Edwin Leon Chamblee (24 February 1920 – 1 May 1999), known as Eddie “Long Gone” Chamblee, was an American tenor and alto saxophonist, and occasional vocalist, who played jazz and R&B.
He was born in Atlanta, Georgia, and grew up in Chicago where he began learning the saxophone at the age of 12. After leaving Wendell Phillips High School, he studied law at Chicago State University, playing in clubs in the evenings and at weekends. He played in US Army bands between 1941 and 1946. After leaving the army, he joined Miracle Records. He played on Sonny Thompson’s hit record “Long Gone” in 1948, and on its follow-up, “Late Freight”, credited to the Sonny Thompson Quintet featuring Eddie Chamblee. Both records reached no. 1 on the national Billboard R&B chart. Two follow-up records, “Blue Dreams” and “Back Street”, also made the R&B chart in 1949.
From 1947, he led his own band in Chicago clubs, as well as continuing to record with Thompson and on other sessions in Chicago, including The Four Blazes’ no. 1 R&B hit “Mary Jo” in 1952. In 1954 he joined Lionel Hampton’s band for two years, touring in Europe, before returning to lead his own group in Chicago. He accompanied both Amos Milburn and Lowell Fulson on some of their recordings, and then worked as accompanist to Dinah Washington on many of her successful recordings in the late 1950s and early 1960s. The two performed vocal duets in a style similar to that later adopted by Washington with Brook Benton, and were briefly married; he was her fifth husband. Chamblee also recorded for the Mercury and EmArcy labels, and with his own group in the early 1960s for the Roulette and Prestige labels.
In the 1970s he rejoined Hampton for tours of Europe, where he also played with Milt Buckner, and he recorded for the French Black & Blue label. He also performed with the Count Basie Orchestra in 1982, and from the 1980s until his death with the Harlem Blues and Jazz Band, as well as in clubs in New York City.
He died in New York in 1999 at the age of 79.
Derek Martin was born in Detroit in 1938, and like many early R&B and soul singers, he got his start in gospel. His professional break came early when he was hired at the age of 17 to sing with Duke Ellington. In the early ’50s Martin joined the singing group the Pearls along with fellow singer Howard Guyton and pianist Dave Clowney (who would find success in 1959 with the novelty hit “The Happy Organ” as Dave “Baby” Cortez), and the group released its first single (as the Five Pearls) in 1954 and also recorded as Howie & the Sapphires, releasing a single under that name in 1959 for OKeh Records. Eventually the group changed its name to the Top Notes and recorded for several imprints, including Tuba, Sue, and Roulette as well as putting out a single 45 for Stax, the enduring “Soul Power”/”Sly Girl.” The Top Notes also released the original version of “Twist & Shout” in 1961 as the B-side to “Always Late” for Atlantic Records, and it was the Top Notes’ version that formed the template, albeit amped up, for the Isley Brothers’ later hit rendition of the song. Martin launched his solo career in 1963 with a successful cover of Otis Blackwell’s “Daddy Rolling Stone” on Crackerjack Records, and just missed hitting the Top 20 pop and R&B charts with the single “You Better Go.” For several years now, Martin has made his home in France, where he is rightfully lauded as a master soul singer, having earned the nickname “the Golden Voice.” EMI collected his Roulette releases for 2007’s Take Me Like I Am: The Roulette Recordings.
October 27, 2015 by BOB BOILEN
At first, I couldn’t pull my attention away from irrepressible singer Kam Franklin, whose down-to-earth but uplifting presence put a huge smile on my face. But as The Suffers’ set progressed, I became increasingly enchanted with the band, which was part Archie Bell & The Drells and part James Brown, with a touch of New Orleans and even Jamaican reggae.
It was a perfect mix of power and delicacy, as the band held back at moments only to steamroll me when my guard was down. The group has only two EPs, with an album on the way, and trust me: 2016 will be The Suffers’ year. Look for the band on far bigger stages soon enough.
