Gather, Socialise, Celebrate—It’s All Part of Your Wellness Holiday
At BodyHoliday, wellness is something to be enjoyed. Whether you are travelling alone, as a couple, or group of friends, we’ve created a vibrant, welcoming atmosphere conducive to strengthening existing relationships and forging meaningful new ones. Throughout our beachfront resort, you’ll find an amazing spirit of camaraderie and inviting meeting places to connect and spend memorable quality time on your rejuvenating getaway in Saint Lucia.
The Clubhouse Bar
Welcome to our vibrant centre of life at BodyHoliday. The Clubhouse Bar is a place to be social, to dance to live entertainment and a brilliant cocktail bar and location of our air-conditioned library and games room. It features a custom designed 360 bar perfect for conversation, divine sunsets, and easy-viewing of the nightly live entertainment. Our bartenders are experts at crafting irresistible cocktails and can be persuaded to show you how to make the perfect ‘Clubhouse Delight’ cocktail. There is always a range of non-alcoholic cocktails on offer, and we always use fresh island produce.
View Cocktail List (It’s always being updated)
*Open from 10:00 am to midnight.
The Piano Bar
Our beautiful air-conditioned Piano Bar provides the perfect meeting place before dinner and doesn’t close until the last guests leave for the night. Bring your day to an end or your evening to a start in this comfortable and relaxing nightspot, beautifully decorated with cane furnishings and antique pieces and featuring a grand piano. Guests gather around the Piano, the songbooks come out, and the atmosphere is lively and sociable. Our friendly Piano Bar staff serve all your favourite drinks and a few concoctions you have never heard of before. Don’t miss out on our special Martini Menu, which features infused local fruits such as Sorrel, Tamarind, and Soursop.
*The Piano Bar dress code is elegantly casual.
Clubhouse Entertainment & Playlists
The Clubhouse features a nightly entertainment programme from 9:30 pm, where our in-house DJs also play a wide selection of music.
A Night at The Theatre
Your tickets are bought your seats are taken, the lights go down and you are ready to be entertained. The well-rehearsed talented actors, singers and dancers await backstage for their moment in the spotlight, last call is given, the audience settles and there is quiet. The lights go up, the scene is set, the orchestra starts to play the overture, it is show time!
Song 1. “Aquarius”, ‘Hair’: Special Anniversary Edition (Remastered Original Cast Recording) first recorded in 1979 Composed by Galt MacDermot.
‘Hair’ debuted off-Broadway in 1967 and would open in other theatre’s across New York and then open on Broadway in 1968. There were productions that would be performed in the UK and across Europe to mix reviews. The Broadway cast album has sold 3 million to date and that does not include cast albums from other productions of the show around the world. Some of the songs off the album became top ten hits. ‘Hair’ is the story about the long haired hippy culture in the 1960’s.
Song 2. “Everything’s Alright” ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ (Remastered) 2012 performed by Andrew Lloyd Webber, Yvonne Elliman & Ian Gillan.
The Original Studio Cast (1970). Composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber & Tim Rice.
In the production, Mary Magdalene sings this song to Jesus as she soothes and calms him with her singing which helps him sleep after a day of intense events… ’The story is loosely based on the Gospel’ accounts of the last week of Jesus’s life, beginning with the preparation for the arrival of Jesus and his disciples in Jerusalem and ending with the crucifixion. It depicts political and interpersonal struggles between Judas Iscariot and Jesus that are not present in the Bible.’ The story is taken from the oldest books, depicted on stage and film and in 1980 had grossed $237 million worldwide, an old story but a good one.
Song 3.“Maybe This Time” ‘Cabaret’ (Original Soundtrack) performed by Liza Minnelli.
This song was originally written for American actress Kaye Ballard by the famous writing duo Kander and Ebb. Minnelli had auditions for the stage musical but failed to get the part. She had already recorded the song for her debut album in 1964. Minnelli won the role for the film version and “Maybe This Time” would be included in the 1972 film Cabaret with Liza Minnelli’s character Sally Bowles singing the song. It has become an anthem over the years, sung by many singers but this version seems to have held up the test of time with Minnelli’s desperate vocals, hoping this time its true love.
Song 4.“All That Jazz” ‘Chita Rivera & Chicago Ensemble’, ‘Chicago’:
A Musical Vaudeville (Original Broadway Cast Recording) 1996.
Composed by John Kander and Lyrics by Fred Ebb. “Set in Chicago in the jazz age, the musical is based on a 1926 play of the same name by reporter Maurine Dallas Watkins, about actual criminals and the crimes on which she reported. The story is a satire on corruption in the administration of criminal justice and the concept of the “celebrity criminal”.
In the 1975 production, Bob Fosse, the brilliant choreographer chose the best dancers, actresses and singers for the roles. His work was strong and sassy which became its brand for the show. Chita Rivera had all those qualities and was chosen for the role. She has had an extraordinary career on stage, working with some of the greats such as Judy Garland and Dike Van Dyke. She has performed in films – her most memorable role in West Side Story singing one of the highlight songs in the movie ‘America’ and in Sweet Charity, she performs in the ‘Big Spender’ song and dance routine. She is a true venture, especially in Musical Theatre. She had been nominated 10 times for featured Actress in a Musical or Best Actress and received four Tony Awards. In 2009 Barack Obama presented her with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. 2017 the Astaire Awards was re-named the Chita Rivera Award for Dance and Choreography.
Song 5. “Memory” Highlights from ‘Cats’ (1981 Original London Cast) Performed by Elaine Paige, Composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Lyrics by Trevor Nunn.
The show is based upon the poems by T.S. Eliot, ‘Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats’ Written in 1939. The character ‘Grizabella’ is the one-time glamorous cat and a shadow of her former self who has hit hard times, performed here by Elaine Paige from the original West End production. “Memory” is the climax of the musical and by far its best-known song, having achieved mainstream success outside of the musical. According to musicologist Jessica Sternfeld, it is “by some estimations the most successful song ever from a musical.” In 1982 the song achieved an Ivor Novello award for Best Song Musically and Lyrically. Cats has become one of the longest running shows in the West End with 8,949 performances and in total of a 21-year run and on Broadway for 18 years. A film adaptation of Cats released in 2019 will bring more fans to its long running success.
Song 6. “Circle of Life” Disney Characters, Faca Kulu, Lebo M & Tsidii Le Loka. ‘The Lion King’ (Original Broadway Cast Recording) Composed by Elton John & Tim Rice released in 1997.
The musical is based upon the Walt Disney animation released in 1994.
Over 100 million people worldwide have seen the musical and it has earned numerous awards and honors, including six Tony Awards, one for Best Musical and Best Direction of a Musical, making director Julie Taymor the first woman to earn such an honor.
I would hate to give too much away about the stage production but the moment you first see the animals emerge is a moment of absolute wonder and magic.
Song 7. “The Music of the Night” performed by Michael Crawford, ‘The Phantom of the Opera’ (Original London Cast) Composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Charles Hart released in 1997.
The 1986 West End musical is based upon a book by the same name written in 1910 by novelist Gaston Leoux. “Its central plot revolves around a beautiful soprano, Christine Daaé, who becomes the obsession of a mysterious, disfigured musical genius living in the subterranean labyrinth beneath the Paris Opéra House”.
Michael Crawford is well known in the UK as a comedian and is famous for creating the character ‘Frank Spencer’ from the sitcom ‘Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em’. With his performance on this song and his role in the musical proves that he is more than a funny man but a serious vocalist and actor who has received many accolades for his performance in Phantom, a Tony Award for the Best Actor in a Musical and the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actor in a musical. A stunning performance here by Crawford.
Song 8 “Seasons of Love” taken from the musical ‘Rent’ (Original Broadway Cast Recording) performed by Anthony Rapp, Adam Pascal, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Jesse L. Martin, Wilson Jermaine Heredia, Idina Menzel, Fredi Walker, Taye Diggs, Gwen Stewart & Byron Utley. Written and composed by Jonathan Larson.
“The song is performed by the entire cast in the musical and in the 2005 film of the same name. The lyrics ask what the proper way is to quantify the value of a year in human life, concluding in the chorus that the most effective means is to “measure in love”. Since four of the lead characters either have HIV or AIDS, the song is often associated with World AIDS Day and AIDS awareness month.”
The musical is written by Jonathan Larson and loosely based upon Giacomo Puccini’s 1896 opera La Bohéme. It tells the story of out of work struggling artists living in the East Village in Lower Manhattan, New York, being faced with losing friends to the HIV and AIDS. Despite the topic the musical is an uplifting celebration of life and love. Rent was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and Tony award for Best Musical and has become the longest running show on Broadway.
Interval “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” ‘The Lion King’ (Original Broadway Cast Recording) Composed by Elton John & Tim Rice, performed by Lebo M.
Song 9.“And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going” ‘Dreamgirls’ (Original Broadway Cast Album – 1982) performed here by the phenomenal Jennifer Holliday. This torch song is written by Tom Even and Henry Kriegar.
“In the context of the musical, “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going” is sung by the character Effie White, a singer with the girl group The Dreams, to her manager, Curtis Taylor Jr., whose romantic and professional relationship with Effie is ending. She refuses to let Curtis leave her behind, and boldly proclaims to him, “I’m staying and you … you’re gonna love me.” Without a doubt you really understand Effie’s defiance for not leaving – it’s a powerful performance. Jennifer Holliday received a Grammy Award for her performance in the original Dreamgirls Broadway production in 1982 as well as a Tony Award in the same year.
The singer actress Jennifer Hudson would take on the role in the 2006 film adaptation of Dreamgirls and win an Oscar for her performance and would later perform the song at the BET Awards show with Jennifer Holliday and received a standing ovation. The YouTube video of the performance has been viewed 900,000 time as of 2011, which means by now it must have been viewed many more times over.
Song 10. “Tell Me It’s Not True” ‘Blood Brothers’ performed here by Michael Ball written and composed by Willy Russell
“The story is a contemporary nature versus nurture plot, revolving around fraternal twins Mickey and Eddie, who were separated at birth, one subsequently being raised in a wealthy family, the other in a poor family. The different environments take the twins to opposite ends of the social spectrum, one becoming a councillor, and the other unemployed and in prison. They both fall in love with the same girl, causing a rift in their friendship and leading to the tragic death of both brothers. Russell says that his work was based on a one-act play that he read as a child “about two babies switched at birth – it became the seed for Blood Brothers.”
Writer Willy Russell is responsible for some successful and enjoyable work for example, educating Rita, Shirley Valentine and The Beatles’ musical ‘John, Paul, George, Ringo … and Bert’. It premiered in Liverpool at the Everyman Theatre and transferred to the Lyric Theatre in the West End in 1974. Russell gained much success for his Blood Brothers Musical and received many awards including a Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Musical.
Song 11. “The Last Night of the World” performed by Lea Salonga & Simon Bowman. ‘Miss Saigon’ (Original London Cast Recording) written by Alain Boublil, Richard Maltby Jr. & Claude-Michel Schöneberg.
The musical is based upon the classic opera, Madame Butterfly created in 1904 by Giacome Puccini. It tells the story of an Asian woman who is abandoned by her American lover, set in 1970’s Saigon during the Vietnam War. The writers of this musical are also responsible for the hit musical ‘Les Misérables’. “As of July 2019, Miss Saigon remains Broadway’s thirteenth longest running show”. The set for the show is extraordinary, with lots of moving parts and sound effects that keep you excited in your seat. In the original production in 1989, actor Jonathan Pryce won a Laurence Olivier award for Best Actor in a Musical and in 1991 Lea Salonga won a Tony Award for Best Leading Actress. The show closed at the Theatre Royal, London after 4,092 performances in 1999. If it every comes to a theatre near you it’s worth an evening out to the theatre.
Song 12. “Bring Him Home” This heartfelt song is taken from the musical ‘Les Misérables’ – Original 1985 London Cast Recording. Sung here by Colm Wilkinson.
This stunning musical I adapted from the French Poet and Novelist Victor Hugo’s 1862 novel by the same name. With music by Claude-Michel Schönberg and English Lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer, direction by Robert Hossein and the English adaptation by the producer Cameron Mackintosh was a recipe for an extraordinary hit musical.
“Set in early 19th century France, Les Misérables is the story of Jean Valijean, a French peasant, and his desire for redemption after serving nineteen years in jail for having stolen a loaf of bread for his sister’s starving child. Valjean decides to break his parole and start his life anew after a bishop inspires him by a tremendous act of mercy, but he is relentlessly tracked down by a police inspector named Javert. Along the way, Valjean and a slew of characters are swept into a revolutionary period in France, where a group of young idealists attempt to overthrow the government at a street barricade in Paris”
This song is sung by the character Jean Valjean, it is a tender moment in this vibrant passionate musical. The reviews for the show were not always complimentary. At the opening of the London production, The Sunday Telegraph’s Francis King described the musical as “a lurid Victorian melodrama produced with Victorian lavishness”. The three-month engagement sold out, and reviews improved. The original London production ran from October 1985 to July 2019, playing over 13,000 performances and making it the second longest-running musical in the world” It’s fantastic that the show proved the critics wrong!
Song 13.“Wait for It” taken from the musical ‘Hamilton’ performed by Leslie Odom, Jr. & Original Broadway Cast recording written by the talented Lin-Manuel Miranda.
The cast album spent 10 weeks top of the Billboard rap album charts in 2015.
“Miranda said he was inspired to write the musical after reading the 2004 biography of Alexander Hamilton by Ron Cheron. The show draws heavily from hip-hop, as well as R&B, pop, soul, and traditional style show tunes, and casts non-white actors as the Founding Fathers and other historical figures. Miranda described Hamilton as about “America then, as told by America now”.
Alexander Hamilton was instrumental in promoting the U.S. Constitution and responsible for the financial system, Hamilton became the first Secretary of the Treasury. Lin-Manuels Miranda’s musical highlights Hamilton’s life and career, from an orphaned immigrant from Nevis in the Caribbean to rising up the ladder in the United States.
The stage show has received numerous awards across the board with 11 Tony Awards.
Song 14. “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” performed here by Michael McGrath, Todd Ellison, Tim Curry & Ensemble. ‘Spamalot’ (Original Broadway Cast) 2005. Composed by Eric Idle.
The song was originally featured in the 1979 film Monty Python’s Life of Brian and Idle performed the song at the 2012 Summer Olympics closing ceremony which I am sure the whole stadium sang along to it. The musical has received three Tony Awards with many nominations. In the initial run of the show in 2005 with a total of 1,575 performances which equated to an audience of two million people, that’s a lot of happy theatre goers.
Before the show begins you hear Eric Idle giving warning from the auditorium speakers to turn off your mobile phones but if it should ring “be aware there are heavily armed knights on stage that may drag you on stage and impale you.” Be warned.
Track list created by Pepsi Demacque-Crockett. Details compiled from various online references including Wikipedia.
Pepsi was part of the UK 80’s pop scene, a member of “Wham!” and half of the duo “Pepsi and Shirlie”. She later graced the stage in several Musical theatre productions in the UK and performed across Europe with Mike Oldfield on his Millennial Bell European Tour. She now lives in St Lucia with her husband James & dog Shabby where she is a marriage officer and writer.
Bob Marley, the Wailers and the Marley Family
Bob Marley & the Wailers started their music career as a Ska band 1963. Their first big Jamaican chart hit was with the track ‘Simmer Down’ accompanied by a backing band – The Skatalites. Bob Marley was on vocals and original band members Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer eventually learned to play their own instruments and by the beginning of the 1970’s the band was ready to take on the world.
In 1973 Bob Marley & The Wailers toured the UK and the USA as their popularity grew exponentially. While in England they performed on The Old Grey Whistle Test, the popular BBC music show. This was the first Reggae band to be featured on the Rock focused show. Their performance has been named by the influential and well-respected music magazine NME (New Musical Express) as one of the most ‘unforgettable’ moments of the shows 17-year run (1971-1988). Songs performed where Stir it Up and Concrete Jungle. Catch a Fire is referred by critics “as one of the biggest selling reggae albums of all time”.
‘The song’s lyrics deal with political injustice towards blacks and poverty, as is the case in many of their albums. Catch a Fire is about “the current state of urban poverty,” and “Slave Driver – connects the present to past injustices.” But politics are not the main theme; “Stir it Up”, for example, is a love song.’ And the songs and lyrics still resonate today and carry the torch of the one love philosophy.
“Don’t Rock My Boat” composed by Bob Marley taken from the ‘Small Axe: The UK Upsetter Recordings 1970 to 1972’ album released in 2010.
Performed by Bob Marley and Wailers and produced by Lee “Scratch” Perry the brilliant and eccentric Jamaican producer. The Upsetters was the in-House band he used for his studio sessions. The alliance between Perry, Marley and the Wailers only lasted a year creating some great tracks and are said to be their finest work.
“Stir It Up” (Jamaican Version) released in 1973 and a track on the ‘Catch a Fire’ Album.
“Stir It Up was composed by Marley in 1967 but it was the African-American singer Johnny Nash that made it a hit. It was a track on number one selling album ‘I Can See Clearly Now’. The single by the same name reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 on November 4, 1972. Marley had four original tracks on the album “Guava Jelly”, “Comma Comma”, “You Poured Sugar on Me”, and the follow-up hit “Stir It Up”. This was one of the tracks performed on the Old Gray Whistle Test show in London that was the start of their popularity around the world.
“Concrete Jungle” (Jamaican Version) another track taken from the hit album ‘Catch a Fire’.
This track was the first single taken off the album released in 1973. It took reggae music out of the Jamaican dancehalls to the international stage, embarking on a tour. ‘The song’s lyrics deal with political injustice towards blacks and poverty, as is the case in many of their albums. Catch a Fire is about “the current state of urban poverty,” and “Slave Driver” – “connects the present to past injustices.”
“Legalize It” written and sung here by original Wailers’ band member Peter Tosh released in 1976 and taken from the album of the same name.
There was an attempt to release the track a year earlier in Jamaica, but it was banned however it got the attention of the worldwide media and who Tosh’s song International fame.
In 1974 Peter Tosh and other band member, Bunny Wailer refused to play certain venues which they referred to as ‘Freak shows’ as they felt they would be defying their Rastafarian faith if they continued to play in such venues. This did not discourage Marley, however, who continued to perform as Bob Marley and the Wailers fronting the band as lead guitarist and vocalist. There was a new line of musicians as well as the female backing group ‘The I Threes’ which comprised of Bob Marley’s wife Rita Marley, Judy Mowatt and Marcia Griffiths.
“All You Got” by Ziggy Marley and the Melodie Makers taken from their 1989 album ‘One Bright Day’. This is the fourth album from the group of Bob Marleys children and it receive a Grammy award for Best Reggae Album in 1990.
