Nile Gregory Rodgers Jr. is an American record producer, musician, composer and guitarist. The co-founder of Chic, he has written and performed on records that have cumulatively sold more than 500 million albums and 75 million singles worldwide, he is a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, a three-time Grammy Award-winner, the chairman of the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Known for his "chucking" guitar style, Rolling Stone wrote in 2014 that "the full scope of Nile Rodgers' career is still hard to fathom."Formed as the Big Apple Band in 1970 with bassist Bernard Edwards, Chic released their self-titled debut album in 1977. It included the hit singles "Dance, Dance" and "Everybody Dance"; the 1978 album C'est Chic produced the hits "I Want Your Love" and "Le Freak", with the latter selling more than 7 million singles worldwide. The song "Good Times" from the 1979 album Risque was a number one single on the pop and soul charts, became one of the most-sampled songs of all time, "ushering in" hip-hop via The Sugarhill Gang's "Rapper's Delight", inspiring Queen's "Another One Bites the Dust", anchoring the Daft Punk hit "Around the World".
With Edwards, Rodgers wrote and produced music for other artists, including the songs "He's the Greatest Dancer" and "We Are Family" for Sister Sledge and "I'm Coming Out" for Diana Ross. After Chic's 1983 breakup Rodgers produced "a string of the post-disco era's biggest albums and singles", including David Bowie's Let's Dance, "Original Sin" by INXS, Duran Duran's "The Reflex" and "Notorious", Madonna's Like a Virgin, he worked with artists including The B-52s, Jeff Beck, Mick Jagger, The Vaughan Brothers, Bryan Ferry, Christina Aguilera, Lady Gaga, Daft Punk, winning three Grammy Awards in 2014 for his work on their album Random Access Memories. Rodgers was born in New York City, on September 19, 1952, to Beverly Goodman, she became pregnant the first time she had sex, gave birth to Rodgers when she was 14. His biological father, Nile Rodgers Sr. – a traveling percussionist who specialized in Afro-Cuban beats – was present as Rodgers grew up. In 1959, Goodman married Bobby Glanzrock, who Rodgers described in his 2011 autobiography as a "beatnik PhD, whose observations had angles that would make Miles Davis contemplate his cool."
Richard Pryor, Thelonious Monk, Lenny Bruce visited their home in Greenwich Village. Glanzrock and Goodman were addicted to heroin, Rodgers began using drugs at 13. Before learning to play the guitar at 16, Rodgers played the clarinet; as a teenager, he played guitar with African, Latin and Boogaloo bands. He became a subsection leader of the Lower Manhattan branch of the New York Black Panther Party as a teenager. Rodgers met bassist Bernard Edwards in 1970 while working as a touring musician for the Sesame Street stage show. Together they formed The Big Apple Band, worked as back-up musicians for the vocal group New York City. New York City's one hit allowed them to tour extensively opening for The Jackson 5 on the American leg of their first world tour in 1973; the band dissolved after their second album failed to yield a hit, but Nile and Bernard joined forces with drummer Tony Thompson, worked and recorded as a funk rock band called The Boys, which played numerous gigs up and down the East Coast.
Although there was label interest, record companies passed on the band after discovering its members were black, believing that black rock artists would be too hard to promote. As the Big Apple Band and Edwards worked with Ashford & Simpson, Luther Vandross, many others. Since another New York artist, Walter Murphy, had a band called The Big Apple Band and Edwards were forced to change their band's name to avoid confusion. Thus, in 1977 the band was renamed as Chic. Inspired by Roxy Music, Chic developed a sound, a fusion of jazz and funk grooves with melodies and lyrics with a European influence. Between gigs, they recorded the song "Dance, Dance", with then-boss Luther Vandross on vocals. Released by Buddah Records, it was an instant hit when it was re-released by Atlantic in the summer of 1977. Atlantic picked up an album option with Rodgers and Edwards, who wrote more songs, Chic's self-titled debut was released in November; the band scored numerous top ten hits and helped propel disco to new levels of popularity, with "Le Freak", "I Want Your Love", "Everybody Dance", "Dance, Dance", "My Forbidden Lover", "Good Times" becoming club/pop/R&B standards.
"Le Freak" was Atlantic Records' only triple platinum selling single at the time, "Good Times" shot to No. 1 in August 1979 in spite of that year's "Disco Sucks" movement protesting that style of music. The success of Chic's first singles led Atlantic to offer Rodgers and Edwards the opportunity to produce any act on its roster, they chose Sister Sledge, whose 1979 album, We Are Family, peaked at No. 3 and remained on the charts well into 1980. The first two singles, "He's the Greatest Dancer" and the title cut "We Are Family" both reached No. 1 on the R&B chart, No. 6 and No. 2 on the Pop chart. In April 2018, "We Are Family"; the 1979 disco backlash derailed Chic, Edwards retreated from work, while Rodgers' drug use accelerated. Rodgers and Edwards delivered their final Atlantic album under contract, Believer, in 1982, they completed one of their last projects together in 1980, writing and producing the album Diana for Diana Ross, which yielded the hits "Upside Down" and "
Soul music is a popular music genre that originated in the African American community in the United States in the 1950s and early 1960s. It combines elements of African-American gospel music and blues and jazz. Soul music became popular for dancing and listening in the United States, where record labels such as Motown and Stax were influential during the Civil Rights Movement. Soul became popular around the world, directly influencing rock music and the music of Africa. According to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, soul is "music that arose out of the black experience in America through the transmutation of gospel and rhythm & blues into a form of funky, secular testifying". Catchy rhythms, stressed by handclaps and extemporaneous body moves, are an important feature of soul music. Other characteristics are a call and response between the lead vocalist and the chorus and an tense vocal sound; the style occasionally uses improvisational additions and auxiliary sounds. Soul music reflected the African-American identity and it stressed the importance of an African-American culture.
The new-found African-American consciousness led to new styles of music, which boasted pride in being black. Soul music dominated the U. S. R&B chart in the 1960s, many recordings crossed over into the pop charts in the U. S. Britain and elsewhere. By 1968, the soul music genre had begun to splinter; some soul artists developed funk music, while other singers and groups developed slicker, more sophisticated, in some cases more politically conscious varieties. By the early 1970s, soul music had been influenced by psychedelic rock and other genres, leading to psychedelic soul; the United States saw the development of neo soul around 1994. There are several other subgenres and offshoots of soul music; the key subgenres of soul include a rhythmic music influenced by gospel. Soul music has its roots in traditional African-American gospel music and rhythm and blues and as the hybridization of their respective religious and secular styles – in both lyrical content and instrumentation – that began in the 1950s.
The term "soul" had been used among African-American musicians to emphasize the feeling of being an African-American in the United States. According to musicologist Barry Hansen,Though this hybrid produced a clutch of hits in the R&B market in the early 1950s, only the most adventurous white fans felt its impact at the time. According to AllMusic, "oul music was the result of the urbanization and commercialization of rhythm and blues in the'60s." The phrase "soul music" itself, referring to gospel-style music with secular lyrics, was first attested in 1961. The term "soul" in African-American parlance has connotations of African-American culture. Gospel groups in the 1940s and'50s used the term as part of their names; the jazz style that originated from gospel became known as soul jazz. As singers and arrangers began using techniques from both gospel and soul jazz in African-American popular music during the 1960s, soul music functioned as an umbrella term for the African-American popular music at the time.
Important innovators whose recordings in the 1950s contributed to the emergence of soul music included Clyde McPhatter, Hank Ballard, Etta James. Ray Charles is cited as popularizing the soul music genre with his series of hits, starting with 1954's "I Got a Woman". Singer Bobby Womack said, "Ray was the genius, he turned the world onto soul music." Charles was open in acknowledging the influence of Pilgrim Travelers vocalist Jesse Whitaker on his singing style. Little Richard, who inspired Otis Redding, James Brown both were influential. Brown was nicknamed the "Godfather of Soul Music", Richard proclaimed himself as the "King of Rockin' and Rollin', Rhythm and Blues Soulin'", because his music embodied elements of all three, since he inspired artists in all three genres. Sam Cooke and Jackie Wilson are acknowledged as soul forefathers. Cooke became popular as the lead singer of the gospel group The Soul Stirrers, before controversially moving into secular music, his recording of "You Send Me" in 1957 launched a successful pop music career.
Furthermore, his 1962 recording of "Bring It On Home To Me" has been described as "perhaps the first record to define the soul experience". Jackie Wilson, a contemporary of both Cooke and James Brown achieved crossover success with his 1957 hit "Reet Petite", he was influential for his dramatic delivery and performances. Writer Peter Guralnick is among those to identify Solomon Burke as a key figure in the emergence of soul music, Atlantic Records as the key record label. Burke's early 1960s songs, including "Cry to Me", "Just Out of Reach" and "Down in the Valley" are considered classics of the genre. Guralnick wrote: "Soul started, in a sense, with the 1961 success of Solomon Burke's "Just Out Of Reach". Ray Charles, of course, had enjoyed enormous success, as had James Brown and Sam Cooke — in a pop vein. E
Pop music is a genre of popular music that originated in its modern form in the United States and United Kingdom during the mid-1950s. The terms "popular music" and "pop music" are used interchangeably, although the former describes all music, popular and includes many diverse styles. "Pop" and "rock" were synonymous terms until the late 1960s, when they became differentiated from each other. Although much of the music that appears on record charts is seen as pop music, the genre is distinguished from chart music. Pop music is eclectic, borrows elements from other styles such as urban, rock and country. Identifying factors include short to medium-length songs written in a basic format, as well as common use of repeated choruses, melodic tunes, hooks. David Hatch and Stephen Millward define pop music as "a body of music, distinguishable from popular and folk musics". According to Pete Seeger, pop music is "professional music which draws upon both folk music and fine arts music". Although pop music is seen as just the singles charts, it is not the sum of all chart music.
