Blast From The Past:
OUR HAMITE AWARD WINNER FOR 1985:
Big Joe Turner
Big Joe Turner was an American blues shouter
(A blues shouter is a blues singer, often male, capable of singing unamplified with a band)
From Kansas City, Missouri, United States. According to the songwriter Doc Pomus, "Rock and roll would have never happened without him." While he had his greatest fame during the 1950s with his rock and roll recordings, particularly "Shake, Rattle, and Roll," Turner's career as a performer endured from the 1920s into the 1980s.
Turner was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987, with the Hall lauding him as "the brawny voiced 'Boss of the Blues'.
Known variously as The Boss of the Blues, and Big Joe Turner (due to his 6'2", 300+ lbs stature), Turner was born in Kansas City. His father was killed in a train accident when Joe was only four years old. He first discovered a love of music in his involvement at church. He began singing on street corners for money, quitting school at age fourteen to work in Kansas City's nightclubs, first as a cook, and later as a singing bartender.
He became known eventually as The Singing Barman, and worked in such venues as The Kingfish Club and The Sunset, where he and his piano playing partner Pete Johnson became resident performers. The Sunset was managed by Piney Brown. It featured "separate but equal" facilities for Caucasian patrons. Turner wrote "Piney Brown Blues" in his honor and sang it throughout his entire career.
At that time Kansas City nightclubs were subject to frequent raids by the police, but as Turner recounts, "The Bossman would have his bondsmen down at the police station before we got there. We'd walk in, sign our names and walk right out. Then we would have cabaret until morning."
His partnership with boogie-woogie pianist Pete Johnson proved fruitful. Together they went to New York City in 1936, where they appeared on a playbill with Benny Goodman, but as Turner recounts, "After our show with Goodman, we auditioned at several places, but New York wasn't ready for us yet, so we headed back to K.C.".
Eventually, they were witnessed by the talent scout, John H. Hammond in 1938, who invited them back to New York to appear in one of his "From Spirituals to Swing" concerts at Carnegie Hall, which were instrumental in introducing jazz and blues to a wider American audience.
Due in part to their appearance at Carnegie Hall, Turner and Johnson had a major success with the song "Roll 'Em Pete". The track, basically a collection of traditional blues lyrics featured one of the earliest recorded examples of a back beat. It was a song that Turner recorded many times, with various combinations of musicians, over the ensuing years. To listen to "Roll Em Pete", click here
In 1941, he went to Los Angeles and performed in Duke Ellington's revue Jump for Joy in Hollywood. He appeared as a singing policeman in a comedy sketch called "He's on the Beat." Los Angeles was his home for a time, and during 1944 he worked in Meade Lux Lewis's Soundies musical movies. Although he sang on the soundtrack recordings, he was not present for filming, and his vocals were mouthed by comedian Dudley Dickerson for the camera. In 1945 Turner and Pete Johnson established their bar in Los Angeles, The Blue Moon Club.
That same year he contracted with National Records company and recorded under Herb Abramson's supervision. His first hit single was a cover of Saunders King's "S.K. Blues" (1945). He recorded the songs "My Gal's A Jockey" and the risqué "Around The Clock" the same year, and the Aladdin company released "Battle of the Blues," a duet with Wynonie Harris. Turner stayed with National until 1947, but none of his recordings were great sellers. In 1950, he released the song "Still in the Dark" on Freedom Records.
Turner made many albums with Johnson, Art Tatum, Sammy Price, and other jazz groups. He recorded with several recording companies and also performed with the Count Basie Orchestra. During his career, Turner was part of the transition from big bands to jump blues to rhythm and blues, and finally to rock and roll. Turner was a master of traditional blues verses, and at Kansas City jam sessions he could swap choruses with instrumental soloists for hours.
Turner had great success during 1954 with "Shake, Rattle and Roll," which seriously enhanced his career, turning him into a teenage favorite, and also helped to transform popular music. During the song, Turner yells at his woman to "get outa that bed, wash yo' face an' hands" and comments that she's "wearin' those dresses, the sun comes shinin' through!, I can't believe my eyes, all that mess belongs to you." He sang the number on film for the 1955 theatrical feature Rhythm and Blues Revue.
Although the cover version of the song by Bill Haley & His Comets, with the risqué lyrics partially omitted...
(in a few short decades look how far down the tubes America has traveled. Back in the 50s, they called this song risqué. Today we have x-rated lyrics in songs on a regular basis, and it would have been an entirely fine song without them. Have our black performers today sold us out by not keeping with the high moral standards our ancestors had? They live in gated mansions on a hill, but we have to live among the crazy people with consequences of their music. Maybe they should look up the word innuendo and learn how to incorporate that into their music instead of being so explicit. Impressionable kids are listening. Sorry Big Joe, back to your Bio, I had to vent that!)
Was a greater sales success, many listeners sought out Turner's version and were introduced thereby to rhythm and blues. Elvis Presley's version of "Shake, Rattle, and Roll" combined Turner's lyrics with Haley's arrangement, but was not a successful single.
After some successes in this vein, Turner quit popular music and resumed singing with small jazz combos, recording numerous albums in that style during the 1960s and 1970s. During 1966, Bill Haley helped revive Turner's career by lending the Comets for a series of popular recordings in Mexico. In 1977 he recorded a cover version of Guitar Slim's song, "The Things That I Used to Do."
He won the Esquire Magazine award for male vocalist in 1945, the Melody Maker award for best 'new' vocalist during 1956, and the British Jazz Journal Award as the top male singer during 1965. In 1977, Turner recorded "I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter" for Spivey Records, featuring Lloyd Glenn on piano. Turner's career endured from the bar rooms of Kansas City in the 1920s (when at the age of twelve he performed with a penciled mustache and his father's hat) to European jazz music festivals of the 1980s.
