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Episode 122

The Harvard Report 50 Years Later: The Black Experience in the Music Industry

Episode  122
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We welcome the new year with a rich buffet of guests, starting with husband and wife filmmaking team, Anayancy and Jess Thomas whose project, God & Salsa tells the story of a grieving therapist and a troubled teen who save each other. The film explores suicide, depression, divorce, parental alienation, narcissism, hope and healing.

Next, we are joined by Dr. Logan Westbrooks a groundbreaking black music executive and industry veteran with over 50 years of experience launching careers, making history and positively changing our music and civil rights landscapes.

Dr. Westbrooks joins us to talk about his newest book, 'Power 101: The Harvard Report, Soul Music, and The American Dream', which examines the controversial 1972 Harvard Report which studied and forcast how black folks would be consuming music.

Dr. Westbrook’s journey took him from a childhood in Memphis to the boardrooms of major record labels. He was assigned to oversee The Harvard Report by Clive Davis and CBS Records and he helps us understand how black music and our nation’s trajectory were impacted by one another, pulling us towards a greater understanding of race and destiny in America.

More Path Links

Logan Westbrooks

Power 101: The Harvard Report, Soul Music, and The American Dream
by Dr. Logan H. Westbrooks and Schuyler C. Traughber

God And Salsa
Jess and Anayancy Thomas
Babylon - In Theaters
If These Walls Could Sing
Children's Burn Foundation

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Fritz Coleman  (00:00:03):

Welcome to Media Path. I'm Fritz Coleman.

Louise Palanker (00:00:05):

I'm Louise Palanker. Happy

Fritz Coleman  (00:00:07):

New Year to our many listeners and viewers around the world. Our New Year's resolution here at R Path is to bring you even more quality guests and entertainment while sticking to a strict keto diet. But really, why make any resolutions? Resolutions only set the bar too high for us. We're starting the year with an abundance of interesting guests. Three, this time. First, we're gonna meet any Yancy and Jess Thomas, who have written and produced a new film titled God and Salsa. It's a very sweet movie that hones in on ways of coping with grief and depression. And second, we're gonna meet Dr. Logan Westbrooks. Dr. Westbrooks has been an executive in the music industry for 50 years, and he's co-written what I think is in a central book about the black music industry called Power 1 0 1, the Harvard Report, soul Music, and the American Dream. He's been the brains behind some of the biggest acts in r and b music. Looking forward to Dr. Westbrooks in just a few minutes. And I wanna re, you know, I love it when we have something to brag about.

Louise Palanker (00:01:06):

Yes. Let's brag. Fred,

Fritz Coleman  (00:01:08):

Listen to this. We, we have a, a, a wonderful listener who has, uh, a column. It's about being retired, and I'm certain he's directing this at me. How did

Louise Palanker (00:01:19):

He write this while retired? I'm

Fritz Coleman  (00:01:22):

Well, uh, if, if he's like me, he's doing things in retirement for no money. Mm.

Louise Palanker (00:01:26):

I see.

Fritz Coleman  (00:01:27):

And here we go. And, and, you know, his audience is my audience. Old people and their parents. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, we wanna take a minute. This is his words. Now we wanna take a minute to wish a happy New Year to our listeners.

Louise Palanker (00:01:38):

I'm sorry, that's not his

Fritz Coleman  (00:01:39):

Word. Okay. Well, I'll just read this and you'll bring in a team of experts to edit this however you want. Yeah. Okay. Uh, here we go. Here we, I'm speaking on behalf of Media Path Podcast. I've been deputized. We wanna take a minute to worship a happy new year to our listeners. And thank you from the bottom of our hearts for supporting Media Path. We're so happy that you're enjoying the show. We're Resu. You are, because Weezy and I just, this is our favorite thing in the world. We're extremely pleased to be able to tell you that we've been charting on the podcast player and discovery tool, good pods in the books and politics categories. And we're very proud of this. We're reaching number three recently in the politics category.

Louise Palanker (00:02:19):

Wow. I'm so proud of us.

Fritz Coleman  (00:02:21):

That's awesome, isn't it? Yes, it is. I would've brought cupcakes or something had I known we were doing this. Well, listen, it's so wonderful that you guys appreciate the work we do, incorporating political discussions into our media journeys. We have some really spectacular guests who are making important contributions in that space, like Brad Onishi and Dan Miller from the podcast. Straight White American, Jesus, authors like Irish Shapiro, and of course, Congressman Adam Schiff. And Wei and I frequently recommend books, documentaries, and series that pertain to social and political issues. It also appears that the podcast search engine, listen notes, has our global rank in the top 3% of all podcasts. Wow. And that is also fantastic news. I would like to meet the guys who are translating our podcast into foreign languages.

Louise Palanker (00:03:09):

Does that get us into a good school?

Fritz Coleman  (00:03:11):

I, I hope so. Okay.

Louise Palanker (00:03:13):

My parents just can, they're gonna be so

Fritz Coleman  (00:03:15):

Relieved. So thanks again to you listeners. We appreciate you and love you so much. And a little later in the show, we're gonna have a special shout out to one listener in particular, Gary Chalk, who has reached out. Oh, he's the guy with the retirement thing. Well, that's good, Gary. Okay. Now, now I'm I'll. I'll be, I'll be on the program here in 15 or 20 minutes.

