Remember ‘O-o-h Child’ by the Five Stairsteps?

Clarence Burke Jr., who died on May 26 at age 64 in Marietta, Ga., was the lead singer, guitar player, sometime songwriter, and choreographer of the Five Stairsteps, four brothers and a sister from Chicago who got their name because their mother said that when the siblings stood together, they looked like stairs. While the Five Stairsteps achieved an impressive string of R&B hits in the 1960s and 1970s, their shining moment was “O-o-h Child,” a 1970 single that became their …

Major Harris: 5 Little-Known Facts About the ‘Philly Soul’ Great

If you grew up in the 1960s, when you think of R&B, you probably think of classic Motown – the earnest, energetic sound of Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye, and the Temptations, among others – or else the harder, funkier Stax/Volt Records sound from Memphis, exemplified by the Staple Singers and Isaac Hayes. But if you were a teenager a decade later in the mid-1970s, you probably got down at high school dances to what people called the Philadelphia Sound or …

A Special Birthday: Marvin Gaye

While this R&B icon isn’t with us anymore, we felt the need to acknowledge that today is the great Marvin Gaye’s birthday. For those of us who grew up listening to the sounds of his glorious hits, this one is for you: