“…Latin music is so positive, festive and optimistic. Its is made of what the USA and, indeed the world needs more of these days…”
I grew up with radio in New York City; I went to school (the right way) integrated with European Caucasians, Puerto Ricans, Dominicans (unknown to me when I was little) and other black American descendants of American slaves – there was no such thing as an “African-American” back then, by the way; they had not been allowed to assault into our shores – we had a good mix in the 1960s and 1970s!
Now that I am decluttering and finding past memories of my DJ life, I’ve discovered and am -among others – reliving the musical magic of the Bronx!
The title of this song means – according to your dialect – “That doesn’t suit me”, or ‘Its not worthy for me”. Please correct me in the comments section, if I’m off-base. Language and linguistics is king to cohesion.
Irregardless, Latin music is so positive, festive, inclusive and optimistic. Its is made of what the USA and, indeed the world needs much more of these days!
Again I implore you to disconnect from the negative #cableTV #24hour news, in-favor of quieting your mind into the peace our parents raised in us, please. Whatever will BE, will be.
Please remember to flash back to our mothership connection blog, achilliad.wordpress.com, where silence is avoiding negativity.
Oh when I look around me This old world seems so troubled to me
Does no one see The beauty that surrounds them? Take a look around you now (sometimes) Pretty little blossoms, oh yeah Just as sweet as can be, yeah yeah
it troubles my mind These troubled times we need love You know it troubles my mind These troubled times we need love The world needs love, let there be love Open up your heart and love more open up Open up your heart and love more open up Open up your heart and love more open up Open up your heart, give a little love love, love, love, love
Does no one see The beauty that surrounds them? Take a look around you now (sometimes) Pretty little blossoms, oh yeah Just as sweet as can be, yeah yeah
This is the second in my 2022 series of remembered radio interviews which I conducted during my heydays on music radio as a Disc Jockey for forty years. Jersey City, New Jersey’s Kool & The Gang were, if memory serves me correctly, one of/if not thee first band my parents, who kept a tight reign on me, allowed me to go and see by myself. The timing was late by today’s “standards” but timely in retrospect. I saw them first at the RKO Alden Theater on Jamaica Avenue and then at the Loews’s Valenca, which was across the street from the Alden. Shortly thereafter, their first Album, “Kool and the Gang” came out on De-Lite Records in 1969.
Back in the day, my new neighbors wanted to form a band, which was the thing to do if you played a musical instrument back then. Forced to practice the trumpet, I briefly found an outlet with those like-minded neighbors who moved into the neighborhood and had two sons the same age as I was. Of course, we emulated Kool and the Gang’s horn-based group (as many of them were in those days – see Chicago, Blood Sweat & Tears, Tower of Power or The Ides Of March) by learning new hits like “Chocolate Buttermilk”, “Let The Music Take Your Mind” and their title track, dance steps included!
Mostly confined to the R&B/Soul/Urban or Black Music chart of the Billboard, Cashbox and Record World music industry magazines of the day, Kool, et al, would not “cross over” into the mainstream of Top 40 recognition until after “Celebration” came out in 1980.
“Ladies Night” (1979) also took the band into the mainstream and was a very hot request during my gigs in the 1980s and ‘90s. I ended-up getting all of my early DJ Promo copies of their albums from Mr. Ted Eddy (“Mister Teddy” they called him, affectionately) from De-Lite Records’ office in midtown Manhattan, NYC thought the mid-1980s.
I can’t count how many times “Celebration” was requested at every wedding, graduation, anniversary or birthday party I spun since then – and by folks that I knew had never listened to Kool and the Gang previously! It was amusing.
Sadly, during the past couple of years, two of the founding member of the group died: Dennis “D.T.” Thomas (alto sax) and Ronald Bell (tenor sax, bass, keys), making us all feel just a little bit “older”. Show business and longevity are not exactly compatible, in most cases.
I wish that the following recorded interview covered what I’ve written above, but alas, in 20/20 retrospect, maybe I was a wee bit awe-struck and I didn’t follow up my questions journalistically, while interviewing such guys as these, who I had idolized.
Here, backstage at The Blue Note, New York City, Kool (Robert Bell) talks about a future direction for the bank and we had five minutes of laughs.