Louise Palanker (00:03:31):

All right. We may have you back, Fritz. All

Fritz Coleman  (00:03:33):

Right. Weezy. Yeah. For the love of God, tell me what you got

Louise Palanker (00:03:36):

This in week. Well, I was watching if these walls could sing, and it comes to us from Director Mary McCartney, who once crawled along the studio floors as her parents recorded banned on the run. Or, you know, a lot of other giant wings albums, uh, for Mary, the Floors and the walls of Abbey Road Studios are filled with both private personal memories and global historic resonance. Mary takes us through the nine decades of groundbreaking creative achievement, mining, the memories of Cliff, Richard, Elton John, Jimmy Page, Roger Waters, David Gilmore, Liam Manno, Gallagher Celeste, Ringo Star. Oh, and she may have had an inn with Paul McCartney. Uh, the studios make their home within a nine bedroom, 1831 George and townhouse at number three Abbey Road, located in the St. Johns Wood suburb of Northwest London. The home was purchased in 1929 by the Gramaphone Company, and they began their endeavor to record music by constructing the world's first purpose-built recording studio in the large rear garden in 1931.


Legendary works birthed at Abbey Road. Include the Beatles Abbey Road, dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd. Be here now from Oasis, the Beatles white album, John Lennon's, imagine and Afro Diac by Fella Kuti, A Night, a Nigerian artist discussed by Dr. Westbrook, who's gonna be coming up, uh, in his book. And in the eighties when business was waning, AEY Road triumphantly transformed itself into a scoring stage, hosting the Raiders of the Lost Art Team, and creating the John Williams soundtrack, followed by the Star Wars soundtrack with the London Symphony Orchestra and George Lucas. If these walls could sing, explores the breadth, diversity, and ingenuity of Abbey Road Studios. Conversations with the artists who have learned their craft and made their histories there reveal how performers, producers, composers, and the dedicated engineers and staff of Abbey Road found and established their voices and communities within the walls of the building. Interviews are woven into the film with vivid archival footage and session tapes, giving us all access to these famously private studios. It's all a joy to watch and hear if these walls could sing on Disney and Hulu.

Fritz Coleman  (00:05:43):

So you taught my middle child Corey, how to play guitar? I did. And so my two sons, at the end of their high school experience, I gave them the opportunity to choose any place in the world they would like to go for their high school graduation present. And my son Corey shows London. Yeah. So that he could take his shoes off and walk across Abbey Road and I could take his picture. Yeah. And he was in a band at the time. I forget what the name of the band was. Oh. But he wanted to, he wanted to walk across Abbey Road. I would take his picture, and then we, uh, he went and, and, uh, with a Sharpie, put the name of his band on that wall. There's a, like a block long wall where people just write the name of their band on there.

Louise Palanker (00:06:22):

Wow. Do you have that picture of Corey?

Fritz Coleman  (00:06:23):


Louise Palanker (00:06:24):

I would like to use it in the video.

Fritz Coleman  (00:06:26):

It's in his Smithsonian. Oh, I see. Uh, but, uh, that was, that was a treat. I mean, that place has this awesome aura about it. And then we spent too much money on a guitar. We had to buy a guitar in London and brought it home.

Louise Palanker (00:06:37):

So it was funny. Oh, well, he got really good. He got to a point where I said, Hey Corey, um, do you already know more than me? And he was so sweet. But he went, yes. <laugh>.

Fritz Coleman  (00:06:48):

Well, now he's teaching his own son. His own son has electronic drums. He's seven. Oh. And so he and he and Corey Jam. And it's all because of you, right in this house. I can hear the noise now. It's right here. It's just beginning to settle down. Rich Rock

Louise Palanker (00:07:00):

Studios. I know.

Fritz Coleman  (00:07:01):

Here, here we go, <laugh>. Alright. My offering this week, Weezy is a film playing only in theaters called Babylon. This is Damien Chael's. Follow up to Lala Land. It's also the polar opposite in its attitude about Hollywood. La la Land was a Hollywood through fuzzy, warm filters. Babylon Aint Babylon. Basically reveals the exploitive nature of the film industry and how it affected society. In the film industry's early years, the time period of chooses is the Roaring twenties when silent films were dying out and the talkies were bursting onto the scene. A Mexican immigrant named Manny arising in the United States. He's, he's an aspiring filmmaker and starts his career by working odd jobs on silent film sets. He eventually climbs the ladder to become a studio head, and then heads down the other side of the ladder with some great acts of self-destruction. <laugh> Margot Robbi plays Nelly Leroy, a rough edged New Jersey girl who becomes Hollywood's It girl.


In transition to the talkies, Brad Pitt plays a benevolent but troubled film star Jack Conrad, probably fashioned after Errol Flynn. Gene Smart plays a really interesting character. She's a gossip columnist who, like others of the time, had way too much power in Hollywood. This movie is really polarizing among fans and reviewers. It can be brutal in its depiction of the No Boundaries. Roaring twenties. There's enough cocaine used in this movie to put a drug cartel on the New York Stock Exchange. <laugh>, there are battalions of writhing naked party people. There has to be a separate union for nude extras. And they used all of 'em in this movie. From what you read about the area in America, inside and outside the film industry, the way it's portrayed is probably not much of an exaggeration. Plus, keep in mind that this was all before the 1930s and the film codes, which we talked about.


