26 episodes

Children of the revolution, welcome to "What You're Not Listening To". Our focus for the programs will be to present a history of a particular artist, time period or social relevance that underscores the importance of these contributions to our shared history. Some programs will focus on health, wellness and events that celebrate diversity. Each will be about an hour, and some may contain content that is incredibly rare or not available digitally anywhere else. No outside funding or advertising is supporting this endeavor. At the end of the day, it is an educational program, but one you can at least dance to at times. Requests are always a joy to receive. Love to you all. Sincerely, your host, writer, engineer and producer, Ben Brown Jr., aka Daddy Ben Bear. SPECIAL NOTE: This description is short on purpose. You can read a more detailed version at https://aceofspadespdx.blubrry.net/about-us/

What You're Not Listening To Ace of Spades PDX

    • Music Commentary

Children of the revolution, welcome to "What You're Not Listening To". Our focus for the programs will be to present a history of a particular artist, time period or social relevance that underscores the importance of these contributions to our shared history. Some programs will focus on health, wellness and events that celebrate diversity. Each will be about an hour, and some may contain content that is incredibly rare or not available digitally anywhere else. No outside funding or advertising is supporting this endeavor. At the end of the day, it is an educational program, but one you can at least dance to at times. Requests are always a joy to receive. Love to you all. Sincerely, your host, writer, engineer and producer, Ben Brown Jr., aka Daddy Ben Bear. SPECIAL NOTE: This description is short on purpose. You can read a more detailed version at https://aceofspadespdx.blubrry.net/about-us/

    Fania Records, Part 1

    Fania Records, Part 1

    Happy Hispanic Heritage Month! #fania #hispanicheritagemonth #latinx







    This is our very first show to directly address Hispanic Heritage Month here in the United States, which runs from September 15th until October 15th. The day of September 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September 18, respectively. Lastly, Columbus Day, also known as Día de la Raza, is on October 12, and falls within this 30 day period. Our topic for this show focuses on Fania Records, an independent record label that brought Salsa music to the mainstream in the 1960’s and 1970’s. 







    Celia Cruz, circa late 1960/early 1970’s. Photo by Herrera Studios; courtesy of Omer Pardillo-Cid.







    A short, humorous history of Fania Records goes something like this: if Motown had been a label focused on Latin Jazz and Salsa music and featured Hispanics and not African-Americans, then you might have an idea of the impact and the importance of this part of music history. Fania was founded by bandleader by Dominican-born composer and bandleader Johnny Pacheco and Italian-American former police officer turned attorney Jerry Masucci in 1964. They focused on Latin Jazz and Salsa, the latter of which at the time was a term used specifically to describe Puerto Rican dance music. 







    “If there is no dance, there is not music.” – Tito Puente







     Through a great deal of very hard work and constant gigging by its artists, Fania, an independent, became the most respected and best loved of all labels that dealt specifically in Latin music. Eventually, Salsa music went into a decline in the late 1970’s in the United States, and Fania’s small operation could simply not compete with the Spanish music divisions of larger labels. Masucci eventually became sole owner, one of many other small labels he would collect throughout Latin America. The assets were sold Emusica in 2005, a Miami-based music company, who went about remastering and re-releasing the Fania archives. Fania has since been revived as new music label, albeit one with a history that literally is the foundation of all modern-day Hispanic music here in the United States. 







    Hector Lavoe, 1976, courtesy of Fania/Emusic archives.







    And, for our vinyl enthusiasts, Fania has been slowly releasing its back catalogue through its own name and in partnership with others, bringing back the sound of Salsa in the way it was originally produced and treasured.







    First Part







    * Black Brothers, Tito Puente* Lluvia Con Nieve, Efrain “Mon” Rivera* The Bottle (La Botella), Joe Bataan* The Oracle, Sabu Martinez* Estoy Buscando A Kako, Charlie Palmieri* Bomba Na’ Ma’, La Lupe* Blanca, Johnny Pacheco with Pete (Conde) Rodriguez







    Second Part







    * Tin Tin Deo, Ray Baretto* Lo Que Pide La Gente, Fania All-Stars* Cucula, Celia Cruz







    Finale







    * Periódico De Ayer, Héctor Lavoe







    Ben “Bear” Brown Jr., ownerHost, Producer, Audio Engineer and Writer







    “Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for ‘fair use’ for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.”