What delayed this new series is that The Creator told me “Your mum’s health and reclaiming your birthright is more important right now.” Therefore, into storage my “children” (music vinyls,cassettes, compact discs and other music media) went…until now…
Welcome to “On-Location from The Time Tunnel”. A new series of sharing my curating, where I revisit past celebrity interviews I landed, to educate and keep the feeling (and music) alive eternally. Now that my music collection is finally out of storage, I wish to – with apologies to you who were a fan of the “My Vinyls” on my mothership blog, achilliad.wordpress.com – catch up on some of these artists who have been on my mind to share. Unfortunately, and true to part of the reason that I started writing these tributes, some/many of them are not with us anymore in the physical world.
One such superstar, who I wish I’d had the ability to get around to while she was alive, is Nancy Wilson, the singer who taught me, the English major, the usage of the word “superfluous” during this interview in 1994! Ms. Wilson recorded over fifty albums on Capitol, Columbia music record labels and even had a television show at one point in her career! It was and still is and honor to have been in her company for this brief talk – so much so that it almost breaks me down to tears as I write these words. Please feel the magic and enjoy because in spite of it all, the best is yet to come. Here are a few of her albums, which I own:
Often in my diary life…I do not need to say or cannot sway, because other composers have said it a better way. About this time or year, 1968, I copped this 45rpm by The Impressions, “Fool For You” on the way home from school in Queens, NYC.
From the first one-two-three drum beats it is a classic and is one of my anthems because of the true lyrics – which you can see at my blog. The drummer on this session really works it OUT and makes the record happen!! This is an EXTENDED remixed version…”Hoo hoo hoo hooI’m a fool for you, ah ha ha ha hoo!!”
“Never liked nobody That’s been mean to me I’ve got a heart full of stone And I hate the misery
Then you came along Into my life Destroying me man Mounting up the toil and strife But I’m a fool for you I’m a fool for you I’m a fool for you I’m a fool for you Guess I’ll always be And I claim it famously ‘Cause I’m a fool for you
It’s a doggone shame Knowin’ you don’t love me You go on and use me So continuously I don’t know why I love you like I do When you’re breaking my heart And you know it’s true But I’m a fool for you I’m a fool for you I’m a fool for you I’m a fool for you
Doggin’ me every day But child, I’m here to stay ‘Cause I’m a fool for you
You don’t want me to stay But I’m a fool for you Do me wrong now every day Child, I’m a fool for you Ah ha ha ha ha hoo I’m a fool for you,
Ah ha ha ha ha ha hoo! Child, I’m a fool for you Hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo Hooo!”
Its been a minute since I traversed over here to the Record Shoppe; we had to close due to the Plague. Then, the riots broke out after Mr. Floyd’s murder and I boarded the windows up after I saw a white guy in an umbrella and raincoat smashing windows in Minneapolis – knowing immediately that he was a plant from a rabble-rouser group, planted by those insecure, anachronistic types who are afraid of anybody who doesn’t LOOK like they do! I’m sure you know who I mean – the current resident of the White House of the United States of America is one of their leaders.
Yet, this is a musik-only site, right? Historically, musik has mixed with politics and social causes, rite? (Yes to both or go back to kindergarten and start over, please). Therefore, I offer the following lyrics from the 1960s (where some wannabe dictators would want to take us back to, by the way), which still resonate these days, as a reminder to all, of our best side – and b why I am who I am – as Everyday People.
“Sometimes I’m right and I can be wrong My own beliefs are in my song The butcher, the banker, the drummer and then Makes no difference what group I’m in I am everyday people, yeah, yeah
There is a blue one who can’t accept the green one For living with a fat one, trying to be a skinny one And different strokes for different folks And so on and so on and scooby dooby doo-bee Ooh, sha sha We got to live together
I am no better and neither are you We are the same whatever we do You love me, you hate me, you know me and then You can’t figure out the bag I’m in I am everyday people, yeah, yeah
There is a long hair that doesn’t like the short hair For being such a rich one, that will not help the poor one And different strokes for different folks And so on and so on and scooby dooby doo-bee Ooh, sha sha We got to live together
There is a yellow one that won’t accept the black one That won’t accept the red one, that won’t accept the white one Different strokes for different folks And so on and so on and scooby dooby doo-bee Ooh, sha sha I am everyday people”
Yo Sly! You should do a 2020 version of this song! It would be a timely hit, doncha think??
