Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1101

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Back In The Day - March 1977 (Issue 220)

Back In The Day - March 1977 (Issue 220)
Back In The Day - March 1977 (Issue 220)

Ooops looks like this magazine has been through the washing machine! Some of the front cover is missing but I can make out a young smiling Harold Melvin, wearing the shiniest of gold medallions. Doesn’t conjure up the best of pictures does it, but, hey, it was the seventies. Let’s backtrack –

News items first, with Motown updating legal proceedings against the Jacksons’ management and Epic Records/CBS Inc by increasing the amount of damages sought from $5 million to $20 million. This increase was based on press statements and photos that were issued at the time of the announcement that the Jacksons would be switching from Motown to CBS when their contract with the latter expired……Almost a quarter of the amount that the Union Planters Bank had received for its sale of Stax masters was to be paid to the estate of the late Otis Redding for unpaid royalties…

…Due for US March release from Polydor – Joe Simon’s Easy To Love, Gloria Gaynor’s Glorious and Joe Beck’s debut for the company titled Watch The Time….Bloodstone left London Records, after penning a five year deal with Epic that guaranteed them earnings during that period of $2.7 million….Natalie Cole wed her producer Marvin Yancy …. Robert Cullen was producing the first album by Yvonne Fair for British-based Ember Records. Yvonne’s main claim to fame was her UK hit of last year, It Should Have Been Me from her Bitch Is Black album…

… Edwin Starr – who recently signed to GTO Records in the UK – has joined 20th Century in the States. Edwin was currently touring the UK with The Stylistics…..In the US singles chart, Thelma Houston, Natalie Cole and Deniece Williams took the top three spots…..In the UK the top three soul singles – Heatwave’s Boogie Nights; Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes’ Don’t Leave Me This Way, and Earth Wind & Fire’s Saturday Night. While top UK albums were Stevie Wonder’s Songs In The Key Of Life; Rose Royce’s Car Wash soundtrack, and Earth Wind & Fire’s Spirit

…..The magazine’s centre pages boasted John Abbey’s interview with Harold Melvin talking about the new Blue Notes, among other things…..In Dave Godin’s column, his top Rave was Everlasting Love by Rufus - “from their immaculate Ask Rufus album. This is not the old Robert Knight number but an entirely original item that has such an intense funk groove that its compelling melody and rhythm border on deep hypnosis! It really put you under its mesmeric spell, and Chaka Khan’s vocals are in peak form.” Dave also loved Essence’s I Ain’t Much But I’m All I Got - “Lovely ballad, superbly performed and arranged, it could well surprise us all and become a big hit. Certainly it’s the sort of side that gains with every spin and it has so much going for it that soul fans owe it to themselves to seek it out and give it a listen. Big ballad fans will adore it. (Yes, we did!)…

...David Nathan reported that Aretha Franklin and Lamont Dozier were in the studio togther. The latter producing Ms Franklin’s next set, tentatively tabbed Sweet Passions… .Home Is Where The Heart Is new album from Bobby Womack on CBS Records…

….UK tour dates were announced for Martha Reeves and her Vandellas (Caroline Bolden and Janice Lamont) that took in the Lakeside Club, Camberley, before the trio hiked it to the Middle East for more club dates. …Barry White/Love Unlimited added an extra March date to his UK tour at Preston Guildhall. As well as carrying nine of his own rhythm section, his orchestra was to be augmented by 35 further musicians (45 for the London concert). A seven foot mirror was also due to be utilised on stage (?)…and the Commodores were due for a club tour …….David Nathan also spoke to Syreeta – they chatted about her absence from the business which was due to the birth of her son Jamal – “Motown became very protective – almost over-protective I think. I really wanted to record and work but they wanted me to stay at home and rest. So I spent some time becoming involved in community work, particularly working with children.” They also spoke about her pending album – “I’ve written songs that I believe people will be able to get into easily. Like One To One – that’s about how your heart cannot divide love. And You Are The Way You Are – I guess that’s self-explanatory.‘’ Course Of Happiness is about teaching yourself to be happy. And Rest Yourself is about doing just that.”…

… And finally, there was Spring Madness at Contempo Soul Source - for March only, when the popular world famous soul packs were being reintroduced! These packs contained 100 all different soul singles, with a price tag of £6.25 inclusive of postage and packing. Regrettably, Contempo was unable to give any insight into the included titles – but guaranteed buyers wouldn’t be disappointed. Now that’s what I call a bargain!!

Til next time – keep the faith.


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