Friday, October 28, 2011

David Sha: Yes, Yes Y'all (Official Video)

The "Yes, Yes Y'all" video was actually released a couple of months ago, although I feel like I should have posted it sooner, now is a better time because this tune has picked up a lot of steam. Lately David Sha has been bouncing around the country tearing it up with his energy. Not only can he give an enthusiastic, heartfelt delivery, he can also put on his emcee and poetry hats to keep listeners interested and on their toes.

This tune was done out of the love for Hip-Hop and music in general. Of course looking at its title, it falls under the traditional call and response that's been around forever and carried on through classic Hip-Hop. Mr. Sha will be releasing his UGLY album real soon. Here's another chance for you to see how H-town gets down. Enjoy!

"LIKE" on Facebook: David Sha Music
Twitter: @1dibidi

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Brittany Bosco: Pacer EP

It's been a minute since Atlanta based Brittany Bosco has released an album. Now she's performing and touring with her full band and they have released the Pacer EP for free via her website and their Bandcamp page. To get this ear candy, go here. The majority of the EP was produced by Dog Bite and two tracks were produced by Ira G. While you're on their Bandcamp page, browse around for another goodie. Enjoy!

Follow on Twitter:
Brittany Bosco: @helloBOSCO

Happy Birthday: Mahalia Jackson & Bootsy Collins

Mahalia Jackson
(October 26, 1911 – January 27, 1972)

Mahalia Jackson, a woman with a very powerful voice and fondly known as "The Queen of Gospel" was born on this day in New Orleans. Jackson became one of the most influential gospel singers in the world, and was heralded internationally as a singer and civil rights activist; entertainer Harry Belafonte called her "the single most powerful black woman in the United States". She recorded about 30 albums (mostly for Columbia Records) during her career, and her 45 rpm records included a dozen "golds"—million-sellers.

In 1929, Jackson met the composer Thomas A. Dorsey, known as the Father of Gospel Music. He gave her musical advice, and in the mid-1930s they began a fourteen-year association of touring, with Jackson singing Dorsey's songs in church programs and at conventions. His "Take My Hand, Precious Lord" became her signature song.

Her good friend Martin Luther King Jr said, "A voice like hers comes along once in a millennium." She was a close friend of Doris Akers, one of the most prolific gospel composers of the 20th century. In 1958, they co-wrote the hit, "Lord, Don't Move The Mountain". Mahalia also sang many of Akers' own compositions such as, "God Is So Good To Me", "God Spoke To Me One Day", "Trouble", "Lead On, Lord Jesus", and "He's A Light Unto My Pathway", helping Doris to secure her position as the leading female Gospel composer of that time. In addition to sharing her singing talent with the world, she mentored the extraordinarily gifted Aretha Franklin. Mahalia was also good friends with Dorothy Norwood and fellow Chicago-based gospel singer Albertina Walker. She also discovered a young Della Reese. On the twentieth anniversary of her passing, Smithsonian Folkways Recording commemorated Jackson with the album I Sing Because I'm Happy, which includes interviews about her childhood conducted by Jules Scherwin.

The National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences created the Gospel Music or Other Religious Recording category for Jackson making her the first Gospel Music Artist to win the prestigious Grammy Award. American Idol winner and Grammy Award-winning R&B singer Fantasia Barrino has been cast to play Mahalia Jackson in a biographical film about her life. The movie will be based on the 1993 book Got to Tell It: Mahalia Jackson, Queen of Gospel. The film is said to be directed by Euzhan Palcy.


Funk bassist, singer, and songwriter William Earl "Bootsy" Collins rose to prominence with James Brown in the late 1960s, and with Parliament-Funkadelic in the '70s, Collins's driving bass guitar and humorous vocals established him as one of the leading names in funk. With his elder brother Phelps "Catfish" Collins, and Kash Waddy and Philippé Wynne, Collins formed a funk band called The Pacemakers in 1968. In March 1970, after most of the members of James Brown's band quit over a pay dispute, The Pacemakers were hired as Brown's backing band and they became known as The J.B.'s. (They are often referred to as the "original" J.B.'s to distinguish them from later line-ups that went by the same name.) Although they worked for Brown for only 11 months, the original J.B.'s played on some of Brown's most intense funk recordings, including "Get Up (I Feel Like Being a) Sex Machine", "Super Bad", "Soul Power", and "Talkin' Loud and Sayin' Nothing".

