WMM Celebrates MLK

Wednesday MidDay Medley
TEN to NOON Wednesdays – Streaming at KKFI.org
90.1 FM KKFI – Kansas City Community Radio
Produced and Hosted by Mark Manning

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

WMM Celebrates MLK

Wednesday MidDay Medley celebrates the life of human rights icon, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., born Jan. 15, 1929.

MLK led the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott, was a cofounder of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1957, and served as it’s first president. His efforts led to the 1963 March on Washington, where Dr. King delivered his, “I Have a Dream” speech. In 1964, King became the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for his work to end racial segregation and racial discrimination thru civil disobedience and non-violent means.

By the time of his death in 1968, Dr. King had refocused his efforts on ending poverty and opposing the Vietnam War. King was assassinated, April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tennessee.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1977, and Congressional Gold Medal in 2004. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was established as a U.S. national holiday in 198I. Dr. Martin Luther King’s Birthday is Friday, January 15, 2021 The Dr. Martin Luther King Day – National Holiday is Monday January 18, 2021.

As Pete Seeger wrote: “Songs gave them the courage to believe they would not fail.”

  1. “Main Title Instrumental – It’s Showtime Folks”
    from: Motion Picture Soundtrack to All That Jazz / Universal / Dec. 20, 1979
    [WMM’s theme]
  1. Soweto Gospel Choir – “Pride (In The Name of Love)”
    from: In the Name of Love – Africa Celebrates U2 / Shout! Factory Records / 2008
    [Formed in Soweto, South Africa, by David Mulovhedzi & Beverly Bryer, two choir directors. The 30-member ensemble blends African gospel, Negro spirituals, reggae and American popular music. The group performed at the first of the 46664 concerts for Nelson Mandela and has toured internationally. Their albums Blessed and African Spirit won Grammy Awards for Best Traditional World Music Album in 2007 and 2008.]
  1. International Noise Conspiracy / MLK Jr. – “The First Conspiracy / Let Freedom Ring”
    from: Adbusters – Live Without Dead Time / Adbusters / 2003
    [The (International) Noise Conspiracy (abbreviated T(I)NC) were a Swedish rock band formed in Sweden in the late months of 1998. The line-up consists of Dennis Lyxzén (vocals), Inge Johansson (bass), Lars Strömberg (guitar), and Ludwig Dahlberg (drums). The band is known for its punk and garage rock musical influences, and its impassioned left-wing political stance. Influenced by a quote from 1960’s folk singer Phil Ochs, according to lead singer Lyxzén, the band wanted to achieve an ideal blend of music and politics that was, “a cross between Elvis Presley and Che Guevara.”]
  1. Labelle – “Something in The Air / The Revolution Will Not Be Televised”
    from: Something Silver / Warner Archives / 1997
    [orig. Pressure Cookin’ / 1973, 3rd album from the funk/soul trio of: Patti LaBelle, Nona Hendryx and Sarah Dash who each shared a rap on “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” a poem and song by Gil Scott-Heron. It was the B-side to Scott-Heron’s first single, “Home Is Where the Hatred Is”, from his album Pieces of a Man (1971). “Something in the Air” is a song orig. recorded by Thunderclap Newman, a band created by Pete Townshend for The Who’s former roadie John ‘Speedy’ Keen who wrote and sang the song. It was a UK #1 single for three weeks in July 1969.]

10:14 – Soul Brother…

MLK said, “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

MLK said, “We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.”

  1. Curtis Mayfield – “Beautiful Brother of Mine”
    from: Roots / Curtom-Buddah / October, 1971
    [2nd solo release from Curtis Mayfield, born in Chicago, June 3, 1942. One of the most influential musicians behind soul & politically conscious African-American music. Mayfield started his musical career in a gospel choir. Moving to the North Side of Chicago he met Jerry Butler in 1956 at the age of 14, and joined vocal group The Impressions. As a songwriter, Mayfield became noted as one of the first musicians to bring more prevalent themes of social awareness into soul music. In 1965, he wrote “People Get Ready” for The Impressions, which displayed his more politically charged songwriting. After leaving The Impressions in 1970, Mayfield released several albums, including the soundtrack for the blaxploitation film Super Fly in 1972. The soundtrack was noted for its socially conscious themes, mostly addressing problems surrounding inner city minorities such as crime, poverty and drug abuse. Mayfield was paralyzed from the neck down after lighting equipment fell on him during a live performance at Wingate Field in Flatbush, Brooklyn, New York, on August 13, 1990. Despite this, he continued his career as a recording artist, releasing his final album, New World Order, in 1996. Mayfield won a Grammy Legend Award in 1994 and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1995, and was a double inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, as a member of the Impressions in 1991, and again in 1999 as a solo artist. He was also a 2-time Grammy Hall of Fame inductee. He died from complications of type 2 diabetes, Dec 26, 1999, at 57.]
  1. Maceo & The Macks – “Soul Power ’74”
    from: James Brown’s Funky People, Pt. 2 / People Records / 1988
    [This record is sampled more than crackers and cheese at Costco, it contains samples itself in the form of tape overlays of civil rights rallies, a Dr. King speech, and an announcement of King’s assassination. Maceo Parker played saxophone with James Brown, Parliament, Funkadelic, Bootsy Collins, Bernie Worrell and Prince.]
  1. Sweet Honey in The Rock, Aaron Neville, Lamar Campbell & Spirit of Praise -“Ella’s Song”
    from: Soundtrack to Boycott / HBO / 2001
    [Critically acclaimed 2001 film staring Jeffrey Wright as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Terrence Howard as Ralph Abernathy, and CCH Pounder as Jo Ann Robinson.]

