Where Are We Now?

You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.
~Maya Angelou

Music has always had a way of transforming and evolving into something fresh and new. Does music always reflect where we are in relationship to society? The music of the 60’s and 70’s certainly did. Does our music, today somehow show what and where our consciousness lie, especially in a troubling state of affairs? There were gangs back in the day. These cats feuded and had some major problems with each other, but never to the extent we see today. How does our music mirror the social angst’s of our times? and Do our musicians speak to the need for more than what is being received – both individually and societal? Sam, Marvin and Stevie did.

From The Beginning

A Capella has no race distinction about it. It’s just about the sound. Musicians came together to simply make great sounds. Appreciating each others ability to work with the entirety to create great stuff, was and still what it’s all about. As much as American society tried to keep the people apart; because of the color of their skin, the more those same people wanted to become one with each other. From the beginnings of Jazz to present day, musicians have been getting together creating some of America’s great works.

I have always had, even as a preteen, loved the Persuasions. Now they weren’t my first exposure to this art form – Street Corner Symphonies. In fact it was my cousin the Reverend Marion Hannah and his group.  that really put this type of sound in my soul. I have to really thank cousin Marion for giving me my appreciation for this music because the Soul Seekers would come over to our house on Parkhurst Street in Newark and practically have open air concerts in front of the house. The people in the neighborhood would gather around the porch as they sang and the magic of the human voice that happened back then was a uniting force for good.

It was until a few years later that I came across one Charlie Jones – the late great Linda Jones’ brother who, with a few of his friends begin singing on the corners in our community. Was it any surprise that I wanted to participate with my friends Cedric, Maurice (Moe), Jerome, Rance, and Kevin when they wanted to sing as a group.  We just knew we had what it took to make great sounds. Heck we already had a great friendship. Well nothing ventured nothing gained, and I really gained a lot.

To Now

What does the music say today?

Our music has that lead voice and it’s accompanying cadre of voices in the background. But what are we actually saying to one another. Have we strayed away from our core principles in pursuit of another mans idea of what should be? Or are we “… anxious to have everything the white man has even if it is harmful”?

Woodson, Carter Godwin (2010-09-01). The Mis-Education of the Negro (p. 6)

Sincerely,

 

Charles Seay

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  1. July 30, 2013 at 5:38 pm

    Reblogged this on Always In SeaySon! and commented:

    The original six members of this sextet included Arthur Blake, Ernest Irvin, Alex “Junior” Bolton, Carneil Underwood, guitarist, Wallace Meyers, and dynamic lead singer, Marion Hannah. The Soul Seekers released two more albums on Savoy Records’ Gospel record label and on Choice Records, SOUND OF AMERICA, in the 1960s. The latter two albums included new members, guitarists Richard and Frankie Boyce, songwriter Larry Lawson, and vocalist George Washington. The Soul Seekers’ second album is Songs For My Mother. The DeVoil Brothers, Johnny and Wimbley, joined the group as well for the third album, Tell It Like It Is, a social commentary written by Larry Lawson describing issues that still plague the Black church today. The group is also known as “The Soul Seekers featuring Rev. Marion Hannah”.

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