Tag Archive: wwrl am


Major props to memories of these carefree daze and my radio Mentor, the late legendary terrestrial radio Program Director, Sonny Taylor, who loved this jam!
It is a CLASSIC theme-song that visits me every so often as a friendly reminder of better days gone by. If this long twelve-inch remixed version doesn’t get you moving, nothing will! Belita Woods on lead vocal really “belitaed it OUT!” lol Yes this is one of my “children” and I pray that I can get it out of storage soon and, along with you – TURN IT UP!

Be sure to check out my krates-fullo’jointz musik-only blog, https://achilliadsmyvinylrecordshoppe.wordpress.com/ for my latest music reviews!

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I thought this was “settled”!  Then came a lull and apparently Uncle Sam allowed too many colored immigrants to become “citizens” without qualifying them as to the history of how American Blacks fought to overcome segregation and conduct ourselves correctly while raising our kin to do likewise. The police are not our enemies – this is not the 1960s!  So to you newbiees, Cocoanuts from the Caribbean and you from wherever you are who is reading this post, I ask, “If you had a choice of skin colors, which one would YOU choose?”

I remember when this song came out and WWRL AM 1600 in New York City (Woodside, to be exact) played it.  It was a cause célèbre because the late Curtis Mayfield and The Impressions had, once again, articulated an argument musically that was going on at the time.

Therefore, it amazes me that it is still a source of American political and social illness here in 2015!

Yet I know why: I am like Curtis Mayfield and The Impressions in that we are Black Americans; descendants of slaves on this continent who came up via the American south lands and whose parents ultimately and after the American Civil War into the beginning of the twentieth century, migrated northward on the east coast. Over time in the mid-to-late twentieth century, “the man” [angry white man establishment who still did not want to embrace us, who were never any threat to the slave master] allowed a whole influx of similar looking people from Caribbean and continental Africa into the continental USA, who have no clue as to the struggle or gains we made and that Curtis Mayfield and The Impressions sang their song unto.

Major Props to Mr. Andrew Young, who is seen and heard in the above video.  He was one of the late and great Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King’s right-hand men!

With just a little bit more education and love for our nation would make for a better world for you and for me.”

Please choose your choice of skin colors in the “comments” below – and I will tell you mine that I told my parents waay back in the 1960s when I was a litlle boy!

ALL lives matter.

bros

I loved everything about David Ruffin as lead of The Temptations and thereafter when he recorded solo, especially on “My Whole World Ended (The Moment You Left Me)” and the Van McCoy production, “Walk Away From Love”.  I didn’t even connect the vinyl dots to realize that he had an older brother who could sing just as well in his own right until, [ I can’t remember when it was ] one day I acquired and really looked at the label of the 45rpm record, “What becomes Of The Brokenhearted” by Jimmy Ruffin and wondered as I played it, was this guy related to David. Or maybe I had a previous inkling… There was no “Googling” back then to learn instantly the answer, and so I had to rely upon my “ear” for music which heard the similarities of voice that let me know these two singers were related for sure!

I have used Jimmy’s biggest hit to accentuate at least two blogs here at ‘Achilliad‘ since I began to do this in 2009.  One was me crying the blues about some chick that deserted me in love back in, I think, 2008 or nine, the other more recently as a part of a collection of “tune wedgies” that I had get off my (mind) chest.

Jimmy-Ruffin

But this post, Jimmy, is for YOU. Posthumously, yes, but I was always by your side due to the anthem of unrequited love that you gave us. With tears wanting to well-up behind my eyes, I dedicate this post to you, Jimmy, who, unbeknownst to you because we never met, held my hand many a night whey I really cried over a lost love. If I were the Program Director of a radio station right now, I would play a whole hour of your music, both the familiar and obscure even if I had to play “What Becomes Of The Brokenhearted” back-to-back-to-back-to-back and then some. You were a non-spotlight seeker whose light of class and groundedness belied the showbiz stereotypes. London was a good place for you to be more appreciated – good move to go there, Sir!

