Arts and Entertainment Dusty, Heard Them Here First

Various Artists, Ace: An entertaining and inspiring collection

Album: James Govan, Wanted - The Fame Recordings (Kent)

The one time I visited Beale Street in Memphis I walked into the Rum Boogie Cafe and this guy was singing lead, looking a little battered but sounding great.

Soul and blues legend Bobby “Blues” Bland died yesterday at the age of 83, according to reports.

Soul legend Bobby 'Blues' Bland dies aged 83

Soul and blues legend Bobby “Blues” Bland died yesterday at the age of 83, according to reports.

Clarence Burke Jr. - Singer with the Five Stairsteps, the ‘First Family of Soul’

The singer, guitarist and songwriter Clarence Burke Jr., who died on 25 May at the age of 62, was a mainstay of the Five Stairsteps, the “First Family of Soul” group best known for the sublime 1970 US hit “O-o-h Child”, writes Pierre Perrone.

Smudger Smith, the journeyman pro: welcome back Rio, those bags won't walk themselves on to the team bus

In a professional career spanning almost two decades, Simon "Smudger" Smith has played for over 67 clubs and has reinvented himself time and again, from poacher to holding midfielder, centre-back to goalkeeper.

Bobby Rogers: Singer and songwriter with Smokey Robinson and the Miracles

The singer and songwriter Bobby Rogers was a founder member of The Miracles, the soul group whose formation predated the launch of Berry Gordy Jr's Motown operation in 1959 and earned them premier status on the company's roster. In 1960 the quintet scored the first million-selling Motown single with the catchy "Shop Around" – containing the peerless advice "My mama told me you better shop around" – co-written by Gordy and their primary vocalist and composer Smokey Robinson. Two years later, Rogers sang tenor lead alongside Robinson's yearning falsetto on "You've Really Got A Hold On Me", an arrangement the Fab Four emulated for the version included on their second album With The Beatles.

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Singer Chris Brown won four 2011 BET Awards.

Bottle row for R&B artists Brown and Drake

Chris Brown and Drake are being sued over a bottle-throwing nightclub brawl involving their entourages.

'Sweet Joe' Russell: Singer with the a cappella masters, the Persuasions

The albums released by the Persuasions transcend genres but they have one distinct boundary: no musical instrumentals. As a result, they are often regarded as a novelty act, and it didn't help that their first album was released by Frank Zappa's Straight label, a home for freaks. Tom Waits appreciated the depth of their music when he said, "These guys are deep sea divers: I'm a fisherman in a boat."

Johnny Otis: Singer, songwriter and bandleader who popularised the hand jive

Johnny Otis was one of the most important figures in American black music, working as a songwriter, pianist, drummer, arranger and bandleader. He discovered many of the best rhythm and blues stars, including Little Willie John, Etta James and Esther Phillips. He was an extraordinary personality, all the more extraordinary for not being black.

Album: Various Artists, The Fame Studios Story 1961-1973 (Kent)

Established by producer Rick Hall in 1961, Florence Alabama Music Enterprises became the epicentre of the Southern Soul boom during the '60s, as labels like Atlantic and Chess sent their artists south to access some of that Muscle Shoals Sound, a potent funk groove which many admirers (and singers) were surprised to learn was performed by white musicians.

Album: Dusty Springfield, Goin' Back: The Definitive Dusty Springfield (Mercury)

Though far from definitive, the 4CD/3DVD set Goin' Back fulfils a valuable service by augmenting the mandatory hits with copious tranches of previously unreleased material, from an early '50s recording of "Can't We Be Friends" through several discfuls of BBC sessions, soundtrack contributions and alternative takes from Dusty In Memphis.

Stoke defenders appeal for offside after Sergio Aguero's first goal

Mancini savours festive joy at top of the tree

Manchester City 3 Stoke City 0

Alex Clare

My Fantasy Band: Alex Clare

Drums - Ginger Baker
I think we need to go with a vintage drummer such as Ginger Baker, who played in bands like Cream and Blind Faith, because he was a machine. There's no other word for it. I used to play drums, it was the first instrument I learnt, and although I never really got into Cream that much, I used to drum along to what he was doing on record because I thought he was great.

Stylish delivery: Plan B

Plan B, JDDistillery, Lynchburg, Tennessee

After a couple of London-based events, the concert celebrating Jack Daniel's birthday went back to its Tennessee roots, an idyllic setting overlooking the Jack Daniel's distillery in Lynchburg. The occasion provided an ideal opportunity to check out Plan B's soul credentials as he performed highlights from his crossover album The Defamation of Strickland Banks and a smattering of classics from soul's golden era. Ben Drew's assault on the British charts and consciousness had left me rather unmoved but, backed by a crack band of Muscle Shoals and Nashville musicians and legendary Booker T & the MG's guitarist Steve Cropper, he sounded like the natural heir to the throne of the great British blue-eyed soul singer.

Album: Etta James, The Dreamer (Decca)

Assailed by the double debilitations of leukemia and dementia, and requiring hospital care, Etta James has sensibly decided that The Dreamer will constitute the final chapter of her recording career.

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