5th March 1956 was indeed a blessed day for future soul survivors with Steve Arrington being born in the same year and day as Mary Christine Brockert better know as Teena Marie aka ‘Vanilla Choc’, ‘Lady T’ & the ‘Queen Of Ivory Soul’.

Born and raised in Santa Monica California with Portuguese ancestry, Teena was a child star at an early age appearing in the USA TV show ‘The Beverly Hillbillies’. Teena loves music and running track (athletics) at high school and had an infinity passion for loving Smokey Robinson of Motown.

Teena fronted a rock band Truvair between 1974-75 before she signed to Motown Records around 1976 and wrote ‘Just As Long As There Is You’ for Tata Vega’s 1976 album.

Motown head honcho Berry Gordy decided to team her up with Rick James on her debut 1978 ‘ Wild & Peaceful’ album. Berry reversed the race record covers psychology by using a seascape image as opposed to showcasing Teena’s natural Caucasian complexion so that her music would be judged on its quality rather than her ethnicity, something that would be questioned with Motown being a predominantly black artist label.

The album was a success with songs like the funk/disco productions ‘I’m Just A Sucker For Your Love’ & her cover of idol ‘ Smokey Robinson’s composition & Temptations classic ‘Don’t Look Back’. Her following ‘Lady T’ album championed the universal anthem ‘Behind The Groove’ and further cemented Teena’s stamp on the soul world. It was then that everyone became aware that Teena was Caucasian.

True story whilst I was at college in 1980 a fellow Caucasian female student Debbie Slingsby #told me that her Caucasian boyfriend was in love with Teena Marie. I was alarmed as, as odd as it may sound today, back then it was unusual that a white man would openly declare his attracted to a black woman, who due to how Teena was so in Lady T’s own words so ‘black sounding’, I wrongly assumed that Teena Marie was black. I naively remember asking Debbie “What he’s attracted to a black girl?” and Debbie proclaimed to my dismay that she was white. I was a bit embarrassed but Beeey Gordy’s sea scape ethos clearly worked on me 😂.

Teena recorded 4 incredible Motown albums including ‘ Irons In The Fire’ & her swan song final 1981 album ‘ It Must Be Magic’ showcasing the inspiring ‘Portuguese Love’ & ‘Square Biz’.

Teena had a very intense relationship with Motown bad boy Rick James who she sang a duet masterpiece with namely ‘Fire & Desire’ from
His ‘ Street Songs’ album and Rick wrote a very personal ‘ My Love’ dedicated to Teena on his 1982 ‘ Throwin’ Down’ album.

Teena made history when she got into a legal battle with Motown via the ‘Brockert Initiave’ which made it illegal for a record company to keep an artist under contract without releasing new material for that artist. This enabled artists like Luther Vandross to get out of their unfair contracts.

Teena signed to Epic and released her debut 1983 ‘Robbery’ album and a further 5 albums on the label. Teena’s music was sampled in the 90’s by The Firm and The Fugees and Teena continued as a solo artist to keep herself relevant.

Her final album ‘Congo Square’ paved a way for Teena to come and perform in January 2010 at The Indig02 London to a sellout audience. I was fortunate through Steve Ripley to interview Teena on the phone in the winter of 2009 where she graced our The Soul Survivors Magazine front cover and then face to face the day before the Indig02 concert.

The concert was a major success and Teena was due to return a year later but unfortunately she passed on Boxing Day 2010 aged 54. Meeting and interviewing Teena was a career highlight for me as I loved her voice and her metaphoric writing skills and she shared some personal stories with me for our interview which gave those who read it a great insight into her psyche.

As aforementioned Teena today shared her now heavenly born day the same date and year as Steve Arrington so today you can blast her ‘Behind The Groove’ classics loud & proud!! 🙏🏿🎼

To purchase the first interview click on this below



This Tunesday is a celebration of ‘The Invade’ Steve Arrington’s 68th earthday who was raised in the USA’s mid west Dayton Ohio.