Here is one by Jimmy that is really the first time I heard him! It was on Volume 9 of the famous vinyl “Motown Collections Of 16 Original Hits” albums!
Again, the unrequited love theme on, “Don’t You Miss Me A Little Bit Baby”…

I knew you must have been David’s older brother because of the similarities of stature and movement, like that little hand-to-hand move you did with the mic while singing the oft-sampled lyric, “Always moving and goin’ nowhere.” Knowing you are not in the physical world any longer moves me to seriousness with the knowledge that your spirit is singing with the angels as your body rests in musical peace having let me express my many failed love relationships via your wonderful one-hit wonder.

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“What Becomes Of The Brokenhearted”? We just drag along until we have a chance to join the departed.

Jimmy Ruffin: 1937 – 2014

Backstory: When I was at the University, my roomate made this verse, originally recorded by the Chicago soul music group,”The Chi-Lites”, famous with his stand-up (serious) rendition during our Oral Interpretation English class. Now, thirty-eight years later, as I sat on my front stoop trying to make sense of my finding a lovely, exotic, intelligent, lively, playful Slavic girl who loved me, I have rewritten it to fit a modern international romance situation.

“One year ago,
I was happy as a lark;
Two years ago this time,
Ignited our romantic spark.
I have the seat at our same ole Cafe` Skype,
Watching other internet couples play.
We were together,
Fighting to get my first U.S. Passport in those days;
Anticipating our togetherness.

Now I’m lucky if I hear from her,
Maybe twice a month!
Never wanting to disappoint her,
One so uniquely generous to me
That she got me out of tax trouble,
Which should have never been;

Now, fear of losing “the one” is all I see.
I might not look it to you,
yet, I am a sad face clown.
Sleeping less as my brain laments;
Tossing and turning,
An exercise that prevents rest!

“OH, I hear her voice everywhere I go,
In the words I read from people I don’t even know,
Have You Seen Her?
Tell Me have you gleaned Nina?
When I read a man’s magazine,
Or when old emails from her I see,
Have you seen her?
Baby, have you gleaned Nina? (“Pssst! look in Rome, Italy!!”)

Ohh, I’ve been used to satisfying my words with actions,
And suddenly I can’t…
It takes too long,
They seem like just promises or a rant.
[monologue]
“As I write these words,
I choke-back tears in my eyes.
I repaid her magnamimousity handsomely!
It seems that “the devil” holds me back,
Prayers and faith unanswered apparently;
But I will try anything at this point to get to her.”

Oh, I write an email to her,
Send flowers and a few dollars when I can;
I can see the love and smile when I do,
It is all over her heartfelt “Thank you”
Can you glean her?
Tell Me, Have you Seen Nina?

Well…I’m looking for a letter, email or something
Or anything she would send.
“I am here for you!”
Even though a civil war is near.
She sent me so many gifts one and four years ago,
Just because (I think) she grew to love me;
I never asked for anything like that,
I feel so blessed to have met her.
With all the people I know,
I’m still
a lonely middle-aged man!

I found a way to repay her kindness.
In money and attention,
But will she bore with this long distance and disallow me?
I really fear it is so.
May my wishes, hopes and prayers be answered,
Where our cultures combination will provide
Interesting fun for the rest of our lives!

People tell me, “If it is meant to be she will be there “.
I am not sure that is the security of thought that I need!

This love is not ‘unrequited,
As most of my encounters of the past;
We were very social media united,
Across the Atlantic ocean distance.

So If you see her,
Please tell her to get in-touch with me!!
My passport is still ready to be stamped again;
I am looking for some help,
Or any change that change can send.
You know, its funny,
I thought I had that lady in London;
In “the palm of my hand”!
But I didn’t do my homework beforehand,
And then had to help my eighty-nine year-old Mum,
Back at home.
And hers is ill also.
Have you seen Nina?
Tell me have u SEEN HER?