The music charts contain songs from a variety of sources, including classical, jazz and novelty songs. As a genre, pop music is seen to develop separately. Therefore, the term "pop music" may be used to describe a distinct genre, designed to appeal to all characterized as "instant singles-based music aimed at teenagers" in contrast to rock music as "album-based music for adults". Pop music continuously evolves along with the term's definition. According to music writer Bill Lamb, popular music is defined as "the music since industrialization in the 1800s, most in line with the tastes and interests of the urban middle class." The term "pop song" was first used in 1926, in the sense of a piece of music "having popular appeal". Hatch and Millward indicate that many events in the history of recording in the 1920s can be seen as the birth of the modern pop music industry, including in country and hillbilly music. According to the website of The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, the term "pop music" "originated in Britain in the mid-1950s as a description for rock and roll and the new youth music styles that it influenced".
The Oxford Dictionary of Music states that while pop's "earlier meaning meant concerts appealing to a wide audience since the late 1950s, pop has had the special meaning of non-classical mus in the form of songs, performed by such artists as the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, ABBA, etc." Grove Music Online states that " in the early 1960s,'pop music' competed terminologically with beat music, while in the US its coverage overlapped with that of'rock and roll'". From about 1967, the term “pop music” was used in opposition to the term rock music, a division that gave generic significance to both terms. While rock aspired to authenticity and an expansion of the possibilities of popular music, pop was more commercial and accessible. According to British musicologist Simon Frith, pop music is produced "as a matter of enterprise not art", is "designed to appeal to everyone" but "doesn't come from any particular place or mark off any particular taste". Frith adds that it is "not driven by any significant ambition except profit and commercial reward and, in musical terms, it is conservative".
It is, "provided from on high rather than being made from below... Pop is not a do-it-yourself music but is professionally produced and packaged". According to Frith, characteristics of pop music include an aim of appealing to a general audience, rather than to a particular sub-culture or ideology, an emphasis on craftsmanship rather than formal "artistic" qualities. Music scholar Timothy Warner said it has an emphasis on recording and technology, rather than live performance; the main medium of pop music is the song between two and a half and three and a half minutes in length marked by a consistent and noticeable rhythmic element, a mainstream style and a simple traditional structure. Common variants include the verse-chorus form and the thirty-two-bar form, with a focus on melodies and catchy hooks, a chorus that contrasts melodically and harmonically with the verse; the beat and the melodies tend to be simple, with limited harmonic accompaniment. The lyrics of modern pop songs focus on simple themes – love and romantic relationships – although there are notable exceptions.
Harmony and chord progressions in pop music are "that of classical European tonality, only more simple-minded." Clichés include the barbershop quartet-style blues scale-influenced harmony. There was a lessening of the influence of traditional views of the circle of fifths between the mid-1950s and the late 1970s, including less predominance for the dominant function. Throughout its development, pop music has absorbed influences from other genres of popular music. Early pop music drew on the sentimental ballad for its form, gained its use of vocal harmonies from gospel and soul music, instrumentation from jazz and rock music, orchestration from classical music, tempo from dance music, backing from electronic music, rhythmic elements from hip-hop music, spoken passages from rap. In the 1960s, the majority of mainstream pop music fell in two categories: guitar and bass groups or singers
Together (Sister Sledge album)
Together is the second studio album by the American R&B vocal group Sister Sledge, released on August 9, 1977 by Cotillion Records. The album was the group's first release on the Cotillion label after parting from Atco Records; the album features a cover version of the Stevie Wonder R&B hit As. The group performed the single on an episode of Soul Train, which aired in December 1977. Although the single charted to number thirty–six on the R&B/Soul charts for Wonder, Sister Sledge's version failed to chart; this album featured other moderate hits including "Blockbuster Boy" which reached number sixty–one on the R&B/Soul charts in mid–1977, "Cream of the Crop" which reached number one hundred on the charts by year's end. Sister Sledge-Together at Discogs
Good Times is an American sitcom that aired for six seasons on CBS from February 8, 1974, to August 1, 1979. Created by Eric Monte and Mike Evans, developed by Norman Lear, the series' primary executive producer, it was television's first African American two-parent family sitcom. Good Times is a spin-off of Maude, itself a spin-off of All in the Family. Florida and James Evans and their three children live at 921 North Gilbert Avenue, apartment 17C, in a housing project in a poor, black neighborhood in inner-city Chicago; the project is unnamed on the show, but is implicitly the infamous Cabrini–Green projects, shown in the opening and closing credits. Florida and James have three children: James Jr. known as "J. J.". When the series begins, J. J. is seventeen years old, Thelma is sixteen, Michael is eleven. Their exuberant neighbor, Florida's best friend, is Willona Woods, a recent divorcée who works at a boutique, their building superintendent is Nathan Bookman, who James, Willona and J. J. refer to as "Buffalo Butt", or more derisively, "Booger".