Thanks for flashing by and please be sure to swing on over to “the Mothership” blog, www.achilliad.wordpress.com to see what’s been goin’ on.
“…You gotta remember that, I was seriously into Disco music as a club DJ also during those times, so the two genres of Country and Dance/Disco clashed in my musical mind…”
I began my musical journey listening to New York AM radio playing Top 40 hits, Soul and Middle of the Road (MOR). There was no FM band back then.
So, maybe its not a total stretch that, after I became a radio DJ myself – mostly on Top 40 stations – that Kenny Rogers ultimately became one of my topmost unlikely to be one of my favorite singers!
Originally, it was “Kenny Rogers and The First Edition”, a group from the 1970s psychedelic era. I think I first heard of them on the first commercials for aluminum cans or The Ed Sullivan show, which my parents never missed. I didn’t really track that band as I moved in a more “black music” direction – as in Motown. I just learned that Kenny was part of The New Christie Minstrels in the very early 1960s!
As I recall, the first Kenny Rogers song I played as part of a radio station rotation was “Share Your Love With Me” in 1980. Followed by “She Believes In Me” in ’81. Correct me if I’m wrong and if I worked with you on the radio, but, if I’m not mistaken, we played that one and “The Gambler” in-rotation simultaneously for a while. “You Decorated My Life” was hot as I joined a Worcester, Massachusetts Top 40, doing overnights. You gotta remember that, I was seriously into Disco music as a club DJ also during those times, so the two genres clashed in my musical mind!
Then came “Coward of The County”, a hit I had a hate/love relationship because when it was hot, I’d have to sometimes play it 3 times during my overnight shift! It lasted long in the early 1980s on the airwaves. “Through The Years”, those were the days of my initial Country music appreciation classes – little did I know that I’d end-up living and working in the Nashville, Tennessee music radio industry in a score.
I came to happily really appreciate and respect the music and the man, Kenny Rogers.
“Morning Desire” from his 1985 album, “Heart Of The Matter”. Great vamp-til-fade guitar solo by Stanley Jordan! I used this song as my opening theme during my brief tries at being a morning disc jockey on WBAU FM, Garden City (now defunct). It describes how I felt on many a night , when I had to leave my lover to go to work on the air.
**Please be sure to check out whats popular over at my “mothership blog”, achilliad.wordpress.com! Thanking you in-advance.
“…imagine my pleased perspective when, while chillin’ at my newest Applebee’s location, a DJ party erupted!”
I am an Applebee’s finder and pretty much love the 38 year-old casual dining franchise chain.
In the several states my radio DJ career took me and since, I always found a friendly Applebee’s Bar and Grill restaurant as my initial watering hole to settle my world and meet new locals, while I got the “lay of the land”.
So, imagine my pleased perspective when, while chillin’ at my newest Apples location, a DJ party erupted! They didn’t move the furniture or rearrange the booths, as a real, live selector set up and began to rock the house! He calls himself DJ Marc J and I empathize with him taking his blends seriously and using a small variety of today’s DJ tools. There were only a couple of guys who were dancing in the isles, most just head noddin’, boppin’ to the beats from their seats while sippin’ and kickin’ convo.
Marc J mixes a musical cocktail of uptempo jams. From R&B remixes to reggaeton, club, pumpin Pop, techno, electronica, hip-hop (without all the cursing and n-words, by the way), with a splash of Chutney Soca, Afro-beat, Reggae Fusion, southern soul, jazzy juice and dance-Pop.
Kudos to this Richmond, Virginia Applebee’s management for always having a nice classic soul, R&B mix playing in-general on the “Muzak” system, friendly waitstaff, bartenders and in-particular for featuring a live disc jockey on Thursday nights!
It was “eatin’ good in the neighborhood, 2.0″ and as a fellow Selector for over forty years, I feel qualified to rate DJ Marc J: The night I listened to him, he was blending perfectly, although I would like to see him mix vinyl, talk on the mic a little bit and run a dance floor club, but at “Club Applebee’s on Laburnum” that night overall, he earned 4.5 stars!
pickhit: remember to swing over to my mothership blog for all things mostly not about music, http://www.achilliad.wordpress.com – now going on ten years of blogging this month!
