Sit back, relaxgrab a’hold of somethin’ and squeeze it real tight because you are now entering the LISTENING LOUNGE, where we play SOULFUL SONGS RADIO HAS FORGOTTEN.  You know, those songs you wish you would hear while driving home after a long, hard day of work… the songs that help you reminisce on the better, less hectic days of your youth… songs that spark a memory of some sweet moment in time that provokes an involuntary smile and an unexpected chill running down your spine to tingle your sensories in the best possible way.  Just go where the memory takes you as NO SKIPS NO SCRATCHES unleashes the symphonic sounds of yesterday… in the LISTENING LOUNGE.

First up, the song that started it all for Whitney Houston.  It’s the one that made me a life-long fan of her music and it’s still my favorite Whitney song.  Remember how wonderfully different she sounded from anyone else out there then and this well-written, well-interpreted song sent me to the moon and back every single time I’ve heard it since day one.  Enjoy Whitney Houston, “You Give Good Love.”

posted by caiocoff

Whitney’s mom, Cissy Houston, is a famous singer in her own right.  She sang with the wildly popular 60’s girl group, the Sweet Inspirations and had many solo accomplishments.  One such feat is her being featured as vocalist on one of Herbie Mann’s best songs.  Herbie Mann was a Jazz flautist (played flute and passed in 2003) and this song from his ’76 album, Surprises, is a kinda Cult Classic.  If you know your Jazz from the 70’s, you know this JAM.  It’s one of the best examples of Cissy’s rich and powerful voice.  This is “Cajun Moon.”

posted by MultiplicityMe2

The Originals have to be one of the most underrated singing groups to ever come out of MotownMarvin Gaye clearly knew how gifted they were, that’s why he got behind them when he could.  Marvin co-wrote two of their biggest songs, “Baby I’m For Real” and “The Bells.”  The main lineup of C.P. Spencer, Hank Dixon, Freddie Gorman and Walter Gaines put out some songs that had a sound that widely ranged from R&B to Pop and back again.  The album cuts that you never heard on Radio had a similarity to the Pop/Hippie sound of the Friends of Distinction like you wouldn’t believe.  Then, of course, they could deliver a straight up R&B tune with the best of them.  They sang background on an awful lot of your favorite Motown songs, too.  So today we feature the great Unsung group, the Originals.  Only Hank Dixon is still alive among the original four today.  Enjoy one of my favorites that Radio rarely played… even back in the day… the very beautiful 1970 song, “You Want Hearts And Flowers.”

posted by raresoulcom

Faze-O was a group that popped up out of nowhere… well actually, they popped up outta Dayton, Ohio but they seemed to appear, make a gigantic splash and disappeared back into the sunset.  Oh but what a splash they made with their one big hit.  I mean, they really capped the tornado in a bottle with this one.  This is Faze-O settin’ it all the way out with “Ridin’ High.”  Sit back and enjoy this ride.

posted by LRyder79

If you’re old enough you can remember when Nancy Wilson could sell out Detroit’s Fox Theatre, with or without a hit record.  You went to a Nancy Wilson concert because you knew this great, great entertainer was going to satisfy you with her singing ability and completely sophisticated stage presence that you wouldn’t even need to eat for a week.  Talk about telling a musical story… WOW!  Nobody does it better than “Baby.”  I dare you to play this song just one time!  This is the absolutely gorgeous and heart-wrenching song, “Lonely, Lonely.”

posted by LudaMalaMara

Like Nancy Wilson, nobody interpreted a song like Levi Stubbs of the Four Tops.  There was nobody else on the planet that sounded as distinct and incredible as the solid-voiced Levi Stubbs.  He had a tear in his voice that melted your heart when he sang.  You know he meant what he was singing about.  They could all sing, however… Larry, Duke and Obie were no slouches by any means.  But Levi had that unique voice that God blessed only him to have.  Enjoy the most distinct Four Tops song ever recorded, “Still Waters Peace & Love.”

posted YourMamasHangOut

Nina Simone, born Eunice Kathleen Waymon, could sing any song… any style of music… to Nina Simone perfection.  Just like Lou Rawls’ “Love Is A Hurting Thing” of 1966 and South Africa’s Miriam Makeba’s “Pata Pata” of 1967, Nina stepped out of her eclectic style of Jazz & Blues and made a Pop record.  This Jimmy Webb song (“By The Time I Get To Phoenix,” “MacArthur Park”)… this departure… is what turned me on to her in my R&B world in 1968.  This song makes your heart bleed for Nina, the victim of a philandering boyfriend or husband.  Somehow, it has always resonated with me, a man, because Nina brings me in to her vulnerability and prompts my eyes to water on her behalf.  She’s amazing and this is an amazing song.  This is Nina Simone, “Do What You Gotta Do.”

posted by wigwambam

What’s not Mellow about the “Iceman,” Jerry Butler?  They don’t come any smoother.  When he teamed up with Brenda Lee Eager, they unleashed a song that pushed the “Cool” envelope to it’s maxx.  Nobody didn’t like this song.  To this day it’s still like a cool summer breeze blowing a hint of peppermint in your direction.  Check out, “Ain’t Understanding Mellow.”

posted by bigbankX

You never hear Billy Stewart songs on the Radio anymore; possibly because his era of the 60’s was some 50 years ago.  But Billy Stewart songs still sound good enough to be played on the air.  His era was crossing over from Doo Wop into contemporary R&B and you hear both elements in his music.  But his voice is untouchable and his style is just as unique now as it was then.  There was only one Billy Stewart.  If there were imitators, they’d be no match for the Original.  Nobody phrased a lyric like Billy.  Here’s evidence.  This is Billy Stewart singing the Original version of, “I Do Love You.”

posted by kmgv979

The rumor was the Fantastic Four were poised to give the Temptations a run for their money so Barry Gordy bought out Golden World/Ric Tic Records and put them on the shelf, thus ending the threat.  I don’t know the truth about that but I do know that music lovers like me had enough room in our hearts for the Temptations and the Fantastic Four.  My heart always wept for “Sweet” James Epps, Ralph Pruitt, Wallace Childs and Joseph Pruitt because they had string after string of local HITS and then… the music just stopped for them… for years and years.  Well, history will always prove that these Cats were as bad as they come and the Fantastic Four were as mighty as the cartoon Super Heroes of the same name.  As we prepare to close this LISTENING LOUNGE, we say, “Last Call for Kool-Aid” and urge you to give a listen to the Fantastic Four, “The Whole World Is a Stage.”   Peace!

posted by 24exile