                                                                  Whether you are a regular or infrequent visitor to my blog, undoubtedly you have heard me refer to Frankie Crocker as my inspiration for wanting to become a high-paid celebrity professional radio personality. I haven’t looked, but I bet in each of “My Vinyls” I mention him; he hipped me to so much music via the radio and he taught me in a vicarious way how not to take any shit from people while doing my show. I remember him once giving me the advice, take full control of your show whenever you ares” on, no-matter what or who (but he put it another way as described in my book). Frankie was very quotable and had a lot of “sayings” – many direct and controversial. In my first radio memoir book,
https://www.createspace.com/3563928
(which you can see the front cover of to the right), I write about Mr. Crocker and how he influenced so many of us during his times. The way I got “past” his gatekeepers like Denise Colon and Champaine of WBLS FM, New York, was to wait patiently in the lobby on many an afternoon, while superstar celebrities whisked-in ahead of me. I knew that one day I would get my turn – and I did some other “things” to get his attention along the way which I describe. 

~ Pickhitt:

I’d  be remiss if I didn’t credit my loving and full-of-good-ideas fiancee`, Nina, who thought of this book promotional post!

Cheers, Babychka!

“If Frankie Crocker’s not on your radio, your radio’s not really ON…”  😀  ~~ Jimi

My Vinyl – Loleatta Holloway

One…two…one, two, three, hit it! My “children” (aka my Disco record crates) are weeping in memory of an original “disco diva” from the 1970s, Loleatta Holloway, who left the physical world yesterday at only sixty-four (64) years of age.  First impression?  Again – we never know how long we have on Earth…

My Holloway vinyl library consists mainly of  special DJ 12″ pressings (which play at the speed of 45rpm) and 45rpms with the long versions of her classic disco hits that the record companies bestowed up me, the “baby DJ” when they ran-out of the bigger platters.  A neighbor gave me this one that somebody was going to throw away, of all things…

Of course I first heard of Ms. Holloway when the late Frankie Crocker introduced her over the airwaves of the then number one music station in the nation, New York City’s WBLS, 107.5 FM, “Loleatta Holloway…that’s ‘Hit and Run…she’s a Diva…”  The eleven minutes of 1977’s “Hit and Run” is the disc that I can always put my hands on first as I’ve kept it cataloged in the same crate.  Listening today for this post, I dusted off my Hustle steps with my invisible dance partner, Nina! (I’ll have no problem teaching it to her, lol)  That’s the dance that was popular during the Holloway heyday.

I have two “Love Sensations” and to listen to the video below, I am reminded how Crocker and another programmer of the day used to speed-up the pitch of the music we played on the air so as to make our “sound” livelier than the competition –  pitch control on turntables was “new technology” back in the ’70s – an it worked! This version sounds a bit labored.

Loleatta is one of those classic club music singers like my acquaintance Jocelyn Brown, who had that throaty, church- Gospel kind of yell that they used to accent the song’s situation.  She added that accent more after her days as an R&B singer on the Aware record label, no-doubt.  The only hit I own from those days is “Casanova”…played during my young-adult days on NYC’s WWRL AM and Newark’s WNJR AM, it still resonates and retrieves those memories here, now

index

that I dug it out of the old 45 box; there was a bigger hit from those days, “Cry To Me” but I didn’t like that one as much, nor do I have it, and for a long time I didn’t make the  connection between those Atlanta days and the disco jams.

“It’s all ova, Casanova, It’s all ova CasaNOVA…”

Teaming-up with Salsoul Records head man and producer, Vince Montana, and his Salsoul Orchestra gave Loleatta the opportunity to shine on their second album, 1977’s  “Magic Journey” with the midway on side one the hit  “Runaway”.  My only other Holloway appearance is on Dan Hartman’s 1980 floor-filler “Vertigo/Relight My Fire album.  That is one l-o-n-g intro and Loleatta’s voice stands out among the chorus, “Strong enough to walk on through the night!” Yeah! 

 Once Holloway blessed the DJ booth of the Garage in NYC while I was there visiting Larry Levan after my overnight radio show on WBLS.

What is your favorite disco memory from 1977?  “Ok, now let’s do the album version…” lol

I own every Moments record on vinyl – 45rpm or LP.  No brag, just fact.

A couple of nights ago I learned that singer Al Goodman left the physical world at age sixty-seven.  That is not too old, but old enough for those of his generation and show business profession.

