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On October 16th, in 1945, session drummer, Fame Studios drummer, percussionist and member of the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section AKA the Swampers-Roger G. Hawkins was born in Mishawaka, Indiana. Hawkins played drums in the infamous Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section that is responsible for laying the backing music for a lot of hits from the mid 60s to the late 70s. Barry Beckett on keys, David Hood on bass and Jimmy Johnson on guitar. They managed to crank out over 20 US Top 40 hits from 1966 to 1979, nearly two every year. Some of the artists they played for are: Bob Seger, Mel & Tim, Aretha Franklin (Respect-Chain of Fools), Percy Sledge (When a Man Loves a Woman), Paul Simon, Rod Stewart, Bobby Blue Bland, Wilson Pickett (Mustang Sally), Cat Stevens, Johnnie Taylor,
The Staple Singers (I’ll Take You There), R.B. Greaves, Clarence Carter, Joe Cocker, Willie Nelson, Etta James (Tell Mama), Duane Allman, Traffic, and James & Bobby Purify (I’m Your Puppet). Hawkins had a philosophy on making music that was simple and straight forward: Playing with the same guys for so long, well, it's really hard to impress Barry, David or Jimmy because they've heard me do it before. And it's the same with them. I mean, if Barry plays a hot lick, I don't congratulate him; he's supposed to do that. I don't know what it is, but when the four of us sit down to play, it's almost like a burden has been lifted from our shoulders. It's like, "Hey, we're home…He’s 73 today.
On October 16th, in 1952, founding member, bassist, one half of United Soul, and bassists for Parliament Funkadelic-Cardell ‘Boogie’ Mosson AKA Cordell (misspelled his name on song credits) was born (records vary, somewhere near Plainfield, New Jersey). United Soul is a small funk collective out of Canada, including Gary Shider & Cardell. They formed the group shortly after they moved to Canada. George Clinton, a former associate of Shider, produced several tracks for the group on Westbound Records.
Clinton also had them work on some sessions and small tours with Funkadelic during the early 70s. Their EP was called U.S. Music with Funkadelic (1971). Clinton used two of United Soul’s songs on Funkadelic LPs. Bootsy Collins is regarded as the known bassist for Parliament Funkadelic, but in reality, after he went solo, Mosson played bass on most of the tracks. Both Collins and Mosson contributed equally to the bottom laying on P-Funk tracks is the point. From 1972 to the dissolution of the Parliament Funkadelic movement in the early 80s, Mosson was on bass for Clinton’s grand band. Don’t sleep on his funky basslines. He passed away in 2013 due to complications with his liver, he was 60 years-old.
On October 16th, in 1962, singer, actor, bassists and original member of the Red Hot Chili Peppers-Flea (Michael Peter Balzary) AKA Mike B the Flea was born in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Flea’s story: Flea and his family moved to New York when he was 7. He got his nickname as a child due to his inability to sit still. His father was a fisherman and his mother, who divorced him, later remarried a Jazz musician. Jam sessions with his step father’s musicians friends were a regular occurrence, and Flea got interested in music then. When the family moved to LA, Flea took up the trumpet. His stepfather was an alcoholic and Flea smoked trees daily to cope with his antics. He also had no interest in Rock music, he only wanted to do Jazz.
While at Fairfax HS, Flea met Anthony Kiedis and Hillel Slovak. They both introduced him to Punk Rock, and Slovak taught Flea the bass. Slovak had a band called Anthym and he asked Flea to be his bassists. Most of the members of Anthym went to play with the Punk band Fear. After that he played with Tony Flow & the Miraculously Majestic Masters of Mayhem. It was with this group that Red Hot Chili Peppers would evolve. They put together a demo of about 9 songs around 1984 and got signed by EMI. The rest is history. Rolling Stones Magazine’s number two Rock bassist of all-time is 56 today.
On October 16th, in 1965, producer, songwriter, vocalist and guitarist for the Acid Jazz band Brand New Heavies-Simon Bartholomew was born in the UK. He’s an original member of the band that was founded around the early 1980s in London. The Brand New Heavies were originally called the Brothers International and they were like the JBs or Tower of Power band, sparse vocal chants, if any, and mostly instrumental jazzy funk grooves. They got their name the Brand New Heavies after they got signed in the mid 80s. It comes from a James Brown liner note that states: Minister of New Super Heavy Funk.
The Heavies were spawned out of the Rare Groove culture in London. In the late 70s to mid 80s, there was a shift from Northern Soul (late 60s to early 80s), to Rare Groove. The breaks, and Jazzy but Funky hard to find songs were spun at dancehalls and discotechs birthing a subculture of youth that liked dancing to the Funk, but rare Funk. Brothers International came about as a way to make rare groove music, even cover it, because it was only so many LPs folks could find. The crowd loved the live version and Acid Jazz was born. Acid Jazz, Mushroom Jazz, etc is all birthed out of a need for more Rare groove music that’s not readily available…much like Hip Hop started. He’s 53 today.
