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On August 22nd, in 1920, one of the founding fathers and pioneers of the Blues-The Boom Boom Boom man-John Lee Hooker was born in Tutwiler, Tallahatchie County, Mississippi. John Lee had a million-copy selling LP in 1951: ‘I’m in the Mood’. He influenced Blues musicians that would come after him, acting as a mentor to the likes of Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Buddy Guy and others.
He also influenced the British Rock movement of the 60’s (Rolling Stones/Beatles Invasion), and in the latter part of the decade, he influenced the Psychedelic Rock Movement. He celebrated his 79th Birthday in fashion (1999)! Performing live alongside Carlos Santana, Albert Collins, Robert Cray and many others in the Bay area-San Francisco, California at the Sweetwater Club. He died in 2001 in Los Altos, California.
Wu Week continues….On August 22nd, in 1966, Mr Gary Grice AKA the GZA was born on the Planet-Brooklyn, New York City, New York. GZA’s first debut was on the Cold Chillin’ imprint (Words From the Genius). The label also hosted the Juice Crew Acts: Marley Marl & M.C. Shan, Kool G. Rap & D.J. Polo, Craig G, Biz Markie & T.J. Swann to name a few.
The joint he did on that first LP was the single…Come Do Me…with the rayon shirt that was semi-transparent…nah…But the joints with the Wu…Knowledge of Self based joints?! Man, dope! He definitely represented on all features and solo projects as well. S.O. to the GZA, he’s 52 today.
On August 22nd, in 1967, the lead singer of Alice in Chains-Layne Staley was born in Kirkland, Washington. Considered one of the prominent pioneers of the Seattle Grunge sound, Staley would grace stages and venues that friendly rivals Nirvana once performerd on. Alice in Chains’ lyrical content, and overall musicianship makes it them one of the best of the darker, more substance based and introspective aspect of Rock music. S.O. to Dee Jay TRON or the track selections!
So-called Grunge embodies this sentiment, Punk as well, but Punk is more of a direct Fuck you, while Grunge is more of a Fuck you, but you had to think about it…like, did they just tell me fuck you? Anyways, Staley died on April 5th, in 2002 from a speedball O.D. He was 35.
…’All Power to the People!’… On August 22nd, in 1989, Black Panther Party Co-Founder-Mr. Huey P. Newton was murdered in the Lower Bottoms area of West Oakland, California. The media reported that it was a drug deal gone bad (crack), it was not. Huey was attempting to stop Tyrone Robinson, who was connected with the prison gang the Black Guerrilla Family, from setting up a crack ring in the community.
Robinson killing Newton also gave him clout with the BGF. Robinson admitted to all of this too, but it was never publicized. Huey Newton utilized the ethnic pride ringing out in Funk Music & artists revolutionary stances and lyrical content like Nina Simone, as the soundtrack to his B.P.P. movement. 'All Power to All People!' (Fred Hampton).
On August 22nd, in 2009, the vocalist for the Dells & the Flamingos-Johnny Carter, died in the south suburbs of Chicago, Illinois at 75 (Harvey, Ill.). He replaced Johnny Funches in 1960 and remained with the band throughout the 60s-70s. He’s been inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame with both of the acts he was in (Flamingos & Dells).
I like the Dells from the late 60s to the early 70s. They were on the Cadet imprint that was a division of Chess, the infamous Chicago Blues label. Their sound in the early 70s was more funky than most would think for a vocal group. Sidebar: Crate diggers, if you see anything on Cadet or Chess from the late 60s to early 70s, buy it.
…‘Wrecka Stow’….On August 22nd, in 2016, authorities reported that they had confiscated some pills from the home of Prince Rogers Nelson that contained fentanyl, but they were mislabeled as hydrocodone, which is weaker than the opiod fentanyl. The autopsy report alleges that he died from a fentanyl O.D.
Regardless, he’s gone. His music lives on, it’s timeless and very good. S.O. to Prince for keeping it right and exact on the musical tip. He’s one of the few artists that transcended ethnicities, genres, social and sexual boundaries… ‘dearly beloved...we are gathered here today to get through this thing called life'...
On August 22nd, in 1963, DeBarge member James DeBarge-Janet Jackson’s first husband, was born in Detroit, Michigan. He sang on the DeBarge hit Rhythm of the Night in 1985 and was on all of their albums during their run in the early to mid 80’s. He’s 55 today.
On August 22nd, in 1963, the singer, songwriter from Newton, North Carolina-Tori Amos was born. She had a couple hits in the 90s in the US & UK. She continues to create, tour and make public appearances. Tori is 55 today.
On August 22nd, in 1973, Dancehall King, All Massive Rudeboy-Beenie Man (Anthony Davis) was born in Kingston, Jamaica. Aside from burning up the Dancehall scene, he had several duets with R&B stateside artists like Mya & Janet Jackson. He’s 45 today.
On August 22nd, in 1988, The Queen of Soul: Aretha Franklin had a public television spot for an hour. It was in documentary format, which included appearances by Smokey Robinson, Whitney Houston, Eric Clapton & Ray Charles. R.I.P. Aretha Franklin.