What an incredible career Big Joe Turner enjoyed! It was indeed a very exciting life. The joy he brought to many was an indispensable aid in forgetting for a moment about the terrible hardships of racism. He was like a music doctor. Did you notice the influence Big Joe Turner had on Rock & Roll? One singer mentioned it would never have happened without him. I think the world needs to know that, but it's hardly mentioned.
But we notice Bg Joe Turner and his extraordinary contributions to the human race. This is why we must honor him with the 1985 Hamite Award. Thanks, Big Joe, rest in peace. You are not forgotten.
Big Joe Turner died in Inglewood, California, in November 1985, at the age of 74 of heart failure, having suffered the earlier effects of arthritis, a stroke, and diabetes. He was buried at Roosevelt Memorial Park, in Gardena, California.
Big Joe Turner |
|How were blacks feeling in 1985?
| Sports in 1985 |
- St. Louis Cardinals' Lou Brock was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
- 1985 - Eddie Robinson, Grambling State University's football coach has more wins than any other at the collegiate level.
- February 21, 1985 - Baseball's Tim Raines is awarded a whopping $12 million dollar salary.
- March 6, 1985 - Boxer Mike Tyson knocks out Hector Mercedes in the first round in his very first professional fight.
- March 15, 1985 - Boxer Larry Holmes knocks out David Bey in 10 rounds for the heavyweight boxing title.
- March 21, 1985 - Tennis great Arthur Ashe is named to International Tennis Hall of Fame.
- April 29, 1985 - Boxer Tony Tubbs knocks out Greg Page in 15 rounds for the heavyweight boxing title.
- May 20, 1985 - Boxer Larry Holmes beats Carl Williams in 15 rounds for the heavyweight boxing title.
- June 15, 1985 - Boxer Pinklon Thomas knocks out Mike Weaver in 8 rounds for the heavyweight boxing title.
- August 1, 1985 - Baseball's Vince Coleman steals 2 bases in the first inning, for a national League rookie record of 74.
- August 25, 1985 - Baseball's New York Mets Dwight Gooden becomes the youngest pitcher to win 20 games.
- September 21, 1985 - Boxer Michael Spinks defeats Larry Holmes in 15 rounds to become the Heavyweight Boxing Champion.
- September 25, 1985 - Baseball's Rickey Henderson steals a Yankee record with his 75th base of the season.
- November 13, 1985 - Baseball's Dwight Gooden, wins the Cy Young award.
- December 20, 1985 - Popular Sportscaster Howard Cosell retires from television sports after spending 20 years and becoming a fixture with ABC.
Liberty, Justice and Freedom For All
It's true at one time in history; America was intended solely for white people, but not all white people. Most of America's founders desired only the fittest and smartest whites to settle here. The Irish, Italians and many more ethnic groups were considered low-life and not worthy to intermingle with the self-proclaimed superior whites, in fact, they were treated as harshly as the black slaves.
But within time they changed their views and allowed lower class whites to have an equal say in the building of America, and of course being similar in color made it easy for these different classes to blend in with one another, and in time you couldn't tell the difference. A luxury that was impossible for blacks to attain.
But on the other hand, Black slaves were considered savage beast without the capabilities to learn and contribute to America, other than with their back-breaking labor.
Why did whites feel this way abouts blacks?
Before their arrival to America as slaves, they were very far behind in development and worldly intelligence. There were great African Kingdoms, but they were no match for the ruthless Europeans. African rulers failed to educate their citizens which would have been a huge undertaking because there were thousands upon thousands of different tribes and clans with their distinct language and customs.
Most Africans didn't know how to read and write and would pass their history down from generation to the next orally. They also believed profoundly in superstition and all sorts of foolish beliefs that didn't help them once the Europeans arrived allowing them to ravage and dominate the African populations completely. Whites were very competitive and chose to proclaim themselves superior to the blacks, instead of sharing their knowledge to help these uneducated Africans.
So from the beginning, the Europeans made this a race issue. Africans were so far behind in human development, whites thought very lowly of them, and since they didn't have examples and scientific techniques we have today to prove otherwise they did as they pleased with little protest from the majority of the white population. In fact, most whites believed blacks were half human/beast only because they didn't know any better.
But in time things would change and there would become many free blacks and also blacks in slavery who would achieve against all the odds of racism. Many whites began to realize that blacks were human beings and if given a chance could be just as intelligent as white people. The movement was started to get blacks equality in America to the dismay of hardcore white supremacist who refused to accept this undeniable evidence that all men are equal in ability.
Scientific discoveries would later determine there was no genetic proof that blacks were inferior to other races which would utterly destroy the superior white theory that had been preached for centuries. All that blacks needed was an education and an opportunity to compete and could do just as well as other races.
Although African-Americans were not immigrants but brought here as slaves, they had things in common because they also yearned for liberty, justice, and freedom. In time what made America so great was it realized it was wrong and attempted to change it's view so it could live up to the true meaning of liberty and justice for all.
But this wouldn't be easy because of many white people who refused to change their views and progress to a new era of love and cooperation for all humanity. They choose to live in the past where they enjoyed a comfortable, privileged life without blacks in the loop.
Since the races were compared to an inferior versus superior issue, many centuries ago white superior beliefs may have been a reasonable belief, with the Africans so far behind in human development and Europeans much more advanced. But with the successes of countless black Americans and other dark-skinned people around the world today, racism and hate have become an archaic, unreasonable and ignorant belief.
Is America at the crossroad?
Well if so, it had to happen one day. For generation after generation, whites have either consciously or unconsciously enjoyed special privilege in America. They control the purse strings not only in America but around the world in dictating a perverted version of justice and liberty for all. Other groups at home and abroad are growing weary and are fighting back.
Now the questions become, what will America do next? Will she attempt in becoming a true America of tolerance, justice and liberty for all people or retreat to her lily white past where there is undoubtedly much danger awaiting for all who reside in her? Britain must answer the same questions.
