On June 7, 1979 President Jimmy Carter decreed June to be an annual month-long celebration of Black Music in America. In 2009, President Barack Obama changed the name to African American Music Appreciation Month…By popular demand President Biden has reinstated the celebration and observance to its original name of “Black Music Month”
Blacks in America have created or inspired many genres and sub-genres of music. Since 1979, we have celebrated all these genres in the month of June. Although there are talented black artists in ALL genres of music, in June we celebrate R&B (rhythm and blues/soul music), Gospel, Jazz, Blues, Funk, Rap and Hip-Hop.
You may have read about my long history in the music industry. I made it clear where I found the best times and the joy of my life. My biggest thrill and most memorable time in music was working in one of America’s most distinguished, important and beloved stores. This store (Big Ben’s and later Wherehouse Music) served the most diverse black community in Los Angeles. Although the store was part of a huge chain we served our neighborhood and community as if we were a stand-alone specialty store. Everyone within the community relied on our store to bring them EVERYTHING that was “Black Music”. Due to the popularity of our store,
it was not long until busses began to show up with tourists.
They wanted to get the music they could not find in most stores. They knew that a trip to our store could mean finding a hot new artist or a hard-to-find piece of music that they just, had to have.
The store was known for our knowledgeable customer service team and for having all of the music that people were looking for. The “Wherehouse Music” store on La Brea in Los Angeles was, “THE PLACE TO FIND ANY and EVERY PIECE of MUSIC that was written, performed or inspired by black artists.
If a new artist released an album, we were the first to have it. If an older artist was no longer viable or worthy to be on the shelves of most stores, you could find every title they ever released in the bins of our store. I loved my store because we had everything and I could make a whole lot of music fans smile when they found “their artist or their song” in our bins.
After working in my dream store in the heart of the most diverse black community in Los Angeles, I became the buyer that bought and supplied music to our entire chain. I was responsible for stocking all genres that fell under the umbrella of Black Music. Although the names for this music has changed over the years from Soul..to Black..to Urban..to African American Music and now back to where it belongs, the popularity of “Black Music” has only sky-rocketed. Every year Black Music sales have grown to new heights. The music has captivated the hearts and ears of all races and ethnic backgrounds, worldwide.
The influence of Black Music on pop culture is seen and heard everywhere.
Although it was hard to watch the decline of “record stores” as music chains closed their doors for good. It was those “neighbor stores” that specialized in certain genres that remained open and viable to this day. If you are sitting in a small town somewhere within our GIANT world, you may not have access to a great independent store that specializes in the music that you love. But since you have access to the device you are reading this blog on, you now have your specialty store at your fingertips. Your personal store and source for music is NEVER CLOSED and is always here to serve all your music needs. No matter where you live on the planet you CAN find the music you are looking for and discover new artists along the way. You may even discover music and artists that are popular in other states, countries and even continents. YOU CAN HAVE IT ALL and WHEN YOU WANT IT.
This blog is much like the specialty store that I loved working in. I have an endless catalog of music that I can share with you. And if you find something interesting, you can easily get it here.
When starting my blog, It was important that I partnered with an amazing source that could supply everything, or just about EVERYTHING that you would want (or need).
Several E-commerce companies are now helping to sponsor this blog and allowing me to influence the titles they carry! So, once again, I have the joy of making music fans happy by turning them on to great music or finding that one artist, album or song they could not find anywhere else. I will always try to present titles that will give you more value for your hard-earned buck. I will present titles that offer more than that “one-hit-wonder” song.
If you keep coming back to my blog, I promise to tell you about influential artists and releases that you may not hear about elsewhere. And, since I have history with many of our most beloved black artists, I will throw in the occasional photo or story from my personal time with them.
While the world shut down due to the pandemic…
…it was MUSIC, MOVIES or TV that got me through the tough times.
I finally had the time to re-visit and enjoy my favorite music. Many of the artists or the music I will share with you became my medicine over the last year. It was music that sparked my memories of friends and family or places that I missed while being shut in the house. Every time I put on a piece of vinyl, a CD or the digital version of my favorite music I was instantly transported to a happier place or time.
It has been determined that music can ease stress, energize the mind, arouse emotions and soothe the soul. I suppose that is why Black Music will always be affectionately known as SOUL MUSIC.
Please join me throughout June as I celebrate Black Music Month. And keep coming back to hear more about my love of this soulful music as well as other Music, Movies and TV shows.