Negro Spirituals

Negro Spirituals Spirituals were originally an oral tradition that iintertwined Christianity and describing the hardships of slavery. Although spirituals were originally unaccompanied songs and developed into harmonized arrangements. The term “spiritual” is derived from the King James Bible translation of Ephesians 5:19: “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making […]

Artist Page – Richard Smallwood: The Gospel Icon

Biography Richard Smallwood is an American pianist, singer, songwriter and producer. Success came early for the Atlanta native who formed his first gospel group when he was 11 made up of kids from the Washington D.C. neighborhood he grew up in.  After graduating from Howard University, where he earned degrees in vocal performance and piano, […]

The Rise and Evolution of Hip-Hop

The Rise and Evolution of In the mid to late 1970s Hip-Hop emerged from New York City, from the Black and Latino neighborhoods in the Bronx. Hip hop and rap have many important influences—R&B, funk, soul, jazz, rock and roll performers. A profound influence on rap music comes from what many might consider an unlikely […]

Let the Church say Amen

Gospel Music The roots of black gospel music can be ultimately traced to the hymnals of the early 19th century Negro Spirituals alongside ragtime, blues,  and jazz.  A Collection of Spiritual Songs and Hymns Selected from Various Authors (1801) was the first hymnal intended for use in black worship. It contained texts written mostly by […]

Motown: Music that has Moved the World

Diana Ross The Four Tops Gladys Knight & the Pips The Isley Brothers The Jackson 5 Lionel Richie The Marvelettes Michael Jackson Marvin Gaye Rick James (1948 – 2004) Smokey Robinson and the Miracles Stevie Wonder The Supremes The Temptations Berry Gordy was an emerging songwriter who decided to establish Motown Records in 1959. The […]

David Banner

David Banner Lavell William Crump, better known by his stage name David Banner, is an American rapper, record producer, a Grammy Award winning music producer, recording artist, philanthropist, activist and actor who pioneered the now very popular putting your tag at the beginning of a beat – “David- David-David-David Banner”. David Banner started his career […]

Afrika Bambaataa

Afrika Bambaataa A Bronx DJ during the 1970s, Afrika Bambaataa (born Lance Taylor) and Member Bronx River Projects branch of New York City street gang Black Spades, 1969-75, became a lieutenant; acted as leader of the Zulu Nation. Bambaataa used his reputation as a DJ to form a largely nonviolent “gang,” eventually known as Zulu […]

Parliament Funkadelic

Parliament Funkadelic Inspired by Motown, George Clinton put together a band of over 50 musicians to create the ensemble known as Parliament Funkadelic. With heavy influences from James Brown, Jimi Hendrix, Sly Stone and others, Parliament Funkadelic created a unique sound that infused Soul, R&B, and Rock music called P-Funk (Psychedelic Funk, Pure Funk or […]

Make it Funky!: The History of Funk Music

Make it Funky!: The History of Funk Music Funk, rhythm-driven musical genre popular in the 1970s and early 1980s that linked soul to later African American musical styles. In the early 1970s funk became the musical standard for bands such as the Ohio Players and Kool and the Gang and soul singers such as the […]