When it comes to the best in contemporary jazz with a dash of funk and dance, trumpeter TOM BROWNE is a master in this arena. His first three albums under the Arista/GRP banner are classics -- BROWNE SUGAR, LOVE APPROACH (featuring the hit “Funkin’ For Jamaica”), and MAGIC -- the latter which has been reissued recently by BBR/Cherry Red in the UK (and contains the classic “Thighs High“). KEVIN GOINS (a/k/a “The Soul Ninja”) interviewed Tom Browne.
Interview recorded on April 29, 2012
Kevin: This is Kevin Goins with SoulMusic.com, and today we have a man who has brought us some great jazz funk classics. “Funkin’ For Jamaica,” and “Thighs High (Grip Your Hips and Move).” Let’s get right to this interview. Why? Because the folks at BBR in Europe--they reissued his third GRP/Arista album, MAGIC, on CD. Let’s welcome to our microphones via telephone, Mr. Tom Browne. Mr. Browne, welcome to Soulmusic.com.
Tom: Thanks so much. Glad to be here with you.
Kevin: I understand that you and Ronnie Laws are touring? You had a show last night, from what I understand.
Tom: We just came off the road. Ronnie just caught a flight back to LA this morning. We played in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. He and I are doing quite a few things, actually. We’ve got a package together that’s touring pretty much all across the U.S. and going to Europe, and going to Japan, here coming up in the next couple of months.
Kevin: I hear ya; now I understand that your other love, other than music and playing the trumpet, is aviation, flying. Did you do the flying yourself, or did you leave that to other hands?
Tom: On this last one, I just drove a bit down the road to Myrtle Beach, but I’ve been an airline captain for many years. That was my other career. I actually got involved full time with the music over the last three years, but until then it’s been pretty much split up evenly.
Kevin: I understand. I remember seeing a TV interview many years ago when you announced that you were going to pursue the area of aviation. I found that quite interesting. At least you would not have a shortage of air flight music.
Tom: Royalties come from all sources.
Kevin: There you go. Lets get right to this album, MAGIC. It was your third album with Arista and Grusin/Rosen Productions. Lots of great songs on here and one thing that I enjoy about listening to this album--I listened to it again this morning--is just the positive vibe that just went from track to track to track, and I don’t want to sound like an old fogy, but let’s face it, you really don’t here good music like this anymore. Why is that, Mr. Browne?
Tom: To be honest with you, I think a lot of the reason stems from the fact that there’ve been so many cut backs in the school system that music is not taught as a curricular activity in the schools anymore. Over the years, I think it’s resulted in the lowering of production of quality musicians that come out, to be perfectly honest with you.
But the music business has changed so much. It’s become more of a local market. Years ago, you could tune in to one radio station in New York, you could hear Sly Stone; right after that hear Commodores. Right behind that, it was more of a mixture of all kinds of popular music. It’s become so pigeon-holed right now that it’s hard to hear anything that’s really quality anymore.
Kevin: Agreed. And I want to get to a point that you made regarding music in education. What was it like to learn under the masters such as Woody Shaw, Weldon Irvine, Mr. Fortune, Freddie Hubbard, and even the gentleman who was the lead trumpeter for the NBC orchestra--under Toscanini. What was that like, getting that education, as well as going to the High School Music and Arts in New York City?
Tom: It was fabulous. That was an era, talking about the mid to late seventies, early seventies to mid-seventies really. It was an era where, no matter where you stepped into a venue, no matter what venue you went into in the New York area, you were more than likely to run into someone who had a history and a heritage and a legacy … working alongside up-and-coming musicians, and that’s what‘s lacking today.
Just to be able to go into a club and sit under the training of someone like a Freddie Hubbard or a Woody Shaw, who just happen to be there running a jam session … that type of thing is hardly existent anymore. And it produced great musicians. It produced guys that really understood how to play funk, how to play jazz, how to play it all, because that’s what they were exposed to. That’s not existent these days.
Kevin: That is true, and I understand, like I said, you studied under a gentleman named Murray Karlovsky, who was the lead trumpeter for the NBC orchestra. Now, that’s classical married with jazz. What a great combination that was.
Tom: Well, I always, from early on, my training was as a classical trumpeter. I actually ventured out to playing jazz. I get some students sometimes that come up to me and say, “Hey, I want to learn how to play jazz.” I say, “Great, lets work on your fundamentals.” There’s a misconception out there that playing a certain style of popular music means performing at a not as high quality level. That is certainly a misconception.