Oh yeah. On the show a while back, it was the Wild West, literally and figuratively. There, there are some very raw scenes. It is long, it's three hours long. I happen to really like the movie. At the very least, you take away some very interesting film history. The acting was amazing, especially Margot Robby. She's gotten a Golden Globe nomination. I smell an Oscar Nam too. There are wonderful speeches about the film business in stardom. In particular, gene Smart's, head of Hopper s character, very casually explained to Brad Pitt's character, why his career is over. It's really good dialogue, and the cinematography is terrific. It's not everybody's cup of tea. It can be raw, but it was a good movie. Did you

Louise Palanker (00:09:35):

Check into rehab afterward?

Fritz Coleman  (00:09:36):

<laugh>? I felt like it. I got a contact high from cocaine. I don't know if you can do that, <laugh>, but anyway, here we go. Our first guest, we're so happy to have him here today, are Anayancy and Jess Thomas, who have done a touching film entitled God and Salsa Anayancy worked in the healthcare industry for years. She's been certified as a domestic violence support group facilitator, also a family to family support group facilitator. And she used her knowledge in this movie. In 2017, she ingested a short film called Love Always, which was nominated for a five awards at the 1 68 Film Festival, and was also nominated for most inspirational short at the 2018 International Christian Film Festival. Jess Acts and Directs. He played a detective in one of my favorite movies of all time, LA Confidential. He wrote, directed and edited a b action movie called Checking the Gate.


He also did The Seeker, a documentary that won Best American documentary at the Rome Film Festival. He co-wrote, directed and edited Forever. And Beijing Girl Made in China. Jess and Eddie Yancy have recently collaborated. And God and Salsa, spoiler alert, both God and Salsa are pivotal to the plot sensitive and very inspirational. The story is that of a grieving therapist who's determined to help a suicidal team, and she regains her faith in the process with the help of a pastor and a dance instructor. Nice to have you guys here. And you've been sitting in the same chair for 45 minutes and start <laugh>. And you're not arguing. I wanna ask a

Anayancy Thomas (00:11:09):

Question. So happy to see you.

Fritz Coleman  (00:11:11):

Happy, I'm happy to see you and Yancey, and, and I hope you and Weezy will get into your, uh, backstory of, uh, knowing your son and so forth. But a running theme in your movie is the Biblical verse from Ecclesiastes. So tell me what that verse is so people know what we're talking about.

Jess Thomas  (00:11:30):

Well, the verse is what it is. It, uh, it's, uh, there's a, there's a time to mourn and there's a time to dance as a short version. There's a famous song in the, in the sixties, uh, turn, turn, turn, which is actually that very, that very ver Bible verse from Ecclesiastes. And we just thought it was, uh, so appropriate for the film because that's, uh, in essence what a lot of the film is about. It's about recovery from mourning and from tragedy. And how do you do that? In our case, in our film and in our experience, in our life experience, we, we did it through faith and through and in Yancy's case, through dance. And it can be, it can be exercise, it can be a number of different physical activities that keep your mind and body occupied and detract you from whatever depression or suicidal ideation you may have.

Louise Palanker (00:12:17):

Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Well, your film explores many important themes in including suicide, depression, divorce, narcissism, parental alienation, healing, parenting, and of course God and salsa. So what, how much of this is based on personal experience?

Anayancy Thomas (00:12:37):

Well, um, I went through a very difficult P period in my life. Um, and even though there's a lot of personal elements in the movie, it's not autobiographical. Um, after I went through that difficult time, there was this desire in my heart to do something to help other people that are facing the same type of problems. And as a woman of faith, I prayed about it and, um, for a long time, and this documentary idea kept popping in my mind. So I ignored that because I didn't think I was going to be capable to do, um, documentary. Um, but it wasn't until this idea became louder and louder that I finally surround her. And I said, okay, God, if this is really you, um, you're gonna have to lead me and guide me cuz I have no idea how to start. Um, one particular Sunday I went to church and they announced this event, um, hosted by the entertainment business in, uh, ministry. And I felt led to go and imagine, I was thinking maybe somebody can gimme some guidance in how can I write a script or what is the best, uh, software that I can use to do so? And I walk into this room totally intimidated, surrounded by beautiful people, actors, riders, directors, and me. So I ended up sitting next to Jess.

Jess Thomas  (00:14:09):

Not one of the beautiful

Anayancy Thomas (00:14:11):

People. <laugh>

Fritz Coleman  (00:14:12):

You know what though? You're, you're, uh, professional experience. Yancy must have informed your writing cuz there's some real wisdom and knowledge in there. And you can tell you've had some background in, uh, psychological, um, uh, work a little bit. So that must have helped in the writing of the script.

