Thursday, July 23, 2015

Musical Black Girls

When I write a negative band review, I feel horrible about it. I still feel like I need to publish it, but I cringe inside and I may not send a link to the band.

That happened a few weeks ago, but the musician found it anyway, and he thanked me. We had a nice exchange. I have been thanked for some other reviews that aren't great, and usually the reason is because I gave them a chance. I listened (at least three times), I paid attention, and I took their efforts seriously. That is something musicians want.

During this last project I was also reminded me of when I finished going through the "Greatest Guitar Songs" and started "Women Rock". There didn't seem to be many women who would go onto the Greatest Guitar Songs list, but then we you step back, there were a lot of women who were important to rock, and good at it. It just took making an effort to see.

Looking at black women in music, I found a lot.

They were not all singers. Melba Liston was a trumpet virtuoso. There are amazing piano players, some of whom sing as well. I didn't know A Taste Of Honey featured women playing guitar and bass.

I found a better understanding of rock and it's development. It's important to know about Sister Rosetta Tharpe. I found a whole documentary about her. Once I knew the name Mavis Staples, she seemed to be turning up all over the place.

It reminded me of how much we don't know. Geeshie Wiley and Elvie Thomas were innovative players, but we don't have a lot of information on them. There could be many influential blues artists who have disappeared. There could have been more women than we realized.

There are songs that were made famous by men or white women, but they started with black women. That's not surprising, but I'm glad to know. Those things shouldn't be forgotten. I am glad to have heard Erma Franklin's "Piece Of My Heart" and Big Mama Thornton's "Hound Dog".

I'm sure the list could have been curated better. I tried go in roughly chronological order, but things get messy. Some of these women have had really long careers, and don't fit into any one time period.

Often they don't fit into any one genre. The first thing I heard about Cissy Houston was that she was a Gospel singer. That's not exactly untrue, but she was in a girl group, and if the Sweet Inspirations were more spiritual than the Shirelles, that's not all they were. I have her with them and I have her singing a disco song. No one mentioned that she did disco.

It brought up a lot of good memories - I'd forgotten Brenda Russell - and showed me a lot of music I'd missed.

I tried to do Gospel songs on Sunday. Everyone seems to have a Gospel song, even if that's not what they do for the most part.

Mainly it opened up new things to me. If you can't change anyone else, you can still change yourself.

The thing that will stay with me the most is just the sheer volume. I was looking at one month, and it's been nearly six. I could keep going. Even today, I was checking to see if I really loved Abbey Lincoln or just "Throw It Away". That lead me to Esperanza Spalding.

I loved Ledisi so much I did a regular review of her. I may also do that with Sharon Jones,  Joan Armatrading, Fefe Dobson, and Leona Lewis. I know I want to listen to them more.

 I owe great thanks to Sydette Harry and Aundrea Matthews.

Here is the full list.

2/1 "Wade in the Water" by Sweet Honey In The Rock
2/2 "Piece of My Heart" by Erma Franklin
2/3 "Last Kind Words" by Geeshie Wiley
2/4 "Motherless Child Blues" by Elvie Thomas
2/5 "Wild Women Don't Have The Blues" by Ida Cox
2/6 "Prove It On Me Blues" by Gertrude "Ma" Rainey
2/7 "Nobody Knows You When You're Down And Out" by Bessie Smith
2/8 "Move On Up A Little Higher" by Mahalia Jackson
2/9 "C'est Lui" by Josephine Baker
2/10 "Hound Dog" by Big Mama Thornton
2/11 "What A Difference A Day Makes" by Dinah Washington
2/12 "The Very Thought of You" by Billie Holiday
2/13 "At Last" by Etta James
2/14 "My Funny Valentine" by Ella Fitzgerald
2/15 "My Lord What A Morning" by Marian Anderson
2/16 "O patria mia" by Leontyne Price
2/17 "Misty" by Sarah Vaughn
2/18 "I'd Rather Go Blind" by Irma Thomas
2/19 "Stranger To My Happiness" by Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings
2/20 "Georgia On My Mind" by Ethel Waters
2/21 "So Long" by Ruth Brown
2/22 "Somebody Bigger Than You and I" by Marion Williams
2/23 "Throw It Away" by Abbey Lincoln
2/24 "But Beautiful" by Betty Carter
2/25 "No More Blues" by Carmen McRae
2/26 "Pow" by Melba Liston
2/27 "Taking A Chance On Love" by Dorothy Dandridge
2/28 Forgot
3/1 "Stormy Weather" by Lena Horne
3/2 "Mr. Lee" by the Bobbettes
3/3 "Maybe" The Chantels
3/4 "Baby It's You" by The Shirelles
3/5 "Darling Forever" by The Marvellettes
3/6 "That's When The Tears Start" The Blossoms
3/7 "Nowhere To Run" by Martha Reeves & The Vandellas
3/8 "Sweet Inspiration" by the Sweet Inspirations
3/9 "Needle In A Haystack" by The Velvelettes
3/10 "He's Got The Power" by The Exciters
3/11 "I Never Dreamed" by The Cookies
3/12 "(Like A) Nightmare" by The Andantes
3/13 "One Fine Day" by The Chiffons
3/14 "Chapel of Love" by The Dixie Cups
3/15 "Up Above My Head" by Sister Rosetta Tharpe
3/16 "Can't Let You Go" by The Geminis
3/17 "Attack" by The Toys
3/18 "Then He Kissed Me" by The Crystals
3/19 "Baby I Love You" by The Ronettes
3/20 "All Or Nothing" by Patti Labelle and the Bluebelles
3/21 "You Can't Hurry Love" by The Supremes
3/22 "Take Me" by Mable John
3/23 "My Guy" by Mary Wells
3/24 "After All" by Claudette Rogers
3/25 "Down To Zero" by Joan Armatrading
3/26 "Don't Make Me Over" by Dionne Warwick
3/27 "No Tears (In The End) by Roberta Flack
3/28 "Four Women" by Nina Simone
3/29 "Down In Mississippi" by Mavis Staples
3/30 "One Monkey Don't Stop No Show" by Honey Cone
3/31 "Skate To The Rhythm" by High Inergy
4/1 "Don't Leave Me This Way" by Thelma Houston
4/2 "Half and Half" by Vicki Sue Robinson
4/3 "Boogie Oogie Oogie" by A Taste Of Honey
4/4 "Saturday" by Norma Jean Wright
4/5 "Jesus Love Is Like A River" by Gladys Knight
4/6 "Encore" by Cheryl Lynn
4/7 "Sweet Splendor" by Anita Ward
4/8 "Think It Over" by Cissy Houston
4/9 "I Am What I Am" by Gloria Gaynor
4/10 "I Feel Love" by Donna Summer
4/11 "Do You Know Where You're Going To (Theme from Mahogany)" by Diana Ross
4/12 "I'm His Child" by Zella Jackson Price
4/13 "Slave To The Rhythm" by Grace Jones
4/14 "What A Little Moonlight Can Do" by Cassandra Wilson
4/15 "Soft Place To Fall" by Deborah Coleman
4/16 "Lost In Music" by Sister Sledge
4/17 "Back Down Memory Lane" by Minnie Riperton
4/18 "I'm So Excited" by The Pointer Sisters
4/19 "Where There Is Love" by Patrice Rushen
4/20 "Born To Swing" by Lil Hardin
4/21 "Hazel's Boogie Woogie" by Hazel Scott
4/22 "Hallelujah Boogie Woogie" by Dorothy Donegan
4/23 "I Apologize" by Anita Baker
4/24 "Cherish The Day" by Sade
