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 Post subject: Re: Greatest R&B Male Vocalists
PostPosted: Sat Nov 13, 2010 3:28 am 
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Location: "He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else."
I would like to share my love of Little Milton and plonk for his inclusion as a top 100 R&B/Soul artist/vocalist (male)

The level I seek to include him at: the Whispers, most famed for their Rock Steady single, is not Soul or R&B, it's 80s synth pop. And The Beat Goes On is spectacular dance soul and vocal harmony, but I would suggest this group is more about consistency, skill and at staying relevant (and not creating relevance), rather than impact. And Keith Sweat is what he is, not that I can say I am all that crazed about him. He has a unique style, but I'd be curious to know exactly what his vocal range is. But if the Whispers (those Scott boys) and Keith can rate in the top 100 of Soul/R&B then so can Little Milton who is a charted R&B artist. While DDD may recognise his blues contributions in both vocals and guitar as top 100, he was also possibly one of THE best of the top 25 crossover artists as regards the beginnings of Soul as derived from R&B/Blues and Gospel.
[Nick's & Zach's list don't make mention of him either -- viewtopic.php?f=19&t=160]

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4DaaJ4EPYwI Grits Ain't Groceries (charting at #13 in R&B in 1969 was no mean feat)
(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4FIMtNdnMy4 Little Willie John's* earlier 1955 hit version (#5) of the Titus Turner blues song)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ymkZmAdFmlE We're Gonna Make It
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6EwpE9JQ2rc Let Me Back In
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cwGwu9knWe4 Who's Cheating Who?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cRd_A57vJKw Don't Talk Back
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CIF5Dq3FelU You Ought to be Here with Me

Little Milton's R&B Singles
"So Mean to Me" (1962) (R&B #14)
"We're Gonna Make It" (1965) (R&B #1 U.S. #25)
"Who's Cheating Who?" (1965) (R&B #4 U.S. #43)
"Feel So Bad" (1967) (R&B #7, U.S. #91)
"Grits Ain't Groceries" (1969) (R&B #13, U.S. #73)
"Just a Little Bit" (1969) (R&B #13, U.S. #97)
"Baby, I Love You" (1970) (R&B #6, U.S. #82)
"If Walls Could Talk" (1970) (R&B #10, U.S. #71)
"That's What Love Will Make You Do" (1972) (R&B #9, U.S. #59)
"Let Me Back In" (1974) (R&B #38)
"Friend of Mine" (1976) (R&B #15)

His R&B Albums:
We're Gonna Make It (1965, Chess) (R&B #3 U.S. #101)
If Walls Could Talk (1970, MCA/Chess) (R&B #23 U.S. #197)
:smile:
___
*note: can you think of a more unfortunate moniker?

And this list is of interest, if some of you have never contemplated the various names of the R&B charts over the years
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_nu ... ted_States)


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest R&B Male Vocalists
PostPosted: Sat Nov 13, 2010 8:43 pm 
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Kareem wrote:
I would like to share my love of Little Milton and plonk for his inclusion as a top 100 R&B/Soul artist/vocalist (male)

The level I seek to include him at: the Whispers, most famed for their Rock Steady single, is not Soul or R&B, it's 80s synth pop. And The Beat Goes On is spectacular dance soul and vocal harmony, but I would suggest this group is more about consistency, skill and at staying relevant (and not creating relevance), rather than impact. And Keith Sweat is what he is, not that I can say I am all that crazed about him. He has a unique style, but I'd be curious to know exactly what his vocal range is. But if the Whispers (those Scott boys) and Keith can rate in the top 100 of Soul/R&B then so can Little Milton who is a charted R&B artist. While DDD may recognise his blues contributions in both vocals and guitar as top 100, he was also possibly one of THE best of the top 25 crossover artists as regards the beginnings of Soul as derived from R&B/Blues and Gospel.
[Nick's & Zach's list don't make mention of him either --


I understand and appreciate your interest in seeing Little Milton be credited more readily here, but in terms of this list, which is the only one I can directly comment on, I had to make a really tough decision and eliminate the blues-rooted artists. In the previous incarnation of this list I had Bobby "Blue" Bland on it and he straddled the fence as well. For this one I decided, maybe wrongly, maybe not, to remove him and make the cut-off line a little stricter, as much as it hurts to see Bland, and Milton, and B.B. King, whose 50's material was sometimes more R&B slanted than strictly blues, and a host of others, get left off.

