Dewey Lindon “Spooner” Oldham (born June 14, 1943) is an American songwriter and session musician. An organist, he recorded in Muscle Shoals, Alabama and at FAME Studios on such hit R&B songs as “When a Man Loves a Woman” by Percy Sledge, “Mustang Sally” by Wilson Pickett and “I Never Loved a Man” by Aretha Franklin.
As a songwriter, Spooner Oldham teamed with Dan Penn to write such hits as “Cry Like a Baby” (The Box Tops), “I’m Your Puppet” (James and Bobby Purify), “A Woman Left Lonely” and “It Tears Me Up” (Percy Sledge).
I’m your Puppet (here with Dan Penn):
Oldham was inducted into the Rock’n Roll Hall of Fame in 2009, here’s his acceptance speech:
Bobby Freeman (born June 13, 1940) is an African-American soul singer, songwriter, and record producer who recorded for theAutumn Records label in San Francisco, California. He is best known for his 1958 hit “Do You Want To Dance?” and his 1964 Top Tenhit “C’mon and Swim”. “Do You Want To Dance?” was covered later (as “Do You Wanna Dance”) by Del Shannon, The Beach Boys,Bette Midler, John Lennon, Cliff Richard, The Mamas & The Papas and the Ramones. “C’mon and Swim” was written and produced by twenty-year-old Sylvester Stewart, later known as Sly Stone.
Freeman began his recording career at age 14 with the Romancers who recorded briefly on the Dootone label. At 17, he scored a hit with “Do You Want To Dance?” and appeared on the pop charts with various follow-ups through 1961. In 1964, he was back in the Top Ten with the dance-craze hit “C’mon and Swim”, which reached #5.
“Space Oddity” is a song written and performed by David Bowie and released as a music single in 1969. It is about the launch of Major Tom, a fictional astronaut; its title alludes to the film 2001: A Space Odyssey, released the previous year. Incidentally, the protagonist of the film is called David Bowman. The lyrics have also been seen to lampoon the failed British space programme.The song appears on the album David Bowie (also known as Space Oddity). The BBC featured the song in its television coverage of the Apollo 11 launch and lunar landing, which took place in the days following the release of the song.
Following recording of a fresh version, the single was rush-released on 11 June 1969 to coincide with the Apollo 11 moon landing.It was promoted via advertisements for the Stylophone, played by Bowie on the record. Although they initially refused to give the song airplay, the BBC played it during their coverage of the Apollo 11 launch and lunar landing. This exposure finally gave Bowie a hit, reaching #5 in the chart. In the U.S, it stalled at 124.
Prince (born Prince Rogers Nelson; June 7, 1958) is an American singer, songwriter, musician, and actor. Prince has produced ten platinum albums and thirty Top 40 singles during his career. Prince founded his own recording studio and label; writing, self-producing and playing most, or all, of the instruments on his recordings. In addition, Prince has been a “talent promoter” for the careers of Sheila E., Carmen Electra, The Time and Vanity 6, and his songs have been recorded by these artists and others (including Chaka Khan, The Bangles, Sinéad O’Connor, and even Kim Basinger). He also has several hundred unreleased songs in his “vault”.
Earning 33 nominations, Prince has won seven Grammys. He also has had two albums − 1999 and Purple Rain − awarded the Grammy Hall of Fame Award.
1985 – Purple Rain – Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal
1985 – Purple Rain – Best Score Soundtrack Album for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media
1985 – I Feel You – Best R&B Song
1987 – Kiss – Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal
2005 – Call My Name – Best Male R&B Vocal Performance
2005 – Musicology – Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance
2008 – Future Baby Mama – Best Male R&B Vocal Performance
Curtis Lee Mayfield (June 3, 1942 – December 26, 1999) was an African-American soul, R&B, and funk singer, songwriter, and record producer. He is best known for his anthemic music with The Impressions during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s and for composing the soundtrack to the blaxploitation film Super Fly, Mayfield is highly regarded as a pioneer of funk and of politically conscious African-American music. He was also a multi-instrumentalist who played the guitar, bass, piano, saxophone, and drums. Curtis Mayfield is a winner of both the Grammy Legend Award (in 1994) and the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award (in 1995), and was a double inductee into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, inducted as a member of The Impressions into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1991, and again in 1999 as a solo artist. He is also a two-time Grammy Hall of Fame inductee.
Awards and legacy
Mayfield has left a remarkable legacy for his introduction of social consciousness into R&B and for pioneering the funk style. Many of his recordings with the Impressions became anthems of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s, and his most famous album, Super Fly, is regarded as an all-time great that influenced many and truly invented a new style of modern black music.
Mayfield’s solo Super Fly is ranked #69 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
The Impressions’ album/CD The Anthology 1961–1977 is ranked at #179 on Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of the 500 Greatest Albums of all time.
Along with his group The Impressions, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1991.
In 1999, he was inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a solo artist making him one of the few artists to become double inductees.
Posthumously, in 2000, he was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
He was a winner of the prestigious Grammy Legend Award in 1994.
He received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1995.
The Impressions’ 1965 hit song, “People Get Ready”, composed by Mayfield, has been chosen as one of the Top 10 Best Songs Of All Time by a panel of 20 top industry songwriters and producers, including Paul McCartney, Brian Wilson, Hal David, and others, as reported to Britain’s Mojo music magazine.
The Impressions hits, People Get Ready and For Your Precious Love are both ranked on Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, as #24 and #327 respectively.