Music History

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Music History Fact: Concept Albums

Nat King Cole“[Nat King] Cole and [Frank] Sinatra became the first and second performers to record concept albums; LPs with a theme, more than just a collection of singles.” -From, “Nat King Cole” By: Daniel Epstein

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Beverly Johnson On Samba Music

Beverly JohnsonIn her autobiography, Beverly Johnson discusses falling in love with samba music during her month-and-a-half photo soot on Brazil: “We shot a variety of photo layouts during the six weeks in Brazil, but I also managed to fit in samba classes every day. I fell in love with samba, a distinctive kind of music with African roots that really took off at the beginning of the twentieth century in Rio de Janeiro. That music was strongly influenced by the immigrant population from the Brazilian state of Bahia, and it later inspired the dance that shares its name. Learning it brought me a great deal of joy.”

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Which Famous Football Player Was Natalie Cole’s College Classmate?

Vintage Natural Hair Beauty Natalie Cole 1In her autobiography, Natalie Cole briefly talked about going to college with OJ Simpson. They both attended USC. Natalie Cole said that she became friends with OJ Simpson. She also said she was impressed by him. He was the school’s football hero. She said that they first met each other when he almost ran over her in front of the school’s library. They remained friends since their first meeting on campus. She even visited him, and his first wife, when he played for the Buffalo Bills.

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Music History Fact Of The Week: Adam Clayton Powell Jr. & Fats Waller

Fats WallerAdam Clayton Powell Jr. and Fats Waller were childhood friends. When Fats Waller passed in 1943, Adam Clayton Powell Jr. delivered his eulogy.

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Music History Fact Of The Week: Natalie Cole

Elsie Law LogoNatalie Cole was the first female artist to have two platinum album releases in the same year: “Thankful, Thankful” and “Unpredictable”; both released in 1977.

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The Start Of The Black Underground Music Scene In New York

Juke Joint“There had, of course, been slave music and dancing in the city in the colonial period, but there had always been limits to these activities: No matter how successful black New Yorkers were at testing the limits of their bondage, they were still slaves, usually living under their owners’ direct supervision. The exhilaration of recently won freedom, the shucking off of petty restrictions, the establishment of independent households, and the influx of blacks with diverse experiences in Africa, the Caribbean, or elsewhere in the United States was a potent mix that would influence the contours of black New York culture, particularly music and dance. As slavery gradually wound down, black music and dance found a new venue and, in the case of New York, that venue was literally underground.”-From, “Slavery in New York”

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Music History Fact Of The Week: Lou Rawls & Sam Cooke Were High School Classmates

sam cooke, george mccurn, rene hall, j.w. alexander and lou rawlsAccording to Bobby Womack’s autobiography, Lou Rawls and Same Cooke were high school classmates.

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Music History Fact Of The Week: Dick Gregory Named Marvin Gaye’s Album

According to a biography written by Marvin Gaye’s wife, Jan Gaye, in addition to giving Marvin Gaye health and nutrition advice, Dick Gregory also gave Marvin Gaye the title to his album, “Here, My Dear.”

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Music History Fact Of The Week

Elsie Law LogoRapper, Scarface, is related to Johnny Nash. The Bob Marley collaborator and “I Can See Clearly Now” creator is a cousin of the rapper/musician.

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Music History Fact: How The Vandellas Got Their Name

Elsie Law LogoMartha Reeves named her group, “The Vandellas,” after Van Dyke Street in Detroit and Della Reese. She said Della Reese was a major influence on her.

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