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On September 3rd, in 1915, the infamous Blues pianist, composer, and singer-Memphis Slim (John Len Chapman) was born in Memphis, Tennessee. He composed, wrote and recorded the Blues/Jazz standard classic-Everyday I Have the Blues (1947). Jazz Vocalist Joe Williams made this song famous in later years. Slim is most credited for adding instrumentation and complexity to the Blues.
He incorporated horn sections, piano and complex scales to the once acoustic guitar, and if available, drums, from the classic Blues music structure. He’s one of the innovators that proved the Blues was more than an ‘outdated’ Negro folk music, it could keep up with the contemporary instrumentation of Jazz, Pop & Rock, while staying true to its lyrical content and Folk roots (Bob Dylan did this as well when he electrified his music-he lost some fans and gained a lot more). Memphis Slim passed away in 1988. He was 72.
On September 3rd, in 1934, Blues guitarist, songwriter and singer-Freddie King (Fred King or Freddy King) was born in Gilmer, Texas. He’s considered one of the three Kings of the Blues guitar, along with B.B. King & Albert King. The majority of his hits came during the early 60s to mid 70s. He also was unique in his playing style, using elements of Funk, the Chicago Blues & Texas Blues.
Merging these styles together gave Freddie an undeniable identifiable sound. His ability to be a pioneer of music didn’t stop there. King was one of the first Blues artists to use multi-ethnic backing bands for recordings and live performances. His songs have been covered by other notable Rock guitarists like Eric Clapton. Freddie King passed away in 1976 from problems with ulcers and a bad heart. He was 42 years-old.
On September 3rd, in 1955, the Sex Pistols’ guitarists Steve Jones (Stephen Philip Jones) was born in Shepherd’s Bush, England, UK. Jones blazed new musical trails with the Pistols, helping to innovate and shape Punk Rock-in 1977 the band released their debut LP Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols.
Jones’ guitar playing is considered legendary. He’s in Rolling Stones Magazine’s list of the 100 Greatest Guitarist of All Time. He’s worked with the Thin Lizzy, Iggy Pop, Bob Dylan, members from Gun & Roses, and Duran Duran. Steve Jones’ tight guitar playing definitely showed the industry that Punk Rockers could do more than ‘just make noise’. He’s 63 today!
On September 3rd, in 1975-Barry Gordy’s son-Stefan Kendal Gordy AKA DJ Redfoo was born in Los Angeles, California. Most people know Redfoo from his production on Ahmad’s Back in the Day, the joints he did for Black Eyed Peas and LMFAO-the group he co-founded with his nephew Sky Blu, but Hip Hop Backpackers from the 90s like: Sith1Emcee@gmail.com, Emcee Stickijo, DJ Tron & DJ Magnetic-
know Redfoo from his joint with Kroon (Life is a Game of Chess). Many Emcees in ciphers during the late 90s freestyled to Redfoo’s production on that track. He’s pretty much ‘Hollywood’ now, throwing up the Killuminati horns, but his roots and knowledge of the real Hip Hop permeates through his current productions. He uses just enough of that Golden Era style, with a pop overtone to appeal to the masses...pause... Anyways, he turns 43 today...
On September 3rd, in 1977, one of Rock’s best known Studio Engineers-Keith Harwood, was killed in a car accident. The accident occurred after he left a recording session with the Rolling Stones. He engineered two LPs for the group: Black & Blue-It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll. He also engineered several of Led Zeppelin’s LPs: Presence, Houses of the Holy & Physical Graffiti to name a few. Harwood also worked the boards on David Bowie’s Diamond Dogs LP.
Harwood worked out of Olympic Studios (London, England, UK), and became known for a unique sound and style of engineering, similar to the sounds of other studios like Fame in Muscle Shoals, Stax in Memphis & Electric Ladyland in New York. Following the accident, the Stones would record Love You Live and dedicate it to Harwood. He was 26 when he died.
Honorable Mentions: On September 3rd, in 1838, escapee and future Slavery Abolitionist Frederick Douglass disguised himself as a Free Black Seaman by dressing up in a sailor’s uniform and carry identification papers that were given to him by a real Free Black Seaman. Douglass was able to board a train in Maryland without much problem on his way to freedom. Thank God for the Brother that gave him his ‘papers’.
On September 3rd, in 1895, the man credited with Murdering Jim Crow in a court of law-Attorney Charles H. Houston was born in Washington, D.C. He was the mentor for numerous Civil Rights Attorneys, most notably Thurgood Marshall who went on to become the first American of African descent to be appointed to the Supreme Court. Houston graduated from Harvard Law School and remained active in the struggle for economic and social equality for people of color that were brought against their will to the shores of the USA. He passed away in 1950, he was 54.
OK, so let’s lighten the mood some-On September 3rd, in 1983, Buffalo, New York native Rick James, the man that changed the sound of R&B by blending Soul, Funk, Jazz & Rock genres (listen to horn parts in his music, guitar riffs and the song Dance Wit’ Me featuring Roy Ayers on the Bustin’ Out LP) had his song Cold Blooded hit number one on the R&B charts. He wrote the song for Linda Blair (Exorcist). He was dating her at the time. ‘Holy smokes & gee whiz’…
On September 3rd, in 2004, Pop music lost one of its most titled writers and producers-Billy Davis. Davis is most known for writing the song for Coca-Cola (I’d Like to Buy the World a Coke). He wrote songs for Fontella Bass, Jackie Wilson, Gladys Knight, Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, The Supremes & James Brown. He died in New York City. He was 72.
Ahmored Tieghur sage for Monday: MESSAGE TO ALL WHITE READERS-Understand that when talking with people outside your culture, that they have been programmed to learn your culture, so they're speaking your 'language'...the least you can do is try to learn and listen to their culture and learn their language...MESSAGE TO ALL BLACK READERS-stop talking White, make People listen Black...if they can't listen Black, they'll never understand you...1