Arts and Entertainment Dusty, Heard Them Here First

Various Artists, Ace: An entertaining and inspiring collection

Marvin Gaye: Mixed messages heard on the grapevine

A biopic of Marvin Gaye is set for the screen, but the singer's family are not happy about it, discovers Geoffrey Macnab

Rumer, Royal Festival Hall, London

This time last year, a relatively unknown singer/songwriter named Rumer was celebrating the culmination of a decade-long slog for recognition with her first record deal. Since then, the 31-year-old hasn't wasted a moment making up for lost time.

Album: The Dears, Degeneration Street (Dangerbird)

There are moments on Degeneration Street that suggest Dears' creative mainspring Murray Lightburn is hoping to effect an Arcade Fire-style vault from indie saltmines to popularity; but it's all too little, and at five albums into their career, too late for that.

Album: New York Dolls, Dancing Backward in High Heels (Blast)

There was a certain louche dignity to the Dolls' 2004, but this sorry affair, knocked together in a Newcastle studio with David Johansen and Sylvain Sylvain joined by Blondie guitarist Frank Infante, a pick-up rhythm section and backing singers they apparently met in the pub, is another matter.

Jake Morley, Bush Hall, London

As choir, musicians and their instruments assemble on stage, there's a sense that such an ambitious line-up will require an expert level of musicality. Luckily singer-songwriter Jake Morley and his impressive band more than have what it takes.

Gladys Horton: Singer with the Marvelettes, who had Motown's first No 1 with 'Please Mr Postman'

Gladys Horton was the lead singer with the Marvelettes, who topped the American charts with "Please Mr Postman" in December 1961. It was a key record for boosting morale during the Vietnam War. Although not a British hit, the record has become so familiar that it has obscured much of their later, equally fine work.

Album: Iron & Wine, Kiss Each Other Clean (Beggars)

Having fused folk, country and African rhythms with singer-songwritery perfection, there didn't seem anywhere left for Sam Beam to go after 2007's kaleidoscopic The Shepherd's Dog.

Teena Marie: Singer and songwriter who became Motown’s most successful white female artist

Teena Marie wasn't the first white female singer signed to Berry Gordy Jr's legendary Motown label – the Californian Chris Clark and British vocalist Kiki Dee preceded her in the 1960s – but she certainly had the most impact, blazing a trail for many of the crossover R&B to pop artists who followed.

Motown diva Teena Marie dies aged 54

The R&B singer and songwriter Teena Marie, best known for the hit 1980s singles "Lovergirl" and "Ooo La La La", died at her home in Los Angeles on Boxing Day. She was 54.

Ten best erotic Christmas gifts

Marvin Gaye once said "I'm hot just like an oven, I need some lovin'". And with that, went to find some sexual healing.

Album: Kanye West, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (Roc-A-Fella)

Since his denunciation of Bush post-Katrina and the magnificent minimalism of 808s and Heartbreak, Kanye's been on a mission to blow that goodwill.

Album: Smokey Robinson, The Solo Albums: Volume 1 (Motown)

Unfairly neglected in comparison with equivalent albums by labelmates Gaye and Wonder, the sensitive Smokey and Pure Smokey from 1973 and 1974 are subtle if schmaltzy affairs that repay repeated listening.

General Johnson: Lead singer with Chairmen of the Board

With such good-natured and infectious songs as "Give Me Just A Little More Time" and "You've Got Me Dangling On A String", the Chairmen of the Board became disco favourites in the early 1970s.

Album: Edwyn Collins, Losing Sleep (Heavenly)

For this comeback album following his recuperation from two brain haemorrhages, Edwyn Collins has recruited a few fan/friends as co-writers and performers, the best of whom appears to be The Cribs' Ryan Jarman.

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