Band members Sharon, Cedella, Stephen and Ziggy Marley formed the band in 1979 following the footsteps of their father Bob, who encouraged the grouping, but it was only after his death they accomplished their father’s desire. Their aim was to write conscious lyrics that bought people together, keeping the one love philosophy alive. “Jo-Ann Greene of All Music Guide stated, “The Melody Makers had a breezy pop style, and while it was impossible not to hear Bob in Ziggy’s vocals, this only emphasized the incredible emotional qualities of his own voice.
“Small Axe” by the ‘The Wailers’ released in 1973 taken form the ‘Burnin’ album.
This was the bands sixth studio album and produced by Chris Blackwell. Blackwell was the founder of Island Records which the band was signed too.
Blackwell was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001 and is referred to as the ‘man who bought reggae music to the world’. Chris Blackwell was born in Westminster, London in 1937 and his father Joseph is a family member of the Crosse and Blackwell brand. His mother was a Jamaican heiress born in Costa Rica. They moved to Jamaica after his birth, but they would divorce when he 12 years. He spent his early years in Jamaica but returned to the UK for schooling at Harrow. He left school to pursue different careers, but it was managing jukeboxes which would take him up and down the country meeting the Jamaican music community that inspired him. He would pursue other work, but it would lead to nothing meaningful. He then began to license music master tapes from Jamaica and on one of the tapes was the fifteen-year-old Millie Small. He brought her over to England and produced and release her 1956 hit “My Boy Lollypop” it sold six million records worldwide and it launched island Records.
“Turn Your Lights Down Low” written by Minnie Riperton & Richard James Rudolph taken from the ‘Chant Down Babylon’ album released in 1999 featuring original vocals from Bob Marley, remixed and featuring an array of artists from the rock, pop and hip-hop world.
The song’s original version is on the Bob Marley and the Wailers Exodus album released in 1977.
On this track we have singer and song writer Lauryn Hill duetting with Bob. She was in a relationship at the time with Bob Marley’s son Rohan Marley – they have 5 children. Rohan was a professional footballer for a while, playing in the Canadian Football League with the Ottawa Rough Riders but would later take on the role of entrepreneur and in 2009 he became co-founder of the Marley Coffee company producing sustainable organic coffee from a farm in Jamaica’s Blue Mountain. He would also develop the ‘House of Marley’ range of ecofriendly headphones. He helps to run family charitable organisation called 1Love ,as well as the Tuff Gong Clothing company. Rohan is making waves out of the recording studio and bringing success to the Marley family in corporate world.
“Bend Down Low” taken from the ‘Natty Dread’ album released in 1974.
This would be the first recording without Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer. ‘Natty Dread is a spiritually charged political and social statement.’ Without the original members of the band this did not hold Bob Marley back. In fact, he found strength to start producing records that would gain him many more fans around the world. This track is regarded as a ‘smooth seductive track’ with an upbeat feel and with the I Threes backing vocalists consisting of his wife Rita Marley, Judy Mowatt and Marcia Griffiths singing sweetly.
This was not the girls first gig on the music scene. Rita had already started making music in 1964 recording tracks for the Studio One record company that the Wailers were associated with. She recorded duets with Bunny Wailer and with Peter Tosh as well as singing lead in the group called The Soulettes in the 60’s. Marcia Griffith recorded on the same label and had a hit in Jamaica with the ‘Feel Like Jumping’ and Judy Mowatt found fame in Jamaica as lead vocalist for the group The Gaylettes and later did a successful cover of the Dusty Springfield track ‘Son of a Preacher man. ‘The I-Threes released their first album as a group, Beginning, in 1986, and cut the fine Songs of Bob Marley nine years later, by which time they had removed the plural from their name as an expression of unity: they were I Three, one and all.’
“I Shot the Sheriff” another track taken from the 1974 ‘Burnin’ album.
Bob Marley wanted to use other lyrics for the song, “I want to say ‘I shot the police’ but the government would have made a fuss so I said ‘I shot the sheriff’ instead… but it’s the same idea: justice” It was Eric Clapton’s version recorded in 1974 for his album ‘461 Ocean Boulevard’ with its soft rock feel and reggae overtones that got it into the Billboard Hot 100 charts and reached number one and in 2003. It is Clapton’s cover that was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame but we all know which version is the best.
“Waiting In Vain” is one of the most popular songs by Bob Marley and the Wailers, taken from the ‘Exodus’ album released in 1977.
The album was regarded as Marley’s cry for political change in Jamaica. Before the album was conceived there was an attempted assassination on Marley. He took exile in the UK and that’s where Exodus was recorded. ‘The album is split into two halves: the first half revolves around religious politics, while the second half is focused on themes of sex and keeping faith.’ The album became a number one hit in Jamaica as well as England, Germany and in 1999 Time Magazine named it the best album of the 20th century. You may know the featured song but it’s worth getting to know the album it came from – its Marley at his best.
“Who We Are” taken from the ‘Many More Roads’ album, written and performed by
His name is from the East African word meaning “Adventurous Traveller”. In addition to being a performer like his father, he has also competed as an American Footballer and a table tennis champion representing Jamaica. Sports was his first love, but he was encouraged to go into the studio by his brothers. He soon signed a record deal in 1996 called “Like Father, Like Son”. He is performing and standing on his own stage making waves in the charts, he is a Marley brother to look out for.
Bunny Wailer sings “Mellow Mood” written by Bob Marley.
The reason Bunny Wailer left the group in 1973 was because he felt that the band was being asked to perform at ‘Freak shows’ in the United States. He would continue to pursue his own career in the music business reworking some of the Wailers’ songs. The album this song is taken from is called ‘Bunny Wailer Sings the Wailers’ released in 1980. He would also experiment with all forms of music from disco, pop, and dancehall. He is the only living original member of the band and still resided in his country of birth Jamaica, on a farm in St Thomas. In 2012 Bunny Wailer received Jamaica’s highest honour, The Order of Jamaica and in 2019 he was awarded the Pinnacle award in New York from the coalition to Preserve Reggae. From two boys growing up in a village in Jamaica, Marley and Wailer created one of the best-known reggae band in the world and will go down in history. One Love.
“Satisfy My Soul” taken from the ‘Kaya’ Album released in 1978.
This album had mixed reviews and it consisted of tracks on the Exodus album released in 1977.’ The album has a very relaxed, laid back sound, lacking much of the militant quality of the Wailers lyrically and musically. They received criticism for ‘going soft’ because of the general sound of the album, as well as the theme: songs primarily revolving around love, as well as marijuana.’ The album was also released to celebrate his welcome back to Jamaica after his exodus to the UK. His return also coincides with the One Love Peace Concert which he would be performing at. Marley was returning at a time of political civil war; he brought both parties together on stage and got both leaders of opposite sides to join hands in peace. The concert attracted 32,000 spectators who roared with joy at this historical moment. Marley became the reggae star of peace.
This uplifting track is by Julian Marley taken from his album ‘As I Am’, “Family & Friends”.
Julian was born and raised in England surrounded by music. He taught himself to play bass, drums, guitar, and keyboard and at 5 years old he recorded his first demo at the Marley Family home in Jamaica. He honours his family dynasty, “I feel privileged to be part of the musical roots that my father, Bob Marley, laid in England. I look forward to relate the cultural gifts and musical creations that he has bestowed on me.” Julian performed at the 2008 Olympic Games and celebrated with Usain Bolt when he won his gold medal for Jamaica. Julian Marley now lives in Jamaica creating his own path in music close to his friend and Marley Family.
Track list created by Pepsi Demacque-Crockett. Details compiled from various online references including Wikipedia.
Pepsi was part of the UK 80’s pop scene, a member of “Wham!” and half of the duo “Pepsi and Shirlie”. She later graced the stage in several Musical theatre productions in the UK and performed across Europe with Mike Oldfield on his Millennial Bell European Tour. She now lives in St Lucia with her husband James & dog Shabby where she is a marriage officer and writer.
DIVA’S AND THEIR SONGS
What is a Diva, some would say a temperamental entertainer, usually a female singer, who holds a high opinion of themselves? I know, this is putting it lightly. The correct terminology for a Diva is an outstanding artist, someone who can hold the audience in the palm of their hands, a phenomenal talent and an exquisite voice.
Selected on this playlist are ladies you may recognise and some you will hear for the first time. Each female artist has perfected their art and are dedicated to taking to the stage and giving her audience a remarkable performance. I hope you find your personal favourite Diva on this playlist and one you may discover, either way allow these divas a moment to serenade you with a little Prima Donna thrown in.
One of the finest Divas to take to the classical stage is the goddess herself Maria Anna Cecilia Sofia Kalogeropoulos better known as Maria Callas, born in New York to Greek parents in 1923. She passed away in Paris at the age of 53 in 1977. She was a dramatic performer and was in demand across the globe. For years, she struggled with weight issues which may have affected her voice in later years when she decided to keep slenderer. The director of the New York Met would later say that Callas was the most difficult artist he ever worked with. “Because she was so much more intelligent. Other artists, you could get around, but Callas, you could not get around. She knew exactly what she wanted, and why she wanted it.”
She was hailed a style icon and one of the most famous and named ‘La Divina’ to this day. Here she is singing Carmen, Act I: “L’amour est un oiseau rebelle” This opera was written by Georges Bizet and was first performed in Paris in 1875. At the time shocked the audience but now entertains and delights.
There is so much to choose from in the Ella Fitzgerald album catalogue. Her vocals are pure perfection on all her recordings. Here she is singing from the album, ‘Cole Porter Song Book’. This studio album was recorded in 1956 and still sounds fresh today. Her smooth delivery, her understanding of the sentiment of the song and her voice is untainted. It is a pleasure to listen to.
This song was first performed in the Broadway musical ‘Anything Goes’ and goes on to be performed by many artists. This was Ella’s first Album with Verve Records, founded by Norman Granz in 1956. Granz went on to say, “I was interested in how I could enhance Ella’s position, to make her a singer with more than just a cult following amongst jazz fans. So, I proposed to Ella that the first Verve album would not be a jazz project, but rather a song book of the works of Cole Porter”. I think Ella takes this Cole Porter song ‘I Get A Kick Out of You’ and makes it her own. The album is honoured by the Grammys and was rightly inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2000.
Billie Holiday’s ‘That Ole Devil called Love’ is a song written in 1944 by Allan Roberts and Doris Fisher. Holiday recorded this song in 1945 and it was the ‘B’ side to “Lover Man”. History shows us that Billie Holiday was a tortured soul and with every song she sang, she was able to penetrate her life experience into every vocal note. With drugs, alcohol abuse and being mistreated by some of the men in her life, her health deteriorated and she passed away on July 17, 1959. She was 44. Her career spans over 26 years and she was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1973, leaving behind an enormous catalogue of work. ‘Lady Day’ is gone but not forgotten.
The album ‘Nina Simone Sings the Blues’ was released in 1967’ and ‘I Want Some Sugar in My Bowl’ was the 7th track on the album.
The song is based on a track by one of Simone’s great inspirations the mighty Bessie Smith. She did however change the lyrics to make it her own. The album was repackaged in 1991 and reissued in 2006. Nina was an extraordinary artist, classically trained from an early age and went on to create a wonderful collection of songs. She was known to be a temperamental artist; however, she gave her all when performing. Off the stage she was an activist for Civil Rights and would risks fighting the cause. You may not take sugar, but this track is one of Nina’s nice and sweet tracks… Enjoy!
’Your Love Is As Black as The Night’ from the album ‘My One And Only Thrill’ released in 2009.
Melody Gardot had a car accident in 2003 and her way back to recovery was through music therapy. At first, she started to hum and then started writing lyrics. She healed and rediscovered her life through music.
She was discovered playing in clubs and bars in Philadelphia and was encouraged to send her demo tapes to Universal Music who released her first album ‘Worrisome Heart.’ Her vocal style is slick and intimate and this track gives you a sense of hazy late nights.
Anita Baker’s classic ‘Sweet Love’ from her second album ‘Rapture’ released in 1986.
This was Anita’s first big hit and would go onto win her a Grammy Award for Best R&B song in 1987. She started her musical career singing in a funk band. She walked away from the music industry and worked as a waitress but was rediscovered and encouraged to go solo. Her album ‘The Songstress’ was released in 1983 but unfortunately, there were record company squabbles regarding royalties, It took two years to settle the dispute. She went into the studio again in 1985 and created this gem of a song.
I was fortunate to have seen her perform at Wembley Stadium and it was a performance I will never forget. She commanded the stage with such grace and ease that I felt I was in the presence of one of the great Diva’s.
No Diva playlist is complete without the ‘Queen of Soul’ herself Aretha Franklin. Aretha Louise Franklin started singing gospel in church. Her father was a minister and at 18 he gave her his blessing to become a recording artist. Aretha’s voice became a symbol of black pride in the sixties and helped to bring black music to a new audience. The co-founder of Atlantic Records, Ahmet Ertegun, says of Aretha, “I don’t think there’s anybody I have known who possesses an instrument like hers and who has such a thorough background in gospel, the blues and the essential black-music idiom…the result is maybe the greatest singer of our time.” This track ‘Spanish Harlem’ has been covered by many artists, but I am confident to say this is the best version.
It’s the Academy awards in 1997 and Celine Dion performs 3 songs and one of them is ‘I Finally Found Someone’ from the movie ‘The Mirror Has Two faces’ originally sang by Barbra Streisand and Brian Adams. Barbra Striesand also stars in the movie. A few days later after Celine’s performance she receives this note from Streisand “I watched the tape afterwards, you sang my song beautifully and I regret I wasn’t in the room to hear you, next time let’s make one together. I really wish your song would have won, you are a wonderful singer”. The opportunity was taken and ‘Tell Him’ was born. Two Diva’s on one record is a double treat.
‘If I Was A Boy’ was written by BC Jean and Toby Gad. Inspiration for a song comes in many ways, even by eating pizza. “One day Jean and Gad visited a pizzeria in Times Square in New York City. Although tempted, Jean refrained from eating pizza because she was dieting. She then thought that if she were a boy, she would have eaten without regret. After reflecting on the idea, she concluded that she would have been a better man than her past lover. Gad captured Jean’s ideas on a pocket recorder, and they went to the studio the same day. Once there, she wrote the lyrics and melody in about 15 minutes. She then recorded the song in less than half an hour, with Gad on the guitar.” And with the diva Beyonce giving an emotive vocal touch to the track, it gets played on every radio station around the world and becomes a hit. I’m sure the writers have no regrets eating pizza.
Sweetly sung by Witney Houston ‘Exhale’ (Shoop Shoop) released in 1985 and is featured on the soundtrack for the movie ‘Waiting to Exhale’ staring Witney Houston and Angela Basset.
The movie is based on a novel by Terry McMillian and there is talk about a sequel based on another one of McMillian’s books ‘Getting to Be Happy.’
Witney Houston was mentored by Clive Davis, chairman of Arista Records from the age of 19 and later becomes recognised by the Guinness Book Of Records as one of the “most awarded artists of all time”. Witney Houston died in 2012 leaving behind a legacy of music any soul Diva would be proud of.
Lianne La Haves was born in London and raised by her Greek father and Jamaican mother. It was her parents’ diverse tastes in music that inspired her to pick up the guitar and learn to play. She wrote her first song at 11 and continues to do so. She was a backing singer for English singer and song writer Paloma Faith. Prince became a big fan of hers and in the press, she was named his ‘Protégée’. She also supported Cold Play on their 2016 tour. ‘Bittersweet’ is taken from the self-titled album ‘Lianne La Haves’ released in 2020 after a five year hiatus. Lianne is an artist to look out for if you haven’t heard of her already, a Diva in the making in the best possible way.
Eva Cassidy’s ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ taken from her ‘Songbird’ album released in 1998, two years after her death in 1996. ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ was made famous by Judy Garland and taken from the 1939 movie ‘The Wizard of Oz’.
After Eva’s death Folk singer Grace Griffith sent a copy of a 5-track album to Bill Shaw, head of Blix Street Records in the US. Music was released but it took two years before it was discovered. “The song becomes a big hit in the UK after being played on Terry Wogan radio morning show, ‘Wake Up to Wogan’, which made it an overnight success and heard around the world.”
Eva does a beautiful rendition of this song. Her voice just shines through over the rainbow and beyond.
‘Cry Me A River’ was made famous by Julie London 1955 and this cover version sung by the fabulous Dame Shirley Bassey.
The song was written by Arthur Hamilton for Ella Fitzgerald to sing in the musical crime movie ‘Pete Kelly’s Blues’. Julie London and Hamilton were school mates and London’s husband, Jack Webb, the director of the movie was looking for songs for the soundtrack, but it didn’t make the cut. Ella did do a version of it for another movie called ‘Clap Hands, Here Comes Charlie’ but it was Julie London who took the song into the chart success. This is Bassey’s take on the song, giving it her Diva signature powerful vocals.
‘Vision of Love’ written by Mariah Carey and Ben Margulies was the debut song for Mariah Carey and the introduction to the world stage in 1990, taken from the album ‘Mariah Carey’. The song stayed in the Billboard charts at number one for 4 weeks and was climbing and staying at the top of the charts globally. The song was nominated for three Grammy awards in 1991 with numerous awards to follow. This song marks the beginning of an incredible career for Carey.
She is “high-maintenance” diva – and she’s not ashamed to admit it. One of her requests “Do not speak to Mariah the day before a performance. She cannot under any circumstances speak ahead of performing. If anyone wants to communicate with her, they have to do so through writing or sign language so that she can preserve her voice.”
You must agree that hitting those high notes takes practice and has earned her the reputation as the ultimate Diva.
Lady Gaga sings ‘La Vie En Rose’ which was made famous by the French Diva, cabaret singer Édith Piaf, she was the lyricist of the song and sung it in her formidable style.
Here is Ms. Gaga singing the song on the ‘A Star Is Born’ soundtrack released in 2018. There are many Divas who have given their rendition of the song, for example Grace Jones, Donna Summer, Celine Dion and even some of guys have given their own version for example Bill Crosby, Louis Armstrong, Dean Martin and even Iggy Pop to name a few.
Lady Gaga takes the song and makes it her own in the movie, she sings the song in a bar scene, everyone watches mesmerised by her performance, as well as Bradly Cooper who is her love interest. In the movie she starts to sing, and he can see she is a star in the making. He takes on stage with him and his audience loves her. It’s a wonderful performance by Lady Gaga, it shows her versatility as a true pop Diva.
Christina Aguilera sings ‘Keep On Singing My Song’ released on the ‘Stripped’ album in 2002.
Aguilera has a voice that holds no bounds her vocal range is unlimited. Celine Dion gave homage to her when she said, “Without a doubt Christina Aguilera is one of the most talented artist the world has ever seen and heard, and I think she’s going to continue to amaze us for many, many years to come”. On this track she truly proves that and when she sings the lyric “But I I’m gonna carry on, I’ll keep on singing my song” You truly believe it, her vocals are the embodiment of Divadom.
Track list created by Pepsi Demacque-Crockett. Details compiled from various online references including Wikipedia.
