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Vernon Gibbs

Vernon Gibbs

Vernon Gibbs wrote, primarily about black music, for Zoo WorldCreem and Crawdaddy in the early '70s, as well as UK magazines Black Music and the NME.

86 articles

By Artist | By Date

List of articles in the library by artist

Apollonia, Morris Day, Sheila E, Prince, Vanity: Those Who Would Be Prince

Report by Vernon Gibbs, New Look, November 1985

WHEN PRINCE decided that he didn't like Eddie Murphy making fun of his high-heeled boots, the rock star walked out in the middle of Murphy's ...

Ashford & Simpson, Marvin Gaye: Entertainers: Ashford and Simpson

Interview by Vernon Gibbs, Essence, December 1973

"OH, I JUST love Marvin Gaye," Valerie Simpson says, bouncing up and down with all the enthusiasm of an avid fan. "He's such a beautiful ...

Ashford & Simpson, Larry Graham, The Spinners: Graham Central Station, the Detroit Spinners, Ashford & Simpson: Academy of Music, New York NY

Live Review by Vernon Gibbs, New Musical Express, 13 April 1974

Central Station soul special ...

Ray Barretto, Willie Colon, The Fania All Stars, Johnny Pacheco, Tito Puente, Santana: Sounds: Classics in Latin

Overview by Vernon Gibbs, Penthouse, January 1978

"YOU KNOW why salsa is so popular in New York?"  asks Izzy Sanabria, publisher of Latin New York. "Because the rhythms of salsa are the ...

The Beastie Boys: The Grate White Hopes

Profile by Vernon Gibbs, New Look, January 1986

RAP RECORDS first started selling big in 1979 with the Sugarhill Gang's 'Rapper's Delight'. They were considered little more than the grating noise of the ...

Biz Markie, Just-Ice, Mantronix, Salt-N-Pepa, Joyce Sims: Indie Labels: Players With the Rap Attack Making the Most Impact — and It's Not Just for the Money

Report by Vernon Gibbs, Billboard, 18 June 1988

INDEPENDENT LABELS have always been critical to the exposure of new black music. In the '50s, labels like Specialty and Chess gave pioneers like Little ...

Bobby "Blue" Bland, B.B. King: Soul, Man: New York Johnny meets L.A. Jane for a Medium Massage

Report by Vernon Gibbs, Crawdaddy!, November 1974

L.A. IS A great big freeway they say, pay a hundred down and buy a car, if you don't you won't get very far. Tooling ...

Blue Magic, Aretha Franklin: Aretha Franklin, Blue Magic: Radio City Music Hall, New York

Live Review by Vernon Gibbs, New Musical Express, 16 November 1974

ARETHA FRANKLIN ascended into the firmament that was always hers by right anyway with a spectacular Radio City Music Hall series of concerts that would ...

Richard Brautigan, Aretha Franklin, The Moody Blues: The Moody Blues: A Question of Balance; Listening To Richard Brautigan; Aretha Franklin: Spirit In The Dark

Review by Vernon Gibbs, Columbia Daily Spectator, 29 September 1970

MOODY BLUES' Question of Balance (Threshold, THS3)I first heard of the Moody Blues early this year about five minutes before I was scheduled to interview them. A ...

James Brown: Is James Brown Obsolete?

Comment by Vernon Gibbs, The Village Voice, 28 July 1975

Last summer, when I visited Afriac with James Brown for one of his "triumphant" blitzes, I was surprised at the discontent among his employees. The ...

James Brown IS Super Bad

Report and Interview by Vernon Gibbs, Columbia Daily Spectator, 22 April 1971

WE'RE SITTING there rapping just before camera time. This evening James Brown is taping the Johnny Carson Show and he is in a good mood, having just ...

James Brown: The Apollo Theater, New York NY

Live Review by Vernon Gibbs, New Musical Express, 16 November 1974

UPTOWN AT the Apollo, an eager audience is wondering when The King of Soul will make his appearance. ...

