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5 Most Important African American Musicians in Popular Music...

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Showing 1-25 of 59 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 23, 2011 5:01:57 PM PDT
Jim Jocko says:
I made a quick list and noticed that I didnt have any ladies on board. Please feel free to chime in with any of them also. I also included different types of music. Feel free to pick a genre and just list those. And a person's age will probably play into their picks, so just look at this question as a "poll" we're taking...with no correct answers. 1. Miles Davis 2.Robert Johnson 3.Jimi Hendrix 4.Louis Armstrong 5.Chuck Berry

Posted on Sep 23, 2011 8:28:27 PM PDT
Okay, I'll add some great African-American female musicians:

Billie Holiday
Ella Fitzgerald
Aretha Franklin
Bessie Smith
Lena Horne

Of course, there's many more ...hard to narrow it down.

Posted on Sep 23, 2011 8:59:26 PM PDT
MH says:
1. Nina Simone
2. Ray Charles
3. Muddy Waters
4. Fats Domino
5. Cab Calloway

Posted on Sep 23, 2011 9:02:18 PM PDT

Ray Charles
Chuck Berry
Little Richard
Michael Jackson
Stevie Wonder

Posted on Sep 23, 2011 9:10:36 PM PDT
Jimi Hendrix
Little Richard
Chuck Berry
Michael Jackson
Stevie Wonder

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 24, 2011 9:08:04 AM PDT
Mr. P says:
1 Robert Johnson
2 King Oliver
3 Buddy Bolden
4 Bessie Smith
5 Billie Holiday
6 Ella Fitzgerald
7 Aretha Franklin
8 Nina Simone
9 Ray Charles
10 Chuck Berry
11 Lena Horne
12 Louis Armstrong
13 Sam Cooke
14 Little Richard
15 Michael Jackson
16 Stevie Wonder
17 Muddy Waters
18 Fats Domino
19 Cab Calloway
20 Marvin Gaye
21 Miles Davis
22 Gil Scott-Heron
23 Duke Ellington
24 Jimi Hendrix
25 James Brown
26 Mahalia Jackson
27 Leadbelly
28 Sister Rosetta Tharpe
29 Dinah Washington
30 Donny Hathway...

Well, thats 30 just off the top of my head...and thats havin to narrow it down to a ridiculous level. Seeing as modern American Popular Music is almost entirely heavily influenced by [or plaguerized from!] African American music; it might have been lil more helpful if the thread wasnt limited to just 5 important artists.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 24, 2011 12:06:08 PM PDT
Big C says:
Like Mr. P hinted, too many to mention, so I'll just list 10 of my personal favorites.

Jimi Hendrix
Miles Davis
John Coltrane
Stanley Jordan
Stanley Clarke
Otis Redding
Marvin Gaye
Wes Montgomery
Albert Collins
Buddy Guy

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 24, 2011 1:09:55 PM PDT
Jim Jocko says:
I agree that there's many artists to choose from. I was really just trying to get a sampling of different people's thoughts along the racial lines. My original thought was if you had a choice of only having music from white artists or black artists...which would you pick? The more I thought about the question, the more I realized that even with my love for all those great British bands, I still might have to pick the blacks. They have an amazing body of work.

Posted on Sep 24, 2011 3:23:04 PM PDT
Scott Joplin
Bessie Smith
Mississippi John Hurt
Eubie Blake
Fats Waller
Louie Armstrong
Rev Gary Davis
Lonnie Johnson
Big Bill Broonzy
Charlie Christian
Wes Montgomery
Muddy Waters
Otis Spain
Paul Robeson
Huddy Ledbetter
Johnny Johnson
Booker T
Chuck Berry
Fats Domino
Irma Thomas
Etta James
Billie Holiday
Elizabeth Cotton
Lightnin' Hopkins
T-Bone Walker
The Bird
John Coltrane
Jimi Hendrix
Aretha Franklin
Curtis Mayfield
Marvin Gaye
Magic Sam
Luther Allison
Buddy Guy

Posted on Sep 24, 2011 3:43:34 PM PDT
bozokarl says:
Robert Johnson
Willie Dixon
Chuck Berry
Jimi Hendrix
Bob Marley

Posted on Sep 25, 2011 11:35:02 AM PDT

Robert Johnson
Nat King Cole
Bob Marley
Johnny Mathis
Charlie Pride
Allen Toussaint
Professor Longhair
The Three Kings

Posted on Sep 25, 2011 11:40:03 AM PDT
Impossible to comment, too many to say.

