Saluting National Blues Museum: STL Music Artists Videos

St. Louis references in the news. Oh yeah, don't forget our favorite "Top Lists."

Here it comes! The National Blues Museum.

With St. Louis' illustrious Blues music history, the question now becomes, "Why did it take so damn long to build a museum celebrating St. Louis' music heritage?" :D

And considering the number of great music artists, musicians, music and video producers and recording studios St. Louis has birthed, St. Louis' music scene still can be underrated and often doesn't get the credit it truly deserves neither on the national or international scenes for its contributions to music.

Historically, Blues music is the foundation of most American music.

The Father of Blues, W.C. Handy, is said to have written, "The St. Louis Blues" on the riverfront levee. It is one of the most reproduced Blues recordings of all time.

And before Chicago's Blues music scene exploded, there was St. Louis.

Forming "America's Music Corridor" with St. Louis are New Orleans and Memphis cities that are credited with providing the roots/foundation of American music. St. Louis' contribution comes in the form of ragtime, blues, jazz, R&B and Rock and Roll.

In regards to the Blues, some of the Kings of Blues - Albert King, Little Milton and Muddy Waters - all made St. Louis a temporary home before moving on to Chicago. King and other Blues musicians honed skills in St. Louis, went back to the Deltas of Arkansas and Mississippi then went on to Chicago, which became famous for Blues music largely because of its numerous Blues and soul music recording labels. Same with Memphis.


St. Louis had labels such as Bobbin Records, SaintMo, Delmar, the short-lived Ballad Records, Arch Records (a short-lived Stax subsidiary), Vanessa, Archway etc. They all had budding artists. Albert King and Little Milton were actually on Bobbin Records. Little Milton was A&R Chief at Bobbin. But Delmar, which became Delmark, moved to Chicago and became a respected national label. Delmark's catalog grew enormously after moving to Chicago. Unfortunately, St. Louis' remaining labels only had modest or low-level success.

But today, St. Louis' Notifi Records (an independent label) has made a big splash on the R&B music scene nationally. Co-owned by Ira DeWitt (wife of Bill DeWitt, III) and R&B crooner Ron Isley, the label has produced music for artists Johnny Gill and Ginuwine. Also, Tony Thompson, of Kwame Building Group, owns TBeats - a label on Washington Avenue that has recorded members of Cleveland's famous Bone Thugs-In-Harmony.

In anticipation of the National Blues Museum opening in two months, feel free to post videos (including audio videos) of local (or national) music artists, music producers from St. Louis (or with ties to the St. Louis area) on this thread.

Let's celebrate St. Louis' first major museum dedicated to music. Let's celebrate St. Louis' rich music history, current music scene and international contributions to music.

Post any music genre video - jazz, country, blues, hip-hop, soul, pop, alternative, House, R&R, R&B, 80's, Gospel etc. etc. from any era.

Sit back, be enlightened, enjoy, and if you post keep it clean, please. :D
This guy flies under the radar.

St. Louis-based singer and songwriter, Coultrain (Aaron Michael Frison), has been on the music scene for about 15 years or so. He's had average commercial (or popular) success. His song, "Green", off the album "The Adventures of Seymour Liberty", is one of his biggest commercial songs.

St. Louis’ Coultrain is a man of many facets: drummer, visual artist, singer and poet. (Source)

His music doesn't get a lot of airplay on standard radio, but his music can be heard on international podcasts, quiet storm formats, SoundCloud, Pandora, Spotify, and other places.

In 2014, he was invited to and performed at the prestigious North Sea Jazz Festival in the Netherlands.(Link)

Coultrain's music is eclectic fused with jazz, R&B and neo-soul tinges. His lyrics and visuals can be complex and loaded with bold, but polite messages. While he also has uptempo tunes, his crooning tends to be melodic and he is in an unique class of neo-soul crooners with artists like Eric Roberson, Bilal and Van Hunt.

Coultrain has some 60's inspired production sounds on some of his tunes and overall doesn't fall into the same ol' run-of-the-mill popish music that all sounds alike. Check out his channel on Pandora. It's awesome.

