The Hope of Earth Wind & Fire’s “Beauty”of 1972 still Applies, unfortunately & hopefully for mankind’ sake.

“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…”

Beauty

Earth, Wind & Fire

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

It troubles my mind
These troubled times

We need love, love, love, yeah

It troubles my mind
These troubled times

Source: LyricFind

Songwriters: Donald Whitehead / Maurice White / Wade Flemons

Beauty lyrics © Concord Music Publishing LLC, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Time Tunnel 2022: Kool and the Gang at The Blue Note w/DJ Jimi B

Their first album, 1969

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!

“The Frog”

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.

November, 1976

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.

Remember, for our non-musical musings swing over to the Mothership blog, https://achilliad.wordpress.com/

One of My Most Unlikely Favorite Recording Artists – Kenny Rogers

“…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.

“Dee Jay Applebee”

“…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 I

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.  Marc J II

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!

Marc J IV

 

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! download

imij210

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!