A Man and his Music – William Price King meets Quincy Jones – 1980s


In part four of the Quincy Jones story, William Price King explores the relationship that Quincy formed with some of the most iconic names in the music industry. Also how he used his influence to produce one of the top selling singles every released.

QJ Awards

Quincy Jones has now been at the peak of his musical career for the last 20 years having worked with the top artists in the industry.

In 1979 Quincy had produced Off The Wall with Michael Jackson for Epic Records. The two men had become friends after working on The Wiz together. They recorded the album between December 1978 and June 1979 and released it in the August. Michael Jackson had collaborated with other songwriters and composers such as Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder. He had also written three of the tracks himself including the Grammy winning Don’t Stop ’til You Get Enough. Five singles were released from the album becoming chart hits and over 8 million copies were sold. This cemented Michael Jackson as an International superstar and Quincy Jones as the most sought after record producer in Hollywood.

In 1980 his album The Dude won three Grammy awards. Collaborators on the album included vocalist James Ingram on two of the tracks; Just Once and One Hundred Ways. Razzmatazz with vocals by Patti Austin reached No. 11 in the UK singles chart and received a great deal of play time in the US… The album won a Grammy for Best Instrumental Arrangement, Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal and Best Instrumental Arrangement (Accompanying Vocalists).

Here is Patti Austin with Razzmatazz.

Quincy now settled in for the next ten years as head of his own label Qwest and putting his own releases on the back burner he focused on producing for other artists.

This included one of the bestselling singles of all time. We Are The World is a charity single written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Ritchie and produced by Quincy Jones and Michael Omartian for the album of the same name We Are The World. Quincy had used his influence to draw in most of the top American recording artists of the day to raise funds for the victims of Ethiopia’s famine. When asked how he had managed to make this multi-talented cast of singers work harmoniously he explained that he had taped a notice on the door at the entrance. “Check Your Ego At The Door”.

It sold in excess of 20 million copies and is one of less than 30 singles to have sold at least 10 million copies worldwide.

Quincy and Michael Jackson worked together again in 1982 on the bestselling album Thriller with 40 million sold. Six of the singles were in the Top Ten including Billie Jean and Beat It.

In 1987 they teamed up again for Michael Jackson’s 7th studio album Bad and Michael not only composed nine of the eleven tracks but also received co-producer credit for the whole album alongside Quincy. The album received six Grammy nominations and won two. It was to be the successful team’s final collaboration.

One of the most successful singles… Billie Jean from the album Thriller.

On hearing of Michael’s death, Quincy said the following:

‘”For Michael to be taken away from us so suddenly at such a young age, I just don’t have the words. Divinity brought our souls together on The Wiz and allowed us to do what we were able to throughout the ’80s. To this day, the music we created together on Off The Wall, Thriller and Bad is played in every corner of the world and the reason for that is because he had it all…talent, grace, professionalism and dedication. He was the consummate entertainer and his contributions and legacy will be felt upon the world forever. I’ve lost my little brother today, and part of my soul has gone with him.”

Another star that Quincy continued to work with during the 80s was Frank Sinatra and in 1984 they produced L.A. Is My Lady. After their long and successful artistic partnership Quincy had to say this about this megastar.

“Frank Sinatra took me to a whole new planet. I worked with him until he passed away in ’98. He left me his ring. I never take it off. Now, when I go to Sicily, I don’t need a passport. I just flash my ring.”

 Here is Frank Sinatra with the Quincy Jones Orchestra L.A. Is My Lady.

In 1985 a film arrived in the cinemas that was to take the world by storm; Stephen Spielberg’s adaptation of the novel, The Colour Purple. Starring Whoopi Goldberg and Opray Winfrey the movie received eleven Oscar Nominations. Quincy Jones wrote the score for the film and he also co-produced the musical adaptation of the novel which opened at The Broadway Theater in New York in 2005 The other producers were Scott Sanders, Harvey Weinstein and Oprah Winfrey. It was nominated for five 2006 Outer Critics Circle Awards including Outstanding Broadway Musical and Outstanding New Score. In the same year the show was nominated for eleven Tony Awards including Best Musical and Best Original Score.

In 1989, Quincy Jones was presented with the Sammy Cahn Lifetime Achievement Award from the Songwriters Hall of Fame. With a wonderful career and many accolades and awards behind him, Quincy was playing is way into the 1990s with so much more to come.

To end this chapter in Quincy Jones story here is Miss Celie’s Blues from The Colour Purple.

