Life and Style

Google Doodle celebrates the Year of the Horse

Obama Quiz: The answers

The pop star: VV Brown

On paper, 24-year-old VV Brown certainly has the makings of a star – beauty, a big voice and, crucially, the backing of a major record label. Add to that her penchant for retro-soul and success on a huge scale seems a foregone conclusion.

My Fantasy Band: Romeo Stodart, The Magic Numbers

Vocals - Bob Marley
His voice really talks to you. I'd like it to be a harmony group with Stevie Nicks and Emmylou Harris on back-up vocals. They'd all sound pretty sweet together.

Pervis Jackson: Detroit Spinners bass vocalist

The fine art of blending vocals in a group is one that was beautifully exemplified by the line-up of the Detroit Spinners. The group's foundation was the bass singing of Pervis Jackson, to which was added Henry Fambrough's baritone and the tenor voices of Bobbie Smith and Billy Henderson. These four were the group's mainstays, but additional fifth members who came and went included Philippe Wynne, whose distinctive falsetto and high tenor graced several hits between 1972 and 1977.

Jerry Wexler: Co-owner of Atlantic Records who produced Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin and Dusty Springfield

The record producer Jerry Wexler was a champion of black music. He not only devised the term "Rhythm and Blues", but he also made some of the best records in the genre during his 22-year tenure at Atlantic Records, including "Shake, Rattle and Roll" by Big Joe Turner, "What'd I Say" by Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin's "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" and "In The Midnight Hour" by Wilson Pickett.

Jerry Wexler, rhythm 'n' blues pioneer, dies aged 91

Jerry Wexler, the invisible force behind some of the legends of American 20th century music, died yesterday from congestive heart failure. He was 91.

Howard's end: he's too happy for a recession

Howard Brown, the jolly, bespectacled singing star of the Halifax television ads, has been dropped by his employers after an internal review recommended that the bank's future marketing campaigns should adopt a more serious tone.

Top ten tape tips

Introducing Beth Rowley's gospel truth

Beth Rowley's parents were missionaries in Peru, so it's hardly surprising that the young singer-songwriter has an exotic approach to her music. By Nick Duerden

Clyde Otis: Hit songwriter and producer

The songwriter and record producer Clyde Otis was noted for his long association with Brook Benton. He wrote both ballads and beat songs, but was at his best in reflective work which drew on his own life, such as "Looking Back" (for Nat "King" Cole), "It's Just a Matter of Time" (Brook Benton) and "This Bitter Earth" (Dinah Washington).

Maserati Gran Turismo: The sexiest car ever? Oh yes, yes, yes!

If you fancy a Maserati Gran Turismo, there's a year's waiting list – and that's no surprise with a car that can turn anyone into a foxy love god

Gloucester 63 Bristol 25: Goodridge too good for woeful Bristol

After the humiliation of their EDF Energy Cup hammering by the Ospreys last weekend, Gloucester more than made up for it with this demolition of the Premiership leaders.

Joss Stone, The Carling Academy, Glasgow

There is something eerie in a Joss Stone performance, something unsettling in this white-blonde, apple-cheeked teenager belting out rhythm and blues with the deep, rust-and-honey voice of a soul veteran.

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