*On this episode of our EURWEB podcast For the Record, host Lee Bailey and “The Music Man,” Steven Ivory, are fresh from seeing R&B legend Michael Henderson in concert and can’t help but get nostalgic about the days when his brand of pure R&B – with its incredible arrangements, complex orchestration and real singing – was the industry standard.
Henderson, best known for his early 70s classics “Wide Receiver,” “Valentine Love” and “You Are My Starship,” performed at the Catalina Jazz Club in Los Angeles a day before his 68th birthday.
“This show that we saw, you could call it a couple of things,” said Ivory about the singer/musician. “It was his history as a bass player, as a producer, as a songwriter and as an artist. But it was also a history of this music called R&B … we’re losing this stuff.”
Lee and Steven start off talking about the concert and how to get these Millennials and Gen Z’ers to appreciate the artistry of musicians from Henderson’s era. Steven then goes on a Clive Davis vs. Berry Gordy tangent, saying if Gordy were white, “there would be a statue of him in every park.”
“With all due respect to Clive Davis, he was around at the label when a lot of different people signed with Arista and CBS,” said Ivory. “But he’s really responsible for creating from head to toe, start to finish, one act. And that is Whitney Houston. He didn’t invent Aretha Franklin, he invented Whitney Houston.”
By comparison, Ivory listed the acts that Gordy “invented” from the ground up: “The Supremes, Smokey, The Temptations, Stevie Wonder, The Jackson 5, Michael Jackson. When we get to the B-list, we’re getting to people like Rick James and The Commodores. Gladys Knight. The Four Tops. Stop me.”
Listen to this entire conversation in our latest episode of For The Record above.