Archive for Soul Singers

Watch TV One’s Award Winning Series “Unsung”

Posted in African Americans, Black America, Black Links, Black Men, Music, Music and Video Releases with tags , , , , , , , on June 26, 2012 by Gary Johnson

Kool Moe Dee

By Black Men In

One of our favorite shows on television is TV One’s award winning series Unsung.”  This show gets better and better with every season.  If you are unfamiliar with “Unsung,” this series sheds light on some of the most influential, yet, somehow forgotten music artists of our generation.

“Unsungis TV One’s acclaimed series of one-hour biographies celebrating the lives and careers of successful artists or groups who, despite great talent, have not received the level of recognition they deserve or whose stories have never been told.  Many of the featured singers have compelling life stories the details of which have largely remained untold.  Ten of black music’s most talented artists and groups are featured every season.

The lineup for this season looks to be great.  If you can’t be there to watch live, set your DVR‘s.  Do not miss this series.

Sly & the Family Stone (Click here to watch the “Unsung” episode featuring Sly & The Family Stone)
Angela Bofill (Click here to watch the “Unsung” episode featuring Angela Bofill)
Con Funk Shun (Click here to watch the “Unsung” episode featuring Con-Funk-Shun)
Kool Moe Dee
The Marvelettes
Gerald Levert
Arrested Development
Lou Rawls

Click here to visit the TV One “Unsung” official web page.

Brian Owens: The Voice of American Soul

Posted in African Americans, Black America, Black Interests, Black Links, Black Men, Music and Video Releases with tags , , on May 26, 2012 by Gary Johnson

Sitting across the table from Brian Owens, one might get the feeling of conversing with — as some say — an old soul. There is a calmness and self-assuredness that suggests he’s been here before, even though he is only on the verge of becoming the new voice of American soul. He doesn’t project the harried, fast-paced life of a national recording artist, but rather the soulful energy that dominates his music.

Raised in St. Louis, his music reflects a city infused with blues, soul, and folk, resulting in a style that is distinctly his own, yet reminiscent of artists like Marvin Gaye, Otis Redding, Al Green, and, for those who know him, his father Thomas Owens who chose not to pursue a music career. “I want to be my own voice, but in a way that’s familiar to people,” Owens says. “So I welcome the comparisons because it means that people take comfort in my influences. People also say, ’You sing like your father,’ which is still a nod to good tradition. I’m glad to do that.”

As one of the lead singers of Sidewinder, the Air Force band that became a YouTube sensation with 2.5 million views, Brian has been featured with the band on The Ellen Degeneres Show, Entertainment Tonight, and Fox and Friends. And he is determined to balance the media attention with a level head. “I’m very excited about the exposure,” he says. “Positive exposure is always good, even when I’m not at the forefront. I believe it will come back to me in a good way.”

In the meantime, Owens is preparing for the launch of his first major release, Moods and Messages — a self-proclaimed soundtrack to his journey as a soul artist. With the backing of St. Louis-based Destin2B1 Records and distribution through New York-based RED, a division of Sony Music Entertainment, Owens says, “Moods and Messages is about balancing out how we feel and what we give out to the world in terms of messages. So moods and messages often conflict, but you have to choose what your life will say, despite how you feel … It’s about making choices.”

The album displays Brian’s personal choices — serving in the Air Force, becoming a husband and father, performing — as they constantly shape his music into messages that are encouraging, thought-provoking, and touching. From social awareness to loving tributes to family, Brian masters the art of effortless lyrics and melodies to deliver messages that are powerfully relevant.

In his first nationally distributed single, “I Just Want to Feel Alright,” Owens evokes some of the most universal experiences of pain and desperation, even tapping into the mood of a country recovering from war and economic recession. It is a cathartic, yet hopeful anthem for our times.

The upbeat track “Open (Lovely Day)”, is a light-hearted reminder to count the blessings life gives daily, and to see the possibilities in every moment.  “Oh I” is a soulful, love ballad that pays tribute to the perfect partner– her kiss, her touch, her smile. “Keep Movin On”, is a message of encouragement  that acknowledges some of the most common adversities of our time through song. From the lost job, to the sacrificial life of a soldier, to the sharp pain of loneliness. A break from the deep messages woven throughout the album, “Let’s Get Out” is a fun reminder that sometimes, a little escape is all you ever need.

Brian attributes much of his style of interpretation to the consistency of human nature. “I’ve found that there is nothing new to write about – just new ways to write about the traditional, but exciting cycles of life. Music that reaches and touches people is about human nature. That doesn’t change. What makes us vulnerable, what makes us scared, what makes us happy — it never changes.”

WEBSITE                    TWITTER                 FACEBOOK              @brianowenstv 

EPK Link





Brian Owens Promotional Reel

I Just Want to Feel Alright (LIVE)

Show Me St. Louis Profile

Great Day St. Louis Performance

Game 1 World Series Performance

The Incomparable Lenny Williams

Posted in African Americans, Barack Obama, Black Interests, Black Men, Music and Video Releases, Politics with tags , , , on April 6, 2012 by Gary Johnson

You know him as one of the most distinctive voices on one of the most gut-wrenching love songs ever written (“Cause I Love You”), and as the former lead singer for the legendary group Tower of Power.  He is the legendary soul balladeer Lenny Williams.  Over the past 3 decades Lenny has had such classic hits as, “So Very Hard to Go,” “Cause I Love You” and “Don’t Make Me Wait For Love,” his top Pop and R&B hit with Kenny G.

Unlike many other singers in his era, Lenny still has his voice and sounds great on his new CD “Still In The Game,” on Bridle Ridge Records.

For those of you who have lost touch with Lenny, he has continued singing on tour throughout the U.S., Europe and South Africa sharing the stage with Aretha Franklin, Alicia Keys, K-Jon, Anthony Hamilton, The Whispers, Rick James, Boney James, Bobby Womack, Ohio Players, Al Green, Usher, Frankie Beverly and Maze.

Lenny has a new single “Still.”  You can watch the video below.  You can also check out Lenny’s classic live performance of “Cause I Love You.”  Stay up-to-date with Lenny Williams by visiting his official web site at

Note:  Check out Lenny on the Jimmy Fallon Show singing with The Roots on Thursday, April 12, 2012.  Check your local listings for the exact time and channel.

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