Tag Archives: records

James Brown – Sound On Sound Article

Classic Tracks: James Brown ‘Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag’
Producer: James Brown • Engineer: Ron Lenhoff
Excerpt from Article by Richard Buskin

James Brown

‘Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag’ was James Brown’s statement of intent as he abandoned soulful ballads in favour of a raw and frenetic new sound.

“Most of the time, working with James Brown, it would be down to the first complete cut,” recording engineer Ron Lenhoff told me when I interviewed him in 1988. “He’d say to me, ‘Ron, are you ready?’ and if I said, ‘Yes,’ he would cut it. After that, if he got all the way through it without stopping, I’d better have it on tape. I never ran into the situation where I didn’t have it on tape, but I sure as hell always worried about it.”

James Brown Portrait

Lenhoff captured many of Brown’s most iconic performances during the halcyon years when he was signed to the independent King Records label in Cincinnati, Ohio. This was founded in 1943 by one Syd Nathan, who, after initially owning a record store there, launched King as a country‑oriented label and, in 1944, based it within an old chemical plant in Cincinnati’s Evanston neighbourhood…

James Brown & The Famous Flames.
Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag
Label: King Records. Released: 1964
Producer: James Brown
Engineer: Ron Lenhoff
Studio: King Records

Read the rest of the article on: Sound On Sound Music

About Loving Arms: The Lead Track From My First Solo Project When We Do

Suddenly I was alone in the studio. Accustomed as I was to organizing productions around groups, this was the first time in my professional career that I would be solely responsible for not only the writing and performance of a project, but also for securing financing for this massive experimental endeavor.

Loving Arms
by Junie Morrison
 Loving Arms on Bandcamp

Loving Arms, which was my first recorded track as a soloist, was to represent one of the most difficult compositions I had ever produced. I remember that upon embarking on a solo career in music, the greatest unknown factor was “how to get started.” My recollection of being in the studio the first day, without anyone to talk to, or to bounce ideas off of, was completely uncharted territory for me and an unexpected eye opener. When you consider that I was alone in the room; it wasn’t like being a lead singer that got placed in another band. For instance, my version of going solo would not be anything like Diana Ross leaving the Supremes, or John Lennon who may have had the company of supporting musicians and writers etc. I was responsible for everything and had faith that I could actually pull it off, as scary as that was.

Knowing that I wanted to make a project that was both funky and orchestrated, due in part to my time producing Ohio Players and my music studies/experiences acquired while at school, I was faced with the problem of what came first, the chicken or the Eggo. *smile*

I was around 18 years old at the time and found myself immersed in one of the most challenging musical experiments I had ever attempted. One of the reasons for this being the case, was that MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) had not even been imagined yet, so my end result had to be completely understood by me and translatable to others before I even began. Nevertheless, there I sat, alone in a massive studio, amongst the sound baffles, microphones and instruments that I would ultimately use to begin my solo career.

Even though my recording everything from scratch, in studio, was not a very lucrative idea (no preproduction capabilities as in existence today), I had no choice but to approach the project in that manner. And, since there was only one of me, only one track could be recorded at a time.

After some thought, I decided to start with the drums and percussion for tempo. I then added piano and organ, several guitar parts, bass and sang the lead and background vocals before getting anywhere near adding a 50 piece orchestra to the track. For the orchestration, I enlisted the talents of the great Motown orchestrator David Van Depitte, of “What’s Going On” fame, to orchestrate my arrangements. Once he knew what I needed, the rest was history.

The album was recorded over a 5 week period at Artie Fields’ studios, in Detroit. Westbound Records and Armen Boladian, who believed in my ability to pull off this massive undertaking, were extremely supportive and loaned me the funds necessary to begin and finish this unprecedented event, in its entirety.

As a result, the album “When We Do” became a reality.

  • JM

Listen to Loving Arms on Bandcamp

Junie Morrison – Love Has Taken Me Over (Reloaded)

Love Has Taken Me Over Reloaded

Love Has Taken Me Over (Reloaded)
by Junie Morrison
Love Has Taken Me Over (Reloaded) on Bandcamp

Released 06 July 2015
Written, Produced and Performed by W. Morrison
Publisher: Juni Morrison Songs/BMI
Label: JunieFunk Recordings
Cover Design: Anna B. Sheriff – Ki Shoment Project

@1980 – 2015 JunieFunk Recordings

The New Vinyl Revolution

Record Pressing MachineInterestingly enough, statistics show that vinyl record sales have been growing over the last several years.  We would think that this resurgence is good news for our record collections and for the record pressing industry, as well.  One could also see that this would go hand in hand with a record manufacturing resurgence but it seems that instead of showing growth, the record manufacturing industry continues to shrink.

Statistics also indicate that there may be a shortage of pressing plants currently in operation with no new development in companies that previously manufactured the tools and parts needed to service and repair the equipment used for pressing records.

As a result, most investigations into this situation show that many of the remaining plants are being cannibalized by newer entrants and even more established players in the manufacturing business, in order to obtain bits and pieces of gear needed to repair parts of their own decaying systems.

Another study suggests that there may only be around 12 or 13 pressing facilities left in the US, with another handful spread across the rest of the world.

Having said that, and looking from the standpoint of artists wishing to have their music pressed to the vinyl medium, this production process may ultimately cost more than the amount that can be charged for each record.  An interesting phenomenon, to say the least.

Considering this, my question is, do you think that this industry should have another chance at being an important part of our musical growth and awareness?

– JM