The characters originated on the sitcom Maude as Florida and Henry Evans, with Florida employed as Maude Findlay's housekeeper in Tuckahoe, New York, Henry employed as a New York City firefighter. When producers decided to feature the Florida character in her own show, they changed the characters' history to fit a new series, well into development rather than start from scratch to create a consistent starring vehicle. Henry's name became James, he worked various odd jobs, there was no mention of Maude, the couple lived in Chicago. Episodes of Good Times deal with the characters' attempts to overcome poverty living in a high rise project building in Chicago. James Evans works at least two jobs manual labor such as dishwasher, construction laborer, etc, he is unemployed, but he is a proud man who will not accept charity. When he has to, he hustles money playing pool. Good Times was intended to be a good show for John Amos. Both expected the show to deal with serious topics in a comedic way while providing positive characters for viewers to identify with.
However, Jimmie Walker's character of J. J. became the breakout character of the series. J. J.'s frequent use of the expression "Dy-no-mite!", credited to director John Rich, became a popular catchphrase. Rich insisted. Walker and executive producer Norman Lear were skeptical of the idea, but the phrase and the J. J. Evans character caught on with the audience; as a result of the character's popularity, the writers focused more on J. J.'s comedic antics instead of serious issues. Through seasons two and three and Amos grew disillusioned with the direction of the show and with J. J.'s antics and stereotypically buffoonish behavior. Rolle was vocal about her hate of his character. In a 1975 interview with Ebony magazine she stated: He's 18 and he doesn't work, he can't write. He doesn't think; the show didn't start out to be that... Little by little—with the help of the artist, I suppose, because they couldn't do that to me—they have made J. J. more stupid and enlarged the role. Negative images have been slipped in on us through the character of the oldest child.
Although doing so less publicly, Amos was outspoken about his dissatisfaction with the J. J. character. Amos stated: The writers would prefer to put a chicken hat on J. J. and have him prance around saying "DY-NO-MITE", that way they could waste a few minutes and not have to write meaningful dialogue. While Amos was less public with his dissatisfaction, he was fired after season three due to disagreements with Lear. Amos's departure was attributed to his desire to focus on a film career, but he admitted in a 1976 interview that Lear called him and told him that his contract option with the show was not being renewed. Amos stated, "That's the same thing as being fired." The producers decided not to recast the character of James Evans, instead opting to kill off the character in the two-part season four episode, "The Big Move". By the end of season four, Esther Rolle had become dissatisfied with the show's direction and decided to leave the series. In the final two episodes of the season, "Love Has a Spot On His Lung", Rolle's character gets engaged to Carl Dixon, a man she began dating toward the end of season four.
In the season five premiere episode, it is revealed that Florida and Carl married off screen and moved to Arizona for the sake of Carl's health. With Amos and Rolle gone, Ja'net Dubois took over as the lead character, as Willona checked in on the Evans children since they were now living alone. In season five Janet Jackson joined the cast, playing Penny Gordon Woods, an abused girl, abandoned by her mother and adopted by Willona. Before taping of season six began, CBS and the show's producers decided that they had to do "something drastic" to increase viewership. According to then-vice president of CBS programming Steve Mills, "We had lost the essence of the show. Without parental guidance the show slipped. Everything told us that: our phone calls, our research. We felt we had to go back to basics."Producers approached Esther Rolle with an offer to appear in a guest role on the series. Rolle was hesitant but when producers agreed to a number of her demands, she agreed to return to the series on a full-time basis.
