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Favorite Songs by Black Singers/Groups

GUEST,pasweetie777 16 Mar 10 - 04:32 AM
Azizi 23 Sep 09 - 12:25 AM
Azizi 22 Sep 09 - 11:58 PM
wysiwyg 22 Sep 09 - 11:31 PM
VirginiaTam 22 Sep 09 - 04:10 PM
Azizi 22 Sep 09 - 03:28 PM
Azizi 22 Sep 09 - 01:51 PM
Mr Happy 22 Sep 09 - 10:55 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 21 Sep 09 - 01:46 PM
Azizi 21 Sep 09 - 12:22 PM
Barry Finn 21 Sep 09 - 11:02 AM
Mr Happy 21 Sep 09 - 10:31 AM
Azizi 21 Sep 09 - 09:50 AM
Azizi 21 Sep 09 - 02:59 AM
Azizi 21 Sep 09 - 02:45 AM
Barry Finn 21 Sep 09 - 12:32 AM
Azizi 20 Sep 09 - 09:06 PM
Stringsinger 20 Sep 09 - 08:26 PM
oldhippie 20 Sep 09 - 07:33 PM
Azizi 19 Sep 09 - 07:23 PM
sing4peace 19 Sep 09 - 06:32 PM
Azizi 19 Sep 09 - 05:25 PM
Stringsinger 19 Sep 09 - 04:27 PM
Azizi 19 Sep 09 - 03:28 PM
Azizi 19 Sep 09 - 03:21 PM
Azizi 19 Sep 09 - 03:12 PM
Azizi 19 Sep 09 - 02:58 PM
Azizi 19 Sep 09 - 02:33 PM
Azizi 19 Sep 09 - 01:10 PM
Azizi 19 Sep 09 - 12:20 PM
GUEST,Tunesmith 19 Sep 09 - 03:02 AM
Helen 10 Sep 08 - 04:01 PM
Azizi 10 Sep 08 - 02:55 PM
GUEST,hg 10 Sep 08 - 01:41 PM
Paul Burke 10 Sep 08 - 11:27 AM
Azizi 10 Sep 08 - 11:16 AM
GUEST,OneWorld 09 Sep 08 - 11:04 PM
GUEST,Bart 09 Sep 08 - 09:02 AM
Art Thieme 08 Sep 08 - 12:50 AM
Arkie 07 Sep 08 - 10:44 PM
Azizi 07 Sep 08 - 06:49 PM
Azizi 07 Sep 08 - 06:46 PM
Helen 06 Sep 08 - 06:03 PM
GUEST,Marymac90 06 Sep 08 - 01:49 PM
John Minear 06 Sep 08 - 07:10 AM
GUEST,machree01 06 Sep 08 - 06:42 AM
Barry Finn 06 Sep 08 - 03:20 AM
Mr Happy 05 Sep 08 - 08:59 AM
Mr Happy 05 Sep 08 - 08:56 AM
Azizi 05 Sep 08 - 08:40 AM
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Subject: RE: Favorite Songs by Black Singers/Groups
From: GUEST,pasweetie777
Date: 16 Mar 10 - 04:32 AM

I have a vinyl album never released of Olatunji. How much do you think something like that is worth?

pasweetie777@aol.com


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Subject: RE: Favorite Songs by Black Singers/Groups
From: Azizi
Date: 23 Sep 09 - 12:25 AM

In skimming through this thread, I realized that the only Reggae songs I had posted were a few by Bob Marley. Here are some additional links to Reggae songs that I like*:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lOhBOdxO6Hg&feature=related

Burning Spear-Slavery days


**

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TKtURqCt-JQ&feature=related

Peter Tosh - Johnny Be Goode

**

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQnyunGnvwY

Gregory Isaacs House of the rising sun



* It also occurs to me that the real title of this thread is Songs you like that is recorded by Black singsers/groups :o)

I should also mention that watching the videos and seeing the photo collages adds to my enjoyment of these songs. And watching these videos also can be learning experiences.


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Subject: RE: Favorite Songs by Black Singers/Groups
From: Azizi
Date: 22 Sep 09 - 11:58 PM

Susan and all other folks, I've said what I wanted to say about codes and African American spirituals/"plantation"* secular songs on this thread.

If you or anyone else wants to continue that conversation on another thread, I may join you if the spirit moves me to do so.

However, hencefort, I'll limit my posts to sharing more examples of my favorite songs by Black singers/groups, and commenting on the examples of songs that other folks have posted.


* I put the word "plantation" in quotes because not all African American secular songs (or spirituals, for that matter) from the 19th century or earlier came from the Bladk folks living on large or small plantations.


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Subject: RE: Favorite Songs by Black Singers/Groups
From: wysiwyg
Date: 22 Sep 09 - 11:31 PM

Re: Codes in spirituals.

Of COURSE spirituals were codes. Many-layered, most probably. I would bet most of us are not smart enough to understand all the layers. It simply requires too great a leap of culture for us, nowadays. (What, we want to be re-creators???)

OK, if we can agree there were codes "of some sort," ya know-- that might be all we need to agree upon about it. Why not just be satisfied with that degree of agreement?

I think it's silly to think that we, here, in this time period, can crack the code. It's not our business! It was as clear as it needed to be, to people who needed it to be clear, at the time it was needed. Now, it's mystery.

That does not mean it's lost. We can celebrate mystery, but not if we try TOO hard to pin it down-- IMO the genre was always meant to be so much looser than that. When you try to pin it down. I've learned that's a sure sign you've missed the main point of it all. Contemplate, reflect, wonder-- but don't try to resolve it, folks-- that's not what it was FOR.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Favorite Songs by Black Singers/Groups
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 22 Sep 09 - 04:10 PM

God too numerous to count.

My prized possession in my teens was my Motown Collection on 8 track, that I picked up at a 711 store with chore money and saved allowance. 3 tapes cost me $6.99.

My mom was not happy about me spending that kind of money on something so frivolous. But then she went a little mad, when I paid $17.00 for a pair of Thom McCann pseudo Earth shoes a couple of years later.

Back to the music. I had many happy hours spent bopping around with friends and siblings to the music on those tapes. Siblings not to touch on pain of making their lives miserable when I was babysitting.

Marvin Gaye almost any and every thing.

Mel and Tim - Backfield in Motion (why does that one stick with me?)

My man Otis Redding. How can you not love him?

Stevie Wonder of course.

Yes to early Di Ross and Supremes.

Did not like the 5the Dimension at all.