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Video below was filmed in Grand Center.

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Lynne Fiddmont grew up in suburban Richmond Heights. Wal-Mart now sits on the land where her childhood home once stood.

I could listen to her sing all day - and not because she is from St. Louis - but because she has a remarkably sweet, sultry, alluring voice.

She started with an R&B duo called, "Linsey".

Fiddmont then went solo and has a few award-nominated albums. She also has been a background vocalist and explored many musical ventures with artists such as Phil Collins, Whitney Houston, Babyface, Christian McBride, Queen Latifah, Stanley Clarke, Joe Zawinul, Barbara Streisand, B.B.King, Elton John, Nancy Wilson, Dave Brubeck, George Duke, Kenny Loggins, James Ingram, Patti Austin, Eric Benet, and many more.

Her music is, of course, highly (St. Louis) jazz-tinged with some R&B overlay on some tunes.

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Before his time with Steely Dan and the Doobie Brothers, Michael McDonald learned music growing up in Ferguson, Mo., where he spent 14 years of his childhood. (Source)

Keep in mind, however, on his Wikipedia page, his hometown has been changed from "Ferguson" to "St. Louis". :lol:

McDonald has many, many hits under his belt. And although McDonald has performed across musical genres, and with a vast array of artists and musicians, some of his musical repetoire fits into a genre of music dubbed, "Blue-eyed Soul" accompanying bands and artists such as The Average White Band, Boz Scaggs, Steely Dan, Donald Fagen, Hall & Oates, The Doobie Brothers etc.. McDonald also had stints with local bands - including The Del-Rays.

Our hometown crooner has a uniquely brawny, yet smooth and instantly recognizable voice.

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Below , "On My Own" with Patti LaBelle was a major 80's hit. It charted on multiple charts and reach No. 1 on Billboard's Hot 100. The song earned a GRAMMY nomination for 'Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal'.

Written by Carole Bayer Sager and Kansas City's-own Burt Bacharach, the song is a forever classic!

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Eva Taylor was born in St. Louis in 1895 as Irene Joy Gibbons. She worked with jazz royalty such as Louis Armstrong and Sidney Bechet.

She recorded in the 20's for Black Swan Records, an African-American-owned record label in NYC; and she recorded in the same period with other renown Blues women such as Bessie Smith and Ma Rainey.

She married Clarence Williams, a jazz pianist, composer, promoter, vocalist, theatrical producer, and publisher from Baton Rouge. She was among the first whose talent was broadcast on radio programs of the day, and she held down her own program in the '20s for NBC. (Source)

Some St. Louisans won't like this, but she was dubbed, The Dixie Nightingale, by her record label.

She died in 1977 in New York. Her grandson is actor Clarence Williams III, from the 60's show Mod Squad and the 90's horror anthology, Tales From The Hood, which was executively-produced by Spike Lee.

Her music can be found on Amazon, Spotify, Pandora etc.

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Sheryl Crow was born on February 11, 1962, in Kennett, Missouri - a boothill town in SE Missouri three hours south of St. Louis. She majored in music education at Mizzou and taught elementary school in St. Louis (suburban Fenton) upon graduation.

In St. Louis, even while teaching, she formed a local rock band. She also recorded in local studios. Later she began recording commercial jingles for advertising clients - including McDonald's and her success in singing jingles in St. Louis gave her confidence to move to California in 1986. In 1987, she auditioned in Los Angeles for Michael Jackson's, "Bad" Tour and was selected - and the rest is history.

She has won several Grammys for her solo work, including her self-titled album, "Sheryl Crow". See a 45-minute video about her rise to fame HERE. There are a lot of references to St. Louis in the short biography.

Her music incorporates elements of pop, rock, folk, country and blues.

Below are the bluesy, country, rock infused songs, "All I Wanna To Do" and "A Change Would Do You Good".

