Our music editor, Sequaya Works tells us about music that inspires her.
When I am asked, “What musician(s) made you love music?”, I immediately recall being a small child listening to the like of: Smokey Robinson, Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross and Gladys Knight.. I would have to say that the humble beginnings of Rhythm and Blues has been embedded in my DNA. For this, I am forever grateful.
This era allowed me to hear the true essence of a time filled hate, animosity and the Jim Crow south. This timeless period gave birth to music that overcame brutality erasing the barriers that racism established. It also introduced young aspiring entrepreneurs that wanted desperately to set their mark as record producers.
One of my favorite record labels: Motown
From Motown came what has to be my favorite male groups of all time:
Hint: :”Ain’t nobody coming to see you Otis!”
That’s right! The tempting Temptations. With their many different harmonies, they offered something for everyone.
Blue had a deep, rich tone that was so intriguing. It was soothing and melodic drawing the listener in. Eddie had an impeccable falsetto, you can hear the echo of his sound in many of our artists now. David was charismatic and commanded your attention. He always delivered a performance that was extremely dope.. Otis added his own flavor to the blend, while Paul’s robust accents perfected the platform; showing why they sounded so great together.
I appreciated the sound and how they were presented. They were snazzy, well dressed gentlemen that, despite their problems within the group, played a positive role in shaping the music and image of Motown Records.
Though the voices were flawless and the presentation was pleasant, it was the dancing that sealed the package that was so neatly choreographed. I remember watching The Temptations movie and mimicking every song and dance step.
Their catalog included: break-up songs, make-up songs, love songs, upbeat songs and songs that touched on human issues that all could relate to. It was great to have so many different songs with all types of feels creating a buffet of emotions. My favorite Temptations’ song is “Just My Imagination”. I thought it was ingenious how they executed that song. With Eddie leading into the song, you are truly convinced that he is a ‘lucky guy’.
I often find myself playing a Temptation playlists, and I have to listen to their version of Silent Night every Christmas.
It was hearing these men expressing their love for women in such a beautiful way with their words that helped influence my love for music. Though I grew up in the era of Boys II Men and New Edition, I would have loved to have made it to a Motown review. When I think about what they accomplished in a time of race wars and segregation, how they rallied other artists together to take a stand was a great feat. It showed that, though they were black musicians, they were still able to take a stand.
Their music continues to be a staple in my life and I am so glad that my old soul allows me to embrace the true essence of great music.