Marvin's Room is the home of R&B on CBC. The show airs Friday 7:00 p.m on Radio 2, Sunday 8:00 p.m on Radio 1, Wednesday at 4:00 a.m and Friday at 3:00 p.m on SiriusXM.
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Marvin's Room with Amanda Parris on CBC Radio
Every week I feel like pinching myself when I realize that i get to come to work and curate R&B music for you to hear. It’s still hard for me to believe. When I was growing up, it was a struggle to hear R&B on the radio. My friends and I would spend precious hours toggling the dial, trying to find a space to grab the signal for a radio station in Buffalo because no Canadian stations (outside of college radio) were playing the music we wanted to hear. However times have changed and it’s an honour to be a part of that change. Here’s a taste of some of the music you’ll hear in this episode.
Otis Redding - Try a Little Tenderness
Sam & Dave - Soul Man
Solange - I Decided, Pt. 1
Tanika Charles - Silly Happy Wild
Frank Ocean - Chanel
Chris LaRocca - Closer
Gallant - Jupiter
Emeli Sande f/ Jay Electronica and Aine Zion - Garden
The Weeknd - The Hills
Just Chase - Ego
Glenn Lewis - Don’t You Forget It
Aaliyah - One in a Million
Try A Little Tenderness
Soul music. The term is used so often it’s easy to forget what it even means. What does it mean to put soul into music? I think the best way of answering that question is by tracking the music.
What does a song that has no soul whatsoever transform into when soul is infused? The perfect song for this experiment is “Try a Little Tenderness.” Long before it was sampled by Kanye and Jay Z, long before Ducky danced his way through it in the movie Pretty in Pink and long before Otis belted it out on stage “Try a Little Tenderness” was written not for R&B but for an orchestra.
The Ray Noble Orchestra to be precise. It was the 1930’s and that first recording of the song sounded nothing like what we know now, sentimental, a little stiff, and not too memorable. A few years later Bing Crosby tried at his hand at it - an improvement, but not by much and then Ruth Etting, Frank Sinatra, Patti Page, even Aretha Franklin - more than 10 artists did covers of "Try a Little Tenderness" before it was finally given to Otis and that was when it was infused with soul. With Isaac Hayes doing the arrangement and backing by Booker T. & The M.G.’s the song was transformed and this version, the version now known as one of the best songs of all time the version that every cover since has tried to imitate but could never duplicate, this version showed the world what could happen when a song is infused with soul. Performing the only version that truly matters this is Otis Redding with “Try a Little Tenderness.”
Frank Ocean is one of the few artists who have the ability to make a regular weekday feel like Christmas. His surprise releases are like gifts left under the tree in springtime. The song “Chanel” came with no warning And it’s a richly layered and hypnotic offering that i’ve had on repeat since it arrived. This is Frank Ocean with “Chanel.”
For those that had no idea Solange has been creating good music long before her critically acclaimed album A Seat at the Table. Case in point: the song “I Decided, Pt. 1.” Written and composed by Solange and Pharrell Williams they include hand claps sampled from The Supremes song “Where Did Our Love Go” and the melody is inspired by the song “Love is Like (A Heat Wave)” by Martha and the Vandellas and the video, directed by Melina Matsoukas is a tribute to African American artists and activists throughout history. Solange always does her homework. This is Solange with “I Decided, Pt. 1”
The Marvin's Room R&B Stream
Explore the world of R&B, 24 hours a day 7 days a week with our new "Marvin's Room R&B" stream. Inspired by the studio where Marvin Gaye recorded much of his legendary music and by the more recent Drake song of the same name, Marvin's Room brings back the old school and introduces what's going on. Hear: Patti LaBelle, Party Next Door, Toni Braxton, Alicia Keys, Destiny's Child, Prince, Deborah Cox.
Explore the world of R&B from neo-soul to trap soul and everything in between. Inspired by the studio where Marvin Gaye recorded much of his legendary music and by the more recent Drake song of the same name, Marvin's Room brings back the old school and introduces what's going on. Hear: Patti LaBelle, Party Next Door, Toni Braxton, Alicia Keys, Destiny's Child, Prince, Usher, Deborah Cox and more!