THE HOST OF
Thursday to Saturday
8 AM to 4 PM
Sunday 6pm -2am
Straight Ahead Sundays
Noon to 6 PM
The Jazz Funk Soul Movement and How I Got Here
Fate coupled with decisions with regards to music have intervened in my life on numerous occasions. From early childhood to my present adult life I am still being influenced by this gift called music. Let me share some of my influences.
As a child I watched my mother play the piano and sing in the church choir. When no babysitter was available I sat during rehearsals as the melody soothed me. Needless to say I was heavily influenced. So much so that I sang and have been singing in various choirs from then until now. The melodies linger on.
My parents played the likes of Sam Cooke, Nat King Cole, Duke Ellington, Jimmy Smith, Nancy Wilson and so many more on those vinyl 45s 331/3s and 78s. I used to be fixated watching that needle drop and watching that vinyl going round and round. Yes, I’m telling my age now.
I recall those house parties and listening to the adults talking about those Jazz artists of the day. I now know that was probably the beginning of my love of Jazz but I didn’t know it at the time. You see the seed was planted but had yet to germinate and bare fruit.
The melodies linger on.
Growing up in Gary, Ind talent shows were part of that musical fabric. I marveled at the Doo Wop singers and tight bands playing the Blues, Soul, R&B, Rock and the like. There was one group of siblings that soon became the group to top. I recall being in the kitchen one time and my dad talking about some cat named Joe who worked at the steel mill with my dad bragging on his boys. These would be those siblings I mentioned earlier.
Well these siblings caught the attention of Berry Gordy, signed a contract and moved to LA. The Jackson family would go on and make history.
The melodies linger on.
Needless to say everyone was forming groups and had visions of being the next talent to come out of Gary. That included my friends and yours truly here. I played lead and rhythm guitar. We played in our fair share of talent shows and local events. No, we didn’t equal J5 status but my passion for music was blossoming big time now.
Yes, that melody lingered still
I’m a young adult now living in Atlanta. I had a job as a manager in a retail store in the mall but I made a little extra cheddar as a DJ doing house parties. There was something about laying a tight groove and keeping the dance floor packed. Not to mention inviting people back to my apartment and turning them on to artists and songs not being played on the local radio stations. I had further aspirations of taking this passion to the airwaves so I enrolled at The Columbia School of Broadcasting.
But my bubble burst while in class one day. The instructor advised that upon graduating the likelihood of getting on the radio in metro Atlanta would be nonexistent. More than likely we’d end up in some town at a small station. Please, no way was I leaving Atlanta so I left Columbia.
Since then and through the years I’ve been buying music, catching shows and talking music with others who shared my same addiction. For the past eleven or twelve years I've worked the main stage at The Atlanta Jazz Festival. So many of the artists had no problem sharing their love and passion for music with me. I particularly dug watching the artists interact with each other. You could tell the respect and admiration for each other was genuine.