Car Wash

I just recently watched a documentary on the African American cult comedy Car Wash and it was both interesting and hilarious. Released in 1976 (way before I was born) and directed by African American director Michael Schultz, Car Wash was full of interesting characters and heavy hitters like Richard Pryor and Antonio Fargas. I have to give kudos to Michael Schultz for creating a movie that almost didn’t get made because Car Wash is one of those movies that you won’t forget after watching it.

Car Wash catapulted R&B group Rose Royce to fame due to their songs (click on the hyperlink to listen) I Wanna Get Next To You and Car Wash. Thanks to them and writer / producer Norman Whitfield, Car Wash won a Grammy for the Best Score Soundtrack album in 1977. If you ever watched Car Wash you’ll see why. I loved the diverse cast and the fact of how director Michael Schultz included some of the people who actually lived and worked in the area where the movie was filmed. T.C.’s afro was on point!

If you want to see a good Old School movie, Car Wash is a good movie to add to your must watch list.

Until next time…

Aretha Franklin

Warning: This is a lengthy post.

When legendary singer and ‘Queen of Soul’ Aretha Franklin passed on August 16th, there was and continues to be an outpouring of mourning and tributes. It’s no secret that she touched a lot of lives and impacted lots of communities, especially the African American community. One of my favorite songs by her is her rendition of Young, Gifted and Black, a song originally penned by Nina Simone and used to empower the Black youth when there was insurmountable racism, prejudice and discrimination in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s.

As with any celebrity that passes, their personal life is often dug up and discussed again. Aretha is no different. Aretha herself has admitted that her childhood wasn’t “typical” and most African Americans know what she means by that. Her father, C.L. Franklin, was a minister who made big money through his sermons, but he was also a sex fiend who held orgies at his church. Her mother Barbara, who disagreed with his lifestyle, died at the age of 34 of a heart attack.

C.L. Franklin became even more famous when he impregnated a 12 year old member at his church. That makes him a pedophile and a child rapist in my book. Aretha herself also became pregnant at the age of 12 and its been speculated for years that her father fathered her son Clarence. Aretha however has stated that her father was not the father of her child, but a boy who went to the same school as her.

There has been much talk (lately) about her insatiable sexual appetite and her love of food, something Aretha had already addressed in some of the autobiographies that have been written about her. Aretha admitted that she became sexually active at an early age (which I believe had something to do with her father’s church orgies) during her youth / younger days and how one man couldn’t satisfy her. She had to be with more than one man because she had to have sex multiple times a day. Not to be crude, but one man can’t keep up with that pace for too long. Just being honest.

Second to her love of sex was her love of food, particularly fried foods. Over the years, Aretha would eat large amounts of fried foods to cope with the disappointments in her marriage, her life and even her music career. When her father was shot and spent five years in a coma before dying, her appetite for sex and food sky rocketed to dangerous levels. She even became an alcoholic to cope with the loss of her father and some of her failed marriages.

Those closest to her worried that she would become her own worst enemy and destroy her music career. It’s a good thing Aretha got herself together before that could happen because as we can see, she never hit rock bottom in her music career. Nobody is perfect, we all make mistakes.

Despite Aretha’s unusual childhood and rocky troubled past, Aretha still and will remain one of the world’s most legendary and respected singers. Her voice will live on for years to come and that I tell you is a gift.

Until next time, click here for one of my favorite songs by Aretha Franklin. Click here to check her out in Blues Brothers. Most people didn’t know she was an actress too.

Not Necessarily

I was recently asked if the only music I listen to is “old” music; meaning music from the 50’s thru the 80’s era. Truth is, I’ll listen to anything if it has a lot of soul in it. It just depends on the artist and the song. One of my favorite artists of today is R&B singer Miguel. Whew, this man has a voice on him! You just wait, I got a song that’ll probably hook you. Everything he sings is beautiful.

Born to an African American mother and Mexican father, Miguel grew up surrounded by R&B and soul music. When you listen to his music, you can tell he was inspired by musical legends like Marvin Gaye, Sam Cooke and the like. If you aren’t into R&B or soul music, this post isn’t for you. For those of you who are, click on the hyperlink for Pineapple Skies 🍍🍍🍍. This is a true banger if you never heard of this song. For the live version (the best IMO) click here.

