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On November 2nd, in 1966 the music world lost an infamous folk singer, Delta Bluesman, Piedmont Blues player and singer, Country Bluesman, sharecropper, guitarist, songwriter and singer-Mississippi John Hurt (John Smith Hurt) returned home in Grenada, Mississippi. He was an original Bluesman, that created a resurgence in American Folk music. He was recorded by the Library of Congress as a ‘Folk’ singer in 1964. Hurt was self-taught on the guitar, he started teaching himself when he was 9. He continued to play guitar while working as a sharecropper and field-hand during the 1920s.
By the late 20s (1928), he made his recording debut for Okeh Records-Frankie b/w Nobody’s Dirty Business. Two of his recordings-Spike Driver Blues & Frankie were featured on The Anthology of American Folk Music (1952). Music enthusiasts sought him out and found the seminal cut-Avalon Blues (his claimed home town-1963, he was 'found' by Tom Hoskins). Hoskins encouraged Hurt to move from the south to the DC area and perform live. He obliged, appearing everywhere from intimate coffeehouses to the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. He did some Ragtime work that fans loved-Candy Man & Salty Dog. He touched many a musician’s pen during, and following his death from genres like: Country, Blues, Rock ‘n’ Roll, Folk, Bluegrass and Old Negro Spirituals. He’ll be heavily missed (he was 74).
Stevie Wonder is one of those musicians that’s uniquely aligned with the stars, literally. I say this because, on most of my posts that have contained information about him, there’s been a persistent theme…He tends to have several musically significant events occur on the same day, but during different years. For this post, he has three such events that happened over a 17 year span (1968-1985). First, On November 2nd, in 1968, Stevie Wonder released the single “For Once In My Life”. It’s one of the several ‘staple’ cuts the artist sang. This song was released during the time where Stevie wanted more creative input in his music. Gordy and the Motown Machine had created most of the music pre-1970.
Four years later in 1974, after Stevie gained more artistic independence, he had a number one song on the US singles chart-You Haven’t Done Nothing. The beauty of this song lies in Stevie’s funky production and his choice of backup singers-The Jackson 5 featuring Michael Jackson. They did their thing via live cues from Stevie. This would be Stevie Wonder’s 4th number one single. Nine years later in 1985, Stevie had a number one single again with Part Time Lover (UK number 3). It’s another Stevie staple. Much more so than You Haven’t Done Nothing. Everyone vibed off of Part Time Lover, every genre, every listener. KRS-One even made the joint Part Time Suckah that interpolated the song. Stevie is definitely ‘in tune’ with the universe…
In the mid to late 90s, a lot of pre-Gorillaz bands hit the scene. These were spin offs of the Punk/Emcee movement from the 70s & 80s, with some Grunge thrown in and Heavy Metal at the core (CBGBs & The Disco Fever). Bands like Limp Bizkit, Rage Against the Machine (Zack De La Rocha was mentored by Black Thought of the Roots), and for this post-Korn, would show how Emceeing could be done with flavor over any track (Foundation: Public Enemy & Anthrax-Slayer, Body Count, Fishbone, Bad Brains). With that said, On November 2nd, in 1969, bassists, sequencer, vocalist, guitarist and member of the band Korn-Reginald Arvizu AKA Fieldy was born in Bakersfield, California.
He started off post High School with a band called L.A.P.D. (Love Peace And Dude AKA Laughing As People Die). He secured a record deal with the group, but until they added on Jonathan Davis (lead singer-adding him made the band Korn), their success was limited. They blew up after Davis got on. Interesting fact: Reginald’s nickname Fieldy is a take off the comic strip Garfield. As the story goes: at first, they called him Gopher because he had big cheeks. This later was modified to Gar, then Garfield. After that, it went to Field and then Fieldy…His style of playing is slap bass, like Larry Graham meets Bootsy Collins on Steroids and Shrooms. Needless to say it’s powerful, driving and cerebral. He’s 49 today.
