James Mtume was an American musician and songwriter best-known for his composition “Juicy Fruit” (1983).
Joe Simon was an American singer who worked in the soul and R&B idioms. Well-known recordings are “The Chokin’ Kind” (1967) and “Drowning in the Sea of Love” (1971).
But I give you “Love Vibration” (1978) because Larry Levan used to played it at the Paradise Garage.
Be sure to also check “The Chokin’ Kind” for its interesting percussion. Morevoer, that song was written by Harlan Howard, the same songwriter who gave us country music favorite “No Charge”.
Greg Tate was was an American writer, musician, and producer.
A long-time critic for The Village Voice, Tate focused particularly on African-American music and culture.
Also a musician himself, he was a founding member of the Black Rock Coalition and the leader of Burnt Sugar.
He is known for such pieces as “Yo! Hermeneutics!” (1985) and was interviewed by Mark Dery in “Black to the Future” (1994), making Tate a key figure in the protohistory of black science fiction.
Some have called a rogue scholar and when one reads “Yo! Hermeneutics!”, one does get the feeling of having landed in an African-American version of the Sokal affair.
Pee Wee Ellis was an American composer, musician and saxophonist, best-known for co-writing “Cold Sweat” (1967) and “Say It Loud – I’m Black and I’m Proud” (1968) with James Brown and writing “The Chicken” (1969).
MF Doom was a British-born American rapper. He died two months ago, but news came out only recently.
Like Sun Ra, who he sampled more than once, MF Doom builds his own universe. It is not difficult to see how he influenced Tyler, the Creator, another voice in hip hop I appreciate.
Like Buckethead, MF Doom wore a mask during concerts.
On the Belgian popcorn scene, popular recordings of Nash included “Some of Your Lovin'”, “Old Man River”, “Moment of Weakness”, “Kisses”, “I’m Leaving”, “I’m Counting On You” and “Don’t Take Away Your Love”.
Bill Withers was an American singer-songwriter known for songs such as “Lean on Me”, “Use Me” and “Ain’t No Sunshine”.
I give you “Who Is He (And What Is He to You)?” (1972) because it’s one of the best adultery songs ever with the unforgettable opening lines:
A man we passed just tried to stare me down
And when I looked at you
You looked at the ground
While researching this death, I came across a rather smart piece of music criticism by the American author Robert Christgau (born 1942):
“Withers sang for a black nouveau middle class that didn’t yet understand how precarious its status was. Warm, raunchy, secular, common, he never strove for Ashford & Simpson-style sophistication, which hardly rendered him immune to the temptations of sudden wealth—cross-class attraction is what gives ‘Use Me’ its kick. He didn’t accept that there had to be winners and losers, that fellowship was a luxury the newly successful couldn’t afford.