Hello my classic blog fans! I just wanted to inform my small group of followers that care, that I’m making some slight changes to my blog to make it more mobile friendly. I avoided it for a very, very long time, since 99% of the time I blog/tweet/facebook I’m using my PC. Without getting to technical, WordPress is a huge monster of an open source program, where programmers from all over the world volunteer their time to work on literally hundreds of different modules for this amazing CMS program. Then there is the other issue of my theme itself, and how WP responds to it and vise-versa. It would be more of a hassle than what it’s worth, to try and make my current theme more “navigable” to mobile devices the way it is designed now. After considerable thought, the best way for me to handle this is to get rid of most of my side panel. However, please note that I’m merely going to move the contents in a different place, so that mobile devices, e-readers etc. aren’t forever scrolling down to see my current posts. I really didn’t realize just how much people prefer their mobiles over PC. So, in response to that, I felt obligated to make some changes. Staying relevant just doesn’t mean content necessarily, sometimes it’s also how our sites are put together as well.
I’ll also continue to try and be mindful in making my regular posts as short and sweet as possible, and any downloadable media smaller (including streaming video). Once I’ve did the cleanup, I hope you’ve noticed how much my site is faster on your devices? Unfortunately to play along with the “Mystery Movie” challenge, and any Spotify scans, you’ll have to visit my site. I think it’ll be more fun that way anyway in the long run. So, I’m doing noting major, I just prefer making minor changes, instead of performing plastic surgery, that could land me in a very aggravating situation LOLOL 😜
You know, now that I’ve built up quite a bit of content, it’s kind of hard to remember whether or not I’ve discussed the same topic or not. But I guess it doesn’t really matter, because there will always be something someone hasn’t seen yet, or noticed. When it comes to classic content, I believe there is a sort of “Ying and Yang.” While more and more out of print *music* and film are being resurrected in the digital world, believe it or not there are still issues finding them. Some of my biggest concerns are:
- Not enough seasoned people are using computer technology, and sharing their memories with us! (biggest issue I feel).
- We have a situation where the last several generations of children were not exposed to classic entertainment history, therefore there is absolutely no interest by young people (with the exception of an occasional Marvin Gaye song). So sad.. 😥
- Because classic music is no longer played like it used to be, there is a severe decline in fandom. Yes more vinyl are being sold, but consider the biggest number appears to be from the UK (which is very telling about the decline of our own interest in American music and cinematic culture, foreigners appreciate our music more than we do as a whole). This is why seasoned folk are so important to the internet, especially when we talk about Black entertainment.
- Especially in terms of Black entertainment, there just isn’t enough bloggers of color on the net, period. And I’m afraid it is a direct reflection on the fact that a significant amount of people of color don’t read. And if I remember correctly, the school statistics still show this. Click here.
- I also think Facebook has made people lazy. People rather copy and paste, rather than actually take the time to write something of value using their own words.
- Blogging takes a certain level of dedication. I’ve seen soo many blogs that haven’t had any posts since more than 8 years. Their blogs are just sitting in cyberspace dormant. Like space debris, it’s just there.
- We don’t share other bloggers that are creating awesome new content about our classics! We’re working hard to keep both music and cinematic history alive! So few of us are doing it, please make the extra effort and share us. Show your appreciation. The Black community is notorious for not supporting each other. Hint, hint.
- Many Facebook group owners don’t show love to bloggers as much as they should.
- Many classic blogger’s sites themselves are sooo old, they’re not optimized for search engines. This is is just a matter of not being HTML and CSS savvy.
- Last biggie is, many old school artists/studios still don’t fully understand today’s digital culture, and lock their gems away in license/copyright bullshit. If you charge too much for your license so that no one can see your historical work, who’s benefiting? Absolutely no one!! Not even the studio. Daaahhhh.
So, despite the difficulties in finding new/old written content on the net about many of the classics we grew up with, how can we rediscover our music so we can relive them? There are actually a few ways.
- Search and find news letters where “classics” is the subject matter.
- Subscribing to blogs is the same as receiving newsletters.
- I’ve rediscovered classics from listening to podcasts on iTunes.
- Cable TV has awesome music channels. You can Shazam as much as you like!