    • 1 hr 5 min
    The Other Side Of Love

    The Other Side Of Love

    Spotlighting songs for Singles Awareness Day with classic tracks and rarely heard gems from the Motown vaults. #blackhistorymonth #classicsoul #motown #valentinesday #singlesawarenessday







    This program comes by request of Ms. Loretta W. of New York City. Several years ago, when I was producing this program privately, I received a message from her asking for a program for Valentine’s Day that focused on the other side of love: that is, topics that surround l’amour that are rarely discussed on this holiday. When I told her I would not only grant her request, I would make it a Black History Month tribute to Motown as well. Her reply: “That’s outtasite, baby!” I am revamping the series professionally with this program; better sound, and a whole new track list.







    Martha and the Vandellas in 1965. (L-to-R) Rosaland Ashford, Martha Reeves, and Betty Kelley. Courtesy of UMG/Motown.







    Motown Records, founded by Korean War veteran and former auto factory worker Berry Gordy Jr., was launched in 1959 as Anna Records, an independent company in Detroit, Michigan with about $700. It became the biggest Black-owned business in America for many years, and is synonymous with the entire 1960’s decade. Berry, a professional songwriter for Jackie Wilson, knew there was a huge pool of untapped talent outside the major entertainment hubs of New York and Los Angeles.







    “Into the 1960s, I was still not of a frame of mind that we were not only making music, we were making history.”Berry Gordy, founder, Motown Records







    Gordy knew a hit when he heard one, and often spent a great deal of money grooming the raw talent for mainstream success. Even if he didn’t have an artist on a recording session, he often employed up to 450 people at one point during the 1960’s, and many future hitmakers worked as office/clerical workers or as personal assistants to those who were already in professional positions before their chart careers.







    Stevie Wonder on the Dick Cavett Show, 1970.







    After Detroit’s devastating riots in 1967, coupled with major changes in the industry itself moving from the East Coast and the Midwest to California, Gordy himself ended the initial Motown era at the end of 1971 with moving the headquarters to Los Angeles. The phrase created for Motown by A&R man Al Abrams, “The Sound of Young America”, grew up in a hurry to reflect the truly tumultuous end of the decade. Motown also began to expand into films and other visual media for Black artists, leaving behind a legacy that remains truly unmatched for independent labels anywhere. Even Sub Pop Records, the Seattle-based label that spawned an entire new music scene in the early 1990’s, built their business model around the success of early Motown.







    *indicates original mono single mixes







    First Part







    * Stop! In The Name of Love, 1965, The Supremes** What Becomes Of The Broken Hearted, 1966, Jimmy Ruffin* If I Were Your Woman, 1970, Gladys Knight and the Pips* Baby, Baby Don’t Cry, 1968, Smokey Robinson & The Miracles** Goodbye Cruel Love, 1962, Linda Griner** Nowhere To Run, 1965, Martha & The Vandellas** If You Really Love Me, 1971, Stevie Wonder** When I’m Gone, 1965, Brenda Holloway*







    Second Part







    * I Can’t Give Back The Love I Feel For You, 1968, Rita Wright** Standing In The Shadows Of Love, 1966, The Four Tops** Playboy, 1962, The Marvelettes** I Can’t Get Next To You, 1969, The Temptations* The Bells, 1970, The Originals* This Old Heart Of Mine (Is Weak For You), 1966, The Isley Brothers* The One Who Really Loves You, 1962, Mary Wells







    Finale

    • 1 hr
    When Public Enemy Were The Most Dangerous Band In The World

    When Public Enemy Were The Most Dangerous Band In The World

    The group that changed Hip Hop forever when many in the industry were about to declare it dead by the end of the 1980’s. #publicenemy #hiphop #BHM2020







    By the end of the 1980’s, it had almost seemed that the dream of a new type of urban music, Hip-Hop, had run its course. Albums by major artists at the time, including Run-DMC and Whodini, had been met with less than stellar sales and ever diminished expectations. Hip Hop was considered a minor genre, one that was about to run itself into history.







