Andre Williams: farewell to R&B’s raunchiest raconteur

The midwestern singer, who has died aged 82, worked with everyone from Berry Gordy to thrash punks – and arguably invented rap music

Andre Williams died in Chicago on Sunday aged 82 after being diagnosed with colon cancer two weeks earlier. To most people, his name will be unfamiliar, but to me he was one of the great heroes of American music.

Born in Bessemer, Alabama, Zephire “Andre” Williams escaped rural poverty for the bright lights of Detroit around 1950. Motor City was booming and Williams, aware he lacked a voice but determined to succeed as a vocalist, created a sing-speak style mixing humour and innuendo with the ruling R&B and doo-wop musical styles of the time. Some have pointed to this vocal delivery being one of the starting points for rap music. Continue reading

‘It’s all gibberish’ – songs that define the UK political climate

Are we on a road to nowhere? Do you wanna be sedated? Readers offer musical suggestions reflecting the uncertainty surrounding Brexit

We asked you to tell us which songs reflect the uncertainty of life – ones that seem to sum up Britain’s current aimlessness amid Brexit negotiations, or that you reach for when you don’t know where else to turn. Hundreds of you got in touch with your ideas – here’s what some of you said. We’ve also collated 100 of the best suggestions into a Spotify playlist below. Continue reading

SoulMusic Hall Of Fame Inductees: Kenneth ‘Babyface’ Edmonds, Daryl Simmons, Preston Glass and Marc Scarborough (on behalf of Skip Scarborough)

LOS ANGELES, March, 2019 – David Nathan, founder and CEO of proudly presents awards to inductees into The SoulMusic Hall Of Fame (inducted by popular vote via online poll)







































SKIP SCARBOROUGH – SONGWRITER (presented to Marc Scarborough on behalf of his father, Skip Scarborough) Continue reading

How we made Booker T and the MGs’ Green Onions

‘It was originally called Funky Onions – but to laced-up, deep-south America, that sounded like a cuss word, so we had to retitle it’

I grew up in Memphis and by the time I was 17, I was learning saxophone, piano and Hammond organ, paid for by my paper round. I started going over to Stax Records after school. Soon enough, I was the keyboard guy in the house band.

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Author: Interviews by Dave Simpson