As a percussionist primarily Steve worked in local bands including The Young Mystics and ended up touring with Pete & Sheila (Sheila E) Escovedo before he joined the local group Slave ( a combination of two groups The Young Mystics & Black Satin Soul) on the third album ‘The Concept’ in 1978, where he co wrote and performed ‘Thank You Lord’.

Steve inadvertently became Slave’s lead vocalist when the group’s lead singer went awol and Steve stepped up to sing the lead on ‘Just A Touch Of Love’ with Starlena Young’.

With Steve’s anomaly & improvising vocal range, influenced by his love for jazz became the lead singer showcasing his talented brilliance on the next two ‘Stone Jam’ & ‘Showtime’ albums on Warner Brothers’ subsidiary label Cotillion.

At the height of the groups success Steve to the surprise of many, left Slave to pursue a solo career recording two distinguishing boogie albums ‘Hall Of Fame’ & ‘Positve Power’.

Both albums were greatly received by connoisseurs and purists as seminal albums with spectacular productions on cuts like ‘Way Out’, ‘Weak At The Knees’, ‘ You Meet My Approval’, ‘Nobody Can Be You But You’, ‘ What Do You Want From Me?’ & ‘ Mellow As A Cello’ on Warner labels WEA/Atlantic.

In between the transition of Slave and going solo Steve released a 12 inch single ‘ Summertime Lovin’’ on Salsoul Records circa 1981. After leaving Slave, Steve was wrestled with his conscience of continuing to make secular music and pursuing recording the more gospel message music format.

You can observe this change with a deeper hidden meaning within ‘Nobody Can Be You But You’ and ultimately in 1985 Steve announced to the world that he was a born again Christian releasing the ‘Dancing In The Key Of Life’ album in 1985.

It received a mixed reception from some of his fans here in the UK who were majorly disappointed at his 1985 Hammersmith concert of his songs of choice to perform. When I spoke with Steve in 2009 he was very honest and acknowledged how people felt at the time. Although Steve continued to record he subsequently for a period of time, faded out of the mainstream, occasionally rearing his head especially when he re sang his vocal on 3X Dope’s hip hop classic which sampled his anthem of the same name ‘ Weak At The Knee’s circa 1988.

When we started featuring interviews in the The Soul Survivors Magazine , Steve Arrington’s name was one of the most requested artists to interview as his profile in the soul world had literally become totally obscured.

However one random day I received a phone call from a contact in the USA called Randy who used to send me music asking me if I would be interested in speaking with his friend Steve Arrington. I had to question if we were speaking of the same man who was in Slave and ‘Hall Of Fame’ notoriety and Randy confirmed it was one and the same. So I spent two hours speaking with Steve and we published the interviews in 2009, the same issue as his earthday twin Teena Marie on the front cover.

Once the interview was published Steve emerged from his ‘Way Out’ hiatus and after several promoters attempted to secure his comeback, Orlando Gittens secured Steve’s first anticipated UK date since the infamous Hammersmith 1985 episode, and all was forgiven from the UK soul and funk fraternity, when Steve delivered all the classic we know and love, at the Indigo 02 in November 2013. Thankfully I was DJing on the bill.

Steve has been to the UK several times since and I managed to catch up with him at The Scottish Soul Weekender in 2016 and at Summer Soulstice in 2017.

Steve is 68 today so let’s celebrate by blasting this soul survivors music out loud and proud!! 🙏🏿🎼

To purchase the issue with the Steve Arrington interview click link below


Feast your eyes on our mouthwatering 17th anniversary edition record reviews in ‘info provider for the soul survivor’ Soul Survivors Magazine for June & July 2023


