This is no April fools. Today is Gil Scott Heron’s earthday, he would have been 68 years young. Gil Scott Heron is without doubt one of the genius wordsmiths of the 20th and 21st Century. As well as doing his own material, he was not afraid to cover other esteemed artists like Bill Withers’s ‘Grandmas Hands’ and Marvin Gayes’ ‘ Inner City Blues’. Providentially Marvin Gaye died on 1st of April 1984 and may of us who love him probably thought it was a sick joke. The sad irony is that Marvin Gaye died aged 44 the day before he was born 2nd April 1939 almost 10 years bar one day before Gil Scott Heron. Both were uniquely talented and are regarded as eternally loved and respected soul survivors to infinity and beyond. One of my other passion’s is art and here are two Blue Peter drawings I did earlier of Gil & Marv and I will spin a tune or two tonight with them in mind at my gig later . “Makes Me Wanna Holla & Throw Up Both My Hands”
Pinch punch 1st of the month and no returns. This is no April Fools joke..issue 69 for April & May 2017 is ‘Coming To You Live’ like Charles Earland very soon..dedicated to the late ‘Minister Of Sensuality’..Leon Ware and featuring news reviews and interviews with The Brit Funk Association, the ‘Modfather’ Eddie Piller, jazz vocalist Polly Gibbons, KFP’s Barry King, African dance queen and vocalist Wunmi and Quadrupal Soul Survivors Award winner Ash Selector aka Ash Sethi..It’s going to ‘Fabulous’ like Jahiem. Before I forget my manners..thanks to Ayshea Scott for making my spirtiual and mental thoughts manifest into a physical one. To get yours subscribe via http://www.thesoulsurvivorsmagazine.co.uk/membership/
11 years in July..we are the ‘Quintessential infer provider for the soul survivor’
When you are born with the voice of an angel like my spiritual ‘Mother Of The Future’ Jean Carne, you only use it wisely to charm the birds out of the trees and make a grown man cry. I have so much love for this woman who for me is the first lady of Philadelphia International Records. She started off her singing career with her to be husband Doug Carn in the late 1960’s and early 70’s, making three albums on the conscious Black Jazz label. She shared an apartment block in Chicago with Earth Wind & Fire hence Jean recording on their first two albums on Warner Brothers in the early 1970’s before their CBS deal. Jean had a stint working with Norman Connors collaborating with bassist Micheal Henderson on ‘Valentine Love’ and laying down those ghost like vocals on ‘Mother of The Future’. Jean was practically headhunted by Kenny Gamble who heard her sing ‘Infant Eyes’ whilst recording previously with Doug Carn. When he set up PIR Jean Carn was on his hit-list. Jean recorded 4 amazing albums with Gamble & Huff working closely also with McFadden & Whitehead and Victor Caststrophen. She then had a one album deal with Motown a dream move with the album ‘Trust Me’, produced by her friend Norman Connors. Jean was also an integral part of The New York Jazz Explosion with Roy Ayers, Lonnie Liston Smith and Tom Browne. Jean has worked with many artists including the late George Duke and Grover Washington Jnr, and her voice has never wavered. Jean has always been a consummate performing artist who engages with her audience and capture them with her humour. I’m blessed that Jean told the whole of Blackpool Luxury Soul Weekender in Jan 2008 that my questions for our interview were some of the most intelligent she’d been asked in over 30 years. She remarked that they really made her remember what she had done and had previously forgotton. Jean is a big supporter of The Soul Survivors Magazine and has on two occasions stopped her shows and plugged the magazine shamelessly in front of audiences from 500-1000 people ..Nice one Jean. We have become as friendly as super a soul survivor she is and the music enthusiast that I am can be and I’m happy to have been instrumental in hooking Jean up with Southport 50 with 48hours notice to perform in the Funkbase, when two major acts cancelled 24 hours before the event started. Needless to say Jean tore the roof off considering she was a last minute cancellation stand in. For some of those reasons and then some is why Jean is being honour at our Soul Survivors Awards 17th Feb 2017, for her 40 plus years of ‘Sweet & Wonderful’ love!!
