• Happy Throwback Thursday everyone! 

    On Thursdays, there will be music from a variety of eras and genres to explore and enjoy! 

  • This week, our throwback artist is a personal favorite of mine, Janelle Monae. 

    Janelle Monae appeared onto the music scene in 2005 as an emerging artist. She was selling CDs out of the back of her car in Atlanta starting out, but her music began to draw attention of songwriters and producers. Janelle Monae also starred in the movie Hidden Figures. Over her time in the music industry, she has been nominated for several Grammys and was the Billboard Women in Music's rising star for 2015.

    In addition to being a musician and artist, Janelle Monae uses her platform as a star to advocate for Black Americans and the LGBTQIA community. Monae came out in January 2020 as gender nonbinary. 

    The message of "Tightrope" is to not let the words of others get you too up or too down when you are being criticized or praised and how keeping yourself balanced is the most important thing you can do for yourself. 

     

    Here is a link to Janelle Monae's song, "Tightrope".

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  • It's Thursday which means, THROWBACK TIME!

    This week, our song is "Respect" by Aretha Franklin.

    Aretha Franklin was a popular R&B artist and is also known as "The Queen of Soul". In addition to being a musician, she was an actress, songwriter, and civil rights activist. 

    The song "Respect" was one of her top hits which is actually a cover of a song by the same title originally performed by Otis Redding. In Aretha's version, it is from the point of view of a woman who knows her value and wants her partner to respect her. "Respect" later became an anthem for the feminism movement. 

    Listen here to Respect! 

     

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  • Earth, Wind, and Fire revolutionized pop music in th 1970s  by integrating African and African-American music into pop in a way that was able to be accepted by a wider audience. 

    Earth, Wind, and Fire found inspiration in a wide set of genres and have transcended labels by performing pop, R&B, Jazz, and many other musical styles. The band has remained popular over the decades. With dynamic vocals, a funky horn section, and an overall big amazing sound, it is no wonder the band has remained popular.

    One of their most well-known songs is "September" which was released in 1978. "September" was also covered in the movie Trolls.

     

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  • This week's throwback Thurday is about a musician who has been successful through many generations. 

    Some of you may know Elton John through the song "I'm Still Standing" which was sung by Taron Egerton's charater in Sing. Others may recognized "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" and "Circle of Life" from The Lion King. All of these are songs performed by Elton John.

    Sir Elton John was born Reginald Kenneth Dwight in England in 1947. He began playing piano at an early age in his early adulthood was a studio musician. Also during that time, he was in a group called Bluesology, and got his performing name Elton John from 2 members of the group, which he later legally changed his name to. His first hit single was "Your Song" which was released in 1972.

    Over his lifetime, Elton John has won 5 Grammys, 5 Brit Awards, 2 Academy Awards, 2 Golden Globes, a Tony, and a Disney Legends Award.

    He is still touring and performing around the world. I actually got to see him in concert a couple of years ago, and he is still a wonderful performer! 

    Here is a recording of Elton John's "Your Song". You can hear his great songwriting and wonderful piano skills in this song. 

     

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  • In 1964, one of the top selling performing groups of all time was formed.

    The Jackson 5 was a family band made up of the boys in the Jackson family, Jackie, Tito Jermaine, Marlon, and Michael. Eventually their other brother Randy joined on congas. In their early years, the Jackson 5 performed at clubs in the Gary, Indiana area.

    The family travelled to Detroit to audition for MoTown. The record label picked up the Jackson 5 and they gained fame after performing at the Black Miss America Pagent in 1969.

    Their first single, "I Want You Back" hit number 1 on the billboard top 100. The group was the first group to have their first singles hit #1 on the Billboard top 100 after the release of "ABC", "The Love You Save", and "I'll Be There".

    Jermaine and Michael decided to go for a solo career in the early 1970's, with great success. However, the popularity of the Jackson 5 began to decline during that time. Eventually, the brothers all tried out a solo career, with Michael eventually becoming the unofficial King of Pop. 

    However, the boys of the Jackson family were not the only ones with great talents. Their sisters LaToya, Janet, and Rebbie also found fame in the music industry. 

    The Jackson 5's music is still a staple of Motown and American Pop music history. Two of their top hits were the singles "ABC" and "I Want You Back".

    Have a listen to "ABC" or get up and move to "I Want You Back"!

     

     

     

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  • Happy Throwback Thursday! 

     

    This week's artist is known as the Queen of Tejano. In addition to being the Queen of Tejano, she was also a fashion icon.

    Selena

    Selena Quintanilla Perez was born April 16, 1971 in Lake Jackson, Texas. Her dad, Abraham Quintanilla, was a former musician. When hearing his daughter sing at a young age, he knew she had an enormous amount of untapped talent. 

    Abraham wanted Selena to be able to connect with Latino audiences, so even though she was not fluent in Spanish, Selena learned to sing by ear in Spanish and eventually learned how to speak Spanish through learning the songs her dad wrote. 

    Abraham formed the family band Selena y Los Dinos with Selena leading as vocalist, her sister on drums, and her brother on bass guitar. The family began performing when Selena was just 9 years old on street corners and local gatherings, and eventually at the family restaurant. 