10:26 – Underwriting

10:30 – King’s Life, Death, and Spirit…

MLK said, “He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.”

  1. Mahalia Jackson – “How I Got Over”
    from: The Original Apollo Sessions / Couch & Madison Partners / May 25, 2013
    [Gospel hymn composed & published in 1951 by Clara Ward (1924-1973). It was performed by Mahalia Jackson at the historic March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in 1963 before 250,000 people. Mahalia Jackson (Oct. 26, 1911 – Jan. 27, 1972) was referred to as “The Queen of Gospel”. She became one of the most influential gospel singers in the world, heralded internationally as a singer and civil rights activist. She was described by entertainer Harry Belafonte as “the single most powerful black woman in the United States”. She recorded about 30 albums (mostly for Columbia Records) during her career, and her 45 rpm records included a dozen “golds”—million-sellers. “I sing God’s music because it makes me feel free,” Jackson once said about her choice of gospel, adding, “It gives me hope. With the blues, when you finish, you still have the blues.”]
  1. Martin Luther King Jr. – “MLK – I Have A Dream 1963 (excerpt)”
    from: Inspirational Speeches, Vo. 3 / Orange Leisure / May 16, 2011
    [American civil rights leader/activist and Baptist minister, born Jan. 15, 1929 in Atlanta, Georgia. King’s speeches have been issued on numerous releases – his most well-known and influential address being “I Have a Dream”, which was held during “The March on Washington” in 1963. King was assassinated on April 4, 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee.]
  1. Marian Anderson – “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands”
    from: He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands / BMG / Orig. 1961 [Reissued 1991]
    [Marian Anderson (Feb 27, 1897 – Apr. 8, 1993) was one of the most celebrated singers of the 20th century. In 1939, the (DAR) refused to let Anderson sing in Constitution Hall. With the aid of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and Franklin D. Roosevelt, Anderson performed a critically acclaimed open-air concert on Easter Sunday, April 9, 1939, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. before a crowd of more than 75,000 people and a radio audience in the millions. Anderson became the first black person, to perform at the Metropolitan Opera in NYC on Jan. 7, 1955. Anderson worked as a delegate to the UN Human Rights Committee and “goodwill ambassadress” for the U.S. Dept. of State, giving concerts all over the world. She participated in the civil rights movement in the 1960s, singing at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in 1963. Anderson was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1963, the Kennedy Center Honors in 1978, the National Medal of Arts in 1986, and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1991.]
  1. Tramaine Hawkins, Ella Mitchell, Billy Porter & Chorus -“Rocka My Soul”
    from: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre “Revelations” / V2 / 1998
    [Revelations is the signature choreographic work of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. It was first produced by Alvin Ailey Dance Theater in New York City, New York on January 31, 1960. Revelations tells the story of African-American faith and tenacity from slavery to freedom through a suite of dances set to spirituals and blues music. It’s been performed in over 70 countries in the half century since then and has been described as “the most widely seen modern dance work in the world.” The finale song of the three part “Revelations” is “Rocka My Soul In The Bosom Of Abraham” and it has been described by writer Juliana Lewis-Ferguson as a, “spiritually powerful conclusion to the suite and a purely physical release of emotion.”]
  1. The Swan Silvertones – “Oh Mary, Don’t You Weep”
    from: Platinum Gospel: The Swan Silvertones / Sonorous Entertainment / 2012 (1959)
    [“Mary Don’t You Weep” (alternately titled “O Mary Don’t You Weep”, “Oh Mary, Don’t You Weep, Don’t You Mourn”, or variations thereof) is a Negro spiritual that originates from before the American Civil War – thus it is what scholars call a “slave song,” “a label that describes their origins among the enslaved,” and it contains “coded messages of hope and resistance.” It is one of the most important of Negro spirituals. The song tells the Biblical story of Mary of Bethany and her distraught pleas to Jesus to raise her brother Lazarus from the dead. Other narratives relate to The Exodus and the Passage of the Red Sea, with the chorus proclaiming Pharaoh’s army got drown-ded!, and to God’s rainbow covenant to Noah after the Great Flood. With liberation thus one of its themes, the song again become popular during the Civil Rights Movement. Additionally, a song that explicitly chronicles the victories of the Civil Rights Movement, “If You Miss Me from the Back of the Bus”, written by Charles Neblett of The Freedom Singers, was sung to this tune and became one of the most well-known songs of that movement. In 2015 it was announced that The Swan Silvertones’s version of the song will be inducted into the Library of Congress’s National Recording Registry for the song’s “cultural, artistic and/or historical significance to American society and the nation’s audio legacy”. The first recording of the song was by the Fisk Jubilee Singers in 1915. The best known recordings were made by the vocal gospel group The Caravans in 1958, with Inez Andrews as the lead singer, and The Swan Silvertones in 1959. “Mary Don’t You Weep” became The Swan Silvertones’ greatest hit, and lead singer Claude Jeter’s interpolation “I’ll be a bridge over deep water if you trust in my name” served as Paul Simon’s inspiration to write his 1970 song “Bridge over Troubled Water”.The spiritual’s lyric God gave Noah the rainbow sign, no more water the fire next time inspired the title for The Fire Next Time, James Baldwin’s 1963 account of race relations in America.]
Krystle Warren photo by Matthew Placek
  1. Krystle Warren – “Red Clay”
    from: Three The Hard Way / Parlour Door Music / August 18, 2017
    [Produced by Krystle Warren and Ben Kane (D’Angelo, Emily King, PJ Morton). Recorded, engineered, and mixed by Ben Kane. Written & performed by Krystle Warren. Mixed at The Garden, Brooklyn. Mastered & cut by Alex DeTurk at Masterdisk. Last year in Krystle Warren premiered this song and her other new songs from this album at the Middle of the Map Fest in a packed room at Californos in Westport and later at The Polsky Theatre for the Performing Arts Series of Johnsons County Community College. For this record Krystle decided to play every instrument and vocals & back up vocals, “playing bass, drums, lap steel, piano, guitar, and vocals directly to analog tape. She and Ben Kane recorded in Villetaneuse, France, a small town on the outskirts of Paris in a vintage 70s era studio that offered just the right, rich sound to suggest the musical foundation for the record, and to do justice to the duo’s carefully balanced arrangements.” On the radio show last year Krystle shared inspirations for this record, early gospel recordings, that crossed over into Jazz from Pharoah Sanders, Edwin Hawkins, and The Swan Silvertones. Originally from KC, Krystle learned to play the guitar by listening to Rubber Soul & Revolver from The Beatles. Krystle graduated from Paseo Arts Academy in 2001 and began her musical career in collaborating with area jazz and pop musicians. After living in San Francisco and NYC, Krystle was signed to a French label, Because Music, and moved to Paris to release “Circles” in 2009. Krystle played French and British television programs, including Later with Jools Holland, garnering critical acclaim and traveling all over the world with Rufus Wainwright, Nick Cave, Norah Jones, and Joan As Police Woman. Krystle created, Parlour Door Music, to release “Love Songs: A Time You May Embrace” a recording from a 13-day session in Brooklyn, where she recorded 24 songs live with 28 musicians including her band, The Faculty, alongside choirs, horn and string sections.]

