An Evening With Diana Ross (1977)

THE DIANA ROSS PROJECT

An Evening With Diana Ross

“All I ever wanted was the music, and the chance to sing for you…”

If you asked several people on the street to name Diana Ross’s greatest achievement, you’d probably get a variety of answers.  Some would surely say Lady Sings The Blues; others would name songs like “I’m Coming Out” or “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.”  A lot would probably say her time with the Supremes, or name one of the 12 #1 hits the group had with Diana singing lead.  But chances are almost nobody would call out her one-woman show, An Evening With Diana Ross, which she toured with and won a special Tony Award for following its run at Broadway’s Palace Theatre.

This is a shame, because An Evening With Diana Ross really displays the artist at the very zenith of her accomplishments.  The stage show – along with this double-LP recorded in Los Angeles and…

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It’s My House: Diana Ross in West Palm Beach (6/24/17)

THE DIANA ROSS PROJECT

“I’m gonna sweat my eyelashes off!”

“It’s My House,” purred Diana Ross to a roaring crowd in West Palm Beach Saturday night (June 24), and truer words have never been sung.  During a dazzling tour stop at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, ably supported by her singer-songwriter daughter Rhonda Ross, the legendary entertainer commanded the audience from her very first number (“I’m Coming Out,” of course), taking fans on an energetic ride through several decades of hits.

The evening began with a dynamic set by Rhonda Ross, an accomplished performer in her own right whose career includes an Emmy-nominated performance on the daytime soap “Another World.”  Ross boasts a confident stage presence and crisp, melodic voice that’s both reminiscent of neo-soul singers including Erykah Badu and Amel Larrieux and evocative of jazz legends like Dinah Washington.  Rhonda Ross promised the crowd a bit of her “flavor”…

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Ross (1978)

THE DIANA ROSS PROJECT

“Wouldn’t it be fine just to believe, wouldn’t it be wonderful…if life were like a song…”

This is arguably the strangest entry into the Diana Ross Motown discography; it’s certainly a confusing album that has inspired much debate amongst fans and critics.  At heart of that debate is one single question:  “What is Ross?”  Is this a new studio album?  Is it a compilation?  Was this a calculated attempt at getting sales and hits…or was it simply a time-filler between Baby It’s Me and the release of The Wiz movie and soundtrack?

The issue here is the fact that the lineup includes new songs on Side A, but Side B is a collection of previously released, remixed songs and tracks from the vaults that had been recorded for other projects.  “Reach Out, I’ll Be There,” for example, is included here — although it had been featured on Surrender in 1971, released as a…

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State Declassifies Documents on “Legendary Tony Poe” and his “Secret Army”

UNREDACTED

Tony Po from From http://tueriesdubrabant.winnerbb.com/ Tony Poe from  http://tueriesdubrabant.winnerbb.com/

The Department of State has declassified documents confirming the activities of Tony Poe, aka Anthony Poshepny, a CIA officer (cryptonym allegedly “UPIN,” cover allegedly “Air Operations Officer, Continental Air Services”) who conducted field operations in Thailand, Cambodia, and most prominently Laos from the 1950s to 1974.

Poe is frequently cited as a basis for Colonel Kurtz, Marlon Brando’s character in Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now, a CIA operative who –far removed from western influence– had “gone native” and was running his own army deep into the jungle of Indochina.  Though both Poe and Coppola denied that he was the basis for Kurtz,  the similarities are pronounced –and Poe was certainly one of the most remarkable, flamboyant, and grizzly operators employed by the CIA during American’s war in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.

According to John Prados’s must-read biography of Poe for Unredacted, Poe went to Laos in March…

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Russ Terrana – the most successful recording engineer of all time?

Sound Of The Hound

Russ Terrana was the Motown recording engineer who recorded and/or mixed down 89 US #1 records. Yep that’s right EIGHTY-NINE NUMBER ONE RECORDS!!!

He joined Motown in 1966 when the company bought the Golden World Studio in Detroit that Terrana was working for at the time – Motown were having so many hits that they needed the extra capacity. He worked for Motown until 1988 when Berry Gordy sold the company to Polygram who promptly closed the Hollywood Hitsville that Russ had moved to work at.

You can see the full list of all 89 #1’s here, including videos.

And Joe Klein writes a very detailed biography of Terrana’s career. And boy what a career. He must be the most successful recording guy of all time? Well, do you know anybody with more hits?

This is one of them:

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GR-R-R-R: Supremes “Roar” in Billboard (5/18/65)

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They say May weather either acts like a lion or a lamb…but back in 1965, three “tigers” were bringing plenty of sunshine to the airwaves.

This is a great full-page ad from the May 18, 1965 issue of Billboard, promoting the initial five album releases by The Supremes and their then-latest single, “Back In My Arms Again” (which would show up on their sixth album, More Hits By The Supremes).  The single would go on to become the group’s fifth consecutive #1 pop hit, and their very first #1 on the R&B chart.

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INTERVIEW: Louvain Demps on Good Day Atlanta

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Sometimes the most magical moments in life happen by accident; Louvain Demps of The Andantes remembers that being the case while recording “Love Child” in September of 1968.  As she recalls, there came a moment when groupmates Marlene Barrow and Jackie Hicks forget to sing a note, while Demps wailed it with all her heart.  Before they could do it again, she says Berry Gordy yelled, “I love it!”  And thus, Louvain Demps got her famous “solo scream” on one of the biggest hits in Motown history.

I was honored to sit down and chat with 79-year-old Louvain Demps for a two-part profile on Good Day Atlanta.  Not only was she gifted with one of the sweetest voices in soul music, she’s also a beautiful, genuine spirit who lights up when talking about the early days of Hitsville.  It’s no secret anymore that The Andantes were a major element of the…

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