Archives for : ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME

The Kings Of Rock & Roll!

 

 

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Willie Dixon, Little Richard, Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry in1986 (from the documentary “Hail! Hail! Rock ‘n’ Roll”).

jan Gaye: After the Dance: My Life with Marvin Gaye

 

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Gaye, Jan. After the Dance: My Life with Marvin Gaye. Amistad: HarperCollins. May 2015. 224p. ISBN 9780062135513. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062135537. MEMOIR
On her 17th birthday, Janis Hunter met rhythm-and-blues legend Marvin Gaye as he was stumbling out of his first marriage, and despite a 16-year age difference, they launched a too-hot-to-handle affair.

Their own marriage eventually collapsed under the weight of fame, drug abuse, and domestic strife. Here, Jan speaks out for the first time since Marvin was shot and killed by his father in 1984. Reportedly sizzling stuff, with many famed music figures of the day drifting through; with a 50,000-copy first printing.

 

This searing memoir of drugs, sex, and old school R&B from the wife of legendary soul icon Marvin Gaye.

On her seventeenth birthday in 1973, Janice Hunter met Marvin Gaye-the soulful prince of Motown with the seductive liquid voice whose chart-topping, socially conscious albumWhat”s Going Onmade him a superstar two years earlier. Despite a sixteen-year-age difference and Marvin”s marriage to the sister of Berry Gordy, Motown”s founder, the star-struck teenager and the emotionally volatile singer began a scorching relationship.

One moment Jan was studying high school history; the next she was accompanying Marvin to parties with other pop stars, lounging with Don Cornelius on the set ofSoul Train,and helping to discover new talent like Frankie Beverly. But the distractions and burdens of fame, the chaos of dysfunctional families, and the irresistible temptations of drugs overshadowed the love they shared and their marriage disintegrated.

Silent since Marvin”s tragic death in 1984, Jan at last opens up, sharing the moving, erotically charged story of one of music history”s most fabled marriages. Unsparing in its honesty and insight, illustrated with sixteen pages of color and black-and-white photos,After the Dancereveals what it”s like to ride shotgun on a wave of fame and self-destruction with a tortured genius who helped transform popular culture and whose artistry continues to be celebrated today.

 

 

Berry Gordy: On Michael Jackson

 

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“Well it was Suzanne DePasse who grabbed me one day and she said “there’s a kids group you gotta see. They’re auditioning in the next room and we just love them, and you’re gonna love them.”

I said that “I don’t have time. If fact, I don’t like kids groups. I don’t want kids groups. I’ve got Stevie Wonder who has a major entourage.” He had his mother, he had a tutor and a chaperon. A lot of people traveled with him. So, I said no. The last thing I want is a kids group, and she said “you’ll want them!” & I said “I won’t. I won’t.” And so, she kind of [dragged] me into  the audition room. And when I saw this kid doing all this stuff, he was doing a James Brown thing and he did a twirl and a split, and then she said “you still don’t like kid groups?” and I said “no I don’t…..get my camera, get my camera!”

When they got through, I noticed he was doing his thing, on stage he was one kind of person. He was like this master!. And then when he got through, he was very quiet and almost shy. But he stared at me, the other kids would get ready for the next song, they’d be playing with the instruments, and Michael was always there staring at me, really in an innocent way, watching every move I made. And finally, I went to them and they said “Are you gonna sign us?”.

I couldn’t make up my mind because I was concerned that, here’s a kid who was about eight years old, seven or eight years old, singing a Smokey song that seemed he had been living it for thirty years, so right away we were saying “this is an old man in a kid’s body”, because he sung ‘Who’s Lovin’ You’ better than Smokey, and Smokey did a phenomenal job, but this kid was like, something…he had been here before!

And then, after singing that, he went back into a child mode. I told Suzanne “they’re gonna need something that a kid would sing”, so I just kind of came up with a melody of my own. [sings a tune of I Want You Back] I said “he should sing something like that!” Then we did [‘ABC’], ‘The Love You Save’, and ‘I’ll Be There’, and that made history because no other group, I think, before or since, had their first four records go to number one.

So it was like a major feat, and they became, like, the biggest thing. Suzanne was responsible for dressing him up and she put on him one of those little hats, and they did the Sullivan Show. He used to complain to me about his childhood and I’d say “You don’t have such a bad childhood, Michael. I mean, you’re doing what you want to do.” If people could have that thing, passion, at an early age, eight or nine, and then do it for the rest of their life…my goodness! So that was…Michael.” –Berry Gordy

The Temptations: 45th Anniversary!