Al Goodman

 was one-third of the group The Moments, who I grew-up listening to on metro New York City “soul” radio stations WWRL AM and WNJR AM in the late 1960s and early 1970s.  The Moments touched a spot in my youthful musical psyche and heart like no other group did as I discovered the virtues and passionate pains of romance and love. 

The only groups of that era that came close were The Delfonics and The Continental Four, who most of my friends adored more; but I dug The Moments!  Maybe because their lesser-known record label, Stang ( a division of All Platinum), appealed to my rebellious, left-of-the-mainstream personality.  The raw production wasn’t as polished as The Delfonic’s Philly Groove label, and that was quite the charm of  The Moment’s sound effect as well as their unique three-man harmony. 

Harry Ray,

often the lead on the classic hits and another third of the group passed away back in 1992, and now that leaves only Billy Brown alive as an original “Moment” if I am correct. 

I remember when my radio mentor, Sonny Taylor was an executive at Polydor Records for a brief stint during which The Moments made a move towards larger recognition than they must have thought Sylvia Robinson and All Platinum could give them, the controversy was that they had to give-up their name, “The Moments”,because of a stupid legal dispute, and the sleazy, petty politic of the record music industry. They became known as their last names of (Harry) Ray, (Al) Goodman &  (Billy) Brown.  We true fans never recognized this, and to this day call them “The Moments”!  The best song that came out of that marriage was “Special Lady” in 1979. 

My favorite Moment moment is 1974’s “(Hey Girl) What Is your Name” where Al’s name is the forefront of the writer’s credits on “The Best Of The Moments”.  By 1976, Carol Sager was in the writer’s house with The Moments on such classics as “I Could Have Loved You” and the ever running “I Don’t Wanna Go (But I Can’t Stay Here No More)”, an album produced by Al Goodman, Walter Morris and Harry Ray.

 Now, I must admit that as my favorite song isn’t quite true, as there are SO many other Moment memories to choose from, like  my real  first favorite when I was a teenager, “Lovely Way She Loves”, which typifies a young man first discovering that a slow dance with a girl at a basement house party can make parts of your loins come alive anew!  There are also the many hits backed by All Platinum studio musicians from the band Willie (Feaster) and the Mighty Magnificents such as   “Not On The Outside, But Inside Strong”, “Somebody Loves You Baby”, “I Do”, “Sunday”, “All I Have”, “Just Because He Wants To Make Love (Doesn’t Mean he Loves You)”, “If I Didn’t Care” (which my parents must have gotten tired of because I played the grooves off of that 45rpm up in my boyhood room,  to the point the record was dusty!), and then moving into [I think] a group of different background musicians, hitting gold with the classic, “I Found Love On A Two Way Street” ( which coincidentally comes-on as I write these words!). If you ever conjure it, remember there is a long version of it, where the vamp, “Bye, Bye Baby, bye bye!” is extended into the fade at end.  Their songs were not all slow, however as they made forays into the Disco trend with “Sweet Lady” (OMG!), “Sexy Mama” ( the 8:50 version with the fade-in and out), and “Girls!”

When I heard word of Al Goodman’s passing, I suddenly couldn’t get their “Gotta Find A Way” out of my musical mind!  Also I must mention “Seven Days” [OMG! with the fade-in-and-fade-out; one of the first l-o-n-g slow jams], “Lucky Me”, “To You With Love’, “I’m So Lost”, “Look At Me, I’m In Love”, and that album that they did with The o’Jays, “The O’Jays Meet The Moments”.  My college roommate must have grown weary of me always coming in after an argument with my (then) puppy loves of campus, and throwing-on The Moments to soothe my pains, lol. 

Fortunately and finally, I got to meet and “hang” with these Moments, especially during the mid-1980s into the early 1990s.  it was like a dream-come-true to chill with singers you idolized as part of your youth, ya know what I mean?  I remember  Harry Ray and another late radio inspiration and mentor, Jerry Bledsoe, cutting-up at the Dow Twins’s New York City major nightclub, Leviticus on WBLS night where Jerry B. cursed-out WBLS FM management and aired some dirty laundry.  THAT was a classic! LOL Several times, I was suddenly in the company of  the total gracious and class act, Billy Brown,  on numerous occasions at various occasions.  I always had to hold myself  back from fawning like a schoolgirl over these cats with copious compliments. 

