Marlena Shaw “Looking Thru The Eyes Of Love” (Cadet 5618, 1968)

Marlena Shaw “Looking Thru The Eyes Of Love” (Cadet 5618, 1968) You know her for extolling all of the virtues of the Soulfulness of California in so many commercials (now for Ram Trucks), but Marlena Shaw was so much more than that. This evening, we pour a strong cocktail and celebrate Shaw’s 73rd Birthday through…

Judy Clay “My Arms Aren’t Strong Enough” (Scepter 1273, 1964)

Judy Clay “My Arms Aren’t Strong Enough” (Scepter 1273, 1964) There’s such a strong legacy of women that came out of the “Drinkard Dynasty.” Not only do/should we know Dionne Warwick, her sister Dee Dee, her aunt Cissy and her little cousin Whitney. We should also know of many other supporting or shining stars that…

The Royalettes “When Summer’s Gone” (MGM 13588, 1966)

The Royalettes “When Summer’s Gone” (MGM 13588, 1966) Here we find ourselves at the “end” of Summer in the United States. Technically on the calendar we have about 2 weeks to go before Summer Solstice gives way to the Autumnal Equinox, but as we busy ourselves with year end closings, shouldn’t it be high time…

Dinah Washington “Relax Max” (Mercury 70968, 1956)

Dinah Washington “Relax Max” (Mercury 70968, 1956) She’s the most sited influence among soul singers of the 1960’s. Functioning as the bridge between Jazz, Gospel and the birth of Soul in a way that Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday and Sarah Vaughan don’t, I always worship at the altar of Dinah Washington. On her 91st Birthday,…

Valerie & Nick “Lonely Town” (Grover 3000-B, 1964)

Valerie & Nick “Lonely Town” (Grover 3000-B, 1964) A Virgo’s work is never done. Valerie Simpson should know, as we celebrate her 69th Birthday, we also celebrate her 52+ years as one of the premiere Singer/Songwriters of the Post War Era. Though we haven’t started looking at the compositions she did with late husband Nick…

Ray Pollard “The Drifter” (United Artists 916, 1965)

Ray Pollard “The Drifter” (United Artists 916, 1965) Welcome Virgo Season. We keep the Soul Birthday parties going in the harvest season with an R&B Giant you may not know. Ray Pollard would have turned 85 years old this August 25th. Getting his start more than 60 years ago, he was one of the most…