I think Wynton Marsalis proves that once and for all, that jazz is just as much a viable, demanding, hard-hitting performance music as anything else. In fact, it’s America’s classical music. So there’s a need to be highly skilled on your instrument and your craft, I believe.
Kevin: Absolutely. A gentleman by the name of Mr. Kunstler told me that, in my jazz history class, that jazz is America’s classical music, and I have to agree with him on that one. Let’s go back to the time of the mid to late 1970s: you’re performing in New York City. How did you get noticed by the folks known as GRP Records, or basically, Dave Grusin and Larry Rosen?
Tom: I have to thank two people for that, and that would be Earl Klugh, primarily, and George Benson. That was an era where I had just gotten my feet wet, getting out there in the marketplace. I was touring with a gentleman named Weldon Irvine, who wrote such hits as “Young Gifted and Black” for Nina Simone, and “Mr. Clean” for Freddie Hubbard. He was a very prolific songwriter, and we did a lot of touring and got some exposure. After that I went to play with Sonny Fortune for quite a few years, a monstrously talented jazz alto saxophonist. But, right in that same era, I was frequenting clubs in the New York area, just as a leader.
I hadn’t established any record deal or anything yet, and just happened to be playing a club in uptown Manhattan called the Breezin’ Lounge. I guess the name should have given it away. I should have said, “Hey, George Benson has something to do with this,” but I didn’t put it together at the time. But it turned out that George indeed had something to do with that venue, and his first manager was the manager of that particular club, and as such, quite a few name people came in there. George Benson came in all the time. George Butler, Dr. George Butler, who’s no longer with us, was in that venue regularly. Earl Klugh was in there all the time.
So, basically just playing there for a couple of weeks, next thing I know, I find myself being flown out to Los Angeles to meet with Warner Brothers and sitting down with CTI, Creed Taylor, sitting down with Columbia. And Earl Klugh introduced me to GRP, Dave Grusin, and Larry Rosen. And we ultimately chose going with GRP because they were a new up and coming company and they didn’t have a whole bunch of trumpeters on their label. If we went with somebody like Columbia and the record didn’t do well, I’d end up being put on the shelf and called a tax write-off. So we decided to go with someone like GRP, who would have to put it all out there and have everything at stake.
Kevin: Absolutely, and something you brought up that was really interesting, because that was what Larry Rosen really prided himself on, when it came to GRP, and that is to seek out musicians and sign them to the label, and not have a huge roster, but have a nice sizable roster where they were able to give each and every one of these acts their undivided attention, whether it was you, whether it was Earl Klugh, whether it was the late Noel Pointer. They really had their ears out there seeking these folks, and saying, “Okay, we’re not going to have a big size Columbia, RCA Victor type roster. We’re just going to have a small little group, and we’re going to give each and every one of them our undivided attention.” That was what made them very unique.
Tom: Exactly. Columbia, at the time, was the jazz dinosaur in the room. At that particular time that I signed, they had Chuck Mangione, Miles Davis--I’m trying to remember if Maynard [Ferguson] was on Columbia also, but they had three or four trumpeters. And we just felt that I’d get lost in the shuffle as a new up and coming act. If I didn’t sell high volumes of records right out of the box, they would just say, “Well, we tried,” call it a tax write-off and that would be the end of that. I think GRP was the best bet.
Kevin: Absolutely. And it’s funny that you mentioned Chuck Mangione, who is from my home town of Rochester, NY, who did very well on Mercury, did very well on A&M, with “Feels So Good,” and need we say more. And when he got signed to Columbia, a lot of us back in Rochester, especially in the radio industry, were like shaking our heads going, “I don’t think this is a great move,” and it was not. Especially when Miles came out with his records and Wynton Marsalis came, Chuck, like you said, got lost in the sauce and put on the shelf. But that’s another story right there. You illustrated a great point.
Another point to mention about GRP was the fact that they had a support system, thanks to Arista Records and Clive Davis. The first album you did was BROWNE SUGAR, which came out in 1979--great album, love your version of “What’s Going On” on that album. And then came the second one, which was, I believe, LOVE APPROACH. That gave birth to a big hit called “Funkin’ for Jamaica.” How did that song come about?