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In 1965, Ron Townson and fellow St. Louis natives Billy Davis, Jr. and Lamonte McLemore (all Sumner High alums), joined female vocalists Marilyn McCoo and Florence LaRue in California to form The Versatiles. Later the group changed its name to “The Fifth Dimension”. (Source)

The 5th Dimension combined the sounds of pop, R&B, soul, jazz, light opera and Broadway. Their style was coined "Champagne Soul". They were known for late 60’s and 70’s songs such as "One Less Bell to Answer", “Stoned Soul Picnic” and “Wedding Bell Blues”.

The group went on to win seven total Grammy Awards, including Record of the Year for "Up, Up and Away" in 1967 and for "Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In” in 1969. Between 1967 and 1976 the group recorded over 20 top forty singles and produced two network television specials.

Unfortunately one the group's founding members, Ron Townson, died of health problems in Las Vegas in 2001. He was 68. Townson was a Lincoln University-Missouri alumnus and he had toured with the likes of Nat King Cole and Dorothy Dandridge before joining The Fifth Dimension. Townson also founded the girl group, Wild Honey, which gave rise to the late songbird Vesta Williams.

Lamonte McLemore has been a professional photographer for Playboy, Ebony, Jet, People and Harper's Bazaar magazines. Billy Davis, Jr. and Marilyn McCoo are still married after 45 years. Florence LaRue still tours with a group she formed.

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St. Louis-native Michael Burton formed Brother To Brother with studio musicians Billy Jones, Frankie Prescott, and Yogi Horton in the mid-'70s. They enjoyed success with a good cover of Gil Scott-Heron's "In the Bottle" in 1974, scoring a #9 R&B hit (on Billboard). It was the only one of their releases for Turbo (Records) that made any impact. (Source)

The multi-racial soul funk band was the most popular soul funk band to come out of St. Louis, Missouri in that decade.

The remake of Gil Scott Heron's super hit was released in 1974 on the late Sylvia Robinson's Turbo Records. When released, the song gained regular rotation on the popular dance show, Soul Train.

Michael Burton also co-wrote Sylvia Robinson's sexy smash 70's soul song, "Pillow Talk". The vocals, replete with moaning and sensual breathing, predated Donna Summer's orgasmic moans on "Love to Love You Baby".

Robinson and her husband, Joe, are best known for founding Sugarhill Records, which discovered the Sugarhill Gang. Sugarhill Records was the first record label to commercialize Hip-Hop/rap music. She died in 2011.

Burton was also the original stage manager for soul group Maze featuring Frankie Beverly and his writing and arrangements credits are LONG.

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Original song by Gil Scott-Heron
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Jeremy Davenport is a jazz trumpeter and vocalist who was born and raised in St. Louis (University City), but is currently based in New Orleans. According to sources, his mother has been a music educator for about 50 years and his father recently retired, after 40 years, from the St. Louis Symphony. (Source)

Encouraged to move to New Orleans, Davenport has been mentored by Wynton Marsalis, taught by Ellis Marsalis and toured with Harry Connick, Jr.'s big band - all established natives of New Orleans' jazz scene. Davenport has made appearances on late night TV talk shows such as David Letterman and Jay Leno.

He's released a number of solo projects and returns to St. Louis often to play at a local venue whether its Jazz at the Bistro in Grand Center or Powell Hall.

1st video: Pedestrians didn't blink an eye in New Orleans. Imagine doing this in downtown St. Louis or Soulard? What would happen?

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As the Grammys are about to air tonight, over the years, Song of the Year Awards have been awarded to a number of groups and solo artists that have a St. Louis connection.

1967: The 5th Dimension, "Up, Up and Away"
1969: The 5th Dimension, "Age of Aquarius/Let The Sun Shine In"
1979: The Doobie Brothers, "What A Fool Believes"
1984: Tina Turner, "What's Love Got To Do With It"
1988: Bobby McFerrin, "Don't Worry Be Happy" (His late father, Robert McFerrin, Sr., was a renown gospel and opera singer from St. Louis.)
1994: Sheryl Crow, "All I Wanna Do"

Natural Bridge Bunch (of Louisiana) - Pig Snoots Pt. I and II. The song landed on the Norman Records label in 1968, and was co-written and produced by Andre Williams and St. Louis'-own, Oliver Sain at his Archway Studios on Natural Bridge Rd..

