WELCOME TO SMOOTH JAZZ NEW YORK, YOUR HOME FOR CONCERTS AND SMOOTH JAZZ CRUISES
70s Soul Jam Valentine’s Concert
February 15th, 3:00PM
February 15th, 8:00PM
OR BY CALLING:
Step Up the Romance this Valentine’s Weekend:
ENJOY FIVE CLASSIC ACTS, ALL ON ONE BILL!
Harold Melvin’s Blue Notes
Don’t Miss the 70s Soul Jam Valentine’s Concert at the Beacon Theatre, Saturday, February 15th! Get ready to share the love… at 3pm or 8pm.
About The Legendary Acts…
During the early ‘70s, the Stylistics were the leading Philly soul group. The band had 12 straight Top Ten hits, including “You Are Everything” “Betcha by Golly, Wow” “I’m Stone in Love With You” “Break Up to Make Up” and “You Make Me Feel Brand New” Of all their peers, The Stylistics were one of the smoothest and sweetest soul groups of their era. All of their hits were ballads, graced by the soaring falsetto of Russell Thompkins, Jr. and the lush yet graceful productions of Thom Bell. This enduring act is a favorite for their showmanship, harmony and style.
The group formed in Detroit, Michigan in the late 1960’s. They signed to Stax-Volt records and are best know for their #1 R&B hits “In the Rain” and “Whatcha See is Whatcha Get”. Their disc, “Whatcha See Is Watcha Get” was awarded gold disc status by the R.I.A.A. in 1971. The band appeared on Soul Train multiple times through the 70’s and their music has been featured in the films Sunday Driver, Wattstaz, Darktown Stutters and Talk To Me.
This Chicago-based trio of sisters with a strong gospel base, was one of the leading female R&B acts of the ’70s. Lead singer Sheila Hutchinson and her sisters Wanda and Jeanette were only teenagers when they crashed the soul charts in 1969 with the engaging “So I Can Love You” but they sang gospel as children and enjoyed secular fame locally before signing with Memphis-based Volt and working with producers Isaac Hayes and David Porter. In 1975, the group hooked up with Maurice White of Earth, Wind & Fire, an association that led to the number one pop/R&B hit “Best of My Love” in 1977. Two years after Best of My Love, Maurice White and the Emotions collaborated on “Boogie Wonderland” which was both a #2 R&B and #6 pop hit.
Harold Melvin’s Blue Notes
Although group founder and original lead singer Harold Melvin had top billing, the Blue Notes’ most famous member was Teddy Pendergrass, their lead singer during the successful years on the Philadelphia International label. In 1975 the group was joined by female vocalist Sharon Paige. They then went on to release one of their most critically acclaimed albums, “Wake Up Everybody”. Except for a brief absence in the early 1980’s, Sharon Paige continued to toured with the group. Today, Harold Melvin’s Blue Notes is comprised of Donnell Gillespie, Rufus Thorne, Anthony Brooks, and John Morris. Their dynamic sound is just as evocative, alluring and just as soulful as the group has been in the past.
Formed by Tony Churchill and music-industry veteran Harvey Fuqua, New Birth was originally named the Nite-Liters. The roots of the band lie with Leslie and Melvin Wilson, gospel singers living in Muskegon, MI. Moving to Detroit in the late ‘60s, Melvin Wilson eventually met the Nite-Liters, who were then backing Motown artists, and expressed the possibility that he and his brother Leslie could perform with them. Fuqua had three groups under his tutelage: Love Peace & Happiness (of which Leslie and Melvin became members), the Nite-Liters, and New Birth. All but two members of New Birth had left the group around this time, leaving just Londee Loren and Bobby Downs. The three groups toured, backed each other up, and ultimately merged into one, taking New Birth as the name of the new group. Leslie, with his feisty vocals, and Melvin, with his more serene appeal, emerged as the primary lead singers. New Birth’s first release was the R&B Top Ten single “I Can Understand It.” Led by Leslie Wilson’s intense vocals and reminiscent of Bobby Womack, the single zoomed up the charts, peaking at number four after only 12 weeks. In January of 1974 they released “It’s Been a Long Time,” one of their celebrated hits and another Top Ten entry. That single was followed by the classic, soulful ballad “Wildflower.” In mid-1975 the group signed with Buddah Records and immediately recorded number one R&B hit, “Dream Merchant.” They recorded just one album for Buddah, however, before signing with Warner Bros. and later Ariola, continuing to record throughout the remainder of the ‘70s. In 1994, Leslie and Melvin re-formed the group and began performing at venues around the nation.
SCHEDULE OF UPCOMING EVENTS
Click to view more about each event:
- July 13
Smooth Cruise: Dave Koz & Friends Summer Horns Tour with Gerald Albright, Rick Braun, Richard Elliot + more
- July 20
Smooth Cruise: Summer Soul Cruise Featuring Russell Thompkins Jr. and The New Stylistics with The Delfonics