Pepsi was part of the UK 80’s pop scene, a member of “Wham!” and half of the duo “Pepsi and Shirlie”. She later graced the stage in several Musical theatre productions in the UK and performed across Europe with Mike Oldfield on his Millennial Bell European Tour. She now lives in St Lucia with her husband James & dog Shabby where she is a marriage officer and writer.
Influenced by the Blues
The Blues originates from the Deep South of America, rooted in the soil worked by African-American slaves. The rhythm and repetitive beat would summon forth the spiritual song; the work-song in the cotton fields and would later become the freedom song but still steeped in the pain of racial discrimination and categorised as Mississippi or Delta Blues.
With the migration of the field workers to the industrial heartlands of the northern states around Chicago, Michigan and Detroit, a more robust amplified sound evolved. These electrified blues became known as the Chicago Blues.
The rhythm of the blues resonates in all forms of music and undoubtedly without it, there would not have been rock & roll and all that followed it. The Blues has inspired artist across the globe from the likes of Elvis Presley, The Rolling Stones, Chuck Berry, The Beatles, Jimi Hendricks and Led Zeppelin and the list goes on.
Gertrude Pridgett professionally known as Ma Rainey born April 1886 in Columbus, Georgia, bought her southern blues style to the American vaudeville scene and would entertain the crowd with her ballsy risky lyrics and her sassy tone with the Rabbit Foot Minstrels Show. She was suitably titled ‘The Mother of the Blues’. Along with her husband Will Rainey she later formed the band Rainey and Rainey, Assassinators of the Blues.
Her first recording in 1923 was the song “Bo-Weevil Blues”. This was one of over 100 recordings she made across her career. She would return to Georgia to run her own theatres and would later be honoured in the Blues Foundations Hall of Fame. Her story has been depicted on Broadway by Whoopi Goldberg and more recently dramatised in an upcoming Netflix production with Viola Davis in the starring role. Ma Rainey is one of the most influential female blues singers of all time, inspiring many of the artists on this playlist. ‘Call Me Anything but Call Me’ is one of her classics.
When talking the blues, respect and recognition must be given to Willie Dixon for writing some of the most popular Blues songs that we know and love. You will know one or more of them even if you are not a blues fan. For instance, how about ‘Little Red Rooster’ made famous by Howlin Wolf, The Rolling Stones and Big Mama Thornton (who is next up on your ‘Influenced by The Blues’, BodyHoliday Teatime playlist). This track was also covered by The Doors and Sam Cooke to name a few. ‘Bring It on Home’ released in 1963 by Sonny Boy Williamson II. Later, it was covered by Led Zeppelin, who did borrow extensively from the Blues genre. They were sued by Willie Dixon for the unrecognised use of his tracks on their albums. Eventually, “In 1987, Dixon reached an out-of-court settlement with Led Zeppelin after suing for plagiarism of his music in ‘Bring it On Home”, and the lyrics from his composition “You Need Love” (1962) in the band’s recording of “Whole Lotta Love”.
“Groanin’ the Blues” released in 1957 by the mighty Otis Reading, ‘I Just Want to Make Love to You’ recorded by Muddy Waters in 1954 are just a few of the blues hits penned by Willie Dixon.
Here, he is sings ‘You Shook Me’ on the 1970 album ‘I am The Blues’, and he sure is!
‘Little Red Rooster’ Written by Howlin’ Wolf and Willie Dixon performed by the Rolling Stones and released in 1964.
The 1961 original recording by Howlin’ Wolf was in the Mississippi Delta Blues style, with its sliding guitar and harmonica, in the tradition of a one-man blues band.
The Rolling Stones famously insisted on Howlin’ Wolf being given a slot on the US show ‘Shindig!’ before they would agree to appear themselves. Wolf’s appearance on the show in 1965 has been described as “one of the greatest cultural moments of the 20th Century” that “built a bridge over a cultural abyss and connected America with its own black culture.” The show constituted “a life-changing moment, both for the American teenagers clustered round the TV in their living rooms, and for a generation of blues performers who had been stuck in a cultural ghetto’. The Rolling Stones, therefore, played an important part in introducing America to their own blues.
One of the ladies of the Blues and Big Mama Thornton’s Hound Dog, first recorded in 1952, written and produced by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller.
Stoller insisted that Big Mama growl on the track and she sure does. Leiber and Stoller also worked with Elvis Presley and were the writers of ‘Jail House Rock’. Elvis goes on to have a hit record with the same song that went on to sell 10 million copies – Thornton earned only $500 from the sales of the song. Big Mama Thornton was not only a vocalist, but she also played the drums and the harmonica and was the songwriter of ‘Ball and Chain’ which Janice Joplin had hit with. Joplin claimed that Thornton had a big influence on her – another hugely popular artist inspired by the Blues.
‘Mystery Train’ written by Junior Parker in 1953 performed here by Elvis Presley and released in 1955 as a B side of the rockabilly country song ‘I forgot to remember to forget’ which was number one on the Billboard country charts in 1956.
Elvis was a versatile singer and could sing many genres of music with the blues being right on top of his list. The rhythm of the record gives you a sense of a train moving on the track, encouraging you to move along with it. Junior Parker worked with the legendary blues artists, Howlin’ Wolf and B.B. King, and in 1951 he formed his own band The Blue Flames, and was discovered by the likes of Turner ( of Ike and Tina Turner fame). In 1953 he signed to the independent record label Sun Records which Elvis Presley was also signed to, as well as Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison and Jerry Lewis. Herman “Junior” Parker in 2001 was inducted into the Mississippi Musicians Hall of Fame, a well-deserved accolade.
The Beatles’ Yer Blues’ (Esta Demo) is taken from the ‘White Album’ a double album originally released in 1968.
Written by John Lennon while in India on a retreat, “Lennon said that, while “trying to reach God and feeling suicidal” in India, he wanted to write a blues song”.
You can hear the melancholy on the track. Paul McCartney claimed that later, the song was recorded in a cupboard at EMI Studio Two’s “annexe”. Another recording on the ‘Dirty Mac’ album features a live version with John Lennon (Vocals), Eric Clapton (lead guitar), Keith Richards (Bass) and Mitch Mitchel (Drums) from The Jimi Hendrix Experience. I personally like the Tamborine that occasionally comes in on this version, listen out for it. Another supergroup influenced by the Blues.
‘Howlin’ for my Darlin’ sung by the extraordinary Howlin’ Wolf. Born in the Mississippi Delta and eventually making his way to Chicago just as many had gone before him.
Wolf and Muddy Waters became rivals carving out their spot in the limelight. Both artists became revered by the likes of the Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin. The bands were heavily influenced by Muddy Waters voice and guitar playing and Howlin’ Wolf with his menacing stage presence, his deep vibrating vocal, harmonica wailing and guitar playing that demanded to be heard. Howlin’ Wolf died in 1976 and his name still lives on as one of the great bluesmen. The Howlin’ Wolf Foundation, based in Illinois, offers Summer scholarships for students interested in perfecting their musicianship and building a strong appreciation for the Blues in honour of this great Bluesman.
“I couldn’t do no yodelin’, so I turned to howlin’. And it’s done me just fine.” Howlin’ Wolf.
No blues playlist is complete until you include Muddy Waters. He is referred to as “The Father of modern Chicago Blues”. His influence resonates through the rock music genre in the songs of many rock and roll greats. Eric Clapton and his band, Cream, covered one of Water’s songs, “Rollin and Tumbling”, whilst Led Zeppelin’s “Whole lotta love” is based on the Waters hit “You Need Love” written by Willie Dixon.
Muddy Waters has left a legacy of 9 live albums, 25 plus compilation albums, 13 Studio albums and 17 collaboration albums.
‘You Need Love’ released in 1963 was penned by Willie Dixon writer of so many blues hits. This is another Muddy Waters song, it is raw, wild and will get your foot tapping for sure. ‘According to Keith Richards, when asked by a journalist for the band’s name, Jones saw a Muddy Waters LP lying on the floor; one of the tracks was “Rollin’ Stone’
Jamesetta Hawkins, professionally known as Etta James, was born in Los Angeles in 1939. Etta started singing at the age of five and her vocal training came from singing in church. Her father was not present in her life whilst her mother paid more attention to her lover of the moment. However, it was her mother who encouraged her to sing. “My mother always told me, even if a song has been done a thousand times, you can still bring something of your own to it. I’d like to think I did that.” Etta James.
When Etta sings, you can hear the hard life she has led, her full-bodied, rich voice pulls at your heartstrings. ‘I’d Rather Go Blind’ is a blues song written by Ellington Jordan and co-credit goes to Billy Foster and Etta James. In 2008 Beyonce depicted Etta James story in the movie Cadillac Records. Unfortunately, Etta slammed Beyonce’s performance from which there was no comment from Beyonce.
Etta would go on to work in many genres like Blues, R&B, Jazz and Gospel leaving behind some memorable music.
With his bending of the guitar strings and the emotion in his voice this song is from the unmistakable B.B. King. Born on a plantation in Itta Bena, Mississippi in 1925. He would purchase his first guitar at the age of 15. As a youngster, he would play his guitar on the streets to make ends meet, with the aspiration to make his way to Memphis. He eventually moved to live with his cousin Bukku White who was a well-known blues musician at the time, with whom BB would gain tutorage, honing and perfecting his craft.
This track, ‘3 O’Clock Blues’, was BB’s 1st hit which sent him on the road with no looking back. Recorded in the ‘coloured YMCA’ in Memphis for RPM records in 1950. It paved the way for his immensely influential career that spanned over six decades. His guitar style would go onto influence Jeff Beck, George Harrison, Stevie Ray Vaughan, U2’s The Edge, and Van Morrison to name but a few.
The American blues-rock band Canned Heat released ‘On The Road Again’ in 1967. The song was based on a track by the Delta Blues musician Tommy Johnson. Johnson has recordings that go way back to the 1920s, he sang with a falsetto voice, which was referred to as eerie and was very unusual for singing the blues. He also inspired the band’s name which was taken from the Johnson song ‘Canned Heat Blues’ released in 1928.
The start of the track has a 60’s psychedelic feel to it, but soon kicks in with a bluesy harmonica and vocals performed by band member Alan Wilson. Canned Heat performed On the Road Again at Woodstock in 1969 and is considered one of the highlights of this famous festival. Check it out!
‘I’m In The Mood for Love’ written by the main Bluesman himself, John Lee Hooker and featuring Bonnie Raitt. This track is taken from the 1989 album ‘The Healer’. This is an excellent recording of two artists appreciating each other in the true ‘call and response’ blues style. Hooker would go onto say “Bonnie had been doin’ it herself on her shows, which I didn’t know until she told me, and she had it down pat. She said ‘I’m gonna do that’n with you, ‘I’m in the Mood’. If I ain’t gonna do ‘I’m in the Mood’ I ain’t gonna do nothin”, I said, ‘Okay, Bonnie, you do it!” Raitt described the recording, in a dimly lit studio, as “one of the highest erotic experiences of my life.” And with that experience the song received one of the highest accolades, winning a Grammy in 1989 for the Best Traditional Blues Recording.
Albert King was named the ‘The Velvet Bulldozer’ due to his 6ft 4in 250lb frame. One of his first jobs involved driving a bulldozer, so his nickname suited him down to the ground. King was one of thirteen children and was born and raised on a cotton plantation in Indianola, Mississippi, where he grew up picking cotton. He made his first guitar out of a cigar box, bush and broom wire. He knew what it was like being “Born Under a Bad Sign” the title of his album released in 1967 on the Stax record label. For a time, he claimed to be BB Kings half-brother but with further investigation, his name was actually found to be Albert Nelson.
King’s success came later in life than most artists being in his mid-40s when releasing Born Under A Bad Sign. The electric blues album failed to make waves on release but over the years respect for the album grew and is now widely considered one of the greatest blues albums of all time. In recognition of this fact Albert King was inducted into the Blues Hall in 1983. He was then posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013. Whilst in 2011, he was ranked number 13 on Rolling Stone Magazines 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time.
Gary Clark Jr. is one of the new and exciting blues artists out there right now. Born in 1984 makes him a youngster on this playlist. His style is a fusion of blues, rock, soul, and hip hop. He has graced the stage with some of the greats such as B.B. King, Jeff Beck, Steve Winwood, Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers & ZZ Top to name a few. In the recording studio he has performed on the Foo Fighters 2014 album “Sonic Highways”. Clark also co-wrote several songs with Alicia Keys and performed on Sheryl Crow’s album ‘100 Miles from Memphis’. Gary Clark Jr. is certainly a musician to look out for. On this song ‘Next Door Neighbour Blues’ taken from his album Black & Blue released in 2012 he takes us back to some old-style, stripped back blues: vocals, guitar and his stomping left foot. This pared-back rhythm keeps the track moving along and you tapping your feet.
John Lee Hooker’s “Things Gonna Change” track, featuring Carlos Santana, appeared on his Chill Out album released in 1995. The album also features collaborations with Van Morrison, blues singer & pianist Charles Brown & singer-songwriter Booker T Jones. The album reached number 3 in the US Blues charts and in 1996 was awarded the Traditional Blues Album of the Year. Hooker and Santana complement each other well on this track. The Latin rock guitar fits the call and response traditional blues style, whilst a cool Latin salsa feel keeps you in the holiday mood!
Joe Cocker’s Black Eye Blues track was taken off his 1972 album. Released as Something to Say in Europe but eponymously titled Joe Cocker in the US. This track showcases Cocker’s distinctive vocals adding a gritty vibrato to anchor the track. Cocker was, in the early part of his career, when playing pubs in his hometown of Sheffield as Vance Arnold and the Avengers, heavily influenced by Ray Charles and Chuck Berry. He later, however, became increasingly enamoured with the blues, especially artists featured on this playlist, Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker and Howlin’ Wolf. Black Eye Blues is undoubtedly a nod of respect to these blues legends. By 1972 when this song was released Cocker had undertaken a self-imposed, almost two-year, hiatus from the music industry. This followed an eight-year rollercoaster of highs and lows that included supporting the Rolling Stones on tour, performances at iconic Woodstock and Isle of Wight Festivals and gruelling tour schedules of the US. The result of which was complete exhaustion, depression and a battle with alcoholism. Some say his personal battles gave his voice the necessary emotional resonance to really convey the blues, which when accompanied by his idiosyncratic physicality, flailing arms and playing air guitar gave his live performances a mesmeric intensity.
Cocker enjoyed his greatest musical successes when recording covers. The Beatles’ “I get by with a little help from my friends”, “She came in through the bathroom window” and The Box Tops classic “The Letter” which he recorded as part of the short-lived Mad Dogs and Englishmen, a touring band comprised of over twenty musicians, that legend has it caused havoc in every city they visited and hotel they stayed in. His voice remains one of the most distinctive within the popular music pantheon.
Walking Blues, featuring Keb’ Mo’ was recorded to honour blues legend Robert Johnson’s birthday as part of the Playing for Change/ Song Around the World project. The song was made famous by Johnson although it was written and originally recorded by Son House in 1930.
Keb’ Mo’ (Kevin Roosevelt Moore) is an American blues musician and five-time Grammy Award winner. He has been described as “a living link to the seminal Delta Blues that travelled up the Mississippi River and across the expanse of America”.
This rendition, of a 90-year-old blues standard classic, is given new resonance by the eclectic mix of musicians from six countries across the globe including the slide guitars played in Patagonia by Roberto Luti and Nico Bereciartua.
Playing for Change is a movement created to inspire and connect the world through music, born from the shared belief that music has the power to break down boundaries and overcome distances between people. Their primary focus is to record, and film musicians performing in their natural environments and combine their talents and cultural power in innovative videos they call Songs Around the World.
“Hitsville U.S.A” still stands in Detroit as a museum and holds memories of the most successful soul music label of its time. The building was originally purchased by the founder of Motown records Berry Gordy in 1956, where hits where made and wannabes became stars. The building was opened 22 hours a day. It was a music machine, making records that we know, love and have held the test of time.
Gordy launched the careers of Marvin Gaye, The Supremes, Four, Tops, Gladys Knight & the Pips, The Jackson 5, Stevie Wonder, and this is just naming a few of the acts. Gordy wanted to create music that everyone could enjoy. It was popular music for all.
On this playlist is a selection of songs I love, and I hope you love to! There are songs that are familiar or unfamiliar but at the end of the day It’s Motown!
“Motown was about music for all people, white and black, blue and green, cops and the robber. I was reluctant to have music alienate anyone.”
Founder of Motown Records
“Every Little Bit Hurts” beautifully sung by Brenda Holloway composed by Ed Cobb and released in 1964.
Holloway was an accomplish musician and from an early age, she could play the piano, flute and violin. She was very keen on classical music. At 14, she began singing as a backup singer. She released her first single in 1962 and in 1963 she met Berry Gordy at a party in her hometown of Los Angeles. Gordy was looking for acts to sign and watched Holloway lip sync to the Mary Wells hit “You Beat Me to The Punch”. Gordy was impressed by her and soon discovered that Holloway was a talented musician, and he was keen to sign her to Motown Tamla division as she wanted to stay in LA and not move to Detroit. Holloway had already recorded Every Little Bit Hurts as a session vocalist and was not keen on the song, but with much persuasion from the producer she would go into the studio and record the song again, which would become a hit on the Billboard Hot 100. Her relaxed vocal has a maturity to it that floats through the song. Brenda Holloway was 17 years old when she recorded this track.
“The Tracks of My Tears” performed by ‘Smokey Robinson & The Miracles’ taken from the 1964 album Going to a Go-Go.
This original version of the song has been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, deemed a “Song of the Century” and listed by the Rolling Stone Magazine’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time at number 50. The song was written by Smokey Robinson, Pete Moore, and Marv Tarplin. Robinson shares how the track was written by saying, “Tracks of My Tears’ was actually started by Marc Tarplin, who is a young cat who plays guitar for our act. So, he had this musical thing [sings melody], you know, and we worked around with it, and worked around, and it became ‘Tracks of My Tears’.”
The Miracles was the first act that Gordy signed to Tamla Records (he later reincorporated it as Motown) and they would record the first million selling record on the label. The track was called “Shop Around”. As lead singer, chief songwriter and producer, Robinson would create 26 top forty hits with the Miracles. Robinson was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987 and was awarded the Library of Congress Gershwin prize for his lifetime contributions to music.
“Once you’re a Motown artist, you’re always a Motown artist” Smokey Robinson
“No Time for Tears” was released in 1965 and performed by the ‘The Marvelettes’.
This all-American girl group signed their first deal with Motown and became as successful as Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, especially with their single “Please Mr. Postman”, which became a number one hit for the group. The Marvelettes would lose their position as the number one female group once The Supremes started to release their hits. This caused much rivalry with the two groups, but we know which female group that would take the number one position.
