For the record, I grew up in the city of Philadelphia and like most urban cities of the fifties, guys stood on the street corners and sang. I will never forget the first time I went to the Uptown Theater and the chill that came over me when the Flamingos sang 前ld Man River’. I would go to the record stores and buy 45’s which at that time cost only sixty-nine cents. If I knew then what I know now, instead of using the records as flying saucers, I would have held on to them.
It wasn’t until my return from Vietnam in 1967, that my interest in music begins to peak. The sound of the fifties was fading and Motown dominated the airways. Even though I was a big fan of the Temptations and the Miracles, the sound of Pookie Hudson’s smooth lead, along with Clyde (McPhatter) had a special place in my heart. There was something missing in not only the lead vocals, but the background as well. Later I will discuss what was missing, but in the meantime and between time I’d like to focus on an overview of events leading to the birth of R&B music.
For the purpose of time reference, the doo-wop period has ended, James Brown has gone from being Bewildered to Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag. The British evasion has arrived along with Afro’s, Soul Train and the Jackson Five. Also emerging was the disco scene. Instead of Frankie Lymon, DJ’s are playing Frankie Beverly and Maze.
My DJ career lasted for about twenty years. During that time I stayed true to the music I loved. I never made the transition to club or later Line Dance music. In early 2001, an opportunity appeared for me to go on the radio via a mutual friend, a radio personality himself. The radio station, 1360 AM WNJC, was a small brokerage station in Washington Township, New Jersey.
Not only had I found my niche, but SAM THE GOLDEN OLDIES MAN had arrived. It didn’t take long for me to realize I wasn’t going to play the same song over and over again. Over the years, I came to realize there were over ten thousand groups recorded and there were a lot of stories to be told. I wanted to tell the story and give acknowledgment to those who paved the way. After all, many of us can fry chicken, but they can’t fry it the way I CAN……….
This project is dedicated to not only my friend, but one of the greatest lead singer/song writer’s to ever live, the late James “Pookie” Hudson, lead singer of the Spaniels and all the others who have passed. MAY THEY ALL REST IN PEACE.