THE HUB Goes underground to spotlight Black Music stars who were interviewed by staff writer Lesley Leatherwood and featured in the Special Edition June 2011 issue of THE HUB Magazine.  Be sure to get your copy as this will be a collector’s issue and includes feature articles on local celebrities from Northern California that include:  Domonique-R&B soul contemporary, Cynthia Douglas-jazz artist, Tiffany Rosebud-neo-soul artist, Kumandae Miller-spiritual R&B soul, Taylor Donn Burrise-teen bass musician, Jessica Jolia-artful soul artist, and Money-B…hip hop rap.  The June 2011 issue of THE HUB Magazine will be distributed the week of June 13th >>read more

Why we celebrate “Black Music Month”? Kenny Gamble, the influential music producer and songwriter from Philadelphia, convinced President Jimmy Carter to designate June as Black Music Month; since then, it has been recognized yearly. We celebrate Black Music Month to highlight the contributions of Black musicians to American music and to honor the pioneering artists who often went unrewarded.

The African influence on American music began with field hollers and work songs; these songs of pain and suffering improvised by singers whose lyrics used “bent” notes, known as the blue note, morphed into the blues. In New Orleans, the blues combined with ragtime piano and brass bands to make jazz. The mixture of blues with gospel created rhythm & blues and rock-n-roll. Even bluegrass and country music incorporate the use of the blue note, improvisation and the slide guitar—brought from Africa and made popular by blues players. Many Black artists received little for their accomplishments. For years, white musicians and record companies got rich from the sale of songs written by Black artists who received no acknowledgement or payment. If they were paid, the record companies kept the rights to the recordings, so the Black songwriters received no royalties, which was the case with Bessie Smith. When Bessie died after a car wreck in Clarksdale, Mississippi in 1937, she was penniless.

Black Music Month also presents the opportunity to memorialize and pay tribute to influential and successful African American Musicians—artists like Michael Jackson whose stellar career spanning forty years ended sadly with his death in 2009. From humble beginnings in Gary, Indiana, Michael ascended to the pinnacle of the music industry. His album Thriller, released in 1982, still holds the title of best-selling album of all time, with an estimated 50 million copies sold worldwide.

Written by Contributing Writer, Trevor Axel Nelson


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