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Rehousing The Digital DJ !

By | Blog

 

It’s a completely different look as to what IS pop radio in the last 5/6 years… (haha) !!

..Radio DJ/ Video DJ / Club DJ..

My lane has always been to represent what is popular black music culture, be it as a DJ, artist manager or working in the record labels as A&R.

The last couple years has definitely  seen a truer reflection of what is popular youth culture, the influx of certificated UK pop rap a decade ago was welcome just for the acknowledgement and recognition of the UK rap scene !

It was also the birth of all the UK black music social media reportees..  a decade later these video blog sites and DJ’s really embracing the digital world has been pivotal for domestic rap music success. The last few years of UK rap embracing (Hip Hop / Grime / Trap / Drill / Reggae and Afro Beats) is an honest and popular storyboard for what is happening with UK black music.

Digital distributors and labels facilitating purchasing of music via the net unto your listening device was a game changer for the very underground domestic rap scene, it accelerated even more when just ‘streaming’ a song was being recognised as chart eligible. This has been represented by the now more reflective, hard hitting, truer renditions of working class, council housed, ethnically diverse music allowed to be heard by a national youth demographic and charting 😊

Broadcast platforms in step with music and culture changes, have sought to have radio DJ’s reporting the musical passion of this new UK rap fan base. National and regional broadcasters have introduced much more daytime and specialist exposure to their audiences. From the Capital, BBC, Apple, Kiss, Radar networks to numerous regional community stations all now have more affinity with domestic rap.  It has led to even mixtapes being available on digital platforms and with a handful of accompanying music videos on popular UK Rap video channels, achieving top 5 success in the Official UK charts.

These popular broadcasters have also seen fit to introduce many more females reporting the black music culture (rap/reggae/r&b/afrobeats) to an appreciative audience. Let’s be honest, most teenagers have a smart phone / tablet / laptop and the genres of music available for them to listen to has been way more reflective and UK rap has definitely been embraced.  Broadcasters have seen the power of DJ’s (specialist/daytime), this has influenced playlists and with more chart success influenced more broadcasters to change their playlists and create more shows to reflect the music genre.

I salute and celebrate the DJ and the broadcaster’s acting accordingly in these digital times, some major national radio stations have even brought back past DJ’s and reinstated them with new shows. Prior to the dreaded Covid 19, rappers were visible at the biggest, most prestigious UK music festivals and winning prestigious UK music awards like The Brits, Ivor Novello’s etc. The DJ merry go round is an intriguing dance of musical chairs but the last half decade, coupled with the large Rap video channels being treated as the digital DJ’s of the black music scene, it’s certainly made the culture way more available and accessible to a much larger demographic of UK music fans !!

Socials :-

@Thadboogie

The Mixtape – Lifeline Of the Rap Game !!!!

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You gotta recognise that the mixtape has been around since the mid 80’s, a pivotal part of US Hip Hop culture.

For years’ the major labels and distribution entities were not committing financially to the rap world and participants creatively compiled their body of works and put it on cassette tapes.

A promo method even bypassing unsupportive radio, over the decades this has been the backbone of independent rap artists new projects  getting heard and to the relevant music community.

… initially for free (loool)

Whilst over the last three decades Hip Hop has grown to be the defining youth culture across the pond and its influence more globally, the mixtape has always been the musical dialogue that won you fans. !!!!!

The more modern music world of streams /downloads and the UK rap community having a better relationship with distribution companies has benefitted us with product which has been entering the national charts..

 

Giggs – Now Or Never

..catapulted to having the responsibility and the position as the father of modern UK rap, Giggs has been dominant domestically and forged US collab’s with Drake, B.o.B.,

This new project has Emile Sande, Dave, A Boogie With A Hoodie, amongst others, typically honest Giggs life commentary and modern rap beats.

Potter Payper  – Training Day 3

…had created traction on the UK rap scene as long ago as seven years ago. Payper’s pen game has always been his major gravitational pull with rap DJ’s.

East London youth who blatantly and continuously rapped about drugs and the thriving drug distribution operation, went to jail for a few years after a police swoop.

