Probably not as well known as her label mates Etta James or Fontella Bass, Sugar Pie DeSanto was part of that galaxy of divas who put Chicago blues label Chess/Checker on the map.
She recorded a considerable number of material for the label and had many singles that, although not mega-hits were nonetheless memorable and have given credence to the argument that she’s one of the many underrated and overlooked artists who were active in the 1950’s and 1960’s.
Tonight it’s a single from 1965. Never Love A Stranger is a nicely laid out song that borders on Deep Soul, but is further evidence DeSanto was a powerhouse and could keep up with the likes of Etta James, whom she recorded several duets with.
Still active today and gathering a growing reputation for her down-and-dirty Blues interpretations as well as her catalog of great material, she is far from being forgotten.
Diving into some of the lesser luminaries in Pop Music this week. Tonight it’s Soul legend of the 70’s Margie Joseph who hasn’t been heard much from lately (giving up secular music in favor of Gospel may have something to do with it). Vocally compared by many to Aretha Franklin, Joseph was an outstanding performer in her own right and tonight’s track gives ample proof of that.
From her 1970 Volt album Margie Joseph Makes An Impression, here is Sweeter Tomorrow.
If you haven’t heard her before, and aren’t familiar with Margie Joseph, I would suggest you spend a few minutes getting acquainted.
Not a good week for Music. Yesterday brought the sad news about Jon Lord. But also yesterday morning brought the sad news about Bob Babbitt, one of the original Funk Brothers, who provided some of the most memorable instrumental accompaniment for the Classic Motown Sound and the great Soul tracks of the 60’s, passed away at the age of 74 after a long bout with brain Cancer.
Tonight, by way of tribute, is the 1966 mega-hit Love Makes The World Go Round, by Deon Jackson. Just listening to the intro and the bass line, it’s immediately recognizable. That’s the inimitable Bob Babbitt laying down the magic.
Like the legendary Wrecking Crew on the West Coast, The Funk Brothers were synonymous with some of the greatest Soul and R&B classics of the 60’s and 70’s, coming out of Detroit. That there is one less luminary from that Golden Age of indelible hits makes it pretty sad. But life is just like that.
Here’s a reminder if you’re familiar, and an introduction if you aren’t. Gorgeous, elegant Music making. Timeless.
Gloria Jones – from Gospel Singer to Soul-sation while still in her teens.
The name Gloria Jones is probably best remembered in recent years as the woman who first gave us “Tainted Love”, which went on to be a huge 80’s hit for the techno duo Soft Cell.
But Gloria Jones was always a name of note in the Soul idiom. A dynamic and powerful singer, she was one of those people who threw themselves into their songs and did nothing by half-measures.
Originally a founding member of the Gospel group The Cogics, with Billy Preston, Jones was discovered by Producer/Songwriter Ed Cobb and the result was her first single in 1964, Heartbeat. It became smash and established Gloria Jones, who was still in her teens at the time, as a star-on-the-rise.
Here’s that first single, Heartbeat, featuring Billy Preston on the Hammond. And the rest is history.