present from my godmother. She loved “Singasong”, and to this day, I think of her whenever I hear it. And, of course, who could forget that live version of “Reasons”? Studio “Reasons” was good for listening and lip-syncing in the dorm room; but, live “Reasons” was a true, blue-light-in-the-basement, up-against-the-wall, New Year’s Eve party slow jam.

Class of ’75 – Earth, Wind & Fire by JBethune

Class of ’75 – The Ohio Players…Fire, and Honey

Saturday, June 12th, 2010

Product DetailsProduct Details

Hello, all!

Ah, the Ohio Players.

The funk; the album covers…!  Where did guys store their albums after they taped the album covers to their walls?

Shortly after Cupid’s Hunt, I promised some Class of ’75 mixes to celebrate those friends and classmates, lost and found.  I hadn’t forgotten; I guess I needed a trigger.

Earlier today, I heard “Fire” on the radio, and remembered those evenings in Woody’s car with Woody, Joel and Patty, riding to Buxton’s after picking me up from work; and the parties, dj’d by Todd, where people just weren’t sure when to stop dancing to “Running From the Devil”.  Then, I started thinking about all the other good music we danced, studied, slept and parked to that year.  I loved those artists; I loved that music.  It’s still background noise when I work; it’s still my lullabyes.

Hello, Linden; hello Roselle; hello, Rahway.  I know Gold Bell Bakery is long gone; but, is Buxton’s still around?

[soundcloud url=”http://soundcloud.com/jbethune/sets/class-of-75-the-ohio-players”]

April Birthday Tribute: Marvin Gaye (of course)

Friday, April 2nd, 2010

I wasn’t going to let April 2 pass without paying tribute to Marvin Gaye.  Had he lived, he would be 71 today.  There’s not much to say beyond that.  In light of the circumstances of April 1, 1984, I found “Piece of Clay” to be particularly beautiful and haunting.

This is dedicated to my mom, Ethel Mae McKenzie White, who celebrates her own birthday in two days and always had plenty of Motown playing around the house; to Curt Jones (I can’t hear “Too Busy Thinking  About My Baby” without remembering him singing that song on our bus to summer camp); and to my cousin, Patricia (I can’t listen to “Got To Give It Up” without remembering her wedding reception).

Is that the Temptations singing background on “Try It Baby” and “Your Precious Love”?

Marvin Gaye

Song – Artist (other than Marvin Gaye) – Album {time}

  1. Nightshift Intro – The Commodores – The Commodores Anthology
  2. Come Get To This – The Best of Marvin Gaye (Disc 2) {2:41}
  3. Try It Baby – Anthology (Disc 1) {2:59}
  4. Pride and Joy – Very Best of Marvin Gaye {2:07}
  5. I Heard It Through the Grapevine – Every Great Motown Hit of Marvin Gaye {3:16}
  6. Too Busy Thinking About My Baby – Very Best of Marvin Gaye {2:57}
  7. Stubborn Kind of Fellow – The Best of Marvin Gaye (Disc 1) {2:44}
  8. Your Precious Love (feat. Tammi Terrell)– Very Best of Marvin Gaye {3:04}
  9. I’ll Be Doggone – Very Best of Marvin Gaye {2:48}
  10. Trouble Man – The Best of Marvin Gaye (Disc 2) {3:58}
  11. I Want You – Very Best of Marvin Gaye {3:57}
  12. Got to Give It Up, Part 1 – Every Great Motown Hit of Marvin Gaye {4;15}
  13. After The Dance – The Best of Marvin Gaye {3:31}
  14. Let’s Get It On – Very Best of Marvin Gaye {4:53}
  15. Distant Lover [Live] –  Very Best of Marvin Gaye {6:18}
  16. Sexual Healing – Slow Jams – {4:10}
  17. What’s Going On – Anthology {3:58}
  18. Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology) – Every Great Motown Hit of Marvin Gaye {3:16}
  19. Inner City Blues  – Very Best of Marvin Gaye {5:28}
  20. The World Is Rated X – The Best of Marvin Gaye (Disc 2) {3:50}
  21. God Is Love – The Best of Marvin Gaye (Disc 2) {2:52}
  22. Piece of Clay – Phenomenon: Music From The Motion Picture {5:11}

March Birthday Party: The Birthday Girls

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

Hello, All!

It has been awhile.

Cupid’s Hunt was like giving birth…and I was tired!  I’m still listening to all the wonderful music posted for the event; and surfing from site to site listening to podcasts posted since then.  I’ve also moved The Night Shift to a web host to allow more growth and flexibility.  The move was not without bumps in the road; I had to create a new domain and continue to use the original domain to host the large mp3 files.  There’s no need  to dismantle the old domain for now.

The needle has landed!  Gone are the days when I haunted the Radio Shacks for parts.  Now, there is actually a TurntabeNeedles.com, and other sites that offer parts I can use to repair old changers I’ve refused to discard.  I can’t wait to bust some vinyl, though.

But, in the meantime, shout-outs and prayers for some March birthdays; for those who have left us and for those who grace us still; and especially for the birthday girls featured in what is my first ‘Girl Power’ mix.

  • March 1     Harry Belafonte
  • March 4     Miriam Makeba
  • March 9     Bow Wow; Chingy
  • March 10   Timbaland
  • March 11   Marlon Jackson; LeToya Luckett; Bobby McFerrin
  • March 14   Quincy Jones; Les Brown
  • March 15   Will.i.am; Sly Stone
  • March 16   Flavor Flav
  • March 17   Nat “King” Cole
  • March 18   Queen Latifah; Irene Cara; Wilson Pickett
  • March 22   Stephanie Mills; George Benson
  • March 23   Chaka Khan
  • March 24   Mase
  • March 25   Aretha Franklin
  • March 26   Teddy Pendergrass
  • March 30   Norah Jones; M.C. Hammer
  • March 31   Herb Alpert

March Birthday Girls

Song – Artist – Album [Time]

  1. Do You Love What You Feel – Rufus – The Very Best of Rufus Featuring Chaka Khan [4:30]
  2. Ain’t Nobody (Album Version) – Chaka Khan – Epiphany: The Best of Chaka Khan [4:40]
  3. Papillon (AKA Hot Butterfly) (Album Version) – Chaka Khan – Epiphany: The Best of Chaka Khan [4:10]
  4. I Feel For You – Chaka Khan – Epiphany: The Vest of Chaka Khan [5:46]
  5. Swing Down Chariot – Rufus – Rags to Rufus [4:24]
  6. Pata Pata –Miriam Makeba – Pata Pata [2:57]
  7. Think – Aretha Franklin – The Very Best of Aretha Franklin [2:19]
  8. Son of a Preacher Man – Aretha Franklin – A Natural Woman and Other Hits [3:17]
  9. Spanish Harlem – Aretha Franklin – Spanish Harlem [3:35]
  10. Bridge Over Troubled Water – Aretha Franklin – A Natural Woman and Other Hits [5:33]
  11. Border Song (Holy Moses) – Aretha Franklin – Spanish Harlem [3:22]
  12. Fly Girl (LP Version) – Queen Latifah – Nature of a Sista’ [4:02]
  13. U.N.I.T.Y. – Queen Latifah – Black Reign [4:11]
  14. Big, Blond and Beautiful – Queen Latifah – Hairspray – Soundtrack [2:35]
  15. Hit It Again – Luther Vandross/Queen Latifah – Dance With My Father [4:37]
  16. Here We Go Again (feat. Norah Jones) – Ray Charles – Genius Love Company [3:59]
  17. I Feel Good All Over – Stephanie Mills – Ultimate Collection [5:02]
  18. Home  – Stephanie Mills – Ultimate Collection [3:35]
  19. I Know Where I’ve Been – Queen Latifah – Hairspray – Soundtrack [4:13]

I also would like to thank the members of the Music Podcast Consortium and all the Cupid’s Hunt contributors for inspiring me.  I was a child in your playground, and you pushed my swing.

Thanks, and enjoy!

Hot Fun In The Springtime Birthday Party – Sly Stone, March 15

Monday, March 22nd, 2010

Hot Fun in the Springtime Birthday Party – Sly Stone, March 15 by JBethune

Happy Birthday to Sly Stone .  We miss him; and, he’s still around.  This is also dedicated to my brother.  It’s the hot summer of ’69…he and his friends are in the cool basement listening to Sly records…I’m sitting at the top of the stairs (they can’t see me)…

Happy Birthday, Mr. Q!

Monday, March 22nd, 2010

Happy Birthday, Mr. Q! by JBethune

For Quincy Jones , The Dude, who celebrated his birthday on March 14.