Issue 47

Heart & Soul


Earth, Wind & Fire / Ramsey Lewis / Bobby Womack / Lamont Dozier / Roy C / Solomon Burke / Billy Ocean / Dennis Coffey

Cosmic Heights

Born from a thought and willed into being by one man, Earth, Wind & Fire became one of the biggest acts of the 1970s. Enshrouded in the Mysteries, founder Maurice White was undeterred by closed-minded audiences and managed to break through by connecting with listeners on a higher level. But no matter how far he ascended, he continued to reach for the stars.

The Touch

Ramsey Lewis always operated in the popular realm, even making people dance with his 1965 hit record “The ‘In’ Crowd,” which epitomized the soul-jazz sound. The pianist recorded an outrageous amount of jazz albums, many that successfully crossed over, including the Gold-winning fusion masterpiece Sun Goddess, featuring Earth, Wind & Fire. But more than the material alone, it was his very hands that evoked that unmistakeable soul from his piano.

Sewn Up

Bobby Womack is a thread that runs through soul music. Perhaps more than any other artist of his era, he connects the major players in a six-degrees-of-separation game that keeps going until it seems that Womack must have known and played with everyone.

Side Hustle

Lamont Dozier was a natural-born hitmaker. His famed songwriting team of Holland-Dozier-Holland gained unparalleled success in the R&B world, skyrocketing Motown past even the biggest labels of its day. As the threesome broke from the Berry Gordy machine and scored gold with their own record company, Dozier took the opportunity to start up his solo career. Ultimately parting ways with his runnin’ pals to dance with the majors, Lamont Dozier became a star in his own right.

Sea Change

Before finding international success and stardom with a string of well-known radio hits, Billy Ocean grinded on the U.K. circuit for well over a decade. The singer-songwriter released a handful of singles and four relatively unknown albums, which included a mix of ballads, Caribbean-influenced R&B, club-shaking disco, synth-filled boogie, and even country-inflected Southern soul.

The Gospel

Solomon Burke was born in the church—literally. So when he got his shot at Atlantic Records, he tried to reject Jerry Wexler’s notion of secular rhythm and blues, aiming to stick to his roots and make “soul” music. Despite recording and touring for five decades, and even having a bona fide late-life comeback, he never truly got the recognition he deserved in the genre he helped invent. But, however quietly, King Solomon remains the truth.

Protest Song

Roy C has written hits and cult classics, fought heads of labels and state. But he’s not just another R&B songwriter, and he should never be overshadowed by his record “Impeach the President.” His legacy goes beyond a single song. His oeuvre weighs a ton.

Record Rundown

Groove Merchant’s Cool Chris lists deep rarities

Record Rundown

Dennis Coffey gives feedback on ten records he put work on

The Bo-Keys

keep Memphis R&B alive

David Lee

documented the soul of Carolina

The Diplomats of Solid Sound

find their groove

Brief Encounter

made a lasting impression

In Memoriam

Melvin Sparks 1946–2011


Ruth Copeland, Marcia Griffiths, the Notations, Terry Callier, the Marvelettes

Analog Out

Jupiter Symphony


Responses from Facebook


7 Responses

  1. Outstanding issue! I really appreciate seeing the Elements EWF gracing the cover! Any chance of an in depth interview Larry Dunn or Maurice White in the future?

    – JHarris
  2. I just read with excitement the article on Earth Wind and Fire when a friend gave me the magazine. First of all I am an Earth Wind and Fire fanatic. I have been since introduced to them in 1973 at the age of 8. Yes that is correct. I have so much Earth Wind and Fire material and history in my home. Ms. Danois does a great job in recalling the history of my group. This article is has some of the most accuracy of any I have read (about 98%). I am glad this article was published and how appropriate to include Ramsey Lewis in the same publication. Count me as a subscriber.

    – Merrill Flood
  3. Earth Wind and Iyah! Forever forever ever ever, for ever!


Leave a Response