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Today we’re celebrating the 45th anniversary of the Temptations‘ #1 hit “I Can’t Get Next to You.”

Meet the Temptations:50th Anniversary!

 

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Meet the Temptations is the 1964 debut album by The Temptations for the Gordy (Motown) label. It includes most of the group’s early singles, excluding only the first, “Oh Mother of Mine”, and its b-side, “Romance Without Finance” (later included on a CD reissue of the LP); as well as the single “Mind Over Matter” (and its b-side “I’ll Love You Till I Die”), in which the group is credited as The Pirates. The album consists entirely of previously released singles, including the group’s first hit single, “The Way You Do the Things You Do”.

The lineup on the cover features Eddie Kendricks, Melvin Franklin, Paul Williams, Otis Williams, and newest Temptation Davis (later David) Ruffin. Ruffin had just joined the act three months before this album was released, and actually only appears on “The Way You Do The Things You Do”. The other tracks all feature original Temptation Elbridge “Al” Bryant, who was fired from the group in December 1963.

Again, excepting the hit single, these tracks all date from the Temptations’ slow-selling starting period (during which some Motown staffers referred to them as the “hitless Temptations”). Despite local success in Detroit and the midwest, the Temptations released six singles that missed the Top 100 Pop & R&B charts, and one, “Dream Come True”, which made it to #22 on the R&B singles chart. Most of these songs feature Paul Williams as (main) lead, while Kendricks, Bryant, Franklin, and Otis Williams were given plenty of lead lines, ad-libs and harmony vocals heard throughout the album. Kendricks was also given a small handful of songs to lead as well, including the two charting singles.

The album was originally issued only in monaural sound. A stereo remix of the album was issued along with the original mono version in 1966. The bonus tracks were added to the album in 1999.

Track listing
Side one
“The Way You Do the Things You Do” (Smokey Robinson, Bobby Rogers)
“I Want a Love I Can See” (Robinson)
“(You’re My) Dream Come True” (Berry Gordy, Jr.)
“Paradise” (Gordy)
“May I Have This Dance” (Janie Bradford, Norman Whitfield)
“Isn’t She Pretty” (Gordy, Eddie Kendricks, Otis Williams)

Side two
“Just Let Me Know” (Gordy)
“Your Wonderful Love” (Gordy)
“The Further You Look, the Less You See” (Robinson, Whitfield)
“Check Yourself” (Elbridge Bryant, David English, Gordy, Williams)
“Slow Down Heart” (Robinson)
“Farewell My Love” (Gordy)

1999 CD reissue bonus tracks
“Oh, Mother of Mine” (William “Mickey” Stevenson, Williams)
“Romance Without Finance” (Stevenson, Kendricks)

Personnel
Eddie Kendricks: vocals (tenor/falsetto)
Paul Williams: vocals (tenor/baritone)
Melvin Franklin: vocals (bass)
Otis Williams: vocals (tenor/baritone)
Elbridge “Al” Bryant: vocals (tenor/falsetto) (all tracks except “The Way You Do the Things You Do”)
Davis “David” Ruffin: vocals (tenor/falsetto) (“The Way You Do the Things You Do”)
Eddie Holland: background vocals (“Check Yourself”)
Brian Holland: background vocals (“Check Yourself”)

Producers
Berry Gordy: “Dream Come True”, “Paradise”, “May I Have This Dance”, “Isn’t She Pretty”, “Just Let Me Know”, “Your Wonderful Love”, “Check Yourself”, “Farewell My Love”, Executive Producer (Album)
Smokey Robinson: “The Way You Do the Things You Do”, “I Want a Love I Can See”, “May I Have This Dance”, “Just Let Me Know”, “The Further You Look, the Less You See”, “Slow Down Heart”, “Farewell My Love”, Executive Producer (Album)
Norman Whitfield: “May I Have This Dance”, “The Further You Look, the Less You See”
Andre Williams & William “Mickey” Stevenson (as “Dre-Mic”): “Oh, Mother of Mine”, “Romance Without Finance”

Singles history
The main lead vocalists on each track are identified by superscripts: (a) Paul Williams, (b) Eddie Kendricks, (c) Al Bryant, (d) Otis Williams, (e) Melvin Franklin.