My thanks to those who have uploaded videos to YouTube.

Buy Quincy Jones Music.

http://www.amazon.com/Quincy-Jones/e/B000AQ0MV6

Sources and information on tours and news for Quincy Jones.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quincy_Jones
http://www.biography.com/people/quincy-jones-9357524
http://www.quincyjones.com/

About William Price King

pricestudio

William Price King is an American jazz singer, musician and composer. Originally he studied classical music and opera but over the years his style has evolved to what many refer to as the ‘sweet point’ where music and voice come together so beautifully.

His vocal mentors are two of the greatest giants in jazz, Nat King Cole and Mel Torme. His debut jazz album is called ‘Home,’ a collection of contemporary songs and whilst clearly a homage to their wonderful legacy it brings a new and refreshing complexity to the vocals that is entrancing.

William is currently in France where he performs in popular Jazz Venues in Nice and surrounding area. His album ‘Home’ is available to download and he is currently working on his new album available later in 2015.

LINKS
Links to website – http://www.williampriceking.com/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/WilliamPriceKing
Twitter – @wpkofficial
Regular Venue – http://cave-wilson.com/
ITunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/william-price-king/id788678484

You can find the previous post for Quincy Jones and the other series including Nat King Cole, Mel Torme, Roberta Flack, Nina Simone, Ella Fitzgerald and Sir George Shearing in this directory.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/william-price-king/

We both would be very appreciative if you could leave a comment and share this new series on social media – Twitter and FB in particular. Many thanks Sally and William.

 

 

A Man and his Music – William Price King meets Quincy Jones – Part Two


Welcome to the second part of the story of Quincy Jones; still going very strong in his 80s despite a recent health scare. Behind every successful singer with hit songs is usually and extraordinarily talented and skilled musician and arranger. Quincy Jones is as comfortable in front of the band as he is behind the scenes.  William Price King picks up the story as we enter the mid 50s and the 60s.  Part one can be found here.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2015/10/07/new-series-a-man-and-his-music-william-price-king-meets-quincy-jones-part-one/

Quincy in Paris

Quincy Jones was only in his late teens when he went on the road with band leader Lionel Hampton to Europe and he was to say later that it completely revised his opinion of racism in the United States.

“It gave you some sense of perspective of past, present and future. It took the myopic conflict between just black and white in the United States and put it on another level because you saw the turmoil between the Armenians and the Turks, and the Cypriots and the Greeks, and the Swedes and the Danes, and the Koreans and the Japanese. Everybody had these hassles, and you saw it was a basic part of human nature, these conflicts. It opened my soul, it opened my mind.”

Working with an established musician like Lionel Hampton opened many doors for Quincy and he opted to live in New York in the heart of the music business. All through the 1950s he worked as a freelance arranger for Tommy Dorsey, Sarah Vaughan, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Dinah Washington and his friend and collaborator Ray Charles.

As an example of the work that he was producing in collaboration with some of the greats. Sarah Vaughan with the Quincy Jones Orchestra and the classic ‘Misty‘ in 1958 for Mercury Records.

He also toured the Middle East and South America as a trumpeter and musical director for the Dizzie Gillespie band and on his return recorded his first album as a band leader for ABC Paramount Records which was released in 1956. It was considered a masterpiece of arranging and band leading. Over a short period of time the recordings evolved into a re-invention of big band music. Quincy used complex harmonies and rhythms that gave a younger and more vibrant sound that attracted a new generation of listeners as well as impressed the old hands. The pieces were also technically demanding for five or six players but took on epic proportions when performed by 20 musicians.

In 1957, Quincy settled in Paris where he studied composition with Nadia Boulanger and Olivier Messiaen, and worked as a music director for Barclay Disques, Mercury Records’ French distributor. In 1958 Jones was invited by Princess Grace to arrange a benefit concert at the Monaco Sporting Club, featuring Frank Sinatra.

Here is Frank Sinatra with the Count Basie orchestra conducted by Quincy Jones.

He took to the road again as Musical Director of Harold Arlen’s jazz musical Free and Easy which closed back in Paris in 1960. Musicians who had been part of the tour included Art Farmer, Zoot Sims, Curtis Fuller, Phil Woods, Freddie Hubbard, Benny Golson, Art Blakey, and Hank Jones. Quincy took the newly formed band back on the road with families in tow and wowed audiences in Europe and the States. However, the overheads were astronomical and eventually they had to disband the orchestra. This left Quincy deeply in debt.

