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Music History Today the Weekly Edition 36

This is Music History Today the Weekly Edition 36. On this week’s show, we go over the nominations for the American Music Awards, we review Keyshia Cole’s new album, & we make the case for putting Sister Rosetta Tharpe into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

First, the news. Hollywood right now is reeling from the explosive accusations (and honestly, biggest open secrets) about studio head Harvey Weinstein, sexual harassment, & rape. Now, Tom Jones has come forward to talk about sexual harassment in the music industry. In an interview with BBC Radio, he spoke about the fact that he was sexually harassed when he was starting out, adding that it happens to men as well as women. We’ll see if this opens up the same Pandora’s Box in the music industry as it did in the movie industry.

In other news, the Smithsonian is doing a Kickstarter to raise money for a project on the history of hip-hop. They’re putting together a 300-page book / 9 CD box set & would like help raising funds for it. The box set looks incredible. Be warned, though. While the Kickstarter is over in about 3 weeks, the box set’s not slated to come out until December 2018, if not late. The Kickstarter link is https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/smithsonian/smithsonian-anthology-of-hip-hop-and-rap?ref=aid1aw.

In RIP news, condolences to the country of Canada, who lost a national treasure. Gord Dowdie, frontman for the proudly Canadian group the Tragically Hip, passed away from his long battle with brain cancer. The Tragically Hip never had a huge following in America but when you think of Canadian music, they’re right up there with Rush in terms of popularity in their home country. Downie was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer in 2015 and did what turned out to be their farewell tour in 2016. Dowdie passed away on October 17. He was 53 years old. 

On November 19, the American Music Awards will be handed out. The nominations were announced this past week. I’ll go into who I think will win in a few weeks. However, this award is based on popularity and sales so don’t go thinking that the best album, song, or artist will automatically win these awards. The nominees are:

ARTIST OF THE YEAR
The Chainsmokers
Drake
Kendrick Lamar
Bruno Mars
Ed Sheeran

NEW ARTIST OF THE YEAR
James Arthur
Niall Horan
Julia Michaels
Post Malone
Rae Sremmurd

COLLABORATION OF THE YEAR
The Chainsmokers feat. Halsey, “Closer”
Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee feat. Justin Bieber, “Despacito”
DJ Khaled feat. Justin Bieber, Quavo, Chance the Rapper & Lil Wayne, “I’m The One”
Maroon 5 feat. Kendrick Lamar, “Don’t Wanna Know”
The Weeknd feat. Daft Punk, “Starboy”

TOUR OF THE YEAR
Garth Brooks
Coldplay
U2

VIDEO OF THE YEAR
Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee, “Despacito”
Bruno Mars, “That’s What I Like”
Ed Sheeran, “Shape of You”

FAVORITE MALE ARTIST – POP/ROCK
Drake
Bruno Mars
Ed Sheeran

FAVORITE FEMALE ARTIST – POP/ROCK
Alessia Cara
Lady Gaga
Rihanna

FAVORITE DUO OR GROUP – POP/ROCK
The Chainsmokers
Coldplay
Imagine Dragons

FAVORITE ALBUM – POP/ROCK
Drake, More Life
Bruno Mars, 24K Magic
The Weeknd, Starboy

FAVORITE SONG – POP/ROCK
The Chainsmokers feat. Halsey, “Closer”
Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee feat. Justin Bieber, “Despacito”
Ed Sheeran, “Shape of You”

FAVORITE MALE ARTIST – COUNTRY
Sam Hunt
Thomas Rhett
Keith Urban

FAVORITE FEMALE ARTIST – COUNTRY
Miranda Lambert
Maren Morris
Carrie Underwood

FAVORITE DUO OR GROUP – COUNTRY
Florida Georgia Line
Little Big Town
Old Dominion

FAVORITE ALBUM – COUNTRY
Jason Aldean, They Don’t Know
Chris Stapleton, From a Room:, Vol. 1
Keith Urban, Ripcord

FAVORITE SONG – COUNTRY
Sam Hunt, “Body Like a Back Road”
Jon Pardi, “Dirt on My Boots”
Keith Urban, “Blue Ain’t Your Color”

FAVORITE ARTIST – RAP/HIP-HOP
Drake
Kendrick Lamar
Migos

FAVORITE ALBUM – RAP/HIP-HOP
Drake, More Life
Kendrick Lamar, Damn.
Migos, Culture

FAVORITE SONG – RAP/HIP-HOP
DJ Khaled feat. Justin Bieber, Quavo, Chance the Rapper & Lil Wayne, “I’m The One”
Kendrick Lamar, “Humble.”
Rae Sremmurd feat. Gucci Mane, “Black Beatles”

