Naima Cochrane Profile picture
Oct 15, 2017 108 tweets 30 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
Happy Sunday, fam. There is a #MusicSermon thread on today, and it's an ambitious one, so I'ma ask ya'll to cover me as I prepare. Amen. ⛪️
Doors of the church will open about 5.
Aight ya'll. #MusicSermon time. And whew, this is about to be a long one I think..
If ya mama'nem have a twitter, you might want to invite them to fellowship with us.
A while back we talked about how male groups, a longtime staple in R&B/soul, are basically extinct. As are bands.…
And as we've been going through the male & female voices of the 80's the last couple of weeks, many of you have asked "What about (group)?"
Several of you have also asked me when I'm going to dig back into the 70's, and I promised I would.
Because bands and groups used to be the bedrock of soul music, going back to the days of doo wop. But now? Where they at?
But because we know that where 2 or more are gathered in the name of soul, it is in the midst, we are going to the book of numbers...
Numbers of people singing, that is. Yes, tonight we are talking about bands and groups.
So listen, the ground rules for tonight's thread are a little different than usual. Like I said earlier, this one is ambitious.
1. I'm covering 70's and 80's. And I WILL NOT COVER EVERYBODY because there were fifty-leven bands and groups. An *actual* fifty-leven.
Also, nobody has time.
2. By reaching back to the 70's I'm going into an era I don't know as back and forth as 80's/90's, but I feel well prepared to share w/ yall
3. If you think something is missing it probably just is because see #1
4. For those of ya'll who be stretching ready to dance as soon as my threads start, the first half may be more education than nostalgia...
BUT, for at least folks my age, I don't think you're going to hear anything unfamiliar. But like I said, get your mama cause she gonna jam
In the 70's, Black music was making a transition out of Doo Wop into the next phase, Funk & soul. We were still 5 ppl, 2 mics. Tight sound.
Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes (formerly the Charlemagnes) found the perfect formula with Teddy P on lead + Gamble & Huff on the music.
Also, please get into Teddy's hair in BOTH those clips. Please.
Also giving you soulful dark likka & slow drag harmonies (and #alphets, and chores) ... The Manhattans
We kinda touched on this w/ the problematic R&B thread, but these songs could be about breaking up under the worst possible circumstances...
You stole all my money, you slept with my best friend, I'm actually living with somebody else already...
We just be like
Then there's the group that I think takes home the 🏆for overall longevity and relevance. Them gotdamn Isley's.
These dudes made it from 50's and 60's bee bop and doo wop, to 70's funk, to 80's soul, to 90's R&B...
Let's just take a moment of appreciation for the evolution of the looks, please.
When Isley's first moved from the "Shout" & "Twist & Shout" era, they had Jimmy Hendrix on lead guitar. He left b/c they didn't have a hit.
Then they put little brother Ernie in the band, and...
Even though Ernie left the group for a min (we'll get to that), bc the group was also rock influenced, he's always been key to their sound
Strangely, I couldn't find footage for the 75-83 heyday, and I went through every clip your mama's best friend posted from jazz fest...
And they just don't do the early stuff justice with Ron now fully in Mr. Big mode... HOWEVER
Like with DeBarge, I have to break my audio rule cause I can't leave ya'll without these cuts...
Even kids who don't know the Isley's know the Isley's because they were so heavily and straight-forwardly sampled...
And you know it was a good day...
And I'm gonna leave you with the best quality auntie footage I was able to find of my personal favorite. And yes, Ernie Isley STILL kills it
Oh, so I just realized I left out one ground rule for today. I am not covering the following:
The Temps, the Tops, the Jacksons, NE...
I may or may not do DeBarge again (talked about them last week) depending on how long this takes. lol. Ok, moving on!
The biggest thing, IMO, about Black music in the 70's was the FUNK. Without that, there would be no hip hop, no break beats...SAD!
And before we move into funk, I have to place this hear to remind everybody who the Godfather of all this shit is...
That clip was important because of a young Bootsie Collins on the bass, and bc we're about to talk about Parliment-Funkadelic
I can't even really explain PFunk. They're like WuTang. There's 102974 ppl, 3928 off-shoots. Parliament & Funkadelic are actually 2 groups..
... But not really. But it's like a funk McDLT the hot side is Funkadelic: Funk & Rock. The cool side is Parliment: Funk & R&B
But nobody could keep the two groups straight so George kinda mushed them together to tour as the PFunk Allstars.
And then there's the live show.

These ni**as was crazy.

