Barry White credits Elvis Presley’s song, It’s Now Or Never for changing the course of his life. In his Youth, he had been involved in criminal activity at age 17, arrested and put in jail for 4 months!
Singer, Cheryl Lynn performed on the “Gong Show” she sung her most famous song “Got to be Real” which peaked at number 1 on the R&B charts!
Singer, Keni Burke (Singer of the hit song (“Risin to the Top”) was an Original “Ooh Child ” Five StairStep member!
Singer, Smokey Robinson loved Cowboy movies so much that his nickname was Smokey Joe until the age of 12!
“Bring The Boys Home and “Band of Gold” singer Freda Payne was married to singer, composer, and musician Gregory Abbott. He is best known for his singles in the mid–1980s including his platinum single, “Shake You Down” and they have one son together born in 1977.
Did You Know
- Did you know the “Four Tops” were originally named ‘The Four Aimes’ when they started out in 1954 singing at a Detroit party? “They signed a contract with Chess Records and then changed their Name to ‘The Four Tops’. They had no successful recordings with Chess Records. Over the next few years, they had signed various contracts with Red Tops, Columbia and Riverside Records and all proved unsuccessful as well. The group signed with Motown Records in 1963 and had such hits as “Baby I Need Your Loving,” “Reach Out (I’ll be There),” “I Can’t Help Myself” and “Standing in the Shadows of Love.” The group was elected to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990. One of Obie Benson’s (An original member) greatest songwriting accomplishment was when he, along with Al Cleveland co-wrote with Marvin Gaye the 1971 hit “What’s Going On.”
- Lead singer Billy Henderson and co-founder of the Detroit vocal group, “The Spinners” was working on a new group “Spinners Part Too” prior to his death. He passed away February 2, 2007.
- Singer Tammi Terrell died on this day in R&B History March 16, 1970, and for three years following her death, Marvin Gaye stopped performing.
4) Did you know, three months after Sam Cooke’s death, 21-year-old Bobby Womack married Cooke’s widow, Barbara Campbell, who was ten years older than him. Their marriage was considered a dishonor by some in the music business, and Womack found himself alienated in the music world. His brothers turned against him, as did his devoted fans, and he was assaulted by Sam’s brother. Womack stated ” he initially went to Barbara’s side to console her following Cooke’s death for fear that, if she were left alone, she would “do something crazy.” Then in 1970, Bobby and Barbara divorced after she found out that he had an affair with his 18-year-old stepdaughter, Linda. She was the daughter of Sam and Barbara Cooke. Linda later married Bobby’s brother Cecil and the two eventually paired up to become the songwriters Womack & Womack.
5) Did you know “Freda Payne” was once married to R&B Artist Gregory Abbott? Abbott is best known for his singles in the 80s including his 1986 platinum single, “Shake You Down”, that spiraled to #1 in the US.
The legendary lead singer of the “Temptations” passed away one day before his 75th Birthday. Edwards was born in Fairfield Alabama on Feb 3, 1943, and started singing in his father’s church at the age of 2. When his family moved to Detroit, Michigan he continued to sing in the church his father pastored and eventually became a choir director.
During his teenage years, he joined a Gospel group called”The Mighty Clouds of Joy”; while studying music at the Detroit Conservatory of Music. Unfortunately, he was not allowed to sing or listen to nonreligious music in his home. His mother did not approve of him pursuing a career in R&B music. After serving time in the military, he was retained by Motown Records and assigned to join “The Contours ” after their lead singer fell ill.
In 1967 he was drafted into “The Temptations” replacing lead singer David Ruffin. He led the group with such hits as, “I Can’t Get Next To You “, “Cloud Nine”, “Ball Of Confusion”, Papa Was A Rollin Stone”, and “Shakey Ground” among many others. “Cloud Nine” and “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone”, won Grammy Awards.
He piloted the group ” The Temptations Featuring Dennis Edwards” which included “Paul Williams Jr” (Son of original member Paul Williams) during the 90’s and continued touring in recent years. He is a “Temptation” that will truly be missed. R.I.P Dennis Edwards and thank you for sharing your voice and talent with the world.
Singer Brenda Jones of the Jones Girls passed away on April 3, 2017.
“According to her sister, Shirley Jones, the singer died after she was struck on Monday, April 3, by several cars while attempting to cross the street while visiting her daughter in Wilmington, Delaware. Police are still investigating the incident, but her sister called Brenda’s death a heartbreaking loss “.
The Jones Girls serves as backup singers for many groups and recording artists such as Lou Rawls, Aretha Frankin, and Teddy Pendergrass. Known for classic hits like “You Gonna Make Me Love Somebody Else” and ” Nights Over Egypt”. Brenda Jones will surely be missed by her fans and Backbeatrnb would like to thank her for sharing her voice with the world. S.I.P Brenda, you are going to be missed.
Read more at EBONY http://www.ebony.com/entertainment-culture/brenda-jones-jones-girls-died#ixzz4dOxOCdV9
“You Gonna Make Me Love Somebody Else”
“Nights Over Egypt”
R&B history is one thing but, there are some very interesting facts that Backbeatrnb discovered about some of our famous musicians, singers, groups etc. Did you know:
1) Singer, Colonel Abrams was given the name Colonel at birth and a crowdfunding campaign was launched in 2015 to house Abrams. He was homeless and needed to raise funds in order to pay for medical treatment.
