International Soulman - CARLTON J. SMITH - Steps to the Stage on the GingerNewYork TV Show in NYC
Entertainer Carlton J. Smith will Soon Release his New CD "1634 Lexington Avenue" and Visits Host Ginger Broderick to Discuss his World Travels and the Making of his New Music. MNN TV Studios, Friday, April 5, 2019, Spectrum 34 & HD 1995, 2pm.
Channelling warmth, positivity and only good vibes, like every note escaping from his soaring vocal range, Carlton Jumel Smith is an infectious human being. Putting the "show" into show business, he emits a dedication to his craft and whilst performing at Helsinki's Casino Ray, a happy coincidence would change his life forever. "I saw this Finnish cat named Pratt (of Pratt & Moody) tear the stage up with his smooth soul singing. After inviting me onstage, we jammed and connected. Following the show, I went to meet some Finnish friends and during dinner they pulled out a 45rpm they thought I'd like - lo and behold it was Pratt & Moody!"
Photo Credit: Charles Chessler
As the needle hit the grooves, Carlton took it as a sign. He contacted Pratt and in no time, found himself among the vintage instruments and analogue recording equipment of Timmion's offices, singing "I Can't Love You Anymore," which would become his first single on the label. "It was like walking into a time machine and being transported back to the early days of Motown and Stax," recalls Carlton. "It makes you feel like you're going to record a soul classic."
If there's one thing Carlton knows, it's soul classics. In the summer 1968, while sitting on the fire escape of apartment 4S at 1634 Lexington Avenue a fourth-floor walk-up in located in Spanish Harlem he would lap up the energy of the neighborhood known as El Barrio.
His mother would constantly play the 45 records of Wilson Pickett, Isaac Hayes, Barry White, and Aretha Franklin, and in a life altering moment one evening she took him to see James Brown (who he would eventually portray in Barry Levinson's feature length film, Liberty Heights) at Harlem's Apollo theatre; "The curtains opened, and he came out in a royal blue suit with a diamond pinky ring that sparkled up to where we were sitting in the balcony," remembers Carlton. "He was amazing. Other boys wanted to be Batman, Superman, or the Lone Ranger. I wanted to be James Brown. That time was when music was real, organic and created by some of the most talented/creative people to exist. They were at the peak of their powers."
As the sound of soul artists of the day filled the flat, Carlton's mother would sing and dance to each note whilst his Puerto Rican Godmother Carmen Rodriguez would play the passionate and vibrant Latino music of Tito Puente, Willie Colon, Celia Cruz and the Fania All-Stars. "The music was intoxicating, you could get swept up in the rhythms and Salsa dance all night long. My mother was my first DJ! She kept my mind open with the records she played. I still have all of her records, albums, cassettes and 8 tracks."
Currently residing in Manhattan's Upper West Side, Carlton remains close to his Puerto Rican roots and whilst others may fantasize of castles in the sky, this performer has his goals set, but feet firmly on the ground; "I'm not in New York as much these days… but one day I will buy that building on Lexington Avenue and return home to do great things for the community that gave me my identity." (Source: Timmion Records, Finland) https://timmion.com/
Link to a Recent Performance at The Cutting Room in New York City:
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GingerNewYork found on Manhattan Neighborhood Network (MNN) since launching in November, 2010, has been showcasing the "Kool Kats…Gotham Nights" greats of music and culture of New York and beyond. What defines GingerNewYork is its host Ginger Broderick's unique insight, connection to and pulse on the music and culture of Gotham making GingerNewYork one of the most sought after programs to appear on.
GingerNewYork can be seen in Manhattan on Spectrum Channel 34 and HD Channel 1995, Fios Channel 33, and RCN Channel 82, every Friday afternoon at 2pm EST. It can also be seen live streaming on the Manhattan Neighborhood Network's website, www.mnn.org, Channels 1 and 5.
Page Updated Last on: Apr 01, 2019