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May 262016
 

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What’s big, bad, bold, lives in Miami and plays sax, keys, guitar, drums, and bass? The Lemon City Rhythm Section of course.

Here’s a behind the scenes look at the Magic City’s newest instrumental supergroup recording their upcoming smash album Instrumental Magic vol. 2.

With Jeff Zavac on sax, Jerald Dorsett on keys, Aaron Fishbein on guitar, King David Hill on drums, and Shaka Pace on bass, they are a rhythmic force to be reckoned with, and the new album sounds amazing.

Check out the band recording at Aaron Fishbein’s The Franchise Studio in, where else, Lemon City. And look out for more info soon on the band’s album release party.

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May 242016
 
Three icons from Henry Stone's labels, Latimore, Steve Alaimo and Willy Clarke

Three icons from Henry Stone’s labels, Latimore, Steve Alaimo and Willie Clarke

“Martin Luther King used to come down all the time and hang out with Butterball. Butterball and he were very close. They were real good buddies, him and Docta King.

I met Dr. Martin Luther King jr., yeah. I met him with Butterball. Butterball had an apartment at the Sir John Hotel, cause he used to drink and carry on, and didn’t wanna have to drive all the way home. He had a weird situation, and I think it was just the hangout yknow, and Dr King was there. He was a terrific man. Nothin like you would have pictured to be, just a regular guy yknow.

And Butterball,,,he could be around all the presidents that were ever presidents and he’d feel very comfortable. He was not intimidated by anybody.

Butterball was jovial with everybody. I mean. He’d get on the phone with Clive Davis, cause he was a promotion man with TK when we started TK. He was off the air. He was part of the family. He got a call from Clive Davis one day saying, “So you’re a promotion man?” He couldn’t figure out how we were getting all these records played. So he had this other guy from CBS call up cause he was black to ask him how he was gettin all these records played. So he’s on the phone with Clive Davis and he said “Payola.”

Funny son of a bitch, boy. And he had two sons Marcus and Milton who were great young men.

Milton “Butterball” Smith. Love that guy.”

 

  • From a 2011 interview with Steve Alaimo by Jake Katel

©Jake Katel. All Rights Reserved.

May 232016
 
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The Impressions early publicity photo with Jerry Butler (top left)

“When The Impressions played at the Million Dollar Palms in Hallandale I was 18 years old.

We had just left the Apollo in New York and played to a packed house. The people loved us and thought we were sensational, then, our next engagement was at the Palms, just over the line from Miami, in Hallandale, where the audience was used to seeing acts like James Brown and Hank Ballard, who were active and doing the splits and jumping all over, and then here we come with only two songs of our own and some others we plagiarized from the Coasters and others we’d been at the Apollo with, and we died…we stunk the place up, and it was an outdoor theater, so that was an accomplishment, hah, “Precious Love” was the only applause we got. That taught me a big lesson. We had to go back to the drawing board and do a show to go with the songs, but at that particular show it was….man, bad showing.

When we played The Apollo we had big signs that read Jerry Butler and The Impressions, but at The Palms, the marquee just said Jerry Butler, no Impressions at all, and that immediately rekindled the anger and animosity among the guys who thought I was trying to take over. It was a very interesting time, and my first time really in that part of South Florida.

I came to Tampa with Curtis Mayfield grandma’s church when I was 13, so this was my second time in Florida.

We was sposed to play 3 nights at The Palms. We played 2 nights For Ernie Busker, and then 1 in Jacksonville, and I think the promoter was glad to be able to sell it.

The record “For Your Precious Love” was already a hit there (Miami, South Florida), that’s why we got booked to go down there. I remember King Coleman and Butterball were big on the record because it was selling, and because the people loved it, and because they had a good relationship with Veejay Records. We just weren’t ready for that kind of venue. We had been working with 5 or 6 other acts, and at the Palms it was us and a comedian and we had to take up 45 minutes or an hour and then the same people stay for the second show so we played the same songs to the same audience over and over, and that’s hard to do.

Henry Stone was the Promoter for that concert, and he was the distributor for the record…you got the picture, he treated us very well.”

  • From a 2011 interview with Jerry Butler by Jake Katel

©Jake Katel. All Rights Reserved.

May 102016
 

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Sexy, sultry, singing ladies with legs as long as US-1. These are the things dreams are made of.

The beautiful songbirds of Kayvette Records, Brandye were a three woman group who recorded at least one single for T.K. Disco (“Rhythm of Love,” b/w “Curiosity”), and an album called Crossover To Brandye for the aforementioned label.

Their real names are Cynthia Douglas, Donna Davis and Pamela Vincent.

According to Discogs, “Brandye were best known as backing vocalists for Millie Jackson (“A Moment’s Pleasure”), James Brown (“Too Funky In Here”) and Dennis Coffey (“Our Love Goes On”). And they often worked on Brad Shapiro productions.”

Their beautiful voices, smooth harmonics, and Caribbean inflected guitars over cruise ship style string arrangements complement the story song telling of woeful tales of love and heartache. Replete with funky horns, and heavy bass breakdowns, Brandye are characteristic high stylists of the Miami Sound developed by Henry Stone.

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May 092016
 
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Andrew “DJ Le Spam” Yeomanson brings forth tears of joy from the eyes of Deedra Boyer by gifting her with her father Bobby Dukoff’s first album Sax In Silk – May 7th, 2016 – Jake Katel

Who Are Anita Boyer and Bobby Dukoff?

Article and photos by Jake Katel

The marriage of Anita Boyer and Bobby Dukoff, and their life in Miami, was one of pioneering musical entrepreneurship that should never be forgotten.

Anita Boyer was a big band swing vocalist who also recorded more sessions than any other artist with the King Cole Trio, the earliest iteration of personnel in Nat King Cole’s voluminous recorded output.

Bobby Dukoff was a hit record sax player who doubled as an engineer, and also invented the world’s most popular saxophone mouthpiece.

Deedra Boyer is the couple’s daughter, and she recently visited Andrew “DJ LeSpam’s” City of Progress Studios in North Miami to convert some of her family’s heirloom history from analog to digital and also to share some photos and stories from her youth.

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May 022016
 

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Morris Levy was a complicated, mobbed up, pioneering nightclub boss, indie label head, music publisher, and record store chain owner who after about 40 years of ruling the mean streets of jazz, doo wop, and R&B in NYC got caught up in an FBI racketeering case and died before serving time in prison.

Levy was a close associate of Henry Stone’s going all the way back to the days when both guys were kids in nearby institutions for troubled youths.

Richard Carlin’s new biography of Levy, Godfather of The Music Business, sheds light on the shadowy figure behind so many of the hits that boom through our musical consciousness even today. Carlin has written over twenty books on music, with subjects ranging from jazz, to folk, country, and even Scottish Dance. Here’s what he had to say about Bronx record men, focusing on the outrageous, and the link between Sam&Dave and Miami Bass.

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