The Best Music
Of Your Life
"As I See It!"

Do You

"Let's Talk"

Our Friends

"Azz EYE Cz IT"
"Chicago Streetwise Editorial "



I AM SO PROUD OF CHICAGO and ROBERT TOWNSEND, one of our city’s more successful movie makers for taking care of Miss Jones.  The schedule calls for Robert to start documenting the life and many loves of DINAH WASHINGTON. 

You don’t know Dinah?  She was one of Chicago’s finest singers going from church to the top of the charts one generation before Aretha.  Mr. Townsend is working on “Queen Dinah” with filming starting in July.  Born in Alabama but raised in Chicago, Ruth Lee Jones  went from gospel piano playing and singing to the world through the Regal Theatre and Chicago’s Mercury Records.   I know Robert Townsend will direct this work of art in the right direction … it’s in his Chicago genes, and I’m with him !!!

PS You should have seen the Bronzeville Film Festival - Don’t miss it OF there’s a next time.EYE RED ET SUM WARE  “If you’re the smartest person you know – there must be something wrong with your friends.  Olusola AkintudeEYE SAID THAT  Missed that bike ride ‘cause  I would have done it just like they did it    Always did like Mr. Spock and I took photography too, so we have something in commonThat Ella Fitzgerald PBS Channel 11 thing was really good.  By the way Patti Austin is Dinah Washington’s and Quincy Jones’ God daughter.  

GEORGIA TOM is the reason Chicago is the gospel center of the universe.  Thomas Andrew Dorsey wrote his signature song “Precious Lord” in 1932 after suffering the death of his first wife and son at childbirth.  It was a time for change for the blues and jazz piano-playing son of a minister and piano teacher.  Young Tom came to Chicago from down home to join the folks at Pilgrim Baptist Church.  He grew up to take charge of the choir and music activities after wrapping up his career in the night clubs playing the blues jazz circuit for people like Ma Rainey.  “Show Me What You Got” is a classic novelty song that Georgia Tom recorded with Kansas City Kitty.  Let’s just say you will smile when you hear it and that it is the opposite end of the spectrum for the father of Gospel Music.

SPACE does not allow even a wink at the rich history of our city’s gospel contributions to worldwide art form.  Even as blues music has a special category called Chicago Blues, so shall gospel music have the designation of CHICAGO GOSPEL.  In fact is there really any other?

THE ORIGINAL EAR POD è One of my treasured ‘things’ is an Ampex 351 stereo open reel tape recorder given to me by former WSDM program director Burt Berdeen.  This machine from the Chess Records studios at 2120 S. Michigan was used to record such blues legends as Bo, Chuck,  Etta, Muddy, Walter, Willie, and the Wolf.  Not just for blues, this harware heard Ramsey Lewis, Ahmad Jamal,  Minnie Riperton,  Etta James and so many more.  I love this tape recorder machine…in fact I had two, but I donated one to the Willie Dixon Blues Foundation. I brought it back to 2120.

JUNE WAS “BLACK MUSIC MONTH”  and Chicago’s salute to the Jimmy Carter initiated holiday should belong to two men lived in Chicago…Thomas A. Dorsey and Sam Cook.  These two Bronzeville men made so much music history.

It started in Clarksdale with Sam Cook singing his way into childhood on January 22, 1935.  As one of eight children Sam was brought into the family gospel group with the blessing of his minister father.  Moving to Chicago and living first at 33rd and State and later moving to 3527 Cottage Grove, Sam attended  Doolittle grammar school and Phillips high school.

The Highway Q.C.’s became Sam’s first professional group experience.  Later the Soul Stirrers needed Sam to complete their successful recording and peforming needs.  “Touch The Hem Of His Garment” was one of the group’s many records.  Chicago’s church membership went wild when the Soul Stirrers came to sing.  The group recorded in Los Angeles for Specialty Records.

And it was in L.A. that Sam expanded his gospel based singing into non-religious music,  upsetting the church community….some of it.   The record label was not happy but tolerated Sam’s need for artistic freedom.  Then Sam and his brother L. C. wrote “You Send Me”,  and recorded the classic song 50 years ago.

In early 1960 Sam signed with RCA records to produce one flop, and then the party started with “ Chain Gang – Cupid – Twistin’ The Night  Away – Having A Party – Bring It On Home To Me – Little Red Rooster “ and so many more.  Not only as a singer, Sam excelled as a music business man with his own label and publishing company.

“A Change Is Gonna Come” and it did!!!  We were so shocked when the news of Sam’s death made it’s way to Chicago on December 11th, 1964.   And Sam’s essence is still changing, as people still sing his songs, immitate his style, and I play and appreciate Sam’s songs on the radio.  After all it IS THE BEST MUSIC OF YOUR LIFE.
EATANDRUN / Chicken & Fish - 773 429 1812/15 - 1733 W 87th Street - Chicago, IL
© 2006 O'K. Graphic Design for REPCOM Advertising. All Rights Reserved