Earlier than I ever obtained behind a broadcast microphone in highschool, I liked music… particularly Black music! Not completely, however right down to the bone. I liked WMPP Radio, you realize, the native dawn-to-dusk station in Gary with people like Dr. Rock and J.J. the Deejay. Who can overlook airwaves goddess Vivian Carter.
My massive brothers Floyd and Bernard introduced residence 45s (single information) and each time they left, I pretended to be a disc jockey and “performed radio” in elementary college. In my sophomore 12 months at Roosevelt, I began a 15-minute program (“Soul Heaven”) on the WWCA night present of legendary air character Jesse Coopwood.
When the Gary Profession Middle opened two years later, I couldn’t wait to get on the air at WGVE enjoying the hits on “Do Your Factor.” It continued at Bloomington with the Shades of Soul singing group, the IU Soul Revue and the Love Males. Music has accompanied me by way of each part of my life.
Earlier than the pandemic, I liked fifth Sunday performances with the Males of the Mount choir at church. My favourite style definitely is GOSPEL. However my appreciation for all Black music is enduring.
I do know numerous y’all really feel the identical method. I say all that to say June is NATIONAL BLACK MUSIC MONTH (although we do far too little to rejoice). That features jazz, ragtime, swing, reggae, blues, gospel, rock & roll, hip-hop, rap, R&B, and soul recording artists, songwriters and producers.
In and round Gary, an extended line of distinguished radio personalities had been chargeable for bringing us that nice music. The checklist consists of Pervis Spann, Herb Kent, Jim Raggs, Richard Steele and Buddy Bell. When so-called “race music” couldn’t be performed to a crossover viewers, these on-air personalities performed the soundtracks of our lives.
There actually is a singular area of interest crammed by musicians of the Africana Diaspora. Some earnestly problem the excellence, refusing to even acknowledge there may be any such factor as BLACK music.
Some are being cynical. Some sincerely don’t perceive. Nicely, “hear” it’s. Take heed to the best white jazz musicians ever. Then take a look at John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Louis Armstrong, Wes Montgomery, Dizzy Gillespie, Duke Ellington and Ramsey Lewis.
Take a minute to play essentially the most heralded white choirs and Christian soloists you’ve ever heard. Then hearken to James Cleveland, Shirley Caesar, Marvin Sapp, Mahalia Jackson, Kirk Franklin, Yolanda Adams and Donnie McClurken.
Pit the best white blues males towards John Lee Hooker, B.B. King, Ma Rainey, and Bobby “Blue” Bland. Elvis vs. Chuck Berry. Jerry Lee Lewis vs. Little Richard. Taylor Swift vs. Beyoncé. The Osmonds vs. The Jacksons. Not claiming superiority. Simply saying there may be positively a distinction.
Need extra proof? Evaluate the John Denver and Isaac Hayes’ recordings of “By the Time I Get to Phoenix;” Aretha Franklin and Carol King variations of “A Pure Lady;” Dolly Parton and Whitney Houston renditions of “I Will At all times Love You” … you get the purpose. They could hit the identical notes. However that one be aware is reworked into 4 or 5 notes for Black music. Runs. Improvisation. Scats. Introduced from deeper inside.
Now some will shortly argue there are white artists of the same ilk and they’re appropriate. Rod Stewart. Michael McDonald. Janis Joplin. Adele. Christina Aguilera. Michael Bolton. What do I say to that? That these uncommon people are admirably adept at performing BLACK music. You’re welcome.
My being able to cooking scrumptious lasagna, spaghetti or ravioli doesn’t make me Italian. Simply good at it. Backside line, Black music is genuinely a factor! We refuse to relinquish possession however are more than pleased to share! Class dismissed.
CIRCLE CITY CONNECTION by Vernon A. Williams is a sequence of essays on myriad matters that embrace social points, human curiosity, leisure and profiles of difference-makers who’re forging change in a always evolving society. Williams is a 40-year veteran journalist based mostly in Indianapolis, IN – generally known as The Circle Metropolis. Ship feedback or inquiries to: [email protected].