10:47 – Freedom…

MLK said, “Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable… Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.”

  1. Nina Simone -“I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free”
    from: Silk and Soul / RCA / 1967
    [Born Eunice Kathleen Waymon on February 21, 1933. She died on April 21, 2003. Nina Simone was a singer, songwriter, pianist, arranger, and civil rights activist who worked in a broad range of musical styles including classical, jazz, blues, folk, R&B, gospel, and pop. Born in North Carolina, the sixth child of a preacher, Simone aspired to be a concert pianist. With the help of the few supporters in her hometown of Tryon, North Carolina, she enrolled in the Juilliard School of Music in NYC. Simone recorded more than 40 albums. “I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free” is a gospel/jazz song written by Billy Taylor & “Dick Dallas.”]
  1. Solomon Burke – “None Of Us Are Free”
    from: Don’t Give Up On Me / Fat Possum / 2002
    [Back up singers: The Blind Boys of Alabama. Born James Solomon McDonald, March 21, 1940, Solomon Burke died October 10, 2010. He was an American preacher & singer, who shaped the sound of rhythm & blues as one of the founding fathers of soul music in the 1960s and a “key transitional figure in the development of soul music from rhythm & blues. During the 55 years that he performed professionally, Burke released 38 studio albums on at least 17 record labels and had 35 singles that charted in the US, including 26 singles that made the Billboard R&B charts. In 2001, Burke was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as a performer. His album Don’t Give Up on Me won the Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Blues Album at the 45th Grammy Awards in 2003. By 2005 Burke was credited with selling 17 million albums.]
  1. Nina Simone – “I Shall Be Released”
    from: To Love Somebody / RCA / 1967
    [1 of 3 Bob Dylan songs Nina Simone performed for this album. Written by Dylan in 1967. The Band recorded the first officially-released version of the song for their 1968 debut album, Music from Big Pink, with Richard Manuel singing lead vocals, and Rick Danko & Levon Helm harmonizing in the chorus. The song was also performed near the end of the Band’s 1976 farewell concert, The Last Waltz, in which all the night’s performers (except of Muddy Waters) plus Ringo Starr and Ronnie Wood appeared on the same stage.]

11:00 – Station I.D.

11:00 – The Staple Singers & Bobby Watson and “Unpaid Bills”

MLK said, “In our glorious fight for civil rights, we must guard against being fooled by false slogans, as ‘right-to-work.’ It provides no ‘rights’ and no ‘works.’ Its purpose is to destroy labor unions and the freedom of collective bargaining… We demand this fraud be stopped.”

