Talking With Kenny Chandler – September 24, 2015

FotoFlexer_Photo Kenny Chandler resized

This week, Ira spoke with Kenny Chandler. To listen to the interview click below.

With more than four decades in show business, singer, songwriter, and composer Kenny Chandler has produced, worked and toured with such legendary artists as Little Anthony, Louis Armstrong, The Chiffons, Brian Hyland, Neil Sedaka, Ray Stevens, Bobby Vinton, and Dionne Warwick.

Chandler is also an actor who has worked extensively on both sides of the camera, appearing regularly on the well-known soap opera “The Edge of Night,” and on the sitcom “Love Is a Many Splendored Thing.”

Behind the camera, he has written and produced a body of commercial music for both radio and television, and has produced, booked, coordinated and handled a wide variety of talent. Chandler was awarded a CLIO, and was also awarded “Best Performer” by the Television Commercial Festival for his work as the spokesman on a CBS promotional campaign. The campaign itself, which Chandler also created, composed, co-produced, and co-arranged, was named “Best Production.”

Chandler is an avid golfer, equestrian, tennis player and runner, and has traveled the world. He now is a Las Vegas resident.


Talking With Carolyn V. Hamilton – September 17, 2015

FotoFlexer_Photo Carolyn V. Hamilton

This week, Ira spoke with Carolyn V. Hamilton. To listen to the interview click below.

Carolyn V. Hamilton is author of “Coming to Las Vegas: A true tale of sex, drugs & Sin City in the 70’s.” She is also the author of several novels.

In 2009 Hamilton founded, the digital magazine “for women over 50 doing fun things,” focusing on essays from women about their personal travel adventures. Hamilton is editor & chief adventuress for the digital magazine.

She is a graduate of Antioch University Seattle and her other adventures have included two years of service as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer and a stint (in her “younger days”) as a Playboy Bunny.

Hamilton divides her time between Las Vegas, Seattle, and her home in Cuenca, Ecuador.


Talking With Kamasi Washington – September 10, 2015

FotoFlexer_Photo Kamasi Washington

This week, Ira spoke with Kamasi Washington. To listen to the interview click below.

Progressive jazz saxophonist Kamasi Washington and percussionist Marcus L. Miller, and their respective bands, will be performing with the Lula Washington Dance Theatre (celebrating its 35th anniversary) at The Smith Center September 16.

At the age of 13, Washington started a lifelong quest discovering the many wonders of music. One night, his father left his soprano saxophone lying on the piano. Kamasi, filled with curiosity for all the beauty he heard from the instrument, picked up his father’s horn. Even though he didn’t know anything about the saxophone – in fact, never even touched one – he played Wayne Shorter’s composition “Sleeping Dancer Sleep On,” his favorite song at the time.

At the prestigious Hamilton High School Music Academy, within two years, Washington earned the lead tenor saxophone chair in the top jazz ensemble. At the same time, he joined the Multi School Jazz Band (MSJB) where he reunited with several childhood friends who were pursuing their passion for music. During his senior year of high school, Washington formed his first band, “The Young Jazz Giants,” with childhood friends including Ronald Bruner, Stephen Bruner and Cameron Graves.

After high school, he received a full scholarship to study ethnomusicology at UCLA, where he explored many of the non-western musical cultures around the world. During the summer after his freshman year, Washington recorded his first album with “The Young Jazz Giants” to spread new sounds of jazz all around the country. In his second year at UCLA, he went on his first national tour with the west coast hip-hop legend Snoop Dogg. Later that year, he joined the orchestra of one of his biggest heroes, Gerald Wilson, and later went on his first international tour with R&B legend Raphael Saadiq.

Over the years, Washington has performed and recorded with many of his musical heroes from various genres, including Gerald Wilson, McCoy Tyner, Freddie Hubbard, Kenny Burrell, George Duke, Lauryn Hill, Jeffrey Osborne, Mos Def, Quincy Jones, Stanley Clark, Harvey Mason and Chaka Khan. His own band “The Next Step” is a modern spin on a big band, which includes two drummers, two upright bass players, keyboard players, three horns players, a pianist, and a vocalist. In addition, Washington is part of a west coast musical collective called the “West Coast Get Down.”

Most recently, he worked on Kendrick Lamar’s acclaimed 2015 album “To Pimp A Butterfly.” On May 5, Washington released his groundbreaking solo album “The Epic” on the trend-setting record label Brainfeeder. “The Epic” is a 172-minute, triple-disc masterpiece, featuring his ten-piece band, “The Next Step” along with a full string orchestra and full choir. “The Epic” debuted #1 on several iTunes Jazz charts, including the US, Canada, Australia, Russia and UK.


Talking With Terry Johnson – September 3, 2015

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This week, Ira spoke with Terry Johnson. To listen to the interview click below.

Terry Johnson, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee and band member of the Flamingos, will perform with the group as they celebrate their Diamond Anniversary at the Suncoast Showroom September 5-6.

In 1954, Johnson (at age 16) recorded with a Baltimore group called The Whispers, (not The Whispers of the 1960?s), on Gotham Records in Philadelphia. He wrote, arranged and sang lead on “Fool Heart” and wrote, arranged and sang lead on “Are You Sorry,” released in 1955.

He brought that sound and talent to The Flamingos in 1956 with his first arrangement of music and vocals on “The Ladder of Love” and continued with writing and arranging, “Lovers Never Say Goodbye,” “Mio Amore,” “At The Prom,” “Heavenly Angel,” “You, Me and the Sea” and others, and also with his production and arrangement of “I Only Have Eyes For You.”

Johnson arranged the music, vocals and sang tenor on all of the songs on the albums “Flamingo Serenade,” “Requestfully Yours” and “Flamingo Favorites.” He sang on the duets such as “Lovers Never Say Goodbye,” “Love Walked In,” “Time Was” and “But Not For Me.” Johnson also sang the lead on some of their album cuts such as “I’m In The Mood For Love,” “When I Fall In Love” and “Beside You.”

After The Flamingos, Johnson formed his own group called Terry Johnson & The Modern Flamingos. When Nate Nelson left The Flamingos, he joined forces with Johnson. They recorded under the name The Starglows. They co-wrote and sang “Let’s Be Lovers” on the Atco Label, a subsidiary of Atlantic Records. Johnson arranged the background vocals using his group.

Still working with his group, Johnson went to Motown Records as an artist and producing partners with Smokey Robinson. As an artist, he recorded several records on the Gordy Label. He wrote, arranged, and produced songs for Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, The Supremes, The Four Tops, The Temptations, Martha Reeves & The Vandellas, Edwin Starr, The Spinners, Bobby Taylor & the Vancouvers, Jimmy Ruffin, Mickey Denton, Blinky and other Motown artists.