Simply put, for people who say they love America but hate certain ethnic groups who reside in her are lying to themselves. Their hatred is not based on anything factual. They hate America. They're not true Americans and completely fail to understand the real meaning of her and seek to destroy the last great empire in world history with their foolish hate.
WHO DOES THIS DETESTABLE LOOKING MONSTER REPRESENT? |
America began with the noblest of intentions. But she is no match for my voracious appetite of greed!
My power to influence is so great it will make folly of man's moral duty on earth and a mockery of what is truly just and righteous.
Hi, my name is Rapacity Prey Sr. |
I have been alive since the beginning and will always exist as long as man governs man. There is no shame in my game and proud to admit I've always been a greedy, self-serving bastard with a voracious appetite that cannot be filled. I have many followers who adore me although most don't believe I exist.
I control every aspect of your life without you viewing my beautiful face and hearing words coming from my mouth. For the most part, you obey my every command from my extensive communication networks. These include the printed word, radio, music, television and my favorite form in today's world, the internet.
My only objective in life is to gain wealth and to do this I must have power, which I abundantly possess. I make a huge financial profit from misery, death, and destruction and utilize my communication networks for others to take the blame. I'm a master at setting up smokescreens to do my dirty work. In fact, as mentioned earlier most don't believe I exist. (LOL)
Most people make my work easy because they refuse to peel back the layers of history to expose me. I have created religion against religion, race against race, husband against wife, parents against their children all to my advantage. I don't care one little bit because I'm getting paid in one form or another.
Let me tell you about some of my amazing accomplishments you may be familiar. I can't name them all because there are too many. Remember the Civil War that almost tore the country apart? I was behind that. That war was all about me getting paid, even though the majority of people thought it was about preserving the Union and ending slavery. I used man's hate against themselves to grow rich beyond all expectation during the War and Reconstruction period. It was me who got paid; my belly got super fat from that scheme.
During the Gilded Age, I made more wealth than I could count and have to admit was getting sloppy in my dirty work which resulted in the new Progressive Era which sought to clean greed and corruption from government. Well, who do you think it was that put these so-called righteous do-gooders in positions of authority? Come on now, don't be so gullible, at least put up a little fight to make this game more enjoyable.
I put people in charge to make it appear they were cleaning up the corruption and greediness which made them more cunning and cautious in providing me more wealth. I had my newspapers print how great and honorable Americans were and wouldn't put up for greed, and this made people feel great about their country because it made them feel proud and righteous above all others. What a folly! If walls could only speak!
WHO IS THIS MAN? |
We must be very careful when we speak of exercising "leadership" in Asia. We are deceiving ourselves and others when we pretend to have answers to the problems, which agitate many of these Asiatic peoples. Furthermore, we have about 50% of the world's wealth but only 6.3 of its population.
This disparity is particularly great as between ourselves and the peoples of Asia. In this situation, we cannot fail to be the object of envy and resentment. Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships, which will permit us to maintain this position of disparity without positive detriment to our national security. To do so, we will have to dispense with all sentimentality and daydreaming, and our attention will have to be concentrated everywhere on our immediate national objectives. We need not deceive ourselves that we can afford today the luxury of altruism and world-benefaction.
In the face of this situation, we would be better off to dispense now with some the concepts which have underlined our thinking about the Far East. We should dispense with the aspiration to 'be liked' or to be regarded as the repository of a high-minded international altruism. We should stop putting ourselves in the position of being our brothers' keeper and refrain from offering moral and ideological advice. We should cease to talk about vague — and for the Far East — unreal objectives such as human rights, the raising of the living standards, and democratization. The day is not far off when we are going to have to deal in straight power concepts. The less we are hampered by idealistic slogans, the better.
Written by Cold War strategist, George Kennan
Memo PPS23 (1948) "Memo PPS23", written 28 February 1948, declassified 17 June 1974
WHO IS THIS MAN? |
I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism.
I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914.
I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street.
I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902–1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916.
I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested. Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.
Quoted by former U.S. Marine Corps major general, Smedley Butler
Smedley Butler became widely known for his outspoken lectures against war profiteering
I have to admit there were some great men who put up a fight. President Roosevelt and his New Deal was a hard nut to crack. He belived he could defeat me and make America the respectable place it boasted. He even did something I hated very much in proposing a United Nations organization to prevent future wars. Now come on, you know I disliked that.
Franklin D. Roosevelt
I had made much money from World WarII. Over 60 million people died in that war, and I didn't lose one-night sleep. I had most Americans believing the war was a fight against the threat of losing democracy and had intelligent people digging out their backyards to create bunkers, that was hilarious to me.
I even had my propaganda machine fool self-righteous Americans into believing they won the war, but in actuality it was the Soviet Union who provided victory, defeating the Germans and Japan. My communications network was at the height of its glory. That war was about one thing, me getting paid.
It's sorrowful that around the world and especially Americans are so gullible and believe the lie that they are righteous above others and especially the white ones who I influenced to think they were somewhat better or superior to other races of people. I persuaded my servant Hitler to also believe he was better and superior to others and looked what happened to him. A straightforward and honest search of history would expose so much more about me, but most people are followers who jump on my propaganda bandwagon to believe what may appear to be true. But that's okay; I get paid.
The Vietnam War was one of my greatest achievements. Once again I used my communications in tricking people into believing the Communist were coming and would invade our good and precious land of America. I demanded war but that fool John Kennedy stood in my way and began to back track. Just about every one of my military leaders was livid with him because they knew war is how I get paid. We all know the outcome of John Kennedy. War = money.
I created the entire American culture for my purposes in persuading them to believe they are winners and hate losing at war. The Revoulunary war that I aided in victory went to their heads. That's why I loved LBJ when he succeeded Kennedy. He was a man after my heart. He bombed those poor people to smithereens, even secretly. He was intent on showing the world America was a winner. He made my greedy soul very glad, as did President Nixon after him, two of my greatest workers and excellent examples for all people.