    Part of this was due to the industry itself. Hip Hop, at the time, was by and large party music. After the ugly crash of Disco music at the end of the 1970’s, where major music labels lost truckloads of money on a scene that had experienced a less-than subtle racist, homophobic and misogynist backlash from white Rock fans, insiders were hesitant to spend money on music they believed could not “cross over”, especially from music that came from major cities by African-American artists.







    (l-r) Flavor Flav, director Spike Lee and Chuck D. during the “Fight The Power” video shoot, New York City, 1989. Image courtesy of Getty Images.







    Unlike today, where many Hip-Hop acts are attached to one of the three major labels left, the scene was birthed from minor, independent and regional labels, much like R&B and Rock and Roll were in the 1950’s. Within these labels grew entire new breeding grounds of sound that spoke to the very people in those regional areas: Hip Hop wasn’t just party music, but became, in the words of Public Enemy’s Chuck D., “Black people’s CNN.”







    Leading the way was Public Enemy, started by Carlton Ridenhour (Chuck D) and William Drayton (Flavor Flav), who met while students at Adelphi University. Their first recordings stood out among the pack, not just being the traditional MC battles, but overtly political songs as well. They were signed to Def Jam, an independent, New York-based label founded by Rick Rubin, who had found fame with LL Cool J and distribution by one one of the biggest names in the music world, Columbia.







    “Music and art and culture is escapism…sometimes is healthy for people to get away from reality. The problem is when they stay there.”Chuck D., vocalist and lyricist, Public Enemy







    By the time of their second full-length LP, It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back, the template was set, the die was cast and all of a sudden, music journalists at major at influential media outlets took notice of this new band who were saying things no one had been saying for almost 20 years. Politics in music at the time was considered a career-killer, but this group, along with their DJ, Terminator X and the greatest production team assembled since Phil Spector’s Wall of Sound, The Bomb Squad, they were making some of the most important and exciting music of any act anywhere.







    Album cover for Sister Soulja’s sole LP, with its harrowing image of a black mother holding her dead child, a scene that still plays out almost daily almost 28 years later in the U.S. 1992, courtesy of Def Jam Records.







    After their career-defining single “Fight The Power” in 1989 and their career-defining LP in 1990, Fear of A Black Planet were released, the white power establishment were not just afraid, they were down right terrified. Here was a group of Black people speaking the truth to power and getting more and more people to not only listen, but openly support them. They endured a few major public embarrassments during this time as well, with the poor handling of Terminator X’s anti-Semitism, but rebounded in spectacular fashion. They even recruited a new member,

    • 1 hr 4 min
    James Baldwin Speaks

    James Baldwin Speaks

    One of the most lauded authors and civil rights activists of the 20th Century was Black and openly gay. #BHM2020







    James Arthur Baldwin was born in Harlem, New York City, in 1924.  He was the second oldest of a blended family that eventually included 10 children, with James being the second oldest. He described his stepfather as abusive and deeply religious. Upon his stepfather’s death, Baldwin and his mother did their best to care for the rest of the family. It was obvious to everyone that Baldwin was highly intelligent and creative. Sadly, because there were so few Black artists to draw inspiration from, Baldwin actually believed for a time that Black people probably could not make a living in a creative field.







    Author James Baldwin on the cover of TIME’s May 17, 1963, issue. Illustration by Boris Chaliapin.







    Baldwin was also a boy preacher, which he stated was critical in his development in public speaking engagements later in life. He left home at after stints writing for various publications, and never went to college. Instead, he honed his skills on assignments, and was given several fellowships. He grew to hate conditions in the States for Black people, and moved to Europe for over a decade, writing several acclaimed novels, including Notes of a Native Son.







    “I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain.”James Baldwin







    Realizing that problems were becoming much worse for people of color back home, Baldwin returned to the States and became a highly visible and outspoken civil rights activist. In 1963, he became the first openly gay person to ever appear on the cover of Time magazine. At the time, LGTBQi rights were not encompassed as part of greater civil rights causes, and Baldwin’s being out of the closet was a challenge for some in the movement. 