After parting ways with James Brown, Bootsy returned to Cincinnati and formed House Guests with his brother Phelps Collins, Rufus Allen, Clayton "Chicken" Gunnels, Frank Waddy, Ronnie Greenaway and Robert McCullough. The House Guests released two singles on the House Guests label as well as a third as The Sound of Vision on the House Guests label.

Collins next moved to Detroit, following the advice of singer and future Parliament member Mallia Franklin. Franklin introduced both Collins brothers to George Clinton, and 1972 saw both of the Collins brothers, along with Waddy, join Funkadelic. Bootsy played bass on most of Funkadelic and Parliament's albums through 1980, garnering several songwriting credits as well.

In 1976 Bootsy, Catfish, Waddy, Joel Johnson, Gary "Mudbone" Cooper, Robert Johnson and The Horny Horns formed Bootsy's Rubber Band, a separate touring unit of Clinton's P-Funk collective. The group recorded four albums together, the first three of which are often considered to be among the quintessential P-Funk recordings. The group's 1978 album Bootsy? Player of the Year reached the top of the R&B album chart and spawned the #1 R&B single "Bootzilla".

Like Clinton, Bootsy took on several alter egos, from Casper the Funky Ghost to Bootzilla, "the world's only rhinestone rockstar monster of a doll", as parts of the evolving character of an alien rock star who grew gradually more bizarre as time went on. He also adopted his trademark "space bass" around this time.

In July 2010, Collins, in partnership with former child actor Cory Danziger, launched Funk University ("Funk U"), an online-only bass guitar school in which he also serves as curator and lead professor. Funk University offers an intense curriculum tailored for intermediate to advanced bass players as well as anyone interested in a deeper understanding of funk. The curriculum is based on bass theory, history of funk, and Collins' own musical history given by Collins himself, augmented by lessons and exercises in bass and rhythm from guest bassist professors such as Les Claypool, Meshelle Ndegeocello, John B (Williams) and Victor Wooten.

Bootsy Collins Official Website

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Happy Birthday: Anita O'Day, Chuck Berry & Wynton Marsalis

Anita O'day
(October 18, 1919 – November 23, 2006)

Born Anita Belle Colton, O'Day was admired for her sense of rhythm and dynamics, and her early big band appearances shattered the traditional image of the "girl singer". Refusing to pander to any female stereotype, O'Day presented herself as a "hip" jazz musician, wearing a band jacket and skirt as opposed to an evening gown. She changed her surname from Colton to O'Day, pig Latin for "dough," slang for money. (Read more...)

Chuck Berry

Charles Edward Anderson "Chuck" Berry (born October 18, 1926) is a guitarist, singer, and songwriter, and one of the pioneers of Rock and Roll music. With songs such as "Maybellene" (1955), "Roll Over Beethoven" (1956), "Rock and Roll Music" (1957) "Johnny B. Goode" (1958), and "My Ding-a-Ling" (1972). Chuck Berry refined and developed Rhythm and Blues into the major elements that made rock and roll distinctive, with lyrics focusing on teen life and consumerism and utilizing guitar solos and showmanship that would be a major influence on subsequent rock music. (Read more...)

Wynton Marsalis

Wynton Learson Marsalis, born October 18, 1961 in New Orleans, Louisiana, is a Jazz and Western classical virtuoso trumpeter and composer. He is Artistic Director of Jazz at Lincoln Center. He has promoted the appreciation of Classical and Jazz music, often focusing on young audiences. (Read more...)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

G'Ny: Fanm Isi (Vidéo Officielle)

Giving you a taste of Africa via France from an artist by the name G'Ny I just got hip to with the help of MeeMee Nelzy. Although I can't understand everything in the lyrics, it's still a great song that moves me. From what I understand, this is the first single from her upcoming album that's dropping on October 27th. I hope to learn more about this artist and post more music from her in the near future. Enjoy!