Through my communications networks I had people believe the reason Martin Luther King died was because of racism. Poppycock! If King would have kept his mouth closed and kept his attention to the race issues I created, instead of speaking out against the war he would have probably lived a long and prosperous life.
Martin Luther King Jr.
There were too many blacks joining the white anti-war movement in protest and it created a dilemma I had to deal with. He was messing with my money, and I didn't take kindly to that. It's that simple.
In time, Robert Kennedy was attempting to become the next President and since he was in the same mold as his war hating brother I couldn't allow that and quickly made a choice.
Well as you can tell I love war and also make much profit from covert activities by installing regimes in other countries that are beneficial for me. I've been doing this for years, as a simple search in history would show. But that's not the extent of my capabilities; I also have a huge domestic interest in my beloved country.
I also operate a very lucrative and legal drug business created with the assistance of science. The doctors who work for me send me their clients and I make them pay dearly. I could care less if a person suffers or die from an illness my drugs could have prevented. The truth of the matter is the top priority of scientific research was not intended to help people; its primary purpose is to fill my fat belly. Silly people!
Just put it this way. In just about every place where money can be made, I reside. I vacation on Wall Street regularly. I love the atmosphere there. I'm a master at the art of persuasion and thrive on disaster and turmoil which frightened and agitates American people but will make me more money in one form or another. Do I feel guilty? No, I don't, I don't feed a silly conscience. I only feed my fat belly. Long live America!, Or is it really America? (LOL)
Acts of Goodness is Colorblind
The only way to get the full impact of this viewpoint is by watching this quick episode of the old Andy Griffith show in its entirety (only 8 minutes). The show was shot in the old Confederate town of Mayberry, but try to look past that for the sake of this perspective. Andy was the type of father all kids wanted, and all men aspired to be. In various episodes, he would spend quality time and teach his son Opie the meaning of life in a way that would bring tears to the eyes. Sadly, blacks were invisible on the television in those days through no fault of their own.
The Andy Griffith show is one small example how powerful the media has been throughout American history and helped shaped our communities and behaviors today. Andy taught Opie the importance of being honest, reliable, friendly, unselfish and much more life skills that were needed for him to prosper. Shows like Andy Griffith were typical in displaying acts of goodness by whites.
What were black citizens doing during the Andy Griffith era?
Well, you would think that the millions of blacks in America didn't exist. They were rarely shown on television and if so were displayed negatively as dishonest, crooks, cheats, servants, janitors, etc. So the downfall of shows like the Andy Griffith show was whites would beam with pride and confidence and blacks watching the show which I'm sure they loved would feel left out, lacking as human beings and inferior.
The racist white media did a horrible disservice to the American community by ignoring its black citizens. It helped to drive a wedge between the races even further. It had the powers to unite but chose not to.
So in a sense, this biased media was a hater of democracy and opted to provide its viewers with a single story of white goodness and ignore the positive achievements of black citizens which would have made our common American stories more accurate and complete.
It's important to believe that acts of wisdom, knowledge, and kindness do not belong solely to Andy Taylor. There were black fathers doing the same for their kids; we just didn't hear about them. But because of a racist media, Andy was in a privileged position to uplift his race of people with these acts and because white people were the only one's viewed on television, on the radio, in the magazines, newspapers in a positive light. It became common in associating goodness as being solely white, and especially among white people, just ask them.
So, even to this day, there are too many blacks, and especially the young that associate being good, smart, educated with white people, and don't believe these gifts also belong to them. But the truth of the matter is there is no race that has the market on doing what's right which means every single person in America can be just as good as the next if they choose to be.
President Ronald Reagan
| Political Scene in 1985 |
- 1985 - Ronald Reagan was an American politician, commentator, and actor, who served as the 40th President of the United States from 1981 to 1989. Before his presidency, he served as the 33rd Governor of California from 1967 to 1975, following a career as an actor and union leader in Hollywood.
- 1985 - Mayor of Philadelphia Wilson Goode orders the bombing in the MOVE confrontation. During the final assault on the building, the police dropped an improvised bomb made of C-4 plastic explosive and Tovex, an explosive gel used in underwater mining. This caused the house to catch fire, and ignited a massive blaze which eventually consumed almost four city blocks, killed 11 people, and left 240 people homeless.
Isabel Sanford with
The Jeffersons co-stars, Sherman Hemsley and Mike Evans
| Television / Movies in 1985 |
- Brewster's Millions - comedy film starring Richard Pryor and John Candy
Blaxploitation: movies that emerged in the United States in the 1970s targeted for black audiences -
- The Last Dragon: a blaxploitation of prior Bruce Lee films in which the lead character is sometimes referred to as Bruce LeRoy. The film was produced by Motown record executive Berry Gordy.
Academy Award Winners:
- 1985 - Lionel Richie for White Nights. Best Original Song
- March 27, 1985 - Actor Billy Dee Williams receives a star on Hollywood Walk of Fame.
- The Jeffersons - is a black sitcom that was broadcast on CBS from January 18, 1975, through July 2, 1985. The show focuses on George and (weezy) Louise Jefferson, an affluent African-American couple living in New York City. Proud George loved his family, little man carried a big stick and wasn't afraid of anybody. Movin on Up!
- Lena Horne - The Cosby Show ("Cliff's Birthday" as herself, May 9, 1985)
| Famous Birthdays in 1985 |
- January 17, 1985 - Randall Jai Miller a former American professional baseball outfielder.
- January 17, 1985 - Emmanuel "Manny" Allen Burriss an American professional baseball infielder in the Washington Nationals organization.
- February 25, 1985 - Xavier Brooks Paul, Jr. an American professional baseball outfielder who is a free agent.
- March 11, 1985 - Megan Moulton-Levy a Jamaican-American professional tennis player.
- March 21, 1985 - Ahsha Rolle a former professional female tennis player from United States.
