Sunday, 27 December 2009

DIANA ROSS & THE SUPREMES - LET THE SUNSHINE IN (MOTOWN 1969) Jap mastering cardboard sleeve

After Ballard's exit, the group was billed as Diana Ross & the Supremes, fueling speculation that Ross was being groomed for a solo career. The Supremes had a big year in 1967, even incorporating some mild psychedelic influences into "Reflections." Holland-Dozier-Holland, however, left Motown around this time, and the quality of the Supremes' records suffered accordingly (as did the Motown organization as a whole). The Supremes were still superstars, but as a unit, they were disintegrating; it's been reported that Wilson and Birdsong didn't even sing on their final hits, a couple of which ("Love Child" and "Someday We'll Be Together") were among their best.
In November 1969, Ross' imminent departure for a solo career was announced, although she played a few more dates with them, the last in Las Vegas in January 1970. Jean Terrell replaced Ross, and the group continued through 1977, with some more personnel changes (although Mary Wilson was always involved).
"The three singles are so good, they alone justify buying this album: the Clan's tale of filial impiety "I'm Livin' In Shame"; Smokey's gorgeous "The Composer" and Berry Gordy's pop/funk "No Matter What Sign You Are" with groovy electric sitar. It's a lucky thing, because there's no depth here - there are a zillion covers, either servicable but pedestrian (Jimmy Ruffin's "What Becomes Of The Brokenhearted," Jerry Butler's "Hey Western Union Man" cowritten by Gamble and Huff, Bacharach/David's "Let The Music Play"), or painful attempts to be up to date (title track, Sly Stone's "Everyday People" including fuzz guitar). According to Mary Wilson, she and Birdsong were barely participating in the studio by this point; Ross meanwhile was indulging her taste for Vegas kitsch ("Discover Me (And You'll Discover Love)".(DBW)

SUPREMES - MORE HITS BY THE SUPREMES (MOTOWN 1965) Jap mastering cardboard sleeve

Its title might lead one to think this was a compilation, but it wasn't — rather, More Hits by the Supremes is merely a valid presumption of its worth. It was also the original group's third highest charting album of their five years on Motown, and came not a moment too soon. The Supremes were doing incredibly well as a singles act, but not since Where Did Our Love Go had any of their LPs done particularly well on the pop charts; even a well-intentioned Sam Cooke-tribute album recorded early in 1965, which ought to have done better, had only reached number 75 (though it had gotten to number five on the R&B LP charts). "Stop! In the Name of Love" and "Back in My Arms Again" helped drive the sales, but those singles had been out six and three months earlier at the time this album surfaced — listeners were delighted to find those singles surrounded by their ethereal rendition of the ballad "Whisper You Love Me Boy" with its exquisitely harmonized middle chorus; the gently soulful, sing-song-y "The Only Time I'm Happy"; and the sweetly dramatic "He Holds His Own" (with a gorgeous and very prominent piano accompaniment). The material dated across six months of work, from late 1964 through the spring of 1965 (apart from "Ask Any Girl," the B-side of "Baby Love," which was cut in the spring of 1964), and showed that Motown could put a Supremes album together piecemeal around the Holland-Dozier-Holland songwriting team and place the trio right up at the top reaches of the charts, in the company of the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, et al. Its release also opened a floodgate of killer albums by the trio — overlooking their 1965 LP of Christmas songs, they were destined to issue three more long-players that delighted audiences a dozen songs at a time over the next two years, which was a lot of good work.

