More Gems From The Jewelbox: Forgotten Kisses From The Many Mrs. of Motown

Motown was a house built on the labor of Women. Particularly Black Women There’s no way to really debate this. It started with the labor of understanding music, publicity, marketing and legal concerns Berry Gordy picked up from his sisters, Anna, Gwen, Esther and Loucye. It continued with the financial success that women like Mary…

Mickey’s Mojo: The Extensive Talents of Motown’s A&R Magician

As Motown continues to roll out celebrations of its 60th anniversary, it’s extremely curious who doesn’t get attention for their hard work and extraordinary talents getting the label underway. There’s plenty of names that get lost today behind the glittering legacy of Diana Ross, Smokey Robinson and the mourning of Marvin Gaye. Indeed if it…

Everybody Sings Smokey: Motown’s Poet Laureate 50 times Over

It wouldn’t be Motown’s 60th Anniversary without visiting their premiere singer, songwriter and producer. As legend goes, Smokey Robinson met Berry Gordy with a notebook of songs, of which maybe one or two Gordy considered viable, yet he was impressed with the teenager’s moxie. So goes the template of who Gordy accepted into the fold,…

A Dancing Holiday: Toe Tapping Tunes That Avoid The Christmas Crush

If you’re anything like me, all you need really is one spin of Christmas Music to be completely over it. Don’t get me wrong, one of my earliest mixes dealt with the Christmas Conundrum, getting past Phil Spector’s dominance with a variety of vintage seasonal gems not always beholden to Christmas. Listening to the same…

Guys Gone Uptown: 32 Sophisticated Soul Tunes from Stylish Gents

I definitely spend more time in terms of creating mixes that explore the vast contributions that women, particularly Black women, have made to popular music. Every once in a while tho, I feel a bit guilty for ignoring the legacy of the legions of handsome men that worked tirelessly in the studio and stage crafting…

Strings And Things Pt.1: 36 Orchestral Soul Gems

I’ve been told by fellow DJs on the soul scene, quite derisively sometimes, that the soul music that I spin is too *sweet.* Not Funky, nitty or gritty, I tend towards pretty melodies, and… frankly, string sections. Violins? Cellos? Upright Bass? Why?!?! As I try to lean back into live DJing in a new town,…