My second phoner with Mr. Pendergrass we discussed the success of his last release, his book, his Christmas album – his greatest hits album – he was ecstatic to be one among the many in entertainment to even have a greatest hits. He was happy that a new generation of people were going to be able to hear a collection of music from the 70s that would hopefully enrich them.
Teddy Pendergrass was unquestionably one of the greatest male vocalists in the genre of R&B. Initially the drummer for Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, his voice is featured on their hits “Bad Luck,” “Where Are All My Friends,” “Be For Real” and “Wake Up Everybody.
I actually had the fortune to have met Al Green, the first time I interviewed him. As it was in the latter 90s when I conducted it, the living legend was already extremely accomplished by that time. He reflected on his beginnings in music and spoke of his early days in the studio with Willie Mitchell.
First I have to give a HUGE THANK YOU to my cousin, friend and sister in FUNK Loreen for her tireless efforts to make this James Brown interview and all the others posted possible.
When BT Express dropped their hit “Do It (‘Til You’re Satisfied),” I couldn’t believe they put all that FUNK and sexy lyrics into one song. As I was coming of age when the song was released, my first thoughts about the satisfaction they sang of, was sexual. This train of thought was the closest I had gotten to any sibilance of sex at that early age.
When I had the fortune to interview Millie Jackson, she spoke to me about her endeavors from the Apollo Theatre to Broadway. We laughed a lot, as she was very candid with me about her unique style and the ups and downs of her career.
When I was afforded the privilege to speak to Curtis Mayfield, it wasn’t until after his near fatal accident at Brooklyn’s Wingate Field. As he spoke to us in a reclined position, everyone present at the roundtable discussion felt blessed to be there.
One of the greatest compliments I ever got as a journalist, was from Chaka Khan. She told me, that my interview with her, was “Vivid and Real.”
Multi-Grammy winning producer, composer and arranger Quincy Jones will release his 37th album, “Q:Soul Bossa Nostra,” on Interscope Records on November 9th. The album features a who’s who of today’s hottest Pop, R&B and Hip-Hop artists and producers who have recorded contemporary versions of popular songs from Jones’ massive catalog.
The Average White Band is still one of the baddest bands to take the stage of FUNK. A long time admirer of their biggest hit “Pick Up the Pieces,” it was during this interview that they told me the inspiration for the tune.
Doing interviews with Teena Marie was an absolute highlight of my career in music. Having spoken to Rick James at least three times, chatting with her, was like adding to the anatomy of my body of FUNK encounters. While most females recognized in the genre of FUNK, are considered to be R&B artists, one can not deny the FUNKessential contributions of Teena Marie.
Aretha, “The Queen of Soul,” Franklin has chosen Halle Berry and Denzel Washington to star in her forthcoming biopic. Berry would portray Franklin in the film, that some folks find kind of strange that she didn’t pick a singer to portray her. Back in 2007, Franklin spoke about Jennifer Hudson being perfect for the job backstage at that year’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony.
What an honor it was to speak to Miriam Makeba. When we got together, she spoke of her relationship with Stevie Wonder, how she enjoys the music of Erykah Badu and her marriage to Black Panther leader Stokely Carmichael.
I spoke to the late Roger Troutman and the group Zapp one summer just before the turn of the century.
When Isaac Hayes made a comeback as a radio disc-jockey, before he took on the role of “Chef” on “South Park,” I spoke to him about his endeavor Literacy is the Balm, the World Literacy Crusade, Scientology, film and his historic Oscar win for “Shaft”.
Shortly after Rick James’ release from Folsom prison, he hit the road to get back in the swing of things.
I remember meeting George Clinton at his hotel room when we spoke for this interview. It was 1998, awhile after he had dropped his albums “Dope Dogs” and “T.A.P.O.A.F.O.M. (The Awesome Power of a Fully Operational Mothership),” which were released in 1995 and 1996, respectively. He spoke about some of his favorite projects that he released over the years, as well as the success of his visual art.
At the young impressionable age of 15, I heard a song that altered my perception of music and how I listened to the lyrics amidst the groove. “Some people might say I’m infatuated, I don’t care cause they really don’t know. They’ll never see or hear the things I do with you. So far as I’m concerned they all can go to hell.”
There’s so much Funkin’ music used in advertising. I was taken aback and thrilled recently to hear the classic Ohio Players (OP) track “Fire” as the theme music for the TV show “HELL’S KITCHEN.” I’m surfing the tube one night and see a flash of Gordon Ramsey. Having worked with him on “Kitchen Nightmares” for a season, I tuned in for a minute, not because I love the show – but thought I might catch him berating and humiliating one of the “talents” on it – horrible, but true ;-). First there’s clips of what’s on tonight’s episode, maybe some commercials… all of a sudden sirens, I’m like “huh”? as I’m grabbing something to drink from the fridge.