Soul meals, summer time solar, and household reunion tunes for Father’s Day

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Relatively than open with Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong’s basic duet “Summertime,” which I featured in a past story, this R&B hit from Billy Stewart ought to convey again recollections for a few of you.

For these of you not aware of his story, a brand new documentary movie on Stewart’s life and music premiered this 12 months.

John Kelly, writing for The Washington Post:

Stewart was found by Bo Diddley. From about 1958 to 1966, the guitarist lived in Washington, touring the East Coast, scouting expertise for Chess Information and recording acts in the basement of his dwelling on Rhode Island Avenue NE.

“Individuals who have been very critical about desirous to be within the music enterprise would meet over at Bo Diddley’s home,” stated Lindsay-Johnson.

Stewart performed piano in Bo Diddley’s band, then struck out on his personal. He appeared spectacular — his “Fats Boy” nickname was not ironic — and sounded spectacular, with a particular vocal fashion he primarily based on his love of Caribbean music.

“That’s what he informed Dick Clark,” Lindsay-Johnson stated.

You hear it finest on his model of the Gershwin track “Summertime,” through which Stewart trills and scats to a horn-driven background. Quentin Tarantino included the track on the soundtrack to “As soon as Upon a Time in Hollywood.”

Right here’s the trailer for Fats Boy: The Billy Stewart Story, which premiered on PBS this 12 months.

Stewart died tragically in a 1970 automobile accident. He was simply 32 years previous.

One other track that I hear in my head as quickly as summer time is talked about is Sly and the Household Stone’s “Scorching Enjoyable within the Summertime,” which they launched as a single in 1969, after gaining national attention at Woodstock.

Talking of Sly and the Household Stone—earlier than Woodstock, they have been one of many mind-bending acts at Harlem’s Cultural Competition. Questlove’s award-winning documentary Summer season of Soul premieres on July 2. Enjoyable truth: Yours actually—sure, me!—is likely one of the narrators.

Right here’s the trailer.

Extra on the documentary, from distributor Searchlight Footage:

In his acclaimed debut as a filmmaker, Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson presents a robust and transporting documentary—half music movie, half historic document created round an epic occasion that celebrated Black historical past, tradition and style. Over the course of six weeks in the summertime of 1969, only one hundred miles south of Woodstock, The Harlem Cultural Competition was filmed in Mount Morris Park (now Marcus Garvey Park).  The footage was by no means seen and largely forgotten–till now. SUMMER OF SOUL shines a lightweight on the significance of historical past to our religious well-being and stands as a testomony to the therapeutic energy of music throughout occasions of unrest, each previous and current. The function contains never-before-seen live performance performances by Stevie Marvel, Nina Simone, Sly & the Household Stone, Gladys Knight & the Pips, Mahalia Jackson, B.B. King, The fifth Dimension and extra.

Certainly one of my private favourite sunny songs is “Everyone Loves the Sunshine,” from vibraphone participant, jazz, and funk composer Roy Ayers.

Roy Edward Ayers, Jr. was born in Los Angeles, CA on September, 10 1940.  He comes by his affinity with music naturally, as his mom Ruby Ayers was a schoolteacher and native piano teacher and his father Roy Sr., a sometimes-parking attendant and trombonist. Because it typically occurs in a family stuffed with the love and the appreciation which for music, Roy started to show his musical aptitude by the tender age of 5, by which period he was enjoying boogie woogie tunes on the piano. He turned to the metal guitar by the age of good, had stints throughout his teenagers enjoying flute, trumpet and drums earlier than embracing the vibes as his instrument of alternative.

Maybe Roy’s karmic future as a vibraphonist was by his dad and mom’ resolution to permit him attend a live performance that includes the nice Lionel Hampton’s Massive Band. Throughout “Hamps” customary stroll down the aisle to thanks his viewers for attending, he observed an ecstatic five-year-old boy. So impressed was “Hamp” by the kid’s ebullience he walked over and introduced younger Roy Ayers Jr. with the present of a lifetime- a pair of vibe mallets. Throughout Roy’s adolescence, though his dad and mom required that his schoolwork stay his main focus, his mom managed to slot in piano classes, which served to boost  his public college schooling. Along with Roy’s involvement with numerous devices, he additionally sang within the church choir. Then, at seventeen years of age his dad and mom introduced him with a set of vibes and the remainder, as they are saying, is historical past.

Because the lyrics specific, “of us get down within the sunshine.”

Now whereas we’re talkin’ about sunshine, all of us hope and pray that we’ve sunny climate for the times after we’ve deliberate our cookouts and household reunions. Did I simply say household reunions? There is no such thing as a method I can point out them with out going on to the distinctly Philly sound of The O’Jays.

Steve Huey at All Music summarizes each the O’Jays’ biography and discography:

The O’Jays have been fashioned in 1958 in Canton, Ohio, the place all 5 authentic members — Eddie LeVert, Walter Williams, William Powell, Invoice Isles, and Bobby Massey — attended McKinley Excessive College. Impressed to begin a singing group after seeing a efficiency by Frankie Lymon & the Youngsters, they first known as themselves the Triumphs, then switched to the Mascots in 1960. The Mascots made their recording debut in 1961 with the one “Miracles,” issued on the Cincinnati-based King label. It earned them a fan within the influential Cleveland DJ Eddie O’Jay, who gave them some airplay and profession recommendation; in flip, the group renamed itself the O’Jays in 1963, after having recorded for Apollo Information with producer Don Davis. Underneath their new title, the O’Jays signed with Imperial and connected with producer H.B. Barnum, who helmed their first charting single, 1963’s “Lonely Drifter,” plus a number of extra singles that adopted. Isles left the group in 1965 and was not changed, leaving them a quartet; late within the 12 months, they launched their first-ever album, Comin’ By way of. In 1967, the O’Jays left Imperial for Bell, the place they landed their first Prime Ten single on the R&B charts, “I am going to Be Sweeter Tomorrow (Than I Was In the present day).” Discouraged by the issue of following that success, the group members thought-about dropping out till they met Gamble & Huff — then working as a manufacturing staff for his or her fledgling Neptune label — in 1968. Gamble & Huff took an curiosity within the group, and so they recorded a number of profitable R&B singles collectively; nevertheless, Neptune folded in 1971, leaving the O’Jays in limbo, and Massey determined to exit the group.