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Subject: RE: Favorite Songs by Black Singers/Groups
From: Azizi
Date: 22 Sep 09 - 03:28 PM

I found this old African American gospel song on another blog:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=avR5FJtnFow&feature=PlayList&p=9FBBC0FDFE0DB024&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=42
The Meditation Singers - Jesus, Be A Fence


**

Hearing this song and seeing the title, I realized that the title I had always given to that song wasn't its real name. I've always called it "Jesus Guard The Events" ("always" meaning "since I heard it sung, maybe on a Gospel radio program because for what ever reason I don't connect this song to my childhood church. Or if one of the church choirs did sing this song, they couldn't have sung it often since my family and I were always in our Baptist church (on Sundays and usually at least one other day of the week) and if this song was sung there more than once, I believe that I would have remembered it and knew its "real" words.

The first two lines of this gospel song are:

"I want Jesus to be a fence all around me every day.
I want Jesus to protect me as I travel on my way."

-snip-

The way I've sung it (to myself) is:

"I want Jesus to guard the events all around me every day.
I want Jesus to protect me as I travel on my way."

-snip-

I suppose this is an example of "folk etymology" before I even knew what that folk etymology was. I changed the phrase "be a fence" to "guard the events" since the latter made more sense to me. Actually, Jesus guarding the events still makes more sense to me than Jesus "being a fence" all around me (though I understand now that a fence is a means of protection). When I was growing up I didn't live in a neighborhood that had fences around houses. Maybe that's why I didn't understand that analogy.

But now that I do know the real words to this song, I feel that I have a choice to make regarding which words to sing.

And my choice is to keep singing this song (to myself) my way.


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Subject: RE: Favorite Songs by Black Singers/Groups
From: Azizi
Date: 22 Sep 09 - 01:51 PM

Hello, Mr. Happy. Thanks for your clarification of your question.

What I meant by the title is Favorite songs [that have been recorded] by Black Singers/Groups".


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Subject: RE: Favorite Songs by Black Singers/Groups
From: Mr Happy
Date: 22 Sep 09 - 10:55 AM

Azizi,

No I meant as in the thread title: RE: Favorite Songs by Black Singers/Groups


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Subject: RE: Favorite Songs by Black Singers/Groups
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 21 Sep 09 - 01:46 PM

The myths about code words seems to be mostly the inventions of white singers since 1950. Of course slaves had sly ways of referring to their overseers, but these were not escape codes.

Slaves were moved north mostly through the work of the underground railway, which had many unsung workers. As Azizi quoted from an old post of mine, word of mouth was the main means of getting a slave to the first 'safe house'. The efforts of these workers, and of the successfully transported slaves, make interesting reading.

The Fugitive Slave Act passed by Congress would insure capture of almost all slaves who tried to escape without help. Bounty hunters abounded.

This has been discussed in thread 17760: Drinking Gourd

(That 'gourd' song seems to have been an invention of the 'collector'. It cannot be verified, as pointed out in that thread. A slave would have had to be an idiot to think the north star would guide him to freedom.)


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Subject: RE: Favorite Songs by Black Singers/Groups
From: Azizi
Date: 21 Sep 09 - 12:22 PM

Barry. Alright. :o)

**

Mr Happy ??

If you mean the post that is right before yours, nosialmenara selected information/photos etc about "Classic and rare R&B/Soul Sisters from the (1950s to the '1970s)" and presents that information on that webpage.


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Subject: RE: Favorite Songs by Black Singers/Groups
From: Barry Finn
Date: 21 Sep 09 - 11:02 AM

Azizi
"My point was-and remains-that all of the spirituals didn't contain coded messages, and for those spirituals that did include such codes, those coded words likely didn't mean the code each time that they were sung."

I'm in full agreement with you

Barry


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Subject: RE: Favorite Songs by Black Singers/Groups
From: Mr Happy
Date: 21 Sep 09 - 10:31 AM

........when you say 'by' - do you mean written by or sung by?


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Subject: RE: Favorite Songs by Black Singers/Groups
From: Azizi
Date: 21 Sep 09 - 09:50 AM

FYI, I just found this website of "Classic and rare R&B/Soul Sisters ('50s to '70s)"
http://rateyourmusic.com/list/nosialmenara/classic_and_rare_randb_soul_sisters__50s_to_70s_

This list was compiled by nosialmenara, who also has a blog on this subject at http://supersoulsisters.blogspot.com/


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Subject: RE: Favorite Songs by Black Singers/Groups
From: Azizi
Date: 21 Sep 09 - 02:59 AM

A lot of discussion in several Mudcat threads like this one are about the meanings of various words that weren't written in code in this particular song from another Black tradition:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LP77Saty1cE.

Dixie Cups - Iko Iko (oldies show).


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Subject: RE: Favorite Songs by Black Singers/Groups
From: Azizi
Date: 21 Sep 09 - 02:45 AM

Barry and Frank, I have never said that there were no coded spirituals during slavery time. Of course there were. I have read that some coded words and phrases meant other things besides a fellow slave or more than one perrsons' imminent departure to freedom. For instance, I read that one word (which escapes me now-no pun intended), meant that a "social" dance was on in the area where the slaves usually go to worship.

My point was-and remains-that all of the spirituals didn't contain coded messages, and for those spirituals that did include such codes, those coded words likely didn't mean the code each time that they were sung.

Furthermore, I continue to remain unconvinced that the specific song (which is not a spiritual, by the way) "Follow The Drinking Gourd" was actually a song that enslaved Black people used to as a code that would help them find their way safely from bondage.

And wih regard to your statement, Barry, that "Like shanties you could sing whatever the hell you wanted without fear or reprisal", I would like to offer my opinion that shanties were not the same as coded spirituals in that there could indeed be severe reprisals for enslaved persons planning to flee slavery if those plans were revealed. Frank wrote "Certainly there was betrayal but I don't think it was widespread."

I'm not convinced that "betrayal of Black people by another Black person or persons" (be they "house slaves" or "field slaves) was not widespread.

And I think that one of the major points that differentiates shanties from coded slave songs was that if that coded song was decoded -meaning: if a slave alerted the master/mistress/slave driver to the imminent departure of a fellow slave, he or she would likely receive some reward, even if that reward was a little bit more rations that week.

If I were making secret plans to undertake the highly dangerous effort of fleeing slavery, I certainly wouldn't tell my entire community because I know that some people I live with and work with might be snitches, and sometimes the snitches are the people you least likely expect would betray you.

And that's all I have to say-in this thread-about the subject of coded slave songs, although I thank you Frank and Barry for your posts as I believe that they add value to this thread.

If you or others want to continue this discussion-in this thread-of course you are free to do so.

But I'm free to return to more light hearted listing of my favorite songs by Black singers or Black groups.


