The Vinyl Dialogues Blog

Stories behind memorable albums of the 1970s as told by the artists

Tag: Atlantic City

It’s easy to listen to Lionel Richie sing ‘Brick House’ and other hits all night long

There was a moment in the Lionel Richie concert Saturday night at the Hard Rock in Atlantic City, just as Lionel was finishing up the final verse of “Endless Love,” where there was a bit of a commotion in the front row.

A gent had gotten down on one knee and proposed to his girlfriend while Lionel was singing the song. Now that’s some pretty romantic and memorable planning by that dude, and it didn’t go unnoticed by Lionel. After he finished the song, he stopped the show and made a big deal out of the moment, the happy couple was shown on the big concert screens, and it all seemed unscripted to me from my vantage point. Lionel seemed to not know about the proposal in advance and veteran performer that he is, he rolled it right into the show.

He dedicated the next song to the woman who … Read more

‘Takin’ It to the Streets’ with Michael McDonald on the Atlantic City Boardwalk

Michael McDonald closed his show Saturday night at the Tropicana in Atlantic City with “Takin’ It to the Streets,” which made sense.

The song, from a 1976 Doobie Brothers album by the same name, was the first single written by McDonald released from the first album on which he appeared as a member of the Doobie Brothers. The song made it to No. 13 on the U.S. Billboard Pop Singles chart. It’s a great tune and likely holds a special spot for McDonald among his vast library of songs.

McDonald had replaced Tom Johnston, who was sidelined in 1975 with health issues, in the Doobie Brothers, and “Takin’ It to the Streets” – both the song and album itself – was a signal that the band was going in a completely different direction.

The intro to “Takin’ It to the Streets” came to McDonald in his car while driving through … Read more

Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr. give a solid gold performance in Atlantic City

Billy Davis Jr. and Marilyn McCoo admit that when one of their songs comes on the radio, they turn it up because they want to hear themselves.

“The problem is that we’re listening for mistakes,” said Davis. “Did he hit that note? He’s flat, what happened there? Even years later, we’re always critiquing. We’re always listening for something instead of just listening to be listening.”

If their show June 11 in Atlantic City is any indication, then they’re the only ones who can detect any of those hiccups. But for those of us who aren’t Marilyn McCoo or Billy Davis Jr., Saturday night’s performance wasn’t only flawless, it was spectacular.

Let me state right up front that if you’re looking for an unbiased review of the show, this isn’t the place. The following will be completely biased based on personal interaction during telephone interviews with Billy and Marilyn and from … Read more

Shake, shake, shaking booty with KC and The Sunshine Band

Once tickets had been secured for the KC and The Sunshine Band show Aug. 8 at the Tropicana in Atlantic City, it occurred to me that I maybe hadn’t put enough thought into the specifics of attending the concert.

In the days leading up to the show, one question loomed large: At this age, could I actually shake my booty for an entire KC concert without pulling a hamstring, throwing out my back or asking a paramedic to sit in the seat next to me with a defibrillator at the ready?

At the height of its popularity in the 1970s, KC and The Sunshine Band was all about dance music. No surprise there for those of us who grew up listing to it. The opening lines to one of the band’s biggest hits are, “Everybody, get on the floor, let’s dance. Don’t fight your feelings, give yourself a chance. Oh … Read more

The Beach Boys and America: As close to a perfect evening as possible

While waiting for the Beach Boys/America concert to start in the ballroom of the Borgata in Atlantic City Saturday evening, April 18, a little old lady came in and sat down beside me.

I don’t think she was from Pasadena. Atlantic City is, after all, a long way from California. (Beach Boys fans will get that joke.)

She was quiet throughout the hourlong set by America – Dewey Bunnell and Gerry Beckley – who sound as good today as they did 40 years ago when they were making their fifth studio album, “Hearts,” which will be featured in “The Vinyl Dialogues Volume II: Dropping the Needle.”

America has always been one of my favorite bands, but this was the first time I had the opportunity to see them live. There aren’t enough adjectives to describe how good these guys are and how much I love their songs. So it’s no … Read more

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