An early release in the summer of 2020 allowed Potter to release his superfluous real lyrical mixtape which debuted at number 3 in the UK national charts. This really is ‘bout the bars 😊

Busta Rhymes – Extinction Level Event 2

One of the most successful artists from US rap world, Busta was a member of his old rap group Leaders of The New School and had chart success in the early nineties. After going solo in the mid nineties, he’s  been fortunate to  release music for 3 decades strong. Never forgetting his Caribbean heritage, Busta now and then embarks on an authentic Jamaican yardie flow with authentic patios. A seasoned artist who has worked with many greats, this mixtape features Anderson Paak, Bell Biv Devoe, Rakim, Kendrick Lamar and others.

Blac Youngsta – F*ck Everybody 3

…repping Memphis, Tennessee.. Blac has that deep southern accent and twang in his flow..

Bouncy southern style rap production, a huge emphasis to sing a long choruses in the writing.

Lil Baby, Swae Lee, Lil Durk, Yo Gotti and others collab on this new mixtape.

C MoneThe Monday Book Club

…stalwart and unique female member of the Notts rap scene, some of her rap contributions being part of the legendary lyrical UK rap collective ‘Out Da Ville’

A crew from St Ann’s who managed to tour nationally in the early 2000s. C Mone released a few projects on UK indie rap labels.

She managed to feature on Mike Skinner’s (The Streets) project and also on a Baby J album, this mini mixtape new offering embraces acoustic/folk style production and a few boom bap style joints.

Lyrical content and pen game  is from a female perspective and addresses immediate social issues.

DutchavelliDutch From Da 5th

Initially spending some time  in Rotterdam, Holland..  (big up my Amsterdam fam DJ 360).

Dutch and his sister Stefflon Don came to the UK young and soon integrated to UK rap life and culture, 2020 has been an interesting year from  being investigated by police for Black Lives matter posts  to chart hits.

He has featured on collabs with M1llionz , Tion Wanye, Stormzy to name a few.. his new mixtape is here !!!

Still embracing predominantly Trap style production and double time flow, it def represents the current soundtrack of UK youth.

 

Socials :-

@Thadboogie

Hip Hop & The 2020 USA Presidential Election !!!!!!

By | Blog

Well… what can I say… the calendric year 2020 has certainly been an eventful one in  more ways than one.

Biblical health issues have gripped every continent with Covid 19 at the start of the year and ironically it has returned with a similar ferocity at the end of the year.

Historical social issues affecting black people and equality are still shown to be prevalent in western policing with the death of George Floyd.

The general consensus is that the USA Presidential election on November 3rd 2020 is to be one of the most significant for perhaps decades.

I have been both privileged and fortunate to work and be immersed in the music industry and specifically  black music culture and Rap/Hip Hop for nearly 3 decades..

(DJing, club running, becoming A&R at labels etc…) !

Hip Hop music has been the predominant growing  culture in America for over two decades with the youth demographic, stretching back  to the introduction of the Billboard Hot Rap Singles Chart in 1989.

These artists / executives / label owners etc now have digital and financial influence influencing radio stations and huge social media platforms.

We are less than a calendar week away from knowing who wins the USA Presidential election, will it remain Republican led by Donald Trump for another 4 years.

Perhaps it will be a fresh start for the Democrat’s with a Joe Biden victory, we look at Hip Hop’s role in trying to get the culture to VOTE !!!!

Rappers who have turned to acting and some to politics, nevertheless under much scrutiny have all been liasing with members of both parties.

Polow Da Don has given Donald Trump shoutouts, Kanye West, 50 Cent and Ice Cube have met and had dialogue with Donald Trump’s administration. Snoop Dogg has called Donald Trump  A Racist.

Common has relentlessly pushed the message to vote for Joe Biden, Puff Daddy and his media platforms are supporting #BlackPeopleGoVote for the Democrats

Cardi B has had a direct media spat involving Melania Trump, Chance The Rapper has encouraged the electorate to ‘Vote The Same As Your Mothers’

Michelle Obama has contributed a Hip Hop playlist to several blogs to encourage voting. The logistic election experts are predicting this may be the largest election turnout by both black and Spanish voters.

Who will be President of the USA on the morning of Wednesday Nov 4 th ????

 

Socials :-

@Thadboogie

NOLA Resistance – Put That Hammer Down !!!

By | Blog

The NOLA Resistance is a New Orleanian music collective composed of noted Blues, Jazz and Funk musicians, each with years of experience and success in their own right.