B.T. Express, Ecstasy, Passion & Pain, Kool and the Gang, Sly & The Family Stone: If You Don't Believe Sly's Sinking...

Report by Vernon Gibbs, New Musical Express, 8 February 1975

...Look what a hole he's in. From New York VERNON GIBBS reports on the man's present crises, and on funk acts Kool, BT Express, and ...

Solomon Burke, Little Richard: Little Richard and Solomon Burke: Sex & God & Rock & Roll

Report and Interview by Vernon Gibbs, The Village Voice, 10 August 1982

THE FIRST time I encountered Little Richard, his face was plastered against a Bedford-Stuyvesant wall — the poster advertised a show at the Breevort Theater. ...

The Jon Butcher Axis: The Jon Butcher Experience

Profile and Interview by Vernon Gibbs, New Look, February 1986

WHAT HAPPENS when you're black, play mean rock guitar in a band with three white boys, and you wear headbands and an Afro and a ...

Terry Callier, Garland Jeffreys, Booker T. Jones, Linda Lewis: Soul, Man: The New "Black Folk"

Overview by Vernon Gibbs, Crawdaddy!, April 1975

ALL THROUGH the '60s, Booker T. and the MGs were one of the genuine oddities of soul. ...

The Jimmy Castor Bunch, Funkadelic, Parliament: Funkadelic pee in your Afro

Report by Vernon Gibbs, The Village Voice, 5 September 1974

LAST WEEK, Rare Earth punked out of a gig at the Apollo, a rare honor for which Mick Jagger might conceivably give up eyeshadow. The ...

Chocolate Milk, LaBelle, The Meters, The Pointer Sisters, Allen Toussaint: Toussaint's New Orleans: a New Home for R&B?

Profile and Interview by Vernon Gibbs, Penthouse, February 1976

HAVING EXHAUSTED the "Motown Sound" in the sixties, soul music is now dominated by the "Philly Sound" — a triumph of polish and strings. True ...

Jimmy Cliff, Bob Marley & the Wailers: Jimmy Cliff: Music Maker (Warner Bros. MS 2188); Bob Marley & the Wailers: Natty Dread (Island ILPS 9281)

Review by Vernon Gibbs, Crawdaddy!, August 1975

IT HAS BEEN three years since The Harder They Come lifted reggae from obscurity to culthood and raised hopes that Jimmy Cliff would begin a ...

Don Covay: Super Dude!

Interview by Vernon Gibbs, Black Music, December 1973

DON COVAY is a permanent fixture in the music of this era. ...

Betty Davis: The Bottom Line, New York, NY

Live Review by Vernon Gibbs, Phonograph Record, August 1974

THE FEEBLE-minded walk out in disgust when Betty Davis wiggles her tush at them, the weakhearted go limp with despair while the lusty ready their ...

Betty Davis: The Put-On Who Puts Out

Report and Interview by Vernon Gibbs, Penthouse, March 1976

A WOMAN stalks the ruins of what was once a stage. She prowls it relentlessly, legs wide apart seeking out hapless victims in the audience. ...

Miles Davis: Big Fun (Columbia)

Review by Vernon Gibbs, Phonograph Record, July 1974

SO MANY expletives have been deleted in praise of this honorable sage, that I feel it necessary to set the record straight. Miles Davis is ...

The Delfonics, Eddie Kendricks: Eddie Kendricks, The Delfonics: Apollo Theater, New York NY

Live Review by Vernon Gibbs, New Musical Express, 22 September 1973

Hot night at the Apollo ...

Manu Dibango: Apollo Theater, New York NY

Live Review by Vernon Gibbs, New Musical Express, 18 August 1973

MANU DIBANGO'S appearance at the Apollo was the capper for a frenzied week of concert-going in New York and the East Coast. ...

Manu Dibango: Joining Soul With Its Afro Roots

Interview by Vernon Gibbs, New Musical Express, 3 November 1973

THINGS HAVEN'T improved much in the last few weeks. The Apollo, the main showcase for black talent in the New York area, continues to run ...