FAVORITE MALE ARTIST – SOUL/R&B
Childish Gambino
Bruno Mars
The Weeknd

FAVORITE FEMALE ARTIST – SOUL/R&B
Beyonce
Kehlani
Rihanna

FAVORITE ALBUM – SOUL/R&B
Childish Gambino, Awaken My Love!
Bruno Mars, 24K Magic
The Weeknd, Starboy

FAVORITE SONG – SOUL/R&B
Khalid, “Location”
Bruno Mars, “That’s What I Like”
The Weeknd, “Starboy”

FAVORITE ARTIST – ALTERNATIVE ROCK
Imagine Dragons
Linkin Park
Twenty One Pilots

FAVORITE ARTIST – ADULT CONTEMPORARY
Bruno Mars
Shawn Mendes
Ed Sheeran

FAVORITE ARTIST – LATIN
Luis Fonsi
Daddy Yankee
Shakira

FAVORITE ARTIST – CONTEMPORARY INSPIRATIONAL
Lauren Daigle
MercyMe
Chris Tomlin

FAVORITE ARTIST – ELECTRONIC DANCE MUSIC (EDM)
The Chainsmokers
Calvin Harris
DJ Snake

TOP SOUNDTRACK
Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2: Awesome Mix Vol. 2
Moana
Trolls

 
 
 
 
 
Today, I’m going to make a case for putting someone into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame  who you’ve probably never heard of. Sister Rosetta Tharpe made her mark in 1920s – 1940s. She sang gospel music for most of her career. However, she did a few things that makes her relevant to this conversation.

First, she mixed gospel and blues with folk arrangements & swing. She also made songs that were more secular with this new style of music. All of that, coupled with her unique guitar playing, is why she has the nickname The Godmother of Rock and Roll.

The list of people who she influenced reads like a who’s who of early rock and roll. Johnny Cash sited her as his favorite singer as a child, as did Little Richard. In fact, Tharpe invited Richard on stage to sing as a kid and paid him for it, which is what convinced him to become a performer. Other people who she influenced also include Elvis Presley, Isaac Hayes, Aretha Franklin, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Chuck Berry.

Now, if you want to get your feet wet, go with Gospel Blues – the Very Best of. It’s on Amazon Prime’s music streaming service. If you want to deep dive, then go with Up Above My Head & Gospel Train.

As far as her nomination goes, she’s already been recognized a number of ways for her influence on music. She’s on a stamp. Her house in Philadelphia is a landmark. She’s also in the Blues Hall of Fame. Here’s hoping that since I know she’s not going in with the fan vote, that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame finds a way to put her in as a pioneer of early rock and roll. 

 
 
 
 
 
Someone asked me the other day why my reviews are so short. Why aren’t they almost 5 minutes like music journalists do. Easy. I cut to the chase. People only want to know if the production & the songs are good, if the person can either sing or play their instruments, & if it’s worth buying. That’s it. There’s no need to deal with flowery language. I’m not Kurt Loder, who used to write for Rolling Stone & was on MTV during its hey day. I just read a review of Pink Floyd’s the Wall that he did that looked like he broke out the thesaurus to write it. He could’ve boiled down the 5 page review to the following words: the album’s great. Buy it. I don’t need for you to enjoy my vast catalog of ways to say whether an album’s good or not. For the record, I love Kurt Loder. That being said, let’s get on with it. 

 
Keyshia Cole is back with her new album called 11:11 Reset. The album’s great. Buy it. To pontificate further, even though the album has 11 tracks, two of them are an intro & outro so it’s really 9 tracks. She definitely went to the School of Mary J. Blige, which is good. The production’s great. The songwriting’s on point. They all have that hip-hop mid range beat: not too slow, not too fast.
 
She’s got some help on this album but she rolls with the best. Young Thug, DJ Khaled, & Remy Ma all make appearances. Even Too $hort shows up in the outro. Favorite songs on it are You, Best Friend, Incapable, & Vault. You can stream this album for free on Amazon if you have Amazon Prime. It’s at least worth a listen. To make this review even shorter, the album’s great. Buy it.
 
 
 
 
 
This week, Post Malone featuring 21 Savage’s Rockstar takes the Billboard number one singles spot away from Cardi B, who drops to number two. On the albums chart, Christian rapper NF scores the number one album; a first for a Christian hip-hop artist, I do believe.
 
On the new release front, this week you get new ones from Bootsy Collins, Kelly Clarkson, Lee Ann Womack, Weezer, the Used, Baxter Dury, & Hollywood Undead.