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Subject: RE: Favorite Songs by Black Singers/Groups
From: Barry Finn
Date: 21 Sep 09 - 12:32 AM

I'd have to give Frank more than just mere agreement. Singing is a language & slaves used it to the max. In the song Ol Riley, I asked the Georgia Sea Island singers who was Riley thinking it may be a possible connection to "Riley" of found in sea shanties. I was told that Riley was a slave driver, kinder than most others & that's why they would rather leave with Riley rather than face a new slave driver that they didn't know & would alomst assuredly be much harded on them. Riley was his nickname & so his real name couldn't be used but everyone knew he was going & who he was. Go to the prison work songs the language was used there to & againg their white oppressors didn't care to listen to the songs never mind the content as long as the work got done & they (the oppressors) knew the work would not get done as well or as effeciently without the singing. Like shanties you could sing whatever the hell you wanted without fear or reprisal.
The slave communication network was quite vast but simple. Their communities knew more of the world boarding the Alantic Rim than probably most of their white "betters". They were constantly being shipped or worked in ports where they had all the lastest news, this was their mail route & their telephone line, they would know who made it safely to the north, they not only worked the waterfront & ships they worked their own form of infomation pipeline too & they worked it very well.
For more on this see "Black Hands, White Sails" by P & F McKissack pub. by Scholastic Press 1999 & "Black Jacks-African American Seamen in the Age of Sail" b W Jeffrey Bolster pub. by Harvard University Press 1997

As Frank mentions there are plenty of examples where slave songs sing of how to carry oneself, how to behave, how to survive, how to cook, how to hunt & how to find one's way to freedom & how to dance.
Another good resource, although from a slighted view is "Slave Songs of the Georgia Sea Islands" by Lydia Parrish, pub. by the University of Georgia Press 1942

Barry


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Subject: RE: Favorite Songs by Black Singers/Groups
From: Azizi
Date: 20 Sep 09 - 09:06 PM

Thanks for your response, Frank. But I'm not convinced. I think there's a lot of fakelore about African American "slave culture" including the use of code in spirituals.

With all due respect to you Frank,(and you know how much I admire your musicianship and experiences), I believe that there are so many references about spirituals as code beceaus people keep repeating what other people have written about that.

In particular, I'm not convinced that "Follow The Drinking Gourd" was really a song that was used by runaway Black slaves. See this quote from one of the posts that Mudcatter Q wrote about this on a thread about that particular song:

"In the over 75 years since Parks published his story and song in 1928, no one has found any evidence of the pegleg conductor. There are no citations other than those based on Parks article.
The story is dubious, since the underground railway operated by word of mouth in getting the escapee to the 'first station,' a safe location or house. A 'conductor' would supervise from then on.

Also, as noted in this thread, 13 Apr 05, going north solo was almost a sure way to get caught, since the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 applied in ALL states; if found anywhere, the slave by law was returned to his owners.

The story has been embroidered by singers like Campbell and Seeger (the one in the DT, for example) and in a book for children that I have seen"...

thread.cfm?threadid=17760#1487775


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Subject: RE: Favorite Songs by Black Singers/Groups
From: Stringsinger
Date: 20 Sep 09 - 08:26 PM

Azizi,

Many of the references are explicit. There were also quilts made as road maps.

Religious syncretism exists throughout the world. There is no reason to think that it isn't part of the African American experience. Dual meanings are a pattern for survival.

The white plantation owners did know the songs but not as code songs. For example,
a white owner or overseer would not know necesarily that he was the Pharoah of "Pharoah's Army Got Drownded".

"Follow The Drinking Gourd" is explicit. "Steal Away". "Down By the Riverside".
Too many references here.

I think that many of the slaveowners were clueless. They ignored the songs or read into them their meanings of conventional religious expression.

Certainly there was betrayal but I don't think it was widespread.

The issue of religion and it's role in the Black Community needs to be studied in depth,
however. There is a lot of misconceptions about how it functions here.

Frank


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Subject: RE: Favorite Songs by Black Singers/Groups
From: oldhippie
Date: 20 Sep 09 - 07:33 PM

Anthem Of The Rainbow - Odetta


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Subject: RE: Favorite Songs by Black Singers/Groups
From: Azizi
Date: 19 Sep 09 - 07:23 PM

Hi, Joyce!

Thanks for adding to the lists of favorite songs by Black singers/groups.

Your list makes for some great listening!

**

I'm not sure if Nina Simone has been mentioned on this thread yet. If so, I may be duplicating some of her songs that I really like.

Here a few hyperlinks to Nina Simone YouTube videos:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NAYVaHEMK0I&feature=related
Nina Simone 'Mississippi goddam' (Live in the Sixties)

**

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qCwME6Jpn3s&feature=related
Nina Simone: Four Women (Festival Jazz di Antibes del 1965).

**


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H6_BWNzThJY&feature=related

sinnerman nina simone


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Subject: RE: Favorite Songs by Black Singers/Groups
From: sing4peace
Date: 19 Sep 09 - 06:32 PM

A partial list of songs in my repertoire that I learned from the singing of Black Singers/Groups:

Billie Holiday: Them There Eyes, God Bless the Child, All of Me, It's a Sin To Tell A Lie, Please Don't Talk About Me When I'm Gone
Bessie Smith: Oh Daddy
Ray Charles: Funny, But I Still Love You, Georgia on My Mind
Sam Cooke - You Send Me, Since I Fell For You
The Ink Spots - I Don't Want To Set the World On Fire, Java Jive
The Freedom Singers - This Little Light of Mine, Hold On, Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me 'Round, I'm On My Way, Wade in the Water
Betty Fikes especially on - Up Over My Head
Mississippi John Hurt - My Creole Belle
Huddie Ledbetter- Midnight Special, Good Night Irene
Sweet Honey In The Rock - More Than A Paycheck, We Who Believe in Freedom
Louis Armstrong - A Kiss To Build A Dream On
Tracy Chapman - Behind the Wall
Rev. Frederick Douglas Kirkpatrick - Ain't I A Woman Too?
Dinah Washington - I'll Never Be Free, Salty Papa Blues, Ain't Misbehavin', Please Send Me Someone To Love, Stormy Weather
William Handy - St. Louis Blues

Of course there are a kazillion more that I love, but those are some of the ones I play.

Great thread. Looking forward to a rainy afternoon when I can check out all of the links you put up. Thanks for all that work.

Joyce


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Subject: RE: Favorite Songs by Black Singers/Groups
From: Azizi
Date: 19 Sep 09 - 05:25 PM

Thanks for your post, Frank.

The only thing that I would disagree with you about is the portion of your post in which you write ... "The spirituals which were code for escape routes during the Underground Railroad".

I don't believe that all spirituals (or even most spirituals) always contained coded references about escaping from slavery.