  1. Pops Staples – “You Gotta Serve Somebody”
    from: e-town live volume 3 / e-town / December 18, 2002
    [Recorded Sept. 16, 1994, Live in Boulder]
    [Originally written by Bob Dylan. Roebuck “Pops” Staples was born on a cotton plantation near Winona, Mississippi, on Dec. 28, 1914, the youngest of 14 children. When growing up he heard, and began to play with, local blues guitarists such as Charlie Patton, who lived on the nearby Dockery Plantation, Robert Johnson, and Son House. He dropped out of school after the eighth grade, and sang with a gospel group before marrying and moving to Chicago in 1935. A “pivotal figure in gospel in the 1960s and 70s,” and an accomplished songwriter, guitarist and singer. Patriarch of The Staple Singers, which included his son Pervis and daughters Mavis, Yvonne, and Cleotha.]
  1. Mavis Staples – “Down in Mississippi”
    from: Live – Hope At The Hideout / Anti / 2008 [Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee Mavis Staples, of The Staple Singers, is a celebrated equal rights activist. She’s performed at inaugural parties for Presidents Kennedy, Carter and Clinton, Recorded in June, 2008, in the run up to the Presidential election of Barrack Obama. Recorded live in the intimate bar The Hideout, in her hometown of Chicago. Mavis Staples, marched, sang & protested alongside Dr. Martin Luther King during the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s.]
  1. The Staple Singers – “When Will We Be Paid”
    from: Single / Stax (Fantasy / Ace) / 1967
    [The Staple Singers were an American gospel, soul, and R&B singing group from Chicago who signed their first professional contract in 1952. Roebuck “Pops” Staples (1914–2000), the patriarch of the family, formed the group with his children Cleotha (1934–2013), Pervis (b. 1935), Yvonne (1936-2018), and Mavis (b. 1939). They are best-remembered for their 1970s hits “Respect Yourself”, “I’ll Take You There”, “If You’re Ready (Come Go with Me)”, and “Let’s Do It Again”. In 1999 the group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 2005 the group was awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. The family began appearing in Chicago-area churches in 1948, and signed their first professional contract in 1952. They signed with United Records, then Vee-Jay, Riverside, Epic and, eventually, the black-owned indie Stax Records label where they hit their most fertile commercial peak. In 1967, on Columbia subsidiary Epic, the Staple Singers first began moving into mainstream pop markets with “Why (Am I Treated So Bad)” and “For What It’s Worth” (written by Stephen Stills). In 1968, the Staple Singers signed to Stax and released two albums recorded with Steve Cropper of Booker T & the MG’s fame – Soul Folk in Action and We’ll Get Over. By 1970, Al Bell had become producer, and the family began recording at the famed Muscle Shoals studio, moving in a more funk and soul direction. The first Stax hit was “Heavy Makes You Happy (Sha-Na-Boom Boom)”. In 1972, the group had a No. 1 hit in the United States with “I’ll Take You There.” Their 1972 recording on Stax of “Respect Yourself,” written by Luther Ingram and Mack Rice, was number 2 on the R&B charts and a Top 40 pop hit as well. The song’s theme of self-empowerment had universal appeal, released in the period immediately following the intense American civil rights movement of the 1960s. During this Stax period they appeared at a 1972 summer concert at the LA Memorial Coliseum attended by 100,000 people and documented in the 1973 film and soundtrack album Wattstax. The Staple Singers then signed to Curtom, Curtis Mayfield’s imprint, and released the soundtrack to a comedy film co-starring Bill Cosby called “Let’s Do It Again”. The soundtrack was produced by Mayfield; and the title song was a huge hit in 1975. After this, however, they were not able to regain their commercial momentum, releasing occasional minor hits, and moving from label to label including Warner Brothers and 20th Century before returning to Epic in the mid 80s. Lead singer Mavis Staples began a fruitful solo career in earnest that continues to this day and involves live performing with her sister Yvonne Staples. The other daughters in the group who did not pursue solo careers were Pervis Staples, and Cleotha Staples. In 1994, the family made this final recording of a duet with Mary Stuart (reprising their Last Watz style backing on a cover of “The Weight” by The Band), somewhat re-establishing an audience. Pops Staples died in December 2000. Cleotha Staples died in Chicago on February 21, 2013. Yvonne Staples died in April 2018.]
  1. Bobby Watson & The I Have a Dream Project–”Check Cashing Day” [feat. Glenn North]
    from: Check Cashing Day / Lafiya Music / Digital – Aug. 28, 2013 / Physical – Nov. 12, 2013
    [From wikipedia.org: “Bobby Watson was born in Lawrence, Kansas, August 23, 1953. he is an American post-bop jazz alto saxophonist, composer, producer, and educator. Watson now has 27 recordings as a leader. He appears on nearly 100 other recordings as either co-leader or in a supporting role. Watson has recorded more than 100 original compositions. Watson grew up in Bonner Springs and Kansas City, Kansas.]
  1. Janelle Monáe – “Turntables”
    from: Turntables (from the Amazon Original Movie “All In: The Fight for Democracy”) – Single / Badboy Records / September 4, 2020
    [All In: The Fight for Democracy is a 2020 American documentary film directed and produced by Liz Garbus and Lisa Cortés. The film revolves around voter suppression. Stacey Abrams worked with Garbus and Cortés on the film. It was released in a limited theatrical release on September 9, 2020, followed by digital streaming on Prime Video on September 18, 2020, by Amazon Studios. Originally, Abrams, a Georgia state representative, did not intend to be part of the film; eventually she agreed to include her gubernatorial race as part of the story. // Janelle Monáe Robinson was born on December 1, 1985 in Kansas City, Kansas and was raised in a working-class community of Kansas City, Quindaro. Her mother, Janet, worked as a janitor and a hotel maid. Her father, Michael Robinson Summers, was a truck driver. Monáe’s parents separated when Monáe was a toddler and her mother later married a postal worker. Monáe has a younger sister, Kimmy, from their mother’s remarriage. // Monáe was raised Baptist and learned to sing at a local church. Her family members were musicians and performers at the local AME church, the Baptist church, and the Church of God in Christ. Monáe dreamed of being a singer and a performer from a very young age, and has cited the fictional character of Dorothy Gale from The Wizard of Oz as a musical influence. The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, which Monáe bought two copies of with her first check, was another source of inspiration. She performed songs from the album on Juneteenth talent shows, winning three years in a row. // As a teenager, Monáe was enrolled in the Coterie Theater’s Young Playwrights’ Round Table, which began writing musicals. One musical, completed when she was around the age of 