Saturday, November 19, 2016

Sharon Jones RIP

If there hadn't been Sharon Jones, there might not have been worldwide fame for Amy Winehouse - discuss.

Sharon has died aged sixty, after a three year battle with pancreatic cancer. She'd grown up singing in gospel choirs in South Carolina, and moved to Brooklyn as a child. She'd worked as a prison officer at Rikers Island and as an armed guard for Wells Fargo; she first started in professional music as a session singer and with wedding bands. She moved from backing singer to lead at the age of 40 with the single “Damn It’s Hot,” in 1996.

Her producer, Gabriel Roth set up an old-style soul band band around Sharon - The Dap-Kings were formed from former members of The Soul Providers and The Mighty Imperials. Roth, as 'Bosco Mann', was on bass, Binky Griptite was on guitar, Homer Steinweiss on drums, and Earl Maxton on keyboards. Plus a horn section of Leon Michels and Anda Szilagyi. The retro thing ran through the operation - they liked releasing old school 7inch 45s, and recording on reel to reel tape machines.

British producer Mark Ronson was a big fan, and hired the Dap-Kings (sans Sharon) to work on Amy Winehouse's album Back to Black. Then the band accompanied Amy on her US tour.

Here's Sharon live in Seattle - sorry about the ad.

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