Category Archives: Commentary

RIP…The Queen of Rock & Roll: Tina Turner Remembered

Text by Dawoud Kringle

Tina TurnerThe music world was shocked to hear of the passing of Tina Turner.

Born Anna Mae Bullock in Brownsville TN and raised in Nutbush, TN, on November 26, 1939, she began her interest in singing with the church choir at Nutbush’s Spring Hill Baptist Church. She first saw Ike Turner (who, it should be noted, played guitar on “Rocket 88” by Jackie Brenston and his Delta Cats; which historians believe was the first ever Rock & Roll record) perform with The Kings of Rhythm in East St. Louis. She asked Turner to let her sing in his band, but he refused. One night in 1957, during an intermission, she grabbed a microphone and sang BB King’s “You Know I Love You.” Turner was impressed and she became a featured vocalist with his band.

In 1960, Ike Turner wrote and produced a single for Art Lassiter called “A Fool in Love.” Lassiter failed to show up for the session, and Bullock sang on it. It charted at No. 27 on Billboard’s 100. Their next single “It’s Gonna Work Out Fine” reached No. 14 on the Hot 100 and No. 2 on the R&B chart in 1961, earning them a Grammy.

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Today’s Question for Working Musicians: Copyright and/or Labor Rights?

copyrightLast month I read Dada Drummer‘s post “Musicians Need Labor Rights More than Copyrights” – AI is a New Technology, but an Old Fight. APR 18, 2023. Why we need both copyright and labor rights.

Since it’s publishing I’ve talked and discussed this post with various competent people. Here is one long and comprehensive comment by musician, composer and musician rights advocate Ken Hatfield which I want to share with you, my dear readers.

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The AIs Are Coming! The Drama and Dichotomy of Musicians and Artificial Intelligence

An Editorial by Dawoud Kringle – originally published in Dawoud’s Soapbox – reprinted by permission (

Remember those sci-fi movies about thinking machines? It’s not fiction anymore. It’s here and it’s changing our world forever.

For those few of you who are unaware, artificial intelligence is the simulation of human intelligence in machines. The goals of artificial intelligence include learning, reasoning, and perception. Many industries, organizations, governments, businesses, and private individuals are making use of this technology.

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RIP: Gordan Lightfoot Remembered

Text by Dawoud Kringle

Gordon LightfootWe were just beginning to recover from the news of the passing of Wayne Shorter and Harry Belafonte. Then another iconic musician is called home, reminding us of the fragility of life, and how the age many of us grew up with is drawing to a close.

Canadian singer-songwriter and guitarist Gordan Lightfoot was born November 17, 1938 in Orillia Ontario. His mother recognized Lightfoot’s musical talent early on and schooled him to become a successful child performer. He appeared periodically on local Orillia radio, performed in local operettas and oratorios, and gained exposure through various Kiwanis music festivals. At the age of twelve, after winning a competition for boys whose voices had not yet changed, he made his first appearance at Massey Hall in Toronto.

As a teenager, Lightfoot performed extensively throughout high school, learned piano, and taught himself to play drums and percussion. He held concerts at a resort in Muskoka. He moved to California in 1958 to study jazz composition and orchestration for two years at Westlake College of Music in Hollywood.

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Harry Belafonte

RIP…Harry Belafonte Remembered. A Musician with Attitude.

Text by Dawoud Kringle

American musician, actor, and activist Harry Belafonte has died.

Belafonte was a popular and well respected singer and actor. His more famous songs included “Day-O,” and “Jamaica Farewell.” His roles in movies such as Carmen Jones, Island in the Sun, and White Man’s Burden cemented his place among the great American Actors.

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