“ Though you may not drive a great big Cadillac
Gangsta whitewalls, TV antennas in the back
You may not have a car at all
But remember brothers and sisters
You can still stand tall
Just be thankful for what you’ve got
Though you may not drive a great big Cadillac
Diamond in the back, sunroof top, diggin’ the scene with a gangsta lean”
Most people think Curtis Mayfield, wrote this song, but it was William DeVaughn, from Washington D.C. (Southeast).
It fitted Mayfield’s mindset during the 1970’s, when African Americans were in protest of the Vietnam war. Soldiers had returned, populating the street corners, dressed in tattered clothing, looking for hand outs. the drug trade was enveloping the inner cities, white wall tires, and Cadillac cars were symbols of success. Curtis was not the only one singing the “blues”. Miles Davis in horn play, said “SO WHAT!”
Etta James, Nina Simone were heading to their graves unhappy. African Americans are not singing the blues, or playing jazz where the youth are entranced, as happened to those epochs of the 1950,and 1960’s.
It is said the blues is in every music, some say as recent as that of Tupac Shakur (Baltimore). “Rap”, not filled with virtues, as can be found in the traditional genre.
In a renewed effort to showcase Black Composers in the Baltimore Maryland area, Honestly Speaking.Org. teamed up with Henry Young of An die Musik, and held their second performance this June, 2018. I bring you a sample, featuring P.J. MORGAN (piano);MIKE GARY (guitar); HERMAN BURNEY (bass); ERIC KENNEDY (drums) SHANE CROMWELL (poetry). Nicole Morgan outlines the organization’s ambitions; Lisa Weems, does the introduction.