WBEZ | soul http://www.wbez.org/tags/soul Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Staple Singers' anthem a call for civil rights and reparations http://www.wbez.org/blogs/alison-cuddy/2013-08/staple-singers-anthem-call-civil-rights-and-reparations-108515 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Screen Shot 2013-08-24 at 9.30.53 AM.png" alt="" /><p><p>One of the more stirring and heartfelt songs from the civil rights era is <em>When Will We Be Paid</em>, by the Chicago soul and gospel group The Staple Singers.</p><p>In plainspoken but soulful terms Mavis Staples unpacks the backbone of American prosperity: black slave labor.</p><p><em>We worked this country<br />From shore to shore<br />Our women cooked all your food<br />And washed all your clothes<br />We picked cotton and laid the railroad steel<br />Worked our hands down to the bone at your lumber mill</em></p><p>The Staples released the song in 1970 on <em>We&rsquo;ll Get Over</em>, their second album on the Stax label. The great performance of the song above comes from the film <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0244807/">Soul to Soul</a>, which documents a 1971 concert in Ghana, featuring mostly American R&amp;B, soul and jazz performers.</p><p>The song itself <a href="http://blog.kexp.org/2010/02/17/kexp-documentaries-civil-rights-songs-%E2%80%93-when-will-we-be-paid-for-the-work-weve-done/">was inspired by a passage</a> in Dr. Martin Luther King Jr&rsquo;s <em>I Have a Dream Speech</em>, given at the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom which took place 50 years ago this month.</p><blockquote><p>&ldquo;When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence they were signing a promissory note &hellip; a promise that all men, yes black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked insufficient funds.&rdquo;</p></blockquote><p>Despite those credentials, and the Staples&rsquo; role in the civil rights movement, <em>When Will We Be Paid</em> is not recalled alongside some of the other great anthems of the era, like <em>We Shall Overcome</em>, <em>Go Tell it on the Mountain</em>, and <em>People Get Ready</em>. And neither the song nor the album were a hit for the Staples.</p><p>I wonder if that&rsquo;s in part because the song can be read as an argument for what&rsquo;s proven a controversial topic: reparations. That idea has been around <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reparations_for_slavery_debate_in_the_United_States">since the end of the Civil War</a>, that direct descendants of slaves, either individually or as a group, deserve some kind of monetary compensation for the wrongs suffered by their ancestors.</p><p>Of course the meaning of <em>When Will We Be Paid</em> is also much broader. Following Dr. King&rsquo;s logic, the &ldquo;bad check&rdquo; is a metaphor for the failure to achieve full equality for blacks in America. And the Staples double down on notion by invoking &ldquo;women&rsquo;s work,&rdquo; arguing that equality will only be paid in full if it also extends to black women.</p><p>But the litany of abuses in <a href="http://contreinfo.info/article.php3?id_article=480">the lyrics</a>, the claim that &ldquo;Anytime we ask for pay or a loan/That&rsquo;s when everything seems to turn out wrong,&rdquo; the repeated refrain of &ldquo;When will we get paid/For the work we&rsquo;ve done&rdquo; suggests the song speaks not just of the political but the economic forms of redress required to make the check good.</p><p>If the Staples did have reparations in mind, they&rsquo;d be in good company, at least when it comes to Chicago and Illinois. Many of the more recent arguments for reparations have come from here, made by activists like <a href="http://www.ncobra.org/">N&rsquo;COBRA</a> and the Reverend Jesse Jackson, and by <a href="http://www.finalcall.com/national/reparations5-30-2000.htm">politicians like Dorothy Tillman</a>, Jan Schakowsky, Bobby Rush and Danny Davis. Reparations even came up as a <a href="http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2011/02/10/mayoral-candidates-spar-over-reparations/">topic for debate</a> in Chicago&rsquo;s last Mayoral election.</p><p>Davis was part of a <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_National_Coalition_of_Blacks_for_Reparations_in_America">Congressional group</a> charged with studying the idea of reparations in 2001. He thinks there is something unique about Chicago&rsquo;s position on reparations.</p><p>&ldquo;Chicago sent the <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oscar_De_Priest">very first African American</a> to become a member of Congress after the period of Reconstruction,&rdquo; said Davis. &ldquo;Illinois has been the state that has elected two [African American] United State Senators. So Chicago has had a level of progression related to issue raising that many other places in the country have not experienced.&rdquo;</p><p>Though his own group came to naught in terms of serious discussion or recommendations, and never gained broader support from Congress, Davis doesn&rsquo;t think the issue has gone away.