“Oh Mother of Mine” a, b
Miracle single 5 (originally a non-album single; CD bonus track), July 24, 1961; b-side: “Romance Without Finance” a, b
“Check Yourself” a, (intro: d, e)
Miracle single 12, November 7, 1961; b-side: “Your Wonderful Love” a
“(You’re My) Dream Come True” b
Gordy single 7001, March 16, 1962; b-side: “Isn’t She Pretty” (recorded 1961) c, a, b, e, d
“Paradise” b, e
Gordy single 7010, September 26, 1962; b-side: “Slow Down Heart” a, e
“Mind Over Matter (I’m Gonna Make You Mine)” b (credited as The Pirates)
Mel-O-Dy single 105 (non-album single), September 29, 1962; b-side: “I’ll Love You Till I Die” a (The Pirates)
“I Want A Love I Can See” a
Gordy single 7015, March 18, 1963; b-side: “The Further You Look, the Less You See” a
“Farewell My Love”* a, b, e
Gordy single 7020, June 25, 1963; b-side: “May I Have This Dance” (recorded 1962)* b, e
“The Way You Do the Things You Do” b
Gordy single 7028, January 23, 1964; b-side: “Just Let Me Know” (recorded 1963) a, c

The Jacksons:Motown Monday!

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(L) to (R) Marlon, Jackie, Michael, Randy, and Tito.

The Supremes:Throwback Thursday!

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In 1967, at The Flamingo Hotel, Las Vegas. Florence was sent home during this gig and Cindy Birdsong, who had been secretly rehearsing with Diana & Mary, stepped in. Florence would never return to the stage as a Supreme.

Three years later the group would record their final performance on January 14, 1970 at The Frontier Hotel. “Farewell,” a double-lp, is the rare Motown live album that is great from start to finish. Listening to it, it’s hard to believe they were barely speaking to each other at this point.

Hall & Oates: Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame

 

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I’m nearly in tears at the Joy and fulfillment of seeing one of my all time favorite duos inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame! These gentlemen music is the soundtrack of my Childhood, so many valuable, precious, and loving memories that I cherish til this day.

 

Two beautiful and talented artist who songs made the whole world sang! I never thought I would see the day that they would be in The Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame, 40yrs Too late! But right on time! What’s you’re favorite Hall and Oats song?

David Ruffin (January 18,1941-June 1,1991)

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David Ruffin (January 18,1941-June 1,1991) Gone But never forgotten.

 

 

 

 

Stevie Wonder: This Day In Music

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This day in music Stevie Wonder released his first album, “The 12 Year Old Genius.” It would become Motown’s first #1  in 1963!

This Day In Music: The Supremes

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May 30, 1965 The Number One Cut On The R&B Chart was, “Back In My Arms Again”, by The Supremes. It was their 5th number one (pop) song to date.

Michael Jackson:Man In The Mirror

 

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Last night Billboard awards there was no African American Males singers performing onstage, with the exception of The Late Great Michael Jackson, whom appeared via Hologram and seems to water down, and fully perished his already, tainted legacy. If Mr. Dick Clark was alive the Billboard awards would be totally different, Clark fought for decades  for Black performers to perform on The American Music awards and the Billboard awards, especially Black males, why after his death, the practice stopped?

Donna Summer:(December 31, 1948 – May 17, 2012)

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Remembering The Queen of Disco Donna Summer on the 2nd Anniversary of her death

LaDonna Adrian Gaines (December 31, 1948 – May 17, 2012), known by her stage name, Donna Sommer, later Donna Summer, was an American singer and songwriter who gained prominence during the disco era of the late 1970s. A five-time Grammy Award winner, she was the first artist to have three consecutive double albums reach #1 on the United States Billboard album chart and charted four number-one singles in the United States within a 13-month period. Summer has reportedly sold over 100 million records, making her one of the world’s best-selling artists of all time.

Born into a devoutly Christian middle-class family in Boston, Massachusetts, Summer first became involved with singing through church choir groups before joining a number of bands influenced by the Motown Sound. Also influenced by the counterculture of the 1960s, she became the front singer of a psychedelic rock band named Crow and moved to New York City. Joining a touring version of the musical Hair, she left New York and spent several years living, acting, and singing in West Germany, where she met music producer Giorgio Moroder. Also while in Europe, she married Helmut Sommer. After their divorce, she would keep his surname for her stage name; dropping the “o” and replacing it with a “u” for “Summer”.

