Tag Archive | #stuffwhitepeoplelike

#MusicMonday – Summertime – Billy Stewart

Billy Stewart was an R&B singer active in the 1960s.

He met Marvin Gaye through the Rainbows, a Washington, DC vocal group. Bo Diddley has been credited with discovering Stewart in Washington, DC. This led to a recording with Bo Diddley’s label Chess Records.

Amazing: I didn’t know that Marvin Gaye and Bo Diddley had ties to Washington DC.

Here’s Billy Stewart singing what Wikipedia calls his “radical interpretation” of Summertime from George Gershwin’s opera Porgy and Bess. Forgive the blurriness of this video.

Not sure about the 10-gallon hat and the folks sitting around on hay bales. 🤔

Billy Stewart died in an automobile accident in 1970. He was 32.

Shout-out to the Sunday Kind of Love program on WPFW 89.3 FM for introducing me to Billy Stewart.

Sources: Continue reading

#MusicMonday Fontella Bass “Rescue Me”

I’ve been thinking a lot about Aretha. Previously I posted a video of her sister Erma singing Piece of My Heart. Today I feature Fontella Bass. Many people wrongly associate the song “Rescue Me” with Aretha, but Fontella Bass sang the song.

“Rescue Me” was released in 1965, two years before Aretha joined Atlantic Records and cut loose from the artistic constraints that Columbia Records put upon her. Fontella Bass recorded the song at Chess Studios in Chicago. Backing musicians on the track included drummer Maurice White (later leader of Earth, Wind, & Fire) and Minnie Riperton as a background singer.

This video captures Fontella Bass’s appearance on Shindig!

“Rescue Me” gave Chess its first million-selling single in 10 years. Bass recalled:

I had the first million seller for Chess since Chuck Berry about 10 years before. Things were riding high for them, but when it came time to collect my first royalty check, I looked at it, saw how little it was, tore it up and threw it back across the desk.

The original versions of the record and BMI credited Raynard Miner and Carl William Smith. Bass approached her manager Billy Davis about securing her writing credit, but when the record came out, her name was still not on it.

Sources:
Fontella Bass. (2018, August 17). Retrieved September 9, 2018, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fontella_Bass
Fontella Bass – Rescue Me (Shindig – 1965). (2015, January 27). Retrieved September 9, 2018, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4__kPN77DAU

#MusicMonday Erma Franklin – Piece of My Heart

The whole world knows by now that Aretha Franklin died last week of pancreatic cancer.  This is heresy, but I could not get into Aretha.  Is it a cultural thing?

You might remember that Starbucks sold compilation CDs at its counters.  Here’s a gem that I found through those compilation CDs:

You might associate Piece of My Heart with Janis Joplin, but Erma Franklin (Aretha’s sister) recorded it in 1967 before Janis. This video is a live performance from 1992.

#MusicMonday – Janet Jackson – Alright

This delightful 1990 Janet Jackson video features her idols Cyd Charisse, The Nicholas Brothers, and Cab Calloway

Speaking of The Nicholas Brothers, check out this awesome performance that Fred Astaire called “the greatest dance number ever filmed”: