Posts Tagged ‘Motown’

“These Three Words…”

Sunday, February 22nd, 2015

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.

 

Class of ’75 – Blue Lights In The Basement

Saturday, February 25th, 2012

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

Where There’s Smoke…

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

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

Cupid’s Hunt 2011 – For Donna – Marvin Gaye

Monday, February 14th, 2011

I am mixing and writing through tears today.

During my first few months of podcasting, my playlists (and the creation of The Night Shift) were inspired by requests from friends at work.  Not a night went by without a “hey, do you have any ___?”  One such mix was last year’s “April Birthday Tribute: Marvin Gay (of course)”.  It was created under the expressed direction of Mrs. Donna Bates, LVN, a coworker who, like me, lived life with a soundtrack.

Beautiful, smart and funny; always impeccably made up, coifed and dressed to the nines (even when she changed into our drab hospital-provided scrubs); Donna made sure that not a night with her went by that we didn’t work hard to keep up with her, and laugh hard enough to make 12 hours feel like six.  On nights when she worked in triage, she showed up with her boom box and played the local R&B station.  She looked like Sunday morning, worked like Monday through Friday; and made time spent around her feel like Saturday night.

Last year, shortly before the anniversary of Marvin Gaye’s death and during a conversation about the songs that kept us employed (we’re labor & delivery nurses), I rattled off the date of the upcoming anniversary from the trash bin of trivia stuck in my head.  Donna’s favorite artist just happened to be Marvin Gaye.  When I told her about what I was doing on The Night Shift, she told me, “Girl, you ought to mix some Marvin!  And don’t forget “Come Get To This!”  I did so; and burned a disc for her.

Well, Donna left us last night.  When she was brought to the Emergency Room of our own hospital, she had already gotten her front row seat to the ‘sweet sounds comin’ down on the night shift’.  I hope she’s met Marvin by now; and that he’s singing “Come Get To This” just for her.

So, with your indulgence, I’d like to remix and re-release that Marvin tribute, and dedicate it to my friend.

Donna… Happy Valentine’s Day.  I miss you already.  Please sat “hi” to my dad; and give my baby granddaughter a kiss.  But, most of all, enjoy that concert.

TNS – Cupid’s Hunt – For Donna: Marvin Gaye

Song – Album

  1. TGrundy
  2. Come Get To This (Live From Oakland) – Let’s Get It On (Deluxe Edition)

Nightshift Intro (The Commodores) – Old School Suite

  1. Try It Baby – Antholoy [1995] Disc 1
  2. Pride and Joy – Very Best of Marvin Gaye
  3. Too Busy Thinking About My Baby – Every Great Motown Hit of Marvin Gaye
  4. I Heard It Through the Grapevine – Every Great Motown Hit of Marvin Gaye
  5. Stubborn Kind of Fellow – The Best of Marvin Gaye
  6. Your Precious Love – Very Best of Marvin Gaye

DarrenKeith Intro – Let’s Get It On Suite

  1. You Sure Love To Ball (Alternate Mix With Alternate Vocal) – Let’s Get It On (Deluxe Edition)
  2. Let’s Get It On – Let’s Get It On (Deluxe Edition)
  3. Please Stay (Once You Go Away) (Album Version) – Let’s Get It On (Deluxe Edition)
  4. If I Should Die Tonight – Let’s Get It On (Deluxe Edition)
  5. Keep Getting’ It On – Let’s Get It On (Deluxe Edition)
  6. Distant Lover (Live) – Let’s Get It On (Deluxe Edition)

Angel Turner Intro – Wrapping It Up

  1. I Want You – The Very Best of Marvin Gaye
  2. After The Dance – The Best of Marvin Gaye
  3. Sexual Healing – Slow Jams
  4. Piece of Clay – Phenomenon: Music From The Motion Picture

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

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}