Happy Birthday, Sam Cooke

A few weeks ago, Rolling Stone Magazine released its 200 Greatest Singers List. In what is certain to spur a number of spirited debates, this list will make news for who it excludes as much as for who it includes – and where they are placed. On a personal note, I’m delighted to see thatContinue reading “Happy Birthday, Sam Cooke”

The Black Sinatra

For those who really know me, this finding by the folks at Spotify (watch until the end) is no surprise. On this 58th anniversary of his shocking killing, an event that preceded my birth by five-and-a-half months, Sam Cooke has had a profound influence on my thinking and on my aspirations as well as myContinue reading “The Black Sinatra”

A Little Respect When I Come Home…

Many may recognize those words as a line from the late Aretha Franklin’s anthemic 1967 hit song ‘Respect.’ What many may not know is that the song was written, performed, and released two years earlier by her Atlantic Records label mate (via a distribution with Stax Records), the legendary Otis Redding. I heard a lotContinue reading “A Little Respect When I Come Home…”

Well, I Guess I AM Getting Old (er)…

Today marks the 40th anniversary of the release of the best-selling album of all time: Thriller. And I was there. I remember the build up with the release of the lead off single, ‘The Girl is Mine,’ a duet between Michael Jackson and former Beatle Paul McCartney. A couple of months later saw the releaseContinue reading “Well, I Guess I AM Getting Old (er)…”

Black Rock & Roll

Sounds like a contradiction in terms, doesn’t it? Well, in commemoration of the launch of Black Music Month, humbly, allow me to demystify this for you. In launching the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame back in 1986, six of the 10 charter performing members were Black: Chuck Berry, James Brown, Ray Charles, Sam Cooke,Continue reading “Black Rock & Roll”

Happy Birthday, Stevland Hardaway Morris 🎉

If you don’t recognize the name, I’m certain that you’ll recognize the songs. Fingertips. Uptight. My Cherie Amour. I Was Made to Love Her. For Once in My Life. Superwoman. Superstition. Don’t You Worry ‘Bout A Thing. You Are The Sunshine of My Life. You Haven’t Done Nothin’. I Wish. Sir Duke. All I Do.Continue reading “Happy Birthday, Stevland Hardaway Morris 🎉”

A Move Towards Reparations for Black Americans?

As uncomfortable as it may be, I firmly believe that this country cannot be what it purports to be without addressing the long shadow of its sordid, racist past. Specifically, its treatment of Black people. Discovering that this behavior is deeply rooted in what is often described as one the finest institutions in the worldContinue reading “A Move Towards Reparations for Black Americans?”

🎵 Play that one called ‘Soul Twist, play that one called ‘I Know’…🎵

Some may recognize those words as lyrics from Sam Cooke‘s hit song ‘Havin’ A Party,’ one of many, that was released 60 years ago that hit #17 and #4 on the Billboard Pop and R&B Charts, respectively. Sam was talking about playing records, the dominant form of music during that time. Well, many may beContinue reading “🎵 Play that one called ‘Soul Twist, play that one called ‘I Know’…🎵”