Tag Archives: Culture

R&B Music: They Just Don’t Make ‘Em Like This Anymore

R&B Soul

R&B Music: They Just Don’t Make ‘Em Like This Anymore

I long for the days when R&B singers used to sing. Not only did they sing, but they made timeless R&B classics that will live on forever. All you need to do is tune into the radio and find the Quiet Storm. You can dig into the crates and find your favorite tunes on wax. You can sort through your tape collection and find the artist and album of your choice. No matter how you do it, go find your favorite old school R & B music. R&B Music: They Just Don’t Make ‘Em Like This Anymore…

I’m talking about Marvin Gaye. I’m talking about Gladys Knight. I’m talking about Luther Vandross.

It’s time to go down memory lane. What made R&B music great was the effort that was put into creating music. R&B singers sang about passion and feeling. They sang with power and emotion. They sang about joy and pain. They sang about love. All of these artists captured feelings and emotions and turned them into forms of art. R&B Music: They Just Don’t Make ‘Em Like This Anymore…

I’m talking about Minnie Riperton. I’m talking about Freddie Jackson. I’m talking about Stephanie Mills.

It’s time to go down memory lane. R&B music of the past was accompanied by smooth, often sensual music. It set the mood for love and romance. When the lyrics of some of the greatest songwriters were added, it created the right mix of soul, funk, and rhythm. Music like this is affectionately known in the black community as “baby makin’ music.” In fact, I am sure a lot of us 70s and 80s babies were conceived while some smooth R&B played in the background. R&B Music: They Just Don’t Make ‘Em Like This Anymore…

I’m talking about Barry White. I’m talking about Shirley Murdock. I’m talking about Babyface.

It’s time to go down memory lane. I genuinely believe that our music reflects the times we live in. Like today’s society, our music (in general) no longer reflects the love we had for each other years ago in the black community. Male R&B singers of the past referred to women as treasures; not objects. Female R&B singers referred to men as providers; not takers. R&B music used to spread unity and love. We need to get back to hearing these messages in our music. R&B Music: They Just Don’t Make ‘Em Like This Anymore…

I’m talking about Stevie Wonder. I’m talking about Chaka Khan. I’m talking about Peabo Bryson.

It’s time to go down memory lane. All you need to do is tune into the radio and find the Quiet Storm. You can dig into the crates and find your favorite tunes on wax. You can sort through your tape collection and find the artist and album of your choice. Enjoy yourself. If you remember some of these songs, you know exactly what I am talking about. As a sample, I have provided a short list and links for some of my favorite R&B songs. Feel free to comment and add to the list!

R&B Music: They Just Don’t Make ‘Em Like This Anymore…

If Only You Knew- Patti LaBelle

You Should Be Mine- Jeffrey Osborne

Cause I Love You- Lenny Williams

The Morning After- Maze featuring Frankie Beverly

Living All Alone- Phyllis Hyman

Love’s Train- ConFunkShun

Between the Sheets- The Isley Brothers

Anticipation- The BarKays

Betcha By Golly Wow- The Stylistics

Let Me Be the One- Angela Bofill

The Chi-Lites- Have You Seen Her

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African American Cultural Norms

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These are the cultural norms of African Americans…

The Extended Family

  • Cousins, Aunts, Mother, Father, Uncle

Informal Adoption

  • By blood relative and non-relatives… Play mom (Godmother, Godfather), play cousins, play nieces, play nephews, play grandmothers, play grandfathers)

Religious Orientation

  • Involved in some type of church religious activity

High Value on Children

  • Children come first

Respect for the Elderly

  • Always respectful to adults and especially to the elderly

Flexible Family Roles

  • Mother working and father taking care of kids

Respect

  • For self and community

Restraint

  • Not doing something that you know you should not do. Knowing right from wrong

Responsibility

  • To self, family, and community

Reciprocity

  • I keep the kids one day and you keep the kids the next.

 

Can you think of any examples of how these cultural values apply to you and your family?

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Hill, Robert B. Ph. D 1999. The Strengths of African American Families- Twenty-five Years Later. University Press of America, Lanham, MD.
Sudarkasa, Niara. Ph. D “Interpreting the African Heritage in Afro-American Family Organization.” Pp 27-43 in Black Families, Ed. Harrielle, P. McAdoo, Newbury, Park, CA: Sage Publications, (1988).