Zephire Andre Williams (born November 1, 1936) is an American R&B musician who started his career in the 1950s at Fortune Records in Detroit. His most famous songs include the hits "Jail Bait," "Greasy Chicken," "Bacon Fat" (1957) and "Cadillac Jack" (1966). He is also the co-author of the R&B hit "Shake a Tail Feather".

Williams relaxed talking-style vocals on his mid-to-late 1950s singles are some of the earliest rap/hip-hop-style vocals on record.

In 1968, Williams collaborated with the Natural Bridge Bunch to release "Pig Snoots," a novelty song about a man named Ricky who would "come all way cross town to get me some snoots". In the 1970s, Williams wrote some songs for Parliament and Funkadelic. Williams also began to produce for Ike Turner. (Source)

The song appears on the 4-disc CD compilation package,
"What It Is! Funky Soul and Rare Grooves" (1967-1977), which trawls through a decade-long stretch of the Warner-distributed archive -- taking in the catalogs of Warner Bros., Atlantic, Reprise, Atco, and smaller nodes like Cotillion, Curtom, Alston, and Jonie -- and pulls up 80 soul/funk truffles, almost all of which were left for dead shortly after release.

While many of these cuts have been repurposed as vital ingredients of hip-hop tracks, which has in turn fostered a voracious collector's market (it would cost a fortune to collect these songs in their original formats of release), the box is a leagues-deep trawl through an otherwise forgotten past.


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Jeff Tweedy/Wilco

Jeffrey Scot "Jeff" Tweedy (born August 25, 1967) is an American songwriter, musician, and record producer best known as the leader of the band Wilco. Tweedy was born in Belleville, Illinois, on August 25, 1967,[3] the fourth child of Bob and JoAnn Tweedy (née Werkmeister).

In 1994, Tweedy formed Wilco with John Stirratt, Max Johnston, and Ken Coomer. Wilco has released eight albums and found commercial success with their albums Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, A Ghost Is Born, Sky Blue Sky and Wilco. The band also released two collaboration albums with Billy Bragg and one with The Minus 5.

Jeff Tweedy has been the recipient of two Grammy Awards, including Best Alternative Album for A Ghost Is Born. Tweedy has also participated in a number of side groups including Golden Smog and Loose Fur, published a book of poems, and released a DVD of solo performances. He was originally influenced by punk and country music, but has later reflected more experimental themes in his music.

Tweedy attended Belleville Area College and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

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Tweedy is an American rock band composed of Jeff Tweedy, from the group Wilco, and his son, Spencer. The duo has released one album, Sukierae, in 2014. Spencer Tweedy had played drums with his father on a previous record, Mavis Staples' One True Vine, where Jeff Tweedy produced. (Source)

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Most people think Tina Turner did it first, but "I Can't Stand the Rain" is a song originally recorded by St. Louis-native Ann Peebles in 1973. It was written by Ann Peebles, Don Bryant, and Bernard "Bernie" Miller. "I Can't Stand the Rain", produced by Willie Mitchell, became Peebles' biggest hit when, in 1973, it reached #38 on the US Pop Chart and #6 on the R&B/Black Chart; it also reached #41 on the UK singles chart in April 1974.

Two of her most popular songs are "I Can't Stand the Rain", which she wrote with her husband Don Bryant and radio broadcaster Bernie Miller, and "I'm Gonna Tear Your Playhouse Down". In 2014, Ann Peebles was inducted into the Memphis Music Hall of Fame.

She was born in St. Louis, Missouri, the seventh child of eleven. As a child she began singing in the choir of her father's church and with the family's group, the Peebles Choir, who regularly opened shows for gospel stars including Mahalia Jackson and the Soul Stirrers featuring Sam Cooke. She was also influenced by R&B performers, including Muddy Waters, Mary Wells and Aretha Franklin.

