Friday, September 14, 2007

I've Never Been To Me... Again!

When CHARLENE recorded "I've Never Been To Me" in 1976 she never dreamed that the song would still have a life today. It is one of those rare moments in pop music history where the song just keeps coming back around. Motown/Prodigal released it in 1977, it was a flop. It was later revived by Florida DJ Scott Shannon and went on to become a #1 hit all over the world. It came back around again in 1994 as the opening track in the indie film "The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert". When "Priscilla" was adapted into an Australian stage musical in 2006, CHARLENE performed the classic at the launch party ans all over Aussie TV. The song is also included in the production. Now with talks of the musical coming to the London stage and possibly the US soon after, CHARLENE has recorded a new version which will be released in the UK soon. The new track is a more upbeat take on the classic and features a mega worldwide superstar on the instrumental track. The track and superstar duet partner will be announced soon. Until then... here is a dance version that CHARLENE recorded a few years ago. ENJOY!

Thursday, July 26, 2007


Enjoy this rare demo of "I've Never Been To Me" with the male lyric.

RON MILLER - songwriting legend passes on

Motown songwriter/producer Ron Miller has passed away. Born in Chicago, Ron was discovered by Motown founder Berry Gordy while playing piano in a bar. Ron's songs have been recorded by Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder, Celine Dion, and Gladys Knight, to name a few.
Ron's greatest muse in music was his relationship with singer/songwriter Charlene. Ron produced the majority of Charlene's work for Motown & Prodigal Records. Together with Ken Hirsch, Ron wrote Charlene's #1 International hit "I've Never Been To Me" as well as her historic duet with Stevie Wonder "Used To Be".
Rest in peace Ron.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

DAWN SEARS - Country Royalty

I spent alot of time today listening to one of my favorite country female vocalists... DAWN SEARS.
While not a household name yet, she sure should be!
Dawn began her career with Warner Brothers Records with the single "San Antone", followed by her debut album, "What A Woman Wants To Hear". Released in 1991 this was an awesome debut for the country girl from Minnesota. Every track is pure country. Sadly, "San Antone" didn't fair well at radio so it was not included on the album. The next single "Good Goodbye" made a splash with a fun video. "He's In Dallas" is a stellar performance of a classic song that was later covered by Reba McEntire & Linda Davis. Other standout tracks include "Old-Fashioned Broken Heart", "Odds and Ends", and the title track. Dawn left Warner Brothers after only one album.
Dawn was the first signing to the newly resurrected Decca Nashville label in 1994. The liner notes she writes for "Nothin' But Good" say it all... "What you hear is straight from my heart, What you see is nothin' fancy.. well, except for my hair. I dye it to color the gray! Thank God for Clairol! Other than that, I'm just like anyone else. The folks at DECCA have let me be me on this album and I thank them for that. I'm really proud of it." With the release of this album I first had the chance to meet Dawn. What a super lady! Her years between Warners & Decca were spent touring with Nashville legend Vince Gill. She continued to tour with Vince and had a featured spot in his show to showcase her album. Again this album is pure country. She really didn't sound like the other cookie cutter females emerging from Nashville. "Runaway Train" was the 1st single and was accompanied by a rockin' video. Decca next chose "Nothin' But Good" to release for a follow up single. Neither single charted very high and another excellent album was overlooked. "Little Orphan Annie" will break your heart, a self penned track about the loss of her parents.
Once again Dawn was without a label but she continued to tour with Vince Gill. She was signed to a off shoot of A&M Records Nashville but the label closed before she released any material. It seemed like the world would never get to know just what they were missing by not hearing Dawn Sears sing. Dawn & husband Kenny also became parents and began working together with the group The Time Jumpers.
Then out of nowhere.... Dawn launched a website and released a new CD on her own! Simply tiltled "Dawn Sears", this is her BEST project yet! Highlights include a duet with Country Legend Connie Smith, "Unmitigated Gall", "My Ears Should Burn(When Fools Are Talked About)", "No Place To Fall" and "The Lonely In Me".
Dawn's first 2 albums are out of print but can often be found on e-Bay. "Dawn Sears" is available on cdbaby and can also be downloaded on iTunes. If you enjoy good country music, check these albums out.

Monday, July 23, 2007

How did you get here? DEBORAH COX is back!

If you know me, then you know Deborah Cox. I have been singing her praises for years. Deborah began her recording career at Arista Records where she lived in the shadow of Whitney Houston much too long. She did release her excellent album "One Wish" with Arista and had the global smash single "Nobody's Supposed To Be Here". Deborah and her producers have always chosen some great songs for her recording projects. Arista and her future home J Records just couldn't market her without the Whitney comparisons, which is sad because Deborah's albums and singles were usually much better than what Whitney was putting out at the time. The nail in the coffin was the Diva duet with Whitney, "Same Script, Different Cast". A monumental pairing of 2 of the best voices in pop & urban music. The track was fierce and way over the top but it did nothing to help Deborah further her career.

Not surprisingly, the only place that Deborah could do no wrong was on the dance floor. With Hex Hector at the table, Deborah's saucy R&B tracks became dance floor anthems. Deborah also tackled acting, most notably on the Broadway stage in the Disney produced "Aida". Deborah's recording career sat in limbo after her last album "The Morning After" failed to ignite. But you guessed it... (or I told you in the header)... DEBORAH COX is back!!!

Deborah has just released a brand new JAZZ album on Decca Records. "Destination Moon" is a heartfelt tribute to Jazz legend Dinah Washington. Let me tell you now... this girl has the pipes to pull this off! The entire disc is great from beginning to end. The best part of Deborah's approach to the songs of a legend, she doesn't try to copy Dinah but she does capture her spirit. Standout tracks include "What A Difference A Day Made", "This Bitter Earth", "I Don't Hurt Anymore", and the beautiful closing "Look To The Rainbow". You owe it to yourself to hear this CD, Deborah is a female vocalist in her prime!

DEBORAH COX tracks to Download: Hurt So Much, Something Happened On The Way To Heaven (ballad version), Nobody's Supposed To Be Here (Hex Hector Mix), Same Script, Different Cast (w/ Whitney Houston), Easy As Life (from "Aida"), and the DESTINATION MOON cd.