Monday, 14 December 2009

SUPREMES - I HEAR A SYMPHONY (MOTOWN 1966) Jap mastering cardboard sleeve

The Supremes enjoyed a successful run of hits in 1964 - 1965, and their producers Holland–Dozier–Holland did their best to keep turning the hits out. In mid-1965, the producers came to realize they had fallen into a rut when the Supremes' "Nothing But Heartaches" failed to make it to the Top Ten, missing it by just one position and breaking the string of number-one Supremes hits initiated with "Where Did Our Love Go." Motown chief Berry Gordy was displeased with the performance of "Nothing But Heartaches," and circulated a memo around the Motown offices that read as follows:
"We will release nothing less than Top Ten product on any artist; and because the Supremes' world-wide acceptance is greater than the other artists, on them we will only release number-one records."
Holland-Dozier-Holland therefore set about breaking their formula and trying something new. The result was "I Hear a Symphony," a song with a more complex musical structure than previous Supremes releases. "Symphony" was released as a single in place of another Holland-Dozier-Holland Supremes song, "Mother Dear", which had been recorded in the same style as their earlier hits.
"I Hear a Symphony", later issued on an album of the same name, became the Supremes' sixth number-one hit in the United States. After the number-five hit "My World Is Empty Without You" and the number-nine hit "Love Is Like an Itching in My Heart," the Supremes began a run of four more number-one hits: "You Can't Hurry Love," "You Keep Me Hangin' On," "Love Is Here and Now You're Gone," and "The Happening." The group performed the hit song on The Mike Douglas Show on November 3, 1965.
"I Hear a Symphony" was the number-one song on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart for two weeks from November 14, 1965, to November 27, 1965, becoming the group's sixth number-one single. In the UK, "I Hear a Symphony" made it to number fifty, and then dropped off the chart for two weeks before re-entering at number thirty-nine...

Saturday, 21 November 2009

STEVIE WONDER - TALKING BOOK (TAMLA 1972) Jap mastering cardboard sleeve

Talking Book is the fifteenth album by Stevie Wonder, released on October 27, 1972. It was the second of five consecutive albums referred to as his "classic period", along with Music of My Mind, Innervisions, Fulfillingness' First Finale, and Songs in the Key of Life.
Released after Wonder toured with the Rolling Stones in 1972, Talking Book became an immediate hit. The popular appeal of the recording helped destroy the myth that R&B artists were incapable of creating music that could be appreciated by rock audiences, and marked a unique period for R&B artists (especially Motown artists). The cover depicts Wonder with corn rows, Indian jewelry and a velvet afghan.
Sandwiched between the release of Music of My Mind and Innervisions, Talking Book saw Wonder enjoying more artistic freedom from Motown. Guest appearances include Jeff Beck, Ray Parker, Jr., David Sanborn, and Buzzy Feton (Howard "Buzz" Feiten). The sound of the album is sharply defined by Wonder's keyboard work, especially with the synthesizers he incorporated, giving a funky edge to tracks like "Maybe Your Baby". His use of the Hohner clavinet model C on "Superstition" is widely regarded as one of the definitive tracks featuring the instrument.His swinging clavinet and harmonica embellishments on "Big Brother", though, defy categorization.
Wonder won three awards for Talking Book at the 1974 Grammys: Best Male Pop Vocal Performance for "You Are the Sunshine of My Life", and both Best Male R&B Vocal Performance and Best R&B Song for "Superstition".

Thursday, 12 November 2009

MESSENGERS INC - SOULFUL PROCLAMATION (SMI 1970) Jap mastering cardboard sleeve

Ultra-hip funk from Oklahoma's Messengers Incorporated -- a group who come across with a sound that's every bit as righteous and heavy as you might guess from the cover! Instrumentation is heavy on bass, guitar, and organ -- and topped with some great saxophone work too -- all in a sound that's draws plenty of inspiration from righteous jazz of the early 70s, but which focuses the sound into a more funk-based approach overall. Vocalists shift throughout -- and include singers Barbara and Charles Burton, later of Burton Inc -- who help give the record as much of a soul-based punch alongside the jazzy instrumentation of the combo! The whole thing's a real heavy hitter -- the kind of album that could have soared large, had it gotten wider release back in the day -- and titles include "Rejoice", "Just Can't Run Away", "Soulful Proclamation", "Frequency Response", "Ain't No Mountain", "Twenty Four Hours A Day", and "If I'Da Club".[Dusty Groove America]

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

BO DIDDLEY - WHERE IT ALL BEGAN (CHESS 1972) Jap mastering cardboard sleeve

Nasty nasty funk from the great Bo Diddley -- one of his rare funky 70s classics for Chess -- produced by Johnny Otis with a really tripped-out groove! The album's got an edge that seems to go even farther than some of Bo's other Chess work at the time -- and picks up the full-on Otis funky mode by leaning hard on the drums, pulling up the bass, and bringing in a trio of female lovelies to back up Bo on vocals! Gloria Scott's one of the vocalists on the album, and Shuggie Otis even joins in on the funky party with some sweet guitar! But even with all this help, Bo's still the star of the story -- and his massive chugging approach to guitar is moving full steam ahead on the set -- really ripping a groove through a great batch of original tracks that include "Take It All Off", "I've Had It Hard", "Good Thing", "Bad Trip", "Infatuation", "Bo Diddley-Itis", "Woman", and "Look At Grandma".