We don’t all know everything , even though some pro-port to do so , but there are some who know a lot about a little or a little about a lot. Which ever way you cut the cake up one of those educated musical scholars without question is East London’s finest Dez Parkes. Dez’s(the leader of the pack first in linear the front of this photo line up) reputation as a dancer,dj, record label owner, record dealer, compiler and as a designating spokesman and voice of authority, that far precedes him, to many who have never met him. From the late 1960’s and very early 1970’s as a very young teenager Dez was crafting his ‘free flowing expression’ ethos of dancing and on occasion djing, in some of the Soho west end establishments. The Wag and Upstairs at Ronnie Scotts would see Dez and his crew cutting up rugs or kicking up dust on many a dance floor, not just in London but up and down the UK. Many of the UK’s Brit jazz funk & soul talent from the late 1970’s Phil Fearon, Central Line, Light Of The World, Incognito, to mid to late 80’s outfits Diana Brown & The Brothers, The Brand New Heavies and his own dance troupe Unknown Kwantity, have either counselled, or have in some shape of form had dealings with Dez Parkes along the way. Dez and his then east London neighbour and partner in rhyme Trevor Shakes were resident at the holy grail early 1980’s Sunday nights at Spat Oxford Street W.1. Many of today’s major player DJ’s and industry motels, actors , dancers,and media individuals (including The Pasadena’s, actor Leon Herbert, DJ’s Fabio and Bobby & Steve would get educated, as wells get down on to the dance floor to the baddest upfront and old school jams. As a record dealer known knights of the Cameo ‘Sound Table’ have purchased records from Dez including Norman Jay, Gilles Peterson, Bobby & Steve and Barrie K Sharpe. 30 years ago Dez and his TUF organisation packaged the prototype collectors (regardless of their anal tendencies or not) thirst for previously not so available music, with the ‘Rare’ series on RCA. Less than an Eddie Murphy 48 hours ago there was a thread on Facebook with someone hailing off his own fruition, the magnificence of the ‘Rare’ series compiled by Dez. These albums not only launched an entourage of similar comp albums, but it also gave many of today’s old school hip hop and rap artists inspiration, in using samples from the ‘Dezucation’ in the ‘Rare’ repertoire. Dez was headhunted by Ian Dewhirst to do the Rare comp on Mastercuts in 1993, an album that I physically travelled by over ground and underground trains from Essex to Shepperton Surrey, to get from Ian, I was that desperate to have it before it hit the streets. Dez has also complied a few albums on Prelude and of the Ace catalogue, such is his prolific history , knowledge and wealth of music, from his very vast and often envied record collection. Both BBC radio and TV have counselled Dez for radio shows and their ‘Soul Britannia’ series. Author Lloyd Bradley included Dez and this front cover image in his highly acclaimed book ‘Sounds Like London’ (100 years Of Black Music In The Capital). I’ve known Dez in some shape or form since 1982-83 and have often integraraly documented him in The Soul Survivors Magazine, from quotations via individuals including Kenny Wellington (Beggar & Co), Leee John (Imagination), to even two pending interviews in forthcoming issues featuring Barrie K Sharpe and Eddie Pillar. Dez can call Bill Curtis (Fatback Band),James Mason(Sweet Power), Leroy Burgess and Roy Ayers his personal friends who seek him out when the come to the UK because of his support for their art and craft over the past 40 years. Private parties for Prince as far back as 1980 , Chaka Khan and terrorising The Miami Music Conference with his co pilot Barry King DJing in the USA are a few the trail blazing legacies of Dez Parkes. Its’ appropriate marking 30 years of his innovate Rare comps and his over 40 years in the industry that he is honoured with his lifetime achievement representing the real ‘Boogie Down’ like his fave falsetto vocalist Eddie Kendricks.
Recognise this handsome chap??Today we honour a very innovative personality who deserves more credit than he already deservedly gets. In the words of Micheal Caine..”Did you know” that Greg Edwards was practically head hunted by CBS in New York in the early 1970’s and relocated to be the Napoleon Solo secret agent to run their London office and build a strategy to launch their newly acquired enterprise Gamble & Huff’s PIR Records??? Nah I didn’t fink so. And all because he was huge Johnny Mathis fan..seriously!! On arrival to the UK a fresh faced Greg Edwards was met with some adverse discrimination from various parts of the music industry, in trying to promote black soul music, even if it was made by Caucasian artists. It was his constant questioning of the BBC’s lack of support that resulted in him taking over Emperor Rosko’s soul show on Radio One, before he was snapped up to host his now legendary Soul Spectrum brand, on the new emerging London outlet Capital Radio. His bathroom call inclusion, as well as his laid back cool patter that matters, captured an audience that had not experienced that in the UK in abundance, other than seeing it on TV & films, as opposed to radio. Saturday evenings 6-9pm was essential listening and I for one was educated on many great cuts like Walter Murphy’s ‘California Strut’, Mass Production ‘Cosmic Lust’ and the live studio sessions of Incognito and Light Of The World’s ‘Shine On’ and ‘Visualise Yourself And Your Mind’. Greg was successfully ‘turning the mutha out’ with The Best Disco In Town at The Lyceum, and was approached by the Funk Mafia and was part of that firm in their gangster boogie dominance during the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. I’ve interviewed Greg and over the years have managed to form a good relationship when we converse, and on quite a few occasions Dj on the same bill at various events. He’s a funny and intelligent young soul rebel who has for over 4 decades done so much for the ‘soul spectrum’ especially for much of the Brit Jazz Funk movement we now to this day still enjoy. Hence why he is getting lifetime achievement award at the Soul Survivor Awards 17th Feb 2017..you coming??
