Amoeblog

Music History Monday: December 16

Posted by Jeff Harris, December 16, 2013 09:30am | Post a Comment

To read more Behind The Grooves, go to http://behindthegrooves.tumblr.com.

Remembering dance music icon Sylvester (born Sylvester James in Los Angeles, CA) - September 6, 1947 - December 16, 1988.
 


On this day in music history: December 16, 1966 - "Hey Joe", the debut single by The Jimi Hendrix Experience is released (US release is on May 1, 1967). Written by Billy Roberts, the song tells the story of a man on the run after shooting his wife for her infidelity. A garage band standard, it is covered by numerous acts including The Leaves, The Byrds, Love, The Standells, and The Surfaris to name a few. Hendrix's version is recorded on October 23, 1966 at De Lane Lea Studios in London. The single is first offered to Decca Records in the UK who decline to release it. Polydor will pick it up for UK release (and Reprise in the US) and it will immediately hit the charts. "Hey Joe" will peak at #6 on the UK singles chart.
 


On this day in music history: December 16, 1972Across 110th Street - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack is released. Produced by Bobby Womack, it is recorded at American Sound Studios in Memphis, TN from Spring - Fall 1972. Issued as the soundtrack to the blaxploitation crime drama starring Anthony Quinn, Yaphet Kotto, and Antonio Fargas, it features a song score written and produced by Bobby Womack and is performed by Womack and his backing band Peace. It also features the instrumental score from the film written by J.J. Johnson. The title song will be issued as a single and will peak at #19 on the Billboard R&B singles chart and #56 on the Hot 100. It will also be featured in director Quentin Tarantino's film Jackie Brown in 1997 and in American Gangster in 2007. Across 110th Street - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack will peak at #6 on the Billboard R&B album chart and #50 on the Top 200.
 

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Music Videos of Ten Gay Club/Dance Classics

Posted by Billyjam, June 30, 2012 10:29pm | Post a Comment

As this year's LGBT Pride Month comes to a close here is one last installment in the series of Amoeblog specials celebrating the occasion It is ten music videos of gay disco/dancefloor favorites culled mostly from the 70's & 80's / disco/new wave eras (some 90's too) - and compiled from various lists and playlists drawn up by music fans and DJs.

Naturally it only scratches the surface and doesn't include a ton of great songs/videos. So feel free to post in comments any ones you think that should be added. But it does have some classic gay dancefloor staples in there including such ever popular ones such as the Village People's "In The Navy" and the Pet Shop Boys' later decade single/video cover of the Village People's "Go West."

Also included is Diana Ross' 1980 hit single "I'm Coming Out" which song producer Nile Rodgers reportedly got the idea for the track after noticing at some discos drag queens dressing like Ross. Of course the song, which was a disco and mainstream radio hit, was perceived on different levels by different people. For Ross herself it was her signature concert entrance opening theme as in the video below from her 1981 Great Western LA Forum show (note the clip also includes her doing "The Boss").

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Black [gay] History Month, 2012

Posted by Job O Brother, January 29, 2012 04:30pm | Post a Comment
black history gay

Ethel Merman’s voice makes my stomach acids sour and the very idea of shopping for clothes gives me a panic attack; despite these and other suspicious facts, I am a member of the LGBT community. For this reason, the issue of equal rights is ever-present in my mind.

There’s been a lot written and said about comparing the history of intolerance between racial minorities and the gay community, most especially in late 2008 when Prop. 8 was passed in the state of California amidst reports that large numbers of black people, urged by their church heads, voted to end the briefly instituted marriage equality of the state.

There were, of course, many exceptions to this and I don’t mean to angle this as a blacks-versus-gays situation – it's far more complicated than anything I'll do justice to here – but it did shine a light on an issue that often ruffles feathers. Knowing my place here on the Amoeblog as “light entertainment,” I will eschew any prolonged essays on the matter (for great, long-winded crap like that you should check out Charles Reece’s blog), but I will say that equal rights for all people is not only a victimless proposition, it’s one that benefits all people. Whether you think it’s appropriate to compare the struggle for gay equality with those of racial minorities, the fact is that everyone should have the same basic, human rights.

It would be one thing if a child was struck with bone marrow cancer every time two lesbians kissed, but kids, that’s just not the way it is and the sooner we let the gays get married, the sooner they can set up homes that will raise the property value of your block.

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"It's the MOST... Blackhistorymonthy tiiime of the yeeear...!"

Posted by Job O Brother, January 31, 2010 10:45am | Post a Comment
bessie smithbeyonce

I know what you’re thinking: How can it be that it’s Black History Month again, already? It seems to come up faster with each passing year. No sooner do I finish cleaning up all the gift wrap and decorations from 2009’s BHM festivities when – BAM! – time to break ‘em out again for 2010.

But I am excited! I love draping my house in the traditional BHM crushed-velvet flour sacks, heated bear skins, and twinkling, sapphire, mailboxes. We gather together around the hot oil printing press and sing BHM carols, get tipsy on Pancake-Sausage Nog, and remind each other, with love in our hearts, not to forget to turn off the air conditioner before leaving the house. Oh, joy! Oh sweet, unmitigated joy!

Of all these rituals, my favorite is the singing of the carols. I thought I’d share some of them with you, and invite you to sing along with me! Just click on a song below and belt one out. If you’re at work, or reading this on your iPhone while standing in the check-out line at Trader Joe’s, or simultaneously looking at Internet porn (way to multi-task!) – no matter! Sing all the louder! Let everyone know: You’re Black and You’re Proud!

Ahhhh, Thelma!

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, October 24, 2007 01:19am | Post a Comment

"This Amoeba thing is getting to be very catchy," said Houston from the stage of her SF in-store appearance. (She was referring to her other appearance earlier in the year at the Hollywood store.)



The 61-year-old daughter of a Southern cotton farmer turned disco diva is touring in support of her new CD, A Woman's Touch, which is a mix of covers from people like Luther Vandross, Marvin Gaye, and Sting. Houston explained to the crowd why all of the songs that she sang were originally done by men, and not women, considering the name of her record: "Once Gladys, Chaka, or Aretha record a song," she said, "you don't need to go there!"




The audience was loaded with old queens (this being SF, after all), all there to pay homage to the woman who sang one of the top ten disco songs of all time, "Don't Leave Me This Way."


But besides being a disco icon, Houston is also an accomplished stage actress, and it showed in her delivery. She came out to the platform dressed like Tina Turner, in a tight tunic and leggings, with a shock of neatly dredded hair in a ponytail cascading around her. She placed a top hat upon her head, which had gigantic feathers dripping off of it. "This is my good luck thing," she joked, "my good voodoo spirit."


Accompanied only by a backing track and a microphone, she lit into her first song, "Wake Up," and then into an Al Green cover, "Love and Happiness." Before she sang it, she told the crowd a story about Al Green, and how she and a certain male friend of hers both had a crush on him in the '70s. "[This was] before the grits," she joked, referring to Green's run in with the law, a hot pot of porridge, and his woman's back.

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