4/25 "Chain of Fools" by Aretha Franklin
4/26 "Plant My Feet On Higher Ground" by The Davis Sisters
4/27 "What's Love Got To Do With It" by Tina Turner
4/28 "Buffalo Stance" by Nenah Cherry
4/29 "This Will Be" by Natalie Cole
4/30 "I'm Every Woman" by Chaka Khan
5/1 "Party Up In Here" by The Brides of Funkenstein
5/2 "How Will I Know" by Whitney Houston
5/3 "I'll Tell It Wherever I Go" by Sallie Martin
5/4 "Paper Thin" by MC Lyte
5/5 "U.N.I.T.Y." by Queen Latifah
5/6 "Shoop" by Salt-N-Pepa
5/7 "Sock It 2 Me" by Missy Elliott & Da Brat
5/8 "Satisfaction" by Eve
5/9 "Baby-Baby-Baby" by TLC
5/10 "Lord, Look Down On Me" by Bessie Griffin
5/11 "Give Me One Reason" by Tracy Chapman
5/12 "Rhythm Nation" by Janet Jackson
5/13 "I Know" by Dionne Farris
5/14 "Piano In The Dark" by Brenda Russell
5/15 "Say...If You Feel All Right" by Crystal Waters
5/16 "Be Without You" by Mary J. Blige
5/17 "How I Got Over" by the Clara Ward Singers
5/18 "Fa All Y'All" by Da Brat
5/19 “Lighters Up” by Lil Kim
5/20 “My Story” by Jean Grae
5/21 “A Girl Named You” by Psalm One
5/22 “Afro Puffs” by The Lady Of Rage
5/23 “Heaven Sent” by Keyshia Cole
5/24 "Lord Don't Leave Me By Myself" by The Famous Davis Sisters
5/25 "Breathe Again" by Toni Braxton
5/26 "Don't Let Go" by En Vogue
5/27 "Doo-Wop (That Thing) by Lauryn Hill
5/28 "I Try" by Macy Gray
5/29 "Have You Ever" by Brandy
5/30 "Don't Ask My Neighbor" by Tisha Campbell and Tichina Arnold
5/31 "I Thank You Jesus" by Marie Knight
6/1 "Didn't Cha Know" by Erykah Badu
6/2 "400" by Genesis Blu
6/3 "You Could Fall In Love With Me" by Countess Vaughn
6/4 "Faithfulness" by Skin
6/5 "Betty Shabazz" by Rapsody
6/6 "I'd Rather Go Blind" by Koko Taylor
6/7 "My God Is A Powerful God" by Sister Souljah
6/8 "You Can't Play With My Yo-Yo" by Yo-Yo
6/9 "Echelon" by Honeychild Coleman
6/10 "Miss Moon" by Cree Summer
6/11 "Warrior Bones" by Tamar-kali
6/12 "Legacy" by Fefe Dobson
6/13 "Running Song" by Ambersunshower
6/14 "Psalm 8" by LeJuene Thompson
6/15 "Missing You" by Joi
6/16 "The World Is A Beat" by N'Dambi
6/17 "Turn The Heat Up" by Shemekia Copeland
6/18 "Conversion" by Straight Line Stitch
6/19 "'86" by Dawn Richard
6/20 "I Blame You" by Ledisi
6/21 "I Have A Father Who Can" by CeCe Winans
6/22 "I'm A Tree" by Imani Coppola
6/23 "I Am American" by Shelley Nicole's blaKbüshe
6/24 "Let It Burn" by Jazmine Sullivan
6/25 "You Can't Be Told" by Valerie June
6/26 "Deep Sea Diver" by Angel Haze
6/27 "Get Along With You" by Kelis
6/28 "Who Feels It Knows It" by Rita Marley
6/29 "Transformation" by Nona Hendryx
6/30 "Dizzy" by NoName Gypsy
7/1 "Emotion" by Destiny's Child
7/2 "Yoga" by Janelle Monáe ft. Jidenna
7/3 "My Baby" by Zendaya
7/4 "The Star-Spangled Banner" by Beyoncé
7/5 "Somewhere In My Lifetime" by Phyllis Hyman
7/6 "Whip My Hair" by Willow Smith
7/7 "Take A Bow" by Rihanna
7/8 "1991" by Azealia Banks
7/9 "The Night Is Still Young" by Nicki Minaj
7/10 "Rock The Boat" by Aaliyah
7/11 "Guess Who I Saw Today" by Nancy Wilson
7/12 "I'm On Your Side" by Jennifer Holliday
7/13 "What A Feeling" by Irene Cara
7/14 "Try Sleeping With A Broken Heart" by Alicia Keys
7/15 "Dreamin'" by Vanessa Williams
7/16 "I Decided" by Solange
7/17 "I Am" by Leona Lewis
7/18 "Complain" by Tweet
7/19 "I Believe" by Fantasia Barrino
7/20 "Believe In Me" by Michelle Williams
7/21 "Stole" by Kelly Rowland
7/22 "I Am Changing" by Jennifer Hudson
7/23 "Opportunity" by Quvenzhané Wallis

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