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Month: April 2021

Vandross at Seventy, Prince at Five, Funky Drummer, Worrell

There are a lot of milestones to cover on The Soul Show this week.

Luther Vandross, whom I think of as The Last Soul Crooner, would have had 70 candles. I’ll swing through his musical life that included David Bowie work, his early self-named band, and the first big album.

Bootsy Collins, the James Brown and Parliament Funkadelic bassist, honored his bandmates Clyde Stubblefield and Bernie Worrell in birthday posts. Clyde is the fabled Funky Drummer who created a whole new template, and Bernie brought classical training to the synthesizer. When Clyde passed in 2017, the great drummer Poogie Bell stopped by the WYEP studios to explain how Clyde brought swing to funk. You’ll hear that narrative today.

Poogie Bell reminiscing about Stubblefield (soulshowmike image, 2017)

Bernie Worrell’s music will span Parliament Funkadelic, his own Orchestra and the one-off Socialybrium project.

Bernie Worrell with the Bernie Worrell Orchestra, 2014 (soulshowmike image)

I interviewed rocker Nona Hendryx in 2016, shortly after her New York fundraiser for Bernie’s medical treatments:

Prince died 5 years ago, and The Soul Show invited co-founder Stef Chatman to share reflections. I excerpted segments of that 2016 episode to share with you. Also, there’s a brand new Prince release for you to hear.

TSS co-founder Stephen Chatman (soulshowmike image)

WTJX US Virgin Islands, Rhode Island Public Radio and other markets carry the syndicated edition of The Soul Show. This coming week, I’ll play that new Hiatus Kaiyote and Dawn Richard, play some more Prince, and feature Tuff Lion reggae from the USVI.

I was interviewed on the TJX daily talk show Analyze This. It was great to connect with host Neville James, an old schoolmate I hadn’t talked to in decades. Also, hearing the listener calls flowing in was special.

Enjoy the shows!

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The Soul Show’s Prince Tribute, Revisited

Five years ago, long after Stef Chatman had left TSS, and before George T. became an established WYEP host, the three of us came together to honor Prince. Stef dialed in to the WYEP production room, and George and I recorded a three-way conversation that wove through topics and musical selections. The 4/23/16 presentation was a mix of live broadcast and the pre-produced pieces.

With the intensity of the event, I forgot to initiate the archive recording until 15 minutes in. The original archive posted on Mixcloud has had that gap all of these years, but I’ve now replaced it with a full 3-hour splice of WYEP archive tape and my own. It was time to get this done for the 2021 anniversary of The Purple. It is also poignant, of course, because it revives memories of Stef’s great energy.

Enjoy.

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Songs For Our Times on The Soul Show

On The Soul Show on WYEP this afternoon, it’s time for some more songs for our times. Marley’s “Johnny Was,” Khris Royal’s “Song for Trayvon” and others will set the tone in the second half of Hour 2.

A-Money & The Downtown City has a new single, and I’ll continue the track-by-track dive into Afro Yaqui’s acclaimed 2021 release. Also, more from George Heid’s sophomore album. That’s all on Three Rivers at Three, 1500 Eastern.

I’ll highlight the birthdays of Robeson and Hancock. Herbie turned 81. We did a big tribute last year, but every landmark for him is special.

The City Paper featured my monthly Soulshowmike’s Album Picks this week. The editor asked if I had any interesting ties to offer for the annual Marijuana issue. Of course there was a story to tell. The story on TSS will weave from Neil Young to The Isley Brothers. I think you’ll enjoy.


The syndicated edition of The Soul Show is chock full of new music this week: Esperanza Spalding, Zo!, Gramps Morgan and Hiatus Kaiyote. Check out the broadcast grid to find a good time to air or stream.

WTJX US Virgin Islands was the first station to pick up the syndicated Soul Show. Next week, their daily morning show Analyze This will interview me. The host is a former member of the VI Legislature and a St. Croix schoolmate. Check it out.

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BB Dickerson, co-founder of War & Lowrider Band

On Saturday’s WYEP episode of The Soul Show, I’ll pay tribute to BB Dickerson, founding member of the acts War and Lowrider Band. His bandmate and uncle, Howard Scott, will tell about the bassist’s contributions to the music.

Howard Scott of Lowrider Band, Heritage Blues Festival (Wheeling, WV) 2015
soulshowmike image

MLK’s birthday is always celebrated. April 4th, the anniversary of his young death, must also be recognized. There is music from Marcus Lewis Big Band and Gil Scott-Heron.

WYEP is recognizing National Siblings Day, and The Soul Show will have some fun with that theme. I planned to sprinkle some brother/sister acts into the mix, but got carried away (of course).

Brian Edwards and Geenpool represent Pittsburgh artists in the Three Rivers at Three segment. Also, MG’s alum Steve Cropper will get a spin of his 2021 release.


The syndicated edition of TSS on the African American Public Radio Consortium follows the style and shape of the original WYEP show, but provides an entirely different playlist each week. Afro Yaqui Music Collective and Jon Lucien represent two of the cities that broadcast the AAPRC show. Other highlights: I’ll play Valerie June with Carla Thomas, Chicago Soul Jazz Collective, Carla with Otis Redding, Raja Kasis of Antibalas, Speech Debelle, Amp Fiddler covering Jimi, Ashford & Simpson.


The archives for all recent broadcasts are posted in the Archives for your on-demand enjoyment.

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The Soul Show on Saturday Afternoon

The Soul Show on Saturday afternoon returns to “regular” programming after eight weekends of BHM and WHM. In case you missed any, the archives are available for your on-demand pleasure.

That was then, and this is now. On Three Rivers at Three, I’ll debut Kenny Stockard’s new single and Afro Yaqui Music Collective’s 2021 “Maroon Futures.” Also, Jon Batiste’s full “We Are” release has dropped, so now we can go beyond the introductory single. We’ll celebrate a Marvin Gaye birthday.


The syndicated edition of TSS on WTJX and Rhode Island Public Radio will present a brand new Teri Tobin track and something from Spirit Finger called “Inside.” I’ll play a 2021 release from Angelo Moore of Fishbone. It’s a bit more peace-and-love than some of his other solo material with The Brand New Step. In fact, it reminds me of Cameo’s late-career socially conscious work.

Then there’s a beautifully dark and vivid gangland story told by Ghostface Killah and Adrian Younge. I’ll play consecutive tracks from “12 Reasons To Die.” I call this Black Gotham. It’s crazy.

Representing southern NE, Tavares is on tap for the WTJX listeners.

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