My feeling was that blues itself is one of the handful of major genres and to include it as a subgenre of another is not entirely fair. Milton's work zig-zagged across that line with regularity and so he is always tough to pin down. He was definitely MORE deserving here in terms of style than John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters or Howlin' Wolf would be, but he still would be the first you'd notice as perhaps belonging somewhere else, even if you DID agree he should be here.

With the other artists of more recent vintage you mentioned, they have no other genre in which to land and thus it requires their stylistic inclusion, though you can always debate their inclusion on the terms of the criteria as singers. Bland and Milton and others of their ilk might not be BEST discussed on a blues page, but they ARE discussed there and rightly so, as they were primarily blues-based artists. That they COULD be discussed here as well is what makes editing lists like this such a lonely thankless job. :ugh:


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest R&B Male Vocalists
PostPosted: Sun Nov 14, 2010 12:49 am 
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Location: "He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else."
You knowingly dropped Bobby Bland from an R&B list? So, Ray Charles - who fused blues and gospel to get soul - can make your list, but Milton and Bland can't? Dude, you need a haircut '-)

and while I am here...a key feature of Bland's sound
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xfXo5t5uF5A Wayne Bennett ...hmm, do i hear jazz?


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest R&B Male Vocalists
PostPosted: Sun Nov 14, 2010 5:21 pm 
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Kareem wrote:
You knowingly dropped Bobby Bland from an R&B list? So, Ray Charles - who fused blues and gospel to get soul - can make your list, but Milton and Bland can't? Dude, you need a haircut '-)


I said it wasn't an easy decision. But Bland was primarily a blues artist, as was Milton. Ray Charles never was. Small distinction to you maybe, but enough of one to allow for their separation, made possible by having a seperate blues category they fit more comfortably in.


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest R&B Male Vocalists
PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 1:00 am 
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Location: "He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else."
Syl Johnson, Is It Because I'm Black? Possibly not for the C club, but worth mentioning here.
He gets the guitar & bass credit on this track, as well.
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/stor ... =131195698


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest R&B Male Vocalists
PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 9:39 pm 
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Sampson, I wondered what you made of Solomon Burke's album with Willie Mitchell, Nothing's Impossible. I absolutely love the title track and "When You're Not Here" (the opening 12-15 seconds are absolutely brilliant and caught my ear instantly on the trailers for the album). The rest of the album hasn't caught me though my listens have admittedly been very scattered. It may grow but I prefer Make Do With What You Got and absolutely obviously the 5 star Don't Give Up On Me of his later works. Not heard Like A Fire or Nashville (though I'm aware the reviews for this are glowing, I'm just not sure I can handle a total country directed album, though I'm open to convincing and I'd love to hear your thoughts on that one, and the late period Burke in general.
Also, this isn't a soul singer, but I recently gave Paul Pena's New Train a listen (several now; it's been in constant rotation since the Summer) and I must say what a wonderful album, and as far as I'm concerned it stands up to anything of that sort of West Coast rock of the early 70s. Stellar songwriting & quite distinct vocals, not to mention more than capable guitar chops. I can't believe that album was in the can for nearly 30 years but it's definitely gonna be one I'm gonna promote as much as I can. What are your thoughts? "Gonna Move", "Jet Airliner", "New Train", "Indian Boy" are all favourites of mine but it's wonderfully consistent - I see only the Hendrix knockoff "Cosmic Mirror" as a misstep.


