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June Celebrates Black Music

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In 1979, President Jimmy Carter decreed that June would be the month of Black music in recognition of Black music's extraordinary contributions to American culture. This month, AARP proudly celebrates Black Music Month—a time to recognize and applaud the rich impact of African American music on our country’s history. Which black musicians have most influenced your love of music?

Newbie

Hands down, Michael Jackson, & all those before him. Gladys Knight, Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, Teddy Pender grass, Harold Melvin, etc.


@AARPLynne wrote:

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In 1979, President Jimmy Carter decreed that June would be the month of Black music in recognition of Black music's extraordinary contributions to American culture. This month, AARP proudly celebrates Black Music Month—a time to recognize and applaud the rich impact of African American music on our country’s history. Which black musicians have most influenced your love of music?


 

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Gold Conversationalist

The genius, Ray Charles!

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Trusted Contributor

Kirk Whalum, Otis Redding, Ray Charles, Sam Cooke, Billie Holiday, The Pointer Sisters - this list could go on and on.

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Newbie

My first  and foremost memory of Black Music was from my oldest sister playing a single by "Little Stevie Wonder". This was back in the early '60s. The song was "Fingertips, Part 1 & 2".  Being older than me, I asked her to also teach me how to dance like she was doing to the record. This single was my portal of introduction to Black Music! Black Music has been a very part of my life ever since then. 

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Bronze Conversationalist

James Brown, he's a real showman!! Love watching him sing.

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Social Butterfly

First one I remember was the Jackson 5. There were others; I just didn't know they were black at the time. I wondered what the fuss about the Osmonds was all about; I was into the Jackson 5.

And, there were the Spinners, 5th Dimension, Supremes, and Donny Hathaway & Roberta Flack's "Where Is The Love". Cornelius Bros & Sister Rose's "Too Late To Turn Back Now".

Isley Bros, and Ben E King with Spanish Harlem and Stand By Me.

Periodic Contributor

The "LP" "Diana Ross Presents The Jackson 5" was the first album I ever bought, then went on to buy, and enjoy, all of their and MJ's solo albums. 

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Periodic Contributor

Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone, Stevie Wonder, Carlos Santana -- to name a few. 

Newbie

Duke Ellington, Johnny Hodges, Nat King Cole, Johnnie Mathis, Harry Belafonte, Diahann Carroll, Nancy Wilson, Leontyne Pricce, Natalie Cole, Sarah Vaughan, Shirley Bassey, Wes Montgomery

Contributor

My favorites are Smoky Robinson, Johnie Taylor and all the Motown singers and especially the Temptations. I also love my old black gospels. Best music ever. 

Bronze Conversationalist

I have to agree with rebel3 , TINA TURNER WAS AND STILL IS INCREDIBLE. WATCHING HER SING PROUD MARY IN CONCERT IS PURE JOY!!!

Social Butterfly

For me, a "child of the sixties", it has ALWAYS been (and will always be) Jimi, Jim, Janis, Aretha, and Otis... noted not all 5 were Black, but imho, all 5 got "it". Blues being the quintessential "Black" genre, I felt so much soul from all 5 singer/songwriter/musicians! I still feel it today every time I listen to any of their songs (daily).

 

There are so many who have followed, but to me, these are the definition of "Black music".

 

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Phil Harris, actor and showman, to John Fogerty of CCR: “If I’d known I’d live this long, I’d have taken better care of myself.”
Periodic Contributor

I loved (and still do) disco.  It's not just the singers, but also the live music/the bands that accompanied them.  So many great performers: Chaka Khan, The Ohio Players, Earth, Wind, & Fire, Tavares ... 

I've always loved Stevie Wonder.  Had all his albums.   Gladys Knight and the pips were a fave too, also Marvin Gaye.   I just purchased postage stamps with Marvin on them.

Honored Social Butterfly

My parents liked Nat King Cole. They never missed his tv show, and also played his records. My favorite song was Ramblin' Rose🌹  ❤️

 

 

 

It's great to be here. It's great to be anywhere. - Keith Richards
Honored Social Butterfly

I grew up listening to Ray Charles as he was

one of my Moms favorites. My love for his

music grew from my Mom so I thank her for

the gift of his music 🎼💜

Contributor

Ray was my brother's favorite and he became mine.  I eventually saw him live four times.

 

Contributor

George Clinton/Parliment Funkadelic

That's it!!!!

Super Contributor

So many! Some favorites:

 

Bill Withers — "Lovely Day"

Billy Preston — "Nothing from Nothing" 

Chuck Berry — "Route 66"

Pharrell Williams — "Happy" 

Donna Summer — "Last Dance" 

Nat King Cole — "Mona Lisa"

Ray Charles — "Georgia on My Mind"

Etta James — "At Last" 

Donna Summer — Theme from "Mahogany"

 

...and my favorite doo-wop song of all, 

 

The Flamingos with "I Only Have Eyes For You."  [Link takes you to YouTube.]

Silver Conversationalist

Little Anthony, Al Green, Temptations Chuck Berry too many to name and of course the greatest guitar player Jimi left us too soon. 

Honored Social Butterfly

Gladys Knight & The Pips, The 5th Dimension, Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, and I loved, loved, loved Little Richard!!  When he was on Ed Sullivan, I was parked right in front of the TV. We simply wouldn't have R&R without Little Richard! May he forever RIP.

 

It's great to be here. It's great to be anywhere. - Keith Richards
Honored Social Butterfly

How did I forget to mention Aretha, The Queen of Soul!!

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Bronze Conversationalist

The Four Tops "Reach Out (I'll Be There)" was the first Motown 45 that got me into checking out the Temptations, Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson, Diana Ross, Chi-lites, and many more. I was 9 when that song came out and played on AM radio and I loved it and still do. 

Honored Social Butterfly

The major influences for me were the vocal harmonies of Doo-Wop and the Motown & Memphis sounds. My favorite Motown artists were the Temptations and Martha & Vandellas. The Memphis sound included Sam & Dave and Otis Redding.

Silver Conversationalist

Wow, let’s see we’ll Ten City black musicians does it for me. There voice and there is always a message. Sweetheart the best part is you can Dance 💃 to it.   2021 Black coffee listen to them

Racquel Evans
Honored Social Butterfly

Thinking on this topic leads to me to the

Motown sound. And that leads me to one

of my favorite groups The Four Tops. 

have always loved them since the 60’s.

Their sound with the incredible Levi

Stubbs (RIP) on lead vocals has kept me 

listening to them to this day 🎼💜

Periodic Contributor

Agree. Levi Stubbs was incredible. Personally, Whitney Houston's cover of "I Believe in You and Me" never really did it for me. 

Social Butterfly

Tina Turner, What's Love Got To Do With It! Strong black lady walked away from abuse from hubbie Ike Turner. As an African American Woman, I use Tina as an inspiration for myself and adult daughter. Thank you so much for posting this @AARPLynne 👌

Periodic Contributor

Definitely Tina!  

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