Farewell Contro' Versy

Contro' Versy
(September 10, 1977 - October 14, 2011)

The Hip-Hop community mourns the loss of another powerful activist in the community who's work spoke volumes. Contro' Versy (also known as Miss Electric Blue) was born and raised in Cape Town, South Africa and eventually made her move stateside to Bronx, NY. For a more extensive bio and her contributions, read more on her Contro' Versy Facebook page.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Happy Birthday: Fela Kuti

Fela Kuti
(October 15, 1938 - August 2, 1997)

Born Olufela Olusegun Oludotun Ransome-Kuti in Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria, "Fela" is the father of "Afro-Beat", a human rights and political activist, and also a composer who's music was later influenced by James Brown and the Black Power movement after a visit to the United States in 1969 with his band Koola Lobitos. Fela would later change the name of the band to Nigeria '70. After the Immigration and Naturalization Service was being tipped off by a promoter who said Fela and his band were in the U.S. without work permits, the band then performed a quick recording session in Los Angeles that would later be released as The ’69 Los Angeles Sessions. (Read more...)

Happy Birthday: Dr. N. Ramini

Dr. Natesan Ramani, also known as "Flute Ramani" was born on October 15, 1934 in Tiruvarur in Tamil Nadu, India. Aside from the influence of his place of birth, Ramani was born into a musical family. Ramani's grandfather, Sri Aazhiyur Narayanaswami Iyer, was his first guru and was a well known flute artist and singer himself. Aware of young Ramani's keen interest in the Carnatic flute, Ramani's initiation to Carnatic music began at the age of five. He is a disciple of the legendary T. R. Mahalingam, known more commonly as "Mali," who first popularized the Carnatic flute in Indian music. The birthplace of Ramani is symbolic in that Carnatic musicians consider Tiruvarur the sacred sanctuary of Carnatic music, being the birthplace of the "trinity" of Carnatic composers, Saint Tyagaraja, Muthuswami Dikshitar and Syama Shastri who laid the foundation for the tradition.

As a regular performer and an 'A top' grade artist on All India Radio (AIR), his style and improvisations in the rendition of many compositions of Carnatic music brought him instantaneous fame from state level to national level and famous musicians from all walks of classical Indian music praised his genius including the world famous sitar player Ravi Shankar, who was so impressed and mesmerised with Ramani's unique and brilliant control of sruthi and laya made a personal visit all the way to Ramani's home in South India the very next day to praise Ramani and requested Ramani to stage the world's first Carnatic flute jugalbandhi concert (a North-South collaboration of Indian classical music). Such concerts continually received international popularity and demand with the Carnatic flute, and with Ramani rendering both Carnatic and Hindustani ragas, he was the first Carnatic flautist to create the transparency between Hindustani and Carnatic music across India and in the world.

Although Palladam Sanjeeva Rao was Sharaba Shastri's successor, it was "Mali" and N. Ramani as well as K.S Narayanan (the first disciple of Mali), who brought international attention to the Carnatic flute both in their own distinct flute playing techniques, with the latter two improving on the former's methods. He did so by studying the long bass flutes of the North Indian bansuri genius, Pannalal Ghosh which the later had incorporated successfully in Hindustani concerts. To further enhance tala dynamics, he followed the "GNB" style which was developed by the legendary G. N. Balasubramaniam.

The "Mali" bani encompassed facial expressions such as slight tilting of the head, varied movement of the lips which produced the vocal effect in the Carnatic never explored before by Sharaba Shastri or Palladam Sanjeeva Rao. Bringing out more of the tradition Mali introduced in the playing of the Carnatic flute, Ramani's distinctive style is the transformation of the Carnatic flute into the voice of a proficient Carnatic vocalist. Stressing such importance on the emphasis of vocal style of playing, he displayed characteristics of the human voice in his concerts often observed in his fast paced yet melodious performances. According to Ramani, "Mali's teaching methods were worth emulating. "A good teacher should be open to learning from his students too."

Considered an ace jugalbhandi flautist in the local and international arena, Ramani's contributions to the world of the Carnatic flute are immensely popular, especially the introduction of the duet flute concerts which have gained popular appraisals. He also introduced the long bass flute to increase the reach in the lower octaves. In addition, he introduced the 2.5 pitch flute, which is ideal for violin and veena concerts, keeping the strict tradition of Carnatic music.

At present, Ramani is also actively involved in improving flute playing techniques by experimenting with the sizes of the instrument's finger holes and the length of the flutes, especially in the area where fast tempo ragas can be delivered with ease and ultimately improving the quality and diversity of Carnatic music pieces delivered by the flute.Beyond Carnatic music, his proficiency in Hindustani classical music pioneered the playing of the North Indian bansuri flute in Carnatic music concerts.

