#1508: Black Is…

Black culture laid the foundation for almost every popular form of American music over the last 100 years.  It’s true.  If you’re a music fan you have to acknowledge the massive contribution and amazing talent that African-Americans brought to the table over the 20th Century.  Especially throughout the ’60s & ’70s (the civil rights movement and it’s fallout, so to speak) the bravery and electricity that artists were putting down on tape was like nothing else.  So on this episode I’ve decided to sample a small cross-section of these prolific and amazing artists.   Sure enough, one hour isn’t enough to cover such an expansive collection of work, but I did my best to hit highlights.  Hope you enjoy the trip.

Full Tracklist below ->

(open: Up Against The Wall – Quincy Jones)

Black Is – The Last Poets
Long Burn The Fire – Black Merda
Ike’s Rap II – Isaac Hayes
If I Can’t Have You – Etta James & Harvey Fuqua
(break: Pearl High – The Bar Kays)

Spanish Castle Magic – The Jimi Hendrix Experience
Such A Fool For You – Ike & Tina Turner
Licking Stick – James Brown
Wandering Blues – John Lee Hooker & the Groundhogs
(break: Ostinato (Suite For Angela) – Herbie Hancock)

If It Was Good Enough For Daddy – Clarence Reid
Black Satin – Miles Davis
I Never Loved A Man (The Way I Love You) – Aretha Franklin
Keep On Knocking – Death
(break: Turiya – Alice Coltrane)

Strange Fruit – Nina Simone
Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler) – The Chi Lites
Gotta Find A New World – Al Green
Uncloudy Day – The Staple Singers
Old Ship Of Zion – Five Blind Boys of Mississippi

(end: Frustrating Disappointment – Johnny Pate)

My favorite facts about some of this week’s artists:

Black Merda was the backup band on Edwin Starr’s singles “Agent Double-O Soul” & “War.”

As a songwriter & producer at STAX, Isaac Hayes is responsible for a staggering amount of hit songs.

Etta James‘ father was rumored to be billiards legend “Minnesota Fats.”

Clarence Reid wrote hits for hot soul artists, but would write x-rated alternate versions and release them as his alter ego, Blowfly.


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