May 3: The Late Soul Legend James Brown Birthday

When I’m on stage, I’m trying to do one thing: bring people joy. Just like church does. People don’t go to church to find trouble, they go there to lose it.
~James Brown

The one thing that can solve most of our problems is dancing.
~James Brown

“Soul Brother Number One,” “the Godfather of Soul,” “the Hardest Working Man in Show Business,” “Mr. Dynamite” — those are mighty titles, but no one can question that James Brown earned them more than any other performer. Other singers were more popular, others were equally skilled, but few other African-American musicians were so influential over the course of popular music. And no other musician, pop or otherwise, put on a more exciting, exhilarating stage show: Brown’s performances were marvels of athletic stamina and split-second timing.
~Richie Unterberger (allmusic.com)

Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag – from TV program Shindig:

Continue reading “May 3: The Late Soul Legend James Brown Birthday”

October 21: Happy 77th Birthday Steve Cropper

steve-cropper-682x1024

Sure, I’ve always dug Steve Cropper… his guitar playing. Ever since the first Booker T. record. I heard that back in the Midwest. Yeah, everybody was playing like him.
~Bob Dylan (to Jann Wenner, 29 Nov. 1969)

Memphis is in a very lucky position on the map. Everything just gravitated to Memphis for years.
~Steve Cropper

Booker T & The MG’s – Green Onions:

Continue reading “October 21: Happy 77th Birthday Steve Cropper”

September 9: The Late Great Otis Redding was Born in 1941

otis-redding-876x668

Otis Redding was soul, but Otis Redding was country, too. That was a point on which he always insisted, and that was the way others saw him. His strength was his simplicity, even if the simplicity was hard-won. The basis for his music was sincerity, not spectacular showmanship; he was at heart a stand-up singer whose power came from his ability to inspire…
~Peter Guralnick

Check out: Robbie Robertson: The night Bob Dylan offered Otis Redding to record Just Like a Woman

Sitting on the dock of the bay:

Continue reading “September 9: The Late Great Otis Redding was Born in 1941”

July 4: Happy 80th Birthday Bill Withers

I feel that it is healthier to look out at the world through a window than through a mirror. Otherwise, all you see is yourself and whatever is behind you.
~Bill Withers

Ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone, It’s not warm when she’s away, Ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone, And she’s always gone too long, Anytime she goes away.
~Bill Withers (Ain’t No Sunshine)

Ain’t No Sunshine (Live 1971):

Continue reading “July 4: Happy 80th Birthday Bill Withers”

April 27: Ann Peebles was born in 1947

Ann Lee Peebles (born April 27, 1947) is an American singer and songwriter who gained celebrity for her Memphis soul albums of the 1970s for Hi Records. Two of her most popular songs are “I Can’t Stand the Rain”, which she wrote with her husband Don Bryant and radio broadcaster Bernie Miller, and “I’m Gonna Tear Your Playhouse Down”. In 2014, Ann Peebles was inducted into the Memphis Music Hall of Fame.

Happy birthday!

I can’t stand the rain (1974):

I’m gonna tear your playhouse down:

– Hallgeir

April 13: Al Green was born in 1946

I’m thankful for every moment.
~Al Green

The music is the message, the message is the music. So that’s my little ministry that the Big Man upstairs gave to me – a little ministry called love and happiness.
~Al Green

“Green plays the boyish Sam Cooke supplicant–or maybe a smooth Otis Redding, or an assertive Smokey Robinson–with the startling is-that-a-synthesizer? high note…”
~Robert Christgau (in 1970 – review of “Gets next to you” album)

Let’s Stay Together (Live 1972):

Continue reading “April 13: Al Green was born in 1946”