Earth, Wind & Fire: Earth Wind & Fire: Memories of Trane & Motown

Interview by Vernon Gibbs, Rolling Stone, 6 December 1973

CINCINNATI — MAURICE White and Phillip Bailey, the two lead singers and percussionists for Earth, Wind and Fire, are sitting in a rented Pontiac parked ...

Earth Wind and Fire: Earth, Wind and Fire Return to Form

Interview by Vernon Gibbs, Rolling Stone, 4 March 1982

NEW YORK CITY — Maurice White, the guiding force behind Earth, Wind and Fire, is seated in the middle of a posh Manhattan hotel suite. A party ...

Earth, Wind & Fire, Funkadelic, Kool and the Gang, Malo, Mandrill, Osibisa, War: The Black-Latin-Jazz-Rock-Vocal Bands

Profile by Vernon Gibbs, Soul Sounds, November 1972

THERE SEEMS to be a definite increase of interest among young Black and Third World musicians, who are either not technically equipped or deeply enough ...

Earth, Wind & Fire, Isaac Hayes: Isaac Hayes: Madison Square Garden, New York NY

Live Review by Vernon Gibbs, New Musical Express, 18 August 1973

Brilliant Hayes: the bald facts ...

Earth Wind and Fire, War: War: War Live (United Artists UALA193-J2); Earth Wind & Fire: Open Our Eyes (Columbia KC 32712)

Review by Vernon Gibbs, Crawdaddy!, July 1974

THE TRUE TEST of any band is in live performance. Prima donna "entertainers" can escape with sickly back-ups and pass muster simply on the force ...

Roberta Flack, The Four Tops, Marvin Gaye, The Isley Brothers, Etta James, Louis Jordan, The Pointer Sisters, War: The Pointers: Sign of a Wasted Rock Culture

Profile by Vernon Gibbs, New Musical Express, 29 September 1973

ANYTIME THE American media welcomes a new act with such an overt display of scraping and bowing for superlatives, it's time to be suspicious. ...

Aretha Franklin: Spirit in the Dark (SD 8265, Atlantic)

Review by Vernon Gibbs, Columbia Daily Spectator, 29 September 1970

ARETHA FRANKLIN, once the undisputed Queen of Soul, still is the Queen though she doesn't sell million sellers the way she used to, and none ...

Aretha Franklin: Apollo Theater, New York NY

Live Review by Vernon Gibbs, New Musical Express, 23 March 1974

Aretha: a Queen with no dignity? ...

Funkadelic: Free Your Mind (Westbound 2001)

Review by Vernon Gibbs, Columbia Daily Spectator, 2 December 1970

Funkadelic's Music Whispers of Madness ...

Funkadelic, Graham Central Station, The Ohio Players: Ohio Players, Graham Central Station, Funkadelic: Radio City Music Hall, New York NY

Live Review by Vernon Gibbs, The Village Voice, 24 February 1975

Progressive Soul: Where Were You? ...

Funkadelic, Mandrill, Osibisa, Rare Earth: Black 'Woodstock': A Violent Fiasco

Report by Vernon Gibbs, New Musical Express, 1 September 1973

IT COULD have been the biggest event of the summer. For many of us trapped in the iron heart of the city, it promised to ...

Funkadelic, Parliament: Marking Time with Funkadelic — an interview with George Clinton

Interview by Vernon Gibbs, Soul Sounds, July 1973

THERE IS a hard core of demented maniacs who force their way into people's apartments, with wild looks in their eyes. Usually they can be ...

Kenny Gamble, Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes, MFSB, O'Jays, The Salsoul Orchestra, The Spinners: Brotherly Love: The Musicians

Sleeve and programme notes by Vernon Gibbs, Epic/Philadelphia International, 1997

Original contribution to sleevenotes for The Philly Sound: Kenny Gamble, Leon Huff & The Story Of Brotherly Love (1966-1976) (Epic/Philadelphia International) ...

Marvin Gaye May Not Be Goin' On

Interview by Vernon Gibbs, Zoo World, 7 November 1974

"SOMEBODY PLEASE turn that thing down," Marvin Gaye casts this weary appeal to one of the numerous aides that flitter through his suite in New ...

