Sounds of Jazz & Miles Davis

Jazz is a uniquely African-American music genre. Since the late 1800’s the blending of African sounds imported with the people of West Africa to the Americas including the United States, coupled with the mastery of European musical instruments, jazz was born. Call and response, gospel, and the introduction and use of African beat patterns were distinctly different from the standard musical structure of European music, this created a wholly different sound. Arguably. beginning with the …

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The Chitlin’ Circuit

Before Rock and Roll in the 1950’s, before arenas began to integrate, black performers traveled what was known as the Chitlin’ Circuit. Not to be confused with the Chitlin’ Strut. The Chitlin’ Strut is a food festival. If you ever traveled through the Southeastern United States, South Carolina or more specifically, in the Aiken area, in the fall, mostly in November, the unforgettable smell of pig innards fill the air. The tiny town of Sally, …

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The Sounds of Protest

Songs set the tone. Lyrics and beats set the mood. The Sound of the Times have been used to express opinions and feelings in difficult times. Protest songs have been important to Blacks since our struggle began. No matter if it was slavery, human rights, civil rights, wars, lynching or police brutality, we have expressed feelings in songs. June is when we commemorate Black Music Appreciation Month (the decree first issued by President Carter in 1979), one cannot …

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The Sound of the Times

Whether it was the civil rights movement, the Vietnam War, anti-war protests, riots after the untimely death of iconic figures, it was music that set the mood of our people and indeed the country and world. Music calmed anxieties and eased some pain. Marvin Gaye’s, Ecology Song (Mercy Mercy Me), a prayer for the land and air, man’s dominion. Marvin knew we had abused the earth, he said it in a song. Edwin Starr didn’t …

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President Carter & Black Music

Black Music Association Remarks at a White House Dinner Honoring the Association. June 7, 1979   How many of you know what month this is? Somebody said June. Right on! This is Black Music Month. As you know, the purpose of the Black Music Association is to preserve, protect, and perpetuate black music on an international basis. And the time to do it on an international basis is right now at the White House, the …

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