Groovy, Sexy & Soulful Part 22 Magic Edition

Part 22 of the series is all about magic! I like the voice of Johnny Bristol (picture), ever since I saw him performing his biggest chart success 'Hang on in there, baby' on Toppop in 1974. It was his first single for MGM as a solo artist and written with Barry White in mind. It reached number two on the American R&B chart and number eight pop that year. He also recorded the original version of ‘Love Me for a Reason’, later on major hits for The Osmonds and Boyzone. He was nominated for a Grammy Award in 1975 for Best New Artist, ultimately losing out to Marvin Hamlisch.

For many years though Bristol (born in 1939, just like my father) was professionally and personally part of Motown, as he married Iris Gordy. He was also Harvey Fuqua's writing and production partner for several years. Their work includes Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell’s ‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough’ (1967), Edwin Starr’s ’25 Miles’ (1969), Jr. Walker & the All-Stars’ ‘What Does It Take’ (1969), and Gladys Knight & the Pips’ ‘I Don’t Want to Do Wrong’ (1971), among many others.

His album ‘Feeling the magic’ from 1975 was totally overlooked at the time, but I think it’s his best album. The musicians were in excellent shape (including Bristol), the compositions were strong and he sounded very inspired. Johnny Bristol died in 2004, only 65 years of age.

The final track from soul band The (Detroit) Spinners is a tribute to singer Bobby Smith, who died on Saturday (March 16). He sang with the band from the start in 1954 to his death. The Spinners struggled with their career for a very long time, but once the group signed with Atlantic in 1972, they became a real hit machine. Their producer Thom Bell gave the group a lush, seductive sound, complete with sighing strings, a tight rhythm section, sultry horns, and a slight funk underpinning. They topped the R&B and pop charts with quality soul songs like ‘I'll Be Around’ (led by Bobby Smith), ‘Could It Be I'm Falling in Love’ (led by Smith as well) and ‘Rubberband Man’ (led by PhilippĂ© Wynne). The latter was a crossover to a more disco-orientated sound. It was followed by other disco hits like ‘Working My Way Back to You’ and ‘Cupid/I've Loved You for a Long Time’ a few years later, both produced by Michael Zager. During the early 1980s, they had several minor hits before fading away from the charts. Enjoy!

Tracklist:

Eric Roberson – The Magician (2011)
Perry & Sanlin – Just Like Magic (1981)
Phyllis Hyman – Magic Mona (1979)
Ronnie Walker – Magic’s In The Air (1975)
Johnny Bristol – Feeling The Magic (1975)
Alex Cortiz – Magic Touch (2001)
Space – Magic Fly [Social Disco Club Edit] (2007)
Donna Summer – Could It Be Magic (1976)
NuLife – Magic (1986)
Whodini – Magic’s Wand (1983)
United Future Organization – Magic Wand Of Love (1994)
Rice And Beans Orchestra – You’ve Got Magic (1977)
Stu Kramer – Magic Dance (1978)
John Davis And The Monster Orchestra ‎– Love Magic (1979)
The Softones – That Old Black Magic (1975)
Mystic Merlin– Mr Magician (1982)
Change – Magical Night (1983)
The Spinners – Magic In The Moonlight (1982)

Groovy, Sexy & Soulful Part 22 Magic Edition by Professor Eddy on Mixcloud

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