Two other music groups that are essential to my relationship with my father are Earth, Wind & Fire and the Jacksons. With the recent passing of Maurice White, I had to include the group that was like another set of uncles and the other group that were like older cousins. These two groups would be the groups I would begin to play more than my dad, even though he introduced me to them.
Earth, Wind & Fire are the wizards of the music world and “Hot Dawgit” is one of those songs where they do something so simple and turn it into a special song. All you have is Maurice vocalizing a couple of “heys” and “yeahs” in the beginning and then Philip Bailey literally singing La, La-La for the verse. On record and live they are untouchable!
“Everything Is Everything” is one of those Friday or Saturday night killers. Many of my dad’s poker nights at the house grooved to this rhythm, and I still do to this day!
Watching this next video as a four-year-old and having my older cousin explain that all of these black boys were all brothers put the Jackson’s center stage in my mind and heart. The Destiny Album 8track was on heavy rotation in my father’s home office in the basement. As he worked on papers or filing something, me and my brother were on the floor with a 100 action figures, spaceships and toys having the best times ever created.
And again, The Jackson’s, and of course, Mike, were excellent on record and untouchable live. This performance on The Johnny Carson Show is one of those moments where Black style is exemplified so beautifully. They open with The Beatles 1970 song “Let it be,” and smoothly transition to “Never Can Say Goodbye.” Listen to how these brothers harmonize on “Let It Be” and how Mike’s vocal peaks are subtle and yet goose bump powerful.
Black performance is always amazing because in spite of the danger that surrounds us we take the stage and deliver miracle performances in any arena we inhabit. As an adult with a wife and son I now identify with the storms my Dad must have protected our home from during my years growing up under his care and I am forever grateful that these artist decided to create music that my dad could use to build his home.
Love & Harmony to Maurice White and Michael Jackson