Greetings fellow soul survivors and welcome to today’s Friday Fitztory. It felt so poignant to share this today with all that is happening and escalating in Minneapolis Minnesota USA with the brutal racist murder of George Floyd. Both Prince and Sound Of Blackness are a big part of the twin city Minneapolis musical and community fabric. Recorded and published 4 years ago in 2016, look at how providential this conversation extract is in relevance of the present moment with the Black Lives Matter movement which as an African Diaspora man, the cause is important, between myself and Gary Hines of SOB. Read and enjoy Fitzroy Anthoney Facey

Fitzroy : I’m going to move things up to date with your new single ‘Royalty’ one that you’ve dedicated to the late Prince who supported your work. The song is about up lifting of people of the Diaspora. We know what’s happening worldwide but more so what’s happening in America. We have our version over here, not on the scale of the USA as the gun laws are very different and with less highlighted prominence. I’ve entered ‘Royalty’ into the People’s Black Music Chart as it fits in with the Sounds Of Blackness ethos of embracing all aspects of black music. There is a disparage in the understanding between the black and white communities which is evident when you see some of the social media comments from those who clearly think on an extreme level, justifying for some of the brutality. I sometimes ask myself are we not watching the same video? (Gary: “Right I hear you.”) How is the song being embraced with its timing being paramount right now?
Gary Hines: The urgency and necessities of Royalty have a few foundations. About a year ago Sounds Of Blackness released a song called ‘Black Lives Matter, No Justice No Peace’ and that was in response for what has been going on for generations with the disproportionate incidences and interactions with the police to this day. At the time Prince released a song specifying what happened in Baltimore called ‘Baltimore’ and despite people playing it down, Prince was always about the blackness of his people’s consciousness. Prince called me sometimes at three in the morning wanting Sounds Of Blackness to impress upon the youth how important it was to know who we are. That was a genesis for ‘Royalty’ and a local radio station KMLJ brought together Sound Of Blackness and The High School For Recording Arts as we were speaking about collaborating doing a song, so this is all the recipe of recording Royalty. We’ve just released a ‘reggeaton’ version and a video of the song available.


