by Anthony Frazier
A few weeks ago I wrote an article about the music I grew up listening to and the influence it had on my life. I promised there would be another segment and here it is! I hope you enjoy it!
Music, no matter what genre...., is still music. I grew up around music and aside from my family, music is my first and true love. Music is my passion.
I am in the process of ripping all of my cds, lps, cassettes and videos to my external hard drives so that I can have easier access to it all. It's going to take me at the very least 6 years to complete the whole task.. I'm down for it though because it keeps me out of trouble.
So, where did it all begin?
When I was a kid no more than 5 years old I guess, I heard James Brown for the very first time. I fell in love with hits like "I Feel Good", "Say It Loud" and later on tunes like "The Payback" and "Talking Loud". I used to go to church and just out of the blue stand up and sing James Brown tunes.. Talk about getting in trouble. It was so funny thinking back now.
I also remember pretending to be a disc jockey on a major radio station I called W-H-A-N-D. I called it that because I did everything by hand. I used to take pennies and pretend they were records. I would take pens or pencils and pretend they were tone arms on a record player. I then put on my best dee jay voice and announced different songs. I would say things like "this is your favorite deejay coming to you from station W-H-A-N-D and here's The Supremes with "Floy Joy." And it didn't matter if it was Hank Williams or Freddie King, I would pretend to be playing it and singing along to it!
My parents always had music in the house. There was everything from Sister Rosetta Thorpe to BB King and many other artists in between. I guess I can truly say my love started there. My parents, (although I never saw them buy any records), always had new music in the house. Not only would they have the latest by some of the hottest artists at the time, they also had new tunes by artists who might have only released a single or maybe one album. It was all there. I did start making trips with them both to the record stores when I got older and they would buy tunes by artist like Zapp featuring Roger Troutman, Tracy Chapman and many others. My parents, up until their deaths, always seemed to stay hip as far as music was concerned. I remember my mom actually jamming some Public Enemy with me when I was in college and with my dad, whatever had a groove, no matter who it was, he jammed it. He sometimes got a little tipsy from it!!!
During my early years of loving music I didn't quite remember the artist names but I remember seeing a lot of the labels at the time going round and round on the turntable. Many of those labels, (Duke, Fame, Peacock, Chess, Checker, ABC, Galaxy, Brunswick, United Artists, Tamla) and others have been gone for many years now. Some were "swallowed" whole by major labels, whereas others just drifted away.
Many of those artists didn't reach that level of celebrity that they should have, but their music, to this day had an impact on, not only me, but many of my friends in music like my good friend A. Scott Galloway on the West Coast and Chris Parrish down south. They and so many of my peers in music, like so many others latched on to the music of the time and became writers, musicians, poets, artists, reporters or just lovers of the groove and more.