☆ See our #BRU Spotlight! ☆

Willie Mae "Big Mama" Thornton played for keeps,

had been a sonic prodigy well before her Montgomery, AL

departure at 14 years old. She joined various

Southern blues and R&B tours till a prestigious stint

for Sammy Green's Hot Harlem Revue.

Big Mama could SING, slay on harmonica

and kick a drum rhythm like nobody's business.

The band rolled through Houston's Third Ward

(historically segregated/BRU founder Nate's hometown).

Hear her interview on The Arhoolie Foundation's site!

Big Mama steadily gave public performances as her tourmates

parted ways, then found a perfect opportunity.

Houston's 1940's El Dorado Ballroom doubled as a musician's

paradise and dance venue.

Peacock Records' owner Don Robey

would meet Big Mama here, sign her in 1951 and release

'Hound Dog' (1952).

Elvis' racism earned him $4.3 billion royalties.

Big Mama Thornton received a flat fee like several

African-American performers in exploitative deals: $500.

Don't re-envision Black history for emotional convenience.

Respect Big Mama and other BRU pioneers on the timeline. Profile

Bo Diddley is the "Originator" of rock,

a blues star who built his own guitar.

His fluid playing mirrored violin

lessons, he learned in Baptist church.

Bo Diddley transposed his bow movements

to finger-picking guitar.

Love for stringed plucking and a raucous attitude

paired well with a knack for live shows!

A huge rock 'n roll landmark is Bo Diddley's first guitar

in 1940. Sister Lucille bought a gorgeous Harmony

acoustic for him, and so it was named after her.

"Who Do You Love"? Bo and that's a fact.

Little Richard is the 'Father and Queen

of Rock 'n Roll', and was happy to say it!

His musical dreams were sponsored

by fellow church members.

Little Richard emulated fellow gospel-rockers

Sister Rosetta, Mahalia Jackson.

They wowed audiences every time

with such a clear, distinct voice and raw piano style.

The crowds were wild, but it was a rough start

until a solid contract with Peacock Records.

His songs "Tutti Frutti" and

"Good Golly Miss Molly" are anthemic to this day.

Rock had another founder!

Born July 18, 1929

Screamin' Jay Hawkins is amazing!

Have you seen ☆#BRU's Spotlight ☆?

This iconic frontman knew how to bewitch

a crowd since grade school days in

Cleveland, Ohio (where the first all-Black

heavy metal band started: Black Death)!

He was outlandish even for the avant-garde era,

re-enacted resurrections in the 1950's and

innovated a new sound: shock rock.

Tina Turner is rock's "Queen"

from Nutbush, Tennessee.

Southern Black musicians infused every

resting spot with evolving sounds

and stories of daily life.

☆ #BRU Spotlight ☆

She absorbed and performed all of it.

"Nutbush City Limits" was our first sneak-peek

of Tina Turner as a young woman.

Ike & Tina Turner covered classic 'Proud Mary'

by Creedence Clearwater Revival and made it their own.

She reigned popular music, come 1965.

1970, Tina Turner & The Ikettes were

 renowned Black femme super-stars.

☆#BRU Spotlight ☆

Black rock is deep:

"River Deep, Mountain High".

Jimi Hendrix blazed into rock like a wildfire.

He played blues as a young musician,

and found employment in the military.

He rocked like no other has or will again!

His phenomenal talent and open soul

took Jimi from Morocco to England,

every world corner and hole in the wall.

@blackrockersunited His charisma and phenomenal talent blow us away 51 years later. 🎸 How do you describe rock without Jimi Hendrix? Is it possible? #JimiHendrix #rock ♬ original sound - Black Rockers United

Jimi revolutionized an instrument

which existed for thousands of years.

Such artistic power.

He loved B.B. King, Buddy Holly, Robert Johnson

and electric guitar with passion (biography).

☆#BRU Spotlight ☆

Buddy Miles was from Omaha, Nebraska.

Miles played music professionally before

10 years old with the jazz group BeBops,

whose recordings have unfortunately been lost.

Buddy's pre-Electric Flag and Band of Gypsys experience

ranged from a young Delfonics back-up vocalist to The

Ink Spots, plus Ruby and the Romantics!

Monterey Pop Festival brought Jimi and Buddy Miles

into the same dream.

Electric Flag headlined, and Jimi Hendrix let loose.


##BRU Thought we’d let ya forget? This Buddy Miles spotlight is near + dear to our heart. He was a special guy!🤘🏾true innovator. BuddyMiles ##rock

♬ original sound - Black Rockers United

Buddy's solid drumming and unique

blues-funk-rock rhythms were untouchable

alongside Jimi's elaborate guitar,

the great bassist Billy Cox in

Electric Flag then Band of Gypsys.