Their sound features big horns and funky rhythms accented with smooth vocals and follows in the tradition of bands like Cool Enterprise, the Meter’s and Chocolate Milk.

These musicians know plenty about camaraderie and creativity, they’ve worked with musical royalty :- Dr. John, Cyril Neville, Allen Toussaint, Tony!Toni!Tone! to name a few.

The beats are designed to get the floor shaking, yet the musicians always make sure they communicate.

Continuing from the international appeal and support of  ‘The Resistance Will Not Be Televised’ from radio  supporters of Jazz / Funk / Soul / RnB…

Nola Resistance continue with a new release ‘Put That Hammer Down’ and it’s a continuation of positive social commentary from the New Orleans funk band.

‘Put That Hammer Down’ commentates on New Orleans, a community overrun with gun violence often stemming from absent parents and broken homes.

Young men are often peer-pressured into violent acts against people in their own community.

The ‘Nola Resistance’ is bringing a message of peace, love, and community spirit to “resist” forces at work that erode local culture, drive out the poor, and fray the bonds of community.

In the recent worldwide embrace of specifically Black Lives Matter and the humane notion of All Live Matter after the tragic death of George Floyd. The ‘Nola Resistance’ are encouraging a seizure of unnecessary killings in the community by its own members and that of law enforcement authorities against people of colour.

Every bold-lettered word is an exhortation for a change, every frame is a prayer for equality and justice for all, The ‘Nola Resistance’

Click on the photo below to watch  : –

The Nola Resistance – Put That Hammer Down

 

 

Socials :-

 

www.twitter.com/nola_resistance

www.facebook.com/thenolaresistance

www.instagram.com/thenolaresistance

www.workingcaliforniansresearchfund.com

 

 

Virtual Notting Hill Carnival 2020

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It is fair to say that 2020 has been a year like NO other !!!!!!

For the first time in its 54 year history, there will not be the annual west London open air celebration of Caribbean culture mingling in the streets encompassing over 1 million people during the August bank holiday weekend. This Covid 19 menace has certainly affected every aspect of life since its arrival to the world in Jan 2020, during the modern digital age there has been some form of strategy assembled to still give the people a celebration… be it a digital one.

It became an annual event of music, food, colour and dancing since 1966 and this year is no exception all be it a viral and live streamed extravaganza. The Notting Hill Carnival organisers in conjunction with the local borough of Kensington and Chelsea have already filmed events, across the course of a month.

The Notting Hill carnival gets underway with a countdown on a giant screen in Piccadilly Circus, at 7 am on Friday morning, and followed by live streamed online events.

These celebrations are to be  livestreamed for free across four channels on the Notting Hill Carnival website.

The events are free to watch but you have to register on the website to get access and to be involved.

The food has always been a pivotal ingredient of the event, there once again will be Jerk chicken, curried goat, rice and peas, roti etc !

The traditional genres of music being Soca / Calypso presented by steel bands and DJ sound systems and in more recent years contemporary genres of Reggae, Hip Hip, R&B, Funk and House music

Legendary DJ participants of the Carnival such as Rampage Sound and King Tubby’s will have live streamed DJ sets whilst steelpan bands Ebony and Mangrove will have pre-recorded performances streamed.

Notting Hill Carnival Access All Areas 2020 will be streamed for free over four channels on Aug 29, 6pm-midnight and Aug 30 and 31, 9am-11pm.

For details visit www.nhcarnival.org

Twitter :-

@NHCarnivalLDN

@Thadboogie

Return Of The Live Music Gig 🎤

By | Blog

 

Booooooyy, so literally since the middle of March the music industry has seen some unprecedented abnormalities. The immediate closure of Live music venues, night clubs, music festivals, carnivals from a global reach has left many a participant financially implicated for the duration of Covid 19. This turn of events has for obvious reasons engaged a large percentage of music lovers to pursue with numerous streaming services available to them at present. We are approaching fiscal quarter number 3 and regardless of musical genre.. the artists / brands / labels have managed to engineer and provide a live feed.

 

The UK authorities announced that from August 1st 2020 as part of Phase 4 of England’s Covid 19 reopening plans, socially distanced theatres, music halls and other venues can allow for indoor audiences following a ‘successful’ pilot program at the London Symphony.