**

"Swing Low, Sweet Chariot", "Wade In The Water" or "Steal Away" are the three spirituals that are most often named when people are referring to this "spirituals as code" theory. While these spirituals might have been used to convey the message that someone (or more than one person) would be trying to escape from slavery, I'm not convinced that these songs (and/or other songs) conveyed that message every time they were sung. I doubt this spirituals as code to escaping slavery" theory is accurate because:

Trying to flee slavery was a dangerous undertaking. People were beated and mutilated or worse for unsuccessfully attempting to flee slavery. It seems to me that secrecy would be vitally important to the success of such dangerous plans.

The "spirituals as code" theory presupposes that only certain slaves knew the true meaning of the words and phrases within these songs, or the true meaning of the act of singing the songs themselves. That theory also presupposes that every Black person was in on the secret of the songs, and could be trusted not to "tell on" a fellow slave and warn the overseer/driver (who might have been Black). And that theory presupposes that there were no loyal Black stool pigeons who would tell the White massa that an escape from slavery was imminent.

Furthermore, the "spirituals as code" theory presupposes that White people on the plantation rarely or never heard these songs. Or if they did hear those songs, this theory presupposes that White people were so clueless that they couldn't connect the fact that a particular song was always sung right before the successful escape of an enslaved person.

I'm sorry. I can't buy any of these theories.

Were there coded spirituals? Yes, I'm sure there were. But it seems more likely to me that some renditions of these spirituas might mean that a person would be fleeing slavery, and some renditions of the same song would mean nothing more than the people were singing a religious song.

Of course, this is just my opinion. I wasn't there-unless I was a slave or a slave master/mistress in one of my former lives. But if I was, I don't remember it. Consequently, I'm left with just my opinion. And now you also know what my opinion is of the "spirituals as code" theory.


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Subject: RE: Favorite Songs by Black Singers/Groups
From: Stringsinger
Date: 19 Sep 09 - 04:27 PM

Azizi, in jazz I think of most influential people are Louis Armstrong and Charlie Parker.
For me they define the evolution of jazz.

The Gospel Quartet is a high-water mark of musical achievement. "The Golden Gate Quartet", "The Pilgrim Travelers" and the "Dixie Hummingbirds".

Mahalia Jackson is one of the most potent vocalists of all.

Louis made every song his own. Parker changed the tunes and made them his own.
Notably, "Lover Come Back To Me" by Romberg became "Bird Gets The Worm", one of the most incredible displays of technical artistry and imagination ever done on a horn.
(Check the album, "The Genius of Charlie Parker")

BB King's blues. Josh White, a remarkable folk stylist for his time.

Count Basie swung the swing in the hotel bands in Chicago.

Ella, Sassy, Billie, (legendary vocalists, so much so that we know them by their first names.)

Coltrane may emerge as being an important figure in his association with Miles Davis.

The genre of Traditional New Orleans jazz reached a pinnacle in the early Twenties.
Bunk Johnson, George Lewis, Jelly Roll Morton and the Red Hot Peppers, The Hot Five and the Hot Seven,Sam Morgan's N.O. Orchestra, Clarence Williams Four, and many others.

Bessie Smith, "Chippie" Hill, Ma Rainey, and later Victoria Spivey and Alberta Hunter were notable female blues shouters.

Memphis Minnie, Sister Rosetta Thorpe were guitarist/singers, blues and gospel.

Black people lead the innovations and set the standards for jazz. Everyone else followed.

Don't forget Art Tatum, the piano virtuoso. Fats Waller would not play when Tatum came into his club. He would say, "god is in the room".

The songs? Billy Strayhorn who wrote "Lush Life" when he was a teenager. "Take the A Train". "Caravan". Eubie Blake and Noble Sissle, "I'm Just Wild About Harry" and "Memories of You".

"Georgia Tom" who wrote "Tight Like That" became converted by Mahalia Jackson and then as Thomas A. Dorsey (Mahalia's accompanist) wrote "Precious Lord, Lead Me On", "Peace in the Valley" and other notable gospel songs.

The spirituals which were code for escape routes during the Underground Railroad
are some of the finest songs ever made.

Favorite songs?   There are so many. We are so fortunate in our cultural life to have the contribution of Black Artists. They inspire us all.

Frank Hamilton


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Subject: RE: Favorite Songs by Black Singers/Groups
From: Azizi
Date: 19 Sep 09 - 03:28 PM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sYrK464nIeY&feature=related
'Black Betty' LEADBELLY, Blues Legend

**

Leadbelly's version reminds me of a number of African American girls' playground rhymes, especially the rhyme "Pizza Pizza Daddy-O" that is one of the rhymes featured in this "1967 film by Bob Eberein and Bess Lomax Hawes that looks at continuity and change in [African American]girls' playground games at a Los Angeles school":


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N2YodFqZ7nQ


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Subject: RE: Favorite Songs by Black Singers/Groups
From: Azizi
Date: 19 Sep 09 - 03:21 PM

Here's a link to the African American folk song "Black Betty":

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xwxxXt--PQo&feature=related
James Baker and gang - "Black Betty"


blindboyblue
January 22, 2009

"This is the first known recording of this song. Done in 1933 by John Lomax at Central State Farm in Texas. Performed by James Baker and a gang of fellow convicts. Leadbelly recorded his version of this song, again for John Lomax about 3 years later. Taken from Library Of Congress lp.

What is Black Betty? After reading numerous books and scouring sleeve notes and booklets I can say there is no diffinative answer. Popular meanings are a prison transfer wagon, a bull whip (or guard carrying one), a woman, a whiskey bottle and a gun. A song recorded by Lomax "Let Your Hammer Ring" also refers to Black Betty. Being interviewed by Lomax about the song a prisoner stated it refered to the transfer wagon.

It is of course possible prisoners being interviewed wouldn't want to give away the meaning as being a guard or guard with whip for obvious reasons.

[Thanks to jamesdv54 for additional info].

Prison songs, spirituals and hollers could be used to convey messages to fellow workers and prisoners etc. Say about a revival meeting or whereabouts of guards and such. It's important to remember though the circumstance of the singers. Their workdays were long, hard, unfulfilling and often against their will. As such, for the most part, the songs served as a cadence to get the work done or a means to lift the spirit.

Here's the lyrics as we hear them:

Remember every sentence is followed by a "bam-a-lam"/"bam-ba-lam". The "x2" in brackets indicates the sentence is sung twice. The words in brackets indicate the change for the second repition.

Oh black betty (x2)
Black Betty where you come from (x2)
Well I come from.....?...
Well I'm going to Texacana
Black betty what's your number (x2)
750 (x2)
Oh lord (lordy) black betty (x2)
Black betty had a baby (x2)
and the damn thing crazy
ah, she dipped it's head in gravy (x2)
Oh lord black betty (x2)
Black betty where she (you) come from (x4)
Oh lord (lordy) black betty (x2)
Now (oh) the baby had blue eyes (x2)
Well it must have been the captains (x2)
Oh lordy black betty (x2)


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Subject: RE: Favorite Songs by Black Singers/Groups
From: Azizi
Date: 19 Sep 09 - 03:12 PM

Here are some YouTube links to (very short) videos of African American work songs:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ch5IWTavUc&NR=1
Negro Prison Songs / "Rosie"1947 [RARE]

monQsurlaKomod
August 08, 2008

..recorded at Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman in 1947.. ..taken from italian version'wax L.P. from 1977 ALBATROS Records..
..recorded at Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman in 1947..
..taken from italian version'wax L.P. from 1977 ALBATROS Records..