After returning to the United States, Summer co-wrote the song “Love to Love You Baby” with Pete Bellotte. The song was released in 1975 to mass commercial success. Over the following years Summer followed this success with a string of other hits, such as “I Feel Love”, “Last Dance”, “MacArthur Park”, “Hot Stuff”, “Bad Girls”, “Dim All the Lights”, “No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)”, and “On the Radio”. She became known as the “Queen of Disco” and regularly appeared at the Studio 54 nightclub in New York City, while her music gained a global following.

She struggled with depression and addiction, and subsequently she became a born-again Christian in 1980.

Diagnosed with lung cancer, Summer died on May 17, 2012, at her home in Naples, Florida. She was posthumously described as the “undisputed queen of the Seventies disco boom” who reached the status of “one of the world’s leading female singers.” Moroder described Summer’s work with him on the song “I Feel Love” as “really the start of electronic dance” music. In 2013, Summer was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

(December 31, 1948 – May 17, 2012), known by her stage name, Donna Sommer, later Donna Summer, was an American singer and songwriter who gained prominence during the disco era of the late 1970s. A five-time Grammy Award winner, she was the first artist to have three consecutive double albums reach #1 on the United States Billboard album chart and charted four number-one singles in the United States within a 13-month period. Summer has reportedly sold over 100 million records, making her one of the world’s best-selling artists of all time.

Born into a devoutly Christian middle-class family in Boston, Massachusetts, Summer first became involved with singing through church choir groups before joining a number of bands influenced by the Motown Sound. Also influenced by the counterculture of the 1960s, she became the front singer of a psychedelic rock band named Crow and moved to New York City. Joining a touring version of the musical Hair, she left New York and spent several years living, acting, and singing in West Germany, where she met music producer Giorgio Moroder. Also while in Europe, she married Helmut Sommer. After their divorce, she would keep his surname for her stage name; dropping the “o” and replacing it with a “u” for “Summer”.

After returning to the United States, Summer co-wrote the song “Love to Love You Baby” with Pete Bellotte. The song was released in 1975 to mass commercial success. Over the following years Summer followed this success with a string of other hits, such as “I Feel Love”, “Last Dance”, “MacArthur Park”, “Hot Stuff”, “Bad Girls”, “Dim All the Lights”, “No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)”, and “On the Radio”. She became known as the “Queen of Disco” and regularly appeared at the Studio 54 nightclub in New York City, while her music gained a global following.

She struggled with depression and addiction, and subsequently she became a born-again Christian in 1980.

Diagnosed with lung cancer, Summer died on May 17, 2012, at her home in Naples, Florida. She was posthumously described as the “undisputed queen of the Seventies disco boom” who reached the status of “one of the world’s leading female singers.” Moroder described Summer’s work with him on the song “I Feel Love” as “really the start of electronic dance” music. In 2013, Summer was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Raising Hell: 28th Anniversary

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Raising Hell is the third album by Rap legends Run Dmc released May 16, 1986.

Stevie Wonder: This Day In Music

 

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On This Day In Music: In 1971, On his twenty-first birthday Stevie Wonder received his childhood earnings. He received $1 million.

In addition, Stevie Wonder independently recorded two albums, which he used as a bargaining tool while negotiating with Motown. Eventually the label agreed to his demands for full creative control (at that time the only artists to have that) and the rights to his own songs.

The 120-page contract was a precedent at Motown and gave Wonder a much higher royalty rate and a stipulation that stated, if Motown was to ever be sold that he gets to keep his publishing’s and he would have to approve the buyers). Stevie Wonder is one of the only artists that never recorded for anyone but Motown.

This Day In R&B Music History

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This Day In R&B Music History: On April 23, 1971 The Number One cut on the R&B Chart was “What’s Going On” by Marvin Gaye (5 weeks at #1).

Claudia Lennear: Brown Sugar!

thSIQWY3R6 When backing vocalist Claudia, 63, dated Mick Jagger, she inspired one of the Rolling Stones’ greatest rock anthems, as she tells Pauline McLeod

“Around the time Brown Sugar became a hit for The Rolling Stones, Mick Jagger and I were always seen together in restaurants and nightclubs in Los Angeles. That’s why people thought the song was about me, and Mick later confirmed that it was.

