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Musical Reflections Of Songs By Black Musicians From 1960 To 1961-Part 1

By Edited May 18, 2015 0 0

Artist Name: Dinah Washington

Song Name: Baby (You’ve Got What It Takes)

Composer: Brook Benton, Clyde Otis, Stein

Release Date: January 1960

Record Label: Mercury

Chart Peak Position: Pop: 5 and R&B: 1

 The lyrics of this song are focused around singing about how the romantic partner one is with has what it takes to make him or her happy and smile. I think this is a very important feeling to feel when you are with another individual because if they do not put you in a positive mood then I do not see the point of being in a relationship with that person. Ultimately, when an individual is dating someone it is because there is something about that other person that makes them feel good, causing the relationship to continue to develop. The message I received from this song is that it is important to find the right person for you, and to never settle for anything less then what you deserve. This is because there is someone out there for everyone in this world.

 Artist Name: The Platters

Song Name: Harbour Lights

Composer: Kennedy-Williams

Release Date: February 1960

Record Label: Mercury

Chart Peak Position: Pop: 8 and  R&B: 1

 I am not really fond of this song because while I was listening to it I did not find anything extremely interesting or touching about it. The song is based around a set of harbour lights that once brought a couple together and now that same set of harbour lights is setting them apart. The reason for this separation is due to the woman in the relationship sailing away on a ship to a far away place while the man remains stranded on the shore. The song also speaks about the pain the man is feeling because the woman has gone away, and he also mentions how much he misses her. The message of the song was fairly unclear, which was one of the contributing factors which made the song of the title interesting to me. Overall, I did not like this song because I found it to be too slow and insignificant.

 Artist Name: Buster Brown

Song Name: Fannie Maw

Composer: Buster Brown

Release Date: April 1960

Record Label: Fire

Chart Peak Position: Pop: 38 and R&B: 1

 From the very start of this song, when you hear the beat kick in, it automatically puts you in a joyful mood. This song literally caused me to start to sway from right to left, because the beat was so addicting. I enjoyed Buster Brown’s voice as soon as I heard it because it has a strong yet smooth touch to it. Throughout the duration of the song, Buster Brown is posing a question concerning what is wrong with him. Previous to this question he is begging for Fannie Mae to come home. Therefore, what I believe would be a suitable response to his question is that he fell in love with Fannie Mae and that is why he does not feel like his usual self. When an individual falls in love, he or she cannot bare to be without their loved one which is what I believe happened to Buster Brown in this particular situation.

 Artist Name: Brook Benton & Dinah Washington

Song Name: A Rockin’ Good Way (To Mess Around and Fall In Love)

Composer: Benton, Dejesus, Clyde Otis

Release Date: June 1960

Record Label: Mercury

Chart Peak Position: Pop: 7 and R&B: 1

 Listening to this song sung by booth Brook Benton & Dinah Washington resulted in a very pleasant experience for me. I liked the way in which Brook Benton and Dinah Washington’s voices complemented each other, which is what is required in order for a superior duet to arise between two people. Also, this song gave off a rock and roll feel due to the fact that both singers had a little bit of attitude in their voices making the song more playful. I would explain the song as a friendly battle between two individuals who are interested in one another in a romantic way. This was easily identifiable due to the undeniable chemistry between two singers. Moreover, I found it unique that when kissing is mentioned in the song, the sound of a kiss is being played in the background following the word “kissing”, which adds a sense of reality to the song.

 Artist Name: Bobby Marchan

Song Name: There’s Something On Your Mind-Part 2

Composer: Big Jay McNeely

Release Date: July 1960

Record Label: Fire

Chart Peak Position: Pop: 31 and R&B: 1

 The lyrics of this song are relevant to my own experiences because there are time whereby I get asked what is on my mind or it there is something I should be telling others, when in reality, there is nothing that I am thinking about. Therefore, for this particular song I can relate to the individual for whom this song was written for, as opposed to the singer who is singing the song. While I was thinking about why people constantly ask what one is thinking about, I came across possible answers to this question. Perhaps the partner who is asking is afraid of losing the other individual or is worried that not everything is okay with their partner. I strongly feel that is one has something troubling on his or her mind, he or she will eventually tell the other person if it is necessary and appropriate. Therefore, questions such as the ones this song is concerned with can be avoided.

Artist Name: Ike & Tina Turner

Song Name: A Fool In Love

Composer: Ike Turner

Release Date: August 1960

Record Label: Sue

Chart Peak Position: Pop: 27 and R&B: 2

 After I finished listening to this song I found aspects that I liked and disliked. The components of the song that I like were the passion in Tine Turner’s voice as well as the comfortable and bouncy beat of the song. The aspect of the song that I did not like is when the lyrics stated that the woman no longer wanted to like if she did not have a man by her side.  This song must have been heard by a vast number of young girls and adult ladies, therefore sending a negative message to the female population. I think it is important for empowering and positive songs to be put out so that women around the world can be independent and improve their self-worth. Additionally, the message of the song was that sometimes a woman can be so in denial about her love for a man, that she needs the individuals around her to point it out for her.



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