Shine!

Good Evening Good People! I hope that everyone is doing well on this Sunday. The weather has been so crazy lately and I hope that each of you are safe.

I came across a song yesterday that gave me a much needed boost so you know I had to share it with you. I needed something to motivate me to write and this was the song to do it.

This song took this blogger and writer back and I mean wayyyyyyyyy back. Back to a time when me, my sisters and brother were cleaning our house one Saturday morning while our Mama played her funk records blasting in the background.

When this particular song came on, we didn’t just clean, we boogied like we never boogied before. Our Mama’s hips were swinging while she was sweeping up the floor. Me and my two older sisters hips were bouncing as we vacuumed and dusted around the house. As for our baby brother, he was too busy busting a move.

Funny how music can change a person’s mood.

The song that had me in my feelings was Shine by The Bar Kays. I remember watching Larry Dodson get down when he delivered his vocals on a Soul Train rerun. And I can’t forget the handsome Lloyd Smith. He’s the guitarist with the long luxurious hair playing behind Larry. He sticks out like a thumb so he’s hard to miss.

Click here to see for yourself and while you are at it, don’t forget to Shine folks! Did you see what I did there? Of course you did and you smiled.

Until next time…

Hazel Scott

Born in 1920, Hazel Scott was a Trinidadian classical and jazz singer, actress and pianist. She was considered a musical prodigy at a very early age due to her musical abilities. Most notably, her rare ability to play two pianos at once. In fact, she was the first to do it.

Hazel was given scholarships by Juliard at an early age because she was extremely talented and gifted. This was unusual and unheard of because prestigious scholarships were not offered to Black people at that time.

Because so many people were obsessed with Hazel and her musical abilities, she was given her own show, The Hazel Scott Show. Hazel was the first Black person to have her own television show.

Hazel was big on civil rights and equality and she did not allow racist or prejudiced Whites to control her. Hazel controlled her own wardrobe, insisted on final cut privileges before she would perform and she refused to play live for segregated audiences. Her defiance and stance made her a force to be reckoned with because she also refused to play stereotypical roles.

One aspect of Hazel’s life that I did not know was that she was married to the late Adam Clayton Powell Jr., a man who needs no introduction. As a Black man, Adam too played a pivotal role in fighting for civil rights and equal rights for Black people. Their son, Adam Clayton Powell III, is the only child from their marriage.

I can go on and on about Hazel Scott because I found her to be intriguing, but I want you to take some time to read more about her on your own time. If you watched this year’s Grammy’s, Alicia Keys payed homage to her and did an amazing job.

To see a brief clip of Hazel in action, click here.

Until next time…

Don Cornelius

When you mention the name Don Cornelius amongst the Black community, there is no need for an introduction. For those who are unfamiliar with Don Cornelius, he was the writer and producer of the nationally syndicated dance and music show Soul Train.

Soul Train was formed because Don noticed in the late 60’s that there weren’t any television shows geared towards Black artists and soul music. With the creation of Soul Train, soul and funk artists could showcase their talents.

Prior to Soul Train, Black people were limited to occasionally performing on TV as guests on White programs. All that changed with Don’s creation of Soul Train. Soon, White audiences started to tune into Soul Train and it’s popularity skyrocketed. Eventually, Soul Train would even showcase White artists whose music was centered around soul, funk and R&B.

I loved watching Soul Train as a child because I loved seeing some of the artists I grew up listening to perform live. And who can forget the infamous Soul Train line and those Ultra Sheen and Afro Sheen commercials? Ultra Sheen and Afro Sheen played a part in Don’s Black is Beautiful campaign.

Listening to Don talk with his nicely shaped afro and smooth deep voice was a treat. I could listen to him talk all day. One of my favorite parts of Soul Train is when it was ending and Don would say: “I’m Don Cornelius, and as always in parting, we wish you love, peace and soul!”

With all the success and positivity that Soul Train brought to the Black community, it saddens many how Don Cornelius’s life ended. Don suffered with seizures, battled Alzheimer’s and his health steadily declined. He was in constant pain the last 15 years of his life and unfortunately he decided to end his life.

Soul Train will always be one of those shows that is cherished amongst the Black community because it was a show where Black people were portrayed in a good way. It also showed people how to have fun, dance and get down!

If you have never watched an episode of Soul Train, you are really missing out. To see a brief clip of one of my favorite episodes, click here.

The next time you are on YouTube, search for it. It’ll have you smiling and dancing before you know it. πŸ‘ŒπŸΎ

To listen to a brief catchy remix of the theme song, click here.

Until next time…love, peace and soul!

Freddie Mercury

The name Freddie Mercury really doesn’t need an introduction considering the buzz surrounding his biopic that hit theaters on Friday. I’m actually going to go see Bohemian Rhapsody this week and I can’t wait. Rami Malek is definitely going to win an Oscar for his portrayal of Freddie Mercury since there is so much of praise and accolades surrounding his performance. However with all that being said, the family of Freddie Mercury is a bit bothered. Keep reading and I’ll tell you why.

Freddie’s family and those closest to him are a little bothered and somewhat offended that his biopic, Bohemian Rhapsody, doesn’t address or even touch on his racial heritage. I myself am surprised to know that millions of people thought he was a White British man when in fact he was of Asian and African descent. Something his family and friends say he was very much proud of. According to his family and friends, the biopic doesn’t even mention his racial background and they found that somewhat offensive. Here are pictures of Freddie Mercury’s parents and sister.

I sincerely hope that despite the biopic leaving out his racial background, his family will still walk away somewhat proud knowing how much of an impact both he and his music left on the world. With them speaking out now, they can rest assured that millions of people now know that Freddie wasn’t White, but was of Asian and African decent. For those of you who may not know, Indians (not Native Americans) are considered Asian.

You can read more here from NBC News.

Until next time, click here for the preview of Bohemian Rhapsody and click here for my favorite song.

Who Else Does This?

Growing up in a household surrounded by music is one of my favorite childhood memories. It was nothing for me to wake up and see my Mama jamming and dancing to music. It amazes me how our moves are so similar to the dance moves of our African relatives (i.e. Nigerian) I truly believe that it’s in the blood…

If I wake up to the sound of a good African beat from my alarm clock or radio, it’s nothing for me to get up and dance like the clip I’m about to share with you. My non-Black friends love to see me do it and sometimes they try to do it. πŸ˜‚

That begs the question: Who else wakes up and dances whenever they hear a good beat? Click here to see if you can relate. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve woken up and danced the same way πŸ˜‚. By the way, if you aren’t following IamDulo on Instagram, you’re missing out. He’s hilarious!

Until next time…

Hot Jamz – Music for the Weekend

As an 80’s baby, I must say that most of the music nowadays is trash. Wack beats, auto-tune, lame dance moves and lyrics are everywhere it seems. Artists during my time when I was growing up (late 80’s through the early 2000’s) were popping! If you were to play their music now, it’ll still hype you up and I got the proof.

I’m going to post ten of my favorites starting with none other than MC Hammer. If you could keep up with MC Hammer, then you were doing good. The man could move! When you click the link you’ll see. πŸ‘€ I remember when myself and everyone I knew could dance like MC Hammer and his backup girls.

Want some real music for the weekend? Click on each artist’s hyperlink below. These songs are all over 10 years old, but they sound better than most of the music today. If you aren’t into R&B or Hip-hop, skip this post because you won’t like any of the music below.

MC Hammer

LL Cool J

Outkast

Q-Tip

Uncle Luke

Sean Paul

Smilez and Southstar

Total

Mary J. Blige

Sunshine

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…