Bob Geldof, Pink Floyd: Pink Floyd and Bob Geldof: Pink Isn't Well

Report and Interview by Vernon Gibbs, Creem, December 1982

AS A PINK Floyd fanatic, my biggest fear has always been that on some apocalyptic night as I sat with the rest of the Pinkoid ...

Grateful Dead, New Riders of the Purple Sage: Fillmore East, New York, NY

Live Review by Vernon Gibbs, Columbia Daily Spectator, 29 April 1971

One Stoned Evening With the Dead ...

Grateful Dead, Thunderclap Newman: Thunderclap Newman: Hollywood Dream (Track/Atlantic Sd8264); The Grateful Dead: Vintage Dead (Sunflower/MGM 5001)

Review by Vernon Gibbs, Columbia Daily Spectator, 15 October 1970

A LIST OF exceptional recent releases would have to include Neil Young's After the Gold Rush, The Voices of East Harlem's Right On — Be ...

Al Green, Laura Lee: Apollo Theatre, Harlem, New York NY

Live Review by Vernon Gibbs, New Musical Express, 6 July 1974

Uptight Green holds it all back ...

Herbie Hancock: Rollin' & Tumblin': Head Hunting with Herbie Hancock

Interview by Vernon Gibbs, Crawdaddy!, June 1974

After years of high-quality struggle, one black jazzman has finally hit it big. Were the compromises worth it? ...

Herbie Hancock, Kashif, Raydio: The Synthesizer: Instrument, Not The Player, Changes Music

Report and Interview by Vernon Gibbs, Billboard, 16 June 1984

HERBIE HANCOCK, Kashif, and Ray Parker Jr. praise the impact of the synthesizer on black music, feeling its unlimited sound potential and ability to provide ...

Jimi Hendrix: The Cry of Love (Reprise MS2034)

Review by Vernon Gibbs, Columbia Daily Spectator, 3 March 1971

Jimi's Cry ...

Jimi Hendrix: Thoughts on Hendrix

Comment by Vernon Gibbs, Columbia Daily Spectator, 24 September 1970

SOMEWHERE LURKING deeply in the back of lost realities a dark electric nightmare swirls. In some dimension there is a place where Ultimates reach incredible ...

Jimi Hendrix, Otis Redding: Otis Redding, Jimi Hendrix Experience: Historic Performances Recorded Live at Monterey (Reprise MS2029)

Review by Vernon Gibbs, Columbia Daily Spectator, 5 October 1970

CHILLING. EVERY note sends raw, nervous bundles of uncertainty racing through your head. Reprise, which originally planned this album to capitalize on the festival furore ...

Freddie Hubbard, Stanley Turrentine: Freddie Hubbard and Stanley Turrentine: In Concert (CTI 6044)

Review by Vernon Gibbs, Phonograph Record, August 1974

THERE IS something I don't like about Side One of this album and it's hard to say what it is. One thing I do know ...

Willie Hutch, Van McCoy, Melba Moore, Wayne Shorter, War: Van McCoy and the Soul City Symphony: Hustling Up The Charts

Interview by Vernon Gibbs, Essence, 1975

EVEN THOUGH he has been writing, arranging and producing hit records since 1961, Van McCoy is still technically a newcomer. He is of that breed ...

The Isley Brothers: The Heat Is On (T-Neck)

Review by Vernon Gibbs, The Village Voice, 18 August 1975

The Isleys Play With Themselves ...

The Isley Brothers: 3 + 3 = Super Success

Interview by Vernon Gibbs, Essence, May 1975

UNTIL 3+3, the career of the Isley Brothers had been marked by a strange pattern; after a tremendous hit record, the group would seemingly disappear ...

The Isley Brothers: Felt Forum, New York, NY

Live Review by Vernon Gibbs, Phonograph Record, December 1974

THE ISLEY Brothers have demonstrated a level of tenacity that can only be considered remarkable in a business marked by overnight successes and instant failures. ...