    James Baldwin, circa early-1960’s. Photo by Carl Van Vechten, © Van Vechten Trust. Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University







    Baldwin continued to publish novels, poems, plays and many essays for the remainder of his life. He eventually returned to Europe, befriending and hosting many other prominent Black artists, particularly Miles Davis, and the two were close for the rest of their lives. Baldwin preferred to live there in relative quiet and without constant harassment and interruption. He would continue to champion civil rights matters, even penning a well-known letter to Angela Davis, who had been incarcerated for a violent 1970 kidnapping. He would continue to write until the very end, and one of his unpublished, unfinished works, Remember This House, would become the basis for the Oscar-nominated documentary I Am Not Your Negro.







    Cambridge Debate, 1965







    “Is the American Dream at the expense of the American Negro?” Debate between conservative, white writer William F. Buckley and Baldwin about “the Negro Problem” in the United States. Baldwin won the debate 544 to 164 and was given a standing ovation, a first for a Cambridge debate in its entire history.







    Love to you all.







    Ben “Daddy Ben Bear” Brown Jr. Host, Producer, Researcher, Webmaster, Audio Engineer and Writer







    “Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for ‘fair use’ for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.”

    • 1 hr 4 min
    Steve Marriott, The Greatest Mod Rocker You Never Knew

    Steve Marriott, The Greatest Mod Rocker You Never Knew

    A birthday tribute to one of the most underrated and largely forgotten great classic rock British musicians. #smallfaces #humblepie #stevemarriott







    Steve Marriott, a former child actor who ended up being a central and seminal figure in two different important and highly influential British music scenes, would have celebrated his 73rd birthday on January 30th of this year. Fondly remembered by fellow artists, unfortunately his legacy has dimmed since his passing in 1994 due to a fire in his home. Even classic rock and oldies stations typically may only have one or two records in their libraries of his recorded output.







    The Small Faces, 1965. (l-r) Ian McLagan, Steve Marriott, Ronnie Lane and Kenny Jones. Photo by Caroline Gillies/Hulton Archive, Getty Images







    The first band he fronted, Small Faces in 1965, challenged The Who as the premier Mod group of Swinging London. Hugely success at home in the U.K., the band only managed one top 40 single in the States, a psychedelic tinged number called “Itchycoo Park”. Marriott, fed up with the bad business deals the band kept getting saddled with, left to form Humble Pie in 1969, with a brand new type of high energy, blues-based music often called boogie rock and became the cornerstone of the next wave of classic British bands.







    “At the time, we were a bit too intoxicated to realize what was going on.”Steve Marriott on the Swinging London scene in the mid-1960’s







    Humble Pie saw major success with their first live album in 1971 and it’s 1972 studio follow-up, Smokin’. Co-founder Peter Frampton left the band as they broke, eventually forging a massive mid-1970’s album with Frampton Comes Alive. Marriott could not sustain Humble Pie for long on the charts, and the band broke up in 1975. Both Humble Pie and Small Faces would reunite from time to time, with ever diminishing results.







    Steve Marriott with Humble Pie in New York City at Madison Square Garden, 1971. Photo by Fin Costello, courtesy of Redferns/Getty. 







    Today we take an hour-long look at one of the best kept secrets in all of classic rock history, a man who has been cited by Steve Perry of Journey, Paul Stanley of KISS, Clem Burke of Blondie, Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin, and Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones among many others as one of the greatest rock singers, British musicians and live performers in history.







