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.

 

 

New Series – A Man and his Music – William Price King meets Quincy Jones – Part One


Welcome to the new series by William Price King on the life and music of Quincy Jones.

Before we take a look at his life and music perhaps I could just briefly cover some of his lifetime achievements. This extraordinary man has not just been awarded the accolades heaped upon him by the music industry but has given back to the business, its artists and to those outside of music who have needed his help.

Despite being centre stage as a performer, Quincy Jones has excelled in most of the areas of popular music for over 65 years. He is a record producer, conductor, arranger, composer, musician, television producer, film producer, instrumentalist, magazine founder, entertainment company executive, children’s activist and humanitarian

He has received 79 Grammy nominations and 27 Grammy Awards. He was nominated for 7 Oscar Academy awards and he received The Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award in 1994. He has composed sound tracks for movies from the early 60s including for The Slender Thread, In The Heat of the Night, MacKenna’s Gold, The Italian Job and They Call Me Mr. Tibbs.

Here is the theme song from the soundtrack of The Colour Purple in 1985, although his own album is available here is the version by Itzhak Perlman on his album Perlman. You can buy the original soundtrack at the link at the end of the post.

Quincy has collaborated with the best in the business including Frank Sinatra, Michael Jackson and Celine Dion. He has also invested time and funding to provide young musicians the opportunity to develop their own careers through education and community outreach.

In 2008, Quincy Jones was inducted into the California Hall of Fame and in 2009 made a Fellow of the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. Later that year he was honoured with a Clinton Global Citizen award for Leadership in Philanthropy. In 2013 he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and honoured in 1014 by the French by being made Commandeur de L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and is the first musician also be made Commandeur de la Legion d’Honneur.

Away from music he has devoted much of his life to social change and philanthropy.

In May 2000 the Quincy Jones Professorship of African American Music was established at Harvard University in Massachusetts with a grant of $3 million from Time Warner. In January 2001 he received the first Ted Arison Award from the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts, named for the man who created the organization.

He is founder of the Quincy Jones Listen Up Foundation which is a non-profit organisation that has built more than 100 homes in South Africa with an aim to connecting young people with technology, education, culture and music. In 2004 he helped launch the We Are the Future project, which gives children in poor and conflict-ridden areas a chance to live their childhoods and develop with a sense of hope.

In 2001, Jones became an honorary member of the board of directors of The Jazz Foundation of America. He has worked with The Jazz Foundation to save the homes and the lives of America’s elderly jazz and blues musicians, including those who survived Hurricane Katrina.

Quincy Jones is saluted at the 2001 Kennedy Center Honors by Stevie Wonder, Patti Austin and James Ingram. However, the star of the performance is the legendary Ray Charles who sings the old World War I song “My Buddy” – and makes it his own tribute to Quincy. Thanks to Henry B Walthall for uploading this video to Youtube.

Jones and his friend John Sie, founder of Liberty Starz, worked together to create the Global Down Syndrome Foundation.

In this first post I just want to touch on his early life as that is already well documented in Q: The Autobiography of Quincy Jones which won a Grammy in the best spoken word album category.

You can buy his autobiography and his other books from his author’s site on Amazon.

http://www.amazon.com/Quincy-Jones/e/B001HD1UDA

Quincy’s early influences.

Born in 1933 on the South Side of Chicago as Quincy Delight Jones Jnr. to Sarah and Quincy Delight Jones snr, he was to get an early introduction to music by his mother who sang religious songs. He was also lucky enough to be able to hear a neighbour Lucy Jackson playing her stride piano (jazz piano style that was developed in the large cities of the East Coast, mainly New York, during the 1920s and 1930s) through the walls of their adjoining houses. Listening to the music was not enough and so Quincy would head next door and began his musical career in earnest.

Unfortunately his mother Sarah suffered a breakdown when Quincy and his brother were very young and she was institutionalised. His father eventually remarried to Elvera who had three children with another three arriving in following years after moving to the Northwest.

Quincy attended Garfield High School in Seattle and developed his early love of music by studying the trumpet and music composition and arranging. He met a new classmate, Charles Taylor whose mother was Evelyn Bundy, one of Seattle’s first jazz-band leaders. This opened up doors for Quincy and at fourteen, he and Charles were playing in the National Reserve Band.

This was also the age when he met Ray Charles who was then himself only 16 years old. After watching Ray perform, Quincy introduced himself and considers him to be an early inspiration for his own career. Combined with a strong and empowering family environment and an inherited work ethic from his father, Quincy was now set on his future in music.

A great track from the Quincy Jones album “Back on the Block” released in 1989. Performed by Ray Charles and Chaka Khan. I’ll Be Good To You.

At eighteen Quincy won a scholarship to Seattle University along with another star in the making, Clint Eastwood. After the first semester however, Quincy transferred to the Berklee College of Music in Boston on another scholarship. The course work was tough and Quincy was studying 10 subjects related to performing, arranging and composing. To cover his expenses he played at what he terms ‘a real dive’ locally called Izzy Ort’s Bar & Grille where he was influenced by alto player Bunny Campbell and pianist and arranger Preston Sandiford.

His studies came to an end when he was offered the practical experience of touring as a trumpeter with the legendary Lionel Hampton. Lionel was a jazz pianist, percussionist, actor and bandleader and had worked with the best including Louis Armstrong, Benny Goodman and Charlie Parker. This was a great start to Quincy’s professional career and it also offered him the opportunity to demonstrate his talent for arranging songs. This lead to him moving to New York where he worked freelance arranging songs for artists such as Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Sarah Vaughn and his old and now close friend Ray Charles.

Frank Sinatra sings I Only Have Eyes For You with the Count Basie Orchestra directed by Quincy Jones. Count Basie on the piano. Uploaded by VicoKrav

Buy Quincy Jones Music.

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

The Soundtrack The Colour Purple

http://www.amazon.com/Color-Purple-The-CD-Reissue/dp/B000A2H8Z8/ref=ntt_mus_ep_dpi_12

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

cover of Home by William Price King

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 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.