11 August 2008

Can you dig it?

Isaac Hayes went to the great soul band in the sky yesterday. I tuned in to KPOO's live stream from San Francisco, and the regular Monday nine-to-noon DJ--Marilynn Fowler (The Power of Blues Compels You)--was naturally paying tribute to the the late Mr. Hayes. One of the highlights was a live version of his signature tune, Theme from SHAFT. John Shaft, naturally, is as hardboiled as they come. Isaac Hayes was so damn soulful that he could bring funky rhythms to noir! DJ Marilynn closed her set with "It's Too Late," the Carole King tune, a live version by the man of the hour. Many of the greats of the 60's and 70's pop music scene are getting long in the tooth. Some of them--like Hayes--are the last links to the heyday of soul and r & b. Ray Charles died four years ago, Lou Rawls and Ruth Brown died in 2006, and Bo Diddley died earlier this year. A rich legacy of African-American music, tunes and grooves that are the warp and weft of our cultural fabric, is heading for history's dustbin. Judge, KPOO's noon-to-four man (Soul Radio), took over the mic and is continuing the tribute. Just heard "Disco Freak" from 1976! Not many places left in our corporate-, brand name-, strip mall-, chain store-, global market-, satellite TV-world for small-time radio and real DJs who actually have playlists and pick their own musical vibe. Funny how it takes this gigantic high-tech corporate/government multi-billion dollar enterprise (the internet) to help the "little guy" stay viable in the 21st century.

Right on.

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