Al Goodman, “the baritone” was the quieter of the trio.  It was a great honor to be “With You“…I’ll never sing another song ’bout leaving…”

Classic Live Smokey Robinson (actually after The Miracles when he was solo in 1979)…for your Summer Cruisin’ pleasure …”Hey Nowww!”  (the late Hank Spann)….Welcome to summer 2010…Where There’s Smoke…There’s Fire!  “Don’t forget to stop by and pick me up!!”

From the lip-sync days, but I always thought that Smokey insisted on having a live mic and singing it – because he is the master writer/singer/composer – still.

Sooo…can you stand one MORE? Ok…See, feel, hear the chemistry grow between Smokey and Kim Karnes; two great singers vibing.  Check out the bandmaster in the background keeping the musiciansin the pocket!  I rest my cask.

P.S. Be sure to hit the “full screen” button!

I don’t know about where you live if you live in a city in the U.S.A., but here in Hootyville I didn’t hear any radio stations doing a tribute to Teddy Pendergrass when word came that he passed away on January 13th.  That is  damn shame, but what you get when you have cold, inflexible corporations running the radio of the day.

The first time I heard Teddy Pendergrass was back when the late, great radio programmer Frankie Crocker played a record by Harold Melvin &  The Blue Notes called “I Miss You” on the first Black FM music station in New York City, WLIB-FM in 1972.  They would play the whole eight minute version where the AM stations would only play “part 1” and the Teddy’ Bear’s voice was the most powerful on this then new group; it grabbed you!  My favorite on that first album on Philadelphia International Records however, was (and still is) “Yesterday I Had The Blues”.  That was the first time that Teddy really brought it emotionally, and shined distinctively on a song with his “cryin'”  and pleading style.  The other hit from the album was “If You Don’t Know Me By Now” (whose intrumental track sounds very similar to The Eagle’s “Take It To The Limit, by the way), and again Teddy carried the tune and painted the lyrical picture.

Around 1973 WLIB FM became WBLS FM, and Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes second album, “Black & Blue” hit the streets preceeded by the single “The Love I Lost, part 1”.  Back then many “soul” records had a “part one” and the flip side of the 45rpm record would be “part 2” – a trend started by James Brown and King Records I think.  What was hip about that was that it created anticipation for the album (lp or long-playing  331/3) to come out so that you could hear the whole song without the interruption of having to physically turn the record over.  I remember this especially benefiting this group on this particular song and once again Teddy Pendergrass was given more of a lead role and he ran with it.  It also was the beginning of the “Disco” era, so when I as a “baby DJ” gleaned this, I would play it to fill the dance floor because of its really moving beat.  The cover features the group clad in caberet-style tuxedo, and Teddy still tugging at your heart strings as he breaks it down.  Another favorite on that album is the slow jam, “Concentrate On Me”, where in their classic Gamble & Huff style, the formula was for Teddy to tell the story in-between magnificent chorouses by the rest of the group.  I remember vintage radio personalities of the day like Crocker saying that Teddy was “taking you to church on that one…”  Groups like these helped to form my notions about romance and unrequited love, and I still fall back on them during times of heartbreak (like in recent months). 

1975 saw the group  produce two great albums, “To Be True” and “Wake Up Everybody”.  It also marked the first signs of a restless Teddy Bear; as I recall, he threatened to leave  unless he received top billing, and so in a compromise of sorts they became Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes  featuring Teddy Pendergrass. Teddy knew he made the sound of the group sell.

“To be True” spawned at least three hits: “Where Are All My Friends”,” To Be True”, and the biggest, most dancable one, “Bad Luck”. I also loved “Nobody Could Ever Take Your Place” with its long MFSB-style dancable instrumental- into-the-fade.  The group also introduced a female to the sound for the first time in Sharon Paige who many of my classmates loved on the jazzy “Hope That We Can Be Together Soon”.  Word was behind the scenes that she was included to vex Teddy a bit within his power-play.  Lightning struck twice when later that year the second album dropped and Teddy led the way on a spirited cover of the Thelma Houston disco classic “Don’t Leave me This Way”.  My personal fave on “Wake Up” is his work on “Tell The World How I Feel About’Cha Baby”, and the title track scored by touching a nerve within us all in a timeless way.