Scientifically, he is involved in music research, especially in the effects of Carnatic music on improving the quality of new flutist by exposing the music to the young, and also the possibilities of curing diseases or improving immunity against diseases in humans by exposing to Carnatic music.

Dr. Ramani's performances in All India Radio (AIR) have received numerous praises from renonwned Hindustani and Carnatic musicians alike and his performances overseas had been recognised with numerous awards. Some of the highlights include the Sangeetha Kalanidhi, awarded by the Music Academy in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India, the Sangeetha Acharya award from Wasser College, U.S., the honorary citizenship status in Maryland, Ohio, U.S., and the Padma Shri Award from the President of India. He holds an honorary Cultural Doctorate from The World University of Arizona.

Dr. Ramani is also an innovative teacher. He founded the Ramani Academy of Flute to promote the Carnatic flute to anyone who is interested in learning, regardless of age. As a teacher, Ramani believes that the practical mastery of any art is more important than receiving certificates. As a result, Ramani Academy of Flute does not offer certificates to students except with the rare opportunity to learn under the tutelage of Ramani. This learning policy has made his students well versed in the proficiency of the Carnatic flute and some of them being famed individuals and teachers located around the world.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Nikolais Javan: Finessa's Booty Clapping Mix V.1

Although this is a cool cat from Miami, this is nothing like the Miami bass debauchery that "Uncle Luke" released. There's only very slight debauchery in this case in a fun packed funky House mix by Nikolais Javan. And before I exit this post, I HAVE to re-post the hilarious quote from his Soundcloud page, which also has a full tracklist. Time to go to work!

"Hi. My name is Finessa, and I like to booty clap. This is what I like to listen to while I get my booty all sweaty."

Facebook: Nikolais Javan

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Alix Perez ft. Foreign Beggars: Dark Days

For my drum n' bass heads, this is a massive tune from veteran producer Alix Perez and features Foreign Beggars. This will make you lose your mind and is a guaranteed rewind. I'm sure this big tune is tearing up the airwaves in the UK. Fasten your seat belts and enjoy the ride. You may run in to Batman along the way. Big ups to Shogun Audio!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Dessa: Castor, The Twin

Having been voted as "best album of 2010" by Chicago based A.V. Club entertainment newspaper with her debut solo album A Badly Broken Code, rapper/singer/poet Dessa returns with Castor, The Twin to follow up. Before releasing her own material, Dessa (also known by Dessa Darling) has appeared on several Minneapolis based Hip-Hop projects with the likes of P.O.S., Paper Tiger and the Doomtree Hip-Hop Collective.

If you're looking for that laidback acoustic type feel with a soulful vibe, this is an album to have as part of your music collection. Check out "Dixon's Girl" below. It has a real nice swing, even with her vocal delivery as she switches seamlessly back and forth from singing to a poetic flow. Enjoy!

Facebook: Dessa Darling

Doomtree Records

DRC Music: Kinshasa One Two

Many thanks to producer extraordinaire Jneiro Jarel for getting me up to speed on the Kinshasa One Two album that was recorded in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo over 5 days this past July, and is currently available for pre-order via Bleep as a digital download, courtesy of Warp Records. This is one style of music I like to spin at my sets and listen to while chilling at home. On November 7th, vinyl junkies will be able to get a hold of this wonderful album in the form of deluxe double vinyl that includes 14 art cards and unique codes for the digital album plus three bonus tracks. CD's will be in digi-packs with 12 page booklets and codes for the bonus cuts.

Check out "African Space Anthem" that features Ewing Sima of Tout Puissant Mukalo. Jneiro tells me he had lots of fun making this track. Enjoy!

Digital Tracklisting:

01 - Hallo featuring Tout Puissant Mukalo and Nelly Liyemge
02 - K-Town featuring N’Gotshima and Bebson
03 - African Space Anthem (A.S.A.) featuring Ewing Sima of Tout Puissant Mukalo
04 - Love featuring Love
05 - Lingala featuring Bokatola System and Evala Litongo
06 - Lourds featuring Yende Bongongo of Okwess International
07 - Respect Of The Rules featuring Loi X Liberal
08 - We Come From The Forest featuring Bokatola System
09 - Customs featuring Bokatola System
10 - Virginia featuring Magakala Virginia Yollande and Yowa Hollande
11 - Ah Congo featuring Jupiter Bokondji and Bokatola System
12 - Three Piece Sweet Part 1 & 2 featuring Bebson
13 - If You Wish to Stay Awake featuring Washiba
14 - Departure featuring Bokatola System

Omar: The Man

The soul music legend Omar of merry olde UK has hit us with another dope joint which he already has shot a video for. Get you pallets ready for this tasty new flavor from across the pond. Enjoy!

