Helpless Dancer

The Endless Note

Gil Scott-Heron – RIP

With critical and commercial appeal still surrounding what now turns out to have been his last album “I’m New Here” it is particularily unfair that he should be taken from us.

On promoting the album he described himself as “eccentric, obnoxious, arrogant and selfish” and held the view that “if you have to pay for all the bad things you’ve donethen I have a big bill coming”.

Born on 1st April 1949 he had an absentee Jamaican father Gilbert who was the first black footballer to play for Glasgow Celtic back in 1958.

Living between his mother and his grandmother, as his mother struggled to bring him up alone, he developed an early skill in essay writing at school, his penchant for education resulted in his attendance at Lincoln University where he made his first forays into music.

It became obvious that he was as much an author as he was musician and even to this day his signature tune/essay remains a track from his first 1970 album “A New Black Poet – Small Talk at 25th and Lenox”

“The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” – Gil Scott-Heron

You will not be able to stay home, brother.
You will not be able to plug in, turn on and cop out.
You will not be able to lose yourself on skag and skip,
Skip out for beer during commercials,
Because the revolution will not be televised.

The revolution will not be televised.
The revolution will not be brought to you by Xerox
In 4 parts without commercial interruptions.
The revolution will not show you pictures of Nixon
blowing a bugle and leading a charge by John
Mitchell, General Abrams and Spiro Agnew to eat
hog maws confiscated from a Harlem sanctuary.
The revolution will not be televised.

The revolution will not be brought to you by the
Schaefer Award Theatre and will not star Natalie
Woods and Steve McQueen or Bullwinkle and Julia.
The revolution will not give your mouth sex appeal.
The revolution will not get rid of the nubs.
The revolution will not make you look five pounds
thinner, because the revolution will not be televised, Brother.

There will be no pictures of you and Willie May
pushing that shopping cart down the block on the dead run,
or trying to slide that color television into a stolen ambulance.
NBC will not be able predict the winner at 8:32
or report from 29 districts.
The revolution will not be televised.

There will be no pictures of pigs shooting down
brothers in the instant replay.
There will be no pictures of pigs shooting down
brothers in the instant replay.
There will be no pictures of Whitney Young being
run out of Harlem on a rail with a brand new process.
There will be no slow motion or still life of Roy
Wilkens strolling through Watts in a Red, Black and
Green liberation jumpsuit that he had been saving
For just the proper occasion.

Green Acres, The Beverly Hillbillies, and Hooterville
Junction will no longer be so damned relevant, and
women will not care if Dick finally gets down with
Jane on Search for Tomorrow because Black people
will be in the street looking for a brighter day.
The revolution will not be televised.

There will be no highlights on the eleven o’clock
news and no pictures of hairy armed women
liberationists and Jackie Onassis blowing her nose.
The theme song will not be written by Jim Webb,
Francis Scott Key, nor sung by Glen Campbell, Tom
Jones, Johnny Cash, Englebert Humperdink, or the Rare Earth.
The revolution will not be televised.

The revolution will not be right back after a message
bbout a white tornado, white lightning, or white people.
You will not have to worry about a dove in your
bedroom, a tiger in your tank, or the giant in your toilet bowl.
The revolution will not go better with Coke.
The revolution will not fight the germs that may cause bad breath.
The revolution will put you in the driver’s seat.

The revolution will not be televised, will not be televised,
will not be televised, will not be televised.
The revolution will be no re-run brothers;
The revolution will be live

 

 

 

The song was without doubt  the wake up call to black America to switch off the television and do something less passive instead.

Perhaps given that he lived to see a  US administration led by a black President who was actively pursuing as a priority the health of all it’s citizens he considered his work here was done.

Source (in part):-  www.independant.co.uk

 

To buy the music of Gil Scott-Heron click HERE 

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May 29, 2011 Posted by | Blues, New News, Old Music, R&B, Video | | Leave a comment

Sunday Jazz – Stormy Weather

The weather during the past week has seen the greatest degree of wind I have seen since I last scoffed an Ashoka vindaloo, therefore it gives the ideal chance to post the great Sinatra’s version of  “Stormy Weather” one of many great songs written by  Harold Arlen and Ted Koehler.

Ethel Waters first sang it at The Cotton Club night club in Harlem. It has since been covered by artists as diverse as Frank Sinatra, Clodagh Rodgers, and Reigning Sound. Leo Reisman‘s orchestra had the biggest hit on records (with Arlen himself as vocalist), although Ethel Waters recorded version also performed well.

The song tells of disappointment, as the lyrics, “Don’t know why there’s no sun up in the sky” show someone pining for her man to return. The weather is a metaphor for the feelings of the singer; “stormy weather since my man and I ain’t together, keeps raining all the time.”

The original handwritten lyrics, along with a painting by Ted Koehler, were featured on the (US) Antiques Roadshow on 24 January 2011, where they were appraised for between $50,000 and $100,000. The lyrics show a number of crossings out and corrections.

Ethel Waters‘ recording of the song in 1933 was inducted in the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2003, and the Library of Congress honored the song by adding it to the National Recording Registry in 2004.

 

“Stormy Weather” – Frank Sinatra

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Don’t know why there’s no sun up in the sky, stormy weather
Since my gal and I ain’t together, keeps raining all the time
Life is bare, gloom and misery everywhere, stormy weather
Just can’t get my poor old self together
I’m weary all the time, the time
So weary all the time

When she went away the blues walked in and they met me
If she stays away, that old rocking chair’s gonna get me
All I do is pray the Lord above will let me
Walk in the sun once more

Can’t go on, everything I have is gone, stormy weather
Since my gal and I ain’t together
Keeps raining all the time
Keeps raining all the time

Can’t go on, everything I have is gone, stormy weather
Since my gal and I ain’t together
Keeps raining all the time, the time
Keeps raining all the time

 

To buy the music of Frank Sinatra click HERE

 

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May 29, 2011 Posted by | Jazz Vocal, Old Music, Video | , , | Leave a comment

   

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