Songs were created in-house at Motown and Marvin Gaye is known to have played drums on most of the early records, while Smokey Robinson would become songwriter for some of the up-and-coming acts. There were session musicians who would work the backing tracks and helped create the distinctive Motown sound. In 1959 these musicians gave themselves the name ‘The Funk Brothers’ and they became the most successful studio group, creating hits like ‘My Girl, ‘I heard it through the Grapevine’, Ain’t No Mountain High Enough’ and the list goes on. There is the 2002 documentary film Standing in the Shadow of Motown which is worth a watch as you get to discover the secret behind the Motown sound. The Funk Brothers, in 2007 got inducted into the Musicians Hall of Fame and museum – a well-deserved accolade.
“He Was Really Sayin’ Something” performed by the Motown girl group ‘The Velvelettes’. Their original version of the song was released in 1964. The British girl group Bananarama had a big hit with this track in 1982.
The Velveletes where a girl group of friends and family and it was a classmate at university which happened to be Berry Gordy’s nephew, who encourage the group to auction for Motown. They signed to the label in 1962 and began recording in 1963. On some of their recordings, they had the youngster, Stevie Wonder, play harmonica. It was their track “Needle In A Haystack” that got them noticed and onto the Billboard Hot 100 charts.
“A Place In The Sun” performed by the talented Stevie Wonder was released in 1966 and composed by Paul/Wells/Miller. Ronald Miller was also responsible for writing Wonder’s classic hit “For Once in My Life”.
Stevland Hardaway Morris professionally known as “Stevie Wonder” signed to the Motown label at the age of 11 years old and despite being blind this did not take away his love for music. He became a great musician and grew from “Little Stevie Wonder” to the Wonder we know today. In 1963 he had his first big win with the single “Fingertips”. At the time, he was 13 years old, which made him the youngest artist ever to top the charts.
The 1970’s was an extraordinary time for Soul music as new sound were being experimented with. Stevie Wonder was ahead of the game and in 1972, he released Music of My Mind, Talking Book, his 1973 album Innervisions and Songs In the Key of Life released in 1976. He was awarded a Grammy for his last three albums and became the only artist to do so.
Wonder’s music has evolved over the years. He really comes into his own with his conscious lyrics and his distinctive synthesizer sound which has inspired many musicians and performers over the years and will continue to do so for many years to come.
The dulcet tones of the wonderful ‘Marvin Gaye’ singing “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” taken from his ‘In the Groove’ album released in 1968.
The song was written by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong. It was recorded by The Miracles in 1966 and recorded by Gladys Knight & the Pips, their version was number two in the charts in 1967 and became one of Motown’s biggest selling singles at that time. Marvin Gaye’s version was spotted by the radio D. J’s and with much persuasion Berry Gordy released it. This track would remain in the Pop singles charts for seven weeks and would become another mega hit for Motown and has become a soul classic. Rolling Stone Magazine lists it at 81 in their ‘500 Greatest Songs All Time’.
Marvin Gaye tragically died in 1984 on his 45th Birthday, he was shot by his father at his home in Los Angeles while in an argument. His music still lives on. He would receive many accolades during and after his passing, including a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, he was inducted into the Rhythm and Blues Music Hall of Fame, Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
It’s hard to choose from Marvin Gaye’s catalogue of work because every track is a gem, and I am sure if you take a listen to his music you will find your favorite.
‘The Jackson Five’ perform “Who’s Lovin’ You” release in 1969 and composed by Smokey Robinson in 1966.
This track has been covered by many artists over the years including The Supremes, Terence Trent D’arby, and Michael Bublé to name a few, but it’s the Jackson Five’s version which made this track a hit, and no Motown list is complete without the Jackson Five. With the young Michael Jackson’s powerful lead vocals and with brothers Marlon, Tito, Jermaine, Jackie on backing vocals, accompanied by the Funk Brothers band makes it a classic Motown hit. When the Jackson Five performed the song at live concerts the audience would go wild “Michael usually gave an intro about being really young but knowing about the blues, also stating how he met the girl in a sandbox while sharing cookies and ended in “I stepped up to her and I said…” the song started from there. The fans must have loved it!
‘The Supremes’ perform “Come See About Me” composed in 1964 by the famous writing team Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier & Edward Holland Jr.
This trio composed some of Motown’s defining hits such as Stop in The Names of Love, Baby Love, You Keep Me Hanging On’. “Come See About Me” by The Supremes would replace the Beatles at the top of the American Billboard Hot 100 pop charts. Holland, Dozier, and Holland Jr. would later get inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1988 and the Rock and Roll of Fame in 1990.
The Supremes became Motown’s most successful female singing group during the 1960s with 12 number one singles on the Billboard Hot 100 charts under their belt. The band was originally called the ‘Primettes’ then became The Supremes and renamed by Berry Gordy, Diana Ross and The Supremes, with group members Mary Wilson and Florence Ballard. There were issues starting to form in the group about Ross receiving lavish attention from Berry Gordy. Florence Ballard started not turning up for shows and began to show signs of depression and alcoholism. There were replacements for Ballard but they came and went. Ballard would return for a short while making efforts to stay off the booze and look after herself, but this was short lived. Singer Cindy Birdsong who had previously been part of the girl group Patti LaBelle and the Bluebells was being groomed to take her place. Diana Ross eventually left the group and gain hits of her own as a solo artist. Florence Ballard sued Motown for royalty payments, but unfortunately did not win her case. She would shy away from the spotlight despite being enticed back on stage by her Supremes’ band member Mary Wilson. Ballard died in 1976. A sad end to so much promise but regardless of the sad loss of Ballard, the arguments, and disappointments, The Supremes have received many accolades in the form of Grammy Awards, nominations and a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and have inspire many girls to start a group.
“The Beatles were there,” said Madonna of her childhood, “but I was more eager about The Supremes. I was really into girl groups.”
“My Guy” was a Motown’s hit single in 1964 and another chart-topping song written by ‘Smokey Robinson’ and performed by Mary Wells.
At the age of 17 years old, Well’s approached Motown founder Berry Gordy in a club in Detroit and sang a song which she had written for the soul singer Jackie Wilson. Wells knew Gordy had worked with Wilson. Gordy asked her to sing at a surprise audition. He was impressed by her singing and the song she had written, called “Bye Bye Baby”. Wells would record the song herself and sign to Motown. “Bye Bye Baby” was released in September 1960 and it reached number eight in the Billboard R&B charts the following year. Unfortunately, Motown released a succession of records that did not hit the charts as “Bye Bye Baby” did for Wells, so Gordy asked Smokey Robinson to work with Wells, creating one of her biggest hits called “My Guy”. Mary Wells soon earned the title as the “First Lady” of Motown Records as she helped to define the sound and became one of the main acts to bridge the colour gap at the record stations and record stores for Motown Records.
“(Love Is Like a) Heat Wave” performed by ‘Martha Reeves and the Vandellas’ released in 1963.
Written by the hit making team Holland-Dozier-Holland. This classic Motown track has all the elements of a Hitsville song… Handclaps, Tambourine, Girlie backing vocals, a great sing along melody, with a strong lead vocal and a beat that gets you toe tapping – Classic Motown. There are many versions of this track, but I think this is the best original version by the girl group, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas. The song reached number 4 in the Billboard Hot R&B charts and would stay in the charts for 8 weeks and reached number 8 in the Billboard Hot 100, also selling a million copies. American singer Linda Ronstadt released the track which was taken from her 1975 ‘Prisoner in Disguise’ album and it arrived at number 5 in the Billboard Charts. In 1969 Martha Reeves and the Vandellas released the single “Dancing in the Streets” and it reached number 2 in the Billboard Hot 100 charts and would reach number 4 in the U.K. charts – Another million-seller!
With the success of the group also came disagreements and the group disbanded. Reeves would also take Motown to court for outstanding royalties. She won the case and the other members of the group (Rosalind Ashford and Annette Beard) would do the same. During this time, the original trio were inspired to reunite both as a recording act and in performances. They were offered a recording contract with Ian Levine at Motorcity Records who issued the group’s first single since the Vandellas disbanded seventeen years earlier called “Step into My Shoes.” They continue to perform for their fans and never disappoint.
“Your Precious Love” performed by Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell.
This track was released in 1967 and composed by the husband-and-wife team Valerie Simpson & Nickolas Ashford.
This top 10 track was taken off the ‘United Album’ and would release a series of hits such as “If I could Build My Whole World Around You”, “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” and “If This World Was Mine”. Writing duo Ashford and Simpson started their career in the 1960’s and began writing songs for Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles and in 1966 Berry Gordy called upon their writing skills to work with Gaye and Terrell. Ashford and Simpson would also write songs for Diana Ross, Gladys Knight and the Pips, and they would also have their own recording careers under the name ‘Ashford & Simpson’.
It was 1967 when Motown Records hired Tammi Terrell to duet with Marvin Gaye. Terrell was not a newbie to the music industry and already had a recording contract with the Scepter/Ward label, had performed as a member of James Brown’s Revue and signed to his Try Me label. She would gain much success performing with Marvin Gaye but when performing at a concert in 1967 she collapsed in Marvin Gaye hands. She was diagnosed with a brain tumor. She had eight surgeries that proved unsuccessful and she died in March 1970 at the age of 24. Marvin Gaye never got over her death. According to several biographers, Terrell’s death led Gaye to depression and drug abuse. In addition, Gaye’s classic album What’s Going On, an introspective, low-key work which dealt with mature themes released in 1971, was in part a reaction to Terrell’s death.
“I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch)” released in 1965 performed by the mighty ‘Four Tops’ composed by Holland–Dozier–Holland.
In the early days of Motown, the Four Tops recorded Jazz standards for the Workshop Jazz Records (a subsidiary of the Motown label) covering jazz standard songs. They would also do backup vocals for the up-and-coming acts like The Supremes and Marta and the Vandellas. The Motown writing team Holland-Dozier-Holland created instrumental tracks awaiting lyrics and melody ideas. One of the backing tracks inspired the Four Tops, and they produced one of their hit songs from the instrumental, “Baby I Need Your Loving” and in 1964 it would reach number 11 in the Billboard pop charts. No longer doing jazz standards, the band became the radios stations favourite around the world.
The founding members of the ‘Four Tops’ are lead singer Levis Stubbs, Abdul “Duke” Fakir, Renaldo “Obie” Benson and Lawrence Payton, who performed together from 1953 until 1977. The ‘Four Tops’ are one of the groups that helped to establish the distinctive Motown sound. This track became a number 1 hit as well as “Reach Out I’ll Be There” (1966). The group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990 and into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 1999.
In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked them 79 on its list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. Group member Lawrence Payton died in 1997 after performing with his group for 44 years. They continued performing under the new name ‘The Tops’ but in 1988 they recruited Theo Peoples who was a former member of the Temptations and renamed themselves again as the ‘The Four Tops’ with new members replacing original members of the band over the years ‘The Four Tops’ still continue to perform for their and sounds good as ever.
“Shotgun” performed here by ‘Junior Walker & The All Stars’ and was released in 1965, composed by Autry DeWalt (Junior Walker) and produced by Berry Gordy and Lawrence Horn.
This track was the band’s first hit on the Motown label, reached number 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts and became number 1 on the R&B charts. They would also play back up for The Supremes on their hit “Come See About Me” and for Marvin Gaye on his track “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You)”. The band had another hit in the year of 1969 with “What Does It Take (To Win Your Love)” which was first rejected by Motown but the radio DJ’s loved it and it reached number 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number 1 on the R&B charts – Junior Walker & The All Stars were on a roll. The last hit was in 1972 but Junior Walker was a multi-instrumentalist and was called upon to tour and do back up for bands playing his saxophone and occasional backing vocals. He went on tour with Wilson Pickett to the U.K. and in the later years (1980) toured and recorded with the band Foreigner.
“Shotgun” was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2002, a well-deserved entry.
“Money (That’s What I Want)” performed by ‘Barrett Strong’ composed by Janie Bradford & Berry Gordy Jr.
This was the first hit record for the Motown enterprise, recorded in 1959. There were artists that recorded the song such as The Beatles in 1963 and The Flying Lizards in 1979. The song was inspired when Gordy and Strong started improvising on the piano and coming up with vocal ideas, a drum pattern was added, and that Motown tambourine sound was introduced by songwriter Brian Holland.
This single became Motown’s first hit in June 1960, making it to number two on the Hot R&B charts and number 23 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song was listed as number 288 on Rolling Stone’s “The 500 Greatest Songs of Al Time”. Greil Marcus American author, music journalist and cultural critic pointed out that “Money” was the only song that brought Strong’s name near the top of the national music charts, “but that one time has kept him on the radio all his life.”
“Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler)” performed by Marvin Gaye and composed by Marvin Gaye/James Nyx. Released in 1971.
It’s the 1970’s and America is going through an economical downfall, the streets of New York are bleak, dirty and folks in the ghettoes are poor and creating the inner-city blues. This track depicts the feeling on the New York streets so well and it is a track on the classic Marvin Gaye album ‘What’s Going On’. Co-writer James Nyx in 1988 recalls the inception of the song, “Marvin had a good tune, sort of blues-like, but didn’t have any words for it. We started putting some stuff in there about how rough things were around town. We laughed about putting lyrics in about high taxes, ’cause both of us owed a lot. And we talked about how the government would send guys to the moon, but not help folks in the ghetto. But we still did not have a name, or really a good idea of the song. Then, I was home reading the paper one morning, and saw a headline that said something about the ‘inner city’ of Detroit. And I said, ‘Damn, that’s it. ‘Inner City Blue’.” The song helped Gaye make history by being one of the few artists to have three or more Top 10 songs off Billboard’s Pop Singles chart peaking at number 9 and one of the first to have three consecutive number 1 hits on Billboard’s R&B Singles chart where it stayed for two weeks. Although not certified by the RIAA at that time, all three releases from the What’s Going On album gained Gold status by selling over 1,000,000 copies in the United States. It’s a must have album.
“It’s a Shame” performed by the ‘Spinners’ and first-time producer Stevie Wonder and co- written with Syreeta Wright Lee Garrett.
The group was signed to Motown in 1964 with not much success. Motown signed them to jobs as managers, chaperones and chauffeurs, but things changed for the group in 1970 when “It’s a Shame” was recorded and released. It reached number 14 in the Billboard Hot 100 and number 3 on the R&B charts and this became their biggest hit.
The ‘Spinners’ hail from Ferndale, Michigan and formed in 1954. The original line up of the band are Pervis Jackson, Henry Fambrough, Billy Henderson and Bobby Smith and on lead vocals G.C. Cameron.
The group left Motown after a 2-year contract and signed to Atlantic Records. It was Aretha Franklin that encouraged them to leave the Hitsville family. Franklin was also signed to Atlantic label. Lead singer G.C. Cameron who was having an affair with Berry Gordy’s sister (Gwen) decided to stay with Motown and would relocate with the label to Los Angeles. Cameron did rejoin the band as lead vocalist again between 2000 to 2002 but left in 2003 and joined The Temptations. In 2003, Elton John had the ‘Spinners’ do backup vocals for him on his re-issued track “Are You Ready for Love”. This release it put the ‘Spinners’ back in the limelight and have never looked back since and are still performing today.
“Back To Black” performed by Amy Winehouse and co-written with producer Mark Ronson, released in 2007.
This track has all the elements of the Motown sound and reminiscent of the Phil Spector girl groups which was also inspired by Motown.
The inspiration for the song was the Winehouse’s breakup of her relationship with partner Blake Feilder-Civil. She would go to a dark place of relying on drink and drugs which unfortunately lead to her demise. Tim Chester from the NME (the popular British music magazine) wrote that “Back to Black” was a song by which the singer should be remembered following her death, with Motown influence in her trademark vocal performance along with its powerful lyrics”. Mark Ronson received a Grammy Award for his production on the ‘Back to Black’ album. Ronson has received many accolades over the years but he does take time to give back to those aspiring musicians and producers for example, he is the patron of the Amy Winehouse Foundation which help disadvantage youth through music.
Amy Winehouse was a guest at BodyHoliday and she enjoyed other parts of our beautiful island of St Lucia. With her passing she has left behind some great music that still encourages you to listen. She was a light that dimmed too quickly – Her music lives on.
“Papa Was a Rolling Stone” is the epic Motown track performed by ‘The Temptations’ released in 1972.
The original version was performed by ‘The Undisputed Truth’ another Motown act and was released in 1971 which did not do too well in the charts. The song was written by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong. Whitfield decided to create a 12-minute track of the song with the Temptations. This version would go to number 1 and received three Grammy Awards in 1973. Creating the track, it did not go without disputes. the group did not like the fact the instrumentation was getting more emphasis than their vocals and Whitfield demanded that vocal parts to be sung over and over again causing upset in the group, but to make up for Whitfields treatment he agreed to write a ballad for the group. After the treatment of the group in the studio he was dismissed as their producer. Sometimes you must suffer for your art and with this track it was worth it. It’s a classic 1970’s soul anthem, its Motown at its best with its powerful vocals and fabulous backing track. This is the single version, it is with checking out the 12-minute version too …Enjoy.
Tracklist created by Pepsi Demacque-Crockett. Details compiled from various online references including Wikipedia.
Living in The Carribean
Growing up in the U.K. I was surrounded by Ska, Lovers Rock and Reggae music. There would be a rare moment when you would get to see a Reggae artist on the U.K. show, Top of The Pops. His or her single would be played repeatedly by the West Indian community in north west London. There was a growing British fan base, slowly bubbling up and showing an appreciation for this sweet Reggae sound. Dance parties were popping up all over town housing with big sound systems creating their own unique mixes of the tracks. It was a multi-racial scene of people enjoying the moment on the dance floor, it’s a genre of music that encourages One Love.
There is an artist on this playlist who stayed at the BodyHoliday and just loved St Lucia she was influence by music across the board and made waves internationally, listen out for her. This playlist calls for a rum punch … Enjoy!
“My Boy Lollipop” performed by ‘Millie’ Millie Small was discovered by the founder of Island Records Chris Blackwell. In an interview in 2010 he shared how he came about this fun hit song. “I would go to New York now and again and buy records and sell them to the sound system guys in Jamaica. One of these records was the original version of ‘My Boy Lollipop’, but I’d make a copy of each one on a reel-to-reel tape. It was before cassettes, and when I brought Millie over to England I sat down trying to work out if we can find a song for her and I found this one which had the original version of ‘My Boy Lollipop’ and I said, ‘that’s the song we should do,’ so it was really lucky that I found the tape”!
In 1964 this song became a big hit in the UK and America and would make Millie a household name.
“007 (Shanty Town)” written and performed by ‘Desmond Dekker and the Aces’ -released in 1967 which is referred to as ‘Rock Steady’ which is a successor of Ska and precursor to reggae.
Dekker was Inspired to write the song after seeing a student’s demonstration against plans to build an industrial complex on the beach. “And it just gets out of control…Is just a typical riot ‘cause I say – Them a loot, them a shoot, them a wail.”
