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Great Music Never Dies


February 13, 2019
Blue Magic was a combination of a group known as “Shades of Love” and Ted Mills, who was a member of  “The Top picks”.  The former band was good, but lacked an outstanding lead singer….Ted Mills solved that.  Blue Magic was born…and his falsetto vocals are among the best in R&B History!!!
Blue Magic was one of the best Philly Soul groups that weren’t a formal member of the Philadelphia International Records family of artists.  In that respect, they join acts such as Thom Bell’s Delfonics, Stylistics, and Spinners.
Most consider Philly Soul a sound…one that was characteristic of many artists from that time.  However, because of my respect for Kenny Gamble, Leon Huff and Thom Bell…I don’t call anything Philly Soul unless it has something to do with them.  After all, they are the trio who are credited with the creation of that gorgeous sound!!!  However, Blue Magic is an exception.  Let me explain…
Thom Bell was an independent producer, writer, and arranger who happened to be a close friend of Kenny Gamble.  They went back to childhood and virtually grew up in the music business together.  In fact, they performed together as “Kenny & Tommy” and “Kenny & The Romeos” back in the day!!!  For those who have never heard Kenny Gamble sing, he had a gorgeous and rich baritone!!!
Long story short, Thom Bell, though not a formal partner with Gamble & Huff at PIR, was treated as if he was.  He and his artists were afforded full use of their facilities, etc.  Along with Kenny and Leon, Thom is credited with being a major architect of the Philly Soul Sound.
In my opinion, Thom created a new kind of R&B music.  He was known for his lush and shimmering writing and arrangements!!!  His work was more ethereal, while that of Gamble & Huff, more earthy.  Together, they were FANTASTIC!!!!  They formed a music publishing company called “Mighty Three Music”.
So how does this relates to Blue Magic??  All of their material was produced by PIR veteran, Norman Harris, who also co-wrote some of their songs.  Many of their hits were written or co-written by lead singer, Ted Mills…with other members of that wonderful PIR writing staff.  In fact, when you look at the production and writing credits on their songs, it’s like a “Who’s Who” list of Philadelphia International Records!!!
So…they got the “Thom Bell treatment”…full use of Sigma Sigma Sound Studios and PIR’s house band, MFSB, backing them.
Once again, we have an artist that was not a formal member of PIR but was treated as if they were because of their affiliation with PIR personnel.  Philadelphia International was unique in this respect…and because of it, their “family of artists” was extended to many who didn’t record on their label.  Blue Magic was recorded on Atco Records during their best years.
Great Music Never Dies


February 13, 2019
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After doing Great Music Never Dies for many years, I have seen them all…Delfonics, Stylistics, Four Tops, Three Degrees, etc…
In my opinion, NONE can compare to the utter magnificence of Tavares and The Supremes!!!!
Tavares quietly dominated a 10 year period, 1973 – 1983.  They were blessed with many different writers…my favorite being Freddie Perren, who had worked at Motown and was responsible for the production of 3 albums for them.  He and his writing partner, Keni St. Louis, wrote some fantastic songs!!!
Writing is the key to ANY artist’s success….and Tavares was indeed fortunate to have some of the best!!!!  Each writer they had did a great job!!  I have always wondered how they would have sounded with HDH, Gamble & Huff or Thom Bell penning songs for them.  That would have been very interesting!!!
Then you have The Supremes.  In my opinion, they WERE Motown!!!  Powered by the fabulous writing of the genius trio of Holland-Dozier-Holland, they would go on to be the top “Girl Group” of all time!!!  HDH wrote 10 Number One hits for them!!!  Then you had many album cuts that could have easily been Top 10 songs!!!
There were other great artists in our wonderful old school R&B World…but to me, none possessed the magic of these two.  And…we just took it all for granted…now look what we have.
Here at Great Music, these legends SHALL LIVE FOREVER!!!!!!????


Music Enthusiasts

Music Vibes from the heart of a 70’s Baby

February 11, 2019
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Written By: Damion J. Jackson

As a lover of music and growing up in the post -era of the Motown sound, I was privy to all the music in my family household my parents played daily. From the Temptations, O’Jays, Aretha Franklin, The Dells, Delfonics, Marvin Gaye, Rick James, Teena Marie, Lou Rawls, The Whispers, The Commodores, Glady’s Knight, and one of my hometown favorites The Spinners, just to name of few.

The list of groups and artist are way to many to go on without given credit to how important the genius of Mr. Berry Gordy and Smokey Robinson, on how they birthed what we called today R&B ( Rhythm & Blues). The voices we hear today who laid the foundation for many artists today. We come to a real bump in the road. In the last ten years and to current day we have lost some true pioneers who have left their musical mark here on this earth.

Which leads me to this with the death of Prince and many like him like Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, James Brown, Gerald Levert, and Mr. Nick at Night, one of the silent writers and group members to the legendary group the Whispers. We are entering an era of artist or groups that will become extinct because there are no record companies or managers who are signing young artist with development deals like that of Boys II Men which was the brain child of Mr. Michael Bivins from New Edition.

Being born in the early seventies, I along with many other seventy babies have had the pleasure of been privy to blue light in the basement parties under the watch of our parents, family, and friends. To cruising in deuce and a quarter automobiles with your parents or with your favorite uncle or older cousin listening to music greats like Curtis Mayfield, Barry White, and  Issac Hayes. These greats brought a tremendous sound to this era growing up in the seventies and eighties.  Let alone we have not even touch basis on the many great producers and engineers who played the background scene, to make these musicians be who they were over the years. It is unfortunate that this generation of youngsters will not have that musical genre like that of the sixties, seventies, and eighties.

In closing, I ask if there are any record executives out there, to please look into artist development again, and take it seriously, and don’t be so quick to shelf the artist is they don’t take off as fast as you would like them to do. Remember it took years before the Temptations took off, and New Edition went through their ebbs and flows through their thirty years in the business.



A Real Great Music Lover



Great Music Never Dies

Great Music Never Dies

February 9, 2019
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This is a tribute to Motown, Philly Soul and other great music from the 1960’s, 1970’s and beyond.
Here you will find artists such as The Supremes, Four Tops, Tavares, Delfonics, and Stylistics.  You will also find Gene Pitney, Frankie Valli, Lesley Gore, and Dusty Springfield….to name a few.
And let’s not forget the writers.  Without them?  There would have been no music, no songs for these wonderful artists.  They are all here….Holland-Dozier-Holland, Thom Bell, Gamble & Huff, Burt Bacharach, Teddy Randazzo, Van McCoy….and those are just my favorites!!!  There are many, many more!!!
In the 1960’s and 1970’s, America’s mood was bright, a shining light of hope and optimism.  From this wonderful mood sprang the best music of all time…..Motown, the Sound Of Young America…..Philly Soul…and other great genres.
It will live on forever in our hearts because….
By the way, if you are in the industry and love this music as I do? And…if you would like to see it back again???
I have a “Can’t Miss” idea that would revolutionize music as we know it today!!!
This idea would create a new platform for writers/arrangers and artists alike….it is very exciting…PM me for details!!!
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