| Oct 13, 2012
| 4:22 AM
Motown Records was a hit factory for black musicians in the early 1960s, churning out smash after smash R&B song. So hoping to follow that same path to success, the fledgling vocal group that singer Florence LaRue joined in 1965......
| Nov 29, 2012
| 4:32 AM
It would be difficult to say anything about the 2012 remake of the 1976 film Sparkle without mentioning the truth for which it’s probably best known and for which it will be remembered — as Whitney Houston’s final screen performance. The...
| Aug 13, 2012
| 9:15 AM
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - This port city on the Mississippi River calls itself the birthplace of rock 'n' roll. Its credentials? The Memphis Recording Service, forerunner of Sun Studio, in 1951 recorded "Rocket 88" by Jackie Brenston & His Delta Cats, which some...
| Feb 27, 2013
| 12:44 PM
Otis R. "Damon" Harris Jr., a Baltimore singer who performed with the Temptations during the 1970s and later used his own diagnosis of prostate cancer to help raise awareness of the disease in African-American men, died Feb. 18 from the disease at...
| Dec 1, 2012
Inevitably this holiday season, my mom will tick through her shopping list and say with a sigh, "Your dad wants a book." Since I was a kid, my mom has teased my dad about the predictablity of this ritual, which usually involves the purchase of a brick-...
| Apr 8, 2013
| 11:23 AM
It's common to see legendary artists sleepwalk through their concerts. After all, what do they have to prove? They earned their reputations decades ago. Now, all that's necessary is to show up, sing a few hits, smile and get out of town.
| Aug 27, 2012
| 8:15 AM
"And now you hear the music, but the words don't sound too clear …"
"Inner City Blues" by Sixto Rodriguez
Former Baltimorean Craig Strydom has spent more than two decades searching for Sugar Man. And even though the music journalist tracked his...
| May 21, 2012
| 2:58 PM
When Black Ensemble Theatre opened its beautiful new building in November, it did so with a show, "The Jackie Wilson Story," that not only was under-rehearsed but was merely a pro forma remount of a hit from the past. The second, far more successful...
| Dec 28, 2010
Long before she became an '80s funk-pop infanta, or Rick James' protégé and lover, Teena Marie was a Motown-enamored schoolgirl in one of L.A.'s last historic black enclaves.
The singer-songwriter, who died Sunday at her Pasadena home at age 54, grew...
| May 15, 2012
As the bass player on dozens of the most soulful hits in the history of pop music, Donald "Duck" Dunn often found himself out on the road playing to fans who had assumed he was black like the stars he supported, notably Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett and...
| Aug 28, 2011
When Berry Gordy Jr. wanted to borrow $800 from his family to found Motown Records in 1959, he knew that the most formidable resistance would come from his oldest sister, Esther.
"You're 29 years old and what have you done with your life?" his sister...