Wednesday, 14 October 2009


Swing Around Rosie is a wonderful Rosemary Clooney LP.The sound quality is excellent and the artwork reflects good judgment. The Buddy Cole Trio plays magnificently, too.
The album starts off with Rosemary singing "'Deed I Do." "'Deed I Do" is a bouncy little tune that celebrates the joys of being in love. The Buddy Cole Trio throws in some mighty fine organ playing for the musical arrangement; and it all holds its own very well. "'Deed I Do" makes a strong start for this album. "You Took Advantage Of Me" features Rosemary singing this with a slower tempo than I'm used to--but she delivers this so well it's really very pretty. Rosemary's excellent timing enhances her performance, too.
"Blue Moon" is a classic love song that Rosemary aces so easily; her somewhat more mature voice sounds great and The Buddy Cole Trio supplies an excellent arrangement to accompany Rosemary as she sings. "A Touch Of The Blues" features Rosemary squarely in the spotlight--right where she belongs!...
"Goody, Goody" is a cover song that Rosemary makes all her own with her timing and diction; The Buddy Cole Trio play the organ and more to make this number truly stand out as one of the highlights of this album. Listen also for "Do Nothin' Till You Hear From Me." This is yet another classic ballad featuring some great percussion while Rosemary sings this with all her heart and soul. How wonderful!
"I Wish I Were In Love Again" gets the royal treatment from Rosemary as she bats this right out of the ballpark. Rosemary's voice is again in excellent form and The Buddy Cole Trio plays beautiful music to make "I Wish I Were In Love Again" a very appealing number.
"Sunday In Savannah" is another charming ballad Rosemary Clooney fans are sure to enjoy; and the album ends well with Rosemary performing "This Can't Be Love." Rosemary sings this with plenty of enthusiasm and all her heart--excellent! "This Can't Be Love" really makes a fine, upbeat ending for this LP.
Rosemary Clooney fans will want this for their collections; it's absolutely wonderful. People who enjoy classic 40's-50's pop will love this too....

Monday, 28 September 2009

WALTER WANDERLEY - RAIN FOREST (VERVE 1966) Jap mastering cardboard sleeve

Walter Wanderley was a talented and gifted organist with an acute ear for new harmonies. With 46 recorded solo albums in his entire career, both in Brazil and the U.S., he reached number 26 on the Billboard pop charts in September 1966, opening a large pathway of success only menaced by himself and his complex character. Ten years after his death from cancer, with a new fad coming, he was repackaged by the entertainment industry as a mere lounge player, carrying his record sales even further and sending the cost of his out-of-print albums to the stratosphere, but all at the cost of minimizing his significance.
The notes for this LP ask, "What issue is more topical than the Brazilian rain forest? So what reissue would be more topical than Walter Wanderley's Rain Forest?" Politically, this may be true, but musically, this collection is anything but topical. From the first tune -- the monster hit "Summer Samba," the listener is catapulted straight back to the '60s when bossa nova was new in the U.S. and everyone wanted a piece of it. Organist Wanderley made a big splash with this LP, which went platinum in two years -- and it does evoke strong water images, like "poolside" and "ice skating rink." The jazzmen are underutilized, since most of the tracks are less than three minutes long and leave little room to stretch out. One exception is the pretty Ferreira/Marconi ballad "Rain," the only track where Wanderley plays piano rather than organ and which features a fine solo by Urbie Green on trombone. On "Beach Samba," Green gets to noodle a bit, but Bucky Pizarelli is heard stating the melody and nothing else. Despite all the sadness implied in the song titles, this LP has a jaunty feel to it and will be best enjoyed by nostalgic fans of that bygone era.[allmusic]