Spaceships, costumes. It was spiritual + futuristic + transcendental & all that.
George, Bootsie and PFunk were also re-introduced to a younger generation through sampling. Dr. Dre was good for throwing them in somewhere.
But I want you to notice that HIGH AS THESE FOOLS WERE... vocals and instrumentation was TIGHT AF!!
I have never in the history or my awareness of this song ever categorized it as a song that you like, listen to, but I gotta include it.
In MY life, when that song comes on you immediately remove yourself to safety, because a bunch of hoppin' ass Omegas are about to close in.
PFunk was *absolutely* too much for some people, but Earth Wind & Fire offered a much more accessible version of the Funk
Maurice White's egyptology-ass, astrological sign-ass, tight-ass horns having, Phil Bailey falsetto singing group brought funk mainstream.
EWF is the first Black group to sell out MSG and one of the most successful acts of all time PERIOD.
They're in the Rock & Roll HOF, the Songwriter's HOF (all 5 members), have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, & have sold > 100m records
But they were still out there. Levitating on stage. Flying in fake ships. Some of the same stuff PFunk did. And their artwork...
Also, another pause please for the fashions...
Speaking of album art, let's get into The Ohio Players...
They did their name so much justice with their visuals, seriously
The lyrics, too: You a bad, bad missus, in them skin tight britches, running folks into ditches. The original "In Those Jeans"
And I KNOWWWW ya'll heard this at your parents' house parties when you were supposed to be in bed, but listening in the hallway
And ya'll might be mad at me, but I can never again here "Fire" and not think of...
Ok. We still in the Funk. Let's talk about Uncle Charlie and the Wilson brothers.
If ya'll ain't know Charlie Wilson before Snopp & Pharrell started putting him on hooks, get your life real quick.
A common story for 70's/80's artists, Charlie almost let drugs take him out. He promised God if he was restored, he'd always testify.
So three things to know if you go see Charlie today. 1. He is in FULL VOICE. 2. He still goes this hard 3. Ya'll having praise & worship
And I guess cause they were from Oklahoma but these boys love some cowboy fashion
Alright, I have a couple other folks I have to at least mention in this area but we gotta get ready to move out of the 70's
I have to acknowledge Sly & the Family Stone. They're considered the first fully integrated (black, white, male, female) rock group
Sly was another graduate from doo wop to funk. Some consider him one of the largest influences on the sound of Black music from this era.
I talked @ LTD and the absolutely perfect "Love Ballad" briefly last wk w/ Jeffrey Osborne. Gotta give them some love here too.
I really wanted to give ya'll "Holding On (When the Feeling's Gone) but couldn't find a performance.
And I should probably give ya'll "Boogie Nights" for Heatwave, but I'ma slow it down a bit instead
I been here since 6 o'clock and we still in the 70's...
Help me, Holy Spirit.
We started with the transition out of doo wop to funk. Now I want to talk @ artists that went from funk to R&B, starting w/ Tuskegee's own
If you've followed me for a while, you might know I have a personal connection to The Commodores. That's my uncle back there w/ the fro.
Depending on what age you are, The Commodores might mean "Night Shift" R&B & have nothing to do with Ly-nell. But they were all the way funk
Of course, we saw Lionel's greatness - not just for R&B but music overall - in their repertoire as well.
I know ya'll want "Zoom", couldn't find it, so let's have a sing along instead.
Another Commodore's connection: Milon Williams (original guitar player) lived down the street from us. His son was my first little bf.
Before JT Taylor came and smoothed it out, Robert "Kool" Bell's band was funk & soul, too.
Kool & the Gang has MAD sample references. Mase, BDP, Brand Nubian, De La, Tribe, Snoop, Short... and Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince
I mean seriously... I'm trying to remember at what age I realized these were the same ppl as 80's Kool & the Gang
When JT joined the group in 79, they started moving more towards disco...
... Into eventually straight R&B...
And then JT got like "Flash" on them and broke out for a solo career.
ALMOST TO THE 80's!! I know the hour is far spent. If you allow me just a little more time...I'm trying to get this out like I feel it
So let's wrap up the funk (no, don't @ me with who I missed; you see all these folks up in here?)
Another group that transitioned from funk to R&B but still kept it funk-ish: Cameo
Cameo (or at least Larry) kept a lot of the same funk flair into the 80's, and they were never quite down the middle R&B.
*Electric slides*
Well, I lie. They had one pretty classic R&B song, my favorite by them. WITHOUT Larry on vocals at all. This is my SHIT.
We're not quite done w/ this part, but I can't go any further w/o acknowledging this group. There are criminally few clips in their prime.
They weren't super mainstream, but there ain't a Black person in America that don't know Frankie Beverly & Maze. Let's go...
Lemme play DJ right quick...
Before I let you...... (holds 🎤 out)
OK. I can't leave the 70's without talking about the ladies. We talked about doo wop to funk, right? Well LaBelle went from this...
To this...
LaBelle really wanted to be more of a rock group, esp after opening on tour for The Stones. They infused rock AND funk into their sound
Now let's talk about some sisters. These next few are mostly considered disco, but still. Starting with Debbie, Joni, Kim and Kathy Sledge.
Next, Wanda, Sheila and Jeanette Hutchinson. *Does the bump*
Maurice White (please scroll back to EWF) produced "Best of My Love" and helped get the Emotions on the map. Heavily, heavily slept on group
And I know @ParisBurned has been waiting on this next group...
Lemme back up: The Emotions were also on vocals for EWF's "Boogie Wonderland".
And now, straight from the Bay; June, Ruth, and Anita Pointer
The Pointers started in the 70's but had their hits in the early 80's. Crossover hits!
I think when you think of the Pointers you automatically think disco, but I'd argue they were R&B/pop. Their music had great range.
And one time for the era when R&B artists could anchor a blockbuster movie soundtrack. The early 80's did it all day.
And I have to include "Automatic" because for YEARSSSSS I thought this was lead by a man. That's how deep Ruth got with it.
Now, all-female, platinum selling, song writing, instrument playing ass Klymaxx.
And Joanne the Scammer maybe owes Bernadette Cooper a check
Klymaxx was fly, gave you jams fly jams (I mean you couldn't be just ANYBODY walkin round singing "Men All Pause") AND gave you comedy.
I also mentioned a while back that I think Bernadette coined "Basic", on the low. I guess Lil' Duval was jamming to some Klymaxx...
So you had the jams, but they also had some great ballads.
Accidentally broke the thread 😡
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More from @naima

