Category Archives: Norther Soul

Marilyn Wedge. Gwen McCrae. John Szwed.

          

Next on Life Elsewhere we’ll cover three divergent topics. First, Marilyn Wedge, Ph.D. a family therapist who has helped children, adolescents and families since 1988 talks about her new book, A Disease Called Childhood: Why ADHD Became an American Epidemic. She asks, what some believe are controversial questions, such as, “Is ADHD a genetically based disorder?” “What roles do schools play in a child’s getting an ADHD diagnosis?” “What does neuroscience teach us about ADHD?” “Is there anything parents can do to help their ADHD child besides giving them medication?” Marilyn Wedge will talk candidly with Norman B about big pharma and the truth behind ADHD diagnosis.

This week’s Hit That Never Was features a singer who grew up in Pensacola, Florida, singing in her pentecostal church, later she discovered secular singers like Sam Cooke and Aretha Franklin. She began performing in local clubs as a teenager, and singing with local groups like the Lafayettes and the Independents. In 1963, she met a young sailor named George McCrae, whom she married within a week. Following husband George‘s  unexpected solo success with Rock Your Baby, she went on to have a major hit of her own in 1975 with Rockin’ Chair. Gwen McCrae went on to have a follow up hit with Love Insurance, but by this time the separate successes of George and herself took a toll on their marriage. Gwen moved on to have a few minor chart entries, but by the mid 80’s her records were mostly revered by the UK’s Northern Soul scene. Our Hit That Never Was, 90% of Me Is You never made a big dent in the charts but has consistently enjoyed rave reviews from the always enthusiastic Northern Soul scene.

When Billie Holiday stepped into Columbia’s studios in November 1933, it marked the beginning of what is arguably the most remarkable and influential career in ?twentieth-century popular music. Her voice weathered countless shifts in public taste, and new reincarnations of her continue to arrive, most recently in the form of singers like Amy Winehouse and Adele. Most of the writing on Holiday has focused on the tragic details of her life—her prostitution at the age of fourteen, her heroin addiction and alcoholism, her series of abusive relationships—or tried to correct the many fabrications of her autobiography. But now, Billie Holiday: The Musician and the Myth stays close to the music, to her performance style, and to the self she created and put into print, on record and on stage. Drawing on a vast amount of new material that has surfaced in the last decade, critically acclaimed jazz writer John Szwed considers how her life inflected her art, her influences, her uncanny voice and rhythmic genius, a number of her signature songs, and her legacy. Don’t miss Norman B’s conversation with John Szwed as he passionately talks about Billie Holiday: The Musician and the Myth.

Life Elsewhere, airs every Sunday, at 12 noon Eastern Standard Time at The Source on WMNF HD 3. Click on this link and then click on The Source. The show is repeated every Monday, at 5.00pm Pacific Standard Time on NWCZ Radio. The show will also be available at Soundcloud.

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From Scratch, The Water Of Life & Deep Shadows

For the next edition of Life Elsewhere, Norman B invites you to indulge in three of the essential pleasures of life…food, drink and incredible music. Specifically, food as depicted by the ubiquitous Food Network, drink as in the Water Of Life or Whisk(e)y and music in the form of a rare Northern Soul track.

Allen Salkin, author of From Scratch: The Uncensored History of the Food Network, promises to reveal the behind-the-scenes history and dish the dirt on the egos and feuds of the people who made a fledgling upstart into a Cable TV empire. You’ll hear the juicy stories about the network’s most polarizing figures, Guy Fieri, Bobby Flay, Anthony Bourdain, Robert Irvine and of course, Paula Deen.

Whisk(e)y is in the midst of a huge renaissance. Ten years ago, the United States housed sixty-nine craft distillers; today, there are more than four hundred. Exports of Scotch whisky grew 12 percent just last year. Sales are skyrocketing, and specialty bars are popping up around the country, from New York City to Chicago to Houston. Whisk(e)y expert Heather Greeneauthor of Whisk(e)y Distilled: A Populist Guide to the Water of Life will explain to Norman B, (who admits to being a novice,) the mysteries of Whisk(e)y, the crucial importance of “nosing” Whisk(e)y and the spelling.

This week’s Hit That Never Was features a very rare Northern Soul favorite with an unusual history. Deep Shadows  by Little Ann is from 1969, but was never heard at the time it was recorded. For over 30 years it was stored in the archives of record producer and musician Dave Hamilton, one of the unsung heroes of the Detroit soul scene. A box of tape-reels marked simply ”The Possible Little Ann Album”,  was discovered by two British soul enthusiasts at Hamilton’s home in 1988. Little Ann sadly passed away in 2003, but she did get to hear her efforts gain some fame via the intrepid British Northern Soul scene. Set your alarm, you won’t want to miss the next Life Elsewhere, with food, gossip, Whisk(e)y and a brilliant soul gem, that almost didn’t get released.

Life Elsewhere airs every Monday at 9.00am ET (1400 GMT)

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