- Old shows such as MTV are great to use with Shazam!
- 70’s and 80’s parties are a great source too! Actually, this is something else we should do more often. However, try to find parties where the music is diverse.
- I’ve said earlier, explore internet radio. There is an infinite wealth of music stations that play a range of oldies! All day and every day. Rare oldies, the kind of oldies that’ll make you say “Oh Shit! I haven’t heard that in ages!” There’s nothing more fun to hear a favorite song you’ve forgotten about!
- Explore foreign internet radio! I’ve found quite a few of non-English radio stations that exclusively play American classic music.
- 8Track is a wonderful legal website were users can upload their music (non-DRM). No computer generated playlist can take the place of hand picked music! They no longer offer unlimited listening, you get about an hour a month (if I remember correctly).
- YouTube has almost every song on the planet. I guess this is one of the flip-side benefits of the illegal uploading. We get to enjoy the music we would not hear otherwise (if legal streaming doesn’t have it).
- Old magazines! Yes, old magazines. Why? They will often have old celebrities you’ve forgotten about, that can open a flood of memories, and songs you loved.
- Barbecues and cookouts!! You are bound to hear some oldies there.
- Most churches (Black churches in particular) consistently have seventies themed parties, or play at least a sizable number of oldies.
- Sift through your Twitter Accounts.
- Sift through your Google Account. Google isn’t heavily active with classic content, but it is a decent source.
- Don’t forget that the Shazam application itself has suggestions of music similar to what you’ve just Shazamed! A great way to discover even more music.
- Facebook has a wealth of classic music groups. Sometimes they can get a bit repetitive, but occasionally you do find that goldmine, from a real classic fan. The only thing I should say is that, they do tend to have members of mixed age groups. So many things that are shared you’d never consider as classics, so sometimes some groups require a bit of sifting, but most times it is worth it.
- Streaming services like Spotify, Napster, Beats, etc, all have suggestion features, based on similar songs. They’re not always super accurate (in fact most of them aren’t), but then again, maybe they shouldn’t look for music exactly the same. Why? ‘Cause this is an opportunity to expose true music lovers to the kinds of music they were not privileged to.
- Gather with some old friends and discuss some of your memories of your favorite performers, and or movies.
- We don’t think about it much, but Documentaries can also be a great source. Free video streaming such as TubiTV has music documentaries that may play music you really like.
- I’ve came across a lot of videos on YouTube that contain “Top Ten Rock Music,” Or “Best Music From The 80s,” etc. Sometimes you’ll find a lot of gems there too.
- For movies, I think going to a Matinee every once in a while is a great idea to find oldies film.
- Of course, you know your Roku box is filled with hidden gems. All it takes is a little effort, and actually search. Stop being lazy.
- IMDB great choice.
- Sites that have rating systems.
- Movie bloggers.
- Sites that have articles on Sound Tracks.
- Your local library.
- Movie biographies.
- Books of “Best Movies For 19xx.”
- TCM and AMC
- Netflix offers DVD/Blu-Ray suggestions for every movie you add to your list/inquire.
- Vudu always offer “classic specials.” They also offer 99 cent rentals. They also now offer some FREE movies with commercials.
- Friends almost ALWAYS have movie recommendations.
- Visit and sign up for Blu-Ray.com, users add their movie and TV show collections to their profiles. Sift through their collections and discover mass treasures. You’d be surprised how many people are in to classic movies. Connect with other users, and strike up a conversation to locate rare, special edition, or obscure movies. It is basically a FREE movie fan site.
- Order movie catalogues. You don’t have to necessarily buy anything from them. Just use them to find interesting movies, then simply add them to your Netflix account. Why would you buy anything now-a-days just to watch it only one time? Unless it is a collector’s item, and it has additional material that a true fan would want. If Netflix doesn’t have it, fill out an online request form. Your only other option is to see if Amazon or Vudu has it for low rental.
- Don’t forget that you can use Shazam for a lot of movies and TV too.