Rick James's Punk Funk

Profile by Vernon Gibbs, The Village Voice, 9 October 1978

HOT ON THE gold certification of his first single, 'You and I', Rick James has been going around making the preposterous claim that he is ...

Al Jarreau Composes, Too

Profile by Vernon Gibbs, The Village Voice, 18 October 1976

THE LINES that stretched around the block welcoming Al Jarreau to his second New York appearance at the Bottom Line were evidence to his devotees ...

Jethro Tull: The Rise And Fall Of God As Told By Ian Anderson

Interview by Vernon Gibbs, Circus, August 1971

THE LATEST from Jethro Tull is as all the other albums were, mainly, the product of the hyperactive mind of leader Ian Anderson. Who is ...

Booker T. Jones, The Persuasions: Booker T., the Persuasions: Bottom Line, New York NY

Live Review by Vernon Gibbs, The Village Voice, 6 January 1975

Booker T. and the Persuasions: Black Folk Music ...

Janis Joplin: Remembering Janis

Obituary by Vernon Gibbs, Columbia Daily Spectator, 6 October 1970

JANIS JOPLIN used to stand on stage at the Fillmore and wring out evil, catastrophic blues numbers, agony-wracked protests cloaked in Southern Comfort elegance. It ...

Gladys Knight, O'Jays: Soul Man: "Cholly" Atkins

Profile and Interview by Vernon Gibbs, Crawdaddy!, July 1974

THE MAN who taught the Temptations their strut, the Pips their dip, the Miracles their whip... takes it all in stride. ...

Kool and the Gang: Kool & The Gang: Street Gang

Profile and Interview by Vernon Gibbs, Black Music, February 1974

KOOL & THE GANG got that jitterbug move, got the spirit. Got that easy ride, got that cool energy. Got that diddley/daddy chenka chenk guitar ...

Kool and the Gang, Nancy Wilson: Nancy Wilson, Kool and The Gang: The Apollo Theater, New York NY

Live Review by Vernon Gibbs, Phonograph Record, September 1974

"SING BLACK!," one dissenter shouted at Nancy Wilson who was the headliner at an Apollo show which included the comedy of Dick Gregory and was ...

Led Zeppelin: Gloomy; Led Zeppelin: Led Zeppelin III

Review by Vernon Gibbs, Columbia Daily Spectator, 21 October 1970

BRON-Y-AUR lies forgotten on the side of a lonely mountain in South Snowdonia, somewhere in England. From the distance, the peaks of the mountain spread ...

Led Zeppelin: Madison Square Garden, New York NY

Live Review by Vernon Gibbs, The Village Voice, 17 February 1975

Led Zep Zaps Kidz? ...

Taj Mahal: Taking The Music Back To The People... But Is Taj Mahal The Real Thing?

Profile and Interview by Vernon Gibbs, Sounds, 7 August 1971

ON HIS latest album (reviewed in SOUNDS last week), recorded live at the Fillmore East, Taj Mahal makes the assertive claim that he is indeed ...

Ziggy Marley: Marley's Children

Profile by Vernon Gibbs, New Look, May 1986

UNLESS YOU are a true fan of reggae, you probably missed the most eerie coincidence of 1985. In the same year that Julian Lennon hit ...

Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes, Teddy Pendergrass: Is Teddy or David the Real Harold Melvin?

Report by Vernon Gibbs, The Village Voice, 2 February 1976

UNBELIEVABLE AS it may seem, at 9:01 p.m. on the night of January 24, 1976, 10 minutes before Harold Melvin & the new Blue Notes ...

The Ohio Players: Ohio Players: Taking Hit Parade Mountain By Strategy

Interview by Vernon Gibbs, Crawdaddy!, June 1975

SATCH SATCHELL, prime mover of The Ohio Players, is standing backstage at Radio City Music Hall mumbling something to himself about "we the #1 group ...

Pink Floyd: Notes for an Iron Baptism

Essay by Vernon Gibbs, The Village Voice, 30 June 1975

THERE ARE only three British groups who matter anymore: the Stones, the Who and Pink Floyd. ...