</p><p>&ldquo;I don&rsquo;t think anyone can deny that slavery has had an adverse effect on many of its descendants,&rdquo; Davis said. &ldquo;People whose relatives or foreparents were enslaved are still feeling the impact and are still being disadvantaged as a result.&rdquo;</p><p>But that is exactly what&rsquo;s proven so controversial about reparations: is payment required to repair that damage? And if so, how much, to whom, and why African Americans, and not other disadvantaged groups?</p><p>Davis thinks reparations don&rsquo;t have to mean paying people outright. He has in mind special incentives like education and training to lift people out of poverty, all of which he thinks can &ldquo;in a sense be called reparations.&rdquo; But reaching consensus on what those would look like has proven no less complex.</p><p>As for The Staple Singers, Davis say&rsquo;s he is a great fan of the group and has been since seeing them as a child in Crossett, Arkansas. To him, the song evokes a key claim for blacks, one that has yet to be fully answered.</p><p>&ldquo;The notion of when will we be paid, or when will we really reach the point when there is full citizenship, with no barriers, no prohibitions, with nothing that holds us back and reminds us of this previous condition of servitude, when will that happen -- if it will?&rdquo;</p><p><em>Alison Cuddy is WBEZ&rsquo;s Arts and Culture reporter and co-host of <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/wbezs-changing-channels/id669715774?mt=2">Changing Channels</a>, a podcast about the future of television. Follow her on <a href="https://twitter.com/wbezacuddy">Twitter</a>, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/cuddyalison?ref=tn_tnmn">Facebook</a> and <a href="http://instagram.com/cuddyreport#">Instagram</a></em></p></p> Sat, 24 Aug 2013 09:25:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/alison-cuddy/2013-08/staple-singers-anthem-call-civil-rights-and-reparations-108515 Morning Shift: Navy Pier's future facelift has to strike balance http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-08-13/morning-shift-navy-piers-future-facelift-has-strike <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Navy Pier - Flickr - Bernt Rostad.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>With Navy Pier headed toward a re-design in the next couple years, can the design continue to attract so many tourists? And, Matteson, Illinois, officials are closing Lincoln Mall. What does this imply about the future economy of the south suburbs?&nbsp;</p><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-42.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-42" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: Navy Pier's future facelift has to strike balance" on Storify</a>]</noscript></p> Tue, 13 Aug 2013 08:29:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-08-13/morning-shift-navy-piers-future-facelift-has-strike JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound deliver some 21st century soul http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-10-26/jc-brooks-and-uptown-sound-deliver-some-21st-century-soul-93493 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-October/2011-10-26/pic-jc brooks 1.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Local band <a href="http://jcbrooksandtheuptownsound.com/" target="_blank">JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound</a> has been making its mark around the world lately. <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> spoke with band members about their sound and how soul and other forms of music inspire them. The band visited WBEZ's Jim and Kay Mabie Performance Studio recently to perform songs from their new record, <span style="font-style: italic;">Want More<em>. </em> </span> They kicked things off with their song, "Everything Will Be Fine." Below are a couple more songs from JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><br> <iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="338" src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/31142601?title=0&amp;byline=0&amp;portrait=0&amp;color=b30000" webkitallowfullscreen="" width="601"></iframe></p><p><a href="http://vimeo.com/31142601">J.C. Brooks and the Uptown Sound perform "Everything Will Be Fine" live for WBEZ's <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em></a></p><p><strong>"Awake"</strong><br> <audio class="mejs mediaelement-formatter-identified-1332483807-1" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/sites/default/files/JC Brooks - Awake.mp3">&nbsp;</audio></p><p><br> <strong>"Touch Your Heart"</strong></p><p><audio class="mejs mediaelement-formatter-identified-1332483807-1" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/sites/default/files/JC Brooks - Touch Your Heart.mp3">&nbsp;</audio></p></p> Wed, 26 Oct 2011 13:24:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-10-26/jc-brooks-and-uptown-sound-deliver-some-21st-century-soul-93493 Global Notes: Indian chanteuse a precursor to disco and fusion http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-06-01/global-notes-indian-chanteuse-precursor-disco-and-fusion-87287 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-June/2011-06-01/asha.