Anayancy Thomas (00:14:29):

It it did, it did. I guess life credentials teach you a lot and how you handle, um, pain and suffering is also the biggest teacher in life, I believe. And we

Jess Thomas  (00:14:42):

Also, we, uh, we interviewed some amazing people, Sharon Doos, who was the former president of the, the West Coast, the we or the west side of nami. Uh, and that was mind blowing because, you know, I, I'd gone through a lot of the, the shame character is, has a lot of elements that I went through. I went, my parents went through a horrible divorce, and I was just a lost and acting out in every possible way for 30 years, probably. But when I, when we sat and interviewed Sharon Dnis, you, you know, we did it on tape. We had several questions that we, we wanted to get the therapy thing right? Yeah. And he has his experience, but we wanted to go above and beyond. Mm-hmm. And at the end of that interview, I, I, I said, Sharon, where were you when I was 10, 11 years old? Mm-hmm. You know, you would've saved me from going through 30, 40 years of just, uh, acting out Dr. Drugs, alcohol, bad relationships, because of a few true truism truths that, uh, that she gave us in that interview.

Louise Palanker (00:15:37):

Well, I, I need to go back to the moment Annie Yancy sits down next to you because I am a romantic <laugh>. So let's, let's hear that moment from your perspective, Jess.

Jess Thomas  (00:15:47):

Well, it, it was very, very, uh, lovely experience. And, you know, we believe it was divine. And, and the reason is, I was going through hell in my life at that time, uh, prior, maybe a year prior. And I was, you know, I'd gone through a horrible divorce and I was hitting the bottle and I was going off the deep end. And, you know, I was, you know, I was always had faith, but I wasn't really, you know, uh, practicing Christian per se. But I, I was, we, we, I had gone to Belaire Pres a couple of times, Belaire Presbyterian a couple of times, and I thought it was a pretty nice church. So I said, look, I'm either gonna go, I'm gonna go deep or I'm going to lift myself up. So the way I thought about lifting myself up was to go to church.


And, and, and I, it, it did, the pastor of the time was Mark Brewer, and he was fantastic. He was funny. I, I went out, I, I would leave, you know, feeling really charged and uplifted. And yet again, the same thing I heard about the entertainment business, uh, uh, luncheon that they had, they do it, do it once a month. It was called the Beacon. And they would invite like a Ralph Winter or somebody who was a member of the church that was in the entertainment business. And so I went, I said, you know, why not? Why, why not go this should, this could be fun and I could meet some people. And, and I sat there and, and we met and it was great. And I just, I loved her idea because I had gone through it. She'd gone through it as a parent and I had gone through it as a child. So there was no attraction in the beginning. But we said, well, let's get together in a couple of weeks. And then <laugh>, we met at a coffee shop and we were standing, there

Fritz Coleman  (00:17:20):

Was delayed reaction, attraction. I've been through that before.

Jess Thomas  (00:17:22):

<laugh> it, it, something hit us both at the same time because, uh, we were in line and the baristas goes, uh, next. She goes, oh, you are together, <laugh>. Oh, and it was, it was prophetic because pretty much from that time on, we have been, and it evolved into a, a love relationship and a marriage. We got married back in 2016. And, and so this project is, is been so beautiful for us in so many ways.

Fritz Coleman  (00:17:48):

Very cathartic for both of you for different reasons.

Jess Thomas  (00:17:50):

It is, absolutely.

Fritz Coleman  (00:17:52):

Well, I'll tell you what really touched me about this was something that touched my life because I was divorced and I had two kids. And wheezy went through that period of time with me. And that is the guilt that children feel when their parents separate the, the letter at the beginning of your film that that young woman writes to her mother describes it perfectly. She felt that her heart was being split into two separate parts. And I thought, wow, that's just a great description of what every child goes through, because until they're old enough to sort of, um, intellectualize it, they feel guilty for everything, even stuff that doesn't even involve them. So I was really moved by that.

Anayancy Thomas (00:18:28):

Yes. Um, it's very difficult for children, the impact that they, they receive and how they interpret the all this pain that's going around them. Um, blaming themself is, is a very normal, uh, reaction. Um, it it, but it depends on how parents deal with it and how they coop, uh, co-parent that will help the children deal with it. Uh, unfortunately in most of the cases, parents do not get along and there's a lot of, a lot of unnecessary stress, um, given to the children in the middle of all the situations. So the goal for our film is to bring awareness and how can we avoid those mistakes. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, we all make mistakes, but we can, we can try our best to help children to go through this process and making sure that they don't feel guilty about it. And it hard it does lead to suicide, does lead to, um, drugs and alcohol abuse. Um,

Jess Thomas  (00:19:39):

Because, you know, at that age, the, when you lose a secure attachment with a parent, yes, either of either of 'em are both of 'em, you lose something really big cuz that this is your confidant, this is your mentor, this is your everything that, that, that's raising you and showing you how to become a man or a woman or, or whoever you are. And if you lose that, you know, you start to look for attachments anywhere. In my case it was through bad relationships, through drugs, through whatever means I could find to self-medicate. And, you know, I was just a, a completely a, a mess, you know? And so were my parents, but they were wrapped up into their own stuff. I think if they had known a few simple truths that, that are in our film, a lot of grief, uh, for a lot of people could have been avoided. I think really

Louise Palanker (00:20:23):

Truly, it, it seems like a, a lot of people want a simple answer to a complicated problem. And they do that by saying, I'm all good. So the other person must be all bad. My children are all good. The other person must be all bad. And then you infuse your children with that, um, story and they take it in because they're too young to know otherwise. And if they're ever, you know, having fun at the other parent, they feel guilty. And, you know, you have to be willing to say to your child, I want you to have fun at dad's. Right. That would make me so happy. But no, people don't know how to do that cuz they're in so much pain. And one of the things that you, you guys bring out in your film is that narcissism. And, you know, she writes on her pad, she sees, she hears it like instantly. She's, she's intuitive. She writes it on her pad, and that the moment her son stands up to her, she has to paint him as all bad. Like she doesn't have any kind of gray area. She doesn't have the ability to see shades of gray.