Friday, 11 September 2009


"I was born and raised down in Alabama
On a farm way back up in the woods
I was so ragged that folks used to call me Patches
Papa used to tease me about it
'Cause deep down inside he was hurt
'Cause he'd done all he could
My papa was a great old man
I can see him with a shovel in his hands, see
Education he never had
He did wonders when the times got bad
The little money from the crops he raised
Barely paid the bills we made
For, life had kick him down to the ground
When he tried to get up
Life would kick him back down
One day Papa called me to his dyin' bed
Put his hands on my shoulders
And in his tears he said
He said, Patches
I'm dependin' on you, son
To pull the family through
My son, it's all left up to you
Two days later Papa passed away, and
I became a man that day
So I told Mama I was gonna quit school, but
She said that was Daddy's strictest rule
So ev'ry mornin' 'fore I went to school
I fed the chickens and I chopped wood too
Sometimes I felt that I couldn't go on
I wanted to leave, just run away from home
But I would remember what my daddy said
With tears in his eyes on his dyin' bed
He said, Patches
I'm dependin' on you, son
I tried to do my best
It's up to you to do the rest
Then one day a strong rain came
And washed all the crops away
And at the age of 13 I thought
I was carryin' the weight of the
Whole world on my shoulders
And you know, Mama knew
What I was goin' through, 'cause
Ev'ry day I had to work the fields
'Cause that's the only way we got our meals
You see, I was the oldest of the family
And ev'rybody else depended on me
Ev'ry night I heard my Mama pray
Lord, give him the strength to face another day
So years have passed and all the kids are grown
The angels took Mama to a brand new home
Lord knows, people, I shedded tears
But my daddy's voice kept me through the years"...


...few performances better typified the emerging Carter aesthetic than "Slip Away," a superior cheating ballad spotlighting his anguished, massive baritone alongside the remarkably sinuous backing of Fame's exemplary backing band. The record was a Top Ten hit, and its follow-up, "Too Weak to Fight," also went gold, solidifying Carter's newfound commercial appeal. He ended 1968 with a superbly funky Christmas single, the raunchy "Back Door Santa," in addition to mounting a national tour featuring backing vocalist Candi Staton, who later became Carter's wife as well as a soul star in her own right.
The percolating "Snatching It Back" was Carter's first Atlantic release of 1969 -- its B-side, a remake of James Carr's deep soul classic "The Dark End of the Street," remains one of the singer's most potent efforts, drawing on traditional blues and gospel to explore both the absurdity and anguish of infidelity. Subsequent singles including "The Feeling Is Right," "Doing Our Thing," and "Take It Off Him and Put It on Me" were only marginally successful, but in 1970 Carter returned to the Top Ten with the sentimental "Patches," his biggest hit to date. He nevertheless stumbled again with a run of 1971 releases like "Getting the Bills" and "Slipped, Tripped and Fell in Love," and in the wake of "If You Can't Beat 'Em" -- a duet with Staton -- Carter left Atlantic in 1972, returning to Fame with "Back in Your Arms Again."
Clarence can still be seen hitting the road with his bag of musical emotions. Showcasing his music of the past, while interjecting his musical vision of the future, Clarence still performs for 1000's of fans a year.
Dr.CC as he is known to his worldwide fan base, can still bring the party to life with his soulful guitar work intertwined with his sexy lyrics, reminding us that you don't have to be down to sing the blues.

Thursday, 27 August 2009

CLARENCE CARTER - TESTIFYIN' (ATLANTIC 1969) remastered + 4 bonus

From his biography
...My music career began with a school pal of mine, Calvin Scott, and we signed a contract with "Duke Records" from which we had two releases that you probably never heard. We were known by several names, Clarence and Calvin and sometimes were called the CL. Boys. The songs that we recorded were, "You Stole My Heart" and "Money and women". I think one of the funniest thoughts about the experience with Duke Records happened the day when we received our first royalty check that amounted to twenty-five cents.
It is said that all things happen for the better, however when it happens, you cannot understand why. I am referring to the time when I was eleven years old and my mother told me that Santa would not be coming to me anymore. Though this news was disappointing to me at first, I quickly recovered when she told me that she bought me a guitar for Christmas.
I had a hard time learning how to play the guitar for I had no one to teach me how to play but, I was determined to play and I did so by listening to other people play and copy what I heard.
My association with Calvin was short lived because in 1966, we had an automobile accident that caused us to choose different careers. I then signed a contract with Rick Hall, who owned Fame Records, which was located in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. This was probably one of the wisest moves I have ever made. I learned how to write songs, how to sing professionally and how songs were produced into hit records.
Oh, I forgot to tell you, the name of my first record on Fame Records; it was "Tell Daddy All About It". My association with Fame Records lasted from 1966 until 1973. During this time, we had records like: "Slip Away" in 1968, "Too Weak To Fight" in 1969 and "Patches" in 1970. All three of these records were in the top ten positions on the charts. Atlantic Records proved to be a good idea that Rick Hall had for my career, for it was that company that gave stability in the music business for me...