12, was inspired by the 1979 Stevie Wonder album Journey Through “The Secret Life of Plants”. // Monáe attended F. L. Schlagle High School, and after high school, moved to New York City to study musical theater at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy, where she was the only black woman in her class. Monáe enjoyed the experience, but feared that she might lose her edge and “sound, or look or feel like anybody else”. In a 2010 interview Monáe explained, “I felt like that was a home but I wanted to write my own musicals. I didn’t want to have to live vicariously through a character that had been played thousands of times – in a line with everybody wanting to play the same person.” // After a year and a half, Monáe dropped out of the academy and relocated to Atlanta, enrolling in Perimeter College at Georgia State University. She began writing her own music and performing around the campus. In 2003, Monáe self-released a demo album titled The Audition, which she sold out of the trunk of a Mitsubishi Galant. During this period, Monáe became acquainted with songwriters and producers Chuck Lightning and Nate Wonder. The three would eventually form the Wondaland Arts Collective. She worked at an Office Depot but was fired for answering a fan’s e-mail using a company computer, an incident that inspired the song “Lettin’ Go”, which in turn attracted the attention of Big Boi. // Janelle Monáe Robinson (/moʊˈneɪ/; born December 1, 1985) is an American singer, songwriter, rapper, actress, and record producer. Monáe is signed to Atlantic Records, as well as to her own imprint, the Wondaland Arts Society. Monáe has received eight Grammy Award nominations. Monáe won an MTV Video Music Award and the ASCAP Vanguard Award in 2010. Monáe was also honored with the Billboard Women in Music Rising Star Award in 2015 and the Trailblazer of the Year Award in 2018. In 2012, Monáe became a CoverGirl spokesperson. Boston City Council named October 16, 2013 “Janelle Monáe Day” in the city of Boston, Massachusetts, in recognition of her artistry and social leadership. // Monáe’s musical career began in 2003 upon releasing a demo album titled The Audition. In 2007, Monáe publicly debuted with a conceptual EP titled Metropolis: Suite I (The Chase). It peaked at number two on the US Top Heatseekers chart, and in 2010, through Bad Boy Records, Monáe released a first full-length studio album, The ArchAndroid, a concept album and sequel to her first EP. In 2011, Monáe was featured as a guest vocalist on fun.’s single “We Are Young”, which achieved major commercial success, topping the charts of more than ten countries and garnering Monáe a wider audience. Her second studio album, The Electric Lady, was released in 2013 and debuted at number five on the Billboard 200, serving as the fourth and fifth installments of the seven-part Metropolis concept series. // In 2016, Monáe made her theatrical film debut in two high-profile productions; Monáe starred in Hidden Figures as NASA mathematician and aerospace engineer Mary Jackson, and also starred in Moonlight. Hidden Figures was a box office success, while Moonlight won the Academy Award for Best Picture at the 89th annual ceremony. Monáe’s third studio album, Dirty Computer, also described as a concept album, was released in 2018 to widespread critical acclaim; it was chosen as the best album of the year by several publications and earned Monáe two nominations at the 61st Annual Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year. The album debuted at number six on the Billboard 200 and was further promoted by Monáe’s Dirty Computer Tour, which lasted from June to August 2018.]
Calvin Arsenia
  1. Calvin Arsenia – “Scars & Stripes”
    from: Summer in Hindsight / Calvin Arsenia & Mike Dillon / October 16, 2020
    [Soundtrack by Calvin Arsenia and Mike Dillon for The West 18th Street Fashion Show’s 20th year as a feature-length film. COVID-19 changed everything in 2020. “We are moving it from the street to the screen,” says Peregrine Honig to inkansascitymagazine. “Mike Dillon and Calvin Arsenia will be scoring and performing in the film.” The film premiered October 16, 2020 at The Boulevard Drive-In. Honig wrote,. “We did this during a pandemic and a cultural revolution. I am not sure where else or how else this could happen at this moment in history.” Calvin Arsenia had recently been emotionally and greatly moved by the area and national Black Lives Matter Movement. His own research into his own family revealed that Calvin’s great, great, great grandmother Alice Gilliam Scott, was a former slave who lived to observe her 100th birthday as noted by a regional newspaper Calvin had written. In the summer of 2020 Calvin wrote “Revelation” an unreleased track inspired by Black Lives Matter. Calvin premiered the song on WMM on August 12, 2020. He later shared his other new songs, “Scars and Stripes” and “The Flying Monkees are Coming!” on our October 14, 2020 edition of WMM. Both of those songs ended up on Summer in Hindsight. Calvin Arsenia was our guest on WMM on August 12 and October 14, 2020. Born in Orlando, Florida, Calvin’s creative journey really began when he moved to the KC suburb of Olathe, teaching himself the guitar, and eventually the harp. He learned his signature instrument at the age of 20 after he couldn’t find a harpist as determined as him to meld folk, rock, classical, rap and R&B into the irresistible fusion which has become his calling card in KC and beyond. His passion for stretching the boundaries of musical expression saw him transform a trip to Edinburgh, Scotland’s Fringe Festival early in his career into a life-changing music mission, with an Edinburgh church offering him a role as musical liaison between the church and the city that would change his life. Two years and 300 shows later, Calvin returned to KC reborn as a humanistic songwriter / performer whose impassioned and conceptual stage shows (regularly sold-out in Kansas City, currently catching fire on the West Coast with a diverse following across Europe), are collaborative, costumed-culture-bridging spectacles which In KC Magazine has hailed as ‘equal parts opera, symphony, musical theatre, rock show, all built around its creator: a charismatic 6-foot-6-inch harpist with a natural stage command and knack for gilding gold and painting lilies.’ Calvin’s 2018 national debut, Cantaloupe, September 15, 2018 on Center Cut Records, has been acclaimed for melding diverse textures into an alluring signature sound for the adventurous artist. On June 28, 2019 Calvin released Honeydew, an EP including a remix of three songs from Cantaloupe. On Dec. 13, 2019 Calvin released his full length Christmas album “all is calm.” Congratulations to Calvin & his fantastic team of co-conspirators & creators: Khitam Jabr, John P. Beatty, Ignacio Galarza III, Ashlee Fairchild Jones, production assistants, & crew. The Toxic music video earned its sixth set of laurels as an official selection of the L.A. Music Video Awards, where they were nominated for Best Music Video, Best Cover Song & Best Male Vocalist. More info at: http://www.calvinarsenia.com]

