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…‘There’s something going ‘round inside my head…I think it’s something I feel, something unreal’…On October 7th, in 1941: one of the founding members of the Male Vocal Trio Group The Main Ingredient-Enrique Antonio Arosemena Forte AKA Tony ‘Champagne’ Silvester was born in Panama. He’s a royal and government descendant-his grandfather was the first President of Panama-Dr. Don Pablo Arosemena. His Father-Dr Florencio Arosemena Forte was a former Chief Counsel & Prime Minister for the Panama Canal from 1917-1947.
He went on to become the Ambassador for Panama at the UN. Silvester himself was a vet, serving in the 82nd Airborne (US Army), having fought in Vietnam. He always had a passion for music and got into the game heavy after completing his tour to Vietnam. He wasn’t the lead in the group, he sang backup. However, he took the lead on penning some of their songs, and songs for others. He also produced and jump started the careers of others like: Rick James, Prince, Gwen Guthrie, Eddie Grant, Sister Sledge and Luther Vandross to name a few. He passed away in 2006. He was 64 years-old.
On October 7th, in 1953 Jazz fan, percussionist, drummer, sometimes guitarist, painter, producer and songwriter-Tico ‘The Hitman’ Torres (Hector Juan Samuel Torres) was born in New York City, New York. Torres is best known as the drummer for Bon Jovi. However, he had plenty of accomplishments before joining the group in 1983. The Hitman’s (below 2nd r) session work and live drumming had been featured on over 25 LPs for artists like: Chuck Berry, Stevie Nicks, Alice Cooper and Cher. He also tried out for the drummer slot for the band KISS in 1980.
Around the same time, he joined T. Roth & Another Pretty Face as the drummer. They were a Glam Rock band from the late 70s. At first, the group Bon Jovi would seem to have never come into fruition. Jon Bon Jovi wanted Torres (2nd l) to join his band, but Torres was like: ehn, I’m good, you’re too young…or something to that effect. There’s a 9-year difference between the two. However, after Torres secured a drum endorsement deal with Pearl drums in 1984, and jammed with the Bon Jovi several times over, it was a wrap. They had several hits in the late 80s and early 90s. He’s 65 today.
On October 7th, in 1970 actress, mother, former Washington Ballet Company Dancer, model and NYU graduate-Nicole Ari Parker was born in Baltimore, Maryland. Parker got her silver screen debut in the 1993 film: Other Women’s Children. She followed this up with-The Incredibly True Adventure of Two Girls in Love, Divas & Stonewall (all three are 1995 films). In 1996 she played Wanda in Rebound: The Legend of Earl ‘The Goat’ Manigault. A year later, folks caught her in Boogie Nights (1997). She played in 3 major movies in 1998, that’s 9 movies in 5 years.
Her work ethic was truly displayed from 1999-2000 when she acted in 10 major movies, most notably alongside Denzel Washington in Remember the Titans (2000). She slowed down after this, securing roles in 11 movies from 2002 to 2018. Brown Sugar (2002) and Black Dynamite (2009) are two of my favorites that she stars in during this time period. She married actor Boris Kodjoe, who she co-starred with on the TV series Soul Food. Her TV career (1999-current), is just as extensive as her movie career. She’s a hard worker and turns 48 today.
On October 7th, in 1992, Jazz drummer and Down Beat Hall of Famer-Ed Blackwell passed away in Middleton, Connecticut. The NOLA native was inspired by 2nd Line drumming, which can be heard on his recordings. He started off playing Jazz in New Orleans with pianist Ellis Marsalis (father of Wynton & Braford). He also worked with woodwind aficionado Alvin Batiste. In the 50s, he toured with Ray Charles. When he landed in New York City, he hooked up with Ornette Coleman around 1960. They went on to make several recordings, and Blackwell is revered as heavily influencing Coleman’s ‘free’ style.
His sound and rhythm patterns are just as recognizable as any unique singer’s voice. When you hear his beats, you know it’s Blackwell. In later years, and as splinter projects to Coleman’s band, Blackwell also played with Dewey Redman, Don Cherry & Charlie Haden in a new quartet called Old & New Dreams. Blackwell made groundbreaking moves off the bandstand by becoming the ‘Artist-in-Residence’ at Wesleyan University in Middleton, Connecticut. He died from complications with his kidney (62).
On October 7th, in 1995, the Ottawa, Ontario, Canada Native, Alternative Rock’s Female trailblazer, songwriter, singer, producer, and twin of brother Wade-Alanis Morissette’s third LP-Jagged Little Pill reached the number one slot on the US Album chart. This LP went on to have 5 charting singles: Hand in My Pocket, Head over Feet, Ironic, You Oughta Know, & You Learn. Morissette broke several industry records with this LP. Most notably her record sales. The album has sold over 30 million copies to date worldwide, making it the biggest selling album by a female artist.
Sidebar: I think we should make females that voted for Kavanaugh listen to Morissette LPs on repeat with blindfolds on, just to evoke the lady of ‘justice’ aesthetic…Morissette’s two prior LPs were exclusively released in Canada on the MCA imprint: Alanis (1991) and Now is the Time (1992). Both did well on the Canadian market. She’s recorded 8 LPs in all since 1991, and is said to be releasing a LP some time soon (2018-2019). The subject matter on Jagged Little Pill, and the LP title alone, is rooted in substance-based topics. It’s definitely not a ‘bubble gum’ album.
Honorable Mentions: On October 7th, in 1931 Anti-Apartheid Activist, Pan-Africanist, Catholic Bishop and Humanitarian-Desmond (Mpilo) TuTu was born in Kierksdorp, Western Transvaal, South Africa. He won a Nobel Peace Prize for his acts of humanitarianism in South Africa and his global influence on peaceful resistance to oppression. He was the first Black Archbishop to be appointed in South Africa’s infamous Cape Town, where a number of protest to Apartheid went down. He turns 87 today.
On October 7th, in 1934, poet, actor, activist, teacher, Pan-Africanist, theater director & producer-Amiri Baraka (Everett LeRoi Jones) was born in Newark, New Jersey. Baraka is most known for his writings, which took a Pro-Black stance to the oppression Blacks in America were facing during the Jim Crow and turbulent 60s era. He’s written under 3 pen names: Amiri Baraka, LeRoi Jones & Imamu Amir Baraka. Check out his works, they’re well worth the read.
…‘you can get the money, you can get the power, but keep your eyes on, the final hour’…On October 7th, in 1999, four of the musicians that worked on Lauryn Hill’s Miseducation of Lauryn Hill LP were taking her to court (gimme the loot, gimme the loot). They claimed they hadn’t been paid, nor given songwriting or session musician credit for songs they helped pen and performed on. Not sure what resulted in that case. If you know, leave it in the comments.
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 myriad of information, covering several topics exists on this site going back to 2013 when it was created. PEACE!