    First Part: Small Faces







    * Hey Girl, All Or Nothing, Watcha Gonna Do About It (live), Beat Beat Beat (German TV Program) (mono)* Here Comes The Nice, There are But Four Small Faces (U.S. album release, U.K, single release only)* Sha La La La Lee, Small Faces* Itchycoo Park, There are But Four Small Faces (U.S. album release, U.K, single release only)* Wham Bam Thank You Mam, single B-Side to “Afterglow (Of Your Love)”* Afterglow (Of Your Love), Ogdens’ Nut Gone Flake, (mono)* Tin Soldier, There are But Four Small Faces (U.S. album release, U.K, single release only)







    Second Part: Humble Pie







    * 30 Days In The Hole, Smokin’* Black Coffee, Eat It* Stone Cold Fever, Rock On* The Sad Bag of Shakey Jake, Town and Country* Hot ‘N’ Nasty, Smokin’* One Eyed Trouser Snake Rumba,  Humble Pie







    Finale: Humble Pie







    * I Don’t Need No Doctor (live), Performance: Rockin’ the Fillmore







    Love to you all.







    Ben “Daddy Ben Bear” Brown Jr. Host, Producer, Audio Engineer, Researcher, Webmaster and Writer







    “Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for ‘fair use’ for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting,

    • 1 hr 5 min
    Burning The Black Flag

    Burning The Black Flag

    The Clash were billed by their major label marketing department as “the only band that matters”, not even realizing they were already being surpassed by the most indie and most hardcore of them all. #blackflag #punk #hardcore #SST







    NOTE: THIS PROGRAM AND POST CONTAIN IMAGES, SUBJECT MATTER AND LANGUAGE SOME MAY FIND OBJECTIONABLE. THIS IS YOUR CHANCE TO OPT OUT.







    There is a great deal of nostalgia that surrounds the Los Angeles punk and hardcore scene of the early 1980’s. Many people who weren’t there or lived in more well-off neighborhoods romantically talk about the good ‘ole days and how cool it was. There is one thing they do get right, more often than not: it was pure. It was pure chaos it what it was. So, at least they are partially correct.







    Being an outsider in Los Angeles wasn’t hip, fun or trendy in the early-to-mid 1980’s. In fact, it pretty much not only got you ostracized, you were constantly hassled by your parents for listening to such “filth”, your teachers looked down upon you as if you had tuberculosis, you got hassled by “cool kids” for being a freak, which included those in the scene who felt you didn’t fit in and and the worst of all, you were always a target for the LAPD, sometimes violently, especially if you were poor, as I was.







    Black Flag, 1983. (l-r) Dez Cadena, Greg Ginn, Henry Rollins, Chuck Dukowski, and Chuck Biscuits. Photo by Glen Friedman.







    Black Flag perfectly encapsulated that period of time and place in their music. Their records, a mix of punk, metal, free form jazz, spoken word and avant-garde noise meant they didn’t get played on the radio; even an episode of the doctor drama Quincy derided the local punk scene. It truly was you against the world. Black Flag were the voice of the poor, forgotten and dispossessed by everyone. They made some of the most intense records ever created, and yet they really didn’t even see a dime for their constant hard work.







    The band was started by Greg Ginn out of all places, the South Bay area of Los Angeles, which was not only my birthplace but my home until I was 17 in 1986. Some of the nearby schools were home to numerous preppies in the recently developed condominium areas (gentrification was just beginning), but in most others, it was home to the poor and people of color who could not afford to move out. The area had a reputation for violence and shady characters, and the part of the South Bay I lived in the most, Wilmington, which is where the Los Angeles harbor is, was filled with gangs, homeless camps and drug dealers. The only thing worse were the cops, who knew they were far from the watchful eye of downtown, and treated the place like their own hunting safari.







    “SST was formed to put out the first Black Flag record. Basically, there wasn’t anyone else to do it.”Greg Ginn, founder, Black Flag and SST Records







    Even though their notice among the police and rock critics was growing, they ended up with a bad business deal that pretty much forced them on the road for the next 3 years after their debut, Damaged, was released in 1981. This is the Black Flag most people romanticize about, not realizing they were living hand-to-mouth in a van, touring across the country where they were often stiffed for money owed by promoters or not even being allowed to play, leaving them truly starving many times.







    After a riot at a show opening for the Ramones in 1984 on the Sunset Strip when the police attacked patrons leaving the Palladium (I know, I was there), the band started to show cracks. Through their ever-evolving line-up, which at times included Hispanics and a female bass player,

    • 1 hr 3 min

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