RobFather X in a Smooth Groove

I hardly take video selfies but, when I do, I have to make sure that such videos will make me smile, otherwise I won’t post nor share them with anyone. (It’s the shyness factor in me.)
So yeah folks, this is me at work today [Sunday, August 20, 2017], doing my radio show. I’m grooving to one of my favorite tracks from the American R&B (rhythm and blues) and jazz-funk fusion band/group, The Blackbyrds. The song is Soft and Easy from their 1977 album, ‘Action(Click the song title or this You Tube link to listen to the entire song.)

– RobFather X

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© RobFather X! Productions

TRANSITIONS: George Michael

George Michael – English singer, songwriter and record producer transitioned on Sunday, December 25, 2016.george-michael-faces-robfathers-edit

George Michael was born Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou on June 25, 1963 in East Finchley, north London, UK.

george-michael-andrew-ridgeley-of-whamKnown professionally as ‘George Michael’, Michael rose to fame with his school friend Andrew Ridgeley in the 1980s after forming in 1981 one half of the pop music duo Wham! (The duo/group was briefly known as Wham! UK in the United States due to a naming conflict with an American band.) Wham! would enjoy success until their breakup in 1986.

Michael was best known in the 1980s and 1990s with his style of post-disco dance-pop and had been characterized as a blue-eyed soul singer before going solo. Much of his material however drew more from middle-of-the-road pop than it did from R&B/soul music.

george-michael_faith-1987The release of George Michael’s multi-million selling solo albums, Faith (1987), the follow-up Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1 (1990) and Older (1996) were – and remain  three of my often-played personal favorites from his solo efforts. As a solo artist, Michael sang music duets with such great R&B/soul music recording artists like Aretha Franklin (“I Knew You Were Waiting (for Me)”), [the late] Whitney Houston (“If I Told You That) and sang with fellow English singer-songwriter, musician and composer Sir Elton John in a 1991 live concert performance covering John’s popular 1974 hit Don’t Let The Sun Go Down on Me. Additionally, Michael contributed background vocals to David Cassidy’s 1985 hit The Last Kiss”, as well as to Elton John’s 1985 successes Nikita and Wrap Her Up.

Michael sang on the original anti-famine charity super-group Band Aids 1984 recording of Do They Know It’s Christmas? – which became a UK Christmas number one single. He donated the profits from Wham! songs Last Christmas and Everything She Wantsto charity.

george-michael_listen-without-prejudice-vol_1-1990George Michael sold more than 100 million record albums worldwide throughout a career spanning almost four decades. He would win numerous music awards throughout his 35-year career, including three Brit Awards – winning Best British Male twice, four MTV Video Music Awards, four Ivor Novello Awards, three American Music Awards and two Grammy Awards from eight nominations. He garnered seven number one singles in the UK and eight number one hits on the Billboard Hot 100 in the US. In 2008, Billboard Magazine ranked Michael the 40th most successful artist on the Billboard Hot 100 Top All Time Artists list.

As of this writing, many qualified news sources have reported – and Michael’s publicist has stated, that singer George Michael died peacefully at his home property in Goring, Oxfordshire, England, Sunday afternoon on December 25, 2016. He was 53.

Thank you, George Michael for sharing your wonderful talents and for your great contributions to the music industry. Rest in peace, my good man. We’ll greatly miss you but your music and contributions to society shall live on.

(Note: Excerpts of this transition bio were adapted from various sources.)

– RobFather X

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© RobFather X! Productions

Simply for the Record…

(…and to get it off my chest…)
I continue to see a number of news media articles and social media postings from people who seem concerned about the recent news regarding the mental and overall physical health and well-being of entertainer Mr. Kanye West.kanye-westOkay then. In that case, I feel perfectly fine with expressing my attitude about his situation right here – on my blog. I do this with no intentional offense to his legitimate fans, stans and basic suck-ups. My comment is what I would say about any so-called idol or “icon” in the entertainment business who I don’t like nor have any measure of respect; people who in my view, are ridiculously idolized and given far too much undeserved attention and mention:

“So what? I don’t give a damn on any level about Mr. West’s health issues, well-being or anything about the happenings in his personal and public life nor should I be expected to! Uh… “sorry, not sorry”, as the kids say, for having the seemingly cold, yet real-as-fuck attitude about someone who has never said nor done anything to earn my admiration, love, respect or concern.”

