Black History Month African-American Music Appreciation Month
Like Tim Cook, I believe that no matter what you do in life, human rights and dignity are values that need to be acted upon (NY Times, 6/14/14). Perhaps, that was President Jimmy Carter’s motivation when he created “Black Music Month” in June, 1979.
A recent college graduate, full of dreams to make my mark, I believed (and still do) in music’s healing and unifying power. I was working at Epic Records (1979) and had a roster of “Black” recording artists including the O’Jays, Patti Labelle, Billy Ocean, Sarah Dash, Melba Moore, and if I am forgetting anyone, please leave me a comment.
Epic and The Associated Labels was on the 13th floor of ”Black Rock” 6th Avenue (now called Avenue of the Americas) and 52nd Street (legendary jazz capital). I was proud of my window office (floor to ceiling windows) and walls lined with albums ten feet tall. It was a hip working environment where rock, R&B, and heavy metal pulsated with rhythm and optimism.
Fast forward. Black Music Month is now called “African-American Music Appreciation Month” (as per President Obama/The whitehouse.gov), albums are nearly extinct, Epic Records is now part of Sony Music, offices (now located on Madison Avenue) are generally open spaces and I am a photographer, author, and professor. But, one thing remains constant – the fantastic music.
Click on the song titles below to hear a few favorite songs I marketed during that time:
The O”Jays: Sing A Happy Song
Billy Ocean: Nights (Feel Like Getting Down)
Patti Labelle: Music is My Way of Life
Sarah Dash: Sinner Man
Melba Moore: You Stepped Into My Life
Music has the power to reunite your heart and mind. Please share your favorite songs in the comment section below in tribute to African-American Music Appreciation Month.
All my best,