The airport photo of the two of us was taken at Las Vegas and that moment stands out in my memory because it was the first time I’d ever been on a private plane. I was 17, maybe 18, and I thought we were just going out to the disco in LA. Then we arrived at the airport and I was immediately suspicious when I got to the plane and there were no other passengers apart from Mick, Keith Richards and the record producer Glyn Johns. But I wasn’t nervous. The Stones had a bad-boy image but they were perfect gentlemen.

We flew to Vegas and went to a casino where Mick taught me how to play baccarat then we hopped back on the jet and came home to LA.

Mick and I dated for a long while.

It was an on-off thing because of our different schedules, but we would talk all the time on the phone. He was a lot of fun to be with, although his public persona is quite different to the way he is in private. I found him a quiet guy who was very British, with good manners, so I was always smitten by his behavior.I was also the muse for David Bowie’s song Lady Grinning Soul.I’d seen David’s show in Detroit, he asked me for some input and we struck up a friendship after that. I had to pinch myself a few times. This was the top one per cent of Rock’n’Roll that

I just happened to make friends with. I was on quite a roll, wasn’t I?When I was a kid, my first love was language and I hoped to become a translator. But my family moved to California just as I hit my teenage years and I started going out to see bands. Then I began meeting the movers and shakers in the industry, and my career took off.

Ike Turner – Tina’s husband – hired me on the spot for his band. I was an “Ikette” for three years, until I had a little spat with Tina, but by that time

I was ready to move on anyway.

After that I was a background vocalist for Eric Clapton, George Harrison and Bob Dylan at the first ever benefit gig, The Concert For Bangladesh, at Madison Square Garden. I sang with all kinds of bands and had my own solo album released. But then the 80s came round and the music business began to change. Hip-hop and rap were the new ideas and I didn’t feel I had my finger on the pulse any more. I was a single mother by then, too, so I decided that maybe I should change my career and do something that would bring in a steady pay check.I’m a teacher now, using my language skills, and it’s funny because every time there’s a new intake of students, I can guarantee that one of them will come up to me with, ‘Miss Lennear, we saw this lady on YouTube who has your name…’Life has become rather surreal of late but so exciting because I’m featured in the Oscar-winning documentary about background vocalists, 20 Feet From Stardom. There are now offers coming in for me to sing again, I’m talking record deals and putting bands together, and I feel like I’m picking up where I left off. It is just so cool.”

20 Feet From Stardom is out now.

Writer :Pauline McLeod

 

Diana Ross: 50th Anniversary (1964-2014)

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Documentary celebrating the career of Motown legend Ms. Diana Ross 50th Anniversary in the music business!

http://youtu.be/QMy7oUb0E4g

Hall & Oates: Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame!

 

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Daryl Hall and John Oates are 2014 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees. More photos: http://bitly.com/1jx8zMd ‪#‎rockhall2014‬

Hall & Oates: Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame!

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It may seem strange that a couple of white kids from the suburbs would grow up to be the first Philly performers to go into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame representing the city’s signature soulful sound.

But Daryl Hall and John Oates have been confounding expectations since they met as students at Temple University in 1967.

Beginning with “Sara Smile” in 1975, they wracked up 29 Top 40 hits, becoming the most successful duo in music history.

On Thursday at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, Hall and Oates will be inducted into the hall by Roots drummer, Tonight Show bandleader, and fellow Philadelphian Questlove. The other honorees, in a ceremony that will be shown on HBO on May 31, are Peter Gabriel, KISS, Nirvana, Linda Ronstadt, Cat Stevens, and Springsteen’s yeomen, the E Street Band. (The Boss was installed individually in 1999.)

Hall and Oates are going in on their first ballot. They’ve been eligible since 1997, but, remarkably, have never been nominated until this year. Why the oversight?

“A lot of people wonder why it is so often that artists who have sold a lot are not inducted more quickly,” says Greg Harris, the president and CEO of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. “The number of units sold – that piece doesn’t speak to contributions to the art form as much as artistic merits do.”

But as a Bucks County native, Harris admits he’s pretty pumped. “I think they’re terrific,” he says. “As a music lover and a Delaware Valley guy, it’s always extra exciting when it’s a band you grew up hearing on the radio.”

The two musicians have been hearing that questionable argument – their music can’t be good because it’s too popular – their whole career.

“There was a definite stigma attached to being a band with a No. 1 hit in the Top 40,” says Oates, who turns 65 this week. “It meant you couldn’t be important or deep or hip.