Omar - The Man from Kriswontwo on Vimeo.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Happy Birthday: MC Lyte

MC Lyte (born Lana Michele Moorer; October 11, 1971) is the first female solo rap artist to release a full length album with her critically acclaimed Lyte As A Rock debut in 1988 which was noted for the hit "Paper Thin" and the battle rap, "10% Dis", which was a response from then-Hurby Azor associate Antoinette. Lyte followed her debut with 1989's Eyes On This, which spawned the hits "Cha Cha Cha" and "Cappucino". Lyte sweetened up a little on 1991's Act Like You Know, noted for its new jack swing sound and the hit single, "Poor Georgie". Lyte's fourth album, 1993's Ain't No Other, became her first to reach gold status and was notable for her first top 40 pop hit, "Ruffneck". Lyte became a featured artist on hits by Janet Jackson and Brandy in 1994.

Two years afterwards, Lyte's fifth album, Bad As I Wanna B, featured production from Jermaine Dupri and Sean Combs and featured the hits "Keep On, Keepin' On" and "Cold Rock a Party", which featured then up-and-coming rapper, songwriter and producer Missy Elliott. This album was her first with East West Records and became successful after the aforementioned singles became big hits with "Keep On Keepin' On" peaking at the top ten and "Cold Rock a Party" peaking at number-eleven. It was her second gold album. Her 1998 follow-up, Seven & Seven, however, wasn't as successful and she left East West by the end of the decade. Lyte released the independently produced record The Undaground Heat featuring Jamie Foxx , in 2003, notable for the song, "Ride With Me". The single was nominated for both a Grammy and a BET award.

Visit her website for full bio and discography at Official MC Lyte.

AstroNots (Bishop V. Black + SoKal): Slow Down

My big homie Bishop V. Black of V.U.R.B. teams up with SoKal to form Hip-Hop duo AstroNots. "Slow Down" is a single of sorts with a couple of verses spit over a 9th Wonder track that will be featured on their upcoming AstroNots promo mixtape later this month. Keep your ears to the streets or this blog for future developments on this lyrical wrecking crew. Enjoy!

Happy Birthday: Art Blakey

Arthur "Art" Blakey
(October 11, 1919 – October 16, 1990)

Art Blakey, also known as Abdullah Ibn Buhaina, was one of the inventors of the modern style of bebop drumming along with Kenny Clarke and Max Roach. Blakey was influential in mainstream Jazz with his brand of bluesy, funky hard bop style of playing, creating a dark cymbal sound punctuated by frequent loud snare- and bass-drum accents in triplets or cross-rhythms. He adopted several African devices, including rapping on the side of the drum and using his elbow on the tom-tom to alter the pitch. His much-imitated trademark, the forceful closing of the hi-hat on every second and fourth beat, was part of his style from 1950 to '51.

The "Jazz Messengers" name was first used on a 1954 recording led by Horace Silver, with Blakey, Hank Mobley, Kenny Dorham and Doug Watkins. Previous recordings did not have the "Jazz Messengers" name. After Horace Silver left the group in 1956 after their first year, Blakey took over the group name and the band was known as "Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers" from then onwards with Blakey being the sole leader. Many "Jazz Messengers" alumni went on to become prominent figures in Jazz.

Blakey was inducted into the Jazz Hall of Fame (in 1982), the Grammy Hall of Fame (in 2001), and was awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005. He also received many other awards during his lifetime and posthumously.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Happy Birthday: Thelonious Monk

Thelonious Sphere Monk
(October 10, 1917 – February 17, 1982)

Thelonious Monk was a jazz pianist and composer considered "one of the giants of American music". Monk had a unique improvisational style and made numerous contributions to the standard jazz repertoire, including "Epistrophy", "'Round Midnight", "Blue Monk", "Straight, No Chaser" and "Well, You Needn't". Monk is the second most recorded jazz composer after Duke Ellington, which is particularly remarkable as Ellington composed over 1,000 songs while Monk wrote about 70.