- March 31, 1985 - Jessica Karen Szohr an American actress. She began her screen career appearing on television shows such as CSI: Miami and What About Brian.
- April 5, 1985 - Lastings Darnell Milledge is an American professional baseball outfielder for the Tokyo Yakult Swallows of Nippon.
- April 25, 1985 - Amile Waters a Head Sports Editor/Columnist, Radio Personality and an avid painter of the "Dark Metal" arts. Waters is also a former American pornographic and Indie film actress. Amile has been referenced as the "Multimedia Hippie", and "Team Hippie President.
- May 1, 1985 - Drew Sidora an American actress and singer known for her recurring role as Chantel in the Disney Channel Original Series That's So Raven.
- May 3, 1985 - Meagan Yvonne Tandy is an American actress and model. She is a former Miss California USA who was one of 5 finalists competing for the Miss USA title where she placed 3rd Runner up.
- August 1, 1985 - Adam LaMarque Jones an American professional baseball outfielder with the Baltimore Orioles of Major League Baseball.
- August 26, 1985 - David Taylor Price an American professional baseball pitcher for the Detroit Tigers of Major League Baseball.
- September 3, 1985 - Christopher Lars Nelson an American professional baseball infielder in the Philadelphia Phillies organization.
- September 17, 1985 - Gregory Joseph Golson an American professional baseball outfielder who is currently with the Lancaster Barnstormers of the Atlantic.
- September 20, 1985 - Ian M. Desmond an American professional baseball shortstop for the Washington Nationals of Major League Baseball.
- October 1, 1985 - Sicily Sewell an American actress. She is sometimes credited in film or television as simply with a mononym Sicily.
- October 8, 1985 - Kimberly Kevon Williams an American actress who is perhaps best known for her recurring role as Shayne Thomas in the HBO series The Comeback starring Lisa Kudrow.
- December 4, 1985 - Ibtihaj Muhammad is an American sabre fencer and member of the United States fencing team.
Big Joe Turner
| Famous Deaths in 1985 |
- January 4, 1985 - Harry Haywood was a leading figure in both the Communist Party of the United States (CPUSA) and the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU). His goal was to connect the political philosophy of the Communist Party with the issues of race.
- September 15, 1985 - Cootie Williams was an American jazz, jump blues, and rhythm and blues trumpeter.
- November 19, 1985 - Stepin Fetchit was an African American comedian and film actor.
- November 24, 1985 - Big Joe Turner was an African American blues shouter from Kansas City, Missouri.
- November 26, 1985 - Vivien Theodore Thomas was an African-American surgical technician who developed the procedures used to treat blue baby syndrome in the 1940s.
| Famous Weddings in 1985 |
- January 5, 1985 - Reggie White and Sara White were married.
- February 2, 1985 - O.J. Simpson and Nicole Brown Simpson were married.
- March 27, 1985 - George Foreman and Mary Joan Martelly were married.
- May 17, 1985 - Evander Holyfield and Paulette Bowen were married.
- December 14, 1985 - Phylicia Rashad and Ahmad Rashad were married.
- 1985 - Laurence Fishburne and Hajna O. Moss were married.
- 1985 - Wesley Snipes and April Snipes were married.
- 1985 - Jayne Kennedy and Bill Overton were married.
- 1985 - Diana Ross and Arne Naess Jr. were married.
- 1985 - Judge Greg Mathis and Linda Reese were married.
- 1985 - Tracy Morgan and Sabina Morganwere married.
- 1985 - M.C. Hammer and Stephanie Burrell were married.
- 1985 - Afemo Omilami and Elizabeth Elizabeth Omilami were married.
| Famous Divorces in 1985 |
- February 4, 1985 - George Foreman and Andrea Skeete were divorced.
- November 18, 1985 - Janet Jackson and James DeBarge were divorced.
Soul Train ran from 1971-2006
The Jackson 5
| Music in 1985 |
Billboard Top Soul Hits:
- "Operator" Midnight Star
- "Gotta Get You Home Tonight" Eugene Wilde
- "Mr. Telephone Man" New Edition
- "Missing You" Diana Ross
- "Nightshift" The Commodores
- "Back In Stride" Maze featuring Frankie Beverly
- "Rhythm Of the Night DeBarge
- "We Are the World" USA for Africa
- "Fresh" Kool & the Gang
- "You Give Good Love" Whitney Houston
- "Rock Me Tonight (For Old Times Sake)" Freddie Jackson
- "Hangin' on a String (Contemplating)" Loose Ends
- "Save Your Love (For #1)" René & Angela
- "Freeway of Love" Aretha Franklin
- "Saving All My Love for You" Whitney Houston
- "Cherish" Kool & the Gang
- "Oh Sheila" Ready For the World
- "You Are My Lady" Freddie Jackson
- "Part-Time Lover" Stevie Wonder
- "Caravan of Love" Isley-Jasper-Isley
- "Don't Say No Tonight" Eugene Wilde
Popular Soul Dances:
- The Macarena
- The Robot
- The Electric Slide
- The MC Hammer
- The Worm
- Hip Hop
- Crip Walk
- Cabbage patch
- Running Man
- Chicago stepping
- KC Two-Step
- Detroit Ballroom
Musical Happenings in 1985:
- Anthony Davis' X, The Life and Times of Malcolm X debuts at the American Music Theater Festival, performed by the New York City Opera. This is the first "avant-garde opera written by a black composer".
- "We Are the World", written by Lionel Richie and Michael Jackson, constitutes the beginning of charity rock in the United States.
- August 10, 1985 - Entertainer Michael Jackson gets out his wallet and buys the Beatle's catalog for $47 million dollars.
