Given the widespread outrage at the killing of George Floyd and the resulting Black Lives Matter protests on both sides of the Atlantic, I thought it might be timely to post up on Facebook some important songs of the past that brought the struggle of black people into the popular arena, especially during the Civil Rights era. All are classics, loved by millions, but hopefully this will offer some context with regards to the times in which they were made and the weight of their subsequent cultural significance. Continue Reading →
Tag Archives | The Temptations
I’d originally intended to post this on my blog at the same time as I uploaded the mix from Adelaide (outlined below), but having made a start, I found it difficult to fully apply myself, continually catching myself procrastinating, so I put the mix up on its own a few weeks ago, and gave myself until the end of the month to finish this. It’s not just the writing, as I’ve since discovered has also been the case with numerous others at this time I’ve found it difficult to apply myself to anything connected with my work – my only blog posts in tribute to recently departed black music icons Manu Dibango, Bill Withers and Hamilton Bohannon. Continue Reading →
Following the recent passing of Manu Dibango and Bill Withers, another black music icon, Hamilton Bohannon, died last Friday aged 78 – the cause of death, at time of writing, still unknown.
“Man goes to doctor. Says he’s depressed. Says life seems harsh and cruel. Says he feels all alone in a threatening world where what lies ahead is vague and uncertain. Doctor says ‘treatment is simple. Great clown Pagliacci is in town tonight. Go and see him. That should pick you up.’ Man bursts into tears. Says ‘but, doctor…I am Pagliacci.’ Good joke. Everybody laugh. Roll on snare drum. Curtains.”
Alan Moore ‘Watchmen’ (1987)
Just over 2 months on from the passing of iconic bass man, Donald ‘Duck’ Dunn of Booker T. & The M.G.’s (https://blog.gregwilson.co.uk/2012/05/donald-duck-dunn/), another of Soul’s most prolific bass players, Bob Babbitt, a member of Motown’s illustrious studio band, the Funk Brothers, died yesterday, aged 74.
I feel fully in the throes of festival season following last weekend’s Movement Detroit – it was a great way to make my debut in the city, with a Saturday main stage appearance in an impressive amphitheatre location.
The photo above shows a man walking down the street past a wall that’s been sprayed with some graffiti – it says ‘Powell For P.M’. I’d imagine that most people under a certain age would completely miss the relevance of this image, having no idea who this Powell was. Maybe they might pick up on the clue that it has some reference to race, as the man in the picture is black, but without understanding the context its message has been lost with the passage of time. Anyone looking at it in the years following the milestone date of April 20th 1968 would be left in no doubt of its potency, but whilst children in British schools are now taught about Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks and key aspects of the US Civil Rights movement during the ’50s and ’60s, the story of what happened in this country, following the mass immigration of the post-war period, remains a largely hidden history. Without the knowledge of what went on back then, it’s impossible to properly understand what’s going on now, for Enoch Powell MP, and what he had to say in Birmingham that fateful April day almost 44 years ago (which, at the time, a Gallup poll told us was supported by almost three quarters of the UK population), set the agenda for the race debate in this country – a heated debate which has very much reignited in the past few months.
ARTIST: MICHAEL JACKSON
ALBUM: OFF THE WALL
This Sunday (Dec 4th), at 9pm, you’re invited to share a listening session with some likeminded souls, wherever you might be. This can be experienced either alone or communally, and you don’t need to leave the comfort of your own home to participate. Full lowdown here:
Most of the interviews you do throw up the same type of questions, but every now and again someone takes a completely different approach, which can be very refreshing. One such occasion was a few years ago when I received a request for an interview by Berlin based DJ and writer Finn Johannsen, who told me he was doing a feature series for the blog ‘Sounds Like Me’ in which he asks people to chose a favourite record that has strong personal associations. Once I’d informed him of my choice, ‘Ball Of Confusion (That’s What The World Is Today)’, a key single of my formative years by The Temptations, he came back with a whole heap of insightful questions that really caused me to get deep into my reasons behind this selection, including my views on its socio-political relevance, the role of the protest song, and the innovations of its producer, Norman Whitfield.
I first came across Adrian Luvdup in the early ’90s, when he was deejaying as one of the Luvdup Twins. I remember going to a night they played at in Liverpool that was promoted by the Girls On Top, Jill & Sonia, whose parties I used to enjoy (having said this I’d been to Most Excellent at The Brickhouse in Manchester prior to this and I’ve since learnt that Adrian was a resident there). The ‘twins’ were an integral part of that post-Madchester period from which the Chemical Brothers (then students in the city) drew so much inspiration, with DJs like Justin Robertson, Richard Moonboots and Greg Fenton, along with Adrian, Mark, and subsequently Mike Luvdup (aka Balearic Mike), evolving a distinctly Mancunian brew of Balearia, which resonates right through to this day.