The Empress:The Gilded Hickory of Gladys Knight

Gladys Knight’s voice is much like a “Linus blanket” I carry with myself. From childhood to now in my mid 30’s, her voice still offers comfort, safety and understanding. Few other voices feel so essential, interwoven into the fabric of my existence. I’m pretty sure, minus her Fury, Vee-Jay and Maxx years, her discography with…

The Power of Patti: The Gemini Live Wire

You really can’t contain Patti LaBelle. The once Patricia Holte still snatches the spotlight from those decades younger than her at 72 years of age. The thing is that, rarely has the awe inspiring power of her vocal styling and range ever been captured *properly* during studio recordings. She really has one of those gargantuan…

The Crystals “Then He Kissed Me” (Philles 115, Pop #6, 1963)

The Crystals “Then He Kissed Me” (Philles 115, Pop #6, 1963) Gemini Roll Call is in the final stages of the year. We’ve got a few more signature soul singers to cover and we start the final hours with one that climbed the wall of sound and managed to survive the collapse of it. La…

SUGAR TOWN SOULFUL STRUT: PRIDE PARTY PLAYLIST PART 3

Here we are, and we’ve spanned from Pride week in Portland all the way to Pride week in San Francisco. Here’s the final set of delights from Sugar Town’s Pride-Pre Party. As I’ve outlined in my previous posts, I’ve gotten a better sense of self actualization and self confidence, indeed a sense of pride, with…

Lamont Dozier “Fish Ain’t Bitin'” (ABC 11438, R&B #4 Pop #26, 1974)

Lamont Dozier “Fish Ain’t Bitin’” (ABC 11438, R&B #4 Pop #26, 1974) Gemini Roll Call starts to wind down with one of its biggest legends.Primarily a man behind the glass, Lamont Dozier did make his way in front of the microphone quite often. His pre-Holland-Dozier-Holland days found him trying out being a performer for a…

Deneice Chandler “Mama, I Wish I Stayed At Home” (Lock 600, 1968)

Deneice Chandler “Mama, I Wish I Stayed At Home” (Lock 600, 1968) Part two of our Gemini Roll Call Chicago trip brings us to the 65th Birthday of Niecey. Born today as June Deniece Chandler in Gary, Indiana; post dropping out of Nursing school found the 18 year old working as a Chicago Hospital Clerk…