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest R&B Male Vocalists
PostPosted: Sat Nov 20, 2010 11:18 am 
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Nick-ola wrote:
Sampson, I wondered what you made of Solomon Burke's album with Willie Mitchell, Nothing's Impossible. I absolutely love the title track and "When You're Not Here" (the opening 12-15 seconds are absolutely brilliant and caught my ear instantly on the trailers for the album). The rest of the album hasn't caught me though my listens have admittedly been very scattered. It may grow but I prefer Make Do With What You Got and absolutely obviously the 5 star Don't Give Up On Me of his later works. Not heard Like A Fire or Nashville (though I'm aware the reviews for this are glowing, I'm just not sure I can handle a total country directed album, though I'm open to convincing and I'd love to hear your thoughts on that one, and the late period Burke in general.


I'm a big fan of Nothing's Impossible. It's about what I thought it'd be, but that's good with them since both are so reliable. Mitchell's production style suits Solomon and the songs are pretty good as well. I was very disappointed with Like A Fire however. It was produced by Steve Jordan, who's very well respected as a drummer, but the whole album suffers from badly written songs. There are two standouts, "A Minute To Rest, A Second To Pray" written by and featuring Ben Harper, which is the best song on the album, and the Eric Clapton/Burke collaboration "Thank You" is simplistic, but charming (as he briefly morphs into Louis Armstrong reincarnated). Otherwise there's nothing in the material for Solomon to sink his teeth into. He sings it all great, but it's just so unimaginative ("Ain't That Something" written by Jordan is basically a re-write of Dylan's "What Good Am I" from Make Do With What You've Got, which I thought was one of the best songs on that album, but obviously a bad rehash of it here accomplishes nothing). Jordan and guitarist Jesse Harris wrote most of the songs on the album and they're just not good enough songwriters to hold up that end.

On the other hand, Nashville is brilliant. Get it immediately! I was skeptical too because I'm not a country music fan, and there's a few fiddles and a steel guitar every so often that you might need to get over, but for the most part it is the late in life album that reminds me most of Don't Give Up On Me. Sparse production, no fallback soul arrangements with horns, and really good material that gives Solomon a chance to breathe and inject his idiosyncracies. "That's How I Got To Memphis" is incredible (I also like the Bill Haley version from back in 60's well after his heyday, that's a real find). I'm floored by "Valley Of Tears". I'd put those up with almost anything Solomon did in the last decade of his life. But really there's not a single misstep on the album - Does My Ring Burn Your Finger, You're The Kind Of Trouble, Atta Way To Go, the Springsteen cover Ain't Got You, the duet with Dolly Parton on Tommorow Is Forever... all of it is great. Highly recommended.

On the whole, the Burke revival showed what people in music knew all along - he could sing anything. I loved the collaboration with Junkie XL on "Catch Up To My Step", I mean, he's doing a dance club track and wrote it himself no less, and makes it work! He did some good stuff with Derek Trucks, Jools Holland and The Blind Boys Of Alabama recently too and his latest album with De Dijk (still to be released, I was privilaged to hear an advanced copy) has some great moments (Text Me in particular is tremendous - the horn riff will stay with you for days after just one listen).

After he passed I put together a multi-disc boxed set of his career for some friends and on all those career spanning boxed sets that come along (the official ones I mean) it's always the last disc which is the weakest no matter what artist we're talking about, but with Solomon I had trouble actually narrowing down the songs for the final disc, his resurgance was just so deep.

Nick-ola wrote:
Also, this isn't a soul singer, but I recently gave Paul Pena's New Train a listen (several now; it's been in constant rotation since the Summer) and I must say what a wonderful album, and as far as I'm concerned it stands up to anything of that sort of West Coast rock of the early 70s. Stellar songwriting & quite distinct vocals, not to mention more than capable guitar chops. I can't believe that album was in the can for nearly 30 years but it's definitely gonna be one I'm gonna promote as much as I can. What are your thoughts? "Gonna Move", "Jet Airliner", "New Train", "Indian Boy" are all favourites of mine but it's wonderfully consistent - I see only the Hendrix knockoff "Cosmic Mirror" as a misstep.