Ahhh. It felt good to express that realistic point of view! Naturally, I see nothing wrong with sometimes “hating” on some thing or on or about some person. Sometimes an expressed personal attitude, point of view or feeling about a situation or person simply is what it is; nothing more. To hell with people who don’t like it because nothing anyone says or does in opposition can change the originator’s point of view.

– RobFather X

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© RobFather X! Productions

 

TRANSITIONS: Kashif

Kashif (Kashif Saleem aka Michael Jones) – American multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter, record producer, artist, composer, author, director and educator – transitioned on Sunday, September 25, 2016.

kashif-album-collage_created-by-robfather-x-2016-kashif-center
Kashif was born Michael Jones on December 26, 1959 in Harlem, New York and was raised in the Brooklyn foster care system. Under his given birth name Michael Jones, Kashif was a member of the music groups The Bus Boys and Artists United Against Apartheid, though he was/is best known for being with the 1970s American disco/funk band B.T. Express (originally named Brooklyn Transit Express). It was B.T. Express who recruited him at age 15 to be their keyboardist and vocalist. As Michael Jones, Kashif is credited with performing on B.T. Express song hits such as Express and Do It (‘Til You’re Satisfied), among others.

Michael Jones/Kashif initially launched his career as a multi-instrumentalist. Among other instruments, he played the piano, flute, trumpet, saxophone and tuba. Kashif left B.T. Express in 1978 to begin pursuing a solo career in music. It was either during or shortly before this time when he studied Islam and would change his name from Michael Jones to Kashif Saleem. [‘Kashif’ is an Arabic name meaning “discoverer” and “inventor” and ‘Saleem’ means “one who comes in peace”.] While solo, Kashif used his talents to play keyboards for R&B music artist Stephanie Mills before segueing into studio work on projects with other R&B artists like Nona Hendryx, Gloria Gaynor, Melba Moore, Tavares and The Four Tops, among many others.

Kashif, who had already crafted his own distinctive sound (a sound I would know anywhere), would sign with Arista Records in 1983 where he enjoyed success as a solo artist. His signature use of synthesizer technology paired with lyrics of love and devotion helped defined urban sounds following the exit of disco music. This helped him earned several awards, including two Grammy nominations for his second album, ‘Send Me Your Love’ (1984) – which has long been and remains a personally loved, often-played favorite of mine and another nomination for his 1985 album ‘Condition of the Heart’. Together with fellow musical genius and famed recording artist Stevie Wonder, Kashif is considered a R&B pioneer and synthesizer master in urban music thanks to his precise synthesizer technology approach and the introduction of MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) in his production work.

Kashif wrote and/or performed a number of successful songs for and/or with artists like Whitney Houston (‘Thinking About You’, ‘You Give Good Love’), Evelyn “Champagne” King (‘I’m In Love’, ‘Love Come Down’, ‘Betcha She Don’t Love You’, ‘Back to Love’), Howard Johnson (‘So Fine’), Meli’sa Morgan (‘Love Changes’), Stacy Lattisaw, Melba Moore, Average White Band, Jermaine Jackson, Janet Jackson, Barry White, Johnny Kemp, Mariah Carey, Dionne Warwick (‘Reservations for Two’), Al Jarreau, guitarist George Benson (‘Inside Love (So Personal)’), Will Downing, The Stylistics and others. Kashif is credited with launching the career of best-selling jazz saxophonist legend, Kenny G with whom he has written, played instruments and/or sang several songs. In addition to his work in music, Kashif is also a successful director and best-selling author of the book Everything You’d Better Know About The Record Industry.