    The family band continued to see success and eventually signed their first record deal in 1981 when Selena was just 10 years old.

    The family band continued to gain popularity amongst the Latino community and toured for several years. in 1988, Selena y Los Dinos picked up guitarist Chris Perez, who Selena later married in 1992.

    Unfortunately, Selena's life was cut short at age 23 as the result of a gunshot wound inflicted by the president of her fan club.

    Before her death, Selena began her first album in English, which included the hit song "Dreaming of You". 

    One of her most famous songs is "Como La Flor" which translates to English as "Like the Flower". The song is about someone she loves leaving her and relates her love to a flower that has been picked and begins to shrivel away.

    This is the song, "Como La Flor"

     

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  • Happy Throwback Thursday!

     

    This group is a personal favorite of mine. Fleetwood Mac formed in London in 1967 by Peter Green (guitar), Mick Fleetwood (drums), Jeremy Spencer (guitar), John McVie (bass)and started out as a British blues band. The band later picked up Christine Perfect on keyboard. After finding success in the United Kingdom, the first guitarists left and their replacements were dismissed. Before coming to the United States, Fleetwood Mac no longer had a guitarist or a singer.

    In 1974, Fleetwood Mac was looking for a studio on Los Angeles, California. During their time, the band met a folk-rock duo with Lindsay Buckingham on guitar and Stevie Nicks on vocals. Fleetwood Mac originally only wanted Buckingham, but she only would join in Nicks was allowed to join as well.

    In 1975, the band released their self-titled album Fleetwood Mac which reached #1 on the US charts. In 1977, the band released the album Rumors which had 4 #1 singles in the US, and won a Grammy for Album of the Year in 1978.

    Fleetwood Mac is one of the top selling artists of all time. The band still tours and remains popular through many generations.

    Click here to listen to one of Fleetwood Mac's most well-known songs, "Don't Stop" from the Rumors album. 

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  • Welcome to this week's Throwback Thursday!

     

    This week, our musician is Ella Fitzgerald. Ella Fitzgerald is one of the most well-known Jazz singers and her influence is still strong in the music industry today. 

    Ella Fitzgerald

    Ella's early life was rough. She moved from home to home between several guardians. After her mother, Tempie, passed away, she struggled and after being arrested, she was sent to a reform school to try and change her behavior. Through everything, Ella found comfort in music and dancing.

    Ella ran away from the reform school and ended up on the streets of New York during the Great Depression. in 1934, Ella had the opportunity to compete in an amateur performers night at the Apollo theater. While the audience didn't think much of Ella's raggedy appearance when they saw her, she blew the audience away with her voice.

    Ella continued to perform in local talent shows and winning various competitions, and eventually was picked up by a band led by Chick Webb. From then on, she and the band performed throughout Harlem and New York.

    During Ella's career, she overcame many barriers as a woman of color in a primarily male dominated career. As a musician, she was a master improviser and often used vocables (nonsense syllables) in a method called "scat singing". 

    Here is a link to Ella Fitzgerald singing "Blue Skies". 

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  • Hello awesome students! 

    Since our world music Wednesday feature (Ravi Shankar) collaborated with this group, it is a GREAT time to discuss the Beatles! 

    The album cover for Abbey Road

    The Beatles formed in 1960 in Liverpool, England. The most well-known lineup includes Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr. 

    By 1964, The Beatles were an international phenomenon and led what was known at the time as "The British Invasion". Over their career, the Beatles released 13 albums, including hits such as Help!, A Hard Day's Night, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart Club Band, Yellow Submarine, Abbey Road, and Let It Be. 

    The Beatle's influence over the decades is woven into music history and can be heard in musicians throughout the world. Additionally, George Harrison collaborated with Ravi Shankar and helped spread Indian music around the world. 

     Here is a recording of one of their many popular songs, "Here Comes the Sun" from the Abbey Road album! 

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  • Happy Throwback Thursday everyone! 

    To start our first throwback Thursday, here is the Cha Cha Slide. The Cha Cha slide was released in 2000 and became a popular line dance and has remained popular at social gatherings. It is also great for a brain break! 

     

    Here are the steps-

    to the (left/right)- step out to the side with your foot and step in with the other foot

    take it back- Take a step backwards

    hop- DJ Casper will tell you how many hops to do

    stomp

    Cha Cha- Step forward with your left foot, bring it back in, and 3 little steps in place, then right foot step out, three little steps in place,

    Turn it out- Turn your body to the left and face the wall you could have pointed at by lifting your left arm straight out to your side.

    Criss-Cross- Jump, cross your feet and land, jump, end feet apart

    Reverse- jump  and face the wall that was behind you

    Hands on your knees- bend and put your hands on your knees

    Freeze!- pose 

    How low can you go? - Twist and slowly bend at the knees and bring your body to the ground.

    Bring it to the top- Twist back up to where you are standing normally again

    Charlie Brown- start with one foot in the air and one on the ground. Jump and switch which foot is in the air while keeping your leg straight. 

     

    Have fun! Try and have someone dance with you if you can! 

     

     

     

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