Toni Green

Daddy B. Nice's #50 ranked Southern Soul Artist



Portrait of Toni Green by Daddy B. Nice
 


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"Southern Soul Music"

Toni Green

Composed by Lawrence Harper


April 6, 2014: NEW INTERVIEW ALERT!

Read Heikki Suosalo's exhaustive Toni Green interview and career summary at Soul Express.

************

January 9, 2011: NEW ALBUM ALERT!

It's a "best-of" album that could be considered a retrospective, and a bargain at that: 33 songs for $20.

Bargain-Priced Rebirth: Toni Green's Greatest Hits CD and MP3's.


**********************

Daddy B. Nice's Original Critique:

"I'm not into rappin',
And I don't rock and roll.
I'm not much into hiphop,
But I love me some Southern Soul."

"Southern Soul Music," recorded and released in 2003, is the first song to overtly capitalize (through its title) on the emerging genre of Southern Soul. Musical history is rife with songs that fed off the popularity of musical forms. Bill Haley & The Comets' "Rock Around The Clock" electrified fans used to jazz and swing when it was featured in the movie soundtrack for "Blackboard Jungle" during the formative years of rock and roll.

Toni Green starts her radio-friendly hit thus:

"Down south they got a soulful sound.
It once was lost, but now it's found.
They took the old and made it new.
They're doing it like they used to do."

"Southern Soul Music's" well-written lyrics (by the talented composer Lawrence Harper) remind us of the musical void Southern Soul fills for today's audience. The movement, which began to pick up momentum in the 90's and blossomed with the release of Johnnie Taylor's "Big Head Hundreds" and Ronnie Lovejoy's "Sho' Wasn't Me" at the millennium, represents the return of adult rhythm and blues to what now amounts to a Tower of Babel music-industry wilderness not that different from the heyday of early R&B in the mid-twentieth century.

Ahh, the fifties, the early sixties. . . Those were the glory days of singles, when guys like your Daddy B. Nice--growing up in the North--first heard the liberating sounds of Southern R&B coming over the radio in the wee hours of the morning from places like Oklahoma City, Little Rock and Shreveport. Those were the days when any artist, from Little Richard to Mitch Miller to The Marcels to Perez Prado, had a pass to the air waves so long as the night was deep and long enough.

"I took my CD to the radio station.
They say they like my music.
When I ask them to play my song,
They said, 'I'm sorry, we just can't do it.'"

A long-time backup singer with R&B roots going back to the soulful seventies, Toni Green sings like a veteran yet seems like a young performer. With a couple of albums already under her belt, Green has really made an impression with this effort, from her third CD, Southern Soul Music (Good Time, 2003). The groove is mesmerizing, the production is bluesy and first-rate, and the message just makes everything that much better.

--Daddy B. Nice


About Toni Green

Memphis-bred Toni Green's R&B credentials include a long career as a backup vocalist. Beginning in the seventies, she had prominent back-up stints with both Isaac Hayes and Luther Ingram, and over the years she worked with Millie Jackson, the Barkays, The Doobies, Dennis Edwards and many other artists.

Green debuted as a solo artist with the CD Mixed Emotions (Soultrax) in 1998. The album was produced by veteran producer Quinton Claunch (James Carr, etc.), and although one track--"You've Got The Papers (I've Got The Man)"--hinted at better things to come, the album didn't cause much of a stir.

Green subsequently moved to Good Time Records and released the CD Strong Enough (2002), produced by Victor Allen (Southern Soul performer and studio maven Vick Allen), but middling material again made for a lukewarm response.

It wasn't until Southern Soul Music followed in 2003 that Toni Green made genuine inroads with chitlin' circuit listeners. "Southern Soul Music," the first radio single from the CD, was a significant step forward musically, and the song had a message that resonated with Southern Soul fans and deejays.

Floyd Taylor joined Toni Green on "I Want It" from the Southern Soul Music disc, and another single from the album, the slow and soulful "Just Ain't Working Out," gained significant Stations of the Deep South airplay.

The uptempo track "Cheat Receipt" was overlooked, even though it did for Green what "Guess What" had done for Syleena Johnson a couple of years earlier: showcased a songstress negotiating a sinuous dance groove with impressive results.

Green also does charity work and was given the "Outstanding Entertainer and Outstanding Citizen Award" by the city of Memphis.


Song's Transcendent Moment

"'Soul music is dead and gone,'
That's what they say,
And I'm just about to prove them wrong.
One day soon, and it won't be long,
They're gonna be playing my song."


Tidbits

1. Toni Green's "Southern Soul"-titled hit was followed in 2004 by another song incorporating the term "Southern Soul": Little Kim Stewart's "Southern Soul Woman."

2. The song "More Love," from the CD of the same name (More Love, Pegasus), brought Toni Green back to the Southern Soul play lists in 2005. A strong ballad, full of energy and emotion, "More Love" gave evidence that Toni Green was still a force to be reckoned with.

3. November 23, 2006. Toni Green recycled her 2003 hit, "Just Ain't Workin' Out" (from the Southern Soul Music CD, in 2006. The new song, "We Can Work It Out," amps up the arrangement considerably and features a duet with Stacey K (if I'm not mistaken).

"I thought I could walk away from you. . . " the song begins, but "I'm still in love with you." From a new CD (We Can Work It Out), the track has reaped a lot of airplay on the Stations of the Deep South this last summer.


If You Liked. . . You'll Love

If you loved the Pointer Sister's "Slow Hand," you should ease into Toni Green's "Southern Soul Music" with no trouble.


Honorary "B" Side

"Just Ain't Working Out"



5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 
Sample or Buy Southern Soul Music by Toni Green
Southern Soul Music


CD: Southern Soul Music
Label: Good Time

Sample or Buy
Southern Soul Music


4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 
Sample or Buy Just Ain't Working Out by Toni Green
Just Ain't Working Out


CD: Southern Soul Music
Label: Good Time

Sample or Buy
Southern Soul Music


4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 
Sample or Buy Cheat Receipt by Toni Green
Cheat Receipt


CD: Southern Soul Music
Label: Good Time

Sample or Buy
Southern Soul Music


4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 
Sample or Buy More Love by Toni Green
More Love


CD: More Love
Label: Pegasus

Sample or Buy
More Love


4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 
Sample or Buy We Can Work It Out by Toni Green
We Can Work It Out


CD: Rebirth: Toni Green's Greatest Hits

Sample or Buy
Rebirth: Toni Green's Greatest Hits


3 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars 
Sample or Buy I Want It (w' Floyd Taylor) by Toni Green
I Want It (w' Floyd Taylor)


CD: Southern Soul Music
Label: Good Time

Sample or Buy
Southern Soul Music


3 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars 
Sample or Buy Ooh Boy by Toni Green
Ooh Boy


CD: Southern Soul Music
Label: Good Time

Sample or Buy
Southern Soul Music


2 Stars 2 Stars 
Sample or Buy G-String And A Toothbrush by Toni Green
G-String And A Toothbrush


CD: Strong Enough
Label: Good Tiime

Sample or Buy
Strong Enough


2 Stars 2 Stars 
Sample or Buy How Do You Want Your Thrill by Toni Green
How Do You Want Your Thrill


CD: Toni Green
Label: Soultraz



2 Stars 2 Stars 
Sample or Buy Strong Enough To See You Go by Toni Green
Strong Enough To See You Go


CD: Strong Enough
Label: Good Time

Sample or Buy
Strong Enough


2 Stars 2 Stars 
Sample or Buy You've Got The Papers (I've Got The Man) by Toni Green
You've Got The Papers (I've Got The Man)


CD: Toni Green
Label: Soultrax



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