Morning I’m just sharing this weeks Friday Fitztory with you featuring extracts from our interview this time 8 years ago with Gwen McCrae. I got an FB 8 year anniversary poke yesterday from a photo of me holding this magazine issue at an event, so it prompted me for this post. Gwen McCrae has recorded many hits including ‘90% Of Me Is You’,’All This Love I’m Givin”, ‘Funky Sensation’, Keep The Fire Burning’ and ‘Doin’ It’ that has rocked many a dance floor like her other classic ‘Rockin’ Chair’. It seems poignant to share this bearing in mind that Betty Wright whom Gwen worked closely with past away recently, and Gwen mentions her in these segments. Read and enjoy  Fitzroy
Fitzroy: “You’ve been making records from the year before I was born as far back as 1963 . How did you get to liaise with Betty Wright and the Stone Alston label in 1967 where you stayed for another 12 years till your 1979 departure?”
Gwen McCrae: “Betty Wright is like a sister to me she was born on the 21st 1953 and I was born on the 22nd December 1943 10 years apart and you can imagine the heat with us both being Sagittarius. It was hot between the vocals and the records, she was there before I was and I just came in to do what I had to do as did she and we just moved on in our careers.”
Fitzroy: “The record that became an underground then overground anthem in the mid to late 80’s again endured much more attention from it’s 1979 album release ‘Melody of Life’ which is ‘All This Love I’m Givin’’. That record’s funk template and production does not sound typical of its era but to date it still creates a massive response. Any memories on what you thought after the recording session that years later it would be so mammoth an anthem?”
Gwen McCrae: “I really did like it and agree that it wasn’t a typical sound of the time. Betty Wright wanted to do an album on me and that was one she’d written for me. It did nothing in the States and was surprised how it was received in Europe when I came for the first time. She wrote it especially just for me Gwen McCrea and it showed I was versatile and I could change from one cloud to another like a red to a blue cloud to a green cloud.”
Fitzroy : “In 2006 Henry Stone decided to re cap and relive the famous TK/Cat era by asking you to sing some of its famous catalogue.You mastered every song covered apart from your own including ‘Clean Up Woman’, ‘Jazz Freak’ ,’Party Down’ and ‘Misty Blue’ like you did it originally. What was it like to re some of those Miami classics with some of the original musicians as it sounds wonderful 20 years later?”
Gwen McCrae: “It was cool and another point to prove I could do anything with the christ that lives within me as I live for good and to make it right and satisfy my people because they love me. I sing because they’re crazy about me and I want them to remember and never forget me me as oh that Gwen McCrae I loved her so much as I loved to be loved..I couldn’t get it through man or women so I can get it through the world you know what I mean. It was good to see Latimore Timmy Thomas Clarence with his crazy self, We’re all doing good ,To sing with Latimore I’d never think that would happen so you never know what the future has inside of you.I try to tell young people to strive for the gusto and strive for perfection as god has a plan for you whether you become the president, a singer a writer or a DJ and your great as it, god will create a space for you to make a living”
Greetings, hope all are good in their iSOULated hoods. Today’s Friday Fitztory shares excerpt of a two part interview conducted with the self proclaimed ‘refugee from across the sea’ Mr Soul Spectrum’ Greg Edwards. This was published in issue 35 7-8 years ago on the cusp of the festive period of 2011 / 2012. Like many I listened to Greg religiously Saturday nights, between 6 and 9pm in the late 70s and early 80s. His history is simply prolific and in particular for being probably like Carlsberg, the most celebrated black DJ in the UK, with a unique status to have a far reaching forum both on radio and in the clubs, like the hugely celebrated white DJs championed during that golden jazz funk and soul era. I’ve been fortunate to DJ with Greg over the years and acknowledge him with a 40 years award for being a ‘Master Of The Airwaves’ in our 2017 Under The Bridge event. Greg did share with me that after witnessing the documentation of other DJs prior in The Soul Survivors Magazine, he was anticipating his ‘bathroom call’ to be spoken to. I replied “Greg you were always on the cards but it’s all about timing.”.. To order you hard copy go to
Until then Read and enjoy Fitzroy
Fitzroy: “It’s interesting you use that phrase painting pictures as my next question points that out. Your Soul Spectrum show on Capitol was where I heard you Saturdays 6-9pm. I so remember dancing and practicing my dance moves in front of the mirror like Saturday Night Fever’s Tony Manero. You had the lingo and street patter that flowed like water from a tap. It was that smooth like we’d hear in Blaxplotation films but now you helped painted those visual in our imaginations. What you said earlier about the BBC exec who pulled you into the office about your music choice, begs me to ask you about working in a white corporate environment. What was your personal black experience like in witnessing what it took to make the music more accessible, as you clearly came across quite a few restrictions?”
Greg Edwards: “There were restrictions and prejudices and I had to put up with a lot of people making phone calls and writing letters..a lot of which they wouldn’t allow me to see after a while. I’m talking things like take all that jungle music off and put on proper white music etc. I also had the inverse prejudice in terms of presentation. It’s alright if Robbie Vincent took a high moral ground and played a black record speaking very heavily and politically on black politics, but If I played it, I’d be accused for using the radio for black propaganda. I had to find different ways of doing things and refused to do clubs that wouldn’t let black people in, as I did black clubs that refused white people. I had to take my own moral stand and not use the radio for preaching that sort of thing as I’d be taken off radio.”
Fitzroy: “Now I’ve spoke to various DJ’s of different ethnic backgrounds Colin Curtis, Morgan Khan, Chris Hill, Robbie Vincent, Bob Jones, George Power and Dez Parkes and the industry racism perspective is always denounced. As young blacks coming from the Caribbean listening to music of our heritage, we were grateful to hear the music on radio or in a club. Because of the shortage of black DJs and presenters playing the music, we weren’t really bothered who played it, they could have come from out of Mongolia. But when you came along it was like Muhammad Ali winning the heavyweight championship in 1964, it was a moment where we young blacks saw someone who was a reflection of us, up there getting recognised in what they’d do. So we’d notice that amongst the Funk Mafia you were the only black DJ…”.
Greg Edwards: (Greg interjects and laughs) ..”People always mention that but it depends on your perception and I didn’t make any noise about it… where Bob Jones, Robbie Vincent and Chris Hill worked, I wasn’t invited to play at 80% of those places. I did the Royalty in Southgate and they refused to accept that the Best Disco In Town existed at the Lyceum, even though the show was on the radio and had 2000 kids having fun in it every week. There was only a handful of clubs where we worked together. A lot of club owners took it for granted that I was white as the other DJs playing the music were white. On at least two occasions where I was booked and turned up, they saw I was black and I was refused entry because the bouncers didn’t check with the management.”
Fitzroy: “But how did you deal with that?”
Greg Edwards: “I’ve had to deal with it all my life so it didn’t upset me I just got in my car and go home and did the same if they would let black kids in I would not return to the club.”
To order you hard copy go to



