Wow! Just realized it’s been a really long time since I’ve posted a look-a-like! Well, I got a real funny one for you! Angry Bird and Groucho Marx. Most if not all my young blog visitors probably are not old enough to remember comedian Groucho Marx. He was actually part of an act along with his brothers, known as “The Marx Brothers.” He later moved on solo, and has become very famous for hosting a few game shows. Look him up.. Groucho Marx.
Was looking through my old albums yesterday and found one of my favorites from Jimmy McGriff. Jimmy was a very talented jazz-organist. However, his music was more than just jazz, it was a mixture of bop and funk that has you dancing through almost all his music. On this particular album “Let’s Stay Together,” which I also call his “remake album,” remake in a good way. The entire album is instrumental, with some sick beats I think any jazz fan would love. His reinterpretation of Isaac Hayes’s iconic theme “Shaft,” was a masterpiece! The beat is so smooth and rich with base. I love base in jazz music. Absolutely! Listen to it on your Spotify app here.
Classic portrait of the old New Edition and fine a$$ Ray Parker Jr. around 1980s. Question…. Did you know that it was Ray Parker Jr. that produced “Mr. Telephone Man” for New Edition? Yup, learn something new every day!
Aaahh Culture Club! One of my truly favorite bands of the 80s. I really love these nostalgic photos, they really do bring back a lot of memories. It is said that all of the Jacksons where huge fans of Culture Club. In fact, one of the Jacksons was thrilled to meet this awesome musical group at a benefit gathering Circa 1980. Pictured in this portrait from left to right, LaToya Jackson, Boy George, and his then very handsome boy friend John Moss. They’ve made so many great hits throughout their career. Check them out when you get a chance. Listen to their first album using your Spotify app here.
I don’t know why this song popped in to my head yesterday. I remember playing this song a lot, you couldn’t play this and not dance. I’m not sure the year this song came out; their greatest hits album with this song in it was released in 2008, but I think “Sopa De Caracol” came out in early 1990? I’m having a hard time pinpointing a date, because it seemed like EVERY single Spanish group had a version of this song out. I’m not even sure who recorded it first. However, this is one of the best versions I remember hearing back in the day. You know, I love this song because it reminded me of an era when music was actually fun. Actually, it was also a fun time when both Spanish and people from the island were really connected to their culture. This was evident in the music, because Americans normally don’t write songs about food, unless they are making fun of themselves or someone else, ie, “Weird Al Yankolvic.” The band “Los Fabulosos Cadillacs” is from Argentina, and has a lot of great danceable hits.
Ok guys!! Rant time!! Haven’t done one in a long time. When it comes retailers and their high markups for their accessories, can kiss my @ss 😡. I’m specifically referring to Samsung’s OEM earbuds. Anybody that’s a die hard, true music lover knows that, no matter how much you pay for a pair of headphones, THEY NEVER LAST!! I know that a lot of my readers maybe brand-loyal, but trust me, ALL major brand headphones crap out within 2 years of consecutive use, 3 years if your lucky. Some may last longer, but they still don’t last long enough, when you weigh the amount of money we spend for them.
Every retailer I’ve ever purchased these Samsung headphones from were all $30. On average, I’d say I squeeze about 4-6 months of life out of them before buying a new one. So, 90 dollars a year is a lot of money to spend for an accessory, that’s not even sturdy, or child proof even! I know I probably sound like a spokes person for Amazon, but, I keep telling you guys, BUY FROM AMAZON! They sell almost everything up to 4 times cheaper in a store. Retailers get you because their convenient. You hear a little crackle in the left ear, just go to any electronic store or T-mobile store and pay for a $30 new one. Amazon has these same OEM buds for $7. You can buy 3 of them for and still come out cheaper. Sad part is, these are the ONLY in ear buds that fit comfortably in my ear. Don’t say I didn’t tell you so, cause I know a whole lot of you will still gonna spend full retail price anyway, after I told you not to. Shaking my head 😕
A very young Janet Jackson and Todd Bridges. If I remember correctly, this was on the set of the hit 80’s TV show “Different Strokes.” There was something about this picture that I’ve always assumed that Janet & Todd have dated for some time. But then again, although Janet has always said she’s been attracted to “all” kinds of men, when I’ve looked through all her very public relationships, every single one of those men have been light skinned. But, the other side of this coin is, Todd has admitted eons later that he had a serious drug problem. So, kudos for Janet choosing not to get involved with that mess.
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.