She began performing in clubs in St. Louis, and in the mid-1960s joined a revue led by St. Louis bandleader Oliver Sain. (Source)

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In 1984, Tina Turner recorded "I Can't Stand the Rain" for her fifth solo album, Private Dancer, and released it as a single in early 1985 in Europe. Turner's version would find minor success in the UK, but would be a success in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. (Source)

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Rapper, producer Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott sampled "I Can't Stand The Rain" on her hit, "The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)", in 1997. The song entered the Hot R&B Airplay chart in mid-June, and peaked at #6 the week of August 9, 1997. It peaked at #51 on the Hot 100 Airplay chart the following week. (Source)

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I doubt we can claim him because from everything that I hear he hated his time here, but REM lead singer Michael Stipe, a military brat, graduated from Collinsville High School. My aunt was in his class.

No Mo’ ‘Fro? Find Out Which Celebs Used to Have Epic Afros Before They Were Stars!

Link: Hour Stories: Michael Stipe in waffle country

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^Actually, Michael Stripe spoke highly of metro St. Louis' punk-rock scene. (See the quotes below).

According to the piece below, Stipe joined a band in St. Louis.

And although it wasn't R.E.M., in essence Stipe got an early musical start in metro St. Louis. He wasn't just a graduate of a Metro East High School. He was on the local music scene, albeit for a short period.

Bollen: If you were in East St. Louis, were you able to start a band, or was this a dream deferred?

Stipe: I had to get a driver's license and drive to St. Louis to find the punk-rock scene that was happening there. And there was a punk-rock scene. It was sweet. It was real. It was like everywhere else in the country. It was a handful of people who were feeling the same pull, and, of course, it was like the Island of Misfit Toys in Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer [1964]. Just the freaks, the fags, the fat girls, the unbelievable eccentrics . . . They were all drawn to the music, the fringe that was happening in faraway places and trying to recreate it innocently, beautifully where they were. It's like making capes out of beach towels and pretending to fly.

Bollen: How did you get from East St. Louis to Athens, Georgia?

Stipe: I joined a band in St. Louis and we did two shows. Then my parents decided to move to Georgia to be close to their family. The last thing I wanted to do was move to this cowpoke, hippie town in rural Georgia. I stayed behind and went to college at the University of Illinois at Edwardsville and lived with a punk-rock band in a place called Granite City. We ate spaghetti and butter because we couldn't afford anything else, and we f***ed around a lot. Then I ran out of money and I followed my parents to Athens. Little did I know, of course, that the B-52s were starting their thing in Georgia, and Pylon and the Method Actors . . . There was this whole little scene starting in Athens. I sulked for a year and a half. Then I started the band.

Interview Magazine, MICHAEL STIPE
Published 05/04/11
I didn't know that. Good stuff.
SZA (pronounced Sizah) (Solana Rowe) is an American singer-songwriter. She was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, later relocating to Maplewood, New Jersey. She still has family - including her grandmother – living in the St. Louis region.

SZA is considered the First Lady of Grammy-award winning rapper Kendrick Lamar's music collective TDE (Top Dawg Entertainment), which includes Kendrick Lamar, Schoolboy Q, Ab-Soul, Jay Rock and Isaiah Rashad.

SZA is a PBR&B and neo soul singer whose music is described as Alternative R&B, with elements of soul, hip hop, minimalist R&B, cloud rap, ethereal R&B, witch house and chillwave. (Source)

In 2014, her album, "Z" reached #5 on Billboard's R&B Albums chart, #39 on Billboard's 200 chart and #9 on Billboard's Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart.

WARNING: SZA's video to her song, "Babylon", was controversial because of its depiction of suicide.

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My favorite song of SZA's is, "Sweet November" in which she sampled Marvin Gaye's, "Sweet November".

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Then she did a sweet, neo-soulish duet with label-mate, Isaiah Rashad.

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When I first heard this guy, I felt cheated because I hadn't been exposed to his music sooner.

