Slyvia Moy, Who Co-Wrote Hits With Stevie Wonder

On Recording “My Cherie Amour” – Watch on YouTube

Remember the Stevie Wonder hit “Oh My Marcia”? Of course, you don’t. But you’ve heard it by the name Stevie’s producer Sylvia Moy gave it – “My Cherie Amour.” The first female producer at Motown, Moy is credited with keeping Wonder at the label when it was unsure of how to adjust to the young prodigy’s changing voice. Working with Wonder and frequent song collaborator Hank Crosby, she discovered a new avenue for Wonder’s talent.

If you check out her page on Discogs, you’ll discover that Moy has 926 writing and arrangement credits. In that list (it runs for 38 pages) are included hits like “Uptight (Everything’s Alright),” “I Was Made To Love Her” and “Never Had A Dream Come True.” The list includes songs that earned 20 BMIs and 6 Grammy nominations.

She and Crosby were inducted into the Songwriters’ Hall of Fame in 2006.

Sylvia Moy, September 15, 1938-April 15, 2017

“Uptight (Everything’s Alright)” on Spotify

Follow the LGMR Soul/R&B/Funk 2017 Playlist here.

 

Clyde Stubblefield, Drummer With “Most Sampled Groove In The World”

Talking About “Cold Sweat” and “Funky Drummer” with Drummerworld–Watch on YouTube

Clyde Stubblefield was a hard-working, prolific drummer whose most famous work was done with James Brown. He and fellow drummer John “Jabo” Starks supplied the beats to most of Brown’s 1960s hits. The break he created for Brown’s “Funky Drummer” became the most-sampled drum beat of all time.

Stubblefield ( April 18, 1943-February 18, 2017) is listed as a “Top 500” drummer in Drummerworld. In addition to Brown, he performed with Otis Redding, John Scofield, Bootsy Collins, fellow-Madisonian Ben Sidran* and a host of others in the R&B and jazz worlds. If you’ve been a listener to the public radio show Whad ‘ Ya Know? you’ve heard Stubblefield with the house band.

Stubblefield’s drumsticks are in the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame and he was inducted into the WAMI (Wisconsin Area Music Industry) Hall of Fame in 2000.

*Stubblefield grew up in Tennessee, but lived for the latter part of his life in Madison, WI.

David Axelrod, Blending Jazz, Soul, William Blake & Hip-Hop

“The Edge” Live at Royal Festival Hall–Watch on YouTube

David Axelrod (April 17, 1931-February 5, 2017) was a composer/arranger/producer who came out of the LA jazz scene in the late 50s. He was a prolific producer in the 60s. Among his notable projects were a Lou Rawls cover of the Buffalo Springfield’s “For What It’s Worth” and an album with Man from U.N.C.L.E. star David McCallum. (The above live performance features the title track from that album.)

Axelrod began putting out albums under his own name in the late 60s, beginning with Song of Innocence, an album inspired by the poems of William Blake.* The album featured notable LA-based musicans, such as Carol Kaye, the bassist you may remember from the documentary The Wrecking Crew. Kaye was among a group of super talented session musicians (Leon Russell, Glen Campbell, Hal Blaine, etc.) who were behind the sounds of our favorite hits. Were it not for Kaye, we wouldn’t have the memorable opening to “The Beat Goes On” or the sophisticated bass lines in The Beach Boys “Good Vibrations.”

Axelrod’s albums have become a go-to resource for an impressive lineup of hip-hop artists in search of samples. Lauryn Hill, Dr. Dre, De La Soul and Mos Def (Yasiin Bey) are among the artists who have sampled Axelrod. In the above video, Axelrod expresses his conflicted views of this aspect of his career: he hates sampling for putting musicians out of work, but is grateful for how it’s personally benefited him.

*Not to be confused with U2’s Songs of Innocence, which was forced on millions by the band and Apple.

“Holy Thursday” on Spotify

Robert Bateman, Co-Wrote “Please, Mr. Postman” for Tamla Motown

“Please, Mr. Postman” with The Stubbs–Watch on YouTube

In 1959, The Satintones, a five-singer band that included Robert Bateman, became the first to sign on with Barry Gordy’s Tamla label. According to his obituary in The Telegraph, Bateman and his band helped out at the fledgling studio “while waiting for fame to strike.”

Bateman (April 30, 1936-October 12, 2016) was sound engineer on hits like “Money,” “Do You Love Me?” and “Shop Around.” But he also filled in as road manager, bus driver, backup singer, producer and talent scout.

“Please, Mr. Postman,” which was written by Bateman and four others, was recorded in 1961 by The Marvelettes, a group Bateman had recommended to Gordy. It became Motown’s first #1 hit on the Top 100, setting the stage for many more mainstream hits to come from black performers. The song was famously covered by The Beatles in 1963 and reached #1 again in 1975 when recorded by The Carpenters.

“Motor City” on Spotify