**

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=025QQwTwzdU&feature=related
Gandy Dancers

folkstreamer
June 23, 2008

"Musical traditions and recollections of eight retired African-American railroad track laborers whose occupational folk songs were once heard on railroads that crisscross the South."

**

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oms6o8m4axg&feature=channel
Work Songs in a Texas Prison

folkstreamer
July 08, 2006

"Pete and Toshi Seeger, their son Daniel, and folklorist bruce jackson visited a Texas prison in huntsville in March of 1966 and produced this rare document of worksongs by inmates of the Ellis Unit."


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Subject: RE: Favorite Songs by Black Singers/Groups
From: Azizi
Date: 19 Sep 09 - 02:58 PM

Here's link to a Ghanaian song that men sung while beating a huge rock with smaller rocks (as substitutes for drums)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RoUNk0kb1x0&feature=related

Old African Slave Song
rorhan
November 14, 2008

"This is in northern Ghana. I went on a tour of one of the oldest slave sights. They were not allowed to play their drums, so they took rocks."


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Subject: RE: Favorite Songs by Black Singers/Groups
From: Azizi
Date: 19 Sep 09 - 02:33 PM

Here's a link to a contemporary Kenyan gospel song:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zxb_gy8cYEc&feature=related
Ruth Wamuya-Pili Pili

eloow
April 29, 2007

"Swahili african gospel"

**

Here's a viewer's comment that explains what the song is about:

"pilipili MEANS Pepper" she sings how can Pepper NOT in ur mouth hurt youß & if you see that someone is blessed, how does it concern you, when she was in temptations you took on ur heels, & left her to suffer,& now she`s blessed,she`s suffered all alone & why do u wanna be her friend now that she`s blessed, juz u r false friends & so on...it`s juz a real gud everyday`s life song that teaches us to be good 2 others in GUD & BAD TIMES! NOT ONLY IN GUD TIMES!God bless U RUTH!
-baibegee

**

I like this video not just because I liked the singer's voice, and the tune is catchy (although the only word I understood was "Hallelujah"), but also because it shows scenes of urban Kenya.

I was interested to see that the singer and others danced to the music (which speaks the point I made in my previous post about how instrumental music, singing, and dancing are intricably connected for most Black Africans and people from the African Diaspora.

From watching videos of African choirs, it appears that those choirs dance while singing more than African American choirs do.


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Subject: RE: Favorite Songs by Black Singers/Groups
From: Azizi
Date: 19 Sep 09 - 01:10 PM

I'd like to put aside any debate about "what is folk music", and share my opinions as to why I think that there so little interest among African Americans in listening to and playing examples of 19th century & early work songs (including chain gang songs, levee songs, and shanties) and 19th century "plantation" dance songs and other non-religious songs from slavery? (Which I think is what Barry meant by "slave songs").

I'm putting aside the HUGH role the music industry/mass media plays in this equation except to say that

1. Musicians/vocalists who might have been interested in playing/singing this music (if they knew about it) would likely reject doing so because IMO music making is mostly a business nowadays and those performers would likely come to the conclusion (I think the accurate conclusion) that there is no money to be made in these types of music.

Which of course begs the question why is there no money to be made with these types of music, which goes back to the music industry but also I think is a reflection on the following points:

2. Few African Americans (or other Americans) know that this music exist. It's not taught in schools, and it certainly isn't heard over the radio or television etc etc

But why don't we (African Americans) embrace these types of music and play it for ourselves and demand that it get on air play?

3. (As Marymac90 shared in her 06 Sep 08 - 01:49 PM post to this thread), most African Americans do not want to be reminded of the bad ole days of slavery. But I think it's more to it than us not wanting to think about slavery and the difficult times of the past.

I think that African Americans are much more an innovative people than a conservative people. What I mean by that is that we (African Americans) don't value and treasure our past nearly as much as we should. Instead, we put the past aside and move on to our next innovation-in music, dance, language (slang), fashion etc. Old things-or parts of old things-have value if they can be repackaged into something new. Something old (like an "old school" dance) might even be reintroduced with little or no changes, but if it doesn't fit the mood and tempo of the times (which I think has speeded up considerably from the olden days of the 1960s even), it probably won't be embraced by that generation. (Which is another point-music in the USA-not just Black music- is packaged for the young (teens and young adults) and the middle aged, and not the old.)

4. Related to point #3, I believe that music, song, and dance are still intricately tied together for African Americans (and I think most Africans and other people of the African Diaspora). If you can't dance to the music, then it's not going to have a wide audience of African Americans.

I think that's a major reason why African Americans aren't "in to" Blues and/or Jazz music (two music forms that we created). Once dance became separated from Blues and from Jazz, and they primarily became "listening music" only, most Black folks moved on to other forms of music that we created as dance music. (See my point #3 as to why Jazz "swing" dancing isn't that big of a deal among Black Americans as it is among White Americans).

**

So that's a short version of my response to the questions Barry raised. I'm one year late, but I guess better late than never.


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Subject: RE: Favorite Songs by Black Singers/Groups
From: Azizi
Date: 19 Sep 09 - 12:20 PM

Tunesmith, thanks for refreshing this thread.

Your doing so gave me an opportunity to re-read it. And as a result of reading this thread again, I realize that I owe a long overdue apology to Barry Finn for my curt response to the questions he asked in his 06 Sep 08 - 03:20 AM.

Among the questions Barry asked were these:
"Why can't we get more examples of more 'roots' music....There's certinally enough of it in the past, why not now in the present...?

What about songs from railway workers of color, all the track lining gangs. Where the songs of the gandy dancers & the levee workers, the convicts, the songs & music of the slaves, mule skinners & drivers... where did it all go &

why is no one of color doing this music today? . Why aren't there more Black people interested in & playing & singing folk music?"

-snip-

When I started this thread I was in a "don't want to think heavy thoughts-mood. But that's no excuse for my brushing Barry's questions off, although admittedly he did not direct his questions to me. However, as the thread starter and the only self-identified Black person posting to this thread, I now believe that I should have at least briefly addressed Barry's questions.

I believe that those questions are legitimate, and I believe that that subject is certainly worthy of discussion. And that discussion may be better suited for its own thread. However, more people may read those kinds of posts if they're located within a "feel good" thread such as this one.

