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Musical Reflections Of Songs By Black Musicians From 1971 To 1972-Part 1

By Edited Aug 28, 2015 0 0

Artist Name: Wilson Pickett

Song Name: Don’t Let the Green Grass Fool You

Composer: Aikenes-Bellman-Drayton-Turner

Release Date:  January 1971

Record Label: Philly International

Chart Peak Position: Pop: 17 and R&B: 2

 This song generally put me in a good mood; I don’t think it had that much to do with the lyrics, but more to do with the steady percussion beat and amazing saxophone riffs.  It is a rare occurrence in a song when the instrumental part of it amazes the listener so much that the vocal portion fades into the background.  The lyrics were done very well; however, I didn’t pay much attention to them throughout the song when first listening to it, but rather the second time around.  This song was done very well, and is fun to listen to; I would definitely listen to this song leisurely more than once.

  Name: King Floyd

Song Name: Groove Me

Composer: King Floyd

Release Date: January 1971

Record Label:  Chimneyville

Chart Peak Position: Pop: 6 and R&B: 1

 This song definitely makes me feel very blissful with its upbeat tempo and instrument choice.  The combination of the tempo and instruments produces a feel-good song that will turn anybody`s day around for the better.  The artist does a great job with matching the feeling that the lyrics portray with the feeling that the instrumental portion of the song portrays.  The ``grooving`` theme of the song is very consistent throughout the entire song and gave me the desire to dance.  After hearing this song I felt like dropping everything that I was doing and starting to dance; the tempo, instrument choices, and consistent grooving theme were the reason for this. 

 Artist Name: The Undisputed Truth

Song Name: Smiling Faces Sometimes

Composer: Whitfield-Strong

Release Date:  May 1971

Record Label: Motown/Gordy

Chart Peak Position:  Pop: 3 and R&B: 2

 I felt very mischievous when I was listening to this song.  The instrumental that is played in the beginning of the song before the vocals are present remind me of an old James Bond movie and any movie that involved an undercover agent.  The lyrics match the instrumental part of the song because they speak of the truth being in the eyes and a smile being used as nothing more than a disguise.  This song made me feel as if I was hiding something, when evidently I had done nothing wrong.  I found myself looking over my shoulder as I was listening to the song to see if anybody was looking for me; nonetheless, this song allowed me to step aside from reality and imagine myself as an undercover agent. 

 Artist Name: The Ebonys

Song Name: You’re the Reason Why

Composer:  Gamble-Huff

Release Date:  May 1971

Record Label: Philly International

Chart Peak Position: Pop: 51 and R&B: 10

 This song reminded me of one of my friends from elementary school; immediately after I heard the band begin to sing the “boh bob boh bah” at the beginning of the song, I had started to imagine Marianna humming along with the song.  When I was younger one of my friends had always been caught singing that signature riff.  I finally had a chance to ask her what she was singing, and she responded by allowing me to listen to this exact song.  Hearing this song right now reminded me of that day in elementary school when Marianna let me listen to this exact song and solved my curiosity as to what she was humming all of the time. 

 Artist Name: The Honey Cone

Song Name: Stick Up

Composer: Holland-Dozier-Holland

Release Date: September 1971

Record Label: Hot Wax

Chart Peak Position: Pop:11 and R&B:1

 This song made me remember the many visits to the local bank with my mother and father when I was a child.  Even though the song deals with the artist being involved in a highway robbery, all that would come to my head when listening to the lyrics was going into the bank with my parents and imagining that there was going to be a stick up.  I had a constant view that banks were places that got robbed often because they possessed a lot of cash that was easily accessible for robbers with weapons; I now know that I was falsely lead to believe this because banks do not get robbed nearly as often as other places.  This song reminds me of my visits to the bank with my parents as a child because of its theme of being held up.

 Artist Name: Staple Singers

Song Name: Respect Yourself

Composer: Luther Ingram, Mack Rice

Release Date: October 1971

Record Label: Stax

Chart Peak Position: Pop: 2 and R&B: 12

 This song reminded me of my grandmother because it constantly emphasizes respecting oneself.  She is known for many good things that she has said and done; however, her main phrase that she would always emphasize to my cousins and myself was to respect yourself.  She had said that everyone else deserves just as much respect as you do, but in order to respect them, you must respect yourself first.  While listening to this song, I immediately imagined my grandmother telling me to respect myself because the song’s theme revolves around that key phrase.   

 Artist Name: The Persuaders

Song Name: Thin Line Between Love and Hate

Composer: Members-Poindexter-Poindexter

Release Date: October 1971 

Record Label: Atco

Chart Peak Position: Pop: 15 and R&B: 1

 I find this song great because it depicts the harsh reality of the thin line that exists between love and hate.  These two emotions are very complex and difficult to understand; although I could never fully understand love and hate, I realized that they are very similar in opposite ways.  Because of this fact, the thin line that exists between them can easily be crossed if one person treats the other in a bad or good way.  I love how to song states opposites like “the sweetest woman could be the meanest woman if you make her that way”.  This song doesn’t mask the truth; that is why I enjoy listening to it so much. 

 Artist Name: Denise LaSalle

Song Name: Trapped by a thing Called Love

Composer: D. LaSalle

Release Date: October 1971

Record Label: Westbound

Chart Peak Position: Pop: 13 and R&B: 1

 I love this song because it is easy to feel trapped by your immense love for another individual.  I once had a friend who could not think of anything other than her boyfriend because she was virtually trapped by the love that she had for him.  She would try to study for a test, but could not intake any new knowledge even after reading through the material five times because all that she could think about was her love for her boyfriend. This was mainly due to the simple fact that her boyfriend consumed her mind every second of every day.  I have never personally experienced feelings such as these and I hope I never do.  This song exemplifies that love can be both a bad thing and a good things depending on how one deals with it. 

 Artist Name: Sammy Davis Jr.

Song Name: The Candy Man

Composer: Bricusse-Newley

Release Date: April 1972

Record Label: MGM

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

 While listening to this song I was brought back to playing on my front lawn with my family, and hearing the bells of the ice cream truck come down the street.  The candy man is portrayed in the song as an individual that can turn anybody’s day around; moreover, I had this view of the ice cream man when I was a child.  No matter how bad my day was going, or how bad of a mood I was in, I would immediately become happy when I saw the ice cream man start to come down my street because I knew that I was going to get a tasty ice cream to eat. 

 Artist Name: Al Green

Song Name: Look What You Done For Me

Composer: Green-Jackson-Mitchell

Release Date: April 1972

Record Label: Hi

Chart Peak Position: Pop: 4 and R&B: 2

 This song makes me feel in love because Al Green does such a great job in expressing how much her love has done for him.  This song shows the truly unreal powers of love, and how they can affect the person that is being loved.  This song states that if someone has enough love and respect for another person, it can lead to truly unbelievable things.  Somebody’s small amount of love for another can mean a lot for the person that is being loved, and vice versa; this shows the amazing effects that love can have on an individual. 

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