Greetings fellow soul survivors. Here’s an intro into today’s Friday’s Fitztory. Like many of my then teenage generation of the late 1970s and early 1980s, I grew up listening to Robbie Vincent Saturday morning 11.30am to 2pm in the afternoon, for what would be considered to be an essential listen. Fast forward to 2006 and having started the Soul Survivors Magazine with former co owner Anna Marshall, we mutually agreed at some point interviewing Robbie Vincent was on top of our hit list and was one of the most requested from our readers as a future feature.

After 5 years and various failed attempts to make contact with Robbie, an impromptu meeting at Bobby Womack’s Jazz Cafe date in the summer of 2017 it eventually became a ‘Mission Not So Impossible’ accomplished. Long story short Robbie was unable to get upstairs to the VIP area. I providential happen to be in the vicinity and with me having worked at the Jazz Cafe since 1991 and knowing the management, I told them (as they were ignorant of who Robbie was) that he was a VIP, and the dully allowed him upstairs. Although it was the least I could do for all the music he’s educated me with Robbie was very grateful, but his wife was even more grateful.
She insisted that Robbie should do an interview in the magazine, something I’d briefly mentioned to him outside earlier, we we’d met in the queue. Robbie who had just recovered from a serious illness, agreed and we gave him this front cover for issue 32 in our exclusive members issue in September 2011. Robbie hosted our 2nd Soul Survivors Awards at Fluid in Farringdon and was awarded his 40 years being a Master of the airwaves at our Feb 2017 awards at Under The Bridge Chelsea. He is an avid supporter of The Soul Survivors Magazine and Robbie is making a return to Jazz FM’s airwaves today 10am-2pm for four hours of ‘If it moves funk it music. Here is a segment of our exclusive at the time interview with Robbie. To order a hard copy of that edition go to
Read and enjoy…Fitzroy
Fitzroy : “You are noted for introducing us to the Japanese jazz world Like Boy Katingdig ‘Whatever Happen to The Love’ and
Hiroshi Fukumura-‘Hunt Up Wind’ via your Fusion 40. What made you capitalise on such a specialist market genre of music that resulted years later in you doing the Master Cuts ‘Classic Jazz Funk Volume 6’?”
Robbie : “One of my saddest losses was the burglary of my home where they took all of my Jap jazz .I had all of them lined on the floor for refilling and they took the lot.The burglars could have not had any idea what they were and would have been of little use to them unless they realised I’d spent a fortune on them.They are irreplaceable and that took along time to get over I can tell you as they were very valuable and permanently lost.When I get asked about the Jap jazz it always reminds me of waking up that morning and the bastards have taken the lot. The good lord works in mysterious ways ..I bet they’ve got boils on their bums now LOL.
There was no accessible jazz on the radio anywhere and I didn’t want to do what everyone else was doing. I liked finding things that excited me and sharing it with people who had the same enthusiasm. It was different and good it really was, and not until you stop doing it do you realize how appreciated it was as they never really said at the time. The Jap Jazz one was done by Jeff Young”
Fitzroy: “What was it like to interview Marvin Gaye and James Brown recently Bobby Womack?”
Robbie : “With Bobby I’ve spoken to him a couple of times… you put a pound in the meter and he doesn’t stop talking he’s incredible as he’d go all over the place with his stories.They are all different but Bobby has had a full life to put it mildly and as a writer he’s prolific with more artists than you and I will have a bowl of porridge. Marvin kept sniffing and you had to be aware of the effect the drugs had on him but he wasn’t at his worst when I spoke with him . I was very honoured to talk to him my regret is that I didn’t speak with him on a drug free day. James Brown was completely bonkers larger than life and a bit like Bobby a bit of a scatter gun..he’d say it was me that he took the Jackson Five to New York then speak of crawling under the tent to seeing some of his hero’s like Louis Jordan. Again very honoured to meet Mr Brown as I was advised to refer to him as by Bobby Womack. There was Joe Sample of the Crusaders who was fantastic and Bob James,Luther Vandross the first ever UK interview and the naughty boy who let me down Rick James. He never made the show as he was completely off his face and we met up in New York was full of apologies and was very good drug free when we did a show for Radio One from New York. I liked Sly Stone very much who was larger than life and Johnny Guitar Watson was very funny and a fantastic man as was George Clinton.”


