Thursday, 4 February 2016

In And Out Of Love – A Brief History of 



Holland-Dozier-Holland (H-D-H) were one of the most successful song writing and production teams in the history of popular music.

The trio, while working for Berry Gordy Jr’s Detroit-based Tamla, Gordy and Motown record labels, were collectively responsible for some of the best known songs recorded during the 1960s.

Some of the hits created by brothers Eddie and Brian Holland, in collaboration with Lamont Dozier, include:

·        It’s The Same Old Song”, “Reach Out I’ll Be There” and “I Can’t Help Myself” by The Four Tops
·        “Where Did Our Love Go”, “Baby Love” and “You Keep Me Hanging On” by The Supremes
·        “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)” which was a hit for both Marvin Gaye and Junior Walker & The All Stars
·        “Heat Wave”, “Nowhere ToRun” and “Jimmy Mack” by Martha Reeves & The Vandellas


As a song writing team, Holland-Dozier-Holland are credited with more than two dozen US Top 10 records, including many number ones, and countless R&B hits. Their success spread across the Atlantic Ocean to the United Kingdom, Europe and around the world.


Brian Holland

Brian Holland was born in Detroit on 15th February 1941. Brian debuted as a solo singer in 1958 on gospel label, Kudo Records. The record, whose flip side was written by Berry Gordy, was a total flop. His name was even misspelled as Briant Holland.

Holland then joined his neighborhood friend Freddie Gorman in a doo-wop group, The Fidalatones before singing lead with The Satintones.

Following a spell together in the Motown backing group, The Rayber voices, Holland and Robert Bateman, together dubbed ‘Brianbert’, penned the most successful Motown hit song to date, “Please Mr Postman”, for The Marvelettes.

Brian was then teamed up with Gorman and Lamont Dozier as a song writing and production team; Gorman was later replaced by Brian’s older brother, Eddie Holland.

Lamont Dozier

Lamont Dozier was born in Detroit on 16th June 1941. He started singing at the age of 13 for a group named The Romeos, who were signed to Atco Records.

Following R&B chart success with their song, “Fine Fine Baby”, The Romeos split up. 

Dozier joined The Voicemasters, who recorded for Anna Records, formed by and named after Anna Gordy, Berry Gordy’s sister.

While at Anna, Lamont recorded his first solo disc, “Let’s Talk It Over”, under the name of Lamont Anthony.

Prior to joining Anna Records, Dozier had already turned down an offer to work with Berry Gordy at Motown

In 1962, following advice from Robert Bateman, Dozier joined Freddie Gorman and Brian Holland at the Hitsville studios.

Eddie Holland

Eddie Holland was born on 30th October 1939 in Detroit. Eddie met Berry Gordy in 1958.

Gordy wrote and produced Holland’s debut single on the Mercury label, “You”, as well as “Merry-Go-Round” which Gordy initially released on his Tamla label, but subsequently arranged for United Artists to distribute.

Gordy recorded three more songs on Holland on the United Artists label before switching him to his own fledgling Motown imprint.

Eddie Holland’s debut single on the Motown label was “Jamie”, a record that received some local success. Holland went on to record several more songs for Gordy.

Holland modeled himself on Gordy’s close friend Jackie Wilson and although he recorded twenty solo singles and one album, he hated performing live. He suffered from stage fright and eventually joined his younger brother Brian and Lamont Dozier as a lyricist.

The Dispute with Motown

Eddie Holland had grown resentful towards Berry Gordy over the years. The phenomenal success of the records penned and / or produced by Holland-Dozier–Holland, particularly for the Supremes and the Four Tops, had left Eddie protesting that he and his team deserved greater reward for their efforts.

Berry Gordy Jr.

Berry Gordy would not bow to Holland’s demands for a shareholding in the equity of the company despite Eddie’s belief that the exponential growth that Motown was enjoying was almost solely the result of H-D-H’s labour. In a vain attempt to placate his erstwhile friend and ally, Berry put Eddie Holland in charge of A & R, following the departure of Mickey Stevenson in early 1967.

This ‘promotion’ only served to strengthen Eddie Holland’s disenchantment with his former friend whom he now ingloriously referred to as “boss”.  The final blow for Holland was Gordy’s refusal to grant Eddie an interest free loan in order to buy a property.

The dispute came to a head in November when, inspired by the wildcat strikes rife in the Detroit auto industry, Eddie Holland decided to withdraw his labour. He stayed at home while Gordy was away working on projects in Motown’s West Coast offices in Los Angeles.

