Thursday, 30 April 2015

Key Significant Benchmarks in the African American Black Music industry Pt 10

              Johnnie Taylor and The Manhattans

The gold certified album containing
the platinum single "Disco Lady
Did you know that Johnnie Taylor and The Manhattans were the first recording acts in America to receive platinum certifications for their hit singles. Both singles were also number one on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles Chart and the Billboard Hot Soul Singles Chart. Johnnie Taylor’s single “Disco Lady” became the certified-platinum single in history of the music industry, selling more than two million copies in America. It was number one week-ending 13th March 1976 (6 weeks) on the Billboard Hot Soul and R&B Singles Chart. This was the first recording for CBS Records Black music division to obtain this great benchmark achievement. 

The gold album featuring the  platinum single
 "Kiss and Say Goodbye"
This was later followed up by The Manhattans’ hit single “Kiss and Say Goodbye” which peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot Soul Singled Chart week-ending 22nd May 1976 (1 week). The song also peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles Chart week-ending 24th July 1976 (2 weeks). Before the single receive the acquired a platinum certification for sales in excess of two copies, it had already sold over one million copies in the black market across America. 

The group received the accolade in August 1976.The single was also the first platinum certification to be recorded at the Sigma Sound Studios in Philadelphia with the legendary Bobby Martin who was the main arranger at PIR (Philadelphia International Records) during its golden era, known as “The Sound of Philadelphia”. The album became a major success in the UK receiving  two silver certifications by BPI for the singles “Kiss and Say Goodbye” and “Hurt”, with each single selling in excess of quarter of million copies in 1976.

                                           Researched and compiled by                                                          
                                          Mr K  Tomlin Music Historian                  

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

The Philadelphia Signature Soul Sound during the 1980s Pt 2

Two Female artists who dominated the American Billboard R&B Singles Chart for the entire month of August 1986 with singles produced and recorded in the city of Philadelphia, at different recording studios were Shirley Jones and Jean Carne.
Both artists shared the number one position for two weeks, beginning with Jean Carne taking a run at the top of the Billboard Soul and R&B Singles Chart week-ending
  2nd August 1986 ( 2 weeks) with “Closer than Closer” Omni 99531. Which was produced by the late Grover Washington, Jr. Also Jean was once signed to Philadelphia International Records during the 1970s to the early 1980s.
Shirley Jones achieved the top position on 16th August 1986. Co-Produced by Kenny Gamble and Bunny Sigler. The single “Do You Get enough Love” Philadelphia International Records 50034, was the second single for Philadelphia International Records to have achieved one during the 1980s, with Patti LaBelle’s single been the first in 1984 for “If Only You Knew”, Philadelphia International Records 04248, 28th January 1984 (4 weeks). The single was extracted “I’m In Love Again” album, been the last gold certified album to be distributed CBS Records for label.

      Researched and compiled by 
                   Mr K Tomlin Music Historian                   

Saturday, 28 February 2015

The Philadelphia Signature Soul Sound during the 1980s Pt 1

                                                Featuring female solo artist

By the 1980s, “The Sound of Philadelphia” was longer the dominating musical force in the music industry, but it still managed to record outstanding tracks of high quality and impact. The sound was eventually overtaken by the “Minneapolis Signature Sound” according to Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis who were responsible for Janet Jackson major success and other artists.

Image result for Deniece Williams
The album containing the hit single.
During 1980s several Philadelphia based record producers managed to produce bona fide classic hits as early as 1982, starting with Deniece Williams hit single “It’s Gonna Take a Miracle” which peaked at number-one on the Billboard Hot Soul Singles Chart week-ending 15th May 1982 (2 weeks) .Both the single and the entire album "Niecy" was produced by the legendary Thom Bell ( one of the key music architect of Philadelphia Sound) and supported by many of the musicians who worked at the famous Sigma Sound Studios during the golden era of the “Philadelphia Soul Sound”. 

Image result for patti labelle albums
The gold certified album "I'm In Love Again"
The following single to make 
 it to the number-one position on the Billboard Hot Soul Singles Chart was a song recorded by Patti LaBelle entitled “If Only You Knew”. The single was produced and co-written by Dexter Wansel with Cynthia Biggs and Kenny Gamble. The song was extracted from Patti LaBelle’s first gold album of her career. The album “I’m In Love Again” was the last Top 40 album on the Billboard 200 Albums Chart listing for Philadelphia International Records and the first for Patti LaBelle. The single “If Only You Knew” peaked at number-one week-ending 28th January 1984 (4 weeks). Also Patti LaBelle was the first female solo artist on the world famous record label to have a gold album and a number-one single on the Billboard Hot Soul Singles Chart. 