Jess Thomas  (00:21:25):

That's true. And that's an extreme case. There are also, there's, you know, there's, they're all, it's all over the spectrum. You have different mild cases. Sometimes you have both parents that are narcissists mm-hmm. Or, or mild narcissists. So it's all over the map. But I thought we thought that, you know, we'd experienced certain things in our life and other people have too, with, we really wanted to map it out as, as an extreme circumstance to show it very clearly in, in this, in, in this film. Uh, same thing with the suicide. We wanted to go all in with that. I, I was on that spectrum. I never, I never got to the point where I figured out how I was gonna do it, but I was so close, so many times mm-hmm. <affirmative> and, and what, what makes you go? Sometimes it's a chemical thing. Sometimes in my case it's the situational a divorce thing, but, but it's something that we had to deal with. And there was a story about why also with,

Anayancy Thomas (00:22:11):

And I also was there by the way, when I was going through a lot of complications and, you know, being Christian and feeling suicidal and thinking about it. It was, it, it was rough to deal with all that. However, in my journey of healing and trying to learn and educate myself, I went through, uh, I went to support groups. I met a lot of people that are going through the same process. Unfortunately, uh, one of my friends did commit suicide, um, because of battling, uh, custodies and, and, and never ending issues. And that really hurts, you know? And when we had this desire in our hearts to help people, everybody that has gone through this particular situations was an inspiration for us.

Fritz Coleman  (00:23:07):

You know, back toy's point about the lady that you're talking about, the narcissist. There was another idea that resonated with me too about that same issue. Uh, she being the teenage boy's mother doesn't really think her son needs psychiatry. And she shuns it off in the hospital. And I thought that's a thing of narcissism too, where my son couldn't be crazy. You know what I mean? It's, she also, she was sort of subconsciously making it about her and not about him. Or

Louise Palanker (00:23:32):

Is she afraid of therapy because he may reveal too much.

Fritz Coleman  (00:23:35):

Yeah. My mom's the source of all my problems. It could be that kind of a thing. <laugh>. So I, that resonated with me as well.

Jess Thomas  (00:23:42):

Yeah. I I think, I think you're both right on on on all of that. And, and the, the, the, uh, yes, it is all about her and it's all about how people perceive her, you know? And there are, there are loud, we, again, when we talked to Sharon and, and, and also, uh, Lloyd Davis. Lloyd Davis was another great therapist. We talked to, uh, people. This whole stigma with mental wellness is gotta go because it's just people have, you know, breaking arm. People, you know, get the flu. People suffer from mental illness as well. And it could be a brain, you know, chemical thing where they need a drug or it could be the circumstance that they're in, but we shouldn't stigmatize it. And, and that's what we're, we're, the message in that is that we're, you know, in that care through that character is that she's, oh, you know, she, my, my kid's not crazy, you know? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. But, so we wanted to really go over, you know, make that an obvious point, um, in the film.

Fritz Coleman  (00:24:38):

Well, it's a great film and I think regardless of what your faith is, uh, there's a lot to be taken away from this. Uh, and, and one is that spirituality and physical activity are great antidotes to depression. And, uh, it's beautifully done and well thought out. And it's a pleasure to talk with you guys about it.

Louise Palanker (00:24:57):

Where can people find your film?

Jess Thomas  (00:24:59):

So it's, uh, it's on most streaming platforms. It's on, uh, Amazon Prime Video. It's on Apple tv, it's on Voodoo Google Play, it's on YouTube. Um, it's d it's, right now it's in what they call the t v od window, which is the v o d where you pay, it's like four bucks to see it. Uh, later in April it'll be released, I think, on more streaming platforms and, and, you know, advertising platforms as well.

Louise Palanker (00:25:24):

Wonderful. Thank you so much. Congratulations for joining us guys. Give Thank you. Give my love to Kleer. I love that. Boy. Thank

Anayancy Thomas (00:25:31):

You <laugh>. He loves you too. And you guys are such an important part in his life. Aw. Um, he's, he's, he's an amazing kid.

Fritz Coleman  (00:25:39):

Yeah. He still talk. Jess Thomas, great filmmakers. Happy New Year guys. Happy

Jess Thomas  (00:25:44):

New Year. Thanks so much

Louise Palanker (00:25:44):

For having us. Of course. Bye-bye.

Anayancy Thomas (00:25:47):

Bye bye.

Fritz Coleman  (00:25:48):

Our next guest is Dr. Logan h Westbrooks. Dr. Westbrooks has had a 50 year career as a music executive working at CBS Records, mercury Capital Records, and others, including his own label source records. He's also a very successful music entrepreneur. He's been in the business Brains behind 50 Gold Records and 25 Platinum records and assortment of those sitting behind him right here. During this interview, he worked with Sly of Family Stone, Santana, earth, wind and Fire, Ronnie Dyson, Ramsey Lewis, Johnny Mathis, and others. He's also an ordained minister. He's co-written a really interesting book, particularly if you're a huge r and b family. I am. It's about the rise of the black music industry, the power that comes from black entrepreneurship and other related topics. The name of the book is Power 1 0 1, the Harvard Report, soul Music, and The American Dream. We're so honored to talk to you today, Dr. Westbrook's. Welcome.