11:25 – Underwriting

  1. The Black Creatures – “wretched (it goes)”
    from: “wretched (it goes)” – Single / Center Cut Records / July 17, 2020 [remastered]
    [“wretched (it goes)” was originally released on The Black Creatures 2019 album Wild Echoes. Recently released as a single in collaboration with Center Cut Records who remixed a few of the songs, and added some new vocals, and remastered the album. Although it is basically the same record, the sound quality is improved. Center Cut Records plan to release the full remastered album on August 28 2020. The Black Creatures are Jade Green & Xavier Martin. The band joined us on the radio on the August 26 edition of WMM. “Wild Echoes” was #2 in WMM’s 119 Favorite Releases of 2019 (Albums & EPs). Since the release of ”Wild Echoes” the band has released seven entirely new songs, nearly one per month, all posted to their bandcamp page. The Black Creatures fuse dark-pop hip-hop, soul, jazz, and electronic music with elements from science fiction to tell inter-dimensional stories of love, community, life, culture, history. Xavier & Jade have made an impression in the KC music community with their live shows in clubs, galleries, record stores, and area music festivals. The Black Creatures released their debut single “Mouth 2 Mouth” June 5, 2016. They released the album, See No Evil, December 6, 2017. The duo released the singles, “Elements” February 14, 2018; “Silver Tears” June 19. 2018; “Dare” a Gorillaz cover August 8, 2019. They released the album “Wild Echoes” September 30, 2019. The Black Creatures released the singles “Turn” October 30, 2019; “Quartz (Twilight)” November 13, 2019; “SHINE” December 11, 2019; Ghost Bustin’ Dead Prezidentz” January 8, 2020; “To Whom It May Concern” January 22, 2020; “Arcade Love” February 5, 2020; and “Run Up” Feb. 19, 2020.]
  1. H.E.R. – “I Can’t Breathe”
    from: “I Can’t Breathe” – Single / RCA-Sony Records / June 19, 2020
    [Gabriella Wilson was born June 27, 1997. She is known professionally as H.E.R. (pronounced “her”, a backronym for Having Everything Revealed). She is an American singer and songwriter. Before gaining notability as H.E.R., Wilson rose to fame by participating in Radio Disney’s Next Big Thing in 2009. She later signed to RCA Records at the age of 14 and released the single “Something to Prove” under her real name in 2014. Wilson re-emerged in 2016 with the H.E.R. persona, releasing her debut EP H.E.R. Volume 1. She then released subsequent EPs H.E.R. Volume 2 (2017), The B Sides (2017), I Used to Know Her: The Prelude (2018) and I Used to Know Her: Part 2 (2018). Her first compilation album H.E.R. was released in October 2017, consisting of tracks from the singer’s first two EPs plus six additional songs. H.E.R. was nominated for five Grammy Awards at the 61st Annual Grammy Awards in 2019, winning Best R&B Performance and Best R&B Album. // In 2020, she was nominated for five awards at the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year for I Used to Know Her and Song of the Year for “Hard Place”. On September 20, 2020, she sang Sinéad O’Connor’s version of Prince’s song “Nothing Compares 2 U”, for the In Memoriam segment of the 72nd Primetime Emmy Awards. // Wilson was born in Vallejo, California to a Filipina mother and an African-American father. Raised in California’s San Francisco Bay Area, she was introduced to the public as an artist as a young child, covering Alicia Keys on piano on the Today Show, before competing on Radio Disney’s The Next BIG Thing when she was 12 years old. // Addressing the secrecy over her identity, she has said: “The mystery is a metaphor for who I am, or who I was at the time of creating the project… I feel like oftentimes we don’t like to be open as people about our emotions or things that we are going through. At the time [of recording], I was very closed off except for when I was writing or when I was in the studio.” // She explained further: “I am a voice for women who feel like they’re alone in these situations. This project came from emotion, and that’s what I want it to be about – not what I look like or who I’m with, but the raw emotion and support for women.” To NPR she said, “I feel like this is the era of the anti-star. I really just wanted it to be about the music, and get away from, ‘Who is she with?’ and ‘What is she wearing?'” // After being signed to RCA under Sony at the age of 14, Wilson released a single in 2014 titled “Something to Prove” under her real name. // Re-emerging in late 2016 with a new persona, Wilson released her debut EP, H.E.R. Vol. 1 on September 9, 2016, produced by songwriter David “Swagg R’Celious” Harris. She received support from Usher, Tyrese, Pusha