Berry Gordy was also preoccupied with another difficult situation, the impending split among The Supremes. Founding member Florence Ballard was about to be replace by Cindy Birdsong of Philadelphia – based group Patti Labelle & The Bluebelles.

The Supremes (L-R Florence Ballard, Mary Wilson, Diana Ross
Eddie Holland refused to produce any more Motown sessions while secretly stockpiling songs that he had written in readiness to set up his own recording company.

Gordy attempted to use Eddie’s younger brother, Brian, with whom Gordy had struck up a friendship pre-dating Motown, as a go-between, but Eddie’s mind was made up.

With no new product emanating from his star writing and production team, Gordy threatened to sue for breach of contract in a vain attempt to bring Eddie Holland back to his senses.

Holland-Dozier-Holland, represented by ambitious black lawyer, Edward F. Bell, countersued for $22 million, citing “Conspiracy, fraud, deceit, overreaching and breach of fiduciary arrangements”.

Berry Gordy argued that artists and producers were treated better at Motown than at other record companies; also, Holland-Dozier-Holland benefited from Gordy’s practice of allowing producers to continue working with the same artist following a hit.

The reality was that Holland-Dozier-Holland were actually quite well paid in an industry that was notorious for ripping off its creative people.

Eddie Holland admitted that some companies didn’t pay their artists or writers but countered that once the lawyers got hold of the case it took on a life of its own.

Gordy, despite being urged by friends to settle the case, was adamant that he would not back down. Moreover, it is believed that it was Motown’s legal team that was calling the shots despite Gordy’s seemingly determined stance.

Holland-Dozier-Holland continued to write songs but published them using the pseudonym, Edyth Wayne, because they couldn’t use their own names while the dispute with Motown continued.

Motown song writer Ron Dunbar worked with Holland-Dozier-Holland on their new projects, hence the writing partnership Wayne – Dunbar that was responsible for future Invictus hits such as “Band Of Gold” and “Give Me Just A Little More Time” by Freda Payne and The Chairmen Of The Board respectively.


The legal suit from Bell consisted of thirty-two pages, including accusations that neither Brian Holland, who joined Gordy in 1957, nor Holland-Dozier-Holland, established as a song writing and production team since 1961, had ever seen a contract.

It was alleged that since 1961 Gordy had continually promised to transfer Motown stock to Brian Holland. Bell also accused Jobete, the song publishing company owned by Motown, of underpaying Holland-Dozier-Holland in royalties.

Smokey Robinson, who had worked closely with Berry Gordy in getting Motown off the ground, was apparently furious with the Holland brothers and Lamont Dozier.

Smokey Robinson

A prominent song writer for Motown, as well as lead singer of the Miracles, Robinson leaped to the defence of his close friend and ally.

In a strongly worded press release in his name, although widely believed to have been orchestrated by the Motown management team, Robinson poured scorn on the allegations that Holland-Dozier-Holland had been cheated.

Smokey insisted that it was company policy to pay artists and song writers whatever monies were due.

Shelly Berger, the Hollywood-based manager of The Supremes, also defended his beleaguered boss. Following the discontent among other Motown artists and writers that had arisen following the H-D-H dispute, Berger pointed out that none of the artists had to worry about filing their tax returns.

Shelley Berger

The company always filed the returns of their behalf. This was due to Motown keeping monies in individual accounts in the names of artists as escrow. Berger maintained that this practice actually protected the artists.

Berger claimed that Gordy, and his accountants, prevented the artists from going the way of other black artists who had been taken advantage of by more dubious characters in the music business.

Regardless of the rights and wrongs in the dispute between Holland-Dozier-Holland and Motown, the cases dragged on for two years before finally being settled out of court.

The battle between H-D-H and Berry Gordy would continue well into the 1970s. The former claimed that Motown blacklisted them and used their influence to block potential partnerships. Gordy in turn accused H-D-H of having begun working on their own projects while still under contract with Motown.

Invictus / Hot Wax / Music Merchant

Holland-Dozier-Holland finally launched their independent labels, Invictus and Hot Wax, in 1969.

Invictus was distributed through Capitol Records, while Buddah distributed Hot Wax.

Invictus artists included Freda Payne, The Chairmen Of The Board, Glass House and The 8th Day.

Honey Cone, 100 Proof Aged In Soul) and The Flaming Ember were among the artists signed to Hot Wax.