Dr. Westbrook (00:26:43):

Thank you. Thank you.

Fritz Coleman  (00:26:45):

So tell us what the Harvard report is and how it started.

Dr. Westbrook (00:26:49):

Uh, the Harvard Report was a study that was conducted in 1,972, and it was commissioned by c b s under the offices of, uh, cla, uh, five Davis and Bruce Lal, Bruce Lal, who was the VP of Marketing, whom I reported to. And he came up with the idea to conduct this study using some studios era at the Harvard, the, the B School students as a project. And they took it on. I was a liaison between C b S and Harvard, and I worked directly with those students in guiding them in conducting that study. And the result of that study was called the Harvard Report. Basically, it was a blueprint, it was a blueprint for penetrating the black music marketing and also the intentions of dominating black music and black lives. That was a purpose.

Louise Palanker (00:27:47):

And what did, what did the study come to mean? And how I I, from reading your book, you saw it, you, you just get into the facts, but it seems that the study has become controversial for reasons that time presented. Can you talk about that a little bit?

Dr. Westbrook (00:28:02):

It, it, it, it has been, uh, some say that it was somewhat of a blessing in disguise and others take the opposite view. Uh, as a result of that study, uh, it was determined that the black music, it was a viable market. It was something to pursue. And as a result, c b s expanded, expanded, uh, their black music marketing division. And as a result of their success, all of other major labels did exactly the same thing. They created black marketing divisions and what that eventually led into the hiring of more than a thousand, uh, black male and female executives in the music industry.

Fritz Coleman  (00:28:46):

Wow. Well, um, soul music, uh, was more mom and pop business in the fifties and, and then in the sixties and seventies became more corporate. So talk about the transition. I mean, you had Stacks records in the and, and, uh, chess records and sort of Momand pop, and then they got national distribution by going with CBS and Atlantic Records. Talk about the transition between the mom and pop stage of African-American music and the corporate stage.

Dr. Westbrook (00:29:16):

Well, the, the, the mom and pop store that, that's really relates to the, the retail outlets, a little mom and pop, uh, store. As an example, when I was a salesman at the for Capital Records in, in Chicago, Illinois, we, we had dozens of mom and pop stories, uh, actually, uh, just a husband and wife team that just opened up a little storefront and they're sold records outta their storefront. And those are called Mom and pop shops. And when I became a salesman, it was my responsibility to work directly with those mom and pop shops and also show them how to, uh, get on, uh, open account status, what you means that they can order directly from the manufacturer. They can get a much better price. And they also get co-op dollars to do advertising. And that was one of the things that I did on a regular basis when I was a salesman there in Chicago. And the buck of my accounts was on the south side of Chicago, a few on the west side. And to complete my complete, uh, territory of it, I also had quite a few of, uh, pop and, uh, classical, uh, retail outlets for record stores.

Louise Palanker (00:30:32):

Now, um, you're a talented kid growing up in America, but you talk about the experience of being black in America as being homeless, but connected. And what would you want white folks to better understand about the challenges and the responsibilities faced by black Americans? Cuz I feel like even if we deeply care, we still have no clue.

Dr. Westbrook (00:30:51):

Well, uh, again, dealing with the, the racist nature of the country, that's just the way that things were set up and things were completely separate. Uh, that evening led over into, uh, radio stations where you had the pop radio station and you had the r and b radio station and the pop stations, uh, known as top 40 only played white artists. And the r and b stations only played black rockets. And then from the standpoint of marketing and sales, it became a question of how can I, as a representative of a black record division crossed my records over to top 40. And of course, from a marketing standpoint and a sales standpoint, it behooved me to get my records crossed over reason being on the black radio station in every market throughout the entire country, the black stations was on the far right hand corner of the dial every last one of, throughout the entire country. And as a result of that, that signal on the far right hand corner of the dial was the weakest on the dial. So consequently, that is so fascinating.

Louise Palanker (00:32:12):

Wow. It's like redlining of radio stations,

Dr. Westbrook (00:32:15):

That was it exactly where hands square end in the center of the dial, the strongest signal, all of your top four stations were located in the center of the dial. So consequently, I, as a record company executive, I, I want to get my records crossed over so they'll be playing on the top station, reaching more potential buyers. That was, that was my purpose, to cross those records over to the top 40 station.

Fritz Coleman  (00:32:46):

And you have a great anecdote in the book about sometime having to use muscle to get black acts played on top 40 stations. And that was the story of Motown. Barry Gordy had all these major hits on black radio stations, but top 40 stations, particularly in the South, would not add them. So Jerry Greenberg put the pre who, who was a media buyer, put the pressure on him, said, if you don't start adding these, uh, these records to your playlist saying this to the top 40 stations, we're gonna stop advertising on your station. And that sort of opened the floodgates where they started playing Motown records and then, you know, so they had to use a little muscle to get in there.

Dr. Westbrook (00:33:25):

Exactly. Exactly. Uhhuh <affirmative>, that was a challenge between the Trump Port STA staff and the black r and b staff. That was a challenge.