Wow! I worn myself out remembering all these resources and ideas.. LOLOL.. I do hope tho, that the seasoned folks who are not exploring the internet like they should, understand what they’re missing in terms of not accessing classic music and film. Do you realize you no longer have to break your neck finding album stores (that will one day become extinct) that have that one rare album, or stores that will charge you an arm and a leg for an album you can most likely get from Spotify? Legally! And free! And the artist gets credit! Oh yeah, did I mention FREE on Spotify, that offers FREE accounts?!?! At no charge?!?! Hypothetically, if Spotify would get rid of their free accounts, $10 a month is still a steal!! $10 dollars to listen and or download anything you want! I’ve seen offers for On-Demand radio for $5 a month. Come on now guys!! A lot of visitors that may be reading my article spend more money than that on cancer sticks!! Yet a lot of you hypocrites talk about “supporting Black business,” and you refuse to invest $5 a month to listen to your favorite Black artist. I digress. So, for the last 10-15 years or so, all the albums I’ve really wanted bad enough, I’ve had to order all of them via the internet (Amazon). I don’t even think these massive record stores exist in NYC anymore. Many of the ones I remembered closed down.
The fine and talented Ginuwine! Although, I have to be honest, when I saw his first music video (I can’t remember the name of the song, all I remember he was dancing in the rain (or some thing like that)), I said to myself, he’s going to be a huge success! But, after that first video, I quickly realized that Ginuwine, was not really genuine at all. 😅😅 You see, although I thought he was a great singer, and a very talented dancer, a significant number of his music videos looked too much like he was trying too hard to be like Michael Jackson. So much so it was almost impossible to separate the two, because his movements seemed like Michael. In fact, I think I do remember watching an interview with him, and he did state that Michael was a huge influence. But in my opinion, he wasn’t just an influence, he was almost a copycat. Proof of this is when I heard him record a remake of Michael Jackson’s “She’s Out Of My Life.” Not only that, I said to myself, why would you pick the saddest song Michael has ever made? Anywayzzzz…..
Ginuwine worked with many producers that give him some of his greatest hits. And most of those hits probably came from Timberland. Ginuwine’s birth name is Elgin Baylor Lumpkin, and is almost as old as I am. He was born in 1970. His career took of once he hit around twenty years of age (ruffly the early 90s). He started with a group called the Swing Mob, also sometimes known as “The Basement Cru.” From there he developed good work relationships with the likes of Missy Eliot and many more. This group was his stepping stone to a good music career. There are many songs I love from him, and recommend that you find a “Best Of,” or “Greatest Hits” CD. If you have music streaming, I think “100% Ginuwine” is good to start off with. It has most of the hits that I really like. Such as, “What’s So Different,” “So Anxious,” “Two Sides To A Story,” and finally “Same O’l G.” Listen to this album on Napster here.
Let me start off by saying, I’ve never been a fan of hardcore hip hop. That isn’t a statement to put down people who do, it’s just a matter of musical taste. The kinds of hip hop I used to enjoy was I guess what you would call “Bubble Gum” rap today. Anything past Will Smith, Queen Latifah, Dug E. Fresh, Chub Rock, and sometimes Rakim isn’t my cup of tea. How I feel about hip hop today, is like how I feel about R&B. After Berry Gordy sold Motown, the quality of music has slowly went down hill after that. Sorry, just my opinion. Anyway, the reason why I’m writing about Easy E, is because someone posted a photo of him on a Facebook group I belong to. Now, please don’t misinterpret what I’m saying, I don’t think people should always think negative about celebrities. However, every time I see someone mention anything about Easy E., it’s always about how great his music is….. Fine…. But why do my people from my generation almost totally over looked the fact that he rocked the rap industry, when it was revealed he had A.I.D.S.
I mentioned this because this was also a huge part of Easy E’s life that we shouldn’t ignore or forget about. It taught a huge lesson to both the rappers and the fans of rap, because this was at a time where it was thought of as impossible that a rapper can get A.I.D.S. Rap was and still is anti-gay, and the mentality was (and sometimes still is) that only gay people got A.I.D.S. Which kind of opens a segway in to what a really wanted to talk about, which is the attitudes the rap industry still have about women. Unfortunately, there also exist women who are all so eager to entertain the degradation of other women, never seeing the importance of demanding respect. I digress…… Actually, after the announcement of both Easy E. and Magic Johnson’s status, the rap industry appeared to have put all sexual activity on lock-down. It’s a shame that Easy didn’t have the money that Magic Johnson had to stay alive, but then again rap had not reached its peak yet. Today, I can’t recall anyone that was just as famous as Easy E. who contracted the virus. However, I just wanted to say that straight woman are just as much of a victim of this deadly disease as gay men, and I just wished that there was still messages from the hip hop community about protecting themselves while “getting their freak-on.”
