US Cities

Benjamin Wright Jr. Part 2

The year 1980 was a very good one for Benjamin Wright, starting with an important recognition of work that he had done in 1979. Benjamin’s string arrangement on “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough” contributed to the award of a Grammy  to Michael Jackson for Best Rhythm and Blues Vocal Performance, […]

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OKeh Records

OKeh Records was founded by Otto K. E. Heinemann, a German-American, who set up a recording studio and pressing plant in New York City and started the label in 1918.  A landmark OKeh release OKeh released mainly music by dance and jazz bands, until a blues singer, Mamie Smith, became the first African […]

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Tom Washington

Thomas Clay Washington was born in Chicago in 1944. He grew up on the South Side of the city on a large housing estate called the Ida B. Wells Project. He learned to play drums and keyboards and went on to study music with James Mack at Crane Junior College. […]

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Sea-Saint Studios

In 1973 Allen Toussaint and Marshall Sehorn established the Sea-Saint recording studio in the Gentilly area of eastern New Orleans. Toussaint had originally joined forces with Sehorn after the completion of his national service in 1965. They had set up a business called Sansu Enterprises, which included a record label. Sehorn was an A&R […]

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William Bell & Judy Clay

William Bell was born William Yarbrough in 1939 in Memphis. Judy Clay was born Judith Grace Guions in St. Pauls, North Carolina, just one year earlier. Around thirty years later they teamed up to cut a track at Stax Records in Memphis, “Private Number”, that achieved success in the UK, reaching number […]

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Johnnie Taylor at Stax

Johnnie Taylor was born in Crawfordsville, Arkansas, but grew up in West Memphis, Arkansas. Like most black kids of his generation, he was introduced to singing and performing through the church. In 1953 he joined a gospel group called The Highway Q.C.’s, replacing Lou Rawls, who had joined in 1951 when Sam Cooke […]

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