Born in Montgomery, Alabama on 14 January, 1936, Carter attended the Alabama School for the Blind in Talladega, Alabama, and Alabama State College in Montgomery, graduating in August 1960 with a Bachelor of Science degree in music. After the 1962 release of "I Don't Know (School Girl)," Carter and Scott left Fairlane Records for Duke Records, renaming themselves the CL Boys for their label debut, Hey. In all, the duo cut four Duke singles, none of them generating more than a shrug at radio[citation needed].

In 1965, they travelled to Rick Hall's FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals to record "Step by Step" and its flip side, "Rooster Knees and Rice. Atlantic Records took notice and released "Step by Step" on its Atco Records subsidiary, but it flopped. Carter continued as a solo act, signing to the Fame Records label for 1967's Tell Daddy. Several more solid singles followed, until Carter released "Slip Away," which hit number 6 on the Pop Charts. "Too Weak to Fight" hit number 13. Several more soul singles followed, like "Snatching It Back," "At The Dark End of the Street," "The Feeling Is Right," "Doing Our Thing" and "Patches." "Patches", (first recorded by Chairmen of the Board), was a UK number 2 and a U.S. number 4 in 1970, and was nominated for a Grammy in 1972. This disc sold over one million copies, and received a gold disc awarded by the R.I.A.A. in September 1970, just two months after its release.It was Carter's third million seller...

Monday, 10 August 2009

JAMES BROWN - I GOT THE FEELIN' (KING 1968) Jap mastering cardboard sleeve

Simply put, this is probably one of James Brown's all-time greatest, most consistently hot and funky records that he ever put out.
"I Got the Feelin'" released as a single in 1968 & it reached #1 on the R&B charts and #6 on the pop charts. It also appeared on a 1968 album of the same name.
The Jackson Five auditioned for Motown founder Berry Gordy in 1968 with a filmed performance of "I Got the Feelin'", with the ten-year-old Michael Jackson closely mimicking Brown's vocal style and dance moves...

JAMES BROWN - SAY IT LOUD (KING 1969) Jap mastering cardboard sleeve

If there's a downside to the proliferation of box sets and greatest-hits packages, it's that artists are often reduced to little more than their smash singles and memorable B-sides. As a chance to hear James Brown as a full-album artist, Say It Loud: I'm Black and I'm Proud is well worth owning. Recorded in 1969, at the height of Brown's powers, this does contain several known songs, chief among them the fierce title track and the sexy "Licking Stick." But listen to Brown tear into the mournful "I Guess I'll Have to Cry, Cry, Cry" or the bluesy "Let Them Talk" and you will get a true sense of the breadth of Brown's many talents. --Amy Linden
The funk gem "Say It Loud - I'm Black and I'm Proud" is a song written and recorded by James Brown in 1968. It is notable both as one of Brown's signature songs and as one of the most popular "black power" anthems of the 1960s. The song was released as a two-part single which held the number-one spot on the R&B singles chart for six weeks, and peaked at number ten on the Billboard Hot 100. [1] Both parts of the single were later included on a 1969 album of the same name.
"Say It Loud - I'm Black and I'm Proud" was the first Brown recording to feature trombonist Fred Wesley, who went on to become the bandleader of The J.B.'s.

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

RICHARD "GROOVE" HOLMES - WORKIN' ON A GROOVY THING (PACIFIC JAZZ 1969) Jap mastering cardboard sleeve

Revered in soul-jazz circles, Richard "Groove" Holmes was an unapologetically swinging Jimmy Smith admirer who could effortlessly move from the grittiest of blues to the most sentimental of ballads. Holmes, a very accessible, straightforward and warm player who was especially popular in the black community, had been well respected on the Philadelphia/Southern New Jersey circuit by the time he signed with Pacific Jazz in the early '60s and started receiving national attention by recording with such greats as Ben Webster and Gene Ammons. Holmes, best known for his hit 1965 version of "Misty," engaged in some inspired organ battles with Jimmy McGriff in the early '70s before turning to electric keyboards and fusion-ish material a few years later. The organ was Holmes' priority in the mid- to late '80s, when he recorded for Muse (he also had stints throughout his career with Prestige Records and Groove Merchant) . Holmes was still delivering high-quality soul-jazz for Muse (often featuring tenor titan Houston Person) when a heart attack claimed his life at the age of 60 in 1991 after a long struggle with prostrate cancer. He was a musician to the end, playing his last shows in a wheelchair.
The name says it all. This man knew how to groove with both hands and feet. He acknowledged himself that in the world of organ players, there was Jimmy Smith and then all the rest; but he (humbly!) considered himself to be at the top of the rest. IMO, there was Smith, Groove, Patton, Young, then all the rest. But when it comes to funking it up, Groove had no match. He's influenced by sax players, like a lot of organ players.
He recorded some very nice "straight" Jazz sessions with Ben Webster, Gene Ammons, Houston Person, and Paul Chambers (renowned bass player). But he also recorded some of the funkiest shit I have ever heard.