I'll send a private message to Barry regarding this, and also say in this public thread "Barry, "I'm sorry for my response to your questions".


Let me also belatedly say "Marymac90, I appreciate your responses to Barry's questions".

**

In my next post to this thread, I'll briefly share my opinion regarding what I think is the essence of the questions that Barry raised.


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Subject: RE: Favorite Songs by Black Singers/Groups
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 19 Sep 09 - 03:02 AM

I absolutely love this song by Jive Five. To me, it is the greatest example of the art of doo-wop. Originally a big hit in the States in the early 60s, but unknown in the UK at that time. This is a modernish clip of the group, but they still capture the beauty of the original recording.

The Jive Five - My True Story


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Subject: RE: Favorite Songs by Black Singers/Groups
From: Helen
Date: 10 Sep 08 - 04:01 PM

Darn it, Azizi. You're making me late for work, posting links to Babatunde Olantunji's YouTube videos. How can I just stop at watching one?

I'll have to rush home from work and watch all of the others this afternoon.

A few years ago I did an African drumming course two years in a row at an art camp. I loved the polyrhythms. I'll never be a drummer but the course makes me appreciate the complexity of drumming and percussion, especially African and African-heritage drumming, e.g. Afro-Cuban, etc. The two courses provide some of the best and most memorable experiences in my life.

Helen


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Subject: RE: Favorite Songs by Black Singers/Groups
From: Azizi
Date: 10 Sep 08 - 02:55 PM

GUEST,hg, your hyperlink didn't work for me. I'm not sure which site you wanted us to visit, but I found this link for Veronika Jackson:

http://cdbaby.com/cd/vjackson

Here are excerpts of the overview that is provided on that page for Veronika Jackson:

"Genuine, gutsy, blues voice accompanied by a soft Piedmont blues-style picking tells stories through each word sung, giving the listener a sound that is rare and sung from deep within.

Inspired by Odetta, Maya Angelou, Sweet Honey In The Rock, Bonnie Raitt, Alisha Keys, Gladys Knight, James Taylor, Huddie Leadbelly, Bessie Smith and Elizabeth Cotton, and Personal Coach John Di Lemme, Veronika says "They in their own way, through their lives and or music gave me the inspiration to Believe in Myself and My Music."...

For more than twenty years Veronika has performed for many venues and festivals, opening for various community radio stations, putting on concerts for community libraries, doing workshops, educating and performing on traditional and folk blues in her community and schools through her performances.

Veronika has also performed on numerous occasions for The Awareness of Breast Cancer. Giving of her time to help build homes for others and also dedicating homes for Habitat Humanity. She enjoys sharing
her music and storytelling with her audiences. Veronika keeps it real exposing many people to a new experience.

Veronika has traveled as far as France entertaining music lovers. Educating many on the history of folk blues, sharing on songs and stories to the audiences, through her life experiences. It is important to Miss Jackson to keep the history of her culture, folk music alive. She enjoys every moment as she entertains and educates her audiences through her music and storytelling.

Veronika Jackson's music will create a towering inferno within your soul"

-snip-

And she sounds great too!


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Subject: RE: Favorite Songs by Black Singers/Groups
From: GUEST,hg
Date: 10 Sep 08 - 01:41 PM

"You Don't Know My Mind", "Rag Man" "Ballad of Harriet Tubman" are some of my favoirte songs by my pal Veronika Jackson


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Subject: RE: Favorite Songs by Black Singers/Groups
From: Paul Burke
Date: 10 Sep 08 - 11:27 AM

I thought this had sunk out of sight- but it got me listening again to old African tapes- what about this voice of grace and authority- Nelly Uchendu!


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Subject: RE: Favorite Songs by Black Singers/Groups
From: Azizi
Date: 10 Sep 08 - 11:16 AM

Guest One World, your community choir sounds very interesting. I wish you much success!

With regard to your request, I don't have access to lyrics and musical scores of African songs. But I'd like to point you in the direction of one CD that I think might be of interest to you. That CD is Baba Olatunji's Drums Of Passion

Here's a write up about that CD:


Way before King Sunny Ade or Fela & Afrika 70 brought African music to American ears, there was Babatunde Olantunji's DRUMS OF PASSION. Produced by John Hammond and Teo Macero in 1959 for Columbia Records, it has never been out of print. This is quite a feat considering that this music consists strictly of traditional African drumming and accompanying chants. DRUMS OF PASSION is not a "field" recording however. Each of its eight substantial tracks is a spaciously recorded exhibition of crack African musicianship. Still, the mainly dignified tenor of the proceedings isn't quite as wild as the samba-mad BLACK ORPHEUS soundtrack, another 1959 recording that introduced real world rhythms to an intrigued Europe and United States. Still, it remains to this day a perfect introduction to authentic African roots music, a necessary reality check against the exotica of the late '50s"

-snip-

Here are several links to YouTube videos of Babatunde Olatunji:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZYhFyF8dvU4&feature=related
Babatunde Olatunji Jin-Go-Lo-Ba (Drums of Passion)

**

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zMuA-E--aWU&feature=related
Baba Olatunji & his Drums of Passion- Odunde

**
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8wp1PKuqwPk&feature=related
Baba Olatunji & his Drums of Passion- Akiwowo

-snip-

Additional Olatunji [oh-la-TOON-jee] videos are available on YouTube.

And here's another group performing the song Akiwowo [ah-kee-WOH-woh]. Imo, this clip shows the choral possibilities of that song better than the Olatunji video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y21xynbjlqg&feature=related
Akiwowo by Voices Of Africa Choral & Percussion Ensemble

"Akiwowo - The trainman, is a traditional song from Nigeria, West Africa about the trainman whose name is Akiwowo. This song was taught to us by Baba Tunde Olutunji. Also recorded by Santana in the 1970's."

-snip-

Btw, GuestOneWorld, I'm glad you asked your question about African songs because Olatunji's "Drums of Passion" was my introduction to traditional African music and the song "Jin go lo ba" in particular would be on my long list of songs that have had a tremendous positive influence on me.


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Subject: RE: Favorite Songs by Black Singers/Groups
From: GUEST,OneWorld
Date: 09 Sep 08 - 11:04 PM

I'm looking for 3 and 4-part African songs I can teach to my community choir. I've found lots of South African Freedom songs, and lots of Christian music, but very little else. I'm interested in Afro-Cuban and West African and Caribbean music. Any ideas? Thanks. OneWorldCommunityChoir


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Subject: RE: Favorite Songs by Black Singers/Groups
From: GUEST,Bart
Date: 09 Sep 08 - 09:02 AM

Hi I'd like to ask for some help.
Few years ago I've hard a black singer with the most thrilling voice ever, the bass was so low that it almost blew my speakers. I think I had an album of his called Yello/Yellow, or maybe it was a part of a band name, I've been trying to find it for a long time with no luck.
Can anyone help?