There has also been a specifically engineered socially distanced Virgin Money Unity Arena in Newcastle where builders have modified the city’s racetrack to accommodate 500 viewing platforms.  Allowing a maximum attendance of 2,500 people allowed, the work force for this entertainment industry is heavily self employed and makes up at least 70 percent of this employment sector.

 

 

There is currently no indication when bands will be able to get together to practice, yet alone to perform in a packed venue…  many publications have indicated that the live music venues with a full audience  may not return until the 1st quarter of 2022.

In order for the majority of these Live music venues to operate, the requirement of extra staff for data collection, seating, refreshments and general people management will prove to be economically insecure judging on the model scenarios trialed.

 

Key fans of an artist / band regardless of music genre live to ‘meet and greet’, perhaps even get memorabilia signed by their favourite artists’.. all of these interactions would be unavailable whilst engaging the modern post Corona socially distanced strategy for gigs. The models tested prove to be financially detrimental for merch sales, food and beverages at these events.

 

Socials :-

 

@thadboogie

Rap 4 Your Moms 🎤

By | Blog

The passing of a loved one is always a tragic and emotional experience.. with multi award winning rapper and producer Kanye West paying homage to his deceased moms.

Here Donda (his mother) is heard spitting bars from the classic KRS 1 song ‘Sound Of Da Police’ and YE appropriately pays homage with a collab.

Kanye West ‘Donda’

We take you on a transatlantic look at other rappers in the culture who have addressed their relationships with their mama in verse.

Be it a loving one or one of difficulty, these wordsmiths have put pen to paper and vocals to mic and let their sincere feelings be heard.

USA !!

Mac Miller Feat Phonte – I’ll Be There

Foxy Brown Feat Ronald Isley – The Letter

Saigon – If…(My Mommy)

Rick Ross Feat CeeLo Green – Smile Mama, Smile

Beanie Sigel Feat Scarface – Mom Praying

Chance The Rapper – Hey Ma

 

UK !

JP Cooper Feat Stormzy – Momma’s Prayers

Giggs – You Raised Me / Open Up

Loyle Carner Feat Mum, Dad – Sun Of Jean

Fredo – Love You for That

Wretch 32 – Mummy’s Boy

Mike GLC – Mother

Socials :- @thadboogie

@kanyewest  @MacMiller @phontigallo @FoxyBrown @TheRealRonIsley

@TheRealSaigon @RickRoss @CeeLoGreen@beaniesigelsp @BrotherMob @chancetherapper

@JPCooperMusic @stormzy1 @officialgiggs @LoyleCarner @fredo @Wretch32 @mikeglc

 

Breaking New Artists After Corona 😷🎼

By | Blog

 

With a wealth of music platforms available today, people have an immense amount of choice around where they can discover music and what to listen to. Traditional methods like radio still remain popular among consumers, streaming apps offer services that allow listeners to interact with music in new ways. The Covid-19 outbreak appears to be accelerating the shift to such platforms, with consumers globally saying that they’ve been listening to more music streaming services at home.

Streaming enables people to find and listen to a wider range of music, the desire for social interaction is also changing how listeners discover and share new music and artists. Digital platforms have already transformed how younger audiences listen to music, a large proportion of 18–34-year-olds listen to music through streaming services more than other sources. In the UK, research shows two-thirds of younger listeners listen to music most often on streaming sites, compared with twenty five percent of those aged 35 and over.

The 35 plus demographic still use the medium of radio most often and are slower to reap the benefits of streaming and digital discovery. This older consumer, aged 35 and over is more open to exploring a variety of artists and genres though, people who mostly discover new music on the radio are less satisfied with what they find compared with those who discover it through streaming.

Algorithms and number crunching based on past listening and purchasing are common methods used to influence new music choices for the 18-34 demographic, listeners aged 35 plus receive recommendations from people they know. The younger generations being way more engaged with social media are proving to be a great forum for fan engagement and new artist loyalty. Blog groups and chat sites give these 18–34-year-olds a sense of unique knowledge and helps them get to know artists better.