2) Singer-actress Freda Payne is the sister to Scherrie Payne (who was a member of The Supremes after Jean Terrell Left the group from 1973-1977) . Ms. Payne was also married to singer Gregory Abbott who was 12 years her junior and they have one son.
3) The last original surviving member of the R&B group, The Persuaders Willie Holland died February 13, 2016 but, their legacy continues to live on into the 21st Century.
4) Plans are in the works to make a biopic of Teddy Pendergrass’s life and Tyrese Gibson has been picked to play the part.
5) Singer, Keni Burke began his career with his fellow siblings The Five Stair-Steps. Keni a guitarist and bassist is best known for his hit “Rising To The Top”.
– Did you know, R&B Singer Major Harris replaced Delfonics singer Randy Cain when Randy left the group in 1971! Major Harris’s biggest solo hit in 1975, “Love Won’t Let Me Wait” was ranked the #24 song on the Top Billboard and awarded a Gold Disc by the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of Americain) in 1975 !
– Did you Know that Otis Redding wrote Aretha Franklin’s classic hit song, ” Respect” in 1965 and it became one of her signature songs!
– Believe it or not, there are people that don’t know this Four Top classic ” I Can’t Help Myself” by name . But, say ” Sugar Pie Honey Bunch”, they can sing you the rest of the song and tell you who made it a hit in 1965.” Sugar Pie Honey Bunch, ranked #2 on the Top Billboard in 1965!
– Did you know ” Baby, I’m For Real” was written by Marvin & Anna Gordy Gaye! (Marvin’s first wife and Berry Gordy’s older sister) The song topped the R&B charts and was sung by the group “The Original’s”, it was their last single in 1969 before the group disbanded !
– Did you know that Ralph Tavares of the singing group “Tavares” retired as Chief Court Officer with Fall River Justice Center in Mass after a 30-year absence with the group! He started performing again in April 2014. The group is currently Touring in the UK with the “Temptations” and the “Four Tops.
Did you know this week in R&B History, 33 years ago on July 21, 1983, Diana Ross gave a free OUTSTANDING concert in Central Park. I remember seeing this Concert on TV! Do you remember or were you there?
A Great Singer and actress, Diana Ross was such a big part of the 60’s and of course well remembered for being the lead singer of the sensational group the Supremes. Ms. Ross also had a successful solo singing career before venturing into acting. She also starred in such Films as “Lady Sings The Blues ” and “The Wiz.
Many of us believe that ” Memorial Day” is the Official start of the summer season, let’s not forget the true meaning of the Holiday,which is to remember those who gave their lives in military service or Combat so that we may live . We must teach our children the importance of Memorial day. It’s not just a day off from work or school but a day to pay respect to the men & women who died serving this Great Country.
- Marvin Gaye- 1957-US Air Force
- Barry Gordy- 1951- US Army
- Lou Rawls- 1955- US Army
- Bill Withers- 1956- US Navy
- Harry Belafonte 1943- US Navy
- Don Cornelius 1954- US Marines
- Clyde Mcphatter 1954- US Army
- Terrence Trent D’Arby- 1981- US Army
- Ice-T 1975- US Army
- Roy Ayers 1958- US Army
Backbeatrnb wants to say ” Thank You ” for your service as well as all the other men and woman who gave their lives so that we all may live!
BACKBEATRNB “OLD SCHOOL”CD MONTHLY GIVEAWAY – EMAIL -Backbeatrnb Your name and the name of your favorite R&B singer/group to:email@example.com for a chance to win. The drawing will take place June 1, 2016 . Must be 18 years of age or older.
ENJOY YOUR SUMMER WITH THE SOUND OF “OLD SCHOOL R&B !
Otis Redding’s name is synonymous with soul music ! Redding left a legacy of recordings made during the four-year period from his first sessions with Stax and Volt Records in 1963 until his death in 1967. Ironically, he made a great impact on the R&B charts beginning with “Pain In My Heart” in 1964. The posthumous release of “Sittin’ On The Dock of the Bay”, a landmark song was recorded four days before Redding’s death. It spiked to #1 and stayed there for four weeks in early 1968. It marked new directions for the singer towards soul-folk-pop and R&B genre.Redding became known as the voice of soul music after he was discovered recording “These Arms of Mine”,the song quickly took off, rising to No. 20 on the R&B charts in 1963 and that’s when his career soared. Redding began recording for Stax Records, playing the guitar and arranging his own songs. He was known for his energy in the studio and, in 1965, recorded the album Otis Blue: Otis Redding Sings Soul in one day. He released “I’ve Been Loving Your Too Long” that same year, and “Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa (Sad Song)” a year later. In 1967, Redding started his own label, Jotis Records, hoping to become more involved behind the scenes. As his career was taking off, he died in a plane crash on December 10, 1967. The song “(Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay” became his first and only No. 1 hit in 1968. He was inducted into the Rock-In-Roll Hall of Fame March 11, 1989.