This post is a continuation of the “My Jams” series. If you haven’t already, please check out previous posts for years 1966 through 1972. Please note that “That’s My Jam” is the first post in this series.
We’re riding home from the hospital. I’m glad that mama is back with us. I missed her when she was gone. Lord bless daddy because he tried to put all of my hair into afro-puffs; it was not a good look.
By the way, some doctors took a baby out of mama’s tummy. That’s why she was at the hospital. Right now she is holding the baby tight over her shoulder. I can’t take my eyes off him. He has slick black hair and is wearing a light blue outfit. I wonder how long mama and daddy plan to keep him?
What’s happening babies? It’s 1973!
Let me tell you, some strange things ‘happened’ this year! You already know that mama and daddy brought a baby boy home. But did you also know that we had a blizzard down South? Yeah chile, you heard me, we got goo gobs of snow.
Daddy and Uncle Rabbit made a ‘real’ snowman! I was so thrilled because I had never seen one outside of television.
Enough about my folks, how are you guys faring in this fine year? What’cha know good? That’s what my Godfather used to ask me. He’d ask, “What’cha know good Gwin?” Frankly, I had no idea what he was asking me so I usually answered with any number of random responses.
Moving on! Now, if everybody is of sound mind and heart, let’s go ‘head with the matter at hand.
My Jams ‘73
“Let’s Get It On” by Marvin Gaye
As soon as folks heard that unique guitar slide opening and the lyrics, “I’ve been really trying baby…” every eye closed, everybody’s fingers snapped and ALL bodies started rocking. Yassss!!!!
This song, my friends, is the quintessential request to make love! I s’pect a whole lot of folks got in trouble with this jam.
Attention ladies! Player alert lyrics: “Giving yourself to me could never be wrong, if the love is true.”
I say, if you gon’ play me, play me good!
“Show and Tell” by Al Wilson
Play this song at any old school soul party and see if folks don’t start hollering! I dare you! If you do take this dare, watch as men start looking for a lady to hold close and work up on some…
Attention ladies! Player alert lyrics: “Show me and tell me that you feel the same way too.”
Ladies, I wonder how he wants you to show him?
I’ll betcha a fat man that somebody will be showing something by the end of that party.
“Will it go Round in Circles” by Billy Preston
This jam was fun! I was that kid who always listened closely to the lyrics of a song. I was so tickled by the fact that Billy seemed to be singing about nonsense, “I got a dance that ain’t got no steps…”
I loved it! But I still don’t know what it means though.
“Pillow Talk” by Sylvia
…Or how to seduce a man on a track 101.
I remember seeing Sylvia purr this song on Soul Train. Baby she was 80 years old if she was a day (just kidding she was probably in her late 30s or early 40s).
Regardless of age, her looks, vocal style and mannerisms were very sexy.
I don’t think she had any trouble getting what she wanted.
“Aye…aye…aye…aye, aye, aye, aye”
“Never Gonna Give You Up” by Barry White
Now this song is something serious right here! Barry (The Maestro) was a true musician down to the bone!
Friends, you just wait until we get to the end of this post ‘cause I got something for ya!
What got me about Barry was that he used every instrument at his disposal to get his point across and then he added a sexy baritone on top! “…make love to you right now that’s all I want to do…”
What the hell? We still ain’t ready for Barry to this day!
“That Lady” by The Isley Brothers
Hot Damn! Here them boys come! It’s time to do some math y’all!
What is 3+3?
Rudolph, Ronald, O’Kelly plus Ernie, Marvin and Chris, or in other words, the 3 older Isley brothers plus 3 younger family members (2 brothers and a brother in law). Now if you like numbers, the answer is 6.
Okay, let’s talk about that freaking screaming guitar that Ernie is laying down on this jam. Who does it remind you of? If you said Jimi Hendrix then you are correct! It seems that Jimi used to play guitar for the older brothers. In fact, he lived with them for a short time. Clearly Ernie was heavily influenced by Mr. Hendrix. You can read more about that here.
Which brings me to another point! Jimi Hendrix was a brother! So please stop attributing screaming guitars exclusively to White rock and rollers! That said; Jimi was not the first brother to slay on a guitar. Do I need to mention Mississippi blues guitarist Robert Johnson? Hell he influenced just about anybody who picked up a guitar since he died; whether they know it or not.
Y’all I could go on talking about past and present black guitarists-just not today 🙂
My dear White friends please do not be offended. While I truly adore George Harrison and Eric Clapton, right now I just need to give my people some shine!
End of diatribe!
“Cisco Kid” by War
Talk about multicultural/ multiethnic! That’s War! I loved watching all of those brothers, of various colors and ethnicities, jamming!
Side note, this song reminds me of my cousin Angelo. He used to sing it to death!
“Misdemeanor” by Foster Sylvers
If you don’t know this bass-line then I say, “Off with your head!”
This little number was sampled about 10,000 times (exaggeration) in the world of Hip Hop. The D.O.C. out of Cali comes to mind.
I just love the sweet way that Foster and his sisters sing this jam. It will always be one of my favorites.
Go ‘head on Leon Sylvers- songwriter, composer, bassist, and producer. Y’all go check out ANY of his productions with SOLAR records so you can understand the hype! Best believe we will be talking about SOLAR later.
“I’ll Always Love My Mama” by The Intruders
“You only get one, you only get one…yeah.” ‘Nuff said!
“Natural High” by Bloodstone
This one is for all of the lovers out there! Just get in your car and put this jam on blast. Trust me, anything that was wrong when you left will surely be alright when you get back.
Dig the instrumental mini- interludes in this jam! Yass!!!
“I Believe in You” by Johnnie Taylor
Uncle Johnnie is leveling with Auntie! Here he’s talking about their mutual belief in one another despite the actions of the ‘street committee.’
“Anytime you stand up against your own mother that makes me know that I can believe in you…” HA!
Alright! Let’s move things along.
Before we fly away from 1973, let me mention:
“The Love I Lost” by Harold Melvin and The Bluenotes
“Rockin’ Roll Baby” by The Stylistics
“Come Get to This” by Marvin Gaye
“I’ve Got So Much To Give” by Barry White
“Hey You Get Off My Mountain” by The Dramatics
“Come Go With Me” by The Staple Singers
“So Very Hard To Go” by Tower of Power
“There’s No Me Without You” by The Manhattans
“Leaving Me” by The Independents: “I’m sick baby!”
“Keep Your Head To The Sky” by Earth Wind and Fire
“I Wanna Know Your Name” by The Intruders
One more thing, I promised to offer a gift. Today, my gift to you is Maestro Barry White as conductor for The Love Unlimited Orchestra. The jam is “Love’s Theme” and it is his baby!
Family, take note! This brother is conducting a full Orchestra! Where do you see this now? Where? Huh? Where? I’m sorry….I just CAN’T.
Y’all let’s demand that decision makers put music lessons back in our schools so that our children can learn to play instruments and compose ‘real’ music.
Stepping down from my soapbox!
So long 1973!
Next Thursday: My Jams ‘74