Friday, November 21, 2008

The Motown Sound In Vegas ? -- I Never Graduated From Old School

The Four Tops - 1967

News of the death of Levi Stubbs, the lead singer of the original Four Tops, exactly 5 weeks ago was pushed back into my subconscious because of other overwhelming life concerns and issues, but when I finally had a chance to relax, the thought popped back up that this was a significant event. I had always been a fan of the Motown Sound groups of the 60's. In 1967 I walked the short distance from my dormitory at Case Institute Of Technology in Cleveland, Ohio ( now Case-Reserve University ) with my roommate and our respective dates to see the Four Tops at a small venue ( just a bar with a lounge basically, on Euclid Avenue whose name I can't recall. ). We were the only white people there, but it did not seem to matter ( even with the national racial tensions of the previous summer ) to anybody. When they sang "Bernadette" ( their current hit ) we all jumped out of our chairs and danced, and cheered.

Motown sounds softly emanating from a small portable radio on my dorm desk from a local Cleveland station was the constant background theme for all my study sessions that year in the Freshmen dorms. Mainly because the music was so soft and unobtrusive and melodic, unlike modern hip hop. I grew to appreciate what was called R&B ( rhythm and blues ) back then.

So looking around Vegas' offerings of resurrected soul groups of the 60's, the only current show I could find was at the Sahara:

"Sit back for an unforgettable evening of smooth harmonies as The Platters, Cornell Gunter's Coasters and the Marvelettes sing the top hits of the 50's and 60's in the Sahara's legendary Congo Room. Playing nightly at 7:30pm in the Congo Room. "

I haven't heard much about this show, but it is definitely on my list of must shows to see.

And in researching this "half essay" of a post, I came across this gem: I can't place it in time but it was a concert of the Temptations at the Stardust Hotel, which was imploded on March 13, 2007, so it is probably more than 2 years old. "My Girl" is still my very favorite Temps song ( "I've got sunshine on a cloudy day. When it's cold outside, I've got the month of May... ):

The Temps In Vegas

And If You Happen To Be In The LA Area

LA's Longest running 60's shindig held every 3rd Saturday at the Vine Bar in Hollywood. Bring a friend, make a friend! No cover from 9-10pm.

Event: The Bullet 60’s Soul Garage Club
Time: November 15, 2008 9:00PM
Location: The Vine Bar, 1235 Vine St., Hollywood, CA 90038

Also from 9pm-10pm we'll be playing videos from Martha and The Vandellas, Marvin Gaye, Mary Wells, Shirley Ellis, Smokey Robinson, The Marvelettes, The Ronettes, The Supremes, The Troggs, Four Tops, James Brown, Isley Brothers, Jr. Walker and The Allstars amd many more!

Eli "Paperboy" Reed And The True Loves

Growing up in Brookline, MA, Eli Reed had wide exposure to music. His father was a critic and lent his extensive record collection to his son, who soaked up as much as he could, gravitating toward the gospel, soul, blues, and R&B albums especially. Teaching himself piano, guitar, and harmonica, and busking in Harvard Square to practice his chops and performing skills, after finishing high school he found work in Clarksdale, MS, but upon moving there, and finding that the job had fallen through, Reed introduced himself to the music community there, playing frequently at local clubs and even ending up under the tutelage of drummer Sam Carr. It was in Mississippi that Reed also got his nickname, "Paperboy," thanks to the newsboy-styled hat he was wearing at the time, but after nine months there, at his parents' bequest he moved north to attend the University of Chicago. In Chicago Reed was able to meet soul singer Mitty Collier, who had had a hit in 1964 with the single "I Had a Talk with My Man" but had since turned to ministry. The young musician impressed her so much -- he auditioned on the piano in his dormitory -- that she asked him to be the Minister of Music at her church, a position he held until he returned to Boston after a year of school. Back home, Reed worked on assembling his band, called the True Loves, and in 2005 he self-released the record Sings "Walkin' and Talkin' (For My Baby)" and Other Smash Hits, a collection of covers and originals. The band began to gain recognition around town, particularly thanks to Reed's enthused and passionate singing, and a performance at 2007's SXSW attracted some label interest. Signed to Boston-based Q Division, Eli "Paperboy" Reed & the True Loves issued their second full-length, Roll with You (with all songs written or co-written by Reed), in the spring of 2008. ~ Marisa Brown, All Music Guide

Press play button above for R&B sample: "It's Easier" by Eli "Paperboy" Reed And The True Loves ! Now, this is the type of music that I wish would stage a comeback!

Press play button above for R&B sample: cover of the Delphonics' "Didn't I Blow Your Mind This Time" by "The Wrecking Crew" featuring Vegas based Tony Q on saxophone and Peter Lep on vocals.

Local Artists - R&B Bookmarks From Reverb Nation


"Early Clover has the kind of animated showmanship and comic persona that can fool most people into thinking he's one of the original Coasters, rather than a member of a spin-off group, Cornell Gunter's Coasters, playing at the Sahara." - Las Vegas Weekly Entertainment Roundup by Mike Weatherford, September 23, 2003


Post a Comment