The online music streaming market consists of revenues generated from music and music video streaming, revenues are made up from subscription service charges and ad supported streams. The global online music streaming market had revenues of $11.7bn in 2019 with the subscription services segment being most lucrative in 2019, with total revenues of $8.7bn, equivalent to three quarters of the market’s overall value. Growth in this market being driven by consumer demand for unlimited access to large catalogues of music which is more desirable than physical music units and digital downloads.

Deep in the midst of the COVID -19 crisis and the impending economic recession, its unsurprising that the cloud streaming world will grow exponentially, the coronavirus pandemic has not affected peoples love of music, just their methods of access and ways to listen to it.

Social media is proving to be an effective place for fan engagement and for nurturing these connections, especially among younger generations. Viewers and audiences who usually might not engage in the world of classical music for example and might not have been able to afford these concerts have a whole new genre easily available to them. Totally uninhibited by perceived concert hall traditions and just from the comfort of their sofa’s.

Strategies across radio, streaming, influencer, digital and marketing are the norm and the future, the defacto principles engineered just keep being tweaked in line with music accessibility. Photoshoots / Banners / Playlists / Blogs / Press Days / Influencer Days / Lyric videos / Animated videos / Behind The Scene videos / Full videos / Pop Up gigs / Booking agents / Radio days (Student / Regional / National) are still all pivotal in breaking new artists.

The DJ has been and will always be a very integral mechanism via which music promotion will continue to work cohesively with the ever changing technologies and increasing streaming and social media world. Covid-19 still not being eradicated and large audience congregations becoming obsolete, the future of much music consumption will be the digital world.

Socials :-

@Thadboogie

Can You Really Live Stream Securely As A DJ !!! 🎚🔈🎤

By | Blog

In the constantly evolving world of the Disc Jockey (DJ)….

From 78 rpm vinyl to the modern world of laptops / .wavs and .mp3’s !!!
The mission has been simple, to entertain the audience / listener with music.

I myself an avid record collector of vinyl who has been fortunate to work in Wyldpyrch Rekords Soho and for more than two decades been privileged to receive free new music from record labels and music promo companies. Vinyl is absolutely heavy and I always required help from da man dem with my 3 – 4 record bags and boxes on any given club night. I have received the title of  ‘crate digger’ multiple times, fortunately reading and digesting, song writer, producer and recording credits etc helped prepare me for a life of A&R at major record labels.

I embraced the digital world of Djing and Serato a decade ago and like the millions of us who do this, have become comfortable with the club and radio station set ups with our laptops and Serato boxes. The digital DJ world has also fast tracked a whole generation of females to enter this previously male dominated platform. Sadly the whole worldwide Corona pandemic has closed every live music venue and restricted access to a multitude of DJ’s doing their weekly shows LIVE from their radio stations.

Welcome to the world of LIVE streaming via the numerous broadcast platforms and DJ software that are currently available…Serato / Traktor / Virtual DJ / Mixx and many more.

Facebook / Instagram / Mixcloud / YouTube/ Twitch are some of the most popular platforms to stream and some generate monies for the account holder. Each platform has their own specific rules which have led to many DJ’s I know lose their Mixcloud and Soundcloud accounts a few years ago.

The Covid19 lockdown has fortunately for the listener made it way easier to listen to your favourite DJ shows and even watch them do it LIVE. The main problem is us DJ’s are playing music owned by record labels and publishing companies which is ‘copyrighted’. The majority of record labels have deals with social media companies that allow them to play / stream a limited play of content. Sometimes that’s just 90 seconds, they basically don’t want the listener getting music for free which they want you to purchase.

The technology and software by the owners of this content increasingly improves every year and content flagged in a LIVE stream results in termination of the show and quite often the blocking/suspension of the DJ’s account and loss of all the years spent in them building a loyal fanbase.

Just because you own a song on you laptop it doesn’t meant that you can broadcast it in its entirety on a streamed internet radio broadcast, age old organisations like BMI / ASCAP / MCPS / PRS etc have licence deals with venues, clubs, public radio stations but the internet is still relatively new and rules are vague. Many celebrity DJ’s with huge fanbases are regularly striving for monetary reward for a live stream and a sit down with labels / publishers etc to review for the modern digital arena.

USA black music in general, successful long ago with Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Nat King Cole etc to modern day Hip Hop/Rnb megastars have their song tiles and music registered with the majority of organisations, interestingly UK rap music covering the last 3 decades has a tendency to be way less documented by organisations and live stream shutdown occurs much less frequently while playing this genre. Ironically DJ’s play music for the love of the culture and their specific genres, it adds great PR for artists and drives the listening consumer to purchase music they hear on these live streaming platforms.