Desmond Dekker was born in Jamaica in 1941. He became an apprentice tailor in his teens but soon put that profession aside and became a welder. While at work, he would sing his way through the day and his co-workers encouraged him to pursue a career in music. In 1961, he secured an audition with Coxone Dodd of Studio One, which was referred to as the Motown of Jamaica. However, it was Leslie Kong, the Chinese-Jamaican producer that offered Dekker a record deal. He would go onto have other international hits with “Israelites” (1968). “It Mek” (1969) and “You Can Get It If You Really Want”(1970). His other claim to fame is that he introduced one of his fellow workers to Kong who happen to be Bob Marley and now the rest his history.
“The Harder They Come” written and performed by Jimmy Cliff. This song was recorded for the soundtrack for the movie of the same name. Rolling Stone magazine has included this song in its “500 Greatest Songs of All Time”.
Jimmy Cliff would star in the 1972 movie, “The Harder They Come”, and it was during filming he came up with the title. Director, Perry Henzell, said it was a great name and Cliff was inspired to write and record the theme tune.
From an early age Cliff just wanted to make music and he used all his confidence to get him there. Life changed when he approached the now influential Chinese-Jamaican producer. “One night I was walking past a record store and restaurant. As they were closing, I pushed myself in and convinced one of them, Leslie Kong, to go into the recording business, starting with me.” After two singles that failed to make much impression, his career took off when his record “Hurricane Hattie” becoming a hit, while he was aged 14. It was produced by Kong, with whom Cliff remained close until Kong’s death from a heart attack in 1971.
Kong makes a cameo appearance in the film, The Harder They Come, playing a recording engineer in a scene in which Jimmy Cliff’s character watches a studio recording session, by Toots and the Maytals, of the song, “Sweet and Dandy” which Kong produced.
“I Can See Clearly Now” written and performed by Johnny Nash.
Nash was born in Houston, Texas and grew up singing in the choir and in 1953 he got the opportunity to sing cover songs on the local variety show Matinee. In 1956 he was a regular singer on the local radio station and this gig lasted for 7 years. In 1964 with his manager, Danny Sims, he started marketing American singers to Jamaica. In 1965, Nash and Sims moved to Jamaica and opened a music publishing company. Nash released tracks and broke into the local rocksteady scene. Life in the music industry changed for Nash once again when he was invited to see a band perform called Bob Marley and Wailers and would later write songs and tour with the now famous band. He also has a hit with the Bob Marley and the Wailers track “Stir It Up”
In 1972 “I Can See Clearly Now” was released and sold over a million copies and would reach number one on the Billboard Hot 100 charts.
“Pressure Drop” performed by ‘Toots & The Maytals’ originally recorded in 1969 and appears on their 1970 album Monkey Man in Jamaica and the released in the UK on the Trojan Records label which launched the bands career internationally.
“It’s a song about revenge, but in the form of karma: If you do bad things to innocent people, then bad things will happen to you. The title was a phrase I used to say. If someone done me wrong, rather than fight them like a warrior, I’d say, ‘The pressure’s going to drop on you.”
— Frederick ‘Toots’ Hibbert, The Guardian
Front man Toots Hibbert is considered a Reggae pioneer, with his soulful vocals he has been compared to Otis Redding. Rolling Stone Magazine named Toots as one of the 100 best singers. In 1968 Toots sings “Do the Reggae”. This was the first song to use the term “Reggae” which introduced it to the world and in the Oxford English Dictionary, Toots and The Maytals get the credit for doing so. Founder of Island Records Chris Blackwell says “The Maytals were unlike anything else … sensational, raw and dynamic.” Toots Hibbert passed away in 2020 leaving behind some great music which will get played by old and new fans for years to come.
“Put It On” performed by ‘Bob Marley and Wailers’ was a track on the ‘Soul Revolution’ album released in 1988. The album was produced by the eccentric Lee “Scratch” Perry. He innovated a studio sound that was unique and that held no bounds. He was renowned for remixing albums and creating a new instrumental version. There is a ‘Soul Revolution II’ where he has done just that. Perry has worked with many of his fans such as the British band, Clash, The Beastie Boys and The Orb.
Jamaican born, Earl “Paul’ Douglas, Grammy award winning drummer and percussionist of the band, Toots and The Maytals, would say of Perry “Scratch had a particular sound and everybody was fascinated by his sound. He had this way of putting things together; it was just his sound and it influenced a lot of people”.
“Put it on” has a sedate feel to it, with sweet harmonies very reminiscent of harmony groups from America which were very popular across the Carribean but as now we know Bob Marley and Wailers soon found their unique sound.
“Good Thing Going” performed by ‘Sugar Minott’ taken from the 2011 album ‘Reggae Anthology: Sugar Minott – Hard Time Pressure’. Michael Jackson originally performed this song, and it was a ‘B side’ on his 1972 sing “I Wanna Be Where You Are”. Minnott’s version was released in 1981. It was written by The Cooperation who were a group of songwriters and producers who created music for the Motown label.
Minnott started his musical career in 1969 with the group the African Brothers. They would release records in Jamaica which gained local popularity but Minott left the group to work with Jamaican producer Clement “Coxone” Dodd as a studio apprentice at the Dodd’s Studio One. This is where he discovered his talent for song writing. Using backing tracks from existing songs he would write new lyrics. His new lyrical compositions became more popular than the original songs. It was the cover of “Good Thing Going” that got Minott in the top ten charts in the U.K and would later secure him with an album deal. Minnott could cover all styles of reggae music including “Lover Rock” which is more of a romantic sound and became popular on the reggae scene in London in the 1970’s. Minnott was respect by many reggae artists across the board and with his return to the Jamaica he would start creating music in the dancehall scene. He created the Youthman Promotion sound system which gave young performers a platform to perform their songs and music.
“Night Nurse” performed by the Reggae singer Gregory Isaacs.
This track is taken form the album with the same name released in 1982. This is Isaccs biggest hit and well known across the Carribean. Isaacs smooth vocal style is a favourite for many and the New York Times refers to him as the “the most exquisite vocalist in reggae”. Unfortunately, with his success came troubles when he was sentence to prison for six months in 1982 for possession of a firearm but would claim the fire arm was for his protection. This would have been his 27th arrest due to being involved in drug dealing. With his release in 1983 he would release his second album on the Island Records label called “Out Deh!”. Despite his bad boy troubles, he released tracks that would become hits and in 2008 Isaacs released the studio album ‘Brand New Me’. After 40 years in the music industry he was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2010. He may not have won the award, but it was recognition for years of gracing the reggae scene with fantastic music.
“Silly Games” performed by English Jamacian singer Janet Kay and was written by Dennis Bovell. “Silly Games” was originally released in 1979 and became the first “Lovers Rock” hit for Kay across Europe and reached number two in the U.K. Charts. Barbadian Musician and Songwriter Dennis Bovell was well known on the Reggae music scene and was part of the dub-reggae band Matumbi. He also collaborate with Jamaican dub poet and activist Linton Kwesi Johnson who was recently awarded the PEN Pinter Prize for his tireless exploration of black British history with his powerful words and music.
Not only was Janet Kay a singer but an actress too, performing in the U.K. comedy show No Problem! Created by the ‘Black Theatre Co-Operative’, she played the Character Angel. In 1984 she would have another top 100 hit with her song “Eternally Grateful”. Janet still holds a torch for the “Lovers Rock” genre, the romantic reggae sound. Kay released her seventh album in Japan in 2003 called ‘Loving You …More’ the album was produced by British soul singer and songwriter Omar. Kay returned to Japan every year and has composed songs for the Japanese series ‘La Dolce Vita’ collaborating with renowned Japanese composer Taro Iwashiro. Janet Kay holds the crown as the ‘Queen of Lovers Rock’ and continues to sing and perform her sweet lovers rock songs for fans around the world.
“Feel a Little Better” performed here by the Jamaican band ‘Third World’ taken from their album ‘96 Degrees in the Shade’ released in 1977. The band’s success came late in the 70’s early 80’s and their biggest hit was with the O’Jays song “Now That We Found Love”. It became a hit on both sides of the Atlantic. They were signed to Island Records and would tour with Bob Marley and the Wailers in Europe. There have been many line-up changes in the band but that has not deterred their fans. In 2013 ‘Third World’ was awarded the Lifetime Achievement award for 40 years in the music business
The music of the band covers many genres but at its core there is always roots reggae music to make you feel a little better.
“You’re Wondering Now” performed by Amy Winehouse, who was known for her eclectic mix of music and this track shows her love for old school ska and reggae music. It is taken from her 2008 Grammy winning album ‘Back to Black’ produced by Mark Ronson. “You’re Wondering Now” was also recorded by the British ska band ‘The Specials’. The song was originally recorded by the Jamaican ska band the Skatalites who’s history goes way back to the popular ska years of 1963 in Jamaica. They would also be the backing band for producers such as Coxsone Dodd, performers such as Desmond Dekker and bands, Toots and The Maytals and Bob Marley and the Wailers. You may also recognise the intro on this track. It is used as the theme tune for the British sitcom drama Death in Paradise. Amy Winehouse was a guest at the BodyHoliday and loved St Lucia.
Barrington Levy sings in his distinctive style, “Here I come”, recorded at the Channel One Studios in Kingston, Jamaica in 1985. Levy performed in the Jamaican dancehalls from an early age and his claim to fame came by working with the sound systems, but he would not get the credit where it was due for his performances, which were recorded and released without his consent. He described it as a “joke business”. By the 1980’s Levy was becoming a big reggae star across the globe especially in the U.K. He would make his debut as a producer of his album ‘Run Come Ya’ which became an underground hit. In 1993 Levy tried to break into the U.S. with the ‘Barrington Album’ produced by the duo Sly & Robbie but it did not give him the breakthrough he wanted, this did not deter Levy. He continued to perform and release singles and in 2016 he received a Grammy nomination for his album ‘Acousticalevy’.
“Chronixx” performs “Smile Jamaica” taken from his 2017 debut album Chronology. Born Jamar Rolando McNaughton in Spanish town, Jamaica. He has also released an E.P. ‘Dread & Terrible’ which topped the Billboard Reggae album charts and continues to gain new listeners.
McNaughton’s first stage name was the “Little Chronicle” this was inspired by his father’s stage name “Chronicle”, his son has now grown into the artist and brand “Chronixx” and is now referred to as the “Reggae Revival” due to his popularity around the world. His lyrics speaks of peace, not war and is a positive voice for the young and old. In 2014 he won Culture Artist of the Year, Best New Artist, and Entertainer of the Year at the Linkage Awards in New York. In the same year he performed on The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon on the US network NBC and captured new fans who would attend a concert in Central Park, which critics gave rave reviews. “Chronixx” is a star already rising and one not to miss.
“She’s Royal” sung and written by the Jamaican-American performer Tarrus Riley is taken from the 2006 album ‘Parables’. When Riley performs live you get to witness a performer totally at ease on the stage, holding the audience in the palm of his hands. “She’s Royal” continues to be very popular song in the Caribbean and everybody knows the chorus. Just imagine a live concert held at our Pigeon Island where everybody knows the lyrics to your songs, it’s a humbling moment for any performer. Riley has consistently racked up awards for his work. Among his accolades are Best Singer, Male Vocalist, Cultural Artiste, Song of the Year, and Best Song. Some of the award institutions that have rewarded Riley include the Youth View Awards, The Star People’s Choice Awards, EME Awards, and the Reggae Academy awards. He is the holder of Jamaica’s CVM TV’s 15th Anniversary Award, held in February 2009, for the “Most Admired Song in the Past 15 Years” for the hit “She’s Royal”.
“Reggae” performed by ‘Etana’ taken off the 2013 album ‘Better Tomorrow’. ‘Etana’ grew up in Kingston Jamaica. Her family discovered she could sing at the age of eight while singing along to a song by the group Air Supply. She would migrate to the U.S. to study and become a registered nurse but she decided to leave college to pursue a career in the music industry and sign a record contract with the female vocal group called ‘Gift’. There was interest in the group, but Etana found it hard to conform to the female stereotyping. She turned her back on the group and the music industry as she knew it and made her way back to Jamaica to create music that reflected her religious beliefs as a Rastafarian woman. She started to work as a backing vocalist for local bands and begun writing her own songs and would release her first hit “Wrong Address” which the radio stations loved and with consistent plays the song reached number one in the charts. With her authentic style and conscious lyrics, she soon gained many fans across the U.S. and Europe. She would also duet with New Zealand artist ‘Swiss’ on the track “If Tomorrow Never Comes” which reached number one in a week and in 2014 she released her album ‘I Rise. She received recognition as the first female reggae artist to top the Billboard charts in fifteen years. Etana has followed her heart as a performer and it has taken her too higher heights with her growing success.
“Below the Bassline” this instrumental track is by veteran reggae musician
‘Ernest Ranglin’ released in 1996. As a session musician he would also work for the Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation as well as working in the recording studio for Coxsone Dodd, Studio, Jimmy Cliff, The Skatalites, Bob Marley & The Wailers. He was the lead guitarist for producer Lee “Scratch” Perry’s studio sessions at his Black Ark Studio. He gained a reputation as great arranger as well as a guitarist and would be called upon to compose music for the Jamaican scenes for the 1962 James Bond movie Dr. NO. Ranglin is a well-respected musician who would get an opportunity to play 1964 at the Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club in London Soho. It was Chris Blackwell founder of Island records who got him the gig. The manager of the club was not keen on having Ranglin play but was soon persuaded by Blackwell and the audience that showed their appreciation. After his first performance, he was invited to become a resident guitarist and became part of the Ronnie Scott Quartet and Quintet.
In 2002 Ranglin was awarded an Honorary Doctorate Degree from the University of the Carribean for his outstanding contribution to the development of music in Jamaica with many other accolades over his musical career. After his many years in the music industry he decided to retire in 2015 and went on a farewell tour which included some of the great Jazz musicians around.
‘Protoje’ performs “Who Knows” (feat. Chronixx) taken from his album 2014 album ‘Ancient Future’. Protojé’s father was former calypso king Michael Ollivierre who hailed from the island of St Vincent and the Grenadines and his mother is Jamacian singer Lorna Bennett who had the hit song “Breakfast in Bed” in the 70’s. This track is taken from his third album and two weeks after its release it topped the Billboard Top Reggae album charts. His 2018 album, “A matter of Time,” received a Grammy award nomination. The title of this playlist is inspired by this track which highlights the beauty of living in the Carribean…Enjoy the sunshine!
“I’m pleased to be Chilling in the Carribean,
Jah provide all my Wants and Needs.
I got the Sunshine,
Rivers and Trees
Watching a great movie captures your emotions, you start to cheer for the good guys and hope the bad guys get their comeuppance. The music score for a movie is just as important as watching the plot of the movie unfold, you start to feel the drama. The soundtrack inspires your feelings and at the right moments it can make you feel scared, elated and hopeful for a great ending or it can bring a tear to your eyes at a sad ending.
On this playlist I have selected some of my favourite songs from the movies which I hope you enjoy and remind you of a great night out at the cinema. So, sit back pour yourself a cup of tea and let’s go to the movies.
“Kiss from a Rose” performed here by ‘Seal’ was first released in 1991 on his debut album ‘Seal II’. Seal wrote the song in 1987 but felt embarrassed by it and didn’t think it was any good and threw it into the corner but while in the recording studio with producer Trevor Horn he was inspired to share the song with him and Seal would later say “To be honest, I was never really that proud of it, though I like what Trevor did with the recording. He turned that tape from my corner into another 8 million record sales and my name became a household name.” “Kiss From A Rose” was on the Batman forever sound track and at the 1996 Grammy Awards, it won awards for Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best Male Pop Vocal Performance.
“Hey Jude” from the 2018 Album “One Man Only”, performed by ‘Himesh Patel’ Yesterday (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) written by John Lennon & Paul McCartney. ‘Yesterday’ is a romantic comedy directed by Danny Boyle and the screenplay is by Richard Curtis tells the story of struggling musician Jack Malik (Himesh Patel). He has an accident and for some reason he starts remembering Beatles songs. I don’t want to give too much away but it is worth a watch. The film grossed $152 million worldwide against a production budget of $26 million. It received mixed reviews from critics, with praises for the premise, performances, and musical sequences, but criticism of the familiarity and not taking the concept further. Disregard the critics and give it a watch, it a fun upbeat British comedy with a great soundtrack.
“We Don’t Need Another Hero” performed here by the wonderful ‘Tina Turner’ who also starred in Mad Max – Beyond Thunderdome (1985 Original Motion Picture Soundtrack).
The movie was released in 1985 and starred Mel Gibson. The song was written by Terry Britten and Graham Lyle, both writers won a Grammy in 1985 for Tina Turner’s hit ‘What’s Love Got to Do with It”. Britten and Lyle received an Ivor Novello award in 1985 for “We Don’t Need Another Hero’ in the category of Best Song Musically and Lyrically, a great honour for any song writer.
In this post-apocalyptic movie Tina Turner plays the role of ‘Aunty Entity’ she puts Max to task “The refinery is run by a dwarf called Master and his giant bodyguard Blaster. “Master Blaster” holds an uneasy truce with Aunty for control of Bartertown; however, Master has begun to challenge Aunty’s leadership. Aunty instructs Max to provoke a confrontation with Blaster.” And the conflict begins…
“Dancing Queen” performed by ‘Meryl Streep, Julie Walters & Christine Baranski’
Taken from the Mamma Mia! (2008 Movie Soundtrack feat. the Songs of ABBA).
“The plot follows a young bride-to-be who invites three men to her upcoming wedding, each one with the possibility of being her father.” But which one …
This movie has a star-studded ensemble cast featuring, Christine Barnaski, Pierce Brosnan, Dominic Cooper, Colin Firth, Amanda Seyfried, Stellan Skarsgard, Meryl Streep and Julie Walters.
It hasn’t been a favourite for the critics and The Daily Telegraph stated that it was “enjoyable but poorly put together: “Finding the film a total shamble was sort of a shame, but I have a sneaking suspicion I’ll go to see it again anyway.” Angie Errigo of Empire Magazine said it was “cute, clean, camp fun, full of sunshine and toe tappers.” This movie may not be for everyone but without a doubt it is a toe tapper!
‘Queen’ performs “Bohemian Rhapsody” (2018 Original Soundtrack) composed by Freddie Mercury.
Actor ‘Rami Said Malek’ plays the role of Freddie Mercury. In the movie, he has an uncanny resemblance to Mercury. He performs every gesture, movement unique to Mercury, it’s like watching the real person on stage. For his depiction of this great singer performer, he won an Academy Award for Best Actor, a Golden Globe for the Best Actor in a Motion Picture Drama, the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role, and the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role. If you haven’t seen this movie it is worth a watch! it is a great biopic of the rise and rise of Queen and unfortunately, the demise of the extraordinary Freddy Mercury.
“A Star Is Born Soundtrack” (2018) featuring this wonderful track “Shallow” performed passionately here by ‘Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper’ composed by Lady Gaga, Mark Ronson, Anthony Rossomando & Andrew Wyatt.
