Hey all,

Today we learn a word from the dictionary.

Prodigal

[prod-i-guhl]

–noun

a person who spends, or has spent, his or her money or substance with wasteful extravagance; spendthrift.

“And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living. And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want.”
(Luke 15:13-14)

Michael Jackson

See ya….

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Hey all,

Though it may be seem a small accomplishment to many, it’s a great accomplishment to me – my post “Hurt people, hurt people.” has been viewed over a thousand times! Now, I know that many blogs get that kind of traffic in a hour’s time and it took me a few weeks…. but hey, a thousand is a thousand!

Been finding some great music lately and I thought I’d share what I’ve found with you. I’ll start with a fantastic saxaphonist named J. White.

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J. is from Detroit, but currently resides in Arkansas where he completed his studies at the University of Arkansas. His current project is named “Melodies From My Heart” and you can hear samples from it HERE.

This is an outstanding work from an artist I’m sure we’ll be hearing a lot from in the future. J. has a heartfelt lyrical style that shines on each track. My personal favorite is “Relaxation” which reminds me of Stevie Wonder back in the “Talking Book” days. You can hear a clip from that track – and BUY the CD at CDBaby.

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I was thinking back to the old days in Detroit when the music scene was sooo vibrant, I began looking around for others who had memories of those old days and I ran across a great site full of information about things like the 20 Grand, Motown, and a lot of the smaller labels and studios back in the day. The site is called Soulful Detroit, and you can spend quite some time there remembering or learning about Detroit’s early musical days – Enjoy!

Oh, and for those of you who haven’t bought your copy of my new CD “The Late Show” – click HERE and get busy!

See ya.

Hey all,

Due to the policy of WordPress, I can’t show the teaser video for the song “Rural” from the CD “The Late Show” here.

BUT, you can see it at

A Wendell Spencer Review!

See ya.

(This site best viewed in Firefox, get it FREE HERE.)

Hey all,

My new CD “The Late Show” is finally available for PURCHASE!

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You can buy it directly from the manufacturer Click HERE, where it’s available to be purchased on-line with either a Visa, Mastercard, American Express or Discover Card for only $12.00 + shipping and handling (which brings the price up to around $17.00), or you can get it locally for a flat $12.00.

You can hear some clips from this CD below:

Some Such:

Bridges:

Free:
Rural:
Maddie’s Lullabye:
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Today:
Can I?:
What’s Goin On?:
Park:
Change Come:
I may never make ‘Billboard’ magazine, or win a ‘Grammy’, but
I REFUSE TO RUST OUT,
I’ll WEAR OUT!
See ya.

Motown (The company) is on the verge of it’s 50th anniversary, and they are planning a two year celebration beginning this weekend.

Hitsville U.S.A.

Though Motown is far from what it used to be both in talent and influence, it still has a legacy that is unmatched in the music world. The Detroit News has a good article about the company and the upcoming celebration HERE.

Seeing those old familiar names and faces made me think of some of the other famous labels from that era, do you remember any of these? (not the songs so much as the labels themselves)

Here’s some information about the labels in the above slideshow:

Invictus Records – was a record label created by Eddie Holland, Lamont Dozier and Brian Holland (known collectively and informally as H-D-H). Until 1967 H-D-H were the top composer/ producer team for Motown Records, but for better control and greater rewards they launched Invictus along with Hot Wax Records in 1968. Their most successful acts were Freda Payne and Chairmen of the Board; they also released Parliament’s first album, Osmium. The label was distributed by Capitol Records from 1969 to 1972, and then by Columbia Records.

V.I.P. Records – Part of Motown Records – Established 1964, V.I.P. was a secondary R&B/soul subsidiary. Notable artists included Shorty Long, The Velvelettes, The Spinners, The Elgins and Chris Clark. The label was dissolved in 1974.

Atlantic Records – is an American record label best known for its many recordings of rhythm & blues, rock and roll, and jazz. Long one of the most important American independent labels, Atlantic now operates as a wholly owned subsidiary of Warner Music Group.

Chisa Records – Motown released output for Chisa, a label owned by Hugh Masekela, from 1969 to 1972.

D-Town Records – Formed by Mike Harris in 1963. Interesting story HERE.

Golden World – was a record label owned by Ed Wingate and Joanne Bratton (nee Jackson, widow of boxing champion Johnny Bratton). The recording studio was located in Detroit, MI., first on 11801 12th Street (Rosa Parks), and then on 3246 West Davison, within the area of the present-day Davison Freeway. A business office on some of the labels reads 4039 Buena Vista. The studio’s national hits included “Cool Jerk” by the Capitols from Detroit and “Oh How Happy” by Livonia, Michigan’s Shades of Blue. The early, pre-Motown songs by Edwin Starr (War! What is it Good For?) such as “Double-O Soul” were recorded in the Golden World studio.
Golden World operated from 1962 to 1968.

