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