“All I Do (Is Think About You)”—Brenda Holloway
“All I Do (Is Think About You)”—Brenda Holloway
It’s not sociopolitical or even all that important, but it’s just for fun. I was listening to Amy Winehouse today remembering how my mom & dad thought she was some 60’s black girl group they didn’t know about. It made me think of other white people who were perceived as black artists initially either by accident or through marketing from their record label. Some of these musicians are old enough that I always knew they were white, but not everybody did when they first arrived on the scene.
List after the jump.
4:25 pm • 7 February 2012 •
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Nina Simone “Mississippi Goddam”
You don’t have to live next to me
Just give me my equality.
Appreciate the High Priestess of Soul, please.
Sunday Videos: Gone Too Soon Edition
Amy Winehouse “In My Bed”
Amy is remembered most for the retro-60s sound of Back to Black but her first album, Frank, is the album that introduced that voice to the world and it showcased a broader range of influences. Based on a sample from 1973’s “Apache” that was updated by Nas in 2003, “In My Bed” is a silky groove behind Amy’s powerful alto.
Born to a Jewish family in north London, Amy was encouraged by her family to explore the arts from a young age. She was eventually expelled from an arts academy at age 14 for not fully applying herself, but she continued to explore music. By the time she secured her first record deal, she had a already recorded a handful of tracks with Salaam Remi through a publishing deal with EMI. Those tracks would serve as the basis for her debut album.
Inspired by 1960s girl groups, Amy adopted her signature beehive and eye-makeup taking her cue from the Ronettes. While her debut album was a smash in the UK, Back to Black brought her to worldwide recognition, with Amy tying the record for the most Grammys won in a single night by a female, winning five in 2008.
Plagued by alcohol and drug addiction from 2005 onward, Amy went through highs and lows, the lows becoming more prominent after the 2007 death of her grandmother, culminating in her death this weekend.
Sunday Videos: Gone Too Soon Edition.
Minnie Ripperton “Memory Lane”
Minnie is best known for her massive hit song “Loving You” but “Memory Lane” is the one that makes me misty.
Born in Chicago, Minnie initially had dreams of being an actress or ballet dancer. At the insistence of her parents who noticed her range and musicality, she started training in opera as a teenager. Minnie went against the suggestions of her teachers and opted not to pursue a career as an opera singer and instead pursued popular music. Her first gig was singing with a group known as The Gems, who later became session singers for Chess records, appearing on the song “Rescue Me” by Fontella Bass.
Minnie had a few false starts at music success afterwards, but by the early 1970s, she had married Richard Rudolph and spent her time as a housewife and mother to her two youngsters (one of which is SNL alum Maya Rudolph). An intern at Epic records re-discovered her and convinced Minnie and her family to move to LA to record an album. Her solo album, Perfect Angel with the hit “Loving You”, went on to sell over a million copies.
By this time, Minnie had been diagnosed with breast cancer and in 1976 was given only 6 months to live. Minnie kept touring and kept recording, and, contrary to the prognosis given by her doctors, released her final ablum, Minnie, in 1979. At this point, she was in a great deal of pain and had lost a lot of movement in her right side. ”Memory Lane” is about the end of a relationship, but fans think it was also meant as a farewell to her fans. Near the end she ad-libs with “save me, save me” and “I’m not ready to go”, which, taken with the progression of her disease, lends new meanings to the lyrics.
A week after her final live television performance, Minnie passed away, listening to a song Stevie Wonder had made for her, wrapped in her husband’s arms.
Flashback Friday: Martha & the Vandellas “Heatwave”
I took it way back this Friday because the whole country is roasting this summer and “Heatwave” seemed fitting. But more importantly, this is honestly one of my favorite songs of all time. They weren’t as polished as The Supremes, but damn if they didn’t sing every song like it was their last single ever. I mean, Martha was killing this like she was in church and they all look like they’re having so much fun.
The verse at 1:45 onward is so classic and those 60 seconds will never be replicated. Get into it.