Arts and Entertainment Dusty, Heard Them Here First

Various Artists, Ace: An entertaining and inspiring collection

Teddy Pendergrass: Philadelphia soul singer who had hits with 'If You Don't Know Me by Now' and 'Close the Door'

At his best, Teddy Pendergrass was an unsurpassable soul singer and such performances as "If You Don't Know Me by Now", "Don't Leave Me This Way" (both made with Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes), "Close the Door" and "Love T.K.O." will endure as long as records are made. Unfortunately, he often recorded mediocre material and spent too much time cultivating his "ladies only" repertoire.

Album: Various Artists, A Complete Introduction to Tamla Motown (Universal)

I'm not sure about the use of the term "complete" in the title, which effectively writes cheques which can't really be cashed by the content of this four CD set.

Album: Various artists, A Complete Introduction... (Motown)

An oblique look at theMotown story, althoughwhether it does the jobimplied by the "completeintro" title is moot. Whatyou get is four discs, eachthemed: "Milestones andinfluences", "Britishchartbusters", "Live inLondon and Paris","Killer Bs" which, takentogether, give a ratherEuro-centric interpretationof the narrative. Fairenough. But most of uswould content ourselveswith the first two as an"introduction" and thesecond two as a separate"rarities" set. Still,virtually all of the musicis sensational.

Mayer Hawthorne - Haircut's worked it all out

Mayer Hawthorne has fans in Ashton Kutcher and John Mayer. Guy Adams meets a rising soul star with shades of Jarvis Cocker

Album: Mayer Hawthorne, A Strange Arrangement (Stones Throw)

It's doubtful whether soul music is supposed to be this wimp-voiced or nerdily obsessive, but 29-year-old bedroom auteur Hawthorne – who writes, produces and plays many of the instruments himself – has created a deliciously vulnerable sound and persona that's as close to the Brian Wilson of "In My Room" as it is to Marvin or Smokey.

Gladys Knight: The veteran Motown singer on her farewell tour

Gladys Knight, all sugary smiles and motherly love, is discussing why she's not giving up on the UK with an ungracious adios.

Album: The Miracles, Depend on Me – The Early Albums (Motown)

The first five albums, on two discs. And you should hold them as close as a teen lover.

David Van DePitte: Arranger of Marvin Gaye's epochal album 'What's Going On'

The arranger, composer and music director David Van DePitte played a crucial role in the creation and recording of Marvin Gaye's epochal concept album What's Going On.

Story of the song - Jimmy Mack, Martha & the Vandellas (1967)

"Jimmy Mack" dozed on a shelf for two years before Motown's boss, Berry Gordy, realised he had a sleeping giant. ,/p>

"Get this thing ready to go out right away," he is reported to have said when he heard the song. "This is a damn hit record." Gordy was right: 40 years on, it remains one of the label's defining releases, helping to create the sound of Sixties America. It was recorded by the 25-year-old Martha Reeves and her Vandellas (Rosalind Ashford and Betty Kelly), formerly the Del-Phis, in June 1964 and was included on their 1966 album, Watchout!. It finally made it as a single the following year. Although "Jimmy Mack" is credited to Motown's writing/production team of Lamont Dozier and the brothers Brian and Eddie Holland, it was Dozier who came up with the original idea. At a music industry awards dinner in 1964, Dozier saw the mother of the songwriter Ronnie Mack accept an award for her son, who had recently died, for his composition "He's So Fine", a No 1 for the Chiffons. Under pressure to come up with a hit for Reeves and the Vandellas, Dozier and the team wrote "Jimmy Mack", in part a tribute to Mack the writer. The Vietnam war may have helped propel the nostalgic longings of "Jimmy Mack" into the charts

Album: Michael Jackson, The Motown 50 Mixes (Motown)

Planned well before Jackson's death, as part of Motown's 50th anniversary celebrations, The Motown 50 Mixes takes songs from the period when the most freakish thing about the singer was his talent, and picks apart the original arrangements, winnowing away many of the parts in order to focus attention more tightly on his vocals.

Album: The Marvelettes, Forever, (Motown)

The Supremes weren't even the best girl group on Motown, let alone in the world. The Marvelettes were, although these things are, of course, a matter of taste.

Album: Busta Rhymes, Back On My B.S. (Universal Motown)

It's not been a good century for Busta Rhymes who is struggling to repeat his early successes with his optimistically-titled Motown debut Back On My B.S. Frequently, when an album appears a 18 months behind schedule, it sounds dated and desperate, however loudly Busta proclaims himself "emperor of every round table in the house". British hip-hop was once the poor relation to its American cousin, but one searches in vain here for something with the spark and invention of a "Bonkers", or a Slime & Reason; instead, it's the usual tired celebrations of thug life and bling culture, with the usual parade of lazy guest spots. Lil Wayne turns up to brag about his cash on "Respect My Conglomerate", Akon and T.I. bring a little commercial polish to "Don't Believe Em", Busta's Flipmode Squad buddies get their taste on the aptly titled "We Want In", while the conscious crew of Jamie Foxx, Mary J. Blige, John Legend and Common sound like an afterthought on "Decision". Busta's best line is his boast in "Give Em What They Askin For" about how "I'm throwing money down just to please myself/I'm into self-preservation so I'll freeze myself"; but his career's cold enough, by the sound of it.

Album: Teena Marie, Congo Square, (Stax)

A debut on the great soul label for the veteran all-rounder.

Michael Jackson: The ultimate song and dance man

Perhaps he couldn't lay claim to genius. But he was, quite simply, an incredible entertainer, who redefined pop stardom and whose influence remains impossible to ignore. Simon Price pays tribute

Memories of Michael

Family, friends and colleagues on the King of Pop
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