The first version of this movie came out in 1937 and there have been four other versions since. There is Hollywood talk of Clint Eastwood directing Beyonce and other stars who were approached to star in a remake – the likes of Christian Bale, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lopez, Will Smith and Tom Cruise. It was Bradley Cooper who signed on the dotted line to star and to direct the new version with Lady Gaga as his leading lady, and the combination worked beautiful. The chemistry they have on screen makes them a match made in heaven. The 2018 version was a critical and commercial success, grossing over $436 million worldwide and receiving praise for Cooper, Gaga, and Sam Elliott’s performances and Cooper’s direction, as well as the screenplay, cinematography, and music. The film received numerous accolades, including eight nominations at the 91st Academy Awards, among them Best Picture, Best Actor (Cooper), Best Supporting Actress (Gaga) and Best Supporting Actor (Elliott) and won Best Original Song for Gaga’s “Shallow”. It is a tearjerker of a movie with great performances and a power rock balled at its core.
“The James Bond Theme” (From “Dr. No”) performed here by ‘The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra’. (2006)
There is no other introduction needed other than “My name is James, James Bond, 007 at your service”.
“Licence to Kill” performed by ‘Gladys Knight’ composed by Jeffrey Cohen, Walter Afanasieff & Narada Michael Walden.
Released in 1989 alongside the movie by the same name. Timothy Dalton starred in the role of James Bond. “Its story sees Bond being suspended from MI6 as he pursues drug lord Franz Sanchez”.
Originally Vic Flick and Eric Clapton were asked to compose and perform the theme song, but their idea was turned down by the powers that be, they preferred Gladys Knight’s performance on this song. I think Gladys Knights gives a soulful vocal performance to match Dame Shirley Bassey’s strength, by which all Bond themes are measured. Gladys Knight also has a gritty edge in her voice which Timothy Daltons role required and he delivered.
“Jive Talkin” performed by the ‘Bee Gees ‘Saturday Night Fever (1997 Original Movie Soundtrack) composed by Maurice Gibb, Robin Gibb & Barry Gibb.
This song was originally going to be called “Drive Talking” and the rhythm of the track was based on the sound of a car crossing the Julia Tuttle Causeway in Miami while the band was making their way to the recording studio each day. The song first appeared on the Bee Gee’s Main Course album released in 1975. Maurice Gibb explains the change of name, “We played it to [producer] Arif [Mardin], and he went ‘Do you know what “Jive Talkin'” means?’ And we said, ‘Well yeah, it’s, ya know, you’re dancing.’ He says ‘NO…it’s a black expression for bullshitting.’ And we went ‘Oh, Really?!? Jive talkin’, you’re telling me lies…’ and changed it.”
Actor John Travolta plays the lead role as 19-year-old Tony Manero who works in a dead-end job in a small hardware store in Brooklyn, New York. He breaks away from his mundane life by dressing up and getting on the dance floor. It’s far from a rags to riches story but more of a tale about friendship, escapism and being a champion on the dance floor. John Travolta receive an Academy Award for Best Actor for his role of Manero and between 1977 and 1980 the album has sold 25 million copies and to date has sold 40 million copies. This track is still getting people on the dance floor.
“To Sir with Love” sung here by British singer ‘Lulu’ composed by Don Black & Mark London. Released in 1967 alongside the movie of the same name. The movie stars the black actor Sidney Poitier who plays the role of a teacher in an inner-city school in England. The movie highlights social and racial issues. The screenplay was based on the 1959 autobiographical novel by the same name written by E.R. Braithwaite who was a Guyanese writer, teacher and diplomat.
The film grossed $42,432,803 at the box office in the United States, yielding $19,100,000 in rentals, on a $640,000 budget, making it the sixth highest grossing picture of 1967 in the US. Poitier especially benefited from that film’s success considering he agreed on a mere $30,000 fee in exchange for 10% of the gross box office and thus arranged one of the most impressive payoffs in film history. In fact, although Columbia insisted on an annual cap to Poitier of $25,000 to fulfil that percentage term, the studio was forced to revise the deal with Poitier when they calculated that they would be committed to 80 years of those payments. Poitier especially benefited from that film’s success considering he agreed on a mere $30,000 fee in exchange for 10% of the gross box office and thus arranged one of the most impressive payoffs in film history.
Despite its money earning the movie received mixed reviews but without a doubt is a powerful story which still resonates today … Its worth a watch.
“Mrs. Robinson” by ‘Simon & Garfunkel’ taken from the album ‘Bookends’ released in 1968.
This track is on the soundtrack for ‘The Graduate’ featuring movie stars, Dustin Hoffman and Anne Bancroft. The story is about a 21-year-old boy Benjamin Braddock (Dustin Hoffman) who seduces the mother (Ann Bancrofts) of his girlfriend. The movie received positive reviews from A.D. Murphy of Variety magazine who said it is a “delightful satirical comedy drama” Life magazine critic Richard Schickel felt the film “starts out to satirise the alienated spirit of modern youth, does so with uncommon brilliance for its first half, but ends up selling out to the very spirit its creators intended to make fun of… It’s a shame – they were halfway to something wonderful when they skidded on a patch of greasy kid stuff.”
It received seven nominations at the 40th Academy Awards including for the Best Picture and won Best Director. In 1996, The Graduate was selected for preservation in the U.S. National Film Registry as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.” It is ranked by the American Film Institute as the 17th Greatest American film of all time. So maybe we should ignore the critics and watch the movie so we can make our minds up.
“Take My Breath Away” (Love Theme from “Top Gun”) performed by the band, ‘Berlin’, composed by Giorgio Moroder & Tom Whitlock.
Released with the movie in 1986, this song would go on to receive an Academy Award for Best Original Song and received a Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song in the same year.
Tom Cruise plays Naval Aviatoe LT Pete “Maverick” Mitchel who meets Charlotte “Charlie” Blackwood played by Kelly McGillis is approached by “Maverick” and is unsuccessful in making an impression but the day later discovers she is his ‘TopGun’ instructor. It is a classic boy meets girl with war in the skies as backdrop.
The movie opened to mixed reviews but has maintained its popularity over the years and earned an IMAX 3D re-release in 2013. Additionally, the film won an Academy Award for Best Original song. There is the sequel planned called ‘Top Gun, Maverick’.
“Another Day of Sun” performed by the cast of ‘La La Land’ (2016 Original Motion Picture Soundtrack). At the 2016, 74th Golden Globe awards, La La Land received seven awards and received fourteen nominations at the 89th Academy Awards and won in six categories.
The story begins …” While stuck in Los Angeles traffic, aspiring actress Mia Dolan (Emma Stone) has a moment of road rage with Sebastian Wilder (Ryan Gosling), a struggling jazz Pianist. After a hard day at work, Mia’s subsequent audition goes awry when the casting director takes a call during an emotional scene. That night, Mia’s roommates take her to a lavish party in the Hollywood Hills, promising her that someone in the crowd could jump-start her career; after her car is towed, she has to walk home in disappointment….”
The movie has some great song and dance scenes with Los Angeles as its backdrop and tells the story of the those aspiring actors and actresses trying to make it big in tinsel town, it is full of entertainment and worth a watch.
“I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” performed by ‘Aerosmith’ the 1998 Armageddon – The Album soundtrack.
Composed by Diane Warren. The science fiction movie ‘Armageddon’ is about a group of blue-collar deep-core drillers which aim is to stop a gigantic asteroid on collision course with Earth.
Despite having a great soundtrack, the movie did not receive great reviews. Film critic Roger Ebert said, “The movie is an assault on the eyes, the ears, the Brian, common sense and the human desire to be entertained.” Not a great review for a film that became an international success, becoming the highest-grossing film in 1998. I think fans made their own minds up about the movie …. That is Entertainment!
Soft Folky Rock
Soft rock is a form of pop rock which came alive in the 1960’s and carried onto the 70’s. It’s a Southern Californian sound that crossed over to England in the same era. It is smoother sound with less of the heavy guitar riffs has more of a melodic feel. There is now a new tongue and cheek term out there for this genre of music called ‘Yacht Rock’ it is the same music from the era with some slick easy soul and Jazz thrown in, however the criteria for truly enjoying a “Yacht Rock’ moment is that you’re out on the water on a boat. It’s a style of music now being rediscovered by the youth of today.
The folky element comes from some of the artists who have crossed over for example the likes of Cat Stevens and Joni Michelle, Crosby, Still & Nash and Steely Dan. There is so much music to choose from that era and genre of music.
“Dreams” by Fleetwood Mac is taken from their 11th studio album ‘Rumours’ released in 1977 and written by band member Stevie Nicks.
“When Nicks played the song to the rest of the group, “They weren’t nuts about it. But I said ‘Please! Please record this song, at least try it’. Because the way I play things, sometimes… you really have to listen.” And it’s great that the band listens, because this song has become a classic and its constantly being discovered by new fans. “In 2020, the song hit number one on the Billboard Rock Digital Song Sales chart as a result of a viral Tik Tok (the social media app) video of a man lip syncing to the song while skateboarding down a highway.” Mick Fleetwood gave his response regarding the video in a BBC interview by saying “We owe Fleetwood Mac as we now have a new set of followers out there’.
Steely Dan is a rock and jazz fusion band formed by founding members Walter Becker and Donald Fagan in 1972.
This track, “Do It Again”, was taken from their debut album ‘Can’t Buy A Thrill’. In 1974 the band decided to not do anymore live performances, possibly due to Fagan not enjoying live singing. They agreed to concentrate on working in the studio. Steely Dan was referred to by the Rolling Stones Magazine as “the perfect musical antiheroes for the seventies”.
Steely Dan continues to perform with Donald Fagan, now at the helm but without Walter Becker who died in 2017.
Brothers, Gregg and Duane Allman had played with many bands before deciding to form their own band called ‘Allman Brothers’ in 1969. Duane Allman was a session guitarist and was well known for his slide guitar style of playing. He worked with some of the greats like Aretha Franklin and Wilson Picket. Duane died in 1971 after a motorcycle accident and Gregg died in 2017. This instrumental track “Jessica” was taken from the ‘Brothers and Sister’ Album recorded in 1973 after Duane’s death, its band member Dickey Betts plays guitar on this track. If you are from the UK listening to this it might remind you of a popular T.V. show.
“Long Train Running” (remastered in 2016) written and vocal: by Tom Johnston of the ‘Doobie Brothers’.
It is taken from the band’s 1973 album ‘Captain and Me’. This track has been covered, remixed, and released by many artists, but this version I think is the best of the bunch. Before it was recorded, it used to be played live as an ad-libbed jam session and it had many titles such as “Rosie Pig Moseley” and later “Osborn”. Johnston didn’t actually want to record the track and it took much persuasion from producer Teddy Templeman to convince Johnston to put words to the song. “I just considered it a bar song without a lot of merit. Teddy [Templeman], on the other hand, thought it had something.”
With Johnston’s guitar playing, vocals and harmonica which helps to really drive the track, it soon hit the top 10 Billboard Hot 100 in the US and across many regions around the world.
The Doobie Brothers from San Jose, California received many accolades and most recently was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
‘The Eagles’ one of the most played soft rock bands on the radio are from Southern California and their sound is easy listening with a good time feel. This track, “Peaceful Easy Feeling” epitomises that. This track is taken from their debut Album ‘Eagles’ released in 1972. The free spirited and free ranging sound that some people refer to as Californian Rock has bought the band much success “The Eagles are one of the world’s best-selling bands, having sold more than 200 million records, including 100 million sold in the U.S alone. Band member Jack Tempchin wrote the song when he was performing and sleeping on the floor of a coffee shop in San Diego. The first lyrics of the song were written on the back of the poster advertising his performance – the humble beginning of a song we now know and I hope you get to love.
“After Midnight” written, produced and performed her by J.J. Cale. Released in 1966 on the ‘B’ side to ‘Slow Motion”.
Eric Clapton covered the track and had a hit with it in 1970. With the success of Clapton’s version, it inspired Cale again to re-record the song and re-release it on his album ‘Naturally’ in 1972. Clapton played guitar and sang on the first version of the song and would later make it his own. In an interview in 2014 Clapton would show his respect for Cale. “The construction of “After Midnight” was great and it had everything. The thing that summed up J.J. for me is it had a little country, a little blues, it was rock and there was this guitar part that was baffling. That has always been the fascinating part; I still don’t think we got it right [on my version]. I’ve always been in awe of J.J.’s technique”. He gave J.J. Cale not only respect for the song but his musicianship, a well-rewarded honour, I think.
“The Weight” is performed here by the American-Canadian group, ‘The Band’, which was released as a single in 1968.
It was originally performed as an American-Southern folk song, with elements of country music and gospel piano and organ. And in the mid-sixties, ‘The Band’ was the backing band for Bob Dylan and is referred to as Dylan’s first electric band.
The song is written by band member Robbie Robertson. The song is about a visitor’s experiences in Nazareth, Pennsylvania. The bible belt American town mentioned in the lyric’s first line, “I pulled into Nazareth was feeling ‘bout half dead, I just need some place where I can lay my head”. Nazareth is also the home to the famous ‘Martin Guitars’ which is highly respected for its High Top and Acoustic guitars and the guitar parts for the song was played on a 1954 Martin-D28, therefore he visited the town. ‘The Band’ received high acclaim from music critics and were admired by the Beatles and the Rolling Stones and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994.
Carol King is the American Singer-Songwriter wrote “It’s Too Late” 1971 and it’s taken from her Grammy winning album ‘Tapestry’.
The lyrics to the song are written by Toni Stern and the music by King. Before becoming a solo artist, King was an in-house writer at the Brill Building which was based in the Tin Pan Alley neighbourhood in New York, which housed publishers and writers. On the roster were writers like Burt Bacharach, Neil Diamond, Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller to name a few. King is a prolific writer and responsible for many hits, like “Up on the Roof,” The Drifters (1962), Aretha Franklin — ‘(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman’ 1967, James Taylor — ‘You’ve got a Friend’ 1971, and finally “If It’s Over,” Mariah Carey (1991). She has won four Grammy Awards and was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for her song writing. She is the recipient of the 2013 Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song – the first woman to be awarded this prize.
Folk singer Ray LaMontagne has a voice that reached out to you from the speakers. “Trouble”, released in 2004 makes him a newly on this playlist. He has been compared to Otis Redding, Van Morrison and Nick Drake. La Montagne quit his full-time job but maintained his part-time tutor position. In 1999 he recorded a 10-track demo which he sent out to local venues. This got him hired as an opening act. He was discovered at a music festival in Maine by business executive Ron Clayton who introduced him to Chrysalis Music Publishing and in 2004 he recorded the album ‘Trouble’. ‘The album sold over 250,000 copies in the US and 500,000 worldwide’. I had the opportunity to see him in concert at the Albert Hall in London. He was very shy, he hardly spoke to the audience, but his voice sounded amazing and you could tell he just wanted to sing his songs and share his music. He rarely gives interviews and refers to himself as a private person, but he has some great music worth sharing.
Elton John and Bernie Taupin have written some great hits over the years and “Tiny Dancer” is one of them. Taken from Elton John’s fourth album ‘Madman Across the Water’ released in 1972. The song was inspired by Taupin’s first visit to America in 1970. He wanted to capture the spirit of California on the track and was also inspired by meeting Maxine Feilbelman who was a seamstress on tour with Elton.
In 2019, Feibelman said, “I knew the song was about me. I had been into ballet as a little girl and sewed patches on Elton’s jackets and jeans.” Hence the lyrics of the song “Blue baby, L.A. lady seamstress for the band…. You’ll marry a music man ballerina; you must’ve seen her dancing in the sand”. A moment in life captured in a wonderful song enjoyed by many.
Canadian Folk singer and song-writer Joni Mitchell released “Big Yellow Taxi” in 1970.
It was a track on the ‘Ladies of The Canyon’ album however it became a big hit with the live version released in 1974. She was inspired to write the song after opening her curtains in a hotel room in Hawaii, she says “I threw back the curtains and saw these beautiful green mountains in the distance. Then, I looked down and there was a parking lot as far as the eye could see, and it broke my heart – this blight on paradise.” You could say this is her protest son., “They paved paradise to put up a parking lot. Hey farmer put away that DDT now!” Her song writing is usually a reflection of her concerns for the environment, reflections on what is going on in society or disillusions about romance. Either way she conveys it well. Creativity comes in many ways and to be inspired to write a hit record based on what you see out of a window can pass some of us by. Mitchell’s genre of music has changed over the years from Folk to Jazz and with her 17th studio album, ‘Both Sides Now’, she wins a Juno award for Best Vocal Album of the Year to add to her two Grammy awards for the same album.
“Venture Highway” inspired Dewey Bunnell to write this song after seeing clouds in the sky. The lyrics “alligator, lizards in the air” is referring to the shapes of the clouds. This is a moment that happened when he was a young boy growing up in Nebraska. “It reminds me of the time I lived in Omaha as a kid and how we’d walk through cornfields and chew on pieces of grass. There were cold winters, and I had images of going to California. So, I think in the song I’m talking to myself, frankly: ‘How long you gonna stay here, Joe?’ I really believe that ‘Ventura Highway’ has the most lasting power of all my songs.”
Bunnell is a band member from the group ‘America’. The band was renowned for their close harmonies and acoustic soft rock sound. Formed in the 1970’s in London, Dewey Bunnell, Dan Peek and Gerry Beckley met while their family were stationed at the US Air Force in England. Once the trio had graduated from high school, they approached Warner Bros Records and were offered a record deal. Their debut album released in 1971 included many hits, one of them being “A Horse with No Name”. “Venture Highway” is taken from their second album ‘Homecoming’. The opening guitar on this track really sings positivity and a feeling of the California sunshine.
The band ‘The Black Crows’ formed in 1984 they influenced by southern rock and 1960’s psychedelic pop but they would soon evolve into a 1970’s blues rock band.
This track “Thorn in My Side” was taken from their album ‘The Southern Harmony Musical Companion’ released in 1992. Chris and Rich Robinson are the founding members of the band. Chris delivery on this track is slow, easy and before the end you get the soulful backing singers. It is one of those tracks worth rewinding. The Black Crowes have sold more than 30 Million albums. Melody Maker magazine has named them as the “Most Rock and Roll Band in the World” and Rolling Stone Magazine voted them “Best New American Band” in 1990. If this is a genre of music you like, they are worth having in your record collection.
“For What It’s Worth” written by Stephen Stills, Buffalo Springfield band member which was formed in L.A. in 1966. Stephen was also part of the group Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.
This track is considered an Anti- War song, but Stills was inspired to write the song because of the ‘Hippie Riots’ that happened between the police and the youngsters hanging out on Sunset Strip in West Hollywood, 1966. Residents and businesses were annoyed at the young people disturbing the peace while venturing to night clubs and music venues, cars causing night traffic and congestion. The city council was lobbied but the youngsters felt it was going again their civil rights.
This track has been covered and remixed by many artists including Public Enemy on their song “He Got Game” released in 1998 which also featured Stephen Stills. This original version still the best in my book.
