Filipino-African American Latin soul singer Joe Bataan was born in Spanish harlem in 1942. He grew up on 103rd and Lexington in East Harlem, where he led a Puerto Rican street gang before ending up in prison. After he was released in 1965, Bataan started his first band, and by 1966 he was signed with New York-based Fania Records. In 1973, Bataan's first solo album - Salsoul - coined the name of the record label he co-founded in 1974. In 1979 he had a early hip-hop hit with the single Rap-O Clap-O, which was later featured on Mestizo, his second solo album on the Salsoul label. After his next album in 1981, Bataan retired from the music business until he recorded a final album in 2005. In 2009, he appeared in the film City Of God's Son, where he portrayed an older Nas narrating the experimental star-studded film. (see film HERE)
In 1975, Average White Band released their Cut The Cake album - the follow-up to their hugely successful AWB album, which included their first number one hit. The recording of the Cut The Cake album was plagued with problems and tension among the band's members. In addition to artistic and creative differences, the band was mourning over the loss of their founding drummer Robbie McIntosh, who had recently died of an accidental heroin overdose. McIntosh was replaced with drummer Steve Ferrone, well-known as the former drummer for Bloodstone. Before joining with AWB Ferrone had left Bloodstone to join English jazz-rock group Brian Auger's Oblivion Express - the band McIntosh had been with before forming AWB. Currently, Ferrone is drummer for Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers.
On a Saturday morning, February 3rd, 1973 the first episode of Schoolhouse Rock aired on ABC. The original run of the series ran from 1973-1985. The show was a collection of educational short films inspired by a song written by jazz pianist and composer Bob Dorough - 3 Is The Magic Number. Dorough had written the song after a request was passed on to him through a friend to put the multiplication tables to music. Dorough later pitched the idea for a children's show to vice-president of ABC's children's programing division Michael Eisner. Cartoonist Chuck Jones was recruited by Eisner for the project, and Three Is The Magic Number became the pilot episode of the series and Dorough became the main composer and performer of the songs featured in the animated shorts.
In 1972 The Dramatics released the single for In The Rain - their most successful song. After having a big hit in 1971 with the single for Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get, many considered the group to be a one hit wonder. The Dramatics silenced their critics by swiftly releasing In The Rain as a follow-up single. Both songs had appeared on the group's 1971 Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get album released on Volt and Stax Records. In The Rain hit number one on Billboard's Best Selling Soul Singles chart for 4 consecutive weeks, and it peaked out at number five on Billboards Hot 100 chart. The song, which is known for the incorporating the sound of rain and thunder, has been covered by many artists, including Keith Sweat, Xscape and Boney James.
In 1972 Donny Hathaway recorded the soundtrack of the blaxploitation classic Come Back, Charleston Blue. Hathaway composed and conducted all the songs except for two songs - the title track which was co-written by Quincy Jones, and Little Ghetto Boy, which was co-written by Earl DuRouen. The same year the movie was released, Hathaway also released his two greatest and most influential records - the heavily praised Roberta Flack & Donny Hathaway album, and his Live album, which has been called the greatest live album ever recorded - which also included a live version of Little Ghetto Boy. Additionally, in 1972 Hathaway also recorded the theme song to the popular 1970's TV series Maude. Little Ghetto Boy was sampled sampled over a dozen times, by artists including Wu-Tang Clan, Puff Daddy, and by Dr Dre on his 1992 The Chronic album
In 1968, Junior Walker & The Allstars released What Does It Take (To Win Your Love). The song, written by Johnny Bristol, Harvey Fuqua and Vernon Bullock, was featured on the groups Home Cookin' album. Motown had determined that the song was not worthwhile releasing as a single, but radio station DJ's pushed the song up the charts. The single for the song was released the following year and it was one of the the groups biggest records - selling over a million copies.
In the early 1970's, jazz composer and vibraphone player Roy Ayers formed a band called Roy Ayers Ubiquity. In 1973, Ayers, with his group, wrote and produced the soundtrack to the blaxploitation classic Coffy starring Pam Grier. After the success of the heavily praised soundtrack, Ayers began to move away from his jazz-funk sound, and to more of a R&B sound. In 1976, the group released Vibrations album, which included the jazz-funk song Vibrations. The same year the they released Everybody Loves The Sunshine, which included the often-sampled R&B title track.
In 1942 Peggy Lee had her first number one hit. The following year Lee married guitarist and composer Dave Barbour - the two had a child that same year. By 1960, Lee had been married and divorced three times. In the mid-1960's she give marriage a final shot, but it lasted only a year. In 1962 she had a minor hit with the Jerry Leiber and Michael Stoller penned song I'm A Woman. The song was originally recorded in 1962 by R&B singer Christine Kittrell. After covering the song at her live shows, Lee recorded the song later that year, and in 1963 it became the title of her album that featured the song. Leiber and Stoller worked with Lee on the song, re-working the vocal interpretation, and adding in the horn and sax.
In the 1960's, influential New Orleans jazz pianist Allen Toussaint wrote and produced hit songs for Art & Aaron Neville, Irma Thomas, Lee Dorsey and others. In 1965, R&B and pop star Lee Dorsey had a hits with Toussaint's Ride Your Pony, and the follow-up single Get Out Of My Life Woman. In the 1970's Toussaint wrote and produced for The Meters, Dr. John, B.J. Thomas, Robert Palmer and many many more. In 1974, Toussaint produced - and performed on - LaBelle's Nightbirds album, which spawned the provocative worldwide sensation Lady Marmalade. In 1974, Toussant also recorded Rock Show with Paul McCartney & The Wings for their Venus and Mars album.
In 1969, Sly & The Family Stone released the single for Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin), which was later included on the groups 1970 Greatest Hits album. Larry Graham thumped the inventive bass line using the groundbreaking technique he was well know for. Graham developed his technique playing in a duo with his mother, in attempt to make-up for the lack of a drummer. The style inspired other 1970's funk, as well as artists like Prince and The Red Hot Chili Peppers. In 1990, Janet Jackson had a huge hit with Rhythm Nation - which was constructed over a sample of Graham's commanding bass line.
"If you like to lounge