Blues Hall of Fame for 1985:
The Blues Hall of Fame is a music museum located in Memphis, Tennessee. Until recently, the "Blues Hall of Fame" was not a physical building, but a listing of people who have significantly contributed to blues music. Started in 1980 by the Blues Foundation, it honors those who have performed, recorded, or documented blues. The actual building for the hall opened to the public on May 8, 2015
- Chuck Berry
- Buddy Guy
- J. B. Hutto
- Slim Harpo
American Music Awards winners in 1985:
The American Music Awards was created by Dick Clark to compete with the Grammy Awards. Michael Jackson and Donny Osmond co-hosted the first award show with Rodney Allen Rippy and Ricky Segall in 1974. Unlike the Grammys, which are awarded on the basis of votes by members of the Recording Academy, the AMAs are determined by a poll of the public and fans, who can vote through the AMAs website.
Favorite Pop/Rock Male Artist
- Lionel Richie
Favorite Pop/Rock Male Artist
- Lionel Richie
Favorite Pop/Rock Album
- Purple Rain - Prince
Favorite Pop/Rock Male Video Artist
- Lionel Richie
Favorite Soul/R&B Female Artist
- Michael Jackson
Favorite Soul/R&B Band, Duo, or Group
- Tina Turner
Favorite Soul/R&B Album
- The Jacksons
Favorite Black Album
- Purple Rain - Prince
Favorite Black Single
- "When Doves Cry" - Prince
Favorite Soul/R&B Video
- "Hello" - Lionel Richie
Favorite Soul/R&B Male Video Artist
- Lionel Richie
Favorite Soul/R&B Female Video Artist
- Tina Turner
Favorite Soul/R&B Band/Duo/Group Video Artist
- The Pointer Sisters
Grammy winners in 1985:
The 27th Annual Grammy Awards were held on February 26, 1985 at Shrine Auditorium, Los Angeles, and were broadcast live on American television. They recognized accomplishments by musicians from the year 1984.
Record of the Year
- Terry Britten (producer) & Tina Turner for "What's Love Got to Do with It"
Album of the Year
- James Anthony Carmichael (producer) & Lionel Richie (producer & artist) for Can't Slow Down
Song of the Year
- Terry Britten & Graham Lyle (songwriters) for "What's Love Got to Do with It" performed by Tina Turner
Best Traditional Blues Recording
- Sugar Blue, John P. Hammond, J.B. Hutto & the New Hawks, Luther 'Guitar Junior' Johnson, Koko Taylor & the Blues Machine & Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble for Blues Explosion
Best Album of Original Score Written for a Motion Picture or A Television Special
- Lisa Coleman, John L. Nelson, Prince & Wendy Melvoin (composers) for Purple Rain performed by Prince & the Revolution
Best Arrangement on an Instrumental
- Jeremy Lubbock & Quincy Jones (arrangers) for "Grace (Gymnastics Theme)" performed by Quincy Jones
Best Vocal Arrangement for Two or More Voices
- The Pointer Sisters (arrangers) for "Automatic"
Best Ethnic or Traditional Folk Recording
- Elizabeth Cotton for Elizabeth Cotten Live!
Best Soul Gospel Performance, Female
- Shirley Caesar for Sailin'
Best Soul Gospel Performance, Male
- Andrae Crouch for "Always Remember"
Best Soul Gospel Performance by a Duo or Group
- Shirley Caesar & Al Green for "Sailin' on the Sea of Your Love"
Best Inspirational Performance
- Donna Summer for "Forgive Me"
Best Historical Album
- J.R. Taylor (producer) for Big Band Jazz performed by Count Basie, Tommy Dorsey, Benny Goodman, Fletcher Henderson, Chick Webb, Paul Whiteman & others
Best Jazz Instrumental Performance, Soloist
- Wynton Marsalis for Hot House Flowers
Best Jazz Instrumental Performance, Group
- Art Blakey for "New York Scene" performed by Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers
Best Jazz Instrumental Performance, Big Band
- Count Basie for 88 Basie Street
Best Jazz Vocal Performance
- Joe Williams for Nothin' but the Blues
Best Video Album
- Michael Jackson for Making Michael Jackson's Thriller
Best Album Notes
- Gunther Schuller & Martin Williams (notes writers) for Big Band Jazz performed by Paul Whiteman, Fletcher Henderson, Chick Webb, Tommy Dorsey, Count Basie, Benny Goodman & others
Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female
- Tina Turner for "What's Love Got to Do with It"
Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal
- The Pointer Sisters for "Jump (For My Love)"
Best Pop Instrumental Performance
- Ray Parker, Jr. for "Ghostbusters (Instrumental)"
Producer of the Year (Non-Classical)
- James Anthony Carmichael & Lionel Richie
Best R&B Vocal Performance, Female
- "I Feel for You"-Chaka Khan
Best R&B Vocal Performance, Male
- '"Caribbean Queen (No More Love on the Run)"-Billy Ocean
Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal
- "Yah Mo B There"-James Ingram & Michael McDonald
Best R&B Instrumental Performance
- "Sound System"-Herbie Hancock
Best Rhythm & Blues Song
- "I Feel for You"-Chaka Khan -
Best Reggae Recording
- Black Uhuru for Anthem
Best Rock Vocal Performance, Female
- Tina Turner for "Better Be Good to Me"
Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal
- Prince & the Revolution for Purple Rain - Music From the Motion Picture
Hall of Fame Award
- "April in Paris" Count Basie and His Orchestra
Womens fashions in the 1980s
Mens fashions in the 1980s
The rah-rah skirt is a short flounced layered skirt that originated in cheerleading and became a popular fashion trend among teenage girls in the early 1980s. Later in the 1980s it was often worn with leather, denim or lace.
Jheri curl hairstyle worn in the 1980s.