What cannot be denied is the rapid worldwide engagement of the audience with streamed radio shows and DJ’s doing live mixes with platforms even hosting artist battles and playing copyrighted music.
Hip Hop producers Swizz Beats and Timbaland host their #verzuz music platform via the internet, showcasing artist music and on some weeks get over 500,000 audience engage to simply listen to music. Erykah Badu and Jill Scott received a more than 300 percent increase in sales after their live stream ‘battle’.

Many seasoned music personnel and stats indicate the future listening habits of the youth demographic is the internet and live streaming.

Watch this space for the constantly evolving developments for DJ’s and live streaming😊

Socials:-  Facebook / Instagram / Twitter

@thadboogie

Rest In Eternal🎤Peace🙏🏾#2020

By | Blog

It’s like nearly June and we’re half way through the calendric year and where do I begin..???

I’ve been an avid record collector, a DJ and an A&R man at major labels the best part of 3 decades now and I absolutely love it 🎼 🎚. From working in Wyldpytch Rekords in Soho.. it’s the passion that’s driven me to  run my own night clubs, artist showcases and music events looking for new talent. The first half of 2020 has left me in total shock and annoyance that artists whom I’ve been supporting are being taken from earth and sent to heaven regularly.

I’d been in Los Angeles and New York on A&R duties for Edel/Island Records working with Kanye West and Freeway, mutual music links hooked me up with Derby producer Baby J. He was then getting involved in Skinnyman’s ‘Council Estate Of Mind’ album and I began managing him, the next year we put out the hot ass record ‘Let It Go’ Feat TY (amongst others)  and it exploded at daytime commercial radio.. straight after the homie Mark Ronson gave us the parts for his ‘Valerie‘ single Feat Amy Winehouse and Baby J’s remix again exploded at daytime commercial radio and MTV Europe. Baby J was crowned Best Producer at the Urban Music Awards by Ras Kwame in Covent Garden and as a lotta artists/labels were hollering I started Big Promo.

Fortunately we had Blak Twang as a guest on my Itch FM #BigPromoShow years ago and one of the hottest rap records around that time was his ‘Dettwork London Revisited’ remix and I was privileged to see the career rise of Black The Ripper subsequently.

Having spent over two decades running back and forth to New York on A&R duties, I managed to meet Andre Harrell and was in awe of his achievements.  Being an avid fan of Hip Hop music from my school body popping days dancing to Kraftwerk and Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde, I saw Andre’s rap skills take him to music mogul with an empire that gave the world some individuals who would be the future of black music. (Jodeci, Mary J Blige, Puff Daddy, Heavy D & The Boyz, Guy, Al B Sure, Father MC, Soul 4 Real, Christopher Williams etc).

This NYC bonding always kept me coherent with what was hot.. from the lyrical dexterity and wordplay of Fred The Godson’s mixtapes to the modern streaming world and social media assault of Pop Smoke.

The Hip Hop/RnB culture I am immersed in regularly pays homage with the sample, and it brought joy to see an old Betty Wright soul  record in my collection be transformed into a modern day hit for superstar Beyonce Knowles. A musical Caribbean household as a boy schooled me on the catalogues of yesterday and the influences of Millie Small and Little Richard for black music on both sides of the Atlantic.

 

Click the photos below to hear the records from all these 2020 deceased artists which have influenced me in some way.. May they rest in eternal peace !!!

Baby J Feat Rukus, Ty, Klashnekoff & Yogi – ‘Let It Go’ (Remix)

Pop Smoke – ‘Welcome To The Party’

Fred The Godson & The Heatmakerz – ‘Alpha’

Blak Twang Feat Jehst, Rodney P & Black The Ripper – ‘Dettwork Southeast’ (Remix)

Dr. Jeckyll & Mr. Hyde (Andre Harrell) – ‘Genius Rap’

Kraftwerk (Florian Schneider) – ‘Trans Europe Express’

Little Richard – ‘Tutti Frutti’

Betty Wright – Girls Can’t Do What The Guys Do

Millie Small – ‘My Boy Lollipop’