“If You Want to Sing Out, Sing Out” is featured in the classic 1971 dark comedy cult movie ‘Harold and Maude’, written by folk singer Cat Stevens.
There was no actual soundtrack to the movie released at the time but would eventually be featured on the Cat Steven unreleased songs album ‘Foot Steps In The Dark, Greatest Hits Vol 2’ album in 1984. Stevens wrote all the songs for the movie and it would later get released in 2007 as a limited edition, at only 2500 copies.
In 1977 Stevens converted to Islam, adopted the name Yusuf Islam and left his musical career behind, dedicating himself to educational and philanthropic causes in the Muslim community. He then returned to music and performing. In 2006, he released his 12th studio album to high acclaim and still continues to perform and tour around the world. This is an upbeat track which I hope you enjoy and maybe encourages you to Sing Out!
SOUNDS FROM THE TROPICS
This eclectic playlist consists of songs from old and new Calypsonians, Soca, Zouk and Steel Pan artists from across the Caribbean. These varied styles have developed from the beat of the drum, but with the musician’s creativity and the aim to please the audience there is something unique that emerges from every sound.
Calypso is a style of Afro-Caribbean music that originated in Trinidad and Tobago during the early to mid-19th century and spread to the rest of the Caribbean Antilles and Venezuela by the mid-20th century. Its rhythms can be traced back to West African Kaiso and the arrival of French planters and their slaves from the French Antilles in the 18th century.
Soca was initially developed by Lord Shorty to revive traditional Calypso, the popularity of which had been flagging amongst younger generations in Trinidad due to the rise in popularity of Reggae from Jamaica and Soul and Funk from the USA. Soca is an offshoot of Kaiso/Calypso, with influences from Latin and Cadence.
Zouk is a genre of dance-oriented music from the Caribbean islands of Guadeloupe and Martinque. Zouk was originally characterised by a fast tempo (120–145 bpm), a percussion-driven rhythm and a loud horn section.
Steelpans (also known as steel pans, steel drums or pans, and sometimes, collectively with other musicians, as a steel band or orchestra) is a musical instrument originating from Trinidad and Tobago. Steelpan musicians are called pannists. The pan is struck using a pair of straight sticks tipped with rubber; the size and type of rubber tip varies according to the class of pan being played. Some musicians use four pan sticks, holding two in each hand. This skill and performance have been conclusively shown to have grown out of Trinidad and Tobago’s early 20th-century Carnival percussion groups known as Tamboo bamboo. The pan is the national instrument of Trinidad and Tobago.
These are some of the styles of music you will hear on this playlist, artist from around the Caribbean performing their music for you which I hope you enjoy.
When Aldwyn Roberts aka ‘Lord Kitchener’ arrived in Britain from Trinidad in 1948 on the The Windrush ship carrying hundreds of West Indians who were called to serve the ‘Mother Country’ and keen to create a new prosperous life for themselves, Kitchener was asked to sing this song on the Tilbury docks “London Is the Place for Me”.
Kitchener described as the “The Grand Master of Calypso” was encouraged by his father to pick up the guitar, an inspired gift that would serve him well for years to come. Orphaned at the age of 14, music became his saviour. He became a full-time musician and his first paid job was keeping the labours entertained while they laid water pipes in the San Fernando Valley. He would gain popularity with his compositions such as “Shops Close Too Early” and winning five calypso competitions in his borough. He would leave his hometown of Arima (Trinidad and Tobago) and join local bands in Port of Spain. He also gained the reputation as being an innovator with his music and becoming political with his lyrics. He would entertain the US troops and was invited to New York at the end of World War II to perform and in 1946 Kitchener won his first T&T Carnival Road March title with the song “Jump In The Line”, his popularity grew even more from this moment on.
“London Is the Place for Me” was specially composed for the moment he arrived in Britain, sang with so much hope and optimism. He would take up the invitation to perform on BBC Radio and became a voice for the growing West Indian community in the UK in the 1950’s and he became a reminder of their island left behind.
“Jamaica Farewell” sung here by Jamaican-American songwriter, activist and actor ‘Harry Belafonte’ the song is composed by American-Barbadian Irving Burgie and Belafonte.
This song is taken from his album ‘Calypso’ released in 1956 and would sell a million copies in that year, the album also included his hit song ‘Day-O (The Banana Boat Song)’. Belafonte’s inspiration for his music is taken from West Indian folk songs. ‘Calypso’ stayed at number four on Billboard “Top 100 Album” list for having spent 31 weeks at number 1, 58 weeks in the top ten, and 99 weeks on the U.S. charts.
He starred in the film ‘Carmen Jones’ with the stunning Dorothy Dandridge, who also starred alongside him as well as James Mason, Joan Collins and Belfonte’s love interest Joan Fontaine in the movie and my favourite ‘Island in the Sun’. The film is about an interracial romance, which was a sensitive topic at the time and due to this, Fontaine and Belafonte were not allowed to kiss on screen – it caused quite a drama!
Belafonte also became a voice not only in music and film but in the Civil Rights Movement, standing alongside Martin Luther King Jr, standing up for Anti-Apartheid Movement and in the 1950s, Belafonte was a supporter of the African American Students Foundation, which in 1959 gave a grant to a Kenyan student named Barack Obama to study at the University of Hawaii. There, Obama met and married a white American named Ann Dunham and had a child who became the first black president of the United States.
Harry Belafonte born in 1927 still holds the flame of justice and in this song he conveys a moment of simpler times.
‘Buena Vista Social Club’ performs “Candela” released in 1997. Cuban music encompasses of an array of influences taken from Latin America, Caribbean, West Africa and Europe. There are different genres to include as well for example Rhumba, Afro-Cuban Jazz, Salsa and Soukous, it is a real fusion of music to choose from.
It is 1996 and American guitarist Ry Cooder takes up the invitation to visit Havana by British producer Nick Gold of World Circuit Records and the task was to record a musical collaboration with Mali and Cuban musicians. Unfortunately, the two musicians from Mali did not receive their visas and could not travel to Havana, so plans had to be changed and ‘Buena Vista Social Club’ was born. A search started for local musicians in Havana and due to the wonderful talent, it was an easy task, taking only three days to pull together the singers and musicians, and six days to record a fourteen-track album. Once the album was released it receive many accolades and it was included in the book ‘1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die’. The album was awarded the 1998 Grammy Awards for Best Traditional Tropical Latin Album and Tropical/Salsa. It sure is an album worth owning and there is a documentary of the same name which is worth watching too!
In 2019 the female Calypsonian ‘Calypso Rose’ performed at the Coachella festival for the first time at the tender age of 78 years old. The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival held at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California brings diverse musical genres to the world stage and is well known as a celebrity annual gathering. It was now the turn of Trinidadian ‘Calypso Rose’. Her moment captured here by Randall Roberts journalist from the Los Angeles Times, “Her set before sundown was a testament to the power of music to bridge decades divides….her set prompted a multigenerational, multinational dance party.” Calypso Rose would also proclaim “Now I am the queen of Coachella”, taking the crown from Beyoncé who had performed the year before.
She sings here her song “Calypso Queen” taken from her album ‘Far from Home’ release in 2016, composed by Drew Gonsalves, Alan Thomas & Manu Chao. She declares her long reign as the queen of calypso which should be respected by the male dominated world of Calypso: “They say that I reign too long, forgetting that my constitution is strong. Instead of respecting my long reign, they’re making plot to take down my name.”
Linda McCartha Monica Sandy-Lewis A.K.A ‘Calypso Rose’ started writing songs at the age of 13 and went onto compose more than 1000 songs with more than 20 albums under her belt taking her thorn in this male dominated industry. She continues to break down walls not only on stage but in her personal life as well by announcing that she was a lesbian at tender age of 72 years and had been in a relationship with a woman for 17 years and who she is now happily married too. Calypso Rose is a true veteran and still holds the crown.
“Hot Hot Hot” performed here by ‘Arrow’, born Alphonsus Celestine Edmund Cassell on
the island of Montserrat in 1949.
I am sure you have heard this song many times, but did you know that this is the biggest selling Soca hit of all time and when Arrow’s menswear store was destroyed in the Montserrat volcano eruption, he packed and moved to Antigua and in 1996 and organised a calypso festival to raise money for the people of the island.
‘Arrow’ received much criticism for combining the different musical genres such as Zouk, R&B and Salsa to the traditional calypso sound of Montserrat, but others felt it was enticing a new audience to their island’s music tradition. “Hot Hot Hot” became a big hit around the globe and a song most people recognise as happy times, with a rum punch in hand in the heat of the sun.
‘Kassav’ are the French Caribbean band formed in Guadeloupe in 1979. Their name is taken from the Antillean Creole local dish made from the cassava root. “Ou lé” is a track taken from their 1989 album ‘Majestik Zouk’. Kassav is one of the most successful bands in the region and have fans in France, Latin America, Africa and the US. They and have released over 20 albums and some of the band members have released 12 solo albums between them. Their music is a fusion of Zouk, a fast tempo, which the band popularised in the 1980’s, Cadence-lypso which is a fusion of Haitian Cadence Rampa and calypso from Trinidad & Tobago.
When a DJ plays a song by ‘Kassav’ in St Lucia the dance floor is filled and when they play live, the five-piece band are accompanied by choreographed dancers who inspire the audience to get up from their seats and start dancing, it’s an infectious sound that makes it hard to hold back.
In 2000, the group received the Martinique Music Award for its anniversary concert, and (keyboard player) Patrick Saint Eloi won the SACEM award for Best Artist from Guadeloupe. If ever they come to a theatre near you it’s worth going to enjoy an evening of great music and a whole lot of fun.
“Hello” by the Soca group ‘Kes The Band’ released in 2018 became one of the most streamed Soca songs of all time with 70 million views and growing. The Kes band are made up of brothers Kes, Hans, Jon Dieffenthaller and long-time friend Riad Boochoon, hailing from the island of Trinidad and Tobago, they have become household names in their home country and are very popular in the Caribbean region and beyond. Their music is a blend of Calypso, Soca, Reggae and a little rock guitar thrown in. ‘Kes The Band’ are the new kids on the block with already six albums in their catalogue of music and are starting to make waves internationally as well, not forgetting their popularity on the Carnival scene. With their lead singer Kes up front with his dynamic performances and the outstanding musicianship of the band, I think you will be hearing a lot more from them.
‘Machel Montano’ started in the industry at the age of 11 years old and had a hit with his song “Too young to Soca” and in 1987 he took part in the National Song Writer Festival in Trinidad and Tobago and won the second prize with his song “Dream Girl”. Later he won the Caribbean Song Festival in Barbados becoming the youngest contestant to win this competition. So, from an early age he was destined to be a song writer, singer and performer on the world stage.
He has gained the reputation as the most popular Soca artist in the world to date. He is known all over Caribbean and has already performed at Madison Square Gardens many times over and has become the International Soca Monarch six times. This prestigious event is where the Soca stars of the moment compete and Montano has won it across the board.
This track “Fast Wine” is his single released in 2016 written by Machel Montano, Jelani Shaw & Kasey Phillips. This song is one of his slower tempo tracks, he is renowned for his uptempo high energy compositions. “Fast Wine” is a term used not to describe fast drinking, far from it, but if you are keen to know ask one of the Body Holiday staff members I’m sure they will be able to explain for you and show you, They will know ‘Machel Montano’ and this song very well….
This instrumental track is by Trinidadian Pannist artist ‘Ray Holman’ “Red Beans and Rice” is a track taken from his album, ‘In Touch’, released in 2003.
Ray Holman started playing steelpan at the age of 13 years old and would compose his first pan piece called “Ray’s Saga” for the Invaders Steel Orchestra. He would later work with some of the great calypsonians such as Sparrow and Kitchener and has also arranged and recorded with steel bands and artists in the US, Canada, Latin America, Japan and Europe, including televised performances with the WDR Big Band (conducted by Vince Mendoza) which showcased his compositions. He composed the highly acclaimed score for Black Orpheus, staged by Crossroads Theatre Company in New Jersey in 1991, and has been a featured performer in film, television and at venues such as Madison Square Garden, the Super Bowl and our St Lucia Jazz Festival. Holman has won many prestigious musical awards, including the Hummingbird Medal of Merit (Silver) from the Government of Trinidad and Tobago and a Pan Legend Award from the New York Folk Arts Institute and the U.S. Congress. He was recognised for his musical contribution by the Republic Pan Fiesta in 2003 – a Tribute to Ray Holman, a Pannist who has upheld tradition and history of the beauty of the Steelpan sound.
The descendants of free slaves took part in The Canboulay Riots which broke out in Port of Spain Trinidad in 1881. Their fight was against the British police who wanted to crack down on the celebration of Carnival. With their fighting spirit and creativity of the now free men and women Carnival celebrations would reappear with instruments made of frying pans, dustbin lids and oil drums which is now a major part of the Steelpan orchestra and still today there is a music contest in honour of the tragic event of 1881
“Calypso Music” by David Rudder released in 1993.
After leaving the band ‘Charlie’s Roots’ after nine years, Rudder stepped into the arena as a solo artist in 1986 and there was no turning back. Keeping his fans happy with his newfound fame in the US, London and Tokyo where his lyrics were translated in Japanese. His original day job was as an accountant for the Trinidad Bus Company and with this song he captures his passion for Calypso music.
St Lucia’s Teddyson John sings “Allez” released in 2015.
Castries born John was raised on Gospel music and in 2007 he made the decision to start creating Soca music which has now earned him International recognition. In his home country he has won the 2007 very first Groovy Soca Monarch competition and in 2016 John became a finalist at the International Soca Monarch hosted in Trinidad and Tobago, a platform he always dreamed of gracing, and in the same year was award the Best Calypso and Soca Entertainer at the International Reggae and World Music Awards. There is no stopping this fine musician whose passion and desire to share his Soca music and hold no bounds.
“Allez” means ‘Go’/‘Go Ahead’. This upbeat creole titled Soca song is asking us to leave our problems behind and step forward into a positive way of being.
‘Nadia Batson’ songwriter, producer and background vocalist spent many years behind the scenes working with other artist creating hits. Batson is another great artist from the land of Calypso, Trinidad and Tobago. She started composing songs from the age of 8 years old and would join a girl group called the ‘Silhouette’s’ in her teens, who would become a prize winner on the popular prime time talent show ’Party Time’. She would later become a backing vocalist for ‘Kes The Band’ featured on this playlist and decided to leave the band in 2011 to form the all-female band ‘SASS Nation’ which is one of the established female Soca bands in Trinidad and Tobago. “So Long” is a solo track written by Darryl Henry, Michael Hulsmeier, Scott Galt, Nadia Batson & Erikkson George. Batson’s ancestry also hails from our fair isles of St Lucia, so let’s just hope she doesn’t leave it too long before we see her performing here in her other home town.
We now go back to old school Calypso with ‘Slinger Francisco’, best known as the ‘Mighty Sparrow’. This Grenadian born calypsonian is also hailed as the “Calypso King of the World” with his humorous topics and his political viewpoints. It is a well-deserved title. He has won the Trinidad Carnival Road March eight times and placed the crown on his head as the Calypso King of Kings twice.
You may wonder how his stage name came about “Your calypso name is given to you by your peers, based on your style. In the old days they tried to emulate British royalty. There was Lord Kitchener, Lord Nelson and Duke. When I started singing, the bands were still using acoustic instruments and the singers would stand flat footed, making a point or accusing someone in the crowd with the pointing of a finger, but mostly they stood motionless. When I sing, I get excited and move around, much like James Brown, and this was new to them. The older singers said, “Why don’t you just sing instead of moving around like a little Sparrow.” It was said as a joke, but the name stuck.”
— Mighty Sparrow
I’m going to share two tracks of the ‘Might Sparrow’ with you because as a fan I think he captures a moment so well with his lyrics. This 1956 hit “Jean and Dinah” became an international hit and his commentary is regarding the closing of the U.S. naval base in Trinidad and how it affected the ‘oldest job in town’ and the plan of action that needs to be taken.
Again by the Mighty Sparrow called “Mother-In-Law” it’s a humorous song about the plight of a husband who’s nosey mother-in-law won’t go home.
Both his tracks are taken from the 2011 album, ‘Soca Anthology: Dr. Bird – The Mighty Sparrow’. This album is jam packed with his great songs.
Calypsonians can express their upset about social political issues on behalf of those that do not have a voice of their own. It calls for freedom and empowerment for the people without getting into too much trouble for telling the truth.
In the intro to the song ‘Calypso Rose’ shares her thoughts on why calypsonians are so important in the Caribbean community, then and now.
“Rhum and Coca-Cola” covered by ‘Calypso Rose’ is taken from her album ‘The Queen of Trinidad’. This song was written in 1944 by Lord Invader and was covered by many artists including the American female harmony group, the Andrew Sisters, which he was not happy about. Lord Invader went to New York and took legal action regarding the theft of his song and would win by receiving $150,000 in owed royalties.
Chaguaramas lies in the North West Peninsula of Trinidad west of Port of Spain, mentioned in this song, was home to the U.S. Army and with boys away from home in Trinidad. With lots of American Dollars in their pockets and not much to do other than having a good time, they became loved by the Trinidadian girls and the local boys wanted to be them. When the American base was closing, that affected all those who depended on the ‘yanky dollar’, and it’s a humorous take on a serious issue for some … Enjoy!
THE CROONERS and Their Love Songs
‘Crooner comes from the verb croon, “to sing softly and sadly.’
What defines a Crooner is the smooth male voice conveying sentimental feelings of yearning, with impassioned love. This playlist is an eclectic mix of male singers doing just that. Frank Sinatra did not actually consider himself a ‘Crooner’ which is a surprise considering he made the girls go weak at the knees back in the day. Maybe he just wanted to be known as a brilliant singer which he is, as well as the artists on this playlist. So, sit back and get ready to be swooned.
Bing Crosby sings “Sentimental Music” written by Bernie Wayne & Ralph Care, first recorded in 1951.
Crosby’s recognisable voice Croon’s his way through this song. The early years of being on the radio gave him the reputation as the voice to trust. During World War II with servicemen away from home he helped to boost the morale of the soldiers and he became the voice they wanted to hear. “In 1948, American polls declared him the “most admired man alive, “ahead of Jackie Robinson (professional basketball player) and Pope Pius XII. Also, in 1948, Music Digest estimated that his recordings filled more than half of the 80,000 weekly hours allocated to recorded radio music.” Not only was Crosby a singer he was also an actor and would have a comedy act with his long-time friend, Bob Hope. Crosby also received an Academy Award for Best Actor in 1944 for his role in the movie ‘Going My Way’. His biggest selling single is “White Christmas” which is credited for selling 50 million copies. His very last concert was at the Brighton Centre in the UK on the 10th October 1977, he died four days later, leaving behind an array of music for us to enjoy.
“Magic Moments” music by Burt Bacharach and lyrics by Hal David which was one of the duos first compositions 1957 and sung here by Perry Como. “Magic Moments” was the ‘B’ side to “Catch a Falling Star”, another one of Como’s classic hits.