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Asha Puthli, a successful Indian vocalist, has been dubbed the original Indian diva of jazz, soul and funk. Born and raised in Mumbai, she trained in Indian classical singing before moving to the U.S. in the 1970s to pursue jazz.&nbsp;</p><p>Asha's music has been called a cross between Raga and Aretha Franklin. Columbia Records impresario John Hammond discovered her upon her arrival to the United States.</p><p><a href="http://www.wbez.org/radio-m" target="_blank"><em>Radio M</em></a> host Tony Sarabia introduces Jerome to the genre-jumping music of Indian vocalist, Asha Puthli.</p></p> Wed, 01 Jun 2011 18:23:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-06-01/global-notes-indian-chanteuse-precursor-disco-and-fusion-87287 DJ AMPM lives on music day and night http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/dj-ampm-lives-music-day-and-night <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/Picture 048.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>In the a.m., DJ AMPM-aka Alycia Ryan-works at <a href="http://www.gramaphonerecords.com/" target="_blank">Gramaphone Records</a> as their hip-hop buyer. In the p.m., she spins everything from southern hip-hop to R&amp;B and old-school soul music. Friday on &quot;Eight Forty-Eight&quot; she gave a sampling of her sound throughout the hour. At the end of the program, <a href="http://www.mixcloud.com/djampm/" target="_blank">DJ AMPM</a> down with host Alison Cuddy to talk about what gets her turntables spinning.</p><p>DJ AMPM spins a couple of weekly residencies: Thursday nights she&rsquo;s at <a href="http://www.facebook.com/people/Barra-N-Elston/1739660584" target="_blank">ñ&nbsp;</a> in Chicago&rsquo;s Avondale neighborhood and Fridays she spins southern hip-hop and more at <a href="http://www.zentranightclub.com/" target="_blank">Zentra</a> on Chicago&rsquo;s near North Side.</p><p><strong>DJ AMPM Mini-Set:</strong><br />Sugar Hill Gang, &quot;Apache (Jump&nbsp; On It)&quot;<br />Bobby Byrd, &quot;I Know You Got Soul&quot;<br />Willie Hutch &quot;Brother's Gonna Work it Out&quot;<br />Showbiz and A.G., &quot;Party Groove&quot;<br />J. Cole, &quot;Who Dat&quot; (instrumental)<br />Slim, &quot;So Fly&quot; (instrumental)<br />Big Pun, &quot;You Came Up&quot; (instrumental)</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 21 Jan 2011 16:17:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/dj-ampm-lives-music-day-and-night Chicago Hip Hop / Soul veterans 41° 51' 0" N / 87° 39' 0" W aka The Primeridian http://www.wbez.org/story/chicago/41%C2%B0-51-0-n-87%C2%B0-39-0-w-aka-primeridian <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/primeridian 2.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Simeon Viltz and Race of <a href="http://www.primeridianonline.com/">The Primeridian</a> are up to no good again. They're about to release a new mixtape (or as they like to call it MixP3) with a whole slew of producers and features singing on it in between bursts of demonic laughs - WHOAHAHA!</p> <p>Hear some of the old and brand new tracks from Chicago's Hip Hop / Soul veterans along with an interview where they talk about how they all met as young aspiring MCs at University of Illinois. They also explain their &quot;beautifully melodic and soulfully hypnotic&quot; sound, explain the &quot;LEAN&quot; factor and MixP3, tell stories about their involvement with youth mentoring, and dwell a little bit on the corporate takeover of Hip Hop in the mid 90's.</p></p> Mon, 27 Dec 2010 23:29:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/chicago/41%C2%B0-51-0-n-87%C2%B0-39-0-w-aka-primeridian Part II: American blues and and soul singer Syl Johnson http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/part-ii-american-blues-and-and-soul-singer-syl-johnson <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/syl johnson.jpg" alt="" /><p>On Tuesday, Eight Forty-Eight began its conversation with blues and soul legend Syl Johnson. <a target="_blank" href="http://numerogroup.com/catalog_detail.php?uid=01178">Numero Group's</a> latest box set is a big one &ndash;more than 80 songs on four CDs or 12 sides of vinyl: It&rsquo;s up to you - both formats are included!&nbsp;&quot;<a target="_blank" href="http://numerogroup.com/catalog_detail.php?uid=01178">Syl Johnson: Complete Mythology</a>&quot; is a collection of the Chicago soul singer&rsquo;s early work, from the years 1959-1972.</p><p>The set includes many of Johnson&rsquo;s early hits including the often sampled &quot;Different Strokes.&quot; There are also some once-lost or forgotten, never before released treasures. All of the material is being saved from media deterioration.</p><p>Saturday, a 17-piece band joins Johnson in a concert at the Old Town School of Folk Music.</p><p>Syl Johnson and his longtime bass player Bernard Reed recently stopped by Eight Forty-Eight to chat and perform.</p> Fri, 26 Nov 2010 16:31:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/part-ii-american-blues-and-and-soul-singer-syl-johnson