I have done a number of articles on music that I like from the 1970s and 1980s. As I have written before it seems that most of us have some kind of attraction to the songs that we grew up with, especially those that we listened to in high school.
I started high school in 1975. It was an interesting time. Our city Stockton California desegregated its schools then and kids like me from the North Side of the city were bussed to Edison High School deep on the South Side. The city had grown in the 1960s with the area north of the Calaveras River becoming the more economically well off suburbs. It was predominantly white with a smattering of Asians, Mexican Americans and a some more well off black families. The South Side had suffered during the period as the population and business moved north leaving the South Side and Downtown to struggle. The South Side was predominantly African American, Mexican American and Asian. The make up of the high schools reflected the racial and economic divide.
One of the things that many of us that experienced the bussing was a new collection of friends. We all brought different perspectives, life experiences and likes in music and entertainment. One of the things that I remember fondly was the exposure that I got to music that was not what I grew up with. I grew up with Rock, Pop and Country music with some Soul thrown in, but nothing like what I experienced when I got to Edison. The exposure to Soul, Funk, Blues and later Disco was something that I still relish and when I hear those songs I enjoy them. I was at our formal Dining Out for our Naval Hospital earlier in the year and found myself dancing to some of these songs with other officers my age. I hadn’t done that in a long time and though I am no dancer it was fun just to get out and get my groove back.
I have put some links to some of those songs from that time below. The list is certainly not inclusive and is just a sampling of the rich variety of music of the era. Likewise when you see the live performances of these songs from shows like The Midnight Special, Soul Train or Don Kirchner’s Rock Concert you find that the musicians and performers of that era were very talented and did not have to depend on high definition, digital and computer technology to be good. It was well performed, choreographed and sung music. It was also fun. For those that grew up with this music enjoy the trip back. For those that have not experienced this welcome. I think that you will enjoy it, so get down and play that funky music.
Wild Cherry: Play that Funky Music http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qIXXGAPpQOM&feature=related
K.C. and the Sunshine Band: Get Down Tonight http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FpoI7vK4uvY&feature=related
Hot Chocolate: You Sexy Thing http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FpoI7vK4uvY&feature=related
Ohio Players: Love Roller Coaster http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FpoI7vK4uvY&feature=related
Ohio Players: Fire http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y47G-Wa4qfs&feature=related
The Spinners: Rubber Band Man http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kKbADFJOCkU&feature=related
The Temptations: Papa Was a Rolling Stone http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kKbADFJOCkU&feature=related
The Trammps: Disco Inferno http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y47G-Wa4qfs&feature=related
Kiki Dee: I Got the Music In Me http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SLQRW7J_D0U&feature=related
Blue Swede: Hooked on a Feeling (The Ooka Chaka Song) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W3JHi4f3CUI
Barry White: You Are My First My Last, My Everything http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fcd3XuQwDQQ
Commodores: Brick House http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tf0LwyxcQAE
Commodores: Once Twice Three Times a Lady http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tf0LwyxcQAE