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…‘Ya' Ready?!...YEAAAAH!’…On September 20th, in 1930, Jazz-Soul-Funk-Blues based pianist, singer, songwriter, bandleader, producer and Ambassador of NOLA Music-Eddie Bo (Edwin Joseph Bocage-Spider Bocage) was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. Bo is one of those truly ‘Unsung’ heroes of New Orleans Funk. His sound was rooted in Jazz (trained in Jazz in Algiers, Louisiana around the 9th Ward), with Blues & Soul around the edges. Many of you have heard his drum breaks sampled in numerous songs from one of many of his singles-Hook & Sling (1969 on the Scram imprint).
Bo worked with the Meters, Allen Toussaint, Dr. John, the Neville Brothers and other notables musicians from the New Orleans area. He released over 75 singles on at least 4 different labels from 1955 to 1970. That’s 5 singles per year, with a B-Side, makes it essentially an LP worth of music per year. He was named New Orleans’ Ambassador of Music to Pakistan. He also was given and official day: Eddie Bo Day on May 22nd, 1997. Mayor Marc Morial presided over the festivities. Bo passed away in 2009. He was 78 years-old.
On September 20th, in 1938: Jazz Guitarist, Session Musician, songwriter, arranger, producer, Stuff band member and Fusion Jazz innovator-Eric Gale was born Brooklyn, New York City, New York. Gale got his start as a sessions musician while in college. He was majoring in chemistry at the time, but felt that guitar playing was his true passion. He worked with: Jimmy Smith, Maxine Brown, Jesse Belvin, King Curtis & the Drifters at the onset of his career. He appeared on over 500 recordings during the 60s.
Unlike a lot of fame hungry musicians, Gale felt most comfortable accentuating the music present, rather than being the main focus. Although he put out several solo LPs, mostly on the Kudu & Columbia imprint, the majority of his work is with others: Al Jarreau, Bob James, Aretha Franklin, Esther Phillips, Paul Simon, Dave Grusin, Joe Cocker, Herbie Mann, Lee Scratch Perry, Peter Tosh, Bob Marley, Billy Joel, Mose Allison, Lena Horne and Grover Washington Jr to name a few. Gale passed away in 1994 from lung cancer. He was 55 years-old.
…‘White lines…vision dreams of passion…flowing through my mind…and all the while I think of you’…On September 20th, in 1960, Emcee Keef Cowboy (Robert Keith Wiggins-standing left) was born in the South Bronx, New York City, New York-the Birthplace of Hip Hop Culture. Keef was the first Emcee recruited by Dee Jay Grandmaster Flash way back when, 40 years ago (1978). He was mainly a dancer, hypeman and call and response Emcee (somebody say ho! Errrraaah!).
He left the Furious Five in 1983 and recorded White Lines with Melle Mel, you can hear him on the chorus. He later joined Grandmaster Melle Mel & the Furious Five in 1985. Interesting Hip Hop legend about Keef Cowboy (standing-3rd from the left): He’s believed to be the person responsible for coining the term Hip Hop when he was clowning one of his friends, a returning veteran in a rhythmic style, and mimicked the marching of soldiers saying hip/hop/hip/hop. He passed away in 1989 from a heart attack. He was 28 years-old.
On September 20th, in 1973-James Brown’s singing collective called The Sly, Slick & Wicked released a single called ‘Sho Nuff’ on James’ People imprint. The three man vocal group from Cleveland, Ohio were no newcomers to the music scene. They’d worked with the likes of the Ohio Players-Ohio Untouchables (Westbound era), Con Funk Shun, The Dells, Peabo Bryson, The O’Jays, James Brown & B.B. King to name a few.
They recorded for other labels like Motown, Epic and Paramount, but a hit song eluded them. After a valiant effort, the trio split up and lead singer/songwriter John Wilson went on to produce for other notable musicians. They put out some soulful, but lesser known singles. Wilson also produced some nice tunes for other music groups like The Jacksons.
On September 20th, in 1976, during the early days of Punk Rock, the 100 Club on Oxford Street in London, England, UK held their first Punk Festival. It was a two-day event that had several soon to be famous musicians on the bill: The Clash (pre-London Calling), Siouxsie & the Banshees, the Stinky Toys, Sex Pistols, The Buzzcocks, Sub Way Sect, and the Vibrators. Tickets were only about $3.00. This was a steal considering most of the acts would go on to shape the sound of Punk Rock and the Culture.
If Minor Threat & Bad Brains were there, man, it would’ve been even more official. Most of the Punk Rock musicians independently pressed their music, designed their covers, and put them out on 7” or 10” vinyl. Similarities to Hip Hop culture with the mixtapes, and having the local Writer (Graffiti artist) design your artwork, were very present in Punk Rock Culture. Disenfranchised youth of all regions and cultures tend to act out in similar ways, through creative expression.
Honorable Mention: On September 20th, in 1921, Jazz Drummer, Bandleader, producer, arranger, songwriter and Standard, Westcoast, Bop, Cool, Post-Bop, Soul, Free, Fusion & Modern Jazz musician-Chico Hamilton was born in Los Angeles, California. Hamilton’s career spans over 60 years and through all of the transitions in sound for Jazz music during those decades. If it was a hot innovation in Jazz, Chico’s played it. He’s got over 50 LPs and has recorded for more than 10 labels. He was 92 years-old when he passed away (2013).
‘Fame, fame, fame, fame…is it any wonder, you are too cool to fool’…Two interesting facts about David Bowie’s Fame. One: On September 20th, in 1975 he scored his first US Number 1 hit single with the song Fame. Two: Fame was co-written by John Lennon, and John makes a cameo appearance near the end of the song when he repeats the word Fame in different pitches. They used a machine to speed up and slow down his voice. I always thought it was Bowie doing that.
On September 20th, in 1984, Bill Cosby’s NBC hit-The Cosby Show, aired its pilot episode during the prime-time slot. The show went on to become a staple reflecting American Culture and more specifically, Black American Culture from a perspective that was not located in the ‘inner city’. It went on to have a successful Splinter show called: A Different World, that showed the culture of Historically Black Colleges & Universities. It’s safe to say that without this show, a lot of my friends, myself included, would not have attended an HBCU. Regardless of his current convictions, The Cosby Show was a very positive and necessary program.
…‘Jeremy’s Spoken’…On September 20th, in 1997, Pearl Jam was getting accused of someone else’s malicious behavior. Teenager Barry Loukaitis claimed, well his legal team claimed that he went into a violent rage, which resulted in him killing three people, because he watched the video for Jeremy…pause…that’s the best he could come up with?! With 3 bodies on him?! Man…throw his ass under the jail, and cue up Jeremy ‘til he snaps again…Needless to say, he didn’t get off with that one.
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!
Ahmored Tieghur's Thursday Sage: Effort = Outcome