“This music station preceded FM radio, which at the time was in an experimental stage. They were the WABC AM 77 of black music.”
This is a new category for the blog! Reuniting with some of my history from my storage pod recently, I came upon some masterpieces, preserved to now share with you.
When I was growing up and just starting to get into music, I’d stop by the records shops on the way home (anything to stall going back there) to pick up the hottest 45rpm record my allowance allowed and the latest hit ‘survey” sheets that all of the local radio stations put out regularly, listing what they were playing , by who and what was bubbling-up to be a smash soon! My parents didn’t even want me to listen to this music. I remember my mother asking me, “What are you doing listening to that gut-bucket music?!” I think I was listening to some Motown on my record player at the time. My folks and their relatives used to act all bourgie sometimes. In retrospect, seeing it for what is was, typical generation-gap disrespect, I guess. We all are subject to do it, poo-pooing the fashions or new trends of those that follow us – if we keep a closed mind.
This survey was right on top of the pile when I opened that now falling-apart file; from forty-eight years ago this month and at the time New York City’s number one “Soul” and R&B (Rhythm and Blues, if you don’t know) music station, waaay down at the end of the AM radio dial on 1600, WWRL. The mainstream “Top 40” stations were the powerhouse “Musicradio 77WABC” and at the other end of the dial WMCA AM 570, featuring “The Good Guys”. Theonly other “competing soul stations were WLIB AM and over in New Jersey, WNJR AM, but they had weaker signals with more static. All of this was pre-FM radio.
Do you remember any of these songs, or maybe the versions other groups and bands did as covers of them? And the gentlemen on the right-hand column were some of the guys who made me want to be a radio DJ too (though at the tine I didn’t know it). I even got to hang out with all of them except Enoch Gregory (top) who, if memory serves me correctly was the morning disc jockey at the time. All but a couple are not with us in the physical world anymore, but not forgotten.
Turn the page and you’d see:
I remember going to Alpha Distribution when I started DJing back in 1972 to get promotional copies that were free for us to play at parties!
On the back, “Jack” you’d see two more places to get the latest vinyl:
I’m so happy to have found these in great condition and as the month go by, I will share more from those same past months with you. Ironically I still own much of these records and they are still very playable (secret: never lend records to anyone)!
Please comment on anything here that moves you or, if you are too young to have known these records, feel free to email and ask me about them. I am here to educate and connect the musical “dots” for you, unlike so many people on the air fail to do these days. This is positive history; after all…its musik !
As always, be sure to flash on over to the mothership blog which spawned this one, www.achilliad.wordpress.com for mostly non-music content and diary ramblings now going on ten years of blogging! Thank you.
“…I rock to and fro like Ray Charles at the piano, as their trademark harmonies grow…”
As a lover of summer (as long as there is silently cool a/c at night to sleep in), the start of Autumn can be a bummer, which is one reason I love a South Carolina beach, where I’ve enjoyed surf and sandy days in October!
That is as far south as I plan to trek ; maybe someday, I’ll buy a house there with an ocean-facing deck. September somehow also makes me always want to hear The Beach Boys. Maybe because as a disc jockey, I’d never play them again in a typical year until their Christmas song.
This tune from their Holland Days (sauce) sessions, with new singer for the time-being, Blondie Chaplin is my Fall folly anthem. It took me a “minute” to realize it was them singing it too! Part of the problem was that it was played on Rock stations and the jocks rarely back-announced it; same for the Pop stations of those early 1970s days. Still a smooth Indian Summer groove and its those trademark, in-unison background “ooos” and “ahhs” that ultimately give it away to my ears as a classic “Beach Bums” jam. I rock to and fro like Ray Charles at the piano, as their harmonies grow. Just like good vibes, fun, California Girls and T-birds, for my every summer, they sing the last words of inspiration:
“Seldom stumble, never crumble Try to tumble, life’s a rumble Feel the stinging I’ve been given Never ending, unrelenting Heartbreak searing, always fearing Never caring, persevering Sail on, sail on, sailor…”