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Subject: RE: Favorite Songs by Black Singers/Groups
From: Art Thieme
Date: 08 Sep 08 - 12:50 AM

Bosie Sturdevant singing "Ain't No Grave Can Hold My Body Down" with members of his congregation vocally vamping in the background.

It is an absolutely superlative performance.

I haven't read this thread, but off the top, that is my absolute favorite.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Favorite Songs by Black Singers/Groups
From: Arkie
Date: 07 Sep 08 - 10:44 PM

Got to this a little late, and now I have a lot of listening to do. Some artists that I usually keep in my listening mix are Nina Simone, Fats Domino, the Platters, Taj Mahal and Richie Havens. I like just about everything I have heard from Nina Simone but have really enjoyed her versions of Dylan's songs. And I would not miss a chance to hear Richie Havens. He is one of my all-time favorite singers of any type. Also particularly like Joe and Eddies' version of There's A Meetin' Here Tonight. Len Chandler had recorded several songs "Lovin' People" and "My Father's Grave" that have haunted me for years. His LP was one of the first I digitally recorded when I finally got everything set up. Also like Rivers of Babylon by Boney M as well as Little Drummer Boy and When A Child Is Born. Will also mention Spoonful by Willie Dixon. And have to add Eric Bibb, son of Leon. Eric has a great recording with Rory Block and Maria Muldaur. Lightning Hopkins was one of the first blues singers I discovered many years ago, and I still enjoy his music. Two favorites by him are Lonesome Dog Blues and One Kind Favor. And finally another vote for Carolina Chocolate Drops and Odetta.


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Subject: RE: Favorite Songs by Black Singers/Groups
From: Azizi
Date: 07 Sep 08 - 06:49 PM

Merrymac, thanks for your comments.

**

Helen, I was lucky enough to find that Africa Stand Still CD set at a used music store. I agree it is very good.

Thanks, in particular, for providing a listing of Australian Aboriginal singers/musicians!


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Subject: RE: Favorite Songs by Black Singers/Groups
From: Azizi
Date: 07 Sep 08 - 06:46 PM

Barry Finn, in your 06 Sep 08 - 03:20 AM you listed various types of songs and asked {among other questions} where were examples of those songs in this thread and "why aren't there more Black people interested in & playing & singing folk music"., and "what did we do so wrong that [you] hardly see any festivals of color?"

I'm not sure that your questions are pertinent to this particular thread. However, if people wish to respond to your questions here or on another Mudcat thread, I'd be interested in reading their comments. But as for me, I just feel like listing my favorite songs by Black singers and Black groups, regardless of their genre.


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Subject: RE: Favorite Songs by Black Singers/Groups
From: Helen
Date: 06 Sep 08 - 06:03 PM

Hi Azizi,

I'm going to read all of this thread but it would take me all day to list my favourites, and without counting, I think that the majority of my popular/blues/swing etc CD & vinyl collection would be African, African-American or Black singers or groups or musicians.

Stand-out favourite: Billie Holiday. I recently bought a 10 CD set of her songs. I listen to the CD's almost every day at work. I don't get all the way through the 10 CD's in one day's work, but I pick up where I left off the next day. The more I hear her the more impressed with her skill I become, and the more enchanted. I've been learning piano this year and the first 3 piano books I bought have lots of Billie Holiday songs in them.

A partial list:

I have a 3 CD set of music from all over Africa, which I bought at least 12 years ago. Love it. When I was driving long hours in one job I played it in the car, just about non-stop for a year and a half.

Africa: Never Stand Still

Other artists I love:

Louis Armstrong (since I first heard him when I was little)
Special A.K.A.
Fats Domino
Chuck Berry
Nina Simone
Miriam Makeba
Kanda Bongo Man
Youssou N'Dour, including the duet he did with Neneh Cherry
Cab Calloway
Ladysmith Black Mambazo
Lots of blues and 1940's musicians
Michael Franti
Zap Mama

Also Australian Aboriginal singers/musicians:
Yothu Yindi
The Warumpi Band
Archie Roach
Jimmy Little
Christine Anu
Troy Cassar-Daley
Kev Carmody & Ruby Hunter

I'll have to look through my collection for a more complete list. I realised the other day that most of the music I play at work is African or African-American.

Helen


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Subject: RE: Favorite Songs by Black Singers/Groups
From: GUEST,Marymac90
Date: 06 Sep 08 - 01:49 PM

Hello Azizi, Barry, et al! Thanks again for starting this thread, Azizi!

Barry's post calls for some reflection and response. Barry, you make many good points, and I am not trying to disagree with the majority of what you said in your post. Hopefully, this will build on your post.

Barry, the "old" folk music, that which was passed down strictly through the oral tradition, was done so because there WERE no alternatives (except writing them down, and many folkies didn't read or write music, and some were illiterate). After recording technology was developed, of course, Lomax et al started recording people, and some went on from there to get careers as recording artists. I wish there had been more "Lomaxes" and they had recorded the other groups that you mentioned. I fear that there are few who remember the songs that those groups must have sung as they worked and entertained themselves.

In more recent times there is little need for another "Lomax" to record people--people who sing and play know that there is a way to record themselves, and market those recordings. The other side of that coin is that people no longer sing while they work, unless they are singing along with recordings, radio, etc. Most people don't sing with others for the fun of it, except for those who sing in church.

I don't think that you can say that "folk music" is either the music that was passed down by oral tradition from before there was recording technology, or the music that is labeled "folk music" and marketed to "folkies". IMHO, folk SONGS are those that are singable, and those that people who sing for their own pleasure like to sing.

The Philly FSS has two annual weekends rather like the Getaway, with somewhat less emphasis on the "trad" part of folk music. At these weekends, in addition to workshops focussed on Irish and bluegrass music, there are also workshops on doo wop, the Beatles and the British Invasion, the Grateful Dead, etc.

Certainly many songs that were once considered "country music" or "blues" have now been "adopted" into the "folk music" category. I think that many songs that were first categorized as "R&B", "soul" and "rock" deserve to be officially "adopted" into the folk genre as well.

On another thread there was discussion of how in some areas or organizations, folk music is synonomous with singer-songwritiers. I like a whole bunch of S/S'ers, but there are others whose tunes don't catch my ear, whose lyrics don't speak to my heart. At the same time, there are songs in the doo wop, soul, and rock categories that I could take to a song circle, and know the whole place would be singing with me in a heartbeat.

As far as why more African-Americans are not singing and playing older A-A music, I recall there was some discussion of that earlier in this thread. I do believe there is a sentiment in the A-A community that favors more modern music, movies, etc. My guess is that people feel uncomfortable being reminded of slavery and segregation times. I also think that A-A culture, like American culture in general, favors stars, top 40 hits, etc.