Greetings on this pinch punch first of the month 1st May 2020. Today’s ‘Friday Fitztory’ works nicely as a prelude to my James Brown iSOULated Soul Survivors Showcase on Solar Radio this coming Sunday 3rd May James Brown’s 87th earthday 2am-4am. I’ll be hosting music, dialogue and chat via a few interviewees recollection in past Soul Survivors Magazine publications, who met and worked with Soul Bro Numero Uno! One fortunate young at the time teenaged artist Eddy Grant has an incredible story. Here is a smidgen of that story, the rest to be broadcast this weekend alongside the other tales of the unexpected. Read and enjoy.. Fitzroy Anthoney Facey
Fitzroy : “How did you manage to get that experience?(meeting James Brown)”
Eddy Grant : “I actually met James Brown when he toured here in 1965-66 and sold James Brown programs in the street. He did two gigs at the Granada Walthamstow and the Granada in Brixton and I was at both of those shows. I met his band, put away all his clothes and cleaned his shoes, as I was part of his valet system with Bobby Bennett who I was working under. James Brown came over said to me “You’re that little guy that’s with Bobby”. I said, “Yes.” He asked, “What can I do for you? Do you want an autograph?” and I said, “Yes.” James got Bobby to come back with a press pack and he asked my name. I said “No, don’t do it in my name, sign it to ‘The Equals’”. He said, “Is that a band?” I said, “Yes”. James asked “Are you good?” Now in those days I was full of myself and said, “Yes, we are better than good, but not as good as you”. He said, “Nah, nah you can’t be as good as me, I’m the baddest there is!”
In other words when James was here, or should I say, Mr. Brown was here (Fitzroy laughs because everyone had to address him as Mr. Brown and Eddy corrects himself, even though James Brown is not alive…) I was a fixture in his firmament and I got another education. This was the fixing of me as a performer as I had met the king or the god of all performers, James Brown. James Brown showed me the value of leadership, behaviour, and pride in what you’re doing and in your people. (Fitzroy: “Professionalism.”) Professionalism to the maximum, and stagecraft that is out of this world. Once you’ve had that education, which was literally only for two or three days because he then had to continue his tour in France, and I couldn’t go as I was too young, I would have followed James Brown into perdition.”
To order the edition from where this segment came from please go to

Greetings, I sincerely hope everyone reading this is all good in the hood in their iSOULated surroundings. Today’s Friday Fitztory was influenced by the 4th anniversary of Prince Rogers Nelson’s passing earlier in the week. I went on a ‘Purple Funk’ bender and refreshed myself of his Royal Purpleness’s everlasting legacy and genius. I had a lightbulb moment remembering that several artists I have interviewed in The Soul Survivors Magazine had a connection or have worked with Prince. That list includes Larry Graham, Mica Paris, Meli’sa Morgan, Gary Hines (Sounds Of Blackness), Rockie Robbins and the focus of today’s Fitztory, is renowned percussionist and singer from the talented Escovedo family Sheila E. Sheila graced the front cover of issue this time five years ago for the April & May 2015 edition..I will be doing a two hour Prince homage featuring music and recorded extracts of some of the interviewees who talk about prince this Sunday morning 26th April 2020 2am-4am on Read and enjoy.
Fitzroy : “Your transformation from Sheila the percussionist to becoming Sheila E the one woman band, vocalist, percussionist extraordinaire comes when you meet Prince in 1978 although you didn’t join him till the around 1984. He’s already hinted that he wanted to work with you so how was that experience becoming a band member, going on tour and dare I say it making music with him like the funk and sexy ‘Love Bizarre’?”
Sheila E : “Prince came to the Bay Area to record his first record based on all the amazing artistry that came from the Bay area like when my father was was in Santana and Sly & The Family Stone had recorded in the earlier 1960’s and 70’s. When I went to see Prince perform I was excited meet him and when I did was introduced he told me he already knew who I was, and had been following my career for a while. He asked how much I got working for George Duke and on my reply he said he wouldn’t be able to afford me, but I said we’ll see in the future if that transpires and exchanged numbers. He met my family and fell in love with the concept that I got to play with my family which is what he wanted to do with his dad. I don’t think he knew alot about latin jazz and was completely taken aback with the vibrancy of it all. I had grown up with Jefferson Airplane and Jefferson Starship, Cold Blood as well as Sly Stone who inspired me. We stayed in touch and we were both touring on our individual circuits and got together around the ‘Purple Rain’ era. It was a lot of fun recording in the studios and doing jam sessions.”
To get a copy of the printed edition go to



