In the early 1970s, Motown Records released politically charged albums on a subsidiary called Black Forum – most of which faded into obscurity. Now, the producer and historian Pat Thomas has collected the sounds and the stories of artists like Langston Hughes, Elaine Brown, Amiri Baraka and more, for the book “Listen Whitey! The Sights and Sounds of Black Power 1965-1975.”
Listen to the history of the label here.
Via NPR - The Strange Sound Of Motown’s Early Hollywood Years
Full read and audio commentary here.
Brother Marvin asked “What’s Going On?”. Everything he sang about on that song is relevant today. 41 years later, we are addressing the same issues. It’s like things never really changed. They say history repeats itself. I disagree. For repetition to occur, there must have been an end at one point. I don’t think the madness ever ceased. It’s been a long continuous struggle.
R.I.P. Marvin Gaye: April 2, 1939 – April 1, 1984
Had a little “episode” with a friend. She said “I love the Beatles. ‘Please Mr. Postman’ is the best song they ever wrote.” The music nerd in me couldn’t let that slide. I had to remind her that it wasn’t their song, and they didn’t write it. It was by The Marvelettes, and it was written by Georgia Dobbins, Brian Holland and William Garrett. Georgia Dobbins was an original member of the group who left before the group became successful. My friend had no idea that the song was a cover or who The Marvelettes were. Little tidbit, Marvin Gaye played the drums on the song.
Gladys Horton, the lead singer of the group died about two weeks ago to little fanfare. No disrespect towards The Beatles, I have nothing but respect for them as musicians and songwriters, but it bothers me when some of their fans don’t even know that a big chunk of their early catalog are covers.
I wonder if anyone knows who Arthur Alexander is today. Look him up, and see who has covered him. It’s an all-star list which includes The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan and Marshall Crenshaw to name a few. A lot of people are wealthy because of his material. He ended up a bus driver.
R.I.P. Gladys Horton. You are not forgotten.
Photo Credit - Gilles Petard