Interviews/Stories

Here are a series of exclusive interviews/stories with legendary R&B artists with reminiscences of the early R&B scene.

 

Sonny Turner of The Platters – Picked to Replace A Legend

by Kirk Lang

“As the son of a former professional fighter, Sonny Turner knows a thing or two about not giving up. It’s in his blood. The former lead singer of The Platters – he replaced the legendary Tony Williams in late 1959 – isn’t even thinking of retirement”.

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Richie Freeman receives Lifetime Achievement Award

Richie Freeman, a New Haven native who joined The Five Satins in 1958 – just six months after graduating high school – was honored with an EarlyRnB.com Lifetime Achievement Award Monday afternoon, September 14, 2020.

“I was very surprised and happy,” said Freeman one day after making the trek from New York to his old stomping grounds.  “It was the first time I received something like that. It was real thoughtful.”

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Steve Cropper of Booker T & The MGs / Blues Brothers

by Alan White

“Long regarded as one of the finest studio guitarists in the music industry, and probably the best-known soul guitarist in the world, Steve Cropper has been most closely associated with the Stax Records label in Memphis, Tennessee, and was one of the pioneers in what has come to be regarded as “The Memphis Sound”.

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Please note this link will take you to the original interview on www.earlyblues.com.

Booker T Jones

Leader of the famed Stax Records house band Booker T & The MGs, architect of the Memphis soul sound, and one of the most legendary figures in music.

In conversation with Michael Ford,  Editor, Blues in Britain magazine.

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Please note this link will take you to the original interview on www.earlyblues.com.

Image © copyright 2012 Alan White. All rights reserved.

Ed Martin of The Five Satins

– The baritone singer who helped make “In the Still of the Night” a legendary doo-wop hit

by Kirk Lang

“The loudmouth on there, that’s me,” said Martin, referring to his contribution to The Five Satins’ “In the Still of the Night,” one of the most well-known doo wop songs, and one that received further attention with its inclusion in the movie Dirty Dancing….

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Chris Powers

Renowned Vinyl DJ / Compere / MC championing R&B / Stax

by Alan White

“Hey, this guy’s a star man – he’s keeping the STAX flag flying – letting people hear these good old STAX tunes”.
–  Steve Cropper

As a DJ you are renowned for spinning purely vinyl records, why is this?

“A good question. The number one reason is that having been collecting blues, black music, R&B, 45s since the early ’60s I’ve amassed a hell of a collection. So, they take a lot of lugging about but to have that piece of kit in your hands and the needle then just gets bounced down into the groove and to feel it, and watch it happening is just a buzz.  The authenticity.  That is how Dee-Jaying started off, the essence of Dee-Jaying is how it began and lasted for 30 years before the advent of CDs…”

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John Steel of The Animals

by Alan White

John started his career as a musician while still in school around 1957. He met the future lead singer of the Animals, Eric Burdon, while they were studying together at the Newcastle College of Art and Industrial Design. His first instrument was the trumpet, and this was his primary instrument in the first group where he and Burdon played together. “When I played drums rather than trumpet I never felt really confident enough, because the people I was influenced by and admired were jazz drummers … There was no way I was going to be that good so I never considered myself good enough to aspire to that kind of thing. But somehow I just accidentally fell into rock ‘n’ roll and R&B”.

Click here for the full interview.

Please note this link will take you to the original interview on www.earlyblues.com.

Mick Taylor of The Rolling Stones

by Alan White

“Guitarist Mick Taylor was neither an original member of the Rolling Stones nor still in the band when it began selling out sports stadiums in the late -’80s and ’90s. But the sophisticated jazz- and blues-influenced guitar licks Mick added to such classic albums as Sticky Fingers gave the Stones an added dimension they lacked before and after him”.

“Mick is one of the most stunning guitarists in the world. His tones are warm and rich, and are totally unique.”  Bob Dylan

Click here for the full interview.

Please note this link will take you to the original interview on www.earlyblues.com.

More soon …