Thursday, 26 September 2013

America's West Coast Music Recording Icons

                                                   ( Part 1)

In this article we will examine the cultural, creative and corporate impact of Bill Withers and Barry White. They are two of the most successful artists from America’s west coast.


Bill Withers

Bill Withers is well known for the socially conscious lyrics, based on a psychology of human potential and empowerment and full of message-laden images, that characterized his hits during the 1970s. Songs such as “Lean On Me” and “Lovely Day” fit into that particular psychology, to which an electrifying and dynamic voice added a rich, pure, soulful feeling that combined a touch of Blues and R&B and which separated him from his contemporaries.

Bill Withers gold certified album 
and Billboard Hip/Hop
and R&B number one album
Bill is one of a list of legendary artists whose intellectual properties are used extensively used in advertisements, movies and recorded music. Core customers will have Bill Withers on their list of favourite artists to buy over the long term. His songs are used by many corporations because his recordings are felt to be especially appropriate for advertising their particular products; his output is middle of the  road,  safe and high quality with good production values and a smooth delivery that is pleasant to listen to.

This gold certified album 
contents the
classic hit single
 "Lovely Day"
When you play a track such as “Lovely Day”, it is easy to associate the song with the experience of driving a luxury sport car with the top down on a hot, sunny day in the countryside with your friends, family or partner. Or you can close your eyes and dream of enjoying a cool drink while relaxing on holiday in the Caribbean, away from the stresses of everyday life. It is very relaxing music, not dangerous but made very positive and uplifting by lyrics that are “good for the soul”.  

The list of advertisements featuring Withers’ work (this is a partial list of credits) includes:

Burger King
Frito Lay-Doritos
Campbell’s Soup
Chevrolet Truck
Hallmark Cards
Denny’s Breakfast

Movie-makers too have often seen the potential of these songs. Recent examples of their use in films include:

American Beauty
The Bodyguard
Jackie Brown
The Nephew

Notting Hill
Old School
Austin Powers-The Spy Who
Shagged Me
When We Were Kings

And of course where film goes television is not far behind. A television list of credits (again a partial list) includes:

Ally McBeal
Rosie O’Donnell
Bernie Mac Show
Saturday Night Live
Motown Live
The Oprah Winfrey Show
MTV: The Real World
The Simpsons

Researched and compiled by
Mr k Tomlin Music Historian

©RCM Music/Signaturesoundsonline 2013


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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.

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