Today is a very sad day as via brother Leroy Burgess our soul surviving world has been delivered the news that the dubbed ‘ Disco Messiah’ Patrick Adams has transitioned to his next spiritual journey. I dreaded that this as inevitable as in life there is death, that this day was coming as I noticed the lack of Patrick’s presence of Facebook. Patrick’s soul surviving contribution to world music is immeasurable. It touched me personally as well as millions around the globe. Thanks to the help of Barry King and Dez Parkes, I was fortunate to speak with Patrick at length for our issue 61 of The Soul Survivors Magazine 6 years ago where he shared the front cover with Marc Mac & Taihisha Grant. It was one of the most insightful interviews and conversations during the 16 years of running the magazine. I’m so pleased that we honoured him with a lifetime achievement award in 2017 which he advised he felt honoured to receive and sent me a photo of him proudly holding it. A deserved Roll Call Of Fame awaits you in our next forthcoming issue 99 and I will be listening to PAP music and collaborations all day today. Rest In Power St Patrick Adams born on St Patrick’s Day 17th March… providential not coincidental. A mentor to so many including Leroy ‘Bad Bwoy’ Burgess, this is a huge loss. Thank you PAP for the ‘ Happy Music’ 🙏🏿🎼🎵👊🏿🖤

Just a heads up. I was approached to write the sleeve-notes for this incredible box set coming out on Cherry Red Records end of July 2022. With The Soul Survivors Magazine ethos of preserving the legacy of Black Music & it’s culture it is humbling to be part of such a historic and informative music compilation. Check it out and please spread the word as this really is an each one teach one project. Peace Fitzroy


May be a close-up
Today is a very poignant Throwback Thursday!!Here’s a Blue Peter drawing I did earlier last night & this morning and a homage written in 2016. 💜🎼
It’s a ‘Sign Of The Times’ when ‘Around The World In A Day’ so many tears are shed and we the ‘Girls & Boys’ finally understand the meaning of what is sounds like ‘When Doves Cry’. His Royal Purpleness, declared with a ‘Kiss’ to the universe ‘My Name Is Prince’ “and I am funky” from ‘Uptown’ Minneapolis, and your ‘Love Bizarre’ affinity with my music and artistry will be the ‘Greatest Romance Ever Sold’.With plenty lyrics of ‘Controversy’,’Sexuality’ and ‘Love 2 The 9’s’ Prince was undoubtedly a ‘Sexy MF’. Women all over ‘Planet Earth’ worshipped him from the time he advised them all ‘I Wanna Be Your Lover’. ‘The Most Beautiful Girl In the World’ would beg him to please ‘Do Me Baby’ as you make me so ‘Soft & Wet’, ‘I Would Die For You’ ‘Sweet Baby’ and I’m so hungry ‘For You’ that ‘Breakfast Can Wait’. Albeit ‘Starfish & Coffee’ with ‘Cream’, Prince most certainly could convert a nun into a ‘Nasty Girl’, ‘Darling Nikki’, ‘Chelsea Rodgers’, ‘Cinnamon Girl’ or his ‘Lady Cab Driver’ driving them all ‘Delirious’ whilst working up a ‘Black Sweat’.Prince Rogers Nelson is regarded as an incredibly ‘Sexy Dancer’ could ‘Dance On’ regardless albeit ‘Under The Cherry Moon’, on ‘Alphabet St’ or in ‘Paisley Park’, for ’17 Days’ on a ‘LoveSexy’ groove, shaking his ‘Tambourine’. This is Prince’s ‘Housequake’ and he is the ‘Life O’ The Party’, so ‘If You Feel Like Dancin’’ like it’s ‘1999’, get dressed in your ‘Diamonds And Pearls’, put on your ‘Raspberry Beret’, jump into a ‘Little Red Corvette’ and ride ‘Gangster Glam’ style. Prince could make everybody ‘Get Off’ to his ‘Party Up’ music, and many ‘Adore’ Prince for his unique dress sense and ‘Sticky Like Glue’ ‘Extraloveable’ androgynous attraction. To be honest ‘Nothing Compares To You’ Prince Roger Nelson, so thank you ‘Dear Mr Man’, Mr ‘Hot Thing’ for the ‘Beautiful Loved & Blessed’ compositions and recordings. ‘Sometimes It Snows In April’ but in that month of 2016 sadly it melted and became a shower of tears coloured in ‘Purple Rain for Mr ‘Musicology’ …Like millions of your fans around the world in regards to your legacy ‘My Love Is Forever” to ‘The Max’ in the way I was touched by your music. 💜🎼