Perry Como was an actor, singer and T.V. personality in America. He had a long career in the entertainment industry spanning more than half a century and signed a record deal with RCA Victor records in 1943 and would remain as a recording artist for the label for
44 years. “In the official RCA Records Billboard Magazine memorial, his life was summed up in these few words: “50 years of music and a life well lived. An example to all.” Como’s first profession was as a Barber in his hometown in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania. He would sing while doing his work. He gained the name ‘Wedding Barber’ due to singing romantic songs while shaving the grooms before their wedding. An opportunity would later come for him to sing on stage at a talent contest. After his performance, he was offered a job singing with a big band. He could earn $125 a week as a barber and the band was offering $28 per week. He took up the offer and toured leaving his family behind for 18 months and the rest is history. He found his true calling.
The dulcet tones of “Nat King Cole” on this track which he made famous ‘L-O-V-E’, taken from his last studio recording released in 1964 by the same name. He died in the same year, days before the release of the album. Cole recorded different versions in various languages of the song written by Bert Kaempfert and Milt Gabler, for the international market, ‘Japanese (mixed with English words), Italian, German, Spanish and French. In this last language, the song was renamed “Je Ne Repartirai Pas” and translated by Jean Delleme’.
Born in Montgomery, Alabama in 1919, Cole dropped out of school at the age of 15 years old to pursue a music career by following his dream. He is still one of the best male vocalist in the world. Nat King Cole was the first African American man to host his own T.V. show. ‘The show was in trouble financially despite efforts by NBC,Harry Belafonte, Tony Bennett, Ella Fitzgerald, Eartha Kitt, Frankie Laine, Peggy Lee, and Mel Torme, Cole decided to end the program and the last episode aired on December 17, 1957.’
Cole has recorded many songs we now know and love. He has sold 50 million records on the Capital Records label alone. His music is timeless.
Francis Albert Sinatra born in Hoboken, New Jersey in 1914 best known to us as “Frank Sinatra” sings ‘Summer Wind’ which was composed by Heinz Meier, lyrics by Hans Bradtke and Johnny Mercer rewrote the song into English.
The song was recorded by Perry Como and Bobby Vinton but it was Sinatra who made it a hit in 1966. This track was the ‘A’ side to another one of many classics by Frank – ‘You Make Me feel so Young.’
‘Frank Sinatra once said he did not consider himself or Bing Crosby a “Crooner” However his singing style on this track embodies the term, easy, gently, intimate and classy. Who would have thought he was singing about the weather? ‘The song talks of the sirocco wind which passes from North Africa into Southern Europe at the end of summer, and uses this as a metaphor for the changing of the seasons and the passing of time’. And with the romantic overtones and Sinatra’s vocals it still lends itself to romance in the ultimate Crooner way.
Ray Charles sings from the heart in his soulful, gospel way on “I’m a Fool for you”. Composed by Charles and released in 1955, it reached number one in R&B Charts, produced by Jerry Wexler. Wexler was the man who invented the term ‘Rhythm and Blues’ and he produced many hits for Aretha Franklin, including Wilson Picket, Dusty Springfield and Led Zeppelin.
Charles lost his sight at early age due to glaucoma. His mother fought for a place for him at the Florida School for the deaf and blind in St Augustine, the Southern Eastern United States. This is where he developed his musical talent. He would also learn braille music. Charles left school and struggled to find work as a musician. He was on the breadline like many after World War II but would eventually start writing and recording songs and modelled himself on Nat King Cole. His story is depicted in the 2004 movie ‘Ray’ with Jamie Foxx in the lead role and lands him an academy award.
Ray Charles may not have the dulcet tones of Cole but on this track, he delivers a heart wrenching love song.
‘I’ll Never Fall In Love Again’ written by Lonnie Donegan, Jimmy Currie and sung here by Tom Jones.
Lonnie Donegan was a British skiffle singer who was a big influence on the 1960’s music scene. He sang and released this track in 1962 but it was Tom Jones who took it high into the charts in 1967. Tom Jones, the boy from Wales, gives it his all on this song holding nothing back. His voice has been described as “full-throated, robust baritone”. Tom Jones is a much-loved singer whose career has spanned over six decades. From having a resident spot in Las Vegas, performing with some of the greats such as Elvis, duetting with Janis Joplin on his T.V. show in 1969 and most recently he has been a judge on a talent show in the UK in which he was given a great surprise in 2019. “Donegan’s son, Peter, auditioned for The Voice UK in which Tom Jones turned his chair for him. Jones when finding out and taken back by who he was, performed an impromptu duet of the song with Peter”. In 1999 he was awarded the Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) and in 2006 was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for services to music. After receiving the award, he said, “When you first come into show business and get a hit record, it is the start of something. As time goes by it just gets better. This is the best thing I have had. It’s a wonderful feeling. A heady feeling”. He is truly a national treasure.
“Hay Love” is written and performed by the mighty Stevie Wonder released in 1966 and taken from his already 6th studio album ‘Down To Earth’.
The song was co-written by in house Motown Records writers Morris Broadnax and Clarence Paul. This album was the first departure from his ‘Little Stevie Wonder’ years and teen pop songs. Stevie was a child prodigy and had been signed to the Motown label since the age of 11. Despite being blind at birth he would go onto to be a much-loved superstar recording artist. He has sold 100 million record worldwide, has 25 Grammy awards and he became the second African-Amercian musician to win an academy award for Best Original Song in 1984 for the film ‘The Women in Red’. He also received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1996. He is now 70 years old and still performing and making music. In 2018 he joined Twitter, honouring Martin Luther King Jr in a video with famous personalities. ‘Each person involved shared their dream, calling back to King’s popular speech in 1963. Wonder’s first tweet took the Internet by storm, and he also encouraged viewers to share their own videos about their dreams with the hashtag #DreamStillLives.’ He is an artist worth following.
“Brown Eyed Girl” Written and recorded by ‘Van Morrison’ in 1967 and was released in the same year and spent 16 weeks in the Billboard Hot 100 in the U.S.
The song is about a former love of Morrison’s and some of the lyrics had to be changed for radio because they felt it was to suggestive “A radio-edit of the song was released which removed the lyrics “making love in the green grass”, replacing them with “laughin’ and a-runnin’, hey hey” from a previous verse.” This song was featured on the album ‘Blowin Your Mind’. Rolling Stone Magazine named it one of the Essential albums in 1967 and it continues to be a favourite for many including the former Presidents of the US. In 2005, the White House announced that George W. Bush played it regularly and in 2009 Clinton named it as one of his favourite tracks on his iPod. Morrison has been referred to as ‘being stubborn, idiosyncratic and sublime’, however despite his quirks his performances have been described as the best. The Northern Irish singer received an Order of the British Empire (OBE) for his service to music in 2016. After receiving the award he said “For 53 years I’ve been in the business – that’s not bad for a blue-eyed soul singer from east Belfast,” Well done Sir Morrison!
John Roger Stephens better known as John Legend is one of younger Crooners on this playlist, singing “Save Room” taken from his second album “Once Again” released in 2006 and written by Legend along with Will.I.Am. (from the band Black Eye Peas).
After graduating from college, John’s first job was working as a management consultant. He started writing songs and would release his demos independently, which he would sell at his gigs. With a lucky introduction to the up-and-coming hip-hop artist Kanye West, John was invited to sing on some of Kanye’s new album and no doubt played him some of his tracks, Kanye was impressed and offered John a record deal on his record label, Good Music. John would be inspired to change his name by poet J. Ivy who was also invited to work on Kanye’s album. He would tell John, “I heard your music and it reminds me of that music from the old school. You sound like one of the legends. As a matter of fact, that’s what I’m going to call you from now on! I’m going to call you John Legend.” And the name stuck and now carries many hats as a record producer, actor, film producer, theatre director, and philanthropist. He has also won many awards; Academy award for the Best Original song and Golden Globe award in 2015 for co-writing the song “Glory” for the film ‘Selma’. He is a true Legend in the making.
“AVALON” taken from the eighth and final album from Roxy Music released in 1982 by the same name.
Lead singer Bryan Ferry wrote the song while on holiday with his girlfriend in Crumlin Lodge on the west coast of Ireland. Ferry’s smooth vocal delivery and the easy movement in the song gives you a real sense of romance and relaxation. Ferry explains some of his inspiration for the song by saying, “Avalon is part of the King Arthur legend and is a very romantic thing, when King Arthur dies, the Queens ferry him off to Avalon, which is sort of an enchanted island. It’s the ultimate romantic fantasy place.”
Bryan Ferry formed Roxy Music in the 1970’s after losing his job at a girl’s school for holding unplanned record listening sessions. Roxy Music would become the glamour in rock music as they were one of the first bands to create crafted music videos and in their live show presentations. Ferry wanted the band to stand out from the usual rock bands of the time, adding a little more sophistication and you can really hear it on this track. Glam rock at its best.
“I Can’t Make You Love Me” sung beautifully here by George Michael, is a song written by Mike Reid and Allen Shamblin and was originally recorded by American singer Bonnie Raitt.
I was fortunate to attend an MTV unplugged concert in 1996 where he sang this song live. You could hear a pin drop in the audience. This version is George at his best! His vocals just glides through the track with controlled emotion, he makes it seem effortless. This is track 7 on his ‘Ladies and Gentleman – The Best of George Michael’ album released in 1998. George became a solo artist in 1987 after leaving the successful pop band WHAM. He received an Ivor Novello award in 1985 when he was just 21 years old and it was the moment when he felt truly recognised for his work, which put him on the map as a serious artist. He would later receive many awards, one being a Grammy in 1989 for his ‘Faith’ album which he was also proud of. George died in 2016 leaving behind a catalogue of music for his fans to still enjoy! He is truly missed.
Luther Vandross is referred to as the ‘Velvet Voice’ and you get to enjoy it on this track, “Always And Forever”, released in 1994. Vandross started his career as a background vocalist for some of the great performers for example, Diana Ross, Bette Midler, David Bowie, Ben E. King and Donna Summer to name but a few. He would become the lead singer for the group, ‘Change’, the Italian-American band formed in Bologna, Italy in 1979, which was influenced by the disco band ‘Chic’. He would eventually go solo in 1981 with signing to Epic Records and released his debut album ‘Never Too Much’. He was much a loved artist amongst his peers and would have hit duets with Mariah Carey, Janet Jackson and Beyoncé. Vandross sold 35 million records worldwide. He also received eight Grammy awards including Best Male R&B vocal performance and “he won a total of four Grammy Awards in 2004 including the Grammy Award for song of the Year, for a song recorded not long before his death, “Dance with My Father”. Luther Vandross died in 2005. His voice is timeless and will be enjoyed for generations to come.
The unmistakable voice of Barry White, with his deep robust and seductive tones on this track “You’re the First, The Last, My Everything” makes him the R&B crooner. The song was written by White, Tony Sepe and Peter Radcliffe and produced by White, and it is taken from his third album ‘Can’t Get Enough’ released in 1974. White grew up listening to classical music that his mother used to play and it inspired him to imitate what he heard on the piano but his inspiration for singing came in an unusual way. At the age of 16 White went to jail for stealing Cadillac tires worth $30,000 and while in prison he heard Elvis Presley singing ‘It’s Now or Never” on the radio and that moment changed the course of his life. He decided to take a new path and once he left prison, he started following the music. He joined the vocal group, ‘The Up-Fronts’, and released his first single with them in 1960’s. He later went onto release tracks under his own name. In 1973 he created ‘The Love Unlimited Orchestra’ with the girl group ‘Love Unlimited’ on backing vocals. The orchestra’s distinctive classical R&B sound took them to number one on the Billboard pop charts, with “Love Theme”. It was the disco era and White’s music was perfect for the dance floor and makes it hard to sit still in your seat… Don’t spill your tea!
Marvin Gaye ‘Let’s Get It On’ a slow dance classic and on every Valentine’s Day playlist. Released in 1973 and written by Marvin Gaye & Ed Townsend.
Music producer and Rolling Stone music critic, Jon Landau describes the song delightfully “Let’s Get It On” is a classic Motown single, endlessly repeatable and always enjoyable. It begins with three great wah-wah notes that herald the arrival of a vintage Fifties melody. But while the song centres around classically simple chord changes, the arrangement centres around a slightly eccentric rhythm pattern that deepens the song’s power while covering it with a contemporary veneer. Above all, it has Marvin Gaye’s best singing at its centre, fine background voices on the side, and a long, moody fade-out that challenges you not to play the cut again”
Marvin Gaye was one of the first acts to shape the sound of Motown Records, which earned him the name “Prince of Motown” and “Prince of Soul”. He also gained the title of sex symbol due to his slick live performances and his songs such as ‘Sexual Healing’. Marvin had an extraordinary career which tragically came to an end after being shot by his father in 1984. A sad end to a talented soul who only wanted to share words of love.
Gregory Porter winner of a Grammy Award for Best Jazz Vocal in 2014 for his album ‘Liquid Spirit” and in 2017, for ‘Take Me to The Alley.” Porter first pursued a career in American Football but his hopes were cut short when he received a shoulder injury. He then worked as a chef in his brother’s restaurant in Brooklyn where he would also perform. He started to obtain residency singing jobs in other restaurants and would then eventually start touring with his band. He was signed to a few small record labels, releasing two albums, but it was his record deal with Blue Note records put him on the map with his hit album ‘Liquid Spirit’. “Liquid Spirit enjoyed commercial success rarely achieved by albums in the jazz genre, reaching the top 10 on the UK album charts. It was certified gold by the BPI, selling over 100,000 units in the UK”. Porter is an artist to look out for. His voice is sublime and his popularity is growing with every note he sings.
The great Elvis Presley singing ‘Love Me Tender’ is taken from the movie of the same name released in 1956. The words are credited to Ken Darby under the pseudonym “Vera Matson”, the name of his wife, and Elvis Presley. The musical score of the song is from a Civil War song called ‘Aura Lee’, first published in 1861. Elvis performed the song on the Ed Sullivan show in 1956. A month before the release of the movie, a million advance orders were placed, making it a gold record before the release date.
There have been many versions of this song performed by the likes of Cliff Richard, Barry Manilow, Johnny Mathis, James Brown, Julie Andrews, and Johnny Cash. Barbra Streisand recorded the song as a duet with Presley for her 2014 album ‘Partners’. Due to Presley’s death in 1977, Streisand had to sample the original 1956 Presley recording for the album. Ken Darby would later say “He does not read music, but he does not need to. All I had to do was play the song for him once, and he made it his own! He has perfect judgment of what is right for him. He exercised that judgment when he chose ‘Love Me Tender’ as his theme song”.
‘Michael Bublé’ a voice that holds no bounds, sings “Feeling Good” taken from his album ‘It’s Time’ (Deluxe Version) released in 2005. The song written by composers Anthony Newley and Leslie Bricusse for the musical, ‘The Roar of the Greasepaint – The Smell of the Crowd’, and it was first performed by Guyanese-British singer and actor Cy Grant in 1964. Grant was also one of the first black actors to appear on T.V. in Britain on the 1950’s current affairs show ‘Tonight’. Nina Simone also has her famous version on her ‘I Put A Spell on You’ album released in 1964 and re-released in 1994. Bublé’s versions has that big band sound, he makes it his own! From a humble start, this Canadian singer has become a star “His first singing engagements were in nightclubs at age 16 and were facilitated by his Italian grandfather Demetrio Santagà, a plumber from Preganziol Treviso, who offered his plumbing services in exchange for stage time for his grandson. Bublé’s grandfather paid for his singing lessons. Both his voice teacher, Sandi Siemens, and his maternal grandfather never stopped believing that he would become a star.” And he Sings this song so well, leaving you ‘Feeling Good’.
“They Can’t Take That Away from Me” sung here by the undeniable crooner himself ‘Frank Sinatra’. Originally performed by Fred Astaire in the movie ‘Shall We Dance’ in 1937 which made it a big hit.
This song is a perfect end to this playlist, with Frank serenading you with the words and music that George and Ira Gershwin created beautifully. It encourages you to sit back enjoy the view, the music and your tea. “The way you wear your hat, the way you sip your tea, the memory of all that. No, no they can’t take that away from me’ Enjoy!
The Clubhouse Lounge
A comfortable and welcoming space at the heart of the resort, The Clubhouse Lounge features an assortment of sofa seating, lounge chairs, and tea-height tables. Gather with friends, have a snack, and plan your day or take a load off between activities and adventures—this is your place to relax and socialise.
Located in The Clubhouse, The Library and games room is an air-conditioned refuge from the outdoor spaces. It includes a diverse library of books, Wi-Fi, two flat-screen televisions, backgammon, chess, and checkered boards etched into wood tables. With two pool tables and table tennis courts, it’s a fun place to gather with friends old and new. The Library also features a small workstation equipped with a computer and printer for your use.
An inviting central meeting place at BodyHoliday, the Cariblue Courtyard looks out on the beach and is replete with casual white bistro seating and aqua pagoda umbrellas. Enjoy the serenity of a trickling natural stone fountain with glass mosaic tiles and a local stone wall with niches of orchids. After sunset, glowing lantern light provides a timeless setting for the evenings.
The Seaside Boardwalk
Take a stroll and grab a cozy spot along our boardwalk, beginning at the northern end of The Clubhouse and wrapping around the front with stairs descending into the soft white sand of Cariblue beach. The Seaside Boardwalk flows past the Pavillion and negative-edge pool and ends at the watersports hut just past the Wellness Café. The area is surrounded by all-white market umbrellas and chaise lounges. Large specialty cabanas comprised of two daybeds and centre tables are perfect for cocktails at sunset and private dining waterside.
Your wellness holiday provides nearly endless dining options and includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner (and everything in between). We offer a combination of world-class international cuisines and delectable local dishes celebrating the culinary roots of the Carribean. From fine dining and exciting theme nights to healthy food and snacks to grab and go during your action-packed day, you’ll enjoy fresh food and thirst-quenching drinks at our collection of venues.Read More
Ital Farm-To-Table Experience
I-TAL, standing for “Vital” in the Rastafarian culture, is a plant-based diet principally intended to improve health and energy. Based on the lifestyle and culinary choice of Rastafarians in the Carribean, it centers around the philosophy that a natural diet focused on the vitamins and minerals available in plants, without harming animals, can enhance one’s life and help bring them closer to the universal life force energy in Mind, Body, and Spirit.Read More
Eat Well Programmes
Food and nutrition can be a different journey for each of our guests. At BodyHoliday, we promote mindfulness, sensible eating, and indulgence in moderation. To meet you on your personalised path to well-being and rejuvenation, we provide opportunities to learn healthy eating habits and weight management. We have nutritionists on the team and an Ayurvedic programme to help you discover your “Dosha” and better manage your choice of foods.Read More
DESIGN YOUR BODYHOLIDAY
At BodyHoliday we devised what we call the "webroom". One for
every guest to plan and customise their experience.