The A List B-Side Wedding Cocktail Hour

For this episode of the wedding cocktail hour series, we’re excited to welcome guest blogger Darrell Gartrell.  Darrell is an author, entrepreneur, teacher and music lover.  Born in 1958 in Los Angeles, he was raised in a gang-ridden neighborhood.  Darrell re-invented himself in Japan where he launched an English language academy named Wisdom21.  At its pinnacle, Wisdom21 was a stunning success with over 800 students and multiple locations across Japan.  Darrell later owned and operated one of Japan’s only rhythm & blues clubs, “The Savannah Bar & Grill.”  You can read all about Darrell’s business and cultural adventures – as well as his musical influences in his 2016 memoir “21 Years of Wisdom – One Man’s Extraordinary Triumph in Osaka Japan“.

As per Darrell, “There are times when top 40 R&B just won’t do. For the true spinmaster with the discerning ear, feast your headphones on this sampling of some of the hottest B-side tracks in rotation over the past several years. Give yourself high marks if you can identify half of these tracks.  Your guests will thank you. And your score for being a top performer will elevate just like the unheralded tunes you discover here. “

For an accompanying signature cocktail, Darrell has selected his special recipe for a Black Russian – Kahlua, Milk and Hennessy.  Cheers!

For more information about Darrell and his book, visit

The A List B-Side Cocktail Hour – Compiled by Darrell Gartrell

  1. You Got Me Looking for Your Love – Adriana Evans
  2. It’s Your Body – Johnny Gill
  3. Lie About Us – Avant
  4. Tell Me – Bobby Valentino
  5. Love Me Back – Kenny Lattimore
  6. The Best of You – Andrea Martin
  7. Fiend – Jaheim
  8. Let Me Love You – Mario
  9. Lake By the Ocean – Maxwell
  10. Beautiful Girl – Kenny Lattimore
  11. Better Days – Joe
  12. Beautiful Surprise – Tamia
  13. Will He Ever Love Me Back – Nodesha
  14. Imagine Me – Kirk Franklin
  15. I’ll Make Love to You – The Braxton Brothers

The Spotify Set

note: we used a substitution for Adriana Evans as Darrell’s original pick was unavailable.

Bonus Content

Enjoy a visit back to Japan with this Osaka Sessions set mixed by DJ Gregg Ambient.  Gregg was an exchange student in Osaka during the early 1990s.  The Osaka connection was how he and Darrell became acquainted.

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