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On September 19th, in 1942, Freda Charcillia Payne was born in the Motor City-Detroit, Michigan. She is a vocalist, Soul singer, songwriter, actress and one-time talk show host. Freda is the eldest sister of Scherrie Payne-former Supreme. They grew up during the birth and height of the Motown movement. However, Freda paved her own way, releasing her own LP-After the Lights Go Down & Much More! on the Jazz based Prestige label, produced by the infamous Bob Thiele in 1964. She recorded the songs on side A-2 days before her 21st Bornday in 1963 (17th & 18th of September).
Side B was recorded on her 21st Bornday. Most of the cuts are Jazz standard covers, but it showcases Freda’s versatility. Six years, and a total genre switch later, Freda would release the classic Soul Breakbeat-The Easiest Way to Fall on her Band of Gold LP on the Invictus imprint. This was her first mainstream Soul LP and it’s tight throughout. With Holland-Dozier-Holland production, you can’t go wrong. Freda went on to release several tight LPs in the 70’s (6). One of my favorites is the 1977 Stares & Whispers. She’s 76 today!
On September 19th, in 1952, guitarist, songwriter, singer, Chic band member and one of the best multi-genre producers with several hits in each one he’s worked in-Niles (Gregory) Rodgers Jr. was born in the Big Apple-New York City, New York. He founded Chic with his partner on the low-end-Bernard Edwards. Aside from Chic making the all-time most used early Hip Hop break (Good Times), Niles also penned and produced hits for Pharrell Williams, Diana Ross, David Bowie, Peter Gabriel, Sister Sledge, and he was even propositioned (Joe'd) by Miles Davis.
Miles was one of Nile's hangout partners during the height of Disco & New Wave. He asked Nile to produce a ‘Good Times’ for him. Nile said he always felt bad after Miles passed because he didn’t take his request seriously, he thought he was clowning him on the low, but in reality, after Nile heard some of the work Miles was doing before he died, he realized that Miles was not joking, he wanted an international hit song. Nile Rodgers is still touring and performing under the band name Chic with new members. He also continues to produce. He’s 66 today.
On September 19th, in 1960, one of James Brown’s musical collaborators, and a funky man in his own right-Hank Ballard and The Midnighters made history becoming the first band to have three singles in the US Chart Top 30 at the same time: The Twist; Finger Poppin’ Time; & Let’s Go Let’s Go Let’s Go. Hank Ballard and the Midnighters performed the original version of The Twist before Chubby Checker.
However, much like the song title, a strange twist of events occurred when Hank Ballard refused to perform the song on Dick Clark’s Show. Instead, Dick Clark ate the crow, and insisted that Chubby Checker perform the song during his set. The rest is History, Checker went on to make it a Number 1 hit and Rock ‘n’ Roll staple, and it wasn’t even his song really…Like the C-A-S-A…The N-O-V-A…the rest is F-L-Y…Big Bank Hank and Chubby Checker, biters.
Wow! Ok, so on September 19th, in 1973, the singer, songwriter, original member of The Byrds & Flying Burrito Brothers-Gram Parsons, passed away. Some say it was from a drug overdose. Others claim it was from heart failure. Some say they have no idea how he died (obviously autopsies were pretty lame in the 70s-everyone dies, nobody definitively knows the cause). At any rate, his passing occurred in Joshua Tree, California.
After Parsons' burial, his former music associates stole his casket (Roadie Michael Martin & Manager Phil Kaufman). They took it, body inside and all, to Cap Rock in the middle of the California desert. They burned the coffin per Parsons' pre-death request. Both men were arrested by police. Not sure how those charges read: theft, double murder, arson, etc. Just is a good story, if anything. Those are some real homeys to steal ya coffin for you, and risk catching a case. S.O. to Martin & Kaufman!
…‘I tumble like the dice do, stay on the humble like Christ do’…On September 19th, in 1976-The NOLA Native Rhyme Soldier-Jay Electronica (Timothy Elpadaro Thedford) was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. I was first introduced to his music by Sadi El Amin when I was out in Cali. He had some super underground stuff, Little Brother before they got pressed. Stuff like that. We’re talking early 2000s. About 10 years later 2013-ish, his sounds were resurrected by Jabriel Allah.
He threw me some of the stuff he’d been doing that was mostly Just Blaze produced, featuring Puffy, Yasin Bey (formerly Mos Def), Reflection Eternal, J-Dilla (posthumously), Bilal, Nas, list goes on…He is a member of Allah’s 5% Nation, producer and prolific writer. Jay Electronic has yet to drop an official LP and he gets mad flack for it, but he has a lot of singles, enough for several LPs. He had a hard grind to become a known Emcee (once was homeless for an extended period of time). Something a lot of up and coming artists fail to recognize as part of the game. ‘Hey young world’, you gotta pay your dues. He’s 42 today.
Honorable Mention: On September 19th, in 1964, John Lennon of the Beatles teamed up with the Oxfam, and they printed 500,000 Christmas cards containing a drawing Lennon had created (Fat Budgie). The illustration was taken from Lennon’s book: A Spaniard in the Works. In true charity fashion, Lennon & Oxfam donated all the proceeds to the needy. 43 years later, Oxfam would reprint the cards and sold thousands of them (2007).
…‘are we really happy here, with this lonely game we play, looking for words to say’…On September 19th, in 1996, Jazz Guitarist, bandleader, composer, arranger, singer, songwriter, and producer George Benson got the ultimate recognition in true Hollywood style. He was honored with a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame. Benson worked with greats on the CTI imprint and had several hits like Masquerade, Breezin, Nature Boy, and more.
…‘don’t want me, to see, what you’re doing to me...I gotta deal with you, gotta deal witcha’…On September 19th, in 2002, The Godfather of Funk-Mr Dynamite-James Brown was getting sued for over $700K by his fam. Sad shit…his daughters were claiming he owed them back royalties, but they ain’t sang no songs, or danced on no stages…pause…His daughters (Yamma Brown & Deanna Brown) claimed that he held a grudge against them for putting him in rehab in 1998. True or not, his daughters are wrong for that one.
…‘do you believe in the power of love?!’…On September 19th, in 2014, pop star, actress, and icon Cher was getting sued by her choreographer-Kevin Wilson, for discrimination. According to Wilson, Cher said that the dancers Wilson was hiring for her Dressed to Kill Tour (D2K) had ‘too much color’…pause…ok, so she asked Wilson not to hire anymore Black dancers. The request was also, supposedly, in response to a female fan being sexually assaulted by one of the ‘Black’ dancers on the tour…Cher, does not, believe in the power of love…(drops Mic, walks away).
For more information on any musician or event reviewed in posts, or for additional information on the Wandering Eyes Blog overall, use the search bar and search the artist or event using keywords. It’s like a Google search for the site. A Plethora of information, covering several topics exists on this site going back to 2013 when it was created. PEACE!