Greetings this Flashback Friday. I sincerely hope everyone is safe and healthy in their safe iSOULAtion zones. Todays Friday Fitztory comes courtesy on an interview I did in 2016 for issue 61 with Marc Mac. He was featured on a first for us split screen front cover with singer songwriter Tahisha and the ‘disco messiah’ Patrick Adams. Marc is a west Londoner like me who under various aliases had released a few tiles I had in my collection unbeknown to me. Musically versatile and respected world wide. Here is a segment from our interview read and enjoy Fitzroy

Me: Your second album Parallel Universe is voted album of the year by NME in 1995 and a year later you remix Nu Yorican Soul’s cover of ‘Black Gold Of The Sun’. Louie Vega says it’s on of the best remixes’ he’s ever heard. I’ve got the Rotary Connection original and loved what you did with it as a cross pollinated balanced production of digital and analogue menagerie. What you achieved there is what Charles Stepney and The Mizell Brothers display on their amazing productions. This is why I cited you as one of 6 influential musician producer’s for Sky TV’s Culture Vulture Black History month special last year.



Marc: I’ve never thought of it like that but now I can understand exactly what you’re saying. At the time with Rotary Connection there was this thing of them interlocking soul with psychedelic music, and behind the scenes there was a pending thought of how to merge the two together. The Mizell Brothers were also trying to incorporate the synthesisers with jazz and I’ve read some artists like Johnny Hammond didn’t like what they were trying to achieve. So yes I can relate to having a battle bringing the electronic sound and sampling through intertwining with what people perceived as soul and jazz traditionally and presenting it in a new way.

Me : I loved the production of drum and bass because it reminded me of the Blue Note Prestige and Strata East quality, but on an independent label from the UK. How did you get the gig to remix ‘Black Gold Of The Sun’?

Marc : That was through Gilles being clever with us both being signed to Talking Loud. We did the ‘Le Fleur’ cover because Gilles did an article in a newspaper saying that no on could do that track, apart from maybe 4hero. Using that B Boy mentality we rose to the challenge. It’s an honour for Louie to credit us so highly for doing that mix. When Gus took the final mix of ‘Black Gold Of The Sun’ down to Talking Loud, both Paul Martin and Gilles Peterson had tears in their eyes upon hearing it. The icing on the cake was hearing from Charles Stepney’s daughter who had nothing but high praise on what we did and we are still in touch with them now.

To read the full interview you can purchase via this link




















 is the replay of this mornings show homage to Bill Withers for those who missed it or who wish to listen again. Also big thanks to the 250 plus who like the Bill Withers post and drawings yesterday. Listen and enjoy Fitzroy Anthoney Facey

Tashan-Soul Survivors
Bill Withers-Make Love To Your Mind
Still Bill Interlude
Bill Withers-Ain’t No Sunshine
Michael Jackson-Ain’t No Sunshine
Bill Withers-Close To Me
The Crusaders feat Bill Withers-Soul Shadows
Bill Withers-It Ain’t Because Of Me Baby
Bill Withers-Lovely Day(Rio Mix)
Gladys Knight & The Pips-Who Is She?
Bill Withers-Railroad Man (Phillip Modern Revisitation Mix)
Bill Withers-She Wants To(Get On Down)
Still Bill Grandma’s Hands Interlude
Bill Withers-Grandma’s Hands
Gregory Porter-Grandma’s Hands
Gil Scott Heron- Grandma’s Hands
Still Bill Interlude
Esther Phillips-Justified
Bill Withers-Harlem
Still Bill Interlude
Bill Withers-City Of Angels
The Beaujolais Band-Ain’t No Sunshine
Bill Withers-I’m Your Daddy
Bill Withers- I Want To Spend The Night
Bill Withers- Do It Good
Bill Withers-Where You Are
Bill Withers-Lean On Me
Bill Withers-Wintertime
Jimmy Lindsay-Ain’t No Sunshine
Bill Withers-Better Off Dead
Bill Withers-Naked & Warm