Tom: That was just the musical thank you to my hometown. Actually, we had completed the album, and GRP and Arista both told me that they felt like it needed one more song, and to this day I remember just going up into my attic in my parent’s house and writing this bass line, and writing this concept for the song, and met with Bernard Wright and after two or three tries he said, “Oh, yeah, I dig,” and we worked it out, and so the song just basically came together in the studio. It was just a bunch of cats from the Jamaica, New York area who were paying homage to the things that go on in Jamaica.
Kevin: The #7 train going through Jamaica, Queens, and the fact that you had Toni Smith, who did the great job on the vocals … Now tell us something about Toni Smith. How did she come into the mix?
Tom: Toni came into the mix through a keyboard player that I had playing with my band on the road at that time. Bernard was in the studio, but Bernard was getting his own career going, and so it was just very difficult to keep Bernard with us on the road. I had a guy named Eric Rale playing keyboard with me at that point, and his girlfriend was Toni Smith. We just happened to meet and she sang a bit for me, and just felt that this would make a good combination on the road. ”Jamaica” came out of that.
Kevin: Great story right there. LOVE APPROACH was a gold album for you. I remember seeing it on Larry Rosen’s wall when I visited GRP Records in the early 1990s, and that led into your third Arista album--correction, your third GRP/Arista album, which was MAGIC, and the song “Lets Dance,” the title track “Magic.” I want to point out to “Magic,” the title track, for a minute there, because I love the uplifting lyrics. It was right along the same vibe as let’s say Earth Wind and Fire, as far as a positive message and what not. Was that purely intentional? What was the inspiration behind that particular song?
Tom: That song was written by Cliff Branch, who was another keyboard player who was playing with us at the time. We just, basically, felt that we were going to have the various band members give a contribution to the CD, to the album. The CD was a long point off at that point. Cliff was the one that actually put that song together.
Once “Funkin' For Jamaica” hit, the problem that I had was … I started to abandon more of my jazz background and tried to get a little more into the commercial aspect, which I think, in retrospect, was probably not a great move. It wasn’t a great thing to do, but it’s what the record company wanted. So that record, today, had so many players with a background in that kind of music. We just, basically, did some writing on that. That was a song that Cliff put together for us.
Kevin: Right. And a lot of folks contributed; Toni Smith even helped you folks with the hit single off that record, “Thighs High (Grip Your Hips and Move),” which falls right along the same lines as “Funkin for Jamaica” as a great party song, and I guess that was the clear intention of “Thighs High,” if I’m not mistaken.
Tom: Yeah, it was. By the way, my wife has banned me from playing that song. It had too many reactions among the women.
Kevin: Oh, my. Really now?
Tom: Yeah. I can’t play that song anymore on God’s Earth. I’ll still do a medley with it, but … and she’s dead serious, too. It just had too many reactions.
Kevin: Are you kidding me? Really? Wow. Well, I guess the title says it all, I guess. Mrs. Browne--I’m not going to argue with Mrs. Browne here. We’ll just keep it as a great song for a great time, and if folks want to hear it, I guess they’re going to have to buy the CD.
Tom: What’s the expression? If Mama’s happy, everybody’s happy.
Kevin: Exactly. Just as long as you don’t play the first few notes, right? Well, I also want to get to another tune off that album, which kind of stood out for me--which was, the “Midnight Interlude.” What a nice piece of music right there, very sultry, but you say you abandoned your jazz chops. When I hear this song, I don’t get that.
Tom: I’m always going to be a jazz player. I’m always going to interject some of my jazz roots into what I’m doing; that’s who I am. What I meant was, on the previous albums, there was more of a free-flowing, “Hey, let’s just record some music” kind of idea. I think, as “Jamaica” got to be so popular and so big, and rather than just going out on the road and just being myself, I found myself thrown out with the Gap Band and SOS Band and Cameo, and that’s just not who I was.
I went through a very confused--I mean there’s still some great music on the record, but I went through a very confused time in my life, where I said, “Okay, how do I become this R&B act? How does this jazz trumpet player become this R&B act?” And it was a very troubling time for me. It was what the record company wanted me to do, and it’s what I felt I needed to do.