As of this writing, reports say that Kashif apparently died of natural causes in his home in Venice, Los Angeles in California. However, the official cause of death has yet to be determined. Kashif Saleem was 56 years old.

Many of us remember Kashif and his music and are very grateful for the sharing of his talents and influence as well as the many musical and humanitarian contributions he has given to society.

REFERENCE NOTE: Excerpts of this transition biography were adapted or retrieved from various sources, including Soulwalking.co.uk (which, in my opinion, is usually a good “go-to” source of accurate information on R&B artists of color), Billboard.com, Vibe.com, IMDb.com and AllMusic.com, among others.

– RobFather X

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© RobFather X! Productions

TRANSITIONS: Prince

Prince transitioned today, Thursday, April 21, 2016.

Prince-solo (re)
Born Prince Rogers Nelson in Minneapolis, Minnesota on June 7, 1958, Prince was an American singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and actor, serving as a major figure in popular music for over three decades. He was renowned as an innovator and was widely known for his eclectic work, flamboyant stage presence and wide vocal range. He was widely regarded as the pioneer of the Minneapolis sound. His music combined rock, R&B, soul, funk, hip hop, disco, psychedelia, jazz, and pop.

Prince developed an interest in music at an early age, writing his first song at age seven. After recording songs with his cousin’s band 94 East, the 19-year-old Prince recorded several unsuccessful demo tapes before releasing his debut album ‘For You’ in 1978. His 1979 album ‘Prince’ went platinum due to the success of the singles “Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad?” and “I Wanna Be Your Lover“. His next three records ‘Dirty Mind’ (1980), ‘Controversy’ (1981), and ‘1999’ (1982) continued his success, showcasing Prince’s trademark of prominently sexual lyrics and incorporation of elements of funk, dance and rock music. In 1984, Prince began referring to his backup band as The Revolution and released ‘Purple Rain’ which served as the soundtrack to his film debut of the same name. A prolific songwriter, Prince in the 1980s wrote songs for a number of artists and produced work by many other acts, often under pseudonyms such as “Jamie Starr”, “Christopher”, “Joey Coco”, “The Artist Formerly Known as Prince” to name a few. In 1993, Prince changed his stage name to an unpronounceable symbol (O(+>) also known as the “Love Symbol”. In 2000, he began referring to himself as “Prince” again.

Prince sold over 100 million records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling artists of all time. He won seven Grammy Awards, a Golden Globe and an Academy Award. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004, the first year of his eligibility. Rolling Stone magazine has ranked Prince at number 27 on its list of the “100 Greatest Artists of All Time”.

Prince with love symbol guitar

My heart is broken over the news of Prince’s transition…a most original, talented, elegant and beautiful man. There will only be one Prince – one “Purple One”. Reports continue to be broadcast covering the life, career and passing of Prince. I suspect such reports will continue for days to come. Though I was a fan of Prince’s music, becoming such since his debut in 1978, I did not know the man on a personal basis – though I would have loved to! I cannot possibly give Prince’s transition, his life or his career and contributions to music, to the community and to the world the justice it so richly deserves in a Facebook post. I invite you…no, I encourage you to search the internet yourself and read and learn all you can about man named Prince. Those of you who consider yourselves “hardcore” fans of Prince should read too. You might learn something new about the man. Prince’s story is nothing short of fascinating.

Prince was 57 when he transitioned at his Paisley Park recording studio and home in Chanhassen, Minnesota, near Minneapolis, according to reports. Prince will be missed on the physical plane but his music and his very huge influence in various music genres will forever live on.

Thank you, Prince for enriching all of our lives through your music and talent. Rest in peace my good man.

– RobFather X
(Excerpts of this transition bio article were adapted from Wikipedia and other sources.)
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© RobFather X! Productions