It has been said before and it never stops being true: L.J. Reynolds, longtime member of the Dramatics and a solo artist, has one of the finest voices in the history of R&B. Strong, passionate — in short, what “singing with soul” is all about.
His new album, “Get To This,” is another feather in his cap. It’s a smooth, always pleasant listening experience. And kudos to Reynolds not only as a singer but songwriter and producer as well.
Overall, “Get To This” has a traditional feel to it, yet at the same time there is a freshness. You could even call it “nowtro.” We found ourselves loving the new songs, including “Find Your Love,” “Stop Teasing Me,” “I Will Always Love You” and “I Get the Blues.”
As for the remakes, Reynolds wisely gives the Marvin Gaye hits, “Come Get To This” and “You Sure Love to Ball,” completely different interpretations from the originals. Ditto for “Baby Come Back,” the 1977 hit by the rock band Player.
L.J., take a bow!
There aren’t many record stores anymore, but Melodies & Memories, the most amazing music store in Michigan, is carrying Reynolds’ album. They are located at 23013 Gratiot between Nine and Ten Mile roads. Call first to make sure it’s not sold out at the time. The number is (586) 774-8480.
IN ALL THE stories written about Ashford & Simpson in conjunction with the sad and unexpected passing of Nick Ashford, the same songs from their vast reservoir of compositions are named, such as “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” and “I’m Every Woman.”
But there are many other fine songs written by Nick Ashford and Valerie Simpson, some major hits, some not.
That includes “Didn’t You Know (You’d Have to Cry Sometime)?” “Landlord” and “I Will Fight” (all three for Gladys Knight & the Pips), “Leave It Alone” (the Dynamic Superiors), “I Am Your Man” (Bobby Taylor & the Vancouvers), “The Boss” and “Remember Me” (Diana Ross), “I Don’t Need No Doctor” (Ray Charles), “Destination: Anywhere” (the Marvelettes) and “Who’s Gonna Take the Blame?” (Smokey Robinson & the Miracles), as well as “Is This What Feeling Gets?” featured in the movie version of “The Wiz.”
RACHELLE FERRELL gave an exciting performance at Hart Plaza during the African World Festival, according to all reports. Ferrell, a truly gifted and unique artist, at one point invited Anita Baker on stage to do a little improvised singing with her. The audience loved it.
Ferrell, by the way, reported that she will have a new album soon. Hey, it’s about time!
By the way, there are a lot of great Rachelle Ferrell performances on YouTube. The amazing things she does with her amazing voice is amazing!
Sorry to hear about the misfortune of Christopher Reid (better known as “Kid” of the rap duo Kid ’N Play). He was arrested at his home for having missed several court dates for a DUI.
Reid is a nice guy and we hope he will never let anything like that happen again. He should have just gone to court the first time, as I did when I had a DUI about ten years ago. (I had consumed several drinks at a party and had hardly eaten anything. That was a lesson learned!)
A short while back there was a lot of talk about Faith Evans portraying Florence Ballard in the proposed movie about the late original Supremes member. She even visited Detroit to do research. But the latestword is that Evans has dropped out.
One of the down sides of text messaging, tweeting, etc. is that they are contributing to so many kids not being able to spell, use correct punctuation, etc.
A few weeks ago I wrote about the bad grammar that is plaguing society and the Black community in particular. Reader A.B. Braggs, agreed and pointed out that one of his pet peeves is when people say “hisself” instead of “himself.”
Braggs went on say in his e-mail, “I can never understand why we are trying to teach our kids Chinese and French in the 5th grade when they haven’t learned English yet.”
BETCHA DIDN’T KNOW…that when he joined the Temptations in 1971 as the first Eddie Kendricks replacement, Damon Harris was only 20 years old. (And by the way, his real name is Otis Harris Jr.)
MEMORIES: “Only the Strong Survive” (Jerry Butler ), “Good Times” (Chic), “Dynamite” (Jermaine Jackson), “To Be Young, Gifted and Black” (Nina Simone), “Can’t Get Over You” (Maze featuring Frankie Beverly), “Love Don’t Live Here Anymore” (Rose Royce), “Let’s Work” (Prince), “And the Beat Goes On” (the Whispers), “I’m a Sucker For Your Love” (Teena Marie), “Straight Up” (Paula Abdul).
BLESSINGS to Nathan Housworth, Karen Thomas, Jackie Hicks, Louvain Demps, Marlene Barrow, Eddie Robinson, Betty Davis Stokes, Bob Flannoy, Victor Holsey, Hansen Clarke and Steve Fagin.
WORDS OF THE WEEK, from a reader, former Detroiter-now-New Yorker Greg Hendricks: “It is a travesty to deny or alter who you are in an attempt to appease people who don’t care about you anyway.”
Let the music play!
(Steve Holsey can be reached at Svh517@aol.com and PO Box 02843, Detroit, MI 48202.)