I’ve just gotten back to the point where I’m like, “Hey I’m me; take it or leave it. I’m going to play what I play.” And I’ve just decided to have a lot more fun, I guess, is the best way to put it. And that’s something that I don’t fault anybody else for; I fault myself. I just recently, over the last 10 years, learned that, “You know what: go out on stage and have some fun. Don’t go out on stage and perform. Just go out and let loose and have fun.” And it’s been the best thing that’s ever happened to me. It’s even better, and they enjoy the shows much more, and I think the recordings are much more spontaneous at this point.
Kevin: I have to agree. It’s all about just going out there and enjoying the moment, but I do want to go back to a particular time in your life, in 1986, in which you went through a spiritual awakening in your life--what was going on and what was the result of it? Because I know you kind of shifted gears, musically, as well.
Tom: That is a period, I guess, let me start that off by saying my wife became a Born Again Christian in ’81, and myself shortly thereafter, I think in ’82 or ’83. That was a period in which the whole music industry was shifting more and more to what I call between the sheets music; everything coming from black artists had to be deeply sexually oriented. And it was troubling to me.
That’s one of the reasons, and I said it was my wife, and it is, but part of myself also: I have trouble doing the lyrics from “Thighs High” and any further. But that particular period, it was very difficult to be a black R&B artist unless you wanted to get with the program of what the record company said made it as a black artist. It’s the Marvin Gaye, “Sexual Healing,” or Mtume’s “Juicy Fruit,“ that whole era.
And so I just found myself, I remember Arista called me one day and asked me if I wanted to do a recording with this other group. I said, “Well, what do they want me to do?” And they explained it to me, and I said, “Well, I’ll pass.” That, I think, was the downfall of what had been a little bit of a turbulent relationship with Arista. I think at that point they just pulled the plug and said, “Hey, Tom’s not on board anymore.” So, around ’86, I found myself out of a record deal with Arista, and I just ended up going to Malaco Records and recording a Christian jazz praise record called NO LONGER I.
Kevin: I seem to remember NO LONGER I, and I want to backtrack. You made an interesting point because in the early to mid 1980s--and I was in radio at the time--I seem to have noticed that shift, as well. When I hear the Isley’s come out with “Between the Sheets,” and I’m not knocking the Isley’s; God bless them. I always will love their music, but it did represent a shift toward stuff that was a little more provocative, and I know some folks got with that program; others did not. They tried to stay true to who and what they are, who and what they were, and, as a result, the record companies said, “To hell with it.” Now, at that time with Arista, GRP was out of the picture, if I’m not mistaken.
Tom: That’s right. After the third record, Arista saw such a moneymaking machine, that they just bought out the whole GRP contract.
Kevin: Yes, and I want to make a point that I had a talk with Larry Rosen over a year ago. I interviewed him for an Noel Pointer CD liner notes that I wrote for the album’s FEEL IT and CALLING. And he said that the moment the record companies … it didn’t matter whether it was Arista or Columbia, or RCA … the moment these labels started seeing a momentum with the artists they were producing, John Lucien, Tom Browne, Phyllis Hyman, Noel Pointer … the moment they saw this momentum, and we’ll throw in Angela Bofill, too--the moment they saw this movement, the major labels would just swoop in, take the artists over, and say, “Hey, look, we need to get you guys into more of a commercial thing here. You don’t need GRP.” So, all of a sudden, GRP was getting frozen out.
Tom: Yeah, pretty much.
Kevin: So it was interesting that Larry brought this up, and it seems as if, for example, I heard Angela Bofill’s recordings with Narada Michael Walden--good stuff. I heard Phyllis’ stuff after GRP--okay. Noel Pointer did some decent things, but the bottom line was, it just didn’t seem the same. It was just like the spirit was not there, and you did the right thing by basically saying to Arista, “No, thank you.”
Tom: Yeah. I mean, there’s pluses and minuses. When I was with GRP, GRP had a wonderful co-producer working with them. Of course, Larry was the business end of the deal, but Dave Grusin is probably one of the best producers in the industry. Dave, just like Quincy Jones, and like other producers of that magnitude, had the ability to hear an artist and not necessarily rape the artist of their individuality and say, “Well, you’re just a machine. You’re going to play what I want you to play.” But, instead of doing that, say, “Hey, you have this talent. Let me augment it and see what I can do to shape it into a popular vehicle, without taking your identity from you.” Dave was able to do that. I think that’s why the first few albums were so much fun.