Amos "Leon" Thomas, Jr. was an "avant-garde" jazz singer who was born and raised in East St. Louis. He was famous for his jazz stylings because of his "scat-yodelling", which he pioneered, during the middle of jazz songs. He reportedly learned yodelling from African Pygmy singers. His yodelling is said to have influenced James Moody, Tim Buckley and Bobby McFerrin in contemporary music.

The tempo of his musical repertoire is varied, but many of his productions are soulful, ethereal and spiritual. Meaningful lyrics presented by a smooth, velvety voice accompanied by great instrumentation that ranges from blues, soul, jazz, gospel and funk. His funk stylings puts one in the mind of Memphis funkmaster Rufus Thomas (no relation) and some of his soulful sounds evoke Curtis Mayfield.

In addition to putting out many albums (about 12 of them), his early sessions included work with names like Count Basie, Randy Weston, Freddie Hubbard, Roland Kirk, St. Louis'-own Oliver Nelson etc. Thomas was a vocalist in Count Basie's band. He became a member of Santana featuring Carlos Santana before linking up with jazz extraordinaire, Pharoah Sanders. (Source)

Born in 1937 in East St. Louis, he died of heart failure on May 8, 1999 in New York City.

Below, listen to his "scat-yodelling" below and check out a performance with Santana.

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Did you all know that St. Louis has its own L.A. Reid (so to speak)?

His name is David "Dave" Earl McPherson II.

David “Dave” E. McPherson was born in St. Louis in 1968. His grandmother was a professional jazz pianist and teacher and his father became Missouri's first African-American State Trooper in 1965 (Page 11).

McPherson's career path has been A&R man/executive producer at Mercury, Jive, Epic, 550 Music and Sony Urban Music. At Mercury, he was promoted to a managing position in the A&R department in 1992. At Mercury Records, McPherson was able to work with R&B artists such as Vanessa L. Williams and Brian McKnight.

He is former Senior VP Black Music, Sony Music Inc. where at the time he was the highest ranking African-American at Sony Music. He also got a job running Epic Records' urban music division where he scored a second title as executive vice president of A&R at the same time, a first for any executive in the company.

He signed The Backstreet Boys and Mandy Moore. He later moved to Jive Records and introduced the Backstreet Boys to a pop music world that was heavily influenced by rap at the time opened the doors to a pop music revolution.

The Backstreet Boys sparked many imitators including 98 Degrees and label mates N’Sync. Their new sound was also the catalyst for artists such Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera.

His body of work, which includes A&R, songwriting, composing, producing, and executive producing for artists as well as signing them, includes Michael Jackson, Sade, Jill Scott, Joe, B2K, Keith Sweat, Glenn Lewis, Jhene Aiko, LL Cool J, Jennifer Lopez, Ginuwine, Jon B, 3LW (with Adrienne Bailon), Ruff Endz, B2K, Shakira, Lyfe Jennings, Ghostface Killah (of Wu-Tang Clan) and countless others.

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Jennifer Lopez, "I’m Glad", Producer

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Amel Larrieux, "Get Up", Executive Producer

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The Backstreet Boys, "I Want It That Way", Executive Producer

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B2K, "Why I Love You", Writer/Lyrists, Composer, Executive Producer

Sources & Reading
Variety: Epic moves up McPherson
Variety: Sony taps McPherson for new hip-hop shop
Crains Business: Class of 2001: David McPherson, 33 McPherson, David 1968–
Black Enterprise Magazine: Top 50 Black Power Brokers In Entertainment

Below is a photo of Manager Matthew Knowles, recording artists Michelle Williams of Destiny's Child, Former Sony Urban Music executive vice president David McPherson and former Sony Urban Music senior vice president Rodney Shealey appear backstage before Williams' opening night in the Broadway musical Aida December 11, 2003 at the Palace Theater in New York City.


Osunlade (Christian Warren) is my absolute favorite house music producer and one of my favorite DJs - and not just because he is from St. Louis.

Osunlade - world-renown house music producer and DJ, record company owner and R&B/Neo Soul producer - was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. He grew up in north St. Louis and graduated from Beaumont High School - I believe in 1985. After high school, he composed music for Sesame Street during the late 1980s and early 1990s.