A medium-length hi-top fade haircut
| Fashions and Styles in 1985 |
The early 1980s were very different from the rest of the decade, with some carryovers from the late 1970s. Clothing colors were subdued, quiet and basic; varying shades of brown, tan, and orange were common. Fashionable clothing in the early 1980s included both unisex and gender-specific attire. Widespread fashions for women in the early 1980s included sweaters (including turtleneck, crew neck, and v-neck varieties); fur-lined puffer jackets; tunics; faux-fur coats; velvet blazers; trench coats (made in both fake and real leather); crop tops; tube tops; knee-length skirts (of no prescribed length, as designers opted for choice); loose, flowy, knee-length dresses (with high-cut and low-cut necklines, varying sleeve lengths, and made in a variety of fabrics including cotton, silk, satin, and polyester); high-waisted loose pants; embroidered jeans; leather pants; and designer jeans. Women's pants of the 1980s were, in general, worn with long inseams - a style carried over from the 1970s. Accessories for women included thin belts, knee-high boots with thick kitten heels, sneakers, jelly shoes (a new trend at the time), mules, round-toed shoes and boots, jelly bracelets (inspired by Madonna in 1983), shoes with thick heels, small, thin necklaces (with a variety of materials, such as gold and pearls), and small watches. The fitness craze of the 1970s continued into the early 1980s. General women's street-wear worn in the early 1980s included ripped sweatshirts, leotards, tights, sweatpants, and tracksuits (especially ones made in velour). Prior to the mid-1980s, it had been taboo to show a slip or a bra strap in public. A visible undergarment had been a sign of social ineptness. With the new fashion's most extreme forms, young women would forgo conventional outer-garments for vintage-style bustiers with lacy slips and several large crucifixes.
In the early 1980s, fashion had carried onward from the late 1970s. Athletic clothes were more popular than jeans during this period, as were more subdued colors. Looser pants remained popular during this time, being fairly wide but straight, and tighter shirts were especially popular. The general public, at this time, wanted to wear low-maintenance clothing with more basic colors, as the global recession going on at the time kept extravagant clothes out of reach. Popular clothing in the early 1980s worn by men includes tracksuits, v-neck sweaters, polyester and velour polo-neck shirts, sports jerseys, straight-leg jeans, polyester button-ups, cowboy boots, beanies, and hoodies. In the mid 1980s, popular trends included wool sport coats, Levi 501s, Hawaiian shirts, shell suits, hand-knit sweaters, sports shirts, hoodies, flannel shirts, reversible flannel vests, jackets with the insides quilted, nylon jackets, gold rings, spandex cycling shorts, cowboy boots, and khaki pants with jagged seams. T-shirts underneath expensive suit jackets with broad, padded shoulders, hawaiian shirts (complemented with sport coats, often with top-stitched lapels for a "custom-tailored" look), and (in counterpoint to the bright shirt) jackets that were often gray, tan, rust or white. Easy-care micro-suede and corduroy jackets became popular choices, especially those with a Western style.
Rap and hip-hop:
Athletic shoes had been worn as casual wear before, but for the first time they became a high-priced fashion item. Converse shoes were popular in the first half of the 1980s. Air Jordan basketball shoes (named for basketball player Michael Jordan) made their debut in 1984. The NBA banned these shoes from games when they debuted, which increased their cachet. Soon, other manufacturers introduced premium athletic shoes. Adidas sneakers took the decade by storm, becoming popular among teenage boys and young men; the Adidas sneaker was popularized by the Run-D.M.C. song My Adidas. Nike had a similar share of the market, with Air Max and similar shoes. High-tops, especially of white or black leather, became popular. In the early 1980s, long and white athletic socks, often calf-high or knee-high, were worn with sneakers. As the decade progressed, socks trended shorter, eventually topping out just above the height of the shoe. Ensembles featuring the colors of Africa (green, yellow and red) became wildly popular among African Americans, as did kente cloth. In the urban hip-hop communities, sneakers were usually worn unlaced and with a large amount of gold jewelry, as well as headwraps.
The Jheri curl often spelled Jerry curl or Jeri Curl is a permed hairstyle that was common and popular among African American, Black Canadian, and Black British, especially during the 1980s and the 1990s. Invented by the hairdresser Jheri Redding, the Jheri curl gave the wearer a glossy, loosely curled look. It was touted as a "wash and wear" style that was easier to care for than the other popular chemical treatment of the day, the relaxer. A hi-top fade is a style of haircut where hair on the sides is cut off or kept very short while hair on the top of the head is very long (in contrast, a low fade is a style where hair on the top is kept shorter). It was common among young black people between 1985 and 1993.
United States Census for African Americans
in the 1980s
Mary McLeod Bethune
| Our Community in 1985 |
Newsworthy Events in the Black Community:
- 1985 - Poet Gwendolyn Brooks is selected as the Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress, an honorary one-year position whose title was renamed the next year to Poet Laureate.
- In 1985 the US Postal Service issued a stamp in Mary McLeod Bethune's honor
- 1985 - American poet and teacher Gwendolyn Elizabeth Brooks was appointed Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress.
- HIV and without treatment, average survival time after infection with HIV is estimated to be 9 to 11 years. Trivia:Infection with HIV occurs by the transfer of blood, semen, vaginal fluid, pre-ejaculate, or breast milk. Within these bodily fluids, HIV is present as both free virus particles and virus within infected immune cells. AIDS was first clinically observed in 1981 in the United States. The initial cases were a cluster of injection drug users and gay men.
- 1980s - Pac-Man is considered one of the classics of the medium, virtually synonymous with video games, and an icon of 1980s popular culture. Pac-Man is an arcade game developed by Namco and first released in Japan on May 22, 1980.
- 1980 - Less than a school year differentiated the years of schooling attained by African Americans and white Americans born after 1980.
- 1980s - The United States Population is 226,504,825 with a total of 26,482,349 being African Americans.
How did religion begin for the American Negro?
Well, it was an exciting journey for sure, but as usual, we have to go back into history for the likely answer. Before arriving in America as slaves, generally speaking, our ancestors practiced a religion which included fetishism.
What is fetishism you may ask?