Arista did not have producers; they went out and hired producers. So I found myself working with folks like Maurice Star, and they came into the picture and basically said, “Here’s what you’re going to do.” It didn’t make a difference whether it made sense to me, trumpet-wise or jazz-wise. So it ended up being more of a machine, and the music suffered for it.
Kevin: And a lot of artists suffered for it, too. So, to make this album that you did for Malaco, I’m sure was a nice change of pace for you.
Tom: It was. Malaco had never done anything like that. I don’t know if they’ve … I don’t think they’re even still doing any kind of jazz praise projects, but it was different. It didn’t sell very well, but it was certainly a breath of fresh air.
Kevin: Now I want to switch back to the topic we got to earlier. I know this is off the soul music path, but how did you fall in love with flying airplanes?
Tom: My passion for flying and music both started about the same time, back around fourth grade or so, in elementary school. I can’t tell you why. I just know where we lived in New York was right under the departure paths, right in between LaGuardia Airport and Kennedy Airport, and so, as far back as I can remember, I just saw the early days of jets going overhead all the time. I just fell in love with it. I just said, “That’s what I want to do.” I just always remember being in love with aviation.
My dad was involved in aviation as a weatherman out at MacArthur Airport out on Long Island--also early on, what was Idlewild, which became Kennedy Airport. So I’ve just been involved in aviation, at some level, from fourth grade on, through my dad or through early flying lessons or there about. it’s just another passion that I have.
Kevin: And a passion that led you to becoming a licensed commercial aviator. Congratulations. Now I want to fast forward to 1994. Here you are flying airplanes and all that good stuff. Then, all of a sudden, you put out an album on the Hip Bop label called Mo Jamaica Funk, and I was the first to buy that record at my store, saying, “Yay, Tom Browne is back doing his thing.” How did that all come about for you?
Tom: I was very happy being a charter pilot for a charter company here in the North Carolina area, and I got approached by a gentleman named Yusef Ghandi, who used to be involved in a booking agency that I was working with years and years ago. He had a vision to bring back a lot of the jazz funk cats from the era that “Funkin’ For Jamaica” was out in: Bernard Wright, myself, Donald Blackman, Lenny White, and get them involved in crossing over jazz and hip hop. So it was more of an experiment than anything else. And the label actually derived its name, Hip Bop, from that whole concept. And each one of us put out a solo project, a couple solo projects for that label, as a matter of fact.
Kevin: Well, you put out more than a couple solo projects with that label, almost 3 or 4 albums, right?
Tom: Yeah, I did 3 or 4 albums with them, and then a bunch of compilation albums. I was on Lenny’s record. Michael Arviniac, jazz violist, did a bunch of stuff with his record. It was some good projects; I think it might have been a little bit ahead of its time, but it certainly was some good projects.
Kevin: Well, I remember Miles Davis was heading in that direction before he passed away, when he did his last album on Warner Brothers, not the TUTU album, but the one after that, that came out around ’92. It was more like a combination of hip hop with jazz, and it was produced by Easy Mo Bee, so even brother Miles was heading in that direction, as well.
I do have a question that a colleague of mine wanted me to ask you, and that is, as a graduate of the prestigious High School of Performing Arts, or rather, High School of Musical Arts, and this dovetails quite nicely with the whole hip hop thing, and that is, young people are … just have pretty much discovered your music, thanks to hip hop folks borrowing, if I may say so, lightly, your songs for their tunes. How does it feel to have young people see you as the man who brought us “Funkin’ for Jamaica” and “Thighs High”?
Tom: Well, it’s surely one of the things that’s keeping some of my earlier music alive. It feels … it’s interesting. I surely appreciate it. There’s so many of us jazz funk artists from that era that are being utilized in the music of today, Bernard Wright, Roy Ayers, especially. Roy’s sampled off of everything that he did, but you know the interesting fact is that a lot of the younger people who are into the music that’s out there today, don’t necessarily know the lineage. They know they like the music that’s being played, but look at the transition in a second, and I’ll give you the best explanation that I can.
If you go to my wife’s culture, my wife is from the Dominican Republic, and the Hispanic culture knows its entire lineage of music. So, if you ask a young kid who’s into hip hop, in the Spanish culture, “Hey, you know Celia Cruz?” They’d say, “Oh, of course. She’s the queen of music from Santa Domingo.” So the kids know their heritage. Our kids, for some reason, know the music of today, and that’s it. So one of the things that we’re trying to do on the road is make sure that the folks who are out supporting jazz teach the kids. It’s so important to learn your heritage, because if you don’t know your heritage, it will be stolen from you, basically, what it comes down to.
