Articles by: Bill Spicer

Sam Cooke

At the age of thirty-three, on December 11th 1964, Sam Cooke was shot and killed at the Hacienda Motel, in Los Angeles. This article is posted on December 11th 2020 in his memory. Samuel Cook was born in Clarksdale, Mississippi, in 1931. He was the fifth of eight children born to Charles […]

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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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