T, and Wyclef Jean; labelmates Alicia Keys and Bryson Tiller helped get the word out through Twitter co-signs, shoutouts, and re-posts. In April 2017, Rihanna posted an Instagram clip with H.E.R.’s track “Focus” playing in the background. The clip has been viewed over 5 million times. Additional public support came from Issa Rae of HBO’s Insecure, Taraji P. Henson of Empire, Kylie Jenner, and Kendall Jenner. // NPR listed H.E.R. Vol. 1 as the first selection in its “5 Essential R&B Albums You Slept On”. Calling the music “Slow-burning R&B that zooms in on emotional highs and lows,” Rolling Stone included H.E.R. in its March 2017 “10 Artists You Need To Know” roundup. Forbes named her one of “5 Alternative R&B Artists to Look Out for in 2017”, reporting: “In the same vein as The Weeknd’s enigmatic introduction to the world, H.E.R.’s image remains a mystery. The irony, though, is that her moniker is an acronym for Having Everything Revealed.” // Wilson’s follow-up EP, H.E.R. Vol. 2 (2017) also produced by Harris, was released on June 16, 2017 and includes the single “Say It Again”. Also in 2017, she was on tour with Bryson Tiller for the Set It Off tour, and concluded her first headlining tour, the Lights On Tour, in support of her most recent effort H.E.R. Vol. 2. She released H.E.R. Vol. 2, The B Sides (2017), also produced by Swagg R’Celious on October 20, 2017 along with the single titled 2, released on October 13, 2017. The compilation album H.E.R. was released on October 20, 2017, comprising the songs from each of the three EP’s in this series. The album won Best R&B Album and received four other nominations at the 61st Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year and Best New Artist for H.E.R. // Wilson announced on September 12, 2018, she will be embarking on the “I Used to Know H.E.R. Tour” in support of her EP series I Used to Know Her: The Prelude and I Used to Know Her: Part 2. Her second compilation album I Used to Know Her was released on August 30, 2019. ]
  1. The Freedom Affair – “Rise Up”
    from: Freedom is Love / Sunflower Soul Records / September 25, 2020
    [Debut album from KC’s newest soul juggernaut. The album explores themes of love, heartache, empowerment, and togetherness through a varying landscape of hard-hitting funk, luscious soul, and everything in between. The Freedom Affair is a unique collective featuring 3 powerhouse female vocalists in front of a dynamic 6-piece band. On “Freedom Is Love”, each of the ladies get their time to shine individually, but the magic is on full display when all 3 come together in unison and harmony, symbolically embodying the messages that they sing about. The album was recorded and produced by Chris Hazelton, utilizing the best of vintage and new recording technologies to create an authentic experience, befitting of a soul record that would have been relevant 50 years ago as much as it will be 50 years from now. The Freedom Affair is: Misha Roberts on vocals; Paula Saunders on vocals; Seyko Groves on vocals; Cole Bales on guitar, sitar (Track 3); Branden Moser on guitar; Chris Hazelton on bass guitar, organ (Tracks 1, 2, 9, & 10), Tambourine (Track 1), Glockenspiel (Track 3), & Chimes (Track 4); Dave Brick on drums; Pete Carroll on trumpet; Brett Jackson on tenor sax, baritone sax (Tracks 1 & 5), & tambourine (Tracks 5, 6, & 8). Additional Musicians: Pat Conway on Congas (Tracks 1, 3, & 6), Alyssa Bell on viola (Tracks 3, 4, & 7), Elizabeth Codd on violin (Tracks 3 & 4), Matt Bennett on violin (Tracks 3 & 7), John Wickersham on timpani (Track 4), Pamela Baskin-Watson on piano (Track 10), Nick Howell on tambourine (Track 10), The Freedom Family Choir (Track 10): Misha Roberts, Erica Hazelton, Seyko Groves, Paula Saunders, Jordyn Saunders, Cole Bales, and Chris Hazelton. All Horn & String Arrangements by Chris Hazelton except: “Heartaches Don’t Come Easy” and “Give A Little Love” by Pete Carroll & Brett Jackson “Don’t Shoot” by Chris Hazelton & Allyssa Bell. Produced, Recorded, & Mixed by Chris Hazelton. Assistant Produced by Dave Brick. Rhythm Section on Track 10 recorded by Chad Meise. Mastered by JJ Golden. Cover Artwork by Matthew “Mo” Manley. Front cover photograph of civil rights protesters in Kansas City, MO (April 9th, 1968). The Freedom Affair and their track “Rise Up” were selected to be part of Colemine Records 3xLP box set, “Soul Slabs Vol. 2” a Record Store Day Exclusive, released April 13, 2019. Colemine writes: “The Freedom Affair is a freight train of KC soul! Dirty, funky drums, gritty horns, and the combined vocals of Misha Roberts, Seyko Groves, and Paula Saunders to put this band over the top. Politically charged soul music for the dancefloor!”]