 The next vinyl in my Teddy library, is simply entitled “Teddy Pendergrass” or “the white scarf album” as my mentor, the late Sonny Taylor called it.  As the title suggests, he was now a solo act after a final dispute with Harold Melvin, who replaced him with someone I remember only as “Ebo” as introduced at Madison Square Garden’s old “Felt Forum”  (now the Paramount).  He was still written by Gamble and Huff, and the material  and tempos were as good as every for “Pender-bender” which was another of the nicknames we gave him.  It featured the hit “You Can’t Hide From Yourself”, the introspective “The Whole Town’s Laughing At Me” and a serious smash in “I Don’t Love You Anymore” among others.  My notes scribbled on the back of the jacket give this album five stars back in March of 1977.  Personal fave here: “The More I Get, The More I Want” ( he’d sing “ah-yeah” between verses).  As I listen to the music Teddy left behind, it becomes apparent that he made the right moves with his career, and his timing was excellent for a good while.

There are two vinyls that I was never able to add to my collection, “T.P” and “Life Is A Song Worth Singing”.  They were released sometime between 1977 and 1980 and included two of my faaavorite numbers, “Love TKO” and “Close The Door”. “TKO” was so hot that even with the record company connections of a young  DJ, I could not secure anything but a couple of 45rpms of it until Teddy’s “Greatest Hits” came out  in 1984.

Two years later, in 1979 (a great year for Disco and Soul music) his next solo album, “Teddy” or the red album was clearly a sexier effort.  “Come Go With Me” and the powerful “Turn Off The Lights” (“I’ve something in my MIND, something I’ve been wanting to do it all the TIME!  Yeah…Yes!..”) led it off and were massive romantic hits which still sound  sensual today. Later that same year “Teddy Live! Coast To Coast” , a double vinyl album hit just in time for Christmas on December 12th.  If it had come out today, it definitly would have included a video, but in those days a full length poster of Pendergrass did just fine.  During those performances, one In Philadelphia and the others in Los Angeles, he included a medly of his hits with The Blue Notes and by now the women in the audience were throwing articles of their underwear at him in adoration.

Little did he or we know that tradegy would strike and almost silence Teddy three years later when he had a Roy Campanella-style auto accident one night that left him paralysed from the waste down.  There were several scandalous rumors surrounding that event, which I’ll not go into here.

Teddy Pendergrass rose like the Pheonix though; the next vinyl in my collection, “This One’s For You” (1982) was a homage to his fans after he pulled through the medical procedures that followed his accident.  Maybe the first track on there says it best about how he felt at the time, ” I Can’t Win For Losing”.

By 1984 Teddy had signed with Elektra/Asylum Records and subsquently sang the next three and final of my vinyls for that record company.  The three now only photographed him from the chest-up; no more cowboy hats and suggestive gyration photos.  “Love Language” featured the sexy, “You’re My Choice Tonight” which I played on New York City radio along with more introspective selections such as “In My Time”.  1985’s “Workin’ It Back” had eight five-star songs on it, including “Let Me Be Closer”, co-written by the legendary Linda Creed, and “Love Emergency”, co written by Womack & Womack,  who also penned the fabulous “Love TKO”. For the first time, Teddy’s star began to fade around this point, in my opinion. 

The last and most recent vinyl in my Teddy Bear den is 1988’s spirited “Joy” , which was produced by Teddy for Teddy Bear Productions, Inc. (see, he listened to us!)  The first two songs are the stalwarts here as well: the title track and one of the best songs he ever sang after the crash, “2 A.M” which decribes the end of a party and alludes to taking her home and to a more intimate level.  The accident humbled Pendergrass as it probably would  any of us, and his subsequent work showed it even though his voice never lost all of it’s sex appeal nor he the ability to orally interpret lyrics to evoke real feelings.

I just heard the end notes of Teddy fading off from a tribute to Teddy Pendergrass on the radio tonight, two nights later – on the PBS station! Bigg Upps to them and their warm teddy-bear selves.

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