Luther Ronzoni Vandross Jr. (April 20, 1951 – July 1, 2005).. Happy heavenly earthday Mr Velvet Voice.. Here’s a Blue Peter painting I did earlier last year with a homage featured in the Soul Survivors Magazine back in 2010..Enjoy and play ya Luther tunes loud & proud today!!
Luther Vandross was born a Tauren on 20th April 1951 in New York and grew up in a lower Manhattan housing project till his father passed when he was 8 years old before moving to the Bronx. Influenced by his parents and older sister singing, whilst at William Howard Taft High School he formed a vocal group Shades Of Jade with friends Carlos Alomar Diane Sumler and Fonzi Thornton whom he would work with in future times. As part of a musical theatre workshop, they recorded ‘Listen My Brother’ which Luther and his group sang on the children’s ‘Sesame Street’ show in 1969.
By 1973 he written 2 songs recorded by Delores Hall and a year later school friend Carlos Alomar became David Bowie’s guitarist and invited Luther to a recording session at the famous Sigma Sound Studios in Philadelphia. Bowie upon hearing his velvet tones recruited Luther who co wrote ‘Fascination’ and did BV’s on the ‘Young American’ album. Also rumoured is that Luther sang BV’s on ‘Golden Years’ a track he would sing with another outfit Mascara a few years later.
His composition ‘Brand New Day’ was featured in both the film and Broadway musical of ’The Wiz’. By now he was working with Bette Midler, Judy Collins, Gary Glitter and the Brecker Brothers. Whilst working with Bette Midler he met Arif Mardin of Atlantic who worked with the Average White Band Aretha and Chaka Khan and reacquainted his Shades of Jade outfit with the addition of Christine Wiltshire who went on to work with Jocelyn Brown and Leroy Burgess and record two albums under the guise of Luther.
Providential not co incidental Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards were part of Luther’s Band reigniting their collaborations from the Sesame Street band .Cotillion dropped the group and Luther ended up retaining the rights to the album so they were out of print why I don’t know as they were nice albums. He became an in demand session singer working with Chic headlining the BV’s of the their ‘C’est Chic’ debut album and the original instrumental version of ‘Everybody Dance’, and on the following Sister Sledge, Quincy Jones, Roberta Flack, Odyssey, Peter Jacques Band, BB&Q Band, Kleeer to Cat Stevens, Ringo Starr & Carole Bayer Sager projects.
As disco became prevalent he fronted bands Lemon, Gregg Diamond, Charme, Mascara and Change…the rest is history. Now 1981 his voice was unmistakable and he touted a successful record deal with Epic a subsidiary of Sony. Again releasing album after album he alongside his partner in rhyme the ‘Marvellous’ Marcus Miller he co wrote and produced his own albums as well as a few for Aretha Franklin. Covering many a classic by artists Brenda Russell, Stevie Wonder and Burt Bacharach & Hal David, and Heatwave, Luther had a unique style of replicating a composition as though he’d sung it first.
Luther has sung with many female vocalists including Gwen Guthrie, Cheryl Lynn, Patti Austin, Dionne Warwick, Janet Jackson & Patti Labelle. Travelling around the world doing live concerts, I was lucky enough to see him in the mid 80’s at Wembley, Luther was undoubtedly instantly recognisable on a track even if he was doing BV’s.
His film credit includes The Meteor Man a Robert Townsend film where he played a villain within a gang. As wells singing for the 70’s gang epic ‘The Warriors’ and writing a song ‘You Stopped Loving Me’ sung by Roberta Flack for the film starring Cicely Tyson and Richard Prior Bustin’ Loose.
Lending his voice to many musical styles mostly gospel & soul based but versatile in other genres, he truly was a ‘One in a million guy’ as sung by Dee Dee Bridgewater. Even now I discover tracks he featured on and when you listen carefully you wonder how you never recognised him as on it. The reason being that he blends in with background as much as he shines in the fore front. Two years back Melba Moore told me to listen to her album ‘Closer’ and when you hear Luther on ‘Something On Your Mind’ I you’ll understand why. Vocalist songwriter producer and an all around African American Artist of huge proportions…I miss you Luther ‘Velvet Voice’ Vandross.