Although I didn’t attend may of the the clubs and event he championed in the 1970’s and 1980’s, Chris Hill was like a folk law legendary icon, a bandit of the groove, charasmatic loveable rouge like a Dick Turpin highway man or Robin Hood man of the people. His history from Orsett Cock to Lacy Ladys, Goldmine and Caister is something that many from the Essex, Kent and heading towards the Great Yarmouth areas as well as London, still hold dear for championing jazz funk and soul music. I knew Chris more for his record label Ensign that signed so many of the jazz funk royally this country has produced, some of which are appearing at The Soul Survivor Awards as part of The Brit Funk Association. As a reminder Light Of The World, Beggar & Co, Incognito and The Jazz Warriors. I spent two our at Chris’s house in 2008 doing a fascinating interview, who regards himself as the consigliere and not the godfather, of the powerful organisation The Funk Mafia. Many Dj’s have mimicked his style including Jonny Layton(loud and proud eh Jonny?) and adapted his showmanship. I rang Chris to tell him the news and spoke to his lady Carol, who was very gracious and please that we The Soul Survivor Magazine, are honouring Chris with his lifetime achievement on 17th Feb at The Soul Survivor Magazine Awards, for over 4 decades of being Mr Entertainment. There was a hint that he will be there to pick up his award but I will confirm this once I know for sure. In the meantime we just spreading the love as the ‘Info provider for the soul survivor. As you can see we had to give him front cover for issue 12, 9 years ago in 2008.
Many of you soul survivors like myself would have during the 1970’s and 1980’s grown up on a diet of soulful libations on the radio either pirate or legal. The latter had not many platforms that would galvanise a Funkadelic ‘One Nation Under A Groove’ community together, and one such integral one was the essential listening to Robbie Vincent Saturday mornings 11.30am-2pm on Radio London. I remember hearing so much great tunes for the first time on his shows, like making me literally run to the bus stop to catch the 297 to Our Price in Wembley and paying £4.99 for the very last Cameo ‘Feel Me’ album after hearing at 1.55pm ‘Throw It Down’. ‘Caveman Boogie’ Lesette Wilson, ‘Endless Flight’ Rodney Franklyn and Frode Thingnaes ‘Around Once More’ eluded me for 26 years with Robbie being the only person I heard playing it. The amount of times I went into a shop asking for Frodig Fignas didn’t make anyone any the wiser. Anyway Robbie is a soul music institutional icon who has served so many education ,millions over the past 40 years. Thats why he’s getting a life time achievement award from us and he’s actually coming to collect it. So like his catchphrase ‘If It Moves Funk it’…hurray and get your limited availability Shush concession £21 ticket asap to celebrate 17th Feb 2017 at Under The Bridge SW6
Greetings it’s certainly a Manic Monday for me, octopus tentacles and more than 24 hours in a day would suffice in a virtual world but back to ‘Reality’ like Monk Montgomery it’s not quite the Mars Bar I used to enjoy..with it being all work hardly any rest and no time for play :o). Anyway I have two great pieces of news to announce that have transpired in the last Kiefer Sutherland ’24′ hours.
Firstly I had an email from a young man name Robbie Vincent..you may have heard of him who confirmed he is attending The Soul Survivor Awards at Under The Bridge Chelsea SW6 17th Feb 2017 personally, to pick up his lifetime achievement award. Robbie hosted our 2nd awards in October 2011 at Fluid EC1 and was surround by many of his ‘If It Moves Funk It’ devotees. We are pleased and honoured that he will be coming so bring your autograph book :o).
Secondly we are pleased to announce that Steve Salvari an original member of Central Line from day dot has joined the line up of the Brit Funk Association performing their debut at the awards and there may be a few more surprises to come still with just over one month and two days till the ‘Final Countdown’ of this historic Brit Jazz Funk revival. I suggest you get your limited concession Shush tickets at £21 asap before they are ‘Gone For The Weekend’ like Trussel. Hurray and Murray comes to mind..you coming??.
The Real Thing without doubt are the longest still performing original UK black vocal soul band. Eddie Amoo was in the first successful black UK boy band The Chants in the early 1960’s as a 13 year old teenager, who mesmerised The Beatles performing accapella, at The Cavern in Liverpool circa 1962. He linked up with his brother Chris and eventually becomes part of The Real Thing who found an opportunity knocking on Hughie Green’s mid 1970’s then, X Factor or BGT reality TV show. They practically conquered the world with ‘You To Me Are Everything’ and again with ‘Can You Feel The Force’ in the disco late 1970’s Star Wars years. They practically sell out still to this day with 50-60 year old women still throwing their knickers at them, and Chris’s voice is still smooth yet gravely like the late Teddy P. That’s why we are acknowledging them for over 40 years as Soul Survivors at the Awards 17th Feb 2017 @ Under The Bridge SW6.
The Soul Survivors Magazine is happy to give a lifetime achievement award to one of the UK norths most respected Cameo ‘Knights Of The Sound Table’ Colin Curtis. On 17th Feb 2017 at The Soul Survivor Awards, Under The Bridge London SW6, there is an award waiting for one of the pioneering Dj’s from the very early 1970’s Northern Soul Scene, who has been relentless in championing practically every form of so called modern music. He is recognised around the UK for his persistence to educate his audience even if they didn’t get it till 5 or 10 years later. We did a lengthy 2 part interview featured in issues 15 and 35 documenting some of his prolific history. He is revered universally around the country and despite a sabbatical due to ill health at one point, he is still flying the flag as the boy from Stoke who supports my beloved Spurs COYS. 50 years not out!! Congratulations Colin Curtis!! Picture from Colin’s Facebook page