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Donna Summer

ENTERTAINMENT
By RASHOD D. OLLISON | May 22, 2008
My playlist this week is typically eclectic, as I check out CDs old and new. From spirited jazz to progressive disco, these albums have been among my favorites in the past two weeks. BRIAN BLADE & THE FELLOWSHIP BAND Season of Change A few readers lately have e-mailed me wanting to know what's happening on the jazz scene. "Do you even like jazz?" one guy wanted to know. Yeah, I do. I have about three or four shelves at home heavy with jazz CDs -- classic Miles, Monk, Coltrane, Betty Carter and many others.
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ENTERTAINMENT
By Rashod D. Ollison | February 10, 2005
IT WASN'T until I started hanging in clubs after college that I found house music. The friends I made in Philly, New York and, especially, Chicago loved the stuff. Initially, I found much of it too repetitive, the beat too hard. I'd sit back in the clubs and watch folks on the floor writhe, jerk and sweat away to the pounding, mechanical music as if they were all possessed. Wall to wall, back to back, they were slaves to the beat. And I'd sip my cocktail, thinking: "Nah. I don't get it."
ENTERTAINMENT
By Rashod D. Ollison and Rashod D. Ollison,Sun Pop Music Critic | December 7, 2006
The way she saw it, there was no other choice. Deniece Williams had to make it. It was the early '70s, and the aspiring 20-some- thing singer-songwriter from Gary, Ind., had just landed in Los Angeles to work as a singer for Wonderlove, Stevie Wonder's backing group. "I remember coming to L.A. with an 18-month-old and a 3-month-old and $17 in my pocket," says the four-time Grammy winner, who performs Saturday night at the Hippodrome Theatre as part of the all-star WSMJ Smooth Jazz Christmas show.
FEATURES
By J.D. Considine and J.D. Considine,Pop Music Critic | October 24, 1993
Given its status as a popular art, you'd think the most important and influential rock and roll also would be among the most commercially successful.And to a degree, you'd be right. After all, there's no disputing either the sales base or stylistic impact of acts like Elvis Presley, the Beatles, James Brown, Michael Jackson or Madonna.Even so, there are still some bands that have been enormously important to the sound and shape of rock despite the fact that their albums didn't sell squat.
FEATURES
By Rashod D. Ollison and Rashod D. Ollison,SUN POP MUSIC CRITIC | August 13, 2003
It was time to flip the groove, strip it down and build it up again. In 1979 and 1980, black music, which has always dictated what's next in pop, broke free of disco's velvety excess and polyester pretensions. The melodramatic strings and relentless 4/4 beats of the music had grown tired as Afros across the country shrunk into tight, greasy Jheri Curls. And blacks and Latinos in the South Bronx - folks who couldn't afford the admission into the posh discos of Manhattan - planted the seeds of hip-hop, a movement that would eventually flower into a billion-dollar industry.
ENTERTAINMENT
By RASHOD D. OLLISON | July 6, 2006
My memories of childhood summer gatherings are bittersweet. Many of my relatives who were around then are either dead or halfway there: Mama Teacake and Ollie (my grandparents), Kay and Nita (my aunts), Ed-Lee and Miss Tootsie Baby (neighbors who were like family) are all gone. And several of my cousins, whose names I won't mention, are strung out or locked up. But back in the day, when things were cool and we were all together at Lake Catherine State Park near Hot Springs, Ark., or in my grandparents' front yard in Malvern, happy times and great barbecue seemed infinite.
FEATURES
By DAVE BARRY | January 24, 1993
I hope you haven't had anything to eat recently, because, as promised last week, today I am presenting the winners of the Bad Song Survey.In analyzing these results, I had to make a few adjustments. For example, the Bob Dylan song "Lay Lady Lay" would have easily won as Worst Overall Song, with 17,006 votes, except that I had to disallow 17,004 votes on the grounds that they were cast by my Research Department, Judi Smith, who tabulated the votes, and who hates "Lay Lady Lay."To win, a song had to be known well enough that a lot of people could hate it. This is a shame in a way, because some obscure songs that people voted for are wonderfully hideous.
ENTERTAINMENT
By J.D. Considine and J.D. Considine,Sun Pop Music Critic | March 30, 2000
Various Artists Machine Soul: An Odyssey Into Electronic Dance Music (Rhino 79788) A few years ago, the music press declared that "electronica" -- the designated catch-phrase for all the different kinds of electronic dance music filling floors on the club scene -- would be the pop world's Next Big Thing. It wasn't, of course. Although a few acts -- the Chemical Brothers, Prodigy, Fat Boy Slim -- have moved up to the level of MTVisibility, most electronic dance acts remain completely underground.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Rashod D. Ollison and Rashod D. Ollison,Sun Pop Music Critic | June 5, 2008
It's 1978, and New York City, in fact the world, has disco fever. Concurrently, new wave, the pop-friendlier side of punk, is taking shape. And Blondie, an experimental band on the city's underground rock scene, leads the movement. The sextet -- which is fronted by a former Playboy Bunny with two-toned bottle-blond hair named Debbie Harry -- makes its mainstream breakthrough with the release of Parallel Lines. By the end of the year, the album, which spawns the international No. 1 smash "Heart of Glass," tops the charts and quickly sells 2 million copies.
NEWS
By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,SUN STAFF | December 3, 1995
Five thousand dollars is not bad for a day's work, particularly when all it involves is sending a fax to Cher and asking her to call a radio station.But that's pretty much all 9-year-old Erin Williams of Essex did to win the "Who Do You Know?" contest on WWMX-FM (106.5)."We just kind of did it and forgot about it," says Connie Williams, Erin's mom. "We did not know in advance she was going to call, and we didn't hear [the call] the first time. My older daughter's fifth-grade teacher called the house and told us about it."
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