Laura Lee had records released on both labels.

H-D-H launched a third label, Music Merchant, also distributed by Buddah, in 1972. Former Motown chanteuse, Brenda Holloway, recorded for Music Merchant, along with The Jones Girls and Eloise Laws.

Chart Success

Freda Payne had two gold records in the US, “Band Of Gold” and Bring The Boys Home”. The Chairmen Of The Board sold a million copies of “Give Me Just A Little More Time”; “He’s Not Just Another Woman” by 8th Day was also accredited gold status.

In September 1970, Invictus held the number one and two positions in the UK chart with “Band Of Gold” and “Give Me Just A Little More Time”.

Honey Cone enjoyed two US number one hits with “Want Ads” and ”Stick Up”.

“Somebody’s Been Sleeping In My Bed” by 100 Proof (Aged In Soul), “Rip Off” by Laura Lee and “Westbound Number Nine” by The Flaming Ember were all hits in the United States.

Financial Issues

The Hot Wax label was closed down in 1973 due to cash flow problems. H-D-H moved all their artists on to their Invictus label.
In 1977 Invictus folded and the labels were incorporated into HDH Records.

Holland-Dozier-Holland still own the catalogue which is managed by HDH Records.

Recent releases include a 14 x CD box set of all the 45s released on the Invictus, Hot Wax and Music Merchant labels; HDH have also made available a box set of previously unreleased 7” singles.

Later Developments

Lamont Dozier

Lamont Dozier returned to recording as a solo singer.

His biggest hit was on ABC Records in 1974 with “Trying To Hold On To My Woman” which reached number 15 in the US pop charts.
Lamont went on to record albums with ABC Records, “Black Bach” 

and Warner Brothers, where he released “Peddlin’ Music On The Side” in 1977. The latter album spawned “Going Back To My Roots” which was later a hit for Odyssey.

Dozier also enjoyed further success as a composer, co-writing “Two Hearts” and “Going Loco In Acapulco” with Phil Collins for the soundtrack of the movie “Buster”.

Dozier later worked with Alison Moyet and Mick Hucknall of Simply Red.

Brian Holland

Brian Holland continued to work as a producer; his projects included the 1978 Donny and Marie Osmond LP, “Winning Combination”.

Together Again

Holland-Dozier-Holland revisited their partnership in 1999 to compose the score for the stage musical production of “The First Wives’ Club”.


George, Nelson "Where Did Our Love Go" 1986 ISBN 0.7119.9511.7
Cosgrove, Stuart "Detroit 67" 2015 ISBN 978-1501075988
Lamont Dozier's website

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Bringing Real Soul and R&B Back Home

What do I mean by “Bringing Real Soul and R&B Back Home”?

It is no secret that global corporate radio conglomerates are being accused of killing off opportunities for new, independent artists in favour of “safer” Top 40 commercial certain hits.

 Soul Vibrations
Soul Vibrations

This is a development that is certainly happening on both sides of the Atlantic, to the detriment of unknown artists, new music and ultimately, the music industry as a whole.

For the purpose of this discussion, I will refer specifically to R&B music as it was known in the United States and Soul music, which in the UK has historically been used to encompass R&B, Funk and Disco. I am well aware that the same argument would apply equally to other genres of music, such as Blues, Country, Rock, etc.
Billy Griffin

I am reminded of, and much indebted to, an article posted on Facebook by Billy Griffin, US based R&B singer who replaced Smokey Robinson as the lead singer of legendary Motown group, The Miracles, before enjoying some success as a solo artist. Griffin was also responsible for helping to launch Take That as a major pop act.

Anyway, back to Billy’s article, published over two years ago as far as I can recall. I was just entering the surreal kingdom of Internet Radio. Surreal, because here I was, someone who had wanted to play records on the radio since I started listening to the Pirate Radio stations, such as Radio Caroline and Radio London back in the 1960s, being given the opportunity to broadcast to music lovers around the world.

My initial plan was to present a show that would celebrate the wonderful Soul / R&B classics from the 60s and 70s. 

Otis Redding **** Gladys Knight **** Aretha Franklin **** Marvin Gaye
On reading Billy Griffin’s excellent piece, it became clear that there was a distinct lack of radio airplay in the US dedicated to playing good quality R&B music. Billy brought the reader’s attention to Solar Radio that broadcasts from London, England, as an example of a station playing new R&B music.