The Chakachas were a Belgian based group of Latin soul studio musicians. Also known as Les Chakachas or Los Chakachas, they were formed by bandleader Gaston Bogaert, ex-Los Juano Boengs and The Continentals, percussion (conga and tumba); Tito Puente’s singer wife Kari Kenton, vocals and maracas; Vic Ingeveldt (a Dutchman from Liege), saxophone; Charlie Lots, trumpet; Christian Marc, piano; Henri Breyre, guitar and backing vocals; and Bill Raymond, bass guitar. All were native to Schaarbeek (a district of Brussels), or nearby Charleroi, Willebroek and Liege.
They started out in the late 1950s, and had a Belgian #1 in 1958 with “Eso es el amor”, which was sung in Spanish. In 1959 they recorded “Rebecca” (a.k.a. “Rebekka”), featured in the film The Battle of Algiers. In 1962, they crept into the UK Singles Chart for the first time with “Twist Twist”, which reached #48. Although they issued numerous recordings, they are best remembered as a one-hit wonder for their hit disco single “Jungle Fever” from 1971,which sold over one million copies in the United States, and was awarded a gold disc by the R.I.A.A. in March 1972. It also reached #8 in the US Billboard Hot 100. In the UK it fared less well: despite some airplay soon after release it was later pulled from airplay by the BBC, which took exception to the song’s moaning and heavy breathing. It peaked at #29.
September 6, 2016 by RACHEL HORN •
When we invited William Bell to the Tiny Desk, we looked forward to witnessing part of a veteran soul hitmaker’s journey back to the spotlight. Bell is known for writing and performing several of the R&B classics that emerged from Memphis’ Stax Records in the 1960s, “You Don’t Miss Your Water” and “Everybody Loves A Winner” among them. After decades away from Stax — and away from sizable record labels entirely — he returned to his old label home earlier this year to release This Is Where I Live. So we were ready to be won over by Bell’s rich, expressive voice and bandleader’s charm; we were prepared for emotionally dense songs that say a lot in only a few words. We just didn’t expect so much yellow.
Bell, who’s 77 and now makes his home in Atlanta, worked suavely through two new songs from This Is Where I Live. The title track follows an autobiographical structure common among soul singers of a certain age (see: Sharon Jones, Charles Bradley, Aaron Neville). It narrates the story of Bell’s life in specific detail, from the first time he heard Sam Cooke to the memorable hotel stay when he wrote “You Don’t Miss Your Water,” the song that “took [him] all around the world.” And “The Three Of Me” is a love song of measured regret, typical of earlier Bell ballads but for its patina of time-worn wisdom.
To close his performance, Bell led the Total Package Band through one of the most enduring songs he’s written: the blues standard “Born Under A Bad Sign,” which has been covered by folks like Cream and Koko Taylor since Albert King first recorded it in 1967. When Bell’s co-writer on the song, Booker T. Jones, played it at the Tiny Desk in 2011, his solo organ work lent the tune an appropriately eerie cast. For Bell and company, though, “Bad Sign” became a joyous, communal celebration. Nearly every member of the 12-piece band took a chorus before settling into an energetic vamp, their leader’s grin as bright as his band’s T-shirts.
Brandon Paak Anderson (born February 8, 1986), known professionally as Anderson .Paak, is an American recording artist and music producer from Oxnard, California. He released his debut album, O.B.E. Vol. 1 in 2012, under the pseudonym Breezy Lovejoy. He went on to release Venice in 2014, under his current moniker. Paak followed with Malibu, in 2016.
Sharon Lafaye Jones (born May 4, 1956) is an American soul/funk singer. She is the lead singer of Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, a soul and funk band based out of Brooklyn, New York. Jones experienced a breakthrough success relatively late in life, releasing her first record when she was 40 years old. In 2014, Jones was nominated for her first Grammy for Best R&B Album for Give the People What They Want.
Charles Bradley is no stranger to hard times. Born in Gainesville, Florida in 1948 and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Charles spent the better part of his childhood living on the streets. One of the more optimistic moments of his childhood came in 1962, when his sister took him to see James Brown at The Apollo. Brown’s energy formed a lasting impression on Charles. He went home and immediately began practicing microphone tricks with a broom attached to a string, imitating the Godfather’s every move. With his newfound inspiration came an urgent desire to get off the streets and make something of himself.