Image Map

BitchTapes: American Black Music Month

It's been 32 years since the music industry officially recognized June as American Black Music Month. But, ask any casual music fan and she'll tell you that popular black music has been pumping through the speaker box since long before 1979. From Joplin's Ragtime to Lewis' Boogie-Woogie to Rainey's Blues, Ross' Motown to Summer's Disco, to the advent of BET, Yo! MTV Raps, and the still-running Amateur Night at the Apollo, black artists and music continue to fill the airwaves. And, rightly so! Which is probably why Atlantic Records decided—finally—to extend 30 days into another 335 with their "I Heart Black Music" cyber-homage.

Here at Bitch HQ, we've got a long list of favorites, but I'll start off with a tasty timeline of Honey-this-is-my-jam teasers. Oh! And this might be the longest playlist in BitchTapes history... Eek! stopping short in the year 2000. So, if your jam is missing-in-action, leave it in the comments below. Enjoy!

  1. Four Day Creep, Ida Cox - late 1920s
  2. Black Coffee, Sarah Vaughan - 1949
  3. Mambo, Ruth Brown - 1954
  4. One Fine Day, The Chiffons - 1963
  5. Ain't No Mountain High Enough, Tammie Terrell & Marvin Gaye - 1967
  6. Respect, Aretha Franklin - 1967 (cover)
  7. Tell Me Something Good, Chaka Khan & Rufus - 1974
  8. Don't Leave Me This Way, Thelma Houston - 1977 (cover) / Gloria Gaynor picked up the pieces a year or so later.
  9. And You Know That, The Sequence - 1980 / The first lady rap trio with Cheryl the Pearl, Angie B., & Gwedolyn Chisolm as "Blondie."
  10. That's The Joint, Funky 4 + 1 - 1981 / MC Sha Rock was the first lady MC to rap with the boys.
  11. Controversy, Prince, 1981 / Original 7 minute version
  12. Ladies First, Queen Latifah & Monie Love, 1989
  13. Let's Talk About Sex, Salt-n-Pepa, 1991
  14. Real Love, Mary J. Blige, 1992
  15. My Lovin' (You're Never Gonna Get It), En Vogue, 1992
  16. If, Janet Jackson, 1993
  17. The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly), Missy Elliot, 1997
  18. Cleva, Erykah Badu, 2000

Bitch Media publishes the award-winning quarterly magazine, Bitch:Feminist Response to Pop Culture. Pitch in to support feminist media: Subscribe today

Subscribe to Bitch


Comments

1 comment has been made. Post a comment.

"Billie Jean" - 1983. But I

"Billie Jean" - 1983. But I do enjoy the original and all the remakes of Ain't No Mountain High Enough.