Often regarded as a founder of bebop, Monk's playing later evolved away from that style. His compositions and improvisations are full of dissonant harmonies and angular melodic twists, and are consistent with Monk's unorthodox approach to the piano, which combined a highly percussive attack with abrupt, dramatic use of silences and hesitations.

Monk's manner was idiosyncratic. Visually, he was renowned for his distinctive style in suits, hats and sunglasses. He was also noted for the fact that at times, while the other musicians in the band continued playing, he would stop, stand up from the keyboard and dance for a few moments before returning to the piano. One of his regular dances consisted of continuously turning clockwise, which has drawn comparisons to ring-shout and Sufi whirling.

Charles Bradley: No Time For Dreaming

After several years of trials and tribulation, Charles Bradley finally is living his dream to make music. First getting his inspiration from seeing James Brown perform in 1962 at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, he realized at that time that he wanted to be an entertainer. From years of bouncing around the country and disappointments along the way, Bradley settled back in New York City to perform under the moniker "Black Velvet".

While performing at the Tarheel Lounge in the Bed-stuy section of Brooklyn, Gabriel Roth of Daptone Records happened to be in the audience and recognized his raw talent that is reminiscent of the vocal style of Otis Redding. Roth signed him to the Dunham Records division of Daptone where he recorded "Take It As It Comes" with the Sugarman 3. Noted for their revivalist styling of 60's and 70's funk and soul music, it is at Daptone where Bradley is dubbed the "The Screaming Eagle of Soul".

Releasing a stream of singles since 2002, Bradley has released his first full length album titled No Time For Dreaming. His first single from the album, "The World (Is Going Up In Flames)" expresses the same type of depth, delivery and feeling as Syl Johnson's "Is It Because I'm Black". For full bio, tour schedule and to purchase CD's and vinyl, visit Enjoy!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Those Chosen: This Is cA

I'm thankful to those who send me good music to my inbox. It's refreshing to get tunes by cats who are younger than I am, who are not on this current mainstream type of vibe. Japetto, Kornbread and Foreshadow make up the Hip-Hop trio known as Those Chosen. Currently they have a "banger" out right now titled "This Is cA" which talks about their fast paced surroundings of where they call home. Track is produced by Rich Kidd and features the vocals of Blake Carrington. Peep the video below then bless yourself with a free download.

For tours and more info:

Twitter: @thosechosen

"LIKE" on Facebook: Those Chosen Music

Fela Kuti + De La Soul = Fela Soul

I've been pumping this through my studio monitors for the last couple of weeks real heavy and figured I should have posted this when I first caught wind of it. Then again, who cares. This is something real good and i'm sure will be considered timeless. I also have to factor in that Nigerian Independence Day just passed on October 1st, then the father of Afro-Beat, Fela Kuti's birthday is coming up on October 15th. If you haven't checked this remix album out, you're in for a real good treat. Amerigo Gazaway kicked the teeth in of the cat that did the "Nigerian Gangster" remix album of Jay-Z's American Gangster. Your hard-drive is about to get fed with a free lunch. Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Hitsville, USA: 52 Years of Music

In 1959 in Detroit, Michigan, Berry Gordy Jr. hung a sign that read Hitsville, USA on a two story building on West Grand Blvd. (now known as Berry Gordy Jr. Blvd) and founded the Motown Record Corporation. After garnering a little success by writing for local acts such as Jackie Wilson and The Matadors, Gordy found it to be more lucrative in producing records and owning the publishing.

Gordy's first signed act was The Matadors, who later changed their name to The Miracles. Lead singer William "Smokey" Robinson would later be granted the position of vice president of the corporation by Gordy. Specializing in soul music with pop appeal and simplicity, the corporation would gain recognition for having their trademark "Motown Sound". Motown Records launched the careers of The Supremes, The Miracles, Smokey Robinson, The Jackson 5, Marvin Gaye and other notable acts. For more info, discography and releases, log on to Motown Records Website.

Happy Birthday: Iman Williams

Birthday wishes are in order for the lovely and talented Iman Williams of Futuristic Soul Society. Not only is she a co-founder of FSS, vocalist and songwriter. She also writes and blogs for the Roy Ayers Project website. Be sure to visit her fan page on Facebook and follow her on Twitter to send her birthday wishes. Links are provided below the music player. By the way, grab her album Stupid Human Trick. Here's my favorite track off the album. Enjoy!

Facebook: Iman Williams Fan Page

Twitter: @imanwilliams