This article inspired me to change my tack, and aim my show at the US market. I had a considerable number of Facebook friends based in the US, so I had a good contact base on which to launch my attack.

Many of my US friends were involved in the music industry, so I was soon receiving new music from artists, promoters and radio presenters. The network quickly increased so I fairly swiftly achieved my objective.

I am pleased to report that I have built up a loyal audience base, which is largely made up from folks in the music industry as well as their own fans.

It was interesting to recently read an article posted by Cheryl Cooley on Facebook entitled “8 Reason Why R&B Has Died In The Black Community (Atlanta Blackstar)

The stated reasons include what they refer to as “The Whitewash”, in other words, white artists such as Justin Timberlake, Adele and Robin Thicke dominating the R&B charts. I personally wouldn’t refer to these artists as R&B, but “blurred lines” (pun intended) occur when trying to distinguish between genres.

In fact, now is probably a good time to try to define R&B.  
                                                                                           What the experts say:
What is R&B?

Originally of course, R&B was the acronym for “Rhythm and Blues”, a hard hitting music produced almost exclusively by Black American artists back in the 1950s. Unfortunately, as far back as the 60s, a number of White British groups and singers, who were arguably great fans of R&B, latched on to the genre to produce their own, watered down, rocked up version.

R&B became, during the 90s, a tag for bland pop music that was sold to the masses as a new genre. This is probably where it all fell apart.

The two “reasons” that I personally can relate to are “Too much sex” and “Computerized Production.

These are particularly true in the sub-genre of Southern Soul music. Sex has always sold music, just as it has been successfully exploited to market cars, newspapers, cigarettes, alcohol, and a million other products.

Using sex to sell is perfectly acceptable if it is done tastefully; I would cite Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On” album as a fine example. Sadly, far too many recordings use blatant sex to get exposure.

With computerized production, many instruments are being jettisoned for synthesized effects; you just can’t beat a full horn section blasting through a soulful offering, such as those good old Memphis and Muscle Shoals recordings.

However, it is not all doom and gloom. I have been pleased to discover that there is plenty of great new Soul / R&B music on offer from both sides of the Atlantic.

Peter Young, veteran broadcaster, currently putting out his show on Saturday afternoons on Jazz FM points out that there is still a fair amount of real soul being made to keep the genre alive. Sharon Jones, DeRobert, Lee Fields, SouLutions and  Diane Shaw.

Back to Solar Radio, another show not to be missed is “In Orbit” on Sunday mornings, hosted by another veteran of Soul Music, Clive Richardson.

And last, and probably least, don’t forget my own show on Fridays, “Soul Vibrations” on Phat Soul Radio.

Some of the stateside artists that I have been featuring on the show recently include Uvee Hayes, Vel Omarr, Darryl Johnson and Gwendolyn Collins.


Paul T Forrest
DJ Pauly
Presenter, Phat Soul Radio

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Doing It My Way - Breaking Down This Week's Soul Vibrations Radio Show

For the best part of 40 years it has been my ambition to present a radio show.

I was blessed to be given the chance to be a radio DJ less than two years ago. I now present "Soul Vibrations" every Friday at 6 pm UK time on Phat Soul Radio.

This week I feel moved to write about the show, not because I want to "blow my own trumpet" but because I feel the music, old and new, this particular week proved to be probably the best mix of tunes, the highest quality songs that I have had the privilege to put together.

That isn't to say that songs I have played in the past but omitted this week were in any way inferior; I have played some real crackers over the past 21 months. It's just that this show feels somehow special.

So, in addition to sharing the link to the replay of the show I would ask your forbearance as I wax lyrical about some of the artists and songs in this week's play list.

After the usual excellent introduction from Ronnie Grieco "Just Ain't No Love" we move straight into a Southern Soul threesome courtesy of Otis Clay, Marvin Sease and LGB.

Our first new offering is from Dasha Logan (a new name to me) featuring Paul Johnson, the extended Soul Mix of "Cleverly". Our October Album of the Month is from Gwendolyn Collins, entitled "Storytelling - Side 1", from which we play the remix of "Take A Walk". I was privileged to see Gwendolyn in concert at The Jazz Cafe in London last week; watch out for an upcoming interview.

Gwendolyn Collins at The Jazz Cafe in London
Another new name, Me'nage debuts on Soul Vibrations with "Tasty Love", followed by the first offering on this week's show by Adrena, who's "Cheatin' In The Back Street" reminds me of the kind of vocal performance that Denise LaSalle has made a long career with. Fitting then, that The Queen Of The Blues herself offers Adrena some advice, after the event, that she should have "Kept It In The Bedroom". Johnnie Taylor adds his ten-cents' worth with "Hijackin' Love".