It's a pretty good album. I hear so many little nods to artists and styles in it that it seemed familiar to me on the first listen. I particularly liked the track "Wait On What You Want". Do you hear some Joe Cocker traits in that one like I do? Maybe some Bobby Womack too.


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest R&B Male Vocalists
PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 5:03 pm 
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Thanks, Sampson, will definitely check out Nashville.


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest R&B Male Vocalists
PostPosted: Sat Nov 27, 2010 4:30 pm 
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Sampson wrote:
Nick,
Hamilton is on par with Wilson for technical ability and in fact was Jackie's biggest influence,


Jackie's biggest influence was Al Jolson, and he said so many times:


Also in 1961, Wilson recorded a tribute album to Al Jolson, Nowstalgia...You Ain't Heard Nothin' Yet, which included the only album liner notes he ever wrote: "...to the greatest entertainer of this or any other era...I guess I have just about every recording he's ever made, and I rarely missed listening to him on the radio...During the three years I've been making records, I've had the ambition to do an album of songs, which, to me, represent the great Jolson heritage...This is simply my humble tribute to the one man I admire most in this business...to keep the heritage of Jolson alive."


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest R&B Male Vocalists
PostPosted: Sat Nov 27, 2010 4:35 pm 
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Sampson wrote:
Finally, my favorite Hamilton performance, a cover of Conway Twitty's It's Only Make Believe from his last sessions. He screws up the lyrics, repeating a stanza and leaving another one out, but he is the definition of measured control and to me he owns this song . http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a8keWbOBzCE


It blows.

Twitty will always own the song, you're fucking nuts.


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest R&B Male Vocalists
PostPosted: Sat Nov 27, 2010 4:38 pm 
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Jestercide wrote:
you're going to come off as hard-headed and arrogant if you continue posting things like that...


You ain't seen nothing yet. Sam is the most arrogant and condescending editor on the site. He doesn't have a clue when it comes to judging vocal ability.


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest R&B Male Vocalists
PostPosted: Sat Nov 27, 2010 10:03 pm 
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Sampson wrote:
Finally, my favorite Hamilton performance, a cover of Conway Twitty's It's Only Make Believe from his last sessions. He screws up the lyrics, repeating a stanza and leaving another one out, but he is the definition of measured control and to me he owns this song . http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a8keWbOBzCE



I just played it for my girlfriend. Here's what she said:

I got through 45 seconds of it and turned it off. O-v-e-r-p-r-o-d-u-c-e-d, ponderous, can't build to a climax like Jenkins' version because it's too overwrought from the start.


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest R&B Male Vocalists
PostPosted: Sun Nov 28, 2010 8:17 am 
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No one gives a shit about what your girlfriend thinks. Stop clogging up the discussion with your petty jibes at Sampson.


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest R&B Male Vocalists
PostPosted: Sun Nov 28, 2010 6:28 pm 
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Georgi wrote:
No one gives a shit about what your girlfriend thinks. Stop clogging up the discussion with your petty jibes at Sampson.


Eat dick, dork.

My girlfriend knows way more about music than you, jackass. She owns well over 100,000 MP3s. She's almost 63 years old and she likes lots of hip hop and all kinds of shit.

When I hated the Roy Hamilton version I wanted to run it by her, since she likes lots of things that I don't like, and I was wondering if maybe it was just me in not liking the record. But she hated it even more than I did.

If Sampson doesn't like my responses here then he should stop posting preposterous opinions like saying that Roy Hamilton "owns" a song that is an acknowledged classic by Conway Twitty.

Obviously he has let his personal taste for Roy Hamilton affect his job as an editor for this list.


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest R&B Male Vocalists
PostPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2010 7:53 am 
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