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Month: March 2021

The Soul Show, WHM Wknd 4: Wood, Brass & Steel

Brandee Younger at Pittsburgh Int’l Jazz Festival 2019

The Soul Show on Weekend 4 of WHM carries the theme “Wood, Brass & Steel.” It’s all about women on instruments, like Brandee Younger on harp and Sister Rosetta Tharpe on electric guitar (long before Hendrix). Weekends 1-3 went like this:

Weekend 1All Day Women (just like it says)
Weekend 2Second To None (women who emerged from backup singing roles to center stage)
Weekend 3Bloodlines (women of musical families)

Check out these shows on-demand in Archives.

Today we’ll also pay tribute to the great Paul Jackson, Jr., co-founder of the Headhunters. The self-titled release, performed with Hancock, Maupin and Summers, became the best-selling jazz album of all time. I’ll play a track from that and another from the post-Hancock era. It’s one where Jackson plays bass and sings.

On the “other” Soul Show, airing on WTJX and other national stations during the coming week, I have a lot of new music to present. “Jazz Is Dead 6,” this time a Younge/Muhammad collaboration with Gary Bartz, was made available in late March. Marlon McClain sent both his latest and that of his niece, vocalist Whitney McClain. There’s also new Tim Bowman and Angelo Moore. Perhaps the most intriguing new entry is a Valerie June duet with fellow Memphian and Stax queen Carla Thomas.

On top of all of that, there will be the ongoing presentation of the classics. There’s everything from Stevie Wonder to Mandrill to The Outlaw Gang.

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Women’s History Month Wknd 3: “Bloodlines”

On WYEP, The Soul Show’s theme for Weekend 3 of WHM is “Bloodlines.” We’ll feature women and members of their musical families, like Akina Adderley and her grandfather, Nat Sr.; Taka Boom/Chaka Khan; and the Hathaways. Toshi Reagon, daughter of Sweet Honey in the Rock’s founder, is also part of the presentation. If you’d like some background, check out my 2019 interview with her.

Lalah Hathaway, August Wilson Center, Novemeber 2016. soulshowmike image

I’ll play more music from Gayelynn McKinney, daughter of the great jazz musician Harold. I selected her album ‘Zoot Suit Funk’ as a March album pick in my Pittsburgh City Paper column.

On Saturday night, the syndicated edition of TSS will feature a bit of new music. IZY of Australia has an album named ‘Irene’ that is already feeling like a 2021 Top Ten candidate. I’ll dig deeper into ‘Nocturne Unplugged’ by David Walters. Lenora Zenzalai Helms’ ‘Love of Big Band’ release will get a play – it was also written up in my City Paper column. New music from Str4ta, a Brit-funk side project by Bluey of Incognito, will be introduced. Midnite represents the Virgin Islands; Jeffrey Osborne & L.T.D., Providence; and Leaky Faucet, the city of Pittsburgh.

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ADW on TSS during WHM on WYEP

Why would I replace the longstanding Booker T. theme with Shirley Scott? Because it’s the annual ADW on TSS during WHM on WYEP. Shirley from Philly was the Queen of the Hammond B3, and we’ll start with a fine track from her Soul Saxes album of 1969. All Day Women started a few years ago on The Soul Show. It’s always one of the weekly themes during Women’s History Month. By the way, thanks to all of you who provided great topics to cover during the rest of the month.

ADW covers historical figures like Dakota Staton, Phoebe Snow and Phyllis Hyman, but we also feature the contemporary and new. Listen out for electrofunkster Dawn Richard, reggae’s Reemah and the elevating Lakecia Benjamin. Today is the membership campaign, so I use the usual narration time to ask for your financial support. Don’t worry, though – I didn’t replace any of the normal 32-38 tracks with extra chat. The show will be its usual music-packed self.

On tonight’s nationally syndicated edition of The Soul Show, we begin the tribute to Neville Livingston, better known as Bunny Wailer. He and two others created the most important reggae group of all time. Representing some of the cities where TSS is aired, we have Afi Scruggs (PhD grad of Providence’s Brown University), Royce of Pittsburgh and Odyssey of the Virgin Islands. There’s new music from Samm Crenshaw, Rochelle Jordan and Hemai. Classic Garnet Mimms, with the Warwicks in background vocals. Afrofunk from One World Tribe. Fusion from Larry Coryell and Jaco Pastorius. Rocking Living Color, and Ndegeocello/Reagon covering Eric Burdon.

See you soon.


All Day Women, WHM Theming

The BHM/WHM season is a busy time, developing solid themes for each of the 8 or more weekends. Last month I incorporated ideas from TSS listeners, including the feature on Gaye’s and Sly’s “What’s Going On” and “There’s A Riot Goin’ On.”

One of the permanent WHM installments is “All Day Women.” There’s a membership campaign during Weekend One, and I’ll do ADW because it requires the least narrative. For the other weekends, though, please send your good ideas. I look forward to them..