“We had the best jazz band on the planet, and yet we were literally starving. That’s when I discovered that there was music, and there was the music business. If I were to survive, I would have to learn the difference between the two.”

Mercury Records stepped in and helped Quincy out with a loan and he went to work for them in New York as music director. He went on to be appointed vice-president of the label and was the first African-American to hold that position in a white-owned company. As well as producing albums and writing arrangements for his own artists, he also worked with other artists including Andy Williams, Peggy Lee and Aretha Franklin. He still continued to work with Frank Sinatra, arranging conducting the album It Might As Well Be Swing.

The exceptional Peggy Lee with the Quincy Jones Orchestra in 1961 – As Time Goes By.

Into the early 60s and still under thirty years old, Quincy was working with top artists as an arranger. Joining his growing list of stars was the young Greek singer Nana Mouskouri. Quincy also released his own solo recordings including Walking In Space, You’ve Got It Bad and I Heard That! His Soul Bossa Nova has been used as the theme music for a number of films and television shows as well as the 1998 World Cup.

One of the most prolific singers that he worked with in the early sixties was Lesley Gore. Born Lesley Sue Goldstein, she recorded the iconic It’s My Party in 1963 at age 16 and went on to have hits with You Don’t Own me and California Nights. Quincy produced all of her four million-selling singles in the first half of the 60s including ‘The Look of Love in 1965.

In 1964 Frank Sinatra hired Quincy to arrange and conduct his second album with Count Basie, It Might As Well Be Swing. |He followed this by conducting and arranging the singer’s live album with The Basie Band, Sinatra at the Sands (1966).

Frank Sinatra was not the only member of the Rat Pack that Quincy was to work with when he arranged and conducted the trio along with Johnny Carson with the Count Basie orchestra at a charity benefit in 1965. The event was broadcast in movie theaters around the country before being released on DVD.

In 1964, it was time for Quincy to turn his attention to a then mainly white dominated sector of film scores and his first major motion picture project for Sidney Lumet was The Pawnbroker. The film that starred Rod Steiger, Geraldine Fitzgerald and Morgan Freeman. Apart from being Quincy’s first film score it was also the first American film to tell the story of the Holocaust from the perspective of a survivor and also one of the first to show nudity.

Quincy Jone and the main theme from The Pawnbroker

Following the success of his debut into the movie industry, Quincy left Mercury Records and moved to Los Angles. His career as a composer was established rapidly with films such as The Slender Thread, In The Heat of the Night, MacKenna’s Gold, Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice and The Getaway. He has written the scores for over thirty major motion pictures.

This success led to he and his song writing partner, Bob Russell becoming the first African Americans to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song for The Eyes of Love from the film Banning. The same year Quincy was also the first to be nominated twice in the same year for Best Original Score for the film In Cold Blood.

My thanks to those who have uploaded videos to YouTube.

Buy Quincy Jones Music.

http://www.amazon.com/Quincy-Jones/e/B000AQ0MV6

Sources and information on tours and news for Quincy Jones.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quincy_Jones
http://www.biography.com/people/quincy-jones-9357524
http://www.quincyjones.com/

Next time… Quincy Jones and the 1970s

About William Price King

Price King Eric Sempe

William Price King is an American jazz singer, musician and composer. Originally he studied classical music and opera but over the years his style has evolved to what many refer to as the ‘sweet point’ where music and voice come together so beautifully.

His vocal mentors are two of the greatest giants in jazz, Nat King Cole and Mel Torme. His debut jazz album is called ‘Home,’ a collection of contemporary songs and whilst clearly a homage to their wonderful legacy it brings a new and refreshing complexity to the vocals that is entrancing.

William is currently in France where he performs in popular Jazz Venues in Nice and surrounding area. His album ‘Home’ is available to download and he is currently working on his new album available later in 2015.

LINKS
Links to website – http://www.williampriceking.com/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/WilliamPriceKing
Twitter – @wpkofficial
Regular Venue – http://cave-wilson.com/
ITunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/william-price-king/id788678484

You can find the previous post for Quincy Jones and the other series including Nat King Cole, Mel Torme, Roberta Flack, Nina Simone, Ella Fitzgerald and Sir George Shearing in this directory.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/william-price-king/

We both would be very appreciative if you could leave a comment and share this new series on social media – Twitter and FB in particular. Many thanks Sally and William.