11:43:43 – Gospel & Folk Music Carried the Message

  1. Pete Seeger – “We Shall Overcome”
    from: The Essential Pete Seeger / Columbia – Legacy / 2004
    [Derived from a gospel song by Reverend Charles Tindley called “We Will Overcome” written in 1901. Adapted and made famous by Pete Seeger, Joan Baez, and others the song became central to the civil rights movement of the 1950 and 1960s and eventually used all around the world. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. made use of “we shall overcome” in the final Sunday March 31, 1968 speech before his assassination.]
  1. Sarah Lee Guthrie & Johnny Irion – “Dr. King”
    from: exploration / New West / 2005
    [written by Pete Seeger][Sarah Lee Guthrie was born February 17, 1979 and Johnny Irion was born February 3, 1969. They are a musical duo. Guthrie and Irion were married on October 16, 1999 and began performing together as an acoustic duo in the fall of 2000. Their music combined Irion’s love of rock and blues with Guthrie’s roots of folk and country. Guthrie is the youngest daughter of folksinger Arlo Guthrie and the granddaughter of Woody Guthrie. As a third generation singer/songwriter Guthrie released her first self-titled album on the family owned and operated Rising Son Records in 2002. As a child she was involved in theater and dance. Her interest in music was sparked when she worked as her father’s road manager on the 1997 Further Festival tour and saw other members of the tour group having fun at late-night hootenannies. She picked up an acoustic guitar and started playing as a way to join in on the fun. “I always wrote poems, so it wasn’t that far off for me to turn that into songs.” “My dad was absolutely thrilled, of course, and would teach me stuff every day when we were on the road together. That was a really cool way to get to know my dad, because I’d never known him that way. And that’s another thing that made it easy: my dad was so supportive.” Sarah Lee Guthrie & Johnny Irion performing live for Valentine’s Day 2008 at Tales From The Tavern at The Maverick Saloon in Santa Ynez, CA. Irion originates from a family of artists. His uncle is author Thomas Steinbeck, his great uncle is author John Steinbeck, and his grandmother, Rubilee Knight, is a classical violinist. His late grandfather, Fred Knight, sang tenor in numerous venues. Irion and Guthrie met through a mutual friend (Chris Robinson of the Black Crowes) while the two were working together in Los Angeles. In 1999 Guthrie and Irion joined guitarist Tao Rodríguez-Seeger, grandson of Pete Seeger, and performed as a trio under the name RIG.]
  1. Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings – “This Land is Your Land”
    from: Naturally / Daptone / 2005
    [written by Woody Guthrie, Sarah Lee’s Grandfather.]
    [In November 2016, Sharon Jones suffered a stroke while watching the 2016 United States presidential election results and another the following day. Jones remained alert and lucid during the initial period of her hospital stay, jokingly claiming that the news of Donald Trump’s victory was responsible for her stroke. She died on November 18, 2016, in Cooperstown, New York, aged 60. Sharon Lafaye Jones was born May 4, 1956 and died this year on November 18, 2016. She was an American soul and funk singer. Although she collaborated with Lou Reed, David Byrne and others, she is best known as lead singer of Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, a soul and funk band based in Brooklyn, New York. Jones experienced breakthrough success relatively late in life, releasing her first record when she was 40 years old. In 2014, Jones was nominated for her first Grammy, in the category Best R&B Album, for Give the People What They Want. Jones was born in Augusta, Georgia, the daughter of Ella Mae Price Jones and Charlie Jones, living in adjacent North Augusta, South Carolina. Jones was the youngest of six children; her siblings are Dora, Charles, Ike, Willa and Henry. Jones’s mother raised her deceased sister’s four children as well as her own. She moved the family to New York City when Sharon was a young child. As children, she and her brothers would often imitate the singing and dancing of James Brown. Her mother happened to know Brown, who was also from Augusta.Jones grew up in the Bedford Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. In 1975, she graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School in Brooklyn. She attended Brooklyn College. A regular gospel singer in church, Jones often entered talent shows backed by local funk bands in the early 1970s. Session work then continued with backing vocals, often credited to Lafaye Jones, but in the absence of any recording contract as a solo singer, she spent many years working as a corrections officer at Rikers Island and as an armored car guard for Wells Fargo, until receiving a mid-life career break in 1996 after she appeared on a session backing the soul and deep funk legend Lee Fields. Sharon Jones was part of the very beginning of Daptone Records Daptone Records’ first release was a full-length album by Sharon Jones. A new band, the Dap-Kings, was formed from the former members of the Soul Providers and the Mighty Imperials. Some of the musicians went on to record for Lehman’s Soul Fire label, while some formed the Budos Band, an Afro-beat band. From the original Soul Providers, Roth (also known as Bosco Mann) on bass, guitarist and emcee Binky Griptite, percussionist Fernando Velez, trumpet player Anda Szilagyi and organist Earl Maxton were joined by original Mighty Imperials saxophonist Leon Michels and drummer Homer Steinweiss, plus Neal Sugarman from Sugarman 3, to form The Dap-Kings. Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, the released the album Dap Dippin’ with Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings in May of 2002, , for which they received immediate attention and acclaim from enthusiasts, DJs and collectors. Next they released, Naturally (2005), 100 Days, 100 Nights (2007) and I Learned the Hard Way (2010). They are seen by many as the spearhead of a revival of soul and funk.]
  1. Noel Coward – “The Party’s Over Now”
    from: Noel Coward in New York / drg / 2003 [orig. 1957]

Next week, on January 20 we talk with Sam Wells and Barry Lee.

Our Script/Playlist is a “cut and paste” of information.
Sources for notes: artist’s websites, bios, wikipedia.org

Wednesday MidDay Medley in on the web:
http://www.kkfi.org,
http://www.WednesdayMidDayMedley.org,
http://www.facebook.com/WednesdayMidDayMedleyon90.1FM

Show #872

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s