He later moved to Los Angeles, California then to New York City where he went on to work with some of the best artists in the music industry including Queen of Pop Soul - Patti Labelle, balladeer Freddie Jackson, Musiq Soulchild, Eric Benet (Halle Berry's ex-husband)( song "Femininity"), neo-Soul princess Vivian Green ("Emotional Rollercoaster"), Eric Roberson, Toni Basil, dance diva Martha Wash, St. Louis' own Teresa Jenee and countless others.

He co-wrote and produced, "Rico Suave", for Gerardo which was a hit on the Latin charts in 1991. The track peaked at #7 and was the only hit for Gerardo. He also produced for the Brooklyn, NY group, Tortured Soul. Their song, "I Might Do Something Wrong", was well-regarded in dance clubs and amongst house music enthusiasts.

Currently living in Greece, Osunlade travels the world DJing in Europe, Canada, South America and everywhere in between. His record label, Yoruba Records, is based in NYC and Greece. He is a priest of the Yoruba religion of Ifá.

Listen carefully to Osunlade's music. It is not simple. It is layered with positive messages and transic spiritual vibrations. No trash. Although he stays within the deep house genre, his music versatility runs the gamut - eclectic, jazz, soul, funk, spoken word, neo soul and of course, deep house. Prince is one of his all-time favorite musical artists. Some of Osunlade's melodic vocals mirror Prince's.

By the way, Osunlade is always repping St. Louis despite its social shenanigans.

Excuse me, but I am going to get carried away a little on the media. This guy has great stuff and and he's from da lou'. :)

Produced music with St. Louis' own Teresa Jenee.
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This hit song is said to have been recorded in St. Louis by Erro (aka Eric Roberson), produced by Osunlade
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Below, a club crowd - in Amsterdam - chanting "(Don't) Change for Me". The lyrics and instrumentation are very spiritual especially when sped up on extended play on a crisp sound system.
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"My Reflection", was a popular cross-over song due to its spoken word elements.
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Osunlade co-wrote and produced this R&B hit for Vivian Green.
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Positive Spoken Word with deep house beats
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Deep House song sampling Dionne Warick's music and vocals.
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Video footage of Osunlade DJing
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What I like about St. Louis is that because it is situated almost smack dead in middle of the country, its musical influences are wide-ranging, which is demonstrated by the national and international acts that come out of St. Louis. R&B, neo soul, House, jazz, country, hip hop, R&R, Christian hip hop, blues, gospel etc. There are national artists representing St. Louis in almost every musical genre. Now that's a real music city!!

Rapper Nelly has even done country. Go figure!!

Now comes Pokey LaFarge (Andrew Heissler) and his band members with an eclectic mixture of folk, bluegrass, country and blues. He and his band members are making more national and international waves. He's toured on five continents, including tours in India, Australia and New Zealand as well as extensive roadwork in the United States, Canada, UK, Ireland, and The Netherlands. Source

Though he was born and raised in nearby Bloomington, Illinois, he now calls St. Louis home. The evidence is in his music too. I also think it is safe to say LaFarge and some of his band members grinded and nurtured their talent in St. Louis - and throughout the Midwest - before making national and international waves. According to one source LaFarge was greatly influenced by his grandfathers. One was a member of the St. Louis Banjo Club, who gave Pokey his first guitar and tenor banjo. Source


Lafarge noted in an interviewed that, "The people playing on these songs are from Wisconsin and Illinois and Chicago and St. Louis, and there’s a certain attitude that comes across in the songs and the way that they’re performed. I’m born and raised in the Midwest, and my family’s been here for generations. This is where I’m from and how I think, and that’s reflected in the music I make." Source

Previous stints also included working with The South City Three and The Hackensaw Boys. Lafarge and his band has played many venues including The Grand Ole Opry and will soon play at The Fillmore - the legendary music venue in San Francisco.

I recall see these guys on David Letterman and it was a great performance. Pokey LaFarge is a true showman.

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The harmonies on this song are impeccable. And the video was filmed in South City.
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A video from when he was with the South City Three.
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Josephine Baker. This is a great biography.

