It’s easy for us old fogies…lol. When was the last time you heard that term? In fact, some of you may have never heard of or referred to older folks in such a way. As I was stating, before interrupting myself, it’s easy for the baby boomer generation to flip at hearing the beginning of a song.
Most of the time, hearing the first few notes allows us to name the song, artist, where, what and who we were doing the first time we heard a timeless classic. We might yell out, “Oh s_ _t, that’s my song.” We start to sway, bob our head, snap our fingers and tap our feet at the same time. All of those moves from a standing or sitting position. Talk about an instant flashback.
For me, it is Soul on a roll, whether it’s a bagel, garlic bread or hamburger bun, I’m getting ready to throw down, get down, get funky with it. The tune can come from the sixties, seventies, eighties, nineties, or even the first decade of 2000. We are talking about the BR (Before Rap) years or today’s version of Pop. The sound of which is a blend of no real genre of music. Some of the instruments, background singers are artificially created with the help of a computer.
Hey, I’m not trying to dis anybody’s generation. Today and now is your time, your era. Hip-Hop rules say most dope (cool) folks. I hear you. I watch most of the award shows. Although sometimes I find myself wishing that some Rappers pants, currently hanging below his butt, fall all the way down around his ankles. Just once, I would like to see that on national TV. I think that video would go viral within minutes. Seriously, every generation should be unique in their right.
It just so happens this article is about Soul music, Rhythm & Blues. Songs from artist like the Ohio Players, Maze, The Commodores, Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Earth, Wind and Fire who we simply called The Elements. We name a few because it is too many to name for this article. We partied, danced and made love to the sounds of Soul Music, Brown and Blue-eyed Soul. There just is no mistaking the beat, rhythmic flow or lyrics of a love affair going good or bad. We love it.
They created such great music, although there were clunkers too. The music bought ethnic groups together. The music itself played an intricate part in the Civil Rights movement. Have you ever heard of Curtis Mayfield’s, “We The People Who Are Darker Than Blue?” How about his soulful rendition of “The Makings of You?” Gladys Knight did a version in the movie, Claudine. Does James Brown’s “I’m Black, and I’m Proud” remind you of that era? Certainly you remember Marvin Gaye’s “Inner City Blues,” from his “What’s Going On” statement Album. Or have you heard Donny Hathaway’s “The World is a Ghetto?”
Some of the music protested the Viet Nam War, like Edwin Starr singing “War.” The lyrics, “War, humph, good god yawl, what is it good for…absolutely nothing, saying again yawl. War…” Get the point? Tell me it doesn’t ring true today. For a complete understanding of that particular period, you only need to listen to Marvin’s entire Album of songs in the classic “What’s Going On.” The Rhythm & Blues sound caused up and coming artist from around the world to imitate its artist. Check the Rolling Stones. Oh I know, its only Rock and Roll is their theme song but check Mick’s style of singing. Or Tina Turner’s (after Ike) Rocking Soul as she calls it.
As further testament to Soul music’s appeal, numerous Old School or Back in the Day radio programs are playing Soul, R&B and Smooth Jazz for your listening pleasure in 2016. That would include me via Hamp’s Corner of America Blog Talk Radio Show.
By the way, please tune in and check out a few cuts I am going to play on this Saturday’s Show, http://www.blogtalkradio.com/hampscornerofamerica/2016/03/26/hamps-selections-from-his-collection-of-soul-jazz-music-vol-xiii.
The music is from the man I call the Rhythm Philosopher, Mr. Curtis Mayfield. Many of you know him from his hit and movie title “Superfly.” What you may not know is Curtis was one of the most influential artists of the day recording and releasing music that made you think about your color and economic status. Speaking of truth, you have got to hear these cuts from his “There’s No Place Like America Today.” You may listen to the lyrics of those tunes and say as of today; not much has changed.
Another testament to the everlasting popularity of Soul-R&B is the music you hear in commercials, TV programs and of course the movies. And finally, let me not overlook the current superstars of today’s recording industry. Many of whom are children of Baby Boomers and following generations that embraced Soul-R&B. They grew listening to the superstars of yesteryear. That doesn’t mean they don’t love Hip-Hop, Rap and the music of today. It simply means they are still recording Soul-R&B. Artist such as Fantasia, KEM, Calvin Richardson, India Arie and Anthony Hamilton to name a few. So…are there musical superstars that make good music today regardless if it’s Soul or Rhythm & Blues? Of course, there are…again, way too many to mention in this article. There is enough for me to say the music industry is not short of talent and professionalism, regardless of those with their pants hanging below their butt.
Peace, make it a day in which Jesus Christ would be proud of you,
Codis Hampton II
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“In my latest book, Remember Moz, Gracie & John Hampton’s First-Born, I wanted to tell the world about a unique individual. Not because he happened to be my father but to explain who he was, where he came from, and how he evolved into the man he became up until his death. In doing so, I wrote of his ancestor’s roots back to and through the Civil War. The inclusion of his birth and upbringing in the heart of Arkansas, or Jim Crow country, add southern reluctance to learn why our country involved itself in a bloodthirsty four-year exercise in the first place? Then you begin to understand why, our parents behaved the way that they did. See if I captured the essence of this paragraph.” Get the book via the Authors Page at http://outskirtspress.com/webPage/isbn/9781478766056
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