Day 7 #7DayMusicChallenge ~ Earth Wind & Fire ~ My Promise

Earth Wind & Fire ~ My Promise

I never thought we’d get to see Earth Wind & Fire.  Back in the day their shows were legendary for their high-energy and big production values.  In September 2013 they released their first new album in eight years, “Now, Then & Forever”, with 3 of the original members and then announced a tour – we had to go!

2014 wasn’t a great year for us personally and we missed at least one concert we had tickets for, but on 10th September we saw Earth Wind & Fire at the Bournemouth International Centre and they were absolutely amazing.

Like all the artists I’ve picked in my #7DayMusicChallenge I could have chosen numerous songs here but rather than go for an oldie I’ve picked “My Promise” from “Now, Then & Forever” – you can see original band members Philip Bailey, Verdine White and Ralph Johnson with the current band that also includes Phil’s son – absolutely love it!

Never forget Life Sounds Better To Music!

Day 6 #7DayMusicChallenge ~ Maze ~ Joy & Pain

Maze ~ Joy & Pain

First if anyone else would like me to nominate them please let me know – thanks!

Today I’ve picked Maze who Ce and I saw at The Hammersmith Odeon, we’re not sure of the date but I’m pretty sure it was in May 1985.  I’m not sure if it was just the two of us or if we went with friends. What I do remember was the amazing vibe and the feeling of love in the room.  This was in the days when I was working as a sales rep around the Central South Coast area and had Radio London with Tony Blackburn and Robbie Vincent on in my car most days of the week.

If you don’t know Maze you should.  Their Live in New Orleans album from 1981 is one of the greatest live albums ever made (according to me).  The track I’ve picked is Joy & Pain, which sums up so much of what life has brought us.

Always remember Life Sounds Better To Music!

Day 4 #7DayMusicChallenge ~ Whitney Houston ~ How Will I Know

Whitney Houston ~ How Will I Know

I saw Whitney twice.  The first time was in 1985 at Hippodrome in London where she launched her career in the UK.  It was the DMC (Disco Mix Club) Convention and a few of us (from Martines and Fridays) went up in a minibus (I think) organised by Gold Hampshire buddy Stevie Q – who I nominate to take on the #7DayMusicChallenge.  Merv was there too.

This video is from the same year.  I was actually working for Whitney’s record label Arista as a sales rep at the time and promoted the first album.  There was a huge buzz in the company, everyone knew she was going to be a huge star and there was a fair amount of pressure to make sure everything was right from day one.

A few of us saw her again a couple of years later at Wembley Arena, and again possibly “in the round”. I can’t remember much about that night – I think we were a bit disappointed with her performance but I can’t be sure.

Day 2 ~ #7DayMusicChallenge ~ Detroit Spinners ~ Then Came You

Day 2 #7DayMusicChallenge ~ Detroit Spinners ~ Then Came You

Then Came You was originally recorded by Dionne Warwick with the Spinners and was a number 1 on the American Billboard Top 100 and made the Top 30 here. It was written by Sherman Marshall and Phillip T. Pugh, and produced by the legend Thom Bell.

I was lucky to see the Spinners in 1975 at the Gaumont in Southampton as part of The Atlantic Summer Of Soul Tour that also included The Jimmy Castor Bunch, Ben E King and Sister Sledge.

There is a fabulous double live album from The Spinners (I have a vinyl copy still) recorded about this time with this track listing …

Side One ~ Fascinating Rhythm, I’ve Got To Make It On My Own, Living A Little, Laughing A Little, One Of A Kind (Love Affair) and Then Came You 

Side Two ~ Sadie, How Could I Let You Get Away and Could It Be I’m Falling In Love

Side Three ~ Superstar Medley: It’s Not Unusual, Don’t Mess With Bill, Paper Doll, Stop! In The Name Of Love, If I Didn’t Care, Hound Dog, Hello Dolly and Love Don’t Love Nobody (Part 1) 

Side Four ~ Love Don’t Love Nobody (Part 1 & 2) and Mighty Love

On the tour in the UK Joni Sledge (from Sister Sledge) joined the Spinners for the song and that’s why I chose this version.

Writing these posts takes me back to my Gold “Home Of The Good Groove” Radio days with Stevie Q.  We produced a weekly radio show for around 2 years which were broadcast on internet radio stations Morpher Radio, Disco 935 and JFSR.  CLICK HERE for our blog and you can still get some of the podcasts if you click through the links!  In that time we made online friends all over the World, some who are still with us through FaceBook and today I nominate Izzy (our former South Africa corespondent who is now back in the UK), a truly lovely lady who’s always there with a “like” and a kind word.

Never forget ~ Life Sounds Better To Music

#‎7DayMusicChallenge ~ Day 1 ~ Stevie Wonder ~ I Wish

Many thanks to top bloke and brilliant DJ Tony Winyard for nominating me for the FaceBook 7 Day Music Challenge. The challenge is 2015’s version of Desert Island Discs and as someone whose whole life has revolved around music this is something I’ve thought about many times.

I’ve been anticipating what direction I’d take if nominated for a few days … 7 days, 7 weeks, 7 months, maybe even 7 years would not be long enough! So let’s see where this goes …

As most of the friends I saw doing the challenge on FaceBook were other DJ’s and soul boys I thought I’d start with some of the fabulous artists I’ve been privileged to see live from that sector …

Stevie Wonder ~ “I Wish” from “Songs In The Key Of Life”

I could have picked any track from this album (double album with bonus e.p.).  Even listening to the album this morning it sounds as fresh as ever.

This was the first album I earned from my career in record retail.  Late in 1976, thanks to my friend Steve (who I now nominate to take the challenge), I tried out for a part time job at Virgin Records in Bargate Street, Southampton with management team Liz and Marty.  One of the payment options for a trial shift was an album – I was extra cheeky and asked for this double album with bonus e.p., although I did offer to pay the extra I think.

I’ve been compiling a list of all the bands I’ve seen and I have dates for most of them. I’ve seen Stevie at least once, I think it’s twice but I can only remember one for sure which was at Earls Court in the late 70’s (and I think it was an afternoon show – could he really have been doing two shows in a day back then?) but that’s as close as I’ve got so far!

Never forget ~ Life Sounds Better To Music


Caroline’s Birthday Party

Another Gold gig with Steve this weekend.

This time we were in the function room at The Salmon Leap in Totton for Caroline’s Birthday Party. As you can see it was fancy dress, Steve and I went as two radio DJ’s on a night out, and if that was Caroline’s old school uniform I’m Tony Blackburn. Caroline’s husband Rob was dressed perfectly for a Gold night out with his flared suit,’fro and platforms! It was good to see many old friends again – thanks everyone.