'Fire', 'Foxy Lady', 'Purple Haze', 'Them Changes',

'Voodoo Chile' and 'Who Knows' absolutely blow your mind.

John Campbell is Europe's #1 tribute artist

in Are You Experienced. Read his words.

"Jimi Hendrix didn't see white or black audiences,

his music was universal, but even he had a struggle

with getting his music accepted in certain radio stations, etc.

It's a shame that so many folks today feel like

they have to like a certain type of music

based on the colour of their skin!" (#BRUTalk No. 1)

Thin Lizzy began in 1975: Irish hard/blues rock

with Phil Lynott as lead performer.

They churned out grittier version of Irish reels

(folk songs) like nobody's business!

Thin Lizzy accelerated rock's popularity alongside

traditional tunes beyond the States.

☆ #BRU Spotlight ☆

Lynott's heritage was always up for debate,

but he expertly shut anyone down about it.

Remember "The Boys Are Back In Town"

and "Ode To A Black Man"?

They were so ahead of their time.

Living Colour is Black rock since 1984, and their

fruitful career includes Vivid ("Cult of Personality",

"Glamour Boys", "Which Way to America), Time's Up

("Elvis Is Dead") and Collideøscope ("Song Without Sin").

Vernon Reid, Doug Wimbish, Corey Glover and Will Calhoun

are a major foundation of rock as a succinct sound today.

"We were listening to Funkadelic and Parliament

in those early days and they were such a huge influence

on us and we also loved Fishbone who were one of our peers."

(Metal Express Radio)

CM Punk used well-known 'Cult of Personality'

as their WWE ring entrance for a while.

☆ #BRU Spotlight ☆

Living Colour's message is loud and clear.

"...The deification of John F. Kennedy;

the deification, for us, of somebody like

Malcolm X and Martin Luther King.

What they were doing was struggling

through something very, very important

and very, very life-threatening, and

now it's a T-shirt." (Billboard)

Each album captures the senses and violent times of today.

Black rock is also a radical art anthology,

an ideological movement.

Today Konda Mason, Vernon Reid and Greg Tate

lead the strong Black Rock Coalition:

a progressive Afro-solidarity collective

of Black rockers and our accomplices/allies.

We love this excerpt from BRC's Manifesto!

"Rock and roll, like practically every

form of popular music across the

globe, is Black music

and we are its heirs.

We, too, claim the right of creative freedom

and access to American and International airwaves,

audiences, markets, resources and

compensations, irrespective of genre."

You go, Black Rock Coalition!

24-7 Spyz came to the L.A.

metal/punk foreground in 1986:

singer P. Fluid, guitarist/producer/vocalist

Jimi Hazel (Jimi Hendrix and

Eddie Hazel), bassist Rick Skatore,

drummer Kindu Phibes.

☆#BRU Spotlight ☆

24-7 Spyz and Red Hot Chili Peppers, 1990's

Enter the golden era: Fishbone,

 Black Death, Living Colour, Prince,

Total Sexual Freedom, Bad Brains all

toured in those times!

What a confluence.

Ryan Bland became a hardcore punk fan

at a Prince concert through Ras Israel.

Don't forget!

Black Rockers United across the world!

Stay tuned and support your community, artistic and all.

Black rock matters. Black lives matter.




#BRUTalk: BÖNDBREAKR (11-24-21) 

#BRUTalk: SATE (11-19-21)

#BRUTalk: Maya G./Sokora (11-14-21)

#BRUTalk: mynameisblueskye (9-22-21)

#BRUTalk: Militia Vox (2-2-21)

#BRUTalk: Jay Lamal (12-23-20)

#BRUTalk: Julie Outrage (12-12-20)

#BRUTalk: Kelvin Kaoz (11-22-20)

#BRUTalk: Woven In (11-19-20)

#BRUTalk: GuitarGabby (The Txlips) (9-29-20)

#BRUTalk: Lord Bishop Rocks (8-25-20)

#BRUTalk: Samantha Hollins (GhettoSongBird/The Culture Rock Griot) (8-14-20)

#BRUTalk: John Campbell (Are You Experienced?) (8-07-20)

Black-Owned Metal, Punk & Rock Labels

Black Female Rock Journalists Share Their Experiences (L.A. Weekly, 9-9-16)

Encyclopedia of Chicago: Rock Music

Dallas Coyle

Sound Frontier