Soul music is alive and well with some of the great contemporary talent like [lastfm]Black Joe Lewis[/lastfm], [lastfm]Raphael Saadiq[/lastfm], [lastfm]Fitz & The Tantrums[/lastfm] and others. It’s also nice to keep tabs with the old school folks. Frank E. Lee blogged earlier this week that the great Sam Cooke is going to be honored here this weekend when they dedicate a portion of 36th Street to Sam. That would be one cool home address. I used to live on Dickens and loved living on a street named after Charles Dickens, but Sam Cooke Street? That would send me.
Stevie Wonder was honored this week when he was inducted into the Apollo Theatre Legends Hall of Fame in Harlem. And people showed up. Robert DeNiro, Spike Lee, [lastfm]Wyclef Jean[/lastfm], [lastfm]?uestlove[/lastfm], [lastfm]Phylicia Rashad[/lastfm], and [lastfm]Tony Bennet[/lastfm] sang “For Once In My Life” with Stevie. Rev. Al Sharpton was on hand to praise Stevie for his role in making the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. a national holiday. Stevie is now in the hall of fame with [lastfm]Michael Jackson[/lastfm], [lastfm]Patti LaBelle[/lastfm], [lastfm]Qunicy Jones[/lastfm] and [lastfm]Ella Fitzgerald[/lastfm]. Well deserved.
In New York City this week they had a big benefit show paying tribute to Motown. Martha Reeves without the Vandellas, Dennis Edwards of The Temptations, Bette LaVette, Ryan Shaw, Eli (Paperboy) Reed and Joan Osborne sang some of the greatest songs ever recorded. Joan was a great addition. She was amazing singing with the Funk Brothers in the documentary Standing In The Shadows Of Motown. If you love this music and haven’t seen this film yet, get busy. Really worth the time. There is a complete review of the NYC concert.
And one sad note. This week saw the passing of Carl Gardner. He was founder and lead vocalist for The Coasters. He was 83, died of congestive heart failure and had been battling Alzheimers. Way before The Beatles, The Coasters were my favorite group. Anytime I could talk a grown up into buying me one of their 45 RPM’s, I was a happy kid. They had a string of hits written by Lieber-Stoller in the 1950’s. Smart, funny songs. Yakety Yak, Poison Ivy, Searchin’, Charlie Brown. Got them into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame. Rest in peace, Carl.