Kevin: Or taken from you and become part of someone else’s culture.
Tom: Exactly. And check out and see if that’s not what’s happening to jazz today, through this whole smooth jazz movement.
Kevin: Oh, yeah, that’s a whole other ball of wax right there. And it’s also happening to some degree with Rhythm & Blues and Soul music. One last question I do want to ask you, because we’re getting to the 30 minute mark here, and that is what is new and what is next for Mr. Tom Browne?
Tom: Just trying to keep things rolling. Again, Ronnie and I are doing this package. We found that, because jazz is going through such a transition, the only way that promoters can afford to do jazz shows is to go with a surefire win, and if they see folks like Tom and Ronnie and Roy together, at a reasonable price, there’s a tendency to say this will definitely draw people out, and so that’s what we’re doing. We’re finding ways to package together, ways to support each other on the road, ways to record together, just redefining the music.
I had this conversation with quite a few folks that say, one camp says, “Well, as a jazz purist, I don’t necessarily agree with what’s happening with the music today.” But the other side of that is, what would John Coltrane or Miles Davis or Dizzy be playing if they were alive today? Would they still be playing the music of the 1960’s? I think Miles proved the answer to that is no. They would have evolved into something else. So that’s what we’re trying to do. We’re trying to figure out where is this music going? What could we do to be on the cutting edge? How can we take that on the road to support the music?
Kevin: Well, that’s important that you point that out because, to me, and to a lot of other folks, I hope, music is about reflecting life’s changes, and in order for music to evolve, you have to allow those changes to happen. Otherwise, you’re going to be forever recycling your stuff, and it’s going to get a little boring after a few listens. So I think that is very important that we kind of embrace that, so having that be done, where are you guys going, as far as your touring is concerned? Where are the next stops for you and Ronnie?
Tom: The next thing we play is this weekend coming up in Macon, Georgia. We’re playing the Devil’s Theater in Macon. And right from there we go to the Jacksonville Jazz Festival down in Jacksonville, FL. And from there next month, head out to Europe.
Kevin: Wow, where I know you’ll have a big, huge fan base waiting for you in Europe. As I talk to other folks in the soul and jazz field--that the Europeans--they roll out the red carpet for you.
Tom: There’s certainly a different kind of marketplace over there, and hey, listen, there’s one thing that we don’t get here in the states. we’re 200 and some odd years old; you’re going into cultures that go back thousands and thousands of years, and you know what? You go into London and there’s a mixture of folks directly from Africa and directly from other places in Europe, and folks that learned how to live together and function together in a whole different way than we have here, and it’s refreshing to see, actually.
Kevin: And it’s refreshing that you joined us on SoulMusic.com, Tom. Thank you so much. I know you just came off of doing a show with Ronnie the other evening, and today being Sunday, April 29th, I’m sure you’d like to get a few days of rest, and I don’t blame you.
The CD is through BBR in Europe, one of our colleagues, comrades in arms, when it comes to bringing classic soul and classic contemporary jazz to the listeners. The album is MAGIC., third album from Mr. Tom Browne, one of the many great recordings that came out during his tenure with Arista Records and the folks at Grusin/Rosen Productions. It is out on CD; it’s available through BBR. It’s also available through our SoulMusic.com store. So make sure you order it, and if your folks are surfing the net, order through Amazon. It’s available through them.
Tom Browne, thank you so much for joining us on SoulMusic.com. Safe travels in that airplane, and we look forward to hearing some more great music from you, sir.
Tom: Thanks so much. Appreciate you having me, and thanks to all of the listeners who have always supported the music.
Kevin: You got it. Tom Browne, SoulMusic.com, this is Kevin Goins. Thank you for listening, and we’ll talk to you soon. Take care, Tom.
About the Writer
Kevin Goins aka “The Soul Ninja” is a veteran of the radio and recording industries, has authored liner notes for CD collections by Earth Wind & Fire, Melba Moore and Stacy Lattisaw. He's also the producer/host of the Internet radio interview series "Soulful Conversations" as well as a classic R&B show "The Kevin Goins Soul Experience".