Posted on Sep 25, 2011 11:44:11 AM PDT
B3rL3igh says:
Crispin Earl (The Veer Union)
Lajon Witherspoon (Sevendust)

Posted on Sep 25, 2011 1:53:50 PM PDT
Quincy Jones

Posted on Sep 25, 2011 4:26:54 PM PDT
Texas Woman says:
Sonny Boy Williamson
Curtis Mayfield
James Brown
Billie Holiday
Nina Simone
Marvin Gaye
I think it is safe to say that most British bands were (and are still) heavily influenced by American Black musicians. Check out the Stones' early albums- 12x5 and Out of Our Heads

Posted on Sep 25, 2011 4:35:17 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 25, 2011 4:41:17 PM PDT
J. C. House says:
5 not mentioned yet:

B.B. King
Billy Preston
George Clinton (and crew: Bootsy Collins, Bernie Worrell, etc.)
Sly Stone (and Family)
Joe Williams

George Benson / Buddy Miles / Bernard Purdie

Posted on Sep 25, 2011 4:42:30 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Jun 24, 2014 9:11:40 PM PDT]

Posted on Sep 25, 2011 8:08:51 PM PDT
Uncle Boaz says:
Louis Armstrong

Posted on Sep 25, 2011 9:00:15 PM PDT
D. Mok says:
> P-R-I-N-C-E. Hello!?

Prince isn't African-American. Too many ethnicities mixing. Calling him African-American would be like calling Mariah Carey a Latina.

Some more names that need to be in the running:

Son House
Ike Turner
Bo Diddley
Al Green
Diana Ross

Blind Lemon Jefferson
James Jamerson
Eddie Hazel

And good call on Quincy Jones to the poster above.

Posted on Sep 25, 2011 9:17:00 PM PDT
SWboy says:
To each his own, but I think
Ray Charles, Chuck Berry and Louis Armstrong
are at the top with Duke Ellington, Aretha Franklin
Stevie Wonder and Muddy Waters near the top.
Charlie Christian was incredibly influential for
Jazz, Rock and Blues electric guitarists, as was
Jimi Hendrix.

Posted on Sep 25, 2011 11:31:13 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Jun 24, 2014 9:11:25 PM PDT]

Posted on Sep 26, 2011 6:45:24 AM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on Apr 27, 2012 3:36:44 PM PDT]

Posted on Sep 26, 2011 7:04:41 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 3, 2011 7:37:13 AM PDT
Hip O Critic says:
1. Willie Dixon - The most underrated of all. Led Zeppelin, Cream, The Doors, Steppenwolf, Ten Years After, The Rolling Stones etc. etc. were all heavily influenced by this brillliant songwriter. He even influenced fellow African American artists Muddy Waters and Sonny Boy Williamson II.
2. Robert Johnson
3. Albert King
4. Sonny Boy Williamson II
5. Chuck Berry

Posted on Sep 26, 2011 8:45:32 AM PDT
TC says:
James Brown
Ray Charles
Robert Johnson
Jimi Hendrix
Aretha Franklin

Posted on Sep 26, 2011 6:41:01 PM PDT
Truly my favorite topic. Great idea. Very hard.

First is easy for me -

1) Ray Charles

2) Aretha

After that it's hard,

3) Muddy - because he is so deep and he straddles the acoustic solo guitar Mississippi blues with "The Plantation" stuff and then creating with others the Chicago Electric Blues tradition we still follow. Amazing.

I can't with the rest too much for me.

Al Green is my favorite. So i put him at 4.

But what about Mahalia Jackson, Shirley Ceasar, and many other gospel people?

No correct answer. But the question highlights the absolute incredible contribution made. Passed acknowledgement for my tastes.
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Discussion in:  Rock forum
Participants:  47
Total posts:  59
Initial post:  Sep 23, 2011
Latest post:  Aug 7, 2014

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