On October 16th, in 1969, Jazz musician, flugelhorn player, trumpeter, composer, arranger, producer and bandleader-Roy (Anthony) Hargrove was born in Waco, Texas. Hargrove was inspired by the sax playing of David Fathead Newman (who infamously played with Ray Charles) when Ray Charles performed at his middle school in Dallas. He then started playing trumpet and was discovered by Wynton Marsalis when he was in high school. Hargrove studied for a year at Berklee College of Music in Boston. However, he spent most of his time in Jazz clubs in New York jamming with others, rather than the classroom in Bean Town.
All of this was around the late 80s. In 1990, Hargrove put out his first solo LP called Diamond in the Rough on the Novous imprint (subsidiary of RCA). He had previously been recorded on Bobby Watson’s and Superblue’s LP in 1989. A few years later, in 1993, he was hired by the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra to compose a song: The Love Suite-In Mahogany. In the mid 90s, he signed to Verve and released a few other LPs featuring vets like Stanley Turrentine, Herbie Hancock and Bradford Marsalis. In the late 90s, he won a Grammy (1998). He’s also responsible for the horns on Macy Gray’s LPs, D’Angelo’s Voodoo and other Neo Soul LPs that came out during the height of the splinter genre (late 90s-early 2000s). He’s 49 today.
Two things related to Punk Rock happened 11 years apart on the same day. First, On October 16th, in 2006, The infamous Punk Rock Club in New York City-CBGBs closed its doors. The 16th would be the last night that anyone would perform at the historic Punk venue. Patti Smith, who was discovered in CBGBs, did the honors of being the final act to take the stage. The club is also cedited with discovering the Ramones, Blondie, Talking Heads, The Fleshtones and The Shirts to name a few. It was one of the few places where you could hear original music produced by the youth. CBGBs (OMFUG) opened its doors in 1973, and it wasn’t originally set up to be a Punk club. The name means: country, bluegrass, blues and other music for uplifting gormandizers.
Second, On October 16th, in 2015, lead singer for the Punk band Scandal, and CBGB stage vet-Patti Smith had a sensitive moment. Sources say that Smith was extremely moved by a fan returning some of her stolen goods to her. She was moved so much that she cried, allegedly. The items were stolen in 1979, 36 years prior, when the band was on tour in Chicago at the Aragon Ballroom, and their gear truck with over $40,000 in equipment got stolen. The items she got back were a tee-shirt she’d worn for a Rolling Stone cover shoot in 1978; and a bandana that her brother had given to her (deceased).
Honorable Mention: On October 16th, in 1947, musician, songwriter, guitarist, singer and founding member of the Grateful Dead-Robert Hall Parber (Bob Weir) was born in San Francisco, California. The band started around 1963 and is infamously known for their live shows, dedicated followers and psychedelic drug culture. They have over 140 LPs, most of which are bootleg live recordings of their shows by fans. It was a whole ‘mix-tape’ culture started by their hardcore nomadic fan base.
On October 16th, in 1961, Decca released Crazy by Patsy Cline. There’s a backdrop story to this song that I’m sure Billy Walker always kicked himself for after it came it, I Mean who’s Billy Walker right? But you Know Pasty Cline right? Exactly the point…Willie Nelson was attempting to get Billy Walker to sing the song he’d written-Crazy. Walker wasn’t feeling it, so Nelson gave it to the newly signed Patsy Cline. The song went to number 2 on the Country chart. Without this song’s success, many believe that Willie wouldn’t have been able to have a solo career. It made Music Row take notice of his songwriting skills, and stayed on the charts for 21 weeks…
On October 16th, in 1968, the climate in America was very tense. The Vietnam war, Racial injustices, Hippie counterculture, a disgruntled with the Government public, and resistance to the ways of the status-quo culminated in a historical and courageous feat pulled off by US Track athletes Tommie Smith & John Carlos. After they were on the winners circle in the Olympics receiving their medals, they both raised their black leather glove covered fists in the air, heads bowed in a salute to the oppression Black & Brown people were facing in the US. The Black Power Salute was seen by millions…Not much different from Kap’s kneel…just saying…
Twenty seven years later, another seminal event occurred to uplift Black & Brown people in the US and abroad. On October 16th, in 1995. The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan saw his call for the Million Man March come to fruition. The event took place in Washington DC at the mall where the March on Washington had occurred. More than a million Black Men showed for the call for ‘Atonement’. The entire event was broadcast live, making it one of the most watched forms of peaceful protest ever. After the Million Man March, people saw dollar signs and a Million (Fill-in the blank) Marches spawned up (Women, Christian, Christian Men, etc).
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!