In Time for Black Music Month!

Hello fellow music movie lovers!  Been a minute since I’ve posted, but had the most wonderful past two weeks helping my youngest sister prepare for her middle school graduation (which occurred last Wednesday).  In the midst of all my preparation with her, and my excitement to screen Bella…I mean Snow White and the Huntsman earlier this month, I truly forgot to acknowledge something I deem important…Black Music Month!  But no worries, since this is an area I celebrate all the time. 🙂  Whether it’s sharing remember when moments, enjoying a show or discovering the latest breakthrough, or yet to breakthrough, musical talent, I enjoy the rich heritage and contributions of African-American artists in the music community.  Now for those who are not familiar with this historical fact, I’ll share that Black Music Month was first decreed for observation by former president Jimmy Carter on June 7th, 1979, after a bill (House Concurrent Bill 509) was pushed through the House of Representatives.   Quick Philly fact: the bill was co-written by local radio legend and media personality Dyana Williams.  More recently, President Barack Obama has referred to the observation as African-American Music Appreciation month.  So in the spirit of appreciation, I’d like to offer a few recommendations (with my cutting it close self 😉 ).

First up, and  just in time for this month of appreciation, comes the June 25th season première of TV One’s hit show Unsung.  Now as the title suggests many of the artists profiled are not currently hailed by the masses, or in the immediate mental Rolodexes of most, but their musical contributions are no less important.  This season’s line up includes shows on Gerald Levert, The Marvelettes, Con Funk Shun, Kool Moe Dee, Low Rawls, and Sly Stone (the latter being the season opener). The episode I am most excited to see features songbird Angela Bofill, and I love, love, love her! Unsung airs weekly on Monday nights at 9pm.

The BET network will air its award show nominations special The Chosen on Wednesday, June 20th at 7:30 pm EST.  The actual ceremony will be televised July 1st at 8 pm and hosted by actor Samuel Jackson.  I can’t wait to see who they’ve selected for their Whitney Houston tribute, since BET executive Stephen Hill tweeted and described it as unbelievable.

Next up are a few book recommendations I’d like to share about one of my fave eras of music, early Motown.  If you look to the right and hit the green arrow, you can find all of these titles listed under my Goodreads shelf:

  1. My Sister Tommie – The Real Tammi Terrell by Ludie Montgomery
  2. Divided Soul: The Life of Marvin Gaye by David Ritz
  3. Motown: Music, Money, Sex & Power by Gerald Posner
  4. Dreamgirl: My Life as a Supreme by Mary Wilson

And while we’re on the subject of Motown, if you’re a music lover and you still don’t know who The Funk Brothers are, shame on you!  Go to your nearest Wal-Mart, go online to Netflix, Xfinity or something and purchase/rent Standing In The Shadows of Motown.  If you purchase it will be money well spent, trust me :).

Okay music movie lovers, drop me a note or share a thought below if you check out any of the Unsung episodes, the BET Awards or read any of those books!  And definitely let me know what you think if you watch Standing in the Shadows of Motown for the first time 🙂

Until next thought, Thomasena

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