Obama Snubbed Etta James

Obama Snubbed Etta James It is January 20, 2009. Barack Obama has just been inaugurated as the 44th president of the United States. You turn on the TV to watch the Inaugural Ball. Barack and Michelle Obama step out onto the dance floor. The accompanying track to “At Last” starts playing and… Beyonce starts singing? […]

Best Gospel Songs by Decade – As Someone Who Has Never Listened to Gospel

Best Gospel Songs by Decade – As Someone Who Has Never Listened to Gospel Until I came to Spelman, I had never purposely listened to much gospel music. I was raised by a white mother and never once stepped foot into a Black church… much less any church for that matter. However, while I am […]

Are White Blues Singers Appropriating Black Culture?

Are White Blues Singers Appropriating Black Culture? You probably recognize the man in the picture: singer Elvis Presley. He is sometimes referred to “the King of Rock and Roll,” and you have likely heard some of his songs. One of his most famous songs is “Hound Dog.” There is a reason I’m bringing it up, […]

Jubilee Quartets: The Cycle of Black Music

Jubilee Quartets: The Cycle of Black Music The Origin The name “Jubilee” derives from the Fisk University Jubilee Singers. George L. White, the music director at Fisk University called them “Jubilee” singers as a reference to the Bible and the “year of the jubilee,” in which the enslaved people were to become free. The original […]

Scott Joplin: Feminist Icon

Scott Joplin: Feminist Icon By: Lila Gilliam, Olivia Duever, Elaine Ransom, Iyanna Herring, Mara Suggs Before We get in… Since we are studying music, unfortunately, our role in creating a post this week is not to analyze exactly how Scott Joplin’s Treemonisha pushed the boundaries of the society at the time it was written in […]

Death Grips: A New Take on Techno

Death Grips: A New Take on Techno Members of Death Grips (l to r): Zach Hill, MC Ride, Andy Morin Brief Background In 2010, the band formed in Sacramento, California. The members of the band are Zach Hill (drums), MC Ride (vocals), and Andy Morin (keyboard). Their sound varies from experimental hip hop to punk […]

Spelman College Jazz Program: Gone But Not Forgotten

Spelman College Jazz Program: Gone but Not Forgotten Spelman College Had a Jazz Program? Indeed, from 1983-2017, Spelman College had one of the country’s few jazz programs at an all-women’s college. As a track inside the music major, the jazz program offered courses like improvisation, and jazz composition and arrangement. There even was a Jazz […]

Artist Paper : Stevie Wonder

Stevie Wonder Introduction With a music career spanning 60 years and many genres, Stevie Wonder is one of the most influential and successful songwriters and musicians. Artist History Birth Steveland Hardaway Morris was born on May 13, 1950. He was born six weeks early, and that combined with too much oxygen in the hospital incubator, […]

Spirituals: A Great Way of Performing? Or Another Spectacle for White People?

A Great Way of Performing? Or Another Spectacle for White People? The Fisk Jubilee singers are one of the most famous examples of a group that brought attention to Negro Spirituals. But did the group’s formation lead to further commodification of the Black body and new commodification of the Negro spiritual?  Note, this is just […]

Tracy Chapman

Tracy Chapman I’ll always remember the first time I ever heard “Fast Car.” I was about ten years old. My grandma and I had just been to the public library in a nearby town. We were about to pull out of the parking lot, when the song came on the radio. I was immediately entranced […]