Monday, June 07, 2010

Summer music legends, now silenced...

Whoa--in the space of about a week, two music legends, who both helped set the soundtrack for summer and year round--are now no longer with us. First, it was go-go legend Lil Benny, of Rare Essence fame and later, Lil Benny and the Masters, best known for the catchy hit, Cat in the Hat.

Yesterday we lost Marvin Isley, who was for years the bassist and a songwriter for one of the best music groups EVER, the Isley Brothers.

If you watch tv, you've definitely heard one of their major '70s hits, Who's That Lady, as of late played incessantly via Swiffer commercials. Then again, that's life repeating itself, 'cause when an Isley Brothers song becomes popular, it is played constantly.

This definitely happened in the mid-1970s, especially with the song, For the Love of You, which you couldn't get away from on urban radio. Which was a good thing.

Frankly, there are so many good songs from the Isleys, it's hard to choose a favorite. For instance, there's the dreamy classic that Marvin co-wrote, Voyage to Atlantis:

as well as hits like Footsteps in the Dark (which has been sampled silly by the likes of Ice Cube and others),

and Isley renditions of great songs like Todd Rundgren's Hello It's Me (made even greater with that Isley touch),

and my favorite version of the Seals and Croft hit, Summer Breeze. When I saw the Isleys at the Carter Barron years ago, it was the most requested song. No mystery as to why.

Other great Isley tunes include: Midnight Sky, Brown-eyed Girl (NOT the Van Morrison song), Hope You Feel Better Love, Sensuality, Lover's Eve, Lay Lady Lay (the Bob Dylan tune), Make Me Say It Again.

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