Monday, February 14, 2011

I Miss Motown

After watching the Grammies last night (or as much of it as I could take), I started thinking about how much I miss Black music. I mean real black music. I recalled 20 plus years ago when Lionel Ritchie took to the stage at one of the music awards shows and proclaimed "Outrageous." I wonder if he ever thought he'd live to see Lady Gaga hatching out of an egg? And, for the record, Grace Jones was shocking way before we'd ever heard of Lady Gaga and before Lady Gaga ever studied and mimicked Grace and other famous Black folks.

There was a nice tribute to Aretha Franklin, who may or may not be ill, but will always be the Queen of Soul. Personally, I didn't think they needed an ensemble to pay tribute to Aretha. They could have let Jennifer Hudson handle it all by herself.

Anyway, the evening got me to thinking about Motown and all the music that Berry Gordy (love him or hate him) brought to our enjoyment. And I was thinking about lyrics that could even be considered remotely controversial, which in this day and time, would be downright boring. And I started thinking about Junior Walker. Remember "Shotgun?" Maybe it's because we were born in the same town - Blytheville, Arkansas. However, that's probably not the reason because I only learned that after reading about his life on Wikipedia.

Nonetheless, Junior Walker made me dance, he made me smile and he sure as heck didn't look like Elton John (no disrespect to Cee Lo Green, because I do love this music, especially "Forget You"). Although, I'm pretty sure Elton John has copied Chuck Berry, James Brown and a few more of our peeps.

So, today's Black History Salute goes to Autry DeWalt Mixon, Jr. (1931-1995), better known as "Junior Walker."

(And by the way, thank God for Bob Johnson who started BET - but that's another post)

1 comment:

Brooklyn said...

In my humble opinion, it is virtually impossible to know how to "soul it" if you don't even know what Highway 61 symbolizes. It runs right thru the Mississippi Delta and those artists or their ancestors who were a great part of the "Soul Explosion Generation" (Oh, I like that phrase:) - picked up that flavor on the way "Up North." BTW, Highway 61, runs right down the middle of Blytheville, Arkansas. So, Junior Walker got his honest:).