…‘it’s the Sooooooooooooooooooooooooul Train!’…On November 2nd, in 1995, the infamous TV syndicated music show-Soul Train had it’s 25th year anniversary gala. The show got it’s start in Chicago, Illinois in 1970. Don Cornelius was the former news broadcaster/DJ that took the Soul & Funk music craze into the homes of most of America, especially its urban areas. It was one of the first shows, following the enactment of Civil Rights legislation from the mid-60s, that allowed Black, Brown & Yellow people to see their cohorts on the tube vibing to the same tunes. The invention of the Soul Train Line and many dance moves from Pop-Locking (The Lockers) to the Moon Walk (Jeffrey Daniel-Shalamar) all came from, and spread to the masses, via the show.
Not only did it show us the latest moves, it also had Black History sections that required participants to unscramble the letter that spelled out pertinent Black Historical Facts. I love Soul Train! I learned a lot on all types of levels watching it as a shorty. I stopped checking for it around the late 80s/early 90s, Jets time…When Cursh on You came on, I was like, aight, I’m done. Some of the acts that appeared for their 25th anniversary are: Al Green, Diana Ross, Patti LaBelle & Bill Withers. Dope event, no doubt.
On November 2nd, in 1999, we lost a great organist, singer, songwriter, composer, arranger, producer and bandleader-Jackie Davis. He returned home from Jacksonville, Florida at age 78. He was one of the prolific Hammond organ players that flew under the mainstream radar, while pleasing the ears of music lovers that had the gusto to seek his music out. He was a good vocalist as well, that lead a band, penning and covering songs that rang true with his style. His influences were rooted in Boogie Woogie & the pre-Rock ‘n’ Roll Soul sound, Louis Jordan Caldonia stee, but on the organ. Matter of fact, Jordan was one of his major influences, along with Bill Doggett (early King Records-James Brown with the Flames era), and Wild Bill Davis.
The driving tempo of these, what could be Blues cuts if sang in a lower register at a slower tempo, became Davis’ staple style. He started out in Harlem around the Bop scene in the early 50s. After learning the ropes, he stepped into the studio to record with Capitol. His Hi-Fi Hammond Vol. 2 LP showcased his skills on the keys. By the 60s, he’d moved to Warner Brothers and released an LP with his own Quartet (The Jackie Davis Quartet). On this LP, he'd showcase his vocal skills, and use the organ to accent them, not as the lead. Showing much versatility here, he took a hiatus. When he came back briefly in the mid-80s, he cut a few joints and stabbed back out. He was 78 years-old when he passed.
Honorable Mention: On November 2nd, in 1983, one of the men responsible for the Crack Epidemic, The AIDS Epidemic, the disenfranchiment of People of Color and the Poor of all Colors, the Iran-Contra Dealer, the Ollie North Supporter, the War on Drugs enforcer, the Black Panther Party dismantler, former POTUS and for some, The triple 6 (letters in the name)-Ronald Wilson Reagan made every 3rd Monday in the Month of January-Martin Luther King Jr Day. It is a National holiday observed by Federal, and most state offices (By the Time I Get to Arizona-Public Enemy). Yea…he did that…all that other stuff too…ironic huh? Look it up if you ain’t believing.
On November 2nd, in 1984, Marvin Gaye’s father was getting his sentence for committing the ultimate crime, killing his own son. Marvin Sr. got sentenced on this day, catching a suspended six-year bid on a manslaughter charge. He got probation instead…pause…pause again please…how you kill ya seed and get probation? Only in America…MAGA that right there. Fourteen years later, Marvin Sr passed away in a nursing home (1998).
On November 2nd, in 1965, Poison’s bassist-Bobby Dall (Robert Harry Kuykendall) was born in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. Interesting fact: he used to play guitar and study law, but turned to music instead. He played with Paris which became Poison, the Every Rose Has Its Thorn band. Speaking of which, He & Brett Michaels traded blows on-stage at a show in 2006. Poison was well-known for fighting with each other, backstage…and with others for that matter. He’s still touring and recording at age 55 (today).
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!