There are festivals that do draw many A-A attenders, but they tend to be in urban areas, and don't involve camping, etc. Both Philly and Wilmington DE have reggae festivals in their riverfront recreation areas, for instance.

Anyway, I don't think you side-swiped the thread, Barry. I may have committed a bigger sin myself--resurrecting the "What is folk music?" issue again! Please forgive me, and let the discussion continue!

Marymac


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Subject: RE: Favorite Songs by Black Singers/Groups
From: John Minear
Date: 06 Sep 08 - 07:10 AM

In a rather quick run through of this thread, I only found one reference to the Carolina Chocolate Drops. So I will add my vote for them! Check out their links here and Google them on You Tube. Look at where they have been in the last year and where they will be in the future. They are amazing musicians, artists and people.
http://www.carolinachocolatedrops.com/

http://www.myspace.com/carolinachocolatedrops


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Subject: RE: Favorite Songs by Black Singers/Groups
From: GUEST,machree01
Date: 06 Sep 08 - 06:42 AM

http://ie.youtube.com/watch?v=57tK6aQS_H0
The Platters - Smoke Gets In a Your Eyes.


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Subject: RE: Favorite Songs by Black Singers/Groups
From: Barry Finn
Date: 06 Sep 08 - 03:20 AM

Why can't we get more examples of more 'roots' music. The 'rock', 'hip-hop', 'rap', 'R&B', 'Soul' & etc are all well representive of Black singers & musicians & groups,,,,,BUT,,,,,this is a "folk site". Now I didn't mention "blues', 'Gospel' & 'Spirituals' cause I see blues & such as a folk genre. So where are all the examples of the folk side of the Black music scene (I know, we have seen some of these but where's the rest?)?

"The purpose of this thread is to share examples of songs from African American, African, Caribbean cultures and other Black cultures."

Well the African part has done well in this thread & so has the non folk genres, can we get a bit more folky here? I'd like to see more color in what I'd call a white folk scene & maybe this thread could shine a bit of light why that's not so.
There's certinally enough of it in the past, why not now in the present & will there be no Black roots/folk music in the future?

It's been documented by a few that up to 25% of the cowboys were of color, Where's their music (1 CD from the Lomax collection, titled "Black Texans")? The same figure has been said of sailors of color (that's about the highest I've seen though & that was for the NorthEast US during a very fine timeline) so where's their music? I did give a few examples above. What about songs from railway workers of color, all the track lining gangs. Where the songs of the gandy dancers & the levee workers, the convicts, the songs & music of the slaves, mule skinners & drivers (did Lomax write to only box on this subject?)? Is that all there is, tell me it ain't so, where did it all go & why is no one of color doing this music today? Why is the Carolina Chocolate Drops the only Black group (string band) that anybody can name (in this thread) that's doing the folk circut today (aside from Sparky, but he's not a group)? Is there not enough interest on our (White folkies) part, is there not enough interest on their (Black Folkies) part? It is strange because the worksongs from the Black culture where the last to survive (for the most part, in the white world). The Eastern seaboard's watermen singing up until the mid 1960's & the same with the convict gangs, the mid 1960's. Cowboys died out way back, lumberjacks, railtroad gangs & the canal workers not too long ago but still a good ways before the mid 60's. So did the type of music leave a bad taste in the mouths of the singers that they felt that they needed to remove this type of music from their folk memory? Did the folk collectors neglect something in their search? No, there are collections.
Still you've got the bluse so maybe that's not the case. So what gives, is it just Mudcat?

Anyway, I'd be tickled to see some more examples of Black Folk music given on this thread. For myself I don't care about the blues, there's plenty here already & I spent my teen years heavily in the blues so I'm not gonna learn much there but I'd like to learn about more of what ever anyone else can provide on the folk side of things here. Ok, I held off & was gonna pass on this, it's been a pet peeve of mine for quite awhile, then the thread came back & I deceided it's time to put this out there. Why aren't there more Black people interested in & playing & singing folk music? What did we do so wrong that I hardly see any festivals of color? Maybe this should be a thread all it's own, sorry if I side-swiped this.

Barry


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Subject: RE: Favorite Songs by Black Singers/Groups
From: Mr Happy
Date: 05 Sep 08 - 08:59 AM

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhundu_Boys


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Subject: RE: Favorite Songs by Black Singers/Groups
From: Mr Happy
Date: 05 Sep 08 - 08:56 AM

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=7zPHgvhor5E


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Subject: RE: Favorite Songs by Black Singers/Groups
From: Azizi
Date: 05 Sep 08 - 08:40 AM

Paul Burke, I didn't know this group nor did I know anything about Zimbabwean music before reading your post. I still know very little about the music of that nation in Southern Africa, but from the YouTube videos I learned that The Bhundu Boys play Zimbabwean jit music.

For others who also may not know about this music, here's some information that I found through Google:

"Jit (jiti, jit-jive)

Sometimes known as the Harare beat, jit is the highly danceable music Zimbabwe is best known for. Jit gained international exposure during the 1980s through the Bhundu Boys and The Four Brothers, and is characterized by fast guitar riffs and rapid-fire drumming. A true melting pot, the popular sound is influenced by Tanzanian guitar, said to be brought back by returning soldiers, the bass of Congolese rhumba, and the mbira-guitar of chimurenga. Others, such as the Chazezesa Challengers, mix a blend of jit and sungura.

Artists include the Bhundu Boys, The Four Brothers, and the Chazezesa Challengers."
http://www.embargo.ca/zim/info/genres.htm

-snip-

That page also includes a brief description of other types of Zimbabwean music, including Sungura.

"Sungara
An offshoot of Zimbabwean rhumba and jit, sungura is an exptremely popular genre in Zimbabwe. Still heavily guitar-based, songs generally feature a reaggae feel, as well as more prominent vocal lines as the rapid-fire guitar of other styles takes a backseat. The genre hit its peak in the mid-1990s and is still going strong today despite the prominent rise of R&B in Africa.

Artists include John Chibadura, Leonard Dembo, Alick Macheso, and the Sungura Boys."

-snip-

Here are links to two Bhundu Boys songs. I don't know if these songs come from their record or if they are representative of that record.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tBmRqiAMsBA&feature=related
Bhundu Boys-Hatisi Tose

**

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5sbaEv73n08&feature=related
Bhundu Boys-Kuroja Chete

-snip-

And here are links to two Alick Macheso YouTube video clips:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ioWbpRci8Ek&feature=related
Alick Macheso-Monalisa-Zvakanaka Zvakadaro

**
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z8i2Q9PwNTw&feature=related
Aleck Macheso [Cheso]-Chengetayi


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Mudcat time: 18 August 8:24 AM EDT

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