Sep 4, 2018
Alright ya’ll, we’re figuring out *our* hashtag for #BobbyBrownBET (bc, no shots to BET, but Bobby needs some flair).
Cast your vote below before 3pm ET.
To help prepare your soul and spirit for tonight (as we continue deliberations on OUR #BobbyBrownBET hashtag), let's revisit my reminder of why Bobby is the once and always KANG of stage and R&B...…
I expanded on it just a little bit on our site as a longform.…
Read 5 tweets
Sep 2, 2018
Happy Sunday, fam. There will probably be a sermon on tonight (but it may be tomorrow. I’m waiting for the spirit to hit). In the meantime, we finished counting down your Top 11 favorite #MusicSermons from our first year. Catch up with them here:…
And ICYMI, last week we had a special #MusicSermon Devotional to give proper acknowledgement to Tevin.…
Aight fam, this week’s #MusicSermon will happen manana. The spirit just isn’t moving on today.
I haven’t really moved beyond scrolling twitter and changing the tv channels from the comfort of my couch.
Read 61 tweets
Aug 12, 2018
Happy Sunday, fam! The *plan* is to do an early-ish sermon today (around 7) to be done in time for #Insecure.
But I’m also gonna be day-drinking, so let’s see what happens!! 🤷🏽‍♀️

#ICYMI, we finished our Director’s series on Monday w/ Hype Williams.…
Aight, I just got home. I need to get settled and organized but we ARE doing a #MusicSermon tonight. I expect to open the doors of the church around 8/8:30, we’ll rock until #InsecureHBO, take an intermission to watch as a family, then finish service.
*Steps into pulpit without robes*
*Adjust mic*
*Clears throat*

Happy Sunday, family.
I’m not ready to get started just yet (there’s alot of content. You’ll understand in a minute). I am, however, gonna break protocol and - for the first time - set the sermon up, then come back.
Read 76 tweets
Jul 29, 2018
It's #MusicSermon's BIRTHDAY!!! 🍾🎉
There will be a special Anniversary Service on this evening.

In the meantime, I wrote a little something about #MusicSermon's first year over on the site.

See ya'll this evening! ⛪️…
I’ll be opening the doors of the church around 8pm, and immediate after service I’m dropping the new #MusicSermon bracket 👀 #PleaseGovernYourselvesAccordingly
Grabbing food and getting organized, then we’ll get started on tonight’s special Anniversary #MusicSermon service. I think this might be a two-nighter.
Read 72 tweets
Jul 23, 2018
My ni**a this was on NATIONAL TV TWENTY YEARS AGO and ya’ll be like “I need receipts”...
I don’t even...
I also doubt the “pee” tape was still circulating by mid-00’s (at least I hope), but if you ever saw that tape, that was CHILD. She LOOKED like a child. There was no “I thought she was older...” nah.
Wait, the Toure interview happened in 08. I thought it was around the trial. STILL, that means he was FORTY something and couldn’t answer a question about teenage girls. Smh
Read 4 tweets
Jul 15, 2018
Happy Sunday! We will be continuing our special #MusicSermon series on The Superfriends tonight with Timbaland. Doors of the church will open around 8. In the meantime, catch up on the latest church news with this week’s bulletin!…
Alight y'all, I'm getting organized and then well get started with tonight's #MusicSermon.
Ushers, you may begin seating. ⛪️
*Steps into pulpit*
*Adjusts mic*
*Cleans glasses*
*Opens text*

Good evening, family. Sorry for the late start. For one, it's hard for me to settle into a sermon while it's still daylight. Second, I was hit with a massive bout of sleepiness out of the blue...
Read 50 tweets

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