Gordy – Established 1961, Gordy was also a primary subsidiary for mainstream R&B/soul music. Originally known as Miracle Records (slogan: “If It’s a Hit, It’s a Miracle”), the name was changed in 1962 to avoid confusion with the Miracles singing group. The label’s numbering system was combined with those of Motown and Tamla in 1982, and the label was merged with Motown in 1988. Notable Gordy artists included The Temptations, Martha Reeves & the Vandellas, Rick James, and DeBarge. Gordy Records slogan: “It’s What’s in the Grooves that Counts”

Hot Wax Records – was a Detroit, Michigan-based record label, created by Eddie Holland, Jr., Lamont Dozier and Brian Holland in 1968 when they left Motown Records. Hot Wax Records recorded female vocal groups such as The Honey Cone and The Flaming Ember, as well as soul singers like rhythm and blues artist, Freda Payne. Their records were distributed by Buddah Records.

Motown Records – The grandfather of them all.

Since Berry Gordy himself is supposed to be in town Friday, I just might do what I used to do when I was a kid – go stand on the steps of Hitsville….

See ya.

Hey all,
The internet is great at providing information fast, but it can also provide bad information fast and maybe faster.

Ever get one of those e-mails – like the one claiming that the new U.S. dollar coins omit the motto “In God We Trust”?

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Well, before you put stock in any of those e-mails, go over to Snopes.com and find out if there’s any truth to them. Snopes researches those e-mail claims and other urban legends. They also can tell you about those unbelievable photos you run across from time to time.

And speaking of “Urban Legends”, NO – some guy named Christopher did not “discover” America on this date in 1492 – it was already there and doing fine….

Ran across this old poster….

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That used to be THE Detroit Jazz station….

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Rosetta Hines the First Lady of Detroit Jazz, I remember one of her on-air sayings – “It ain’t the size of the ship that makes you sea-sick, it’s the motion of the ocean.”

Ah, the sweet, good old days……

java, slippers, and that comfortable spot….

See ya.

Hey all.

My love and prayers go out to those grieving in Cleveland today after the shooting of four people at the Success Tech Academy yesterday. My prayers are also with the family and friends of the shooter who reportedly shot himself after shooting those four others. It’s truly a tragedy that at age fourteen the world could crash around you with such force that it would compel you to do something like that. Pray for our youth, and Live for them also. Let them know – by our lives – that adversity comes and adversity goes, we all need an abiding faith to fight this fight of life…. encourage some young person that you come in contact with TODAY.

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And today this from Pennsylvania, another 14 year old with an arsenal of weapons –

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check out the video HERE. What is happening with the ADULTS around these kids?

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Whatever your view of the current wars in Iraq and Afganistan there is no getting around the reality of the fighting on the ground and the sacrifice of life and limb by so many of our young men and women.
Bill Withers wrote a song (around the time the war in Vietnam was ending) it’s meaning is still relevant today. Pause the Sonific player and listen to “I Can’t Write Left Handed”

One day these wars will be over, but the human tragedy will continue – no treaty can replace an arm or leg. Whether we win or lose, for years to come the scars of these wars will be with us. As we go about our lives in relative peace and safety I hope we stop from time to time to think of the price our troops are paying. These distant wars don’t seem to impact us as they should – and their casualties almost go unnoticed, but those astounding “wounded” figures (some 27,oo4 so far according to GlobalSecurity.org) are individuals with family and friends and now – somewhat altered futures.

Pray.

Also praying with a friend of mine, who has a friend who lost her job recently and tried to commit suicide. It’s really a shame how impersonal business has become these days, and how little trust you can put in your employment security. But the lesson to us all is to place our trust in God and not in man. Abiding Faith is the only defence in a shifting and changing society.

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Back in 1981 Bill Withers wrote this song which was released only as a single, I don’t know if it was for a movie or not, but the lyrics are still pretty timely it’s called “U.S.A.” let it play in the new window and come back here and read along with the lyric:

You can’t relax, payin’ tax keeps you busted.
Fallin’ behind goin’ full speed ahead.
You break your back, and some whacko you trusted
Done run the whole USA in the red.

(Chorus) We’re praying for you USA
We love you and hope you get better.
We know you’ll come through USA
Remember we’re in this together.

You can’t afford room and board, what vacation?
And for some reasons I don’t understand,
You’re making stuff that’s ignored in your nation,
The whole USA’s damn near made in Japan.

(Repeat Chorus)

You can’t go far in your car – check the prices.
We took too much doggone guff from Iran.
Countries get rotten to us, we get nicer.
We get the finger, then we give a hand.

(Repeat Chorus)

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Alright, while you reflect on that – turn your Sonific player back on – Java, slippers, and that comfortable spot….

(If you’re new here, let the music in the Sonific player play through – there are ten songs there that I change from week to week, let me know which ones you like.)

See ya.