                                          Researched and compiled by                                                         
                                          Mr K Tomlin Music Historian                   

Saturday, 31 January 2015

Key Significant Benchmarks in the African American Black Music industry Pt 9


Anomaly number-one album
Rap artist extraordinaire Lecrae

Thus, Anomaly is the first title to be crowned number-one on both the Billboard Gospel Albums Chart and the Billboard 200 Albums Chart by an African American Hip Hop gospel artist.  In terms of the latter achievement, it follows Chris Tomlin's “Burning Lights” ( 2013), TobyMac's “Eye On It” (2012), LeAnn Rimes' “You Light Up My Life”- Inspirational Songs” (1997) and finally Bob Carlisle's “Butterfly Kisses (Shades of Grace” (1997). While Lecrae, 34, might not quite be a household name — he's yet to chart a single on the all-genre Billboard Hot 100 — he has sold 1.4 million albums and 2.9 million track downloads.

Earlier this year, Lecrae co-headlined the highest selling tour in the country, "Winter Jam." According to Pollstar, "Winter Jam" sold over 557,000 tickets making it the number-one tour in North America beating major tours by Beyoncé, Justin Timberlake, Disney on Ice and Elton John. Touring in front of a half million fans gives Lecrae a powerful voice for his generation and allows him the opportunity to minister to a vast group of people across the country.

Lecrae also became the first African American Hip Hop gospel artist to debut at number-one on the UK Official Christian and Gospel Album Chart with the album “Anomaly” week-ending 20th September 2014 (1 week). Another artist from his label by the name of Trip Lee had his album “Rise” debuted at number-five on the same chart week-ending 8th November 2014 (1 week). The “Rise” also debuted at number-sixteen on the Billboard 200 Albums Chart with first-week sales of approximately 23,000 units, making it the fifth-highest charting Christian Hip Hop Album of all-time, as well as Trip Lee's highest charting album of his career so far.

                                          Researched and compiled by               
                                          Mr K Tomlin Music Historian                   

Key Significant Benchmarks in the African American Black Music industry Pt 8

Rap artist extraordinaire Lecrae

Rap artist extraordinaire Lecrae is the most successful artist in gospel Hip Hop music. He is the president, co-owner and co-founder of the independent record label Reach Record, and the co-founder and president of the non-profit organization ReachLife Ministries.

Lecrae is quickly developing into one of the biggest music stories of the year and his Cinderella rise has been noted everywhere from Rolling Stone Magazine, XXL Magazine, Vibe Magazine, The New York Times, The Atlantic and the cover of The Huffington Post Magazine to industry trades such as Billboard Magazine, Variety and Vulture. His performance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, perfectly timed with his album’s release, had fans buzzing as he performed multiple hit records from his recently album “Anomaly”. He went on to  collects his first number-one album on the Billboard 200 Album Charts as his new “Anomaly” actually  opened at top the chart listing week-ending 14th September 2014 (1 week)  It sold over 88,000 copies  according to Nielsen SoundScan. It's also the first chart-topper for Lecrae's label, Reach Records on the Billboard 200 Albums Chart and the first album to top both the 200 and the Gospel chart simultaneously.

The album “Anomaly” is Lecrae’s best sales performance since the release of “Gravity” album in 2012, which debuted and peaked at number- three on the Billboard 200 Albums Chart with over 72,000 units sold that week. “Anomaly” is the Grammy winner's sixth number-one on the Billboard Gospel Albums Chart and his fifth leader on Christian Albums. (Most Christian hip-hop releases are eligible to appear on both sales charts.)

                                          Researched and compiled by               
                                          Mr K Tomlin Music Historian                   

About Me

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Old Harlow, Essex, United Kingdom
Kevin Tomlin has over 34 years of teaching experience in Jamaica, England and America, including 15 years teaching music history of black origin and visual art in South Florida, U.S.A., through Arts in Education. Tomlin created special training programmes and workshops for music teachers in South Florida schools, using music history as the foundation, to build exciting programmes of study and support materials for education professionals. Since 2000, he’s taught music history, geography, religious education, history, visual arts and performing arts at schools in Hertfordshire and Essex, at both primary and secondary levels. He conducts research and provides consultancy services for multi-media organisations, schools, recording artists, cultural and faith-based groups and entertainment professionals.

Mary J Blige


Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis


Phyllis Hyman


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