Louise Palanker (00:33:33):

Now that, now at your label, they, uh, maybe it was at all labels, but at your label, in order to get to have the whole team at the label on board for trying to get this to cross over, it had to get to, um, top five r and B, correct?

Dr. Westbrook (00:33:49):

That's correct. That's exactly, yes.

Louise Palanker (00:33:51):

Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And so what were the challenges of reaching that threshold?

Dr. Westbrook (00:33:56):

Well, the challenge was, well, initially, uh, the, the black motion managers were not allowed to go into the top Florida station, and the top 40 promotion managers were not allowed to go into the, the Black Station. So consequently, the, the line to join right there, uh, as a black motion manager, I could only cover those black stations in my market. Mm-hmm. And even though I had records that I knew, I knew that it was a demand for those records on the Top 40 side, but I was not authorize to go into the Top 40 station. Then one of the procedures, uh, one of my methods of when I was there at C Bs, uh, I went to the top 40 stand and they told me, Logan, give me a top five r and b record. Give me that record, top five, top five, r and B. And then we in turn will take it over and get in top four to play. Well, I gave them, uh, top five records on many, many black records. They still failed to post him over. Really. And that is why I had start looking for other methods

Louise Palanker (00:35:09):

Like <laugh>, like what?

Dr. Westbrook (00:35:14):

And one example of that was that I had a local promotion manager. His name was Bill Craig. And Bill Craig was based in Detroit, Michigan. And Bill was a friend of a, of a program director at a top 40 station in Canada, which was just across the river from Detroit. And he persuaded his friend to program that record on her top 40 station in Canada. She programmed the record in winter number one. And as a result of that, then her sister station in Chicago picked up on the record mm-hmm. <affirmative> in the rest.

Louise Palanker (00:35:54):

So give us, uh, give us some examples and also, uh, if an artist, let's say Stevie Wonder, you know, if Top 40 got accustomed to a certain act, earth, wind and Fire, or you know, whoever it was, was the next record easier to cross over?

Dr. Westbrook (00:36:10):

Well, once, once we got, it had been determined that Top 40 will play some black records, and the idea was to find out exactly what is it they're looking for and try and get them to program those records. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, of course, actually like to try and get them to program all of them, but they still, there was still some barriers there that we had to overcome. Then eventually all of those barriers were broken down. Yeah. It just became a matter of playing good records. Yeah. Not black records, not top 40 records, not white records, but just good records. Yeah.

Fritz Coleman  (00:36:45):

Well, while your upbringing was Memphis, and they're probably not coincidental that you made your life in the black music industry, because Memphis is one of the ground zeros of the greatest in black music. You had Stacks records down there that had all those wonderful artists, Sam and Dave and Otis Redding and, you know, uh, Booker T and the Mgs. And what they were finding is, um, that white kids were listening to the black music stations in that town. And so it was sort of crossing over against people's will. So they got to a point where they, they could not any longer ignore the white case and the purchase of black music.

Dr. Westbrook (00:37:21):

Exactly. That was an exact

Fritz Coleman  (00:37:25):

Crazy. Now

Louise Palanker (00:37:26):

In your book, you talk about a meeting where you mentioned that CBS is not infusing any money into the black communities that were making it rich and they thought you meant payola, you meant scholarships, training, business investments, et cetera. Is this emblematic of the disconnect between white folks and black folks or white folks just don't get it?

Dr. Westbrook (00:37:48):

That was it. Exact, as a matter of fact, that seed that was planted then eventually led to c b s, uh, hiring a vice president to deal with nothing but giving monies to certain projects in the black community. There's a guy named, uh, Baron Taylor, and eventually, that was his, that was his a hundred percent job is to pass out monies, uh, to different organizations in the black community. Again, it was community involvement. And the way that that first came about was, uh, when I'm, uh, I was the head of the division there at CVS and I had a friend of mine, uh, that was a, uh, we were colleague in high school and he was working for a national company. And this company he was working for, he came up with an idea to sponsor the Black Caucus Show in Washington DC and this is the very first time that it was done in a major wave.


And he and I produced a show, uh, as a fundraiser for the Black Caucus in Washington DC And hit line that show was, was Isaac Hayes, who knew from the Stacks Acts, uh, Don kk, friend of mine. He was mc of that show. So it was a very, very successful show. And as a result of that, uh, they started doing that show on a record basis every year. And it became one of the major fundraisers for the Black caucus there in watching DC again, again, we were emphasizing community involvement. That's what we were emphasizing. And the same thing even extended into, on a local level. S take Chicago, for instance, if a black politician was running for offerings in Chicago, it was my responsibility to get my black artist to work along with that black politician so that when he or she would hold their rallies, that artist would be there to perform, to attract additional people to hear what that, uh, politician had to say. Right. And we duplicated that throughout the entire country because the, the local promotion managers and the regional promotion manager that was reporting to me, to my division, this was their responsibility. And we were duplicating this all over the country. Again, community involvement

Fritz Coleman  (00:40:07):

And what you're describing is black entrepreneurship and that along with the black music industry, you have a great description of the whole motive behind that. And that was the search for freedom, which I thought was very profound, that, uh, developing the black music industry and developing black entrepreneurship was the search for freedom so that, uh, black business people were not beholden to the white industry for their success.