A pioneering, smart, civil-minded yet risque woman from St. Louis.

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This St. Louis woman had some pipes. Unfortunately, Gayle McCormick died this year on March 01, 2016.


Gayle McCormick was born November 26, 1948 in St. Louis and she attended Pattonville High School in Maryland Heights.

Before embarking on a solo career, she performed as lead singer with a rock and blues group called " Smith". The band did a remake of the The Shirelles, "Baby, It's You". Their remake of the song charted higher than The Shirelles' version, which too was a big hit in the 60's.

To me, some of McCormick's vocal versatility and acrobatics are reminiscent of Janis Joplin and Karen Carpenter.

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Janis Joplin-tinged
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Karen Carpenter-tinged
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In light of the untimely death of Prince Rogers Nelson (simply known as "Prince"), who is the "Father (or pioneer) of the Minneapolis Sound", it should be known that St. Louis has a major connection to the Minneapolis Sound.

Jesse Johnson sounded a lot like Prince himself. And back in the day, you had to stop to consider who was playing on the radio - Prince or Jesse. He moved to St. Louis at the age of nine and was raised by foster parents after his parents split up.

In East St. Louis (IL) I was exposed to black radio and all kinds of music because of my mother and father. Their musical taste was very broad, so I was listening to James Brown, Jimi Hendrix, Ramsey Lewis, Lou Rawls. I heard all that stuff before I was even in school, long before I was playing anything. Source

You’re partially responsible for creating an entire sound.
You’re talking about something with a rich legacy. I don’t really hear that sound in my own music. That was a time and place in Minneapolis. It was really one thing – Prince. My sound is more rooted in the griminess of not being from Minneapolis. I was the only person who didn’t grow up there. My stuff doesn’t have that same flavor. My stuff tends to have real horns. It’s the East St. Louis, Southside Chicago blues thing. That tends to be more a staple in my musical tree. Source

Jesse Johnson— Guitarist/Composer/Producer—Has an impressive set of credentials. With accomplishments including four solo LPs (A&M Records), four LPs with The Time (Warner Brother’s Records), numerous Gold & Platinum LPs, numerous performances and recordings with and for top artists around the world, Jesse has established himself as a bona fide talent.

JESSE Johnson was born in Rock Island, Illinois, but cut his musical teeth in East St. Louis, Ill & St. Louis, Mo. He started playing guitar and taught himself to play by listening to recordings of Lightning’ Hopkins, Funkadelic, Albert King, B.B. King, Curtis Mayfield, Muddy Waters, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Robert Johnson, just to name a few of his favorites.

Jesse soon left The Time after finishing “Purple Rain” the movie and The Time’s “Ice Cream Castles” LP to pursue a solo career. With the help and guidance of manager Owen Husney (American Artist) he dove into producing and writing his first solo LP for A&M records, “Jesse Johnson’s Revue”. His solo efforts proved to be another successful move. His first solo project produced three top ten singles, “Be Your Man”, “Can You Help Me” and “I Want My Girl”.


Listen to his Best Hits as a solo artist on

The Time's lead singer, Morris Day, calls out "Jesse" on his guitar.
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Johnson co-wrote The Time's, "Ice Cream Castles". Johnson can be seen in the fuchsia-colored suit.
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When Johnson went solo from The Time, he had a string of hits including one featuring Sly Stone (from Sly and The Family Stone). "Crazay For You".
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Another Johnson hit, "Love Struck"
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On the Soul Train Line, dancers dance to Johnson's, "Love Struck".
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This is one of Johnson's biggest hits, "Be Your Man".
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Johnson performs, "Be Your Man", on Soul Train
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Jesse Johnson gives his perspective on working with Prince.
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An eye to the future of St. Louis music - Smino - grandson of a Blues Hall of Fame bassist is next to carry the torch for St. Louis hip hop. Here's a nice write up from XXL.

The Break Presents: Smino - XXL Magazine
By Emmanuel C.M. April 29, 2016 2:25 PM

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[Edited By Moderator]