Morning all, like many fellow soul survivors I am saddened by the passing of ‘Still Bill’ Withers announced yesterday. Upon hearing I listened to all his albums I had at my disposal and watched again the brilliant documentary ‘Still Bill’. I will be showcasing some of this humble spirit’s music on my show on Solar 2am-4am tomorrow morning. The providential thing about Bill’s transition is that for a couple of years and recently during this lockdown (even earlier this week) whilst I’ve been drawing, l kept meaning to interpret his image from his not to be slept on 1977 ‘Menagerie’ album. So in my self iSOULated Bill Withers confined space, I put pencil to paper and here’s my Blue Peter one I made late but earlier yesterday. A true soul survivor Jedi maestro… long may your everlasting  ‘Soul Shadow’ spirit be cast over this world.. Thank you Bill Withers for your gentle and universal spirit, sharing your gift to the world via music and poetry…Rest In Power ?❤️ #billwithers #thesoulsurvivorsmagazine

Greetings to you on this Flashback Friday. After having to put the magazine on hold due to the current pandemic situation and recent conversations with a few encouraging friends and fellow soul survivors, I’ve decided to use some of my musical experiences, articulacy and creative gifts and remain active, and create a new weekly Blog ‘Friday’s Fitztory’ to ‘Spread Love’ like Al Hudson & The Soul Partners. I’ve been fortunate to have deejayed for (and in many cases later) interviewed various iconic artists over the last 27 years. One of them is the man I call ‘Mr Vibes’ aka Roy Ayers. When the Jazz Cafe in Camden, London (circa 1993 onwards) started to host some of the musical messengers who shaped my musical mind, I was a resident deejay and often did many, if not all, of the multiple dates for the artists who performed. After the show I would go upstairs with my albums to get them signed and chat with the artists.

I remember meeting Roy Ayers’ then manager Dennis Armstead an old school American gent, who would greet me warmly and make sure I got to speak with Roy. I remember when I showed Roy my ‘He’s Coming’ and ‘Virgo Red’ albums. He would point out who was who, and who he sacked because they were indulging in drugs. At the time, I never thought of having ‘Candid Camera’ moments with him or any of the many artists, I was just happy to be in their presence, listen to stories and get my albums autographed. If I’d have had a Mystic Meg crystal ball and have known that in the next millennium I’d co-found The Soul Survivors Magazine, those experiences would have been priceless material. Fast forward like a TDK C90 tape, I did manage to interview Roy Ayers for our December 2013 – January 2014 edition and here is an extract which relates to a track from this Blue Peter front cover drawing I did earlier in the week. Read and enjoy. Fitzroy

TSSM: “I have 4 versions of ‘Sweet Tears’, one from David Fathead Newman’s ‘Newmanism’, one from ‘Let’s Do It’ 1978, the Nu Yorican Soul version from 1997 (with Louie Vega) and the first I believe was from ‘He’s Coming.’ I remember deejaying at one of your Jazz Cafe dates and you saying it was inspired by your Mother, how so?”

Roy Ayers: “Yeah it was inspired by my Mother and my Son whom I was leaving behind to travel on the road. Even though my Son stayed with my ex-wife, whose now deceased, he’d often stay with my Mother also. It was a heavy period for me so the words say “Baby though I’m leaving don’t you cry, I’m the one whose grieving, you know why, love is like the wild bird you can’t tie free to stay forever or to fly, though my heart will always stay, gotta make my getaway.” My getaway was to go on the road to entertain people. Wow, you’ve got a good memory to remember that.”

If you’d like to order the issue this came from to read the full interview then go to:…/issue-51-dece…/