After Al Green's classic "Sha La La (Make Me Happy)" we feature Donnell Sullivan with a great uptempo new song, "Leaving", before enjoying a slow to mid-tempo Motown mix, courtesy of Junior Walker, Jimmy Ruffin, Marvin & Tammi, The Supremes and The Spinners.

There follows a selection of some of the smoothest sounds around, beginning with our second offering from Gwendolyn Collins' album,"The Simple Things", probably my favourite track; I just love Gwen's tribute to her parents at the end of the song.

Next comes our Record of the Month for October: Nellie Travis joins Adrena trying to impart wisdom but the younger woman really doesn't want to give up "Another Woman's Man". This record has it all: great Southern Soul singing; real-life issues addressed by two wonderful vocalists. Watch out for Adrena - she has a great future - you heard it here first!

Jureesa "The Duchess" McBride has one of the smoothest Southern Soul voices around, although she can get Bluesy when necessary. On "I Want To Be Your Super Mistress" The Duchess reaches into her Deep Soul bag, oozes sensuality and delivers a fine vocal performance.

Lola Love is another fine Southern Soul vocalist. Following on from her "The Other Shoe", Lola is back with a great Soulful performance on "I Deserve Better".

One of the most highly respected Soul duos around, Kindred The Family Soul, from Philadelphia, bring us their smooth "A Couple Friends", the title song from a former Soul Vibrations Album of the Month.

Yet another current Soul Diva, Gina Carey follows her excellent "Through The Water", with the equally spine-tingling "Eyes Of A Child"; those high notes just melt me; reminiscent of Minnie Ripperton.

There are so many talented female vocalists on the Soul Music scene right now. Former UK Soul Chart-topping artist Marcia Mitchell brings us her recent hit, "Give Me A Chance To Love You".

Vel Omarr
Vel Omarr continues in the Smooth Soul vein with "The Greatest Song I Ever Sang"

Following these wonderful current  gems, we bring you a string of Southern Soul classics: Bobby Womack "Doing It My Way"; "Precious Precious" from Otis Clay; Ann Peebles "I Can't Stand The Rain"; then a twosome from a lovely lady who had a birthday this week, Dorothy Moore, "Let The Healing Begin" followed by her monster hit from 1976, "Misty Blue".

Karena K recently described her duet with Wily Bo Walker, "Love Will Find A Way" as Acapella Jazz, but I know I am not alone in loving the Doo Wop feel to it, so it only seems natural to follow with Carl Gardner & The Coasters' version of "If I Had A Hammer"; the 1969 remake of "Oh, What A Night" by The Dells and "One Life To Live" by The Manhattans from 1972 but could easily have been recorded ten years earlier.

We kick off the final part of the show, the get up and boogie session, with another Manhattan's track: from their self-titled album released in 1976, comes a great Philly "Modern Soul" foot tapper, "Searching For Love", sounding rather like The O'Jays.

We continue in the Philly groove with The Trammps and a long version of "Hold Back The Night"; Jackie Moore "Both Ends Against The Middle"; "Mighty Love" from The Spinners and "The Soul City Walk", my anthem from the Disco floors of '76, by Archie Bell & The Drells.

We then head back into the Motor City with a selection of Dance Floor Fillers: "I Got A Feeling" by The Four Tops; The Isley Brothers with "Behind A Painted Smile" (without the trademark drum burst at the end, which seems to have been deleted from the digital recording) and Stevie Wonder's "For Once In My Life".

The grand finale consists of five Northern Soul stompers, comprising, from Motown: "R Dean Taylor "Ghost In My House" and "Tainted Love" by Gloria Jones; then a Chicago threesome, "Right Track" by Billy Butler; Major Lance "The Monkey Time" and "Nothing Can Stop Me" by Gene Chandler.

How can three hours go by so quickly? I hope you enjoyed listening to the show; thanks for joining me and I also hope you find this blog interesting and entertaining.

Monday, 29 September 2014

An Amazing Night In London Town!

Just another Sunday night in London?
Two great gigs happening in the world of Soul / R&B / Jazz / Blues.

First at the Jazz Cafe, Camden Town – Music Connex Live!
A global mix of independent singers and musicians on the latest leg of a whirlwind tour of England and France.