Pink Floyd: The Sun Is Eclipsed by the Moon

Interview by Vernon Gibbs, Creem, February 1988

FOR THE TRUE Pink Floyd fanatic, 1987 was an extraordinary year. First the band split into two armed camps. Roger Waters fired the opening salvos ...

Prince, The Time, Vanity 6: Time For The Prince Who Will Be King

Profile by Vernon Gibbs, Creem, May 1983

HALFWAY THROUGH the concert, the long legged blonde keyboard player has stripped down to her underwear. The occasion is Prince's underground classic, 'Head', in which ...

The Rolling Stones: Sticky Fingers (Atco COC 59100)

Review by Vernon Gibbs, Columbia Daily Spectator, 12 May 1971

Sticky Fingers: Have the Rolling Stones Peaked? ...

Rufus featuring Chaka Khan: Rufusized (ABCD-837)

Review by Vernon Gibbs, Crawdaddy!, June 1975

AS A LYRICIST, Chaka Khan displays a sensibility and sensitivity that one cannot usually associate with any of the popular branches of Black music. Sly ...

Santana: Soul Man: Santana

Comment by Vernon Gibbs, Crawdaddy!, February 1973

CARLOS SANTANA laid his gleamingly new Gibson double electric white lead carefully on the stage of The Academy of Music and the M.C. reverently requested ...

Gil Scott-Heron: The Fire This Time

Interview by Vernon Gibbs, Playboy, July 1976

Gil Scott-Heron has been called the black Bob Dylan. He doesn't appreciate it. ...

The Velvet Underground: Andy Warhol's Velvet Underground Featuring Nico (MGM)

Review by Vernon Gibbs, Columbia Daily Spectator, 14 December 1970

Soft Moments From 'Velvet Underground' ...

War: War Games

Profile and Interview by Vernon Gibbs, Black Music, April 1974

Vernon Gibbs in New York reports on the band who hit Britain in April ...

Randy Weston Finds Himself in Africa

Press Release by Vernon Gibbs, Polydor, November 1973

RANDY WESTON sits in the middle of the hustling, super city of New York, the spiritual capital of the country that 22 million Afro-Americans consider ...

Barry White: Can't Get Enough (20th Century)

Review by Vernon Gibbs, The Village Voice, 7 November 1974

Barry White: Love of Lush ...

Bill Withers, Soul Singer

Profile by Vernon Gibbs, The Village Voice, 16 April 1979

SINCE NO one else has had the nerve to say it, I might as well. Bill Withers is a great soul singer. Some purists might ...

Bobby Womack Says He Could Be a Superstar

Interview by Vernon Gibbs, Rolling Stone, 19 July 1973

NEW YORK — Bobby Womack was in the midst of a highly successful tour with Santana. His single, 'Harry Hippie', had just been certified gold, ...

Stevie Wonder, The Commodores: Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale NY

Live Review by Vernon Gibbs, Zoo World, 24 October 1974

'S Wonderful! ...

Stevie Wonder: Music Of My Mind (Tamla)

Review by Vernon Gibbs, Rock, June 1972

A breakaway from restrictive formulas ...

Betty Wright: In The Wright Place

Profile and Interview by Vernon Gibbs, Crawdaddy!, October 1977

NEW YORK — America needs a new Queen of Soul. Aretha has abdicated, Natalie Cole is a pretender; Gladys Knight, Chaka Khan, Millie Jackson and ...

Neil Young: After the Gold Rush (Reprise 6383)

Review by Vernon Gibbs, Columbia Daily Spectator, 6 November 1970

Neil Young's Best Album ...

List of genre pieces

Soul, Man: Taki 183 Fights the Bugaloo Boulevards to a Draw

Report by Vernon Gibbs, Crawdaddy!, June 1973

BACK IN THE bugaloo boulevards of my youth, there were diddyboppers who roamed the midnight streets. They were haunters of alleys and pool halls, riders ...

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