Rolle wanted pro
Rhythm and blues
Rhythm and blues abbreviated as R&B, is a genre of popular music that originated in African American communities in the 1940s. The term was used by record companies to describe recordings marketed predominantly to urban African Americans, at a time when "urbane, jazz based music with a heavy, insistent beat" was becoming more popular. In the commercial rhythm and blues music typical of the 1950s through the 1970s, the bands consisted of piano, one or two guitars, drums, one or more saxophones, sometimes background vocalists. R&B lyrical themes encapsulate the African-American experience of pain and the quest for freedom and joy, as well as triumphs and failures in terms of relationships and aspirations; the term "rhythm and blues" has undergone a number of shifts in meaning. In the early 1950s, it was applied to blues records. Starting in the mid-1950s, after this style of music contributed to the development of rock and roll, the term "R&B" became used to refer to music styles that developed from and incorporated electric blues, as well as gospel and soul music.
In the 1960s, several British rock bands such as the Rolling Stones, the Who and the Animals were referred to and promoted as being R&B bands. Their mix of rock and roll and R&B is now known as "British rhythm and blues". By the 1970s, the term "rhythm and blues" changed again and was used as a blanket term for soul and funk. In the 1980s, a newer style of R&B developed, becoming known as "contemporary R&B", it combines elements of rhythm and blues, soul, hip hop, electronic music. Popular R&B vocalists at the end of the 20th century included Prince, R. Kelly, Stevie Wonder, Chaka Khan, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey. In the 21st century, R&B has remained a popular genre becoming more pop orientated and alternatively influenced with successful artists including Usher, Bruno Mars, Chris Brown, Justin Timberlake, The Weeknd, Frank Ocean and Khalid. Although Jerry Wexler of Billboard magazine is credited with coining the term "rhythm and blues" as a musical term in the United States in 1948, the term was used in Billboard as early as 1943.
It replaced the term "race music", which came from within the black community, but was deemed offensive in the postwar world. The term "rhythm and blues" was used by Billboard in its chart listings from June 1949 until August 1969, when its "Hot Rhythm & Blues Singles" chart was renamed as "Best Selling Soul Singles". Before the "Rhythm and Blues" name was instated, various record companies had begun replacing the term "race music" with "sepia series". Writer and producer Robert Palmer defined rhythm & blues as "a catchall term referring to any music, made by and for black Americans", he has used the term "R&B" as a synonym for jump blues. However, AllMusic separates it from jump blues because of R&B's stronger gospel influences. Lawrence Cohn, author of Nothing but the Blues, writes that "rhythm and blues" was an umbrella term invented for industry convenience. According to him, the term embraced all black music except classical music and religious music, unless a gospel song sold enough to break into the charts.
Well into the 21st century, the term R&B continues in use to categorize music made by black musicians, as distinct from styles of music made by other musicians. In the commercial rhythm and blues music typical of the 1950s through the 1970s, the bands consisted of piano, one or two guitars, bass and saxophone. Arrangements were rehearsed to the point of effortlessness and were sometimes accompanied by background vocalists. Simple repetitive parts mesh, creating momentum and rhythmic interplay producing mellow and hypnotic textures while calling attention to no individual sound. While singers are engaged with the lyrics intensely so, they remain cool, in control; the bands dressed in suits, uniforms, a practice associated with the modern popular music that rhythm and blues performers aspired to dominate. Lyrics seemed fatalistic, the music followed predictable patterns of chords and structure; the migration of African Americans to the urban industrial centers of Chicago, New York City, Los Angeles and elsewhere in the 1920s and 1930s created a new market for jazz and related genres of music.
These genres of music were performed by full-time musicians, either working alone or in small groups. The precursors of rhythm and blues came from jazz and blues, which overlapped in the late-1920s and 1930s through the work of musicians such as the Harlem Hamfats, with their 1936 hit "Oh Red", as well as Lonnie Johnson, Leroy Carr, Cab Calloway, Count Basie, T-Bone Walker. There was increasing emphasis on the electric guitar as a lead instrument, as well as the piano and saxophone. In 1948, RCA Victor was marketing black music under the name "Blues and Rhythm". In that year, Louis Jordan dominated the top five listings of the R&B charts with three songs, two of the top five songs were based on the boogie-woogie rhythms that had come to prominence during the 1940s. Jordan's band, the Tympany Five, consisted of him on saxophone and vocals, along with musicians on trumpet, tenor saxophone, piano and drums. Lawrence Cohn described the music as "grittier than his boogie-era jazz-tinged blues". Robert Palmer described it as "urbane, jazz-based music with a heavy, insistent beat".
Jordan's music, along with that of Big Joe Turner, Roy Brown, Billy Wright, Wynonie Harris, is now referred to as jump blues. Paul Gayten, Roy Brown, others had had hits in the style now referred to as rhythm and blu