“Sly & The Family Stone” was the most eccentric band I’ve ever heard of (at least as far as what I remember). I mean, I wouldn’t compare him to being like the late Prince, but Sly and his group were eccentric in their own way (within that era). In my opinion, I feel that the above photo was Sly’s best look. He’s was very handsome there. I never liked that big ol’ “Afro-curl,” I guess is the best way to describe it. Sometimes he looked like he had on a party wig, and other times he looked like a tree of some sort. However, I understand the era. When it came to rock music, the 60s was about rebellion, individuality, and changing the social norms.
I’m pretty sure that their album called “Dance To The Music” was their first album. The song “Dance To The Music,” from the “Dance To The Music” album, was the first Sly song I remember hearing. I didn’t understand hardly any words then, but when I heard the beat of the song, it automatically made me want to jump and move my body. What was special about this song was that, it didn’t seem to go with any particular dance (and way had many). All we had to do was just move our bodies on the dance floor, and we were fine 😀 About a year later, Sly and his crew recorded another album called “Stand.” The first hit from this album I recall hearing was “Everyday People.” I really loved this song, and although I wasn’t old enough yet to understand the phrase “different strokes for different folks,” when I finally did understand, it became one of my biggest motto(s) to live by.
Before Curtis Mayfield became the solo legend he was, he was in a musical group called “The Impressions.” In addition to being a singer and songwriter, like many performers at the time, he was also a political activist. Akin to Bob Marley in many ways, in the beginning Mayfield’s music was all about social consciousness, and it showed in his album art. In the 60s and 70s, it wasn’t just singing and dancing to music that told the stories of Blacks in poor communities; they visually showed the harsh realities in their art work. Which by the way, I can’t help but to reflect on the extreme difference in album covers between then and now. Back then it was about reality. Today, it’s about showing your Photoshop skills, and finding an excuse to publish any kind of T&A (the bigger the better) (especially in hiphop).
I can’t help to notice, when I listen to his song “Stay Close To Me,” On the album called “This Is My Country,” I am immediately reminded of Pharrell Williams. I guess because most young people don’t have a damn clue about classic music, young kids think Pharell’s style is all originally his. Anyway…… Unfortunately, I can’t find the stats to this song, but I think it’s a really nice love song. However, I do know the song called “This Is My Country,” from the same album hit #5 on the Top 100 Chart, so I’m taking a guess that “Stay Close To Me” did at least mediocre. This album was published under Rhino Records.
It’s been awhile since I’ve listened to this phenomenal woman’s music. The insanely popular song called “Pata Pata,” was recorded by Miriam Makeba in 1967. I was just shy of 3 months old when this song was released; yet, I was aware of hearing the song around 6 or 7? That’s how popular her song still was. “Pata Pata” was the song that made Miriam extremely famous; I guess we can say it was comparable to America’s Chubby Checker’s massive hit “The Twist.” Miriam’s “Pata Pata” was not only a great popular Afrodance song, it was that “feel good” song that brought many races together. Miriam changed the world with her music, and her legacy should not be forgotten. What was special about Miriam, she didn’t just spread political awareness with her music, she also sang about the kinds of deep personal struggles that many people of color were going through, and still are. Such as the song I love called “Quit It (1974).” Very deep words that song has, and unfortunately, it is still relevant to the struggles of many today. Her music will speak to you once you listen it (appose to hearing it). Young kids today don’t know what a phenomenal artist she was. Miriam died at the age of 76, some time in 2008. There’s an excellent video I found on Amazon’s streaming, it’s called Have You Seen Drum Recently? It’s a documentary about anti-apartheid and the change of Black culture. This video includes the legendary Miriam Makeba.