Gwendolyn Collins, Algebra Blessett, Sulpacio Jones and Eliah from USA.
Dolla Lova from Finland; and from the UK – Imaani.

On the same night just across town at The 100 Club, Oxford Street, a screening of the brand new feature documentary about the music from Memphis Tennessee – “Take Me to the River” – followed by a concert by some of the artists featured in the movie.

We couldn’t possibly make both gigs, could we? They both started around the same time and would continue to around 11.30 pm.

Well, to be honest, I had chosen to go to the Jazz Cafe event thanks to Gwendolyn Collins very kindly letting me have two Free VIP tickets. So I was looking forward to seeing the Connex Live show and was resigned to missing the 100 Club gig.

First surprise of the evening – Ms Collins was the first act; I had naturally assumed, thanks to the high quality of Gwen’s recordings, and the fact that her album was riding high in the UK Soul Charts, that she would be the headline act and would go on later.

Despite opening the show, Gwendolyn did not disappoint. She was amazing! My favourite track from the Album, Storytelling – Side 1, “The Simple Things, was flanked by a call to action, “Be A Man” that actually doesn’t feature on the album and “Be A Happy Smooth Soul” followed by my son Graeme’s favourite, “Take A Walk With Me”.

Graeme had accompanied me to London for the evening because we share similar tastes in music and we enjoy the odd social occasion together (generally flavoured with a drop or two of ale).

Gwendolyn finished her set at around 8.30 and was followed by the excellent Sulpacio Jones from California, USA. I confess we didn’t hear much of Suplacio’s set because I had this crazy idea buzzing around in my head.

I felt that we would probably make the concert that was following the movie screening at the 100 Club. Graeme reluctantly joined me as we left the Jazz Cafe, explaining to the doorman that everything was fine but we had to get to another gig.

Northern Line from Camden Town to Tottenham Court Road in a few minutes, and it wasn’t long before we were queuing to get in the 100 Club. Evidently, we had missed the movie but the concert was about to start.
Much to our relief they allowed us in for the obligatory £25 each; money that would turn out to be more than well spent.

The first live act was three young men who are the first graduates of the Stax Music Academy. They performed with the high level you would expect from such a rich legacy. Their songs included Soul Man, Hold On I’m Coming and Sitting On The Dock Of The Bay played in a very contemporary fashion.
Next up were the legendary Hi Rhythm Section. So much history here: The Reverend Charles Hodges on keyboard, one of the founder members of this world famous collective.  Two sons of famous brothers were present: Lou Mitchell, son of Producer and owner of the Royal Studios, Willie Mitchell, along with his cousin, whose name I didn’t catch, son of arranger, James Mitchell.

I’m afraid I didn’t get many more of the names but they are all wonderful musicians, including the sole surviving original member of Otis Redding’s backing band, The Bar Kays.

The band also included in their line up three sassy lady backing singers, one of whom was also a very soulful lead singer, covering Ann Peebles’ I Can’t Stand The Rain and Tired Of Being Alone, Al Green’s first major hit.

Second Surprise of the Evening:

A Blues / Soul singer was brought on stage. It turned out to be legendary (this word gets used a lot in this blog post!) OTIS CLAY!

Otis rocked the joint with classics such as “Precious, Precious” and “Trying To Live My Life Without You”, among others.

Surprise # 3:

A dapper gent in a very sharp light suit (no not me) joined Otis Clay on Stage. None other than BOBBY RUSH! Wow! I was overwhelmed. We were witnessing something very important and historic in Oxford Street. Bobby has been recording for 60 years (my age!) and is 80 years of age. I started thinking “I hope I can move around like he does when I get to his age”. On reflection, I’d like to be able to move like Bobby Rush right now!

Then the icing on the cake: Stax recording legend – Mr WILLIAM BELL!

Very sharply dressed in shiny grey suit, black hat and shades, William kicked off with “Knock On Wood”.
Mr Bell sounds as clear and as cool as back in the 1960s. He finished his act with the classic “I Forgot To Be Your Lover” including the rap interlude as featured in the movie.

Messrs Rush, Clay and Bell brought the show to a climax with “Take Me To The River”, accompanied by every member of the company plus some audience participation on the chorus.

A spectacular evening was brought to a convivial close as singers and musicians, including the aforementioned giants of the music mingled with the punters at the bar and seating areas. No “Green Room” for these legends. They joined the rest of us for a drink and numerous photos.