Traditional Benin Voodoo Dance
Fetishism is a man-made object (such as the doll aound the lady's neck in the picture) that is thought to have power over others. Africans were extremely superstitious in their native land.
But once exposed to religious teachers in America, quickly left their superstitious past behind them, and would frown upon new arrivals of Africans who practiced fetishism in religion.
In Europe, the Roman Catholic Church had lost their grip on people with their questionable religious practices. There were many who thought the Church was wrong and formed a protest or a Protestant Reformation that resulted in the creation of tons of different religions with their doctrines and teachings claiming to be Christian.
A religion is an organized collection of beliefs, cultural systems,
and world views
that relate humanity to an order of existence.
Episcopal, Jesuits, Methodists, Protestant, Anglican, Lutheranism, Calvinism, Presbyterianism, Wesleyanism were all against Roman Catholic teachings.
But there would be a new religion on the horizon for humanity that went by the name of science. The introduction of science was in many ways entirely different than Christianity because it taught man to believe and rely on himself and his creations, rather than on a Supreme Being he couldn't see.
Faith is something foreign and unbelievable to a scientist. Also, this new form of religion would give these believers complete moral authority to do as they wished without a guilty conscience or retribution from a Surpreme Being.
This is what made slavery right or moral in the eyes of so many whites because new science taught that whites were superior and blacks inferior. The theory of evolution is another example in clear teaching that the world exists because of a big bang instead of being created, and also man evolved from apes rather than being created.
Do you believe in Evolution? If so, evolution is your religion because mainstream religion and evolution just don't jive, it's either one or the other.
During slavery, most of the first black congregations and churches were founded by free blacks, but slaves learned about Christianity by attending services led by a white preacher or supervised by a white person. Slaveholders often held prayer meetings at their plantations. Methodist and Baptist were the preferred choices of slaves because of its message.
But after slavery blacks were still restricted in the white churches so what they did next is not a surprise. They began to form their churches free from white rulership and exclusion, but kept the doctrine and teachings, but of course with a more lively twist (singing and dancing). It's clear they still had African culture in their hearts. This would mark the beginning of a new American creation, the black church.
The following is a very brief history of religion in Black America:
William J. Seymour - photo#111-yr-2015
Charles Fox Parham an independent holiness evangelist who believed strongly in divine healing, was an important figure in the emergence of Pentecostalism as a distinct Christian movement. But it wasn't until one of his black students named William J. Seymour learned these teaching and took it back to California with him that the Pentecostal movement took off like wildfire.
Seymour's preaching sparked the famous three-year-long Azusa Street Revival in 1906. Worship at the racially integrated Azusa Mission featured an absence of any order of service. (whites would later dislike this) People preached and testified as moved by the Spirit, spoke and sung in tongues, and fell in the Spirit. Blacks whites and other races would attend these services. But there was a matter of Jim Crow to be kept in mind that made it illegal for blacks and whites to mix.
So whites broke away from Seymour and began their Pentecostal churches. It's a fact that the beginning of the widespread Pentecostal movement in the United States is considered to have started with one-eyed black preacher William J. Seymour's Azusa Street Revival.
The Church Of God in Christ (COGIC) -
Church Of God in Christ Baptism
The Church Of God in Christ was formed in 1897 by a group of disfellowshiped Baptists, most notably Charles Price Jones (1865–1949) and Charles Harrison Mason (1866–1961) and is a Pentecostal Christian denomination with a predominantly African-American membership. It ranks as the largest Pentecostal denomination and the fifth largest Christian denomination in the U.S. Evangelical Baptist, and Methodist preachers traveled throughout the South in the Great Awakening of the late 18th century and appealed directly to slaves, and a few thousand slaves converted. Early COGIC leaders were very much attracted by the Pentecostal message and would break from the Baptist for this reason.
A.M.E. Church -
The African Methodist Episcopal Church, usually called the A.M.E. Church, is a predominantly African-American Methodist denomination based in the US. It is the oldest independent Protestant denomination founded by blacks in the world. It was founded by the Rt. Rev. Richard Allen in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1816 from several black Methodist congregations in the mid-Atlantic area that wanted independence from white Methodists.
Baptists are individuals who comprise a group of denominations and churches that subscribe to a doctrine that baptism should be performed only for professing believers (believer's baptism, as opposed to infant baptism) and that it must be done by complete immersion (as opposed to affusion or sprinkling). Other tenets of Baptist churches include soul competency (liberty), salvation through faith alone, Scripture alone as the rule of faith and practice, and the autonomy of the local congregation. Baptists recognize two ministerial offices, pastors, and deacons. Baptist churches are widely considered to be Protestant churches, though some Baptists disavow this identity.
An adherent of Islam is called a Muslim. Jews felt like they were chosen people who were promised a land filled with milk and honey, a holy land. This promise was made to Abraham and his seed. Abraham's wife Sarah had trouble conceiving children so to keep the promise alive and in the family she chose Hagar who was an Egyptian handmaid to have sexual relations with Abraham to bear a son, which is what they did. This son's name was Ishmael.
But something happened later that would throw things into a tizzy. At a very old age Sarah was now able to have kids and bore a son named Isaac.
Now here's the problem. Does the promise belong to Sarah's son or Hagar's son? Sarah felt it belonged to her bloodline, so she sent Hagar and Ishmael into the wilderness for them to die. But guess what? They didn't die. Muhammad who was the final prophet sent by God as identified in the Quran was born within Ishmael's seed line.
So even to this day these two groups don't care for each other.
This religion by far has proven to be the most destructive for humankind. Its users have created a world of me, me, me, by magnifying themselves, sincerely believing they are all of that and a bag of chips. Also the belief that spirited competition is healthy and useful. Win at all cost! The survival of the fittest theory. Many genocides were accomplished in the name of science. It teaches us that man originates from apes, (many blacks lost their life because of this false teaching) the earth was created from nothing and in essence humans are their gods. The bad far outweighs the good with the practice of science. Just look around.
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