Until next time…

A Redding Jewel

I enjoy listening to good music which is something I take after my Mom. She has the best taste in music! You name it: soul, disco, rhythm and blues and the like; I got a song that will stick with you for years to come or for life. When I’m writing, I like to play music in the background because it hypes me up even more.

Tonight, I’m going to share another musical jewel and it happens to be by the late Otis Redding. He’s largely known for his posthumous hit The Dock of the Bay, but my favorite song by him happens to be the live version on the Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa song. He sounds so much better to me when he sung live because he had such an amazing, soulful and strong voice. Not only that, he knew how to work up a crowd! So did his band.

Click here to listen for yourself. The ending is my favorite part of all. I can only imagine how electrifying it must have been to be in that crowd.

Until next time…

The Sylvers

I recently saw a documentary on the African American group, The Sylvers, and I felt compelled to blog about them. For those of you who aren’t familiar with them, keep reading and I’ll tell you a little bit about them. You know I’m going to post one of my favorite songs by them.

One of the biggest misconceptions about The Sylvers is that they were a copycat group of The Jacksons because they worked with them, but that is false. As a matter of fact, they existed before The Jacksons as The Little Angels. When other members of the group were added, they became known as The Sylvers. Spearheaded by their mother Shirley, she would go on to make her children one of the most popular Black groups of the 70’s and early 80’s. Their father Leon opted to stay away from the spotlight.

I could remember watching skits of them whenever Soul Train would come on and I had a little girl crush on Edmund Sylvers, the lead singer of the group. To me, he was the best looking brother out of the group and I would always search for him whenever they appeared on TV. This man had so many women at his fingertips! All of The Sylvers afros were on point and their sisters were absolutely beautiful! Sharp is the best way I would describe them.

Sadly Edmund, their father Leon and their mother Shirley have since passed away. If you want to see them in action singing one of my favorite songs, click here. Their steps were on point and check out Edmund’s effortless shoulder pops during his performance. Smooth, very smooth! I miss music like this sometimes. Brings back so many memories…

Until next time…

What’s Wrong With (Some) Black People

Warning: This is going to be a lengthy blog post. You have been warned.

As a Black woman, it irks me to no end when I see or hear some Black people call each other N*gga. Some foolishly think it’s okay because some Black actors and rappers made it seem “cool” to use such a demeaning word in their movies and music. Newsflash! Just because you drop the –ER– and add an – A– at the end, that doesn’t make it any better. πŸ€¦πŸΎβ€β™€οΈ

Truth be told, when Black people call each other this derogatory word, they look so ignorant. Millions of other Black people agree with me. Some of the same Black people who freely use the word N*gga will get mad if a person from another race calls them a N*gga. Why? Because they see that as offensive. Whew Chile! The plum foolery! Calling each other that word should be offensive regardless of who says it. πŸ€¦πŸΎβ€β™€οΈ

If you are a self-respecting Black person who doesn’t want to be called a N*gger, why or earth would you think it’s okay to be called a N*gga? Think about that for a second. Seriously, some Black people need to educate themselves before jumping on the band wagon with everyone else. Some of you are seriously out here looking silly. Get your mind right and get it together!

If I refuse to allow a person to call me a N*gger to my face, what makes you think I will allow a Black person to call me a N*gga to my face? πŸ€” You better say it behind my back or under your breath so I can’t hear you. Some Black people are purposefully giving power to a word that was used for many years to disrespect and demean their ancestors, grandparents and parents. Why on earth would you want to do something so hurtful and dumb?

Knowledge is power. Some of you really need to get some because you are walking around here looking mentally weak and foolish. From one Black person to another, do better because you should know better. Yes, I said it. All of it!

Until next time…

Music To My Ears

I was asked not too long ago, what song comes to mind whenever I’m feeling down or sad? Well, there’s one song in particular that pops into my head and it happens to be by Jamaican artist Jimmy Cliff. It’s a song that my beloved mother would often sing when things got a little tough. We don’t break easily in my family. πŸ’ͺ🏾πŸ’ͺ🏾πŸ’ͺ🏾

This song can uplift anyone’s spirits if you listen to the lyrics closely. It’s also a song that will bring a smile across your face before it ends. This song was originally recorded by Johnny Nash, but it was Jimmy Cliff’s version that made it more popular. What song am I referring to? Click here to find out and may you too be inspired.

Until next time…