1960’S – CADILLACS, LINCOLNS, AND CHEVY’S: A DECADE OF SOLID GOLD SOUL

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“Not my generation, but my muse.”

From 1960 to 1969 was a decade of soulful music that may not have defined my generation, but I love it nonetheless. For me, being born in the 1980’s, 1960 was the year my mother was born. From the sounds of Ray Charles singing hits like Georgia On My Mind, a state that he refused to play a concert because of the Jim Crow laws of the south. A move that created tension toward him for years to come. But was it all about the Jim Crow Image result for ray charles 1960south? No, because the year 1961 brought hits like Etta James, At Last. A love song that anyone who has been hit by cupid’s arrow can relate to. And that same year Ray Charles would return with yet another hit song, Hit The Road Jack. A track that spans just over two minutes, but sends a powerful message to it’s listeners.

And in the same year of 1961 who could forget Ben E. King’s hit song, Stand By Me. Which just over twenty years later would carry the title of a 1980’s cult classic movie. Starring River Phoenix, Corey Feldman, Jerry O’Connell, Kiefer Sutherland, John Cusack, and Wil Wheaton. The next year in 1962 kept the hits coming as Ray Charles reemerged, this time with three hit tracks: I Can’t Stop Loving You, You Don’t Know Me, and Your Cheatin Heart. But in 1963, not only was a Image result for martha and the vandellasyear in music, but the year president John F. Kennedy was assassinated. Such a heartfelt year brought joy, love, and sadness with the Shirelles, Foolish Little Girl. And who can forget in 1963 Heat Wave by Martha and The Vandellas. Then the following year 1964 came around with yet another tragedy. This time Malcolm X was assassinated at the Audubon Ballroom in Harlem.

Even with the tragedy, music kept being pumped out that year. Like The Four Tops, Baby I need your Loving, The Temptations with The Way You Do The Things You Do, The Supremes with Baby Love and Come See About Me, and Martha and The Vandellas returned with Dancing In The Streets. As with the groups, we saw Mary Wells come with the hit some My Guy and James Brown’s Please, Please, Please. Feeling the love of the 1960’s continued on into 1965 with songs like Sam Cooke’s Change Is Gonna Come. This hit song has Image result for marvin gayebeen replayed and remastered in numerous television shows, films, and theatre plays; adding to Sam Cooke’s already hit catalog. But you can’t talk great music of 1965 without including Marvin Gaye’s Aint That Peculiar and How Sweet It Is, The Four Tops Sugar Pie Honey Bunch, and James Brown I Feel Good and Poppa’s Got A Brand New Bag

That same year The Temptations brought us My Girl. Yet another song that would be the inspirational song behind a Hollywood movie. Starring Macaulay Culkin, Anna Chlumsky, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Dan Aykroyd. Meanwhile Martha and The Vandellas reminded us there’s Nowhere to Run and Nowhere To Hide adding to their catalog of hits. But let’s not forget Jr. Walker and The All Stars with Shotgun. As the we rounded past the mid 1960’s headed into the year 1966 hits continued to flow. Stevie Wonder let us know not to be “Uptight” cause everything’s going to be alright and Blowing In The Wind as Sam and Dave told us to Hold On, I’m Coming. As the year 1967 came we saw music from Aretha Franklin who taught us the value in be Respected and Natural Woman. As Jackie Wilson told us to reach Higher and Higher. The same year Sam and Dave gave us Soul Man.

1967 kept on with Gladys Knight and The Pips I Heard It Through The Grapevine and Smokey Robinson & The Miracles I Second That Emotion. The year of 1968 was off to yet another emotional round-block as two leaders were assassinated: Robert F. Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Hard Image result for jackson 5to believe music could keep coming. But it commenced with Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell with Aint Nothing Like The Real Thing,James Brown’s Say It Loud and I Got The Feeling, Otis Redding’s On The Dock Of The Bay. Then to round out the decade Marvin Gaye gave us his version of Heard It Through The Grapevine. We were also introduced to the Jackson 5 with I Want You Back. Throughout this decade there were highs and lows, but the music is what kept it all together. Above all, entertainment remained strong going into the 1970’s.

 

SUPER TEAM: WHAT IT SAYS ABOUT TODAY’S GENERATION

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“How come we are afraid to lose?”

NBA super teams have become the norm in today’s society. And to be perfectly honest, it makes the NBA kind of boring. You don’t see it as much in the MLB, NFL, or the NHL. Super teams sound exciting, but when the same teams are in the finals consistently it waters down the sport. Don’t get me wrong, I witnessed the NBA run of the Chicago Bulls coming through the 1990’s with their 6 rings in 10 years. But, and there is a but, the Chicago Bulls had a superstar in Michael Jordan, the next best in Scottie Pippen, and amazing roll players who became stars themselves: Kerr, Rodman, Longley, Kukoc, Horace, Armstrong, and Paxton.

Some of the names I called off were, at their height, some of the best in the NBA in addition to being roll players. This is why Chicago was so much fun to watch. It’s kind of like the New England Patriots. Even though I am a Dallas Cowboys fan, the idea of 52 players on a roster, where we only know the names of a few, but they come together as a team to win Super Bowls is great football. It’s something so pure about a group of guys who win without that extra edge. Super Teams on the other hand are like using legal steroids.

The move of Kevin Durant to the Warriors really showed how boring the NBA has gotten. But is there more to this than sports? What does this say about our new millennial generation? Michael Jordan came out and stated he wanted to beat the best, not be on their teams. But when players today feel themselves losing, they run to the dynasty team. It says we as a generation can’t deal with the losing and must run from the challenge. In the millennial generation, today everyone gets a trophy, so you’re taught you’re great before you prove your greatness.

But then when you have to continue to lose, it really hurts and we tend to not be able to deal with the adversity. Look at Michael Jordan, he played for seven years before getting his first ring. He now is considered the greatest NBA player in history. He’s also a cultural icon for his game play and his apparel. He learned to consistently win because he took so many loses. That adversity makes you great. Tom Brady also was a last round NFL draft pick, sat on the bench behind Drew Bledsoe, and now is arguably one of the greatest NFL quarterbacks in history.

Will the super team mentality come back to haunt us? Will there come a time when Kevin Durant is alone and have to do it without his guys around? How will he feel once he realizes he’s going to lose here as well? But most of all, his former teammate Russell Westbrook has a chip on his shoulder because of his former teammate leaving. This may bring out greatness in Russell. But remember, there are a lot of other players who now want to knock the Warriors off their throne as well as the Cavaliers in the NBA.

In the end, how will this pan out moving forward? Will the super team method fizzle out? Or will people become bored and the NBA forced to make some adjustments? Because the Yankees tried to reach out over the years and build their super teams, but MLB players killed that plan. It’s what makes baseball exciting to see the Cubs and Indians play today. We have not seen the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees in the recent years in the World Series. Your super team building creates a beast. And that beast will eventually come for you.