“Now the only way to be hip is to get on the top of the charts, to stand out from the clutter,” he continues. “It’s turned 180 degrees. Now young people look at what we accomplished as supremely hip.”

A new generation of vocal fans has emerged in millennial musicians like Fall Out Boy’s Patrick Stump, Chromeo’s Dave 1, and Death Cab for Cutie’s Ben Gibbard. Rapper Travie McCoy, former front man for Gym Class Heroes, has large tattoos of Daryl and John on the backs of his hands. That’s hard core, man!

Make no mistake: Hall and Oates are proud to enter the hall as POP artists (Products of Philadelphia).

“I owe Philadelphia my career,” says Hall, 67. “It made my music what it sounds like.”

“It’s the heart and soul and core of what we do,” agrees Oates.

 

‘Always’ Philly

They still play about 45 dates a year. Recently, Oates has been doing solo appearances in support of his just released album, Good Road to Follow. Since 2007, Hall has hosted an acclaimed Web series, Live From Daryl’s House, in which he duets with artists as diverse as Grace Potter and Chiddy Bang. He just finished an episode this week with Darius Rucker at his home in Charlotte.

Oates splits his year between Colorado and Nashville. Hall maintains homes in Connecticut and Charleston, S.C.

“It doesn’t matter where we live or record,” says Oates. “We’re always going to represent Philly.”

Both Hall, who grew up Daryl Hohl outside Pottstown, and Oates, who was raised in North Wales, were drawn to the musical magnet of the city. Enrolling in classes at Temple was just their day job.

Hall, who doted on local soul singers like the Delfonics and the Intruders, joined four other students in a vocal doo wop band called the Temptones (originally the Templetones).

After a triumphant amateur night performance at the Uptown Theater on North Broad Street, the Temptones were signed to Arctic Records by Jimmy Bishop, program director and DJ at WDAS. The label’s biggest hit came in 1965 with Barbara Mason’s “Yes, I’m Ready.”

Oates was happily soaking up all the ’60s had to offer. “Between all that R&B radio in the city and going to the Folk Festival, between Jerry Blavat and early underground FM radio on ‘MMR, it was the ultimate fertile ground for absorbing music,” he says.

He played guitar for an R&B band called the Masters that was signed to Clover Records. The label, co-owned by Blavat, later had a breakout with the Soul Survivors’ “Expressway to Your Heart” in 1967.

Both bands were promoting their singles at a record hop at the Adelphi Ballroom in West Philadelphia when a riot broke out. Trying to escape, Hall and Oates ended up in the same elevator and struck up a conversation.

The Masters broke up shortly after and Oates was drafted to play guitar for the Temptones. That’s when Kenny Gamble, the architect of the sound of Philadelphia, met them. “They were working with us at Frank Virtue’s studio at Broad and Columbia [now Cecil B. Moore Avenue] and they were fantastic,” he says by e-mail.

Gamble and longtime partner Leon Huff were inducted into the hall in 2008 as non-performers. The O’Jays, who were on Gamble and Huff’s label, Philadelphia International and were inducted three years earlier, were originally from Ohio.

 

‘LIttle by little’

It rankles Hall that the City of Brotherly Love is so neglected. “Considering the overwhelming impact Philadelphia has had on the music world, it’s really underrepresented in the hall,” he says. “I find that disturbing.”

Back to that fateful first meeting in the elevator: You would think when two men who were destined to form one of the most prolific partnerships in modern music met, a choir might descend from the rafters.

Not so much. “There was no lightning,” says Hall, chuckling. “We both liked the same kinds of music and we both came from the suburbs, so we each needed a roommate to share an apartment in the city. It was only over the years that our friendship turned into trying to make music together.”

“Little by little, we tried some things,” recalls Oates. “The stuff we did in the early days didn’t sound very good. We couldn’t get our voices to blend.”

In fact, even after they signed to Atlantic Records, it took them four albums to really find their groove.

“That doesn’t happen anymore. No label would give us three records to make mistakes and find ourselves,” says Oates. “We wouldn’t be having this conversation.”

He believes it’s the tunes as much as the talent that has carried them to this lofty point.

“Our songs have been able to sustain, to keep being able to be played on the radio,” says Oates. “Some, luckily for us, sound timeless. That’s why people still come to see us. That’s why in my estimation we’re getting in the Hall of Fame.”

Well, that and a dose of Philly street flavor.

 David Hiltbrand, Inquirer Staff Writer


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