Fortuitously, Gamble & Huff fashioned one other label, Philadelphia Worldwide, and made the O’Jays — now a trio — certainly one of their first signings. The O’Jays’ label debut, Again Stabbers, launched in 1972, turned a basic landmark of Philly soul, and eventually made them stars. The paranoid title observe hit the pop Prime 5, and the utopian “Love Practice” went all the best way to primary (each singles topped the R&B chart). It was the start of a exceptional run that produced practically 30 chart singles and three Grammy nominations over the course of the ’70s, plus a sequence of best-selling albums and a bevy of primary hits on the R&B chart. The O’Jays adopted up their breakthrough with one other basic LP, Ship Ahoy, in 1973; it featured the primary R&B hit “For the Love of Cash,” a cool protest quantity that also ranks as certainly one of their signature songs, in addition to the ten-minute title observe, an bold suite recounting the ocean journeys of African slaves. Launched in 1975, Survival was one other hit, spinning off the hits “Let Me Make Like to You” and the R&B primary “Give the Folks What They Need.” Household Reunion discovered the O’Jays making concessions to the rising disco sound, which earned them their third Prime 5 pop hit in “I Love Music, Pt. 1

Once we head to a household reunion, the gathering is as a lot concerning the meals as it’s about seeing family. And don’t get me began on the mac and cheese or potato salad wars I’ve seen over time. 

You’ll want to watch the Aunties confer within the video tweet beneath.

The Fifth Dimension introduced a soulful head to the BBQ, with Laura Nyro’s tune “Stone Soul Picnic” in 1968.

That segues properly into Lambert, Hendricks & Ross’ “Residence Cookin,’” the place they sing about soul meals … which is making me hungry. “Candied yams, sizzling biscuits, and massive fats juicy hams …”

The trio have been well-known for his or her vocalese stylings. “Residence Cookin’” was composed by Horace Silver.

Right here’s Silver’s model:

Pianist, composer, and arranger Horace Silver is well-known for his basic “Track For My Father,” which is an ideal match for Father’s Day.  

His background influenced the sound of his music.

From his 2014 Los Angeles Times obituary

By way of basic compositions corresponding to “Track for My Father,” “Nica’s Dream” and “Señor Blues,” Silver influenced generations of musicians with a method that encompassed all his musical loves: gospel, blues, Latin rhythm. It was music that, in Silver’s phrases, “cooked” and “burned.” […]

Silver was born Sept. 2, 1928, in Norwalk, Conn. His father, John Tavares Silver, was an immigrant from Cape Verde, an island group off the west coast of Africa. Rising up Silver heard the folks music of his father’s homeland and black gospel music of his mom’s church. However it was listening to the Jimmie Lunceford band at a neighborhood amusement park when he was 11 years previous that positioned Silver squarely onto the trail of music.

“Once I heard that band play, I stated to myself, ‘That’s for me. I need to be a musician,’ “ Silver wrote in his autobiography.

Jazz and blues vocalist Leon Thomas additionally recorded a vocal version, with Silver’s lyrics.  

Lyrics:

If there was ever a person
Who was beneficiant, gracious and good
That was my dad
The person
A human being so true
He may reside like a king
‘Trigger he knew
The actual pleasure in life
To be dedicated to
And at all times stand by me
So I would be unafraid and free
If there was ever a person
Who was beneficiant, gracious and good
That was my dad
The person
A human being so true
He may reside like a king
‘Trigger he knew
The actual pleasure in life
To be dedicated to
And at all times stand by me
So I would be unafraid and free
If there was ever a person
Who was beneficiant, gracious and good
That was my dad
The person, The person

In closing, my remaining Father’s Day tribute is a track written a couple of stepfather: The Winstons “Coloration Him Father”  was launched in 1969, and tells the story of a person who marries a widow who has seven youngsters.

From the lyrics by Richard Davis Spencer:

Our actual previous man he obtained killed within the warfare
And she or he is aware of she and 7 youngsters could not of gotten very far
She stated she thought that she may by no means love once more
After which there he stood with that large huge grin
He married my mom and he took us in
And now we belong to the person with that large huge grin
I’ve obtained to paint this man father
I am gonna shade him love
I’ve obtained to paint him father
I imagine I am going to shade this man love

Benefit from the poignant visuals accompanying the track beneath, edited by YouTuber Rudolph M.

One of many fascinating issues concerning the band, fashioned in Washington, D.C., was that they have been built-in—which was not the R&B norm in 1969.

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No matter you might be celebrating at the moment, whether or not it’s Father’s Day, the beginning of summer time, a household gathering, or enjoyable within the solar, absolutely there’s music that accompanies it. I stay up for listening to your choices within the feedback part, and thanks for spending a part of today with me.