Monday, 27 July 2009

STEVIE WONDER - UP TIGHT (TAMLA 1966) Jap mastering cardboard sleeve

"Uptight" was one of those albums that really didn't have a bad cut at all, and you could listen to both sides, all the way through, without your interest waning. The year started with the single of the title song still high in the top ten. Next, came a single whose both sides were equally good: the driving "Nothing's Too Good For My Baby" backed with a hypnotic ballad, just right for Stevie, "With A Child's Heart." Summertime saw a slightly edited version of "Blowing In The Wind" (a near-duet with Clarence Paul) climb high on the pop chart and to No. 1 on the R&B. The LP also reached back to January 1963 to carry the pre-`Fingertips' single, "Contract On Love." The album contained another duet as well: Levi Stubbs of the Four Tops giving Steve an assist on "Teach Me Tonight." Nowhere on the cover was this mentioned - you got the surprise when you played the record. "Hold Me," also, became a strong B-side in 1967 for "I Was Made To Love Her."
"Uptight (Everything's Alright is one of his most popular early singles & it was the first Stevie Wonder song to be co-written by the artist.
The single was a watershed in Wonder's career for several reasons. Aside from the number-one hit "Fingertips", only two of Wonder's singles had reached the Top 40 of Billboard's Pop Singles chart, ("Workout, Stevie Workout" reached # 33 in late 1963 and "Hey Harmonica Man" reached # 29 Pop in the Summer of 1964) and the fifteen-year-old artist was in danger of being let go. In addition, Wonder's voice had begun to change, and Motown CEO Berry Gordy was worried that he would no longer be a commercially viable artist. As it turned out, however, producer Clarence Paul found it easier to work with Wonder's now-mature tenor voice, Sylvia Moy and Henry Cosby set about writing a new song for the artist, based upon an instrumental riff Wonder had devised. On the day of the recording, Moy had the lyrics, but didn't have them in braille for Wonder to read, and so sang the song to him as he was recording it. She sang a line ahead of him and he simply repeated the lines as he heard them. In 2008, Moy commented that "he never missed a beat" during the recording.
The resulting song, "Uptight (Everything's Alright)", features lyrics which depict a poor young man's appreciation for a rich girl's seeing beyond his poverty to his true worth. A notable success, "Uptight" peaked at number-three on the Billboard Pop Singles chart in early 1966, at the same time reaching the top of the Billboard R&B Singles chart for five weeks. An accompanying album, Up-Tight, was rushed into production to capitalize on the single's success.

Monday, 20 July 2009

STEVIE WONDER - STEVIE AT THE BEACH (TAMLA 1964) Jap mastering cardboard sleeve

Born Steveland Morris May 13, 1950 in Saginaw, Michigan. Stevie Wonder was placed in an incubator and given too much oxygen, causing permanent sight loss. Playing the harmonica at five, he started piano lessons at six and took up the drums at eight. Lula Mae Hardaway Wonder's mother was afraid to let the young boy out of house. Thus a brilliant musical career was launched. To pass the time of day, Wonder would beat on pot, pans,and any other surface that helped him keep rhythm with the tunes he heard on the radio. As he became proficient on various real instruments, he started playing at the local church and soon grew to be something of a neighborhood sensation. A child prodigy at an early age, Steveland sang like a seasoned veteran. After the family moved to Detroit word spread of the gifted Wonder. It would be only a matter of time until someone from Motown caught wind of this talented youngster.
Stevie at the Beach is the fifth album by Motown singer-songwriter Stevie Wonder released on the Tamla (Motown) label in 1964. This album—with the exception of the mild hit—"Hey Harmonica Man", was a concept album of sorts, focusing on beach and surfer anthems as an attempt to get Wonder to now sing surf tunes. But much like the label's attempts to first make Wonder the teenage version of Ray Charles and then for one album as a lounge singer, it failed to connect with audiences. Wonder wouldn't have another hit until 1965 when he was finally allowed to showcase his musical talents more...