Oh boy, look how handsome Richard Roundtree was! Not only that, he was a very nice and down-to-earth person in real life! I’d take a simple regular guy any-day, than someone who’s always got something to prove, ain’t that right girls 🙀? Well, I wanted to do another article about Black Hair. I was sifting through some of my old magazines and thought to myself, damn! Our hair has changed A LOT in the past 30 years. I know this isn’t my imagination, I can’t be the only one that has given this a lot of thought? What I mean is, the quality of Black hair has some how changed. And I don’t necessarily think it’s the hairstyle either. As I nostalgically look through my old Black magazines, Black hair (particularly women) appeared to have more luster in their hair. Check out this link, and compare the hair you see there to many woman’s hair today, you’ll see what I mean. Which is kind of comical now that I think about it in perspective, because we did all kinds of crazy shit that damaged our hair, and that included the use of hot combs. I’m seriously wondering guys, are the products we’re using now are that much different that we have lost the quality of our hair? Or is the difference in our hair quality today represent the physical health of our community? I say this because the one thing I’ve learned from very young was that, the state of our health usually comes out 4 major (visible) places.
- Our Nails
- Our Skin
- Our Tongue
- Our Hair
You know, it’s funny. You know how back in the day (still do actually) when a guy gets a new job interview, and he advertises everywhere that he has to buy that “Detox,” to take the street drugs out their system? Usually it was for something small like Marijuana. However, do you realize that Marijuana comes out through your hair and usually stays their for months! I mention because we don’t realize just how EXTREMELY strong and durable human hair is (especially Black hair), what is happening when I look at our hair now and it doesn’t appear to be as healthy as it once was. Have all the Black business that made products specially for us have all gone? Or has the culture have changed so drastically that we don’t care about our hair as we once did 30-40 years ago? When I was growing up, I couldn’t walk down the street without my elders telling me “how he got that good hair.” Now, it seems that people aren’t passionate about their hair anymore. Guys seem to prefer sporting a bald look, and a lot of women seem to gravitate towards weaves, extensions, or wigs. Hmmm. I think this would be a great discussion for the community.
I love this commercial, because it was one of the very few commercials that feature an African American actors. Anybody who’s 40 years old and older can tell you, most of the commercials (if not all) that featured African American only actors, were 99% of the time about food, or about foods specifically marketed to Black people. This AT&T commercial kind of doesn’t make sense to me, because overall the message seems to be more about the relationship between two brothers, than a long distance commercial. I guess what they were trying to say that, even if their loved one is far away, talking to them over the phone is like they were there locally, but we all know that’s not exactly true, especially when it comes to young children.
You know, what cracks me up about this commercial, is that it struck up a memory of something we used to do all the time in the hood (even among siblings). That was, anytime someone in the “clique” got a new bike, skate board, roller skates, etc, we would allow someone to temporarily ride it/wear it, and for payment trade with something else of value. For instance, if a friend had a new comic book that was known you really really wanted, the possessor would trade the comic book for “99 rides.” I absolutely have no idea how we came up with that number! But let me tell you, that was a high price back then, and if someone allowed you to ride their bike for 99 rides for something, they were pretty desperate. LOLOLOL
I was too young to fully experience the 70s fashions. However, I remember these very well; they were the type of clothing most put on when their going out to a disco. Obviously I was too small to go out clubbing, but we had enough house parties for me to have some idea of what it was like. These clothes appeared to almost be exclusive to going out and dancing. Which is mind-boggling, considering the fact that those pants was soo tight. The material they used for men’s pants was so ruff, I didn’t really feel comfortable dancing in them. Maybe this was because it was meant for men to keep a certain posture. Who knows? Everybody was wearing this style, Black, White, Spanish, it was almost universal in a way. I love the red and black, it sort-of reminds me of a bull fighter.