Dr. Westbrook (00:40:33):

Exactly. Exactly. Mm-hmm.

Louise Palanker (00:40:35):

<affirmative> And talk about the, the Congressional Black Caucus, cuz you, you continued to remain involved with politics, correct?

Dr. Westbrook (00:40:43):

Yes, I did.

Louise Palanker (00:40:44):

And so what are some examples of maybe folks that you helped get elected or ways that policy?

Dr. Westbrook (00:40:51):

Policy? I was, the, the found made to show that I was involved in was a fundraiser for Corretta Scott Clean in, in Atlanta, Georgia. And ironically, ironically, uh, that show was headlined by, uh, slash Stone Ram Lewis on those show, max Single Eldon was on that show. Uh, the top act at CBSs at he took the time. Were all on that show. Ironically, uh, governor Carter was the, was the governor, uh, of Georgia at that particular time, which is the first time that I had to, to meet him. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And that entail, uh, sort of included, brought Mcca to what CS was all about. And then some years later when he ran for president, he came to Los Angeles, California and he was looking to get tied into the black community and the black power ropers. And of course, at that particular time, I did not have the clout of the knowhow to put that together, but I did have a very good friend guy named Clarence Avan, who's known as a black godfather. Yeah. I saw his documentary and I put, I put Clarence Avan with Jimmy Carter, and then the rest is history. Wow. Cause uh, Clarence Avan had all of the keys. Did you ever, ever read of it?

Fritz Coleman  (00:42:15):

I'll tell you, one of the appealing things about your book, Dr. Westbrooks, is there are so many little nuggets in there that sort of describe black music. And as being a lifelong fan of r and b music, it, I thought it was so powerful. And there, there's a passage in the book where you say, black music is American, uh, music. And it goes back to African tribal music to the field hollers with the slaves to the gospel of the Black Southern Church. And that church influence continues up through today's rhythm and blues. You discuss the gospel influence on soul. In your book, you call it the Holy Ghost meets Commerce. And I just love that, like slim the Family Stone was the Holy Ghost meets Commerce, funk and Earth, wind and Fire. I thought that's just a great way to describe it cuz it all g you know, it's like, uh, call and response music and that it, it's all the same going back to the black church.

Dr. Westbrook (00:43:07):

Well, that's, that's it. Exactly. I, uh, I come from and I who up in the Church of God, Christ. And of course, uh, sly Stone was influenced by the Church of God Christ. And on the other side of the coin, on the gospel side, there's Andre Crouch who was a prophet mm-hmm. <affirmative> of the Church of God and listening to his music and his lyrics and his beat, and listening to the beat of Sly Stone, uh, even some elements in, uh, earth Wooden Fire with Maurice Mike, it's all there. Those ingredients are there. So in my opinion, the influence of the church is the Church of God in Christ in particular had a direct influence on it. Of course, some would say that, uh, let's keep gospel music separate from I agree with that. But if you just listening to the beat, uh, some of it is almost exactly the same.

Fritz Coleman  (00:44:02):

Absolutely. Exactly.

Dr. Westbrook (00:44:03):


Fritz Coleman  (00:44:03):

<affirmative>, you know, I I that's, that's another thing. I'm sorry we, this is just a topic that I love. Yeah, I love it. You know what you're talking about. That, that, uh, disparity between, uh, gospel and secular music has been a conundrum in the lives of many famous artists. Aretha Franklin fought with her father when she wanted to be a pop star. Um, Sam Cook had to separate from the soul stars to become a pop star and alienated his family. And, um, uh, BB King has a great story and he's, he's a neighbor of yours. He started in Memphis, Tennessee to play in the street corners and say that I would play gospel. And then every once in a while I would throw in a blues tune. And even though everybody, all the adults considered blues, the devil's music, I would get bigger tips playing blues music, <laugh>. So I would continue to play blues music and make more money. I just thought that was so funny. That's the Division of Commerce and Art

Dr. Westbrook (00:44:53):

<laugh>. And ironically, you know, uh, this entire facility is so interesting. I was born and bred in Memphis, Tennessee. I grew up in Memphis, Tennessee, a product of Memphis, a product of ael. And ironically, uh, I was born on College Street there in Memphis, Tennessee. And Stocks records was located on the corner of college in Mc Moore <laugh>. Uh, my grandparents also live on College Street. And, but at one time, uh, I lived with my parents there in the Mourn Garden, a public housing project, and the, the walk from the Lemoine Garden, the Public Housing project to my grandparents' home there on College Street, we passed that corner every time we walked through there. And that corner was College mc, where STS Records was, was founded and located. Of course, it was a, uh, a white theater there at, at that particular time during that era. But eventually that era that that area turned over, completed to Black.


And ironically, I grew up there in Memphis, Tennessee, had no idea that I would even end up in the music business. It was almost as if it was a flute. Also, ironically, when I first started working in the music industry as a trainee at r c Victor in Des Plains, Illinois, just outside of Chicago, and one of the artists that I was working with was Elvis Presley. Most Unusual, had no idea. Also, uh, Sam Cooke was on that label. So it was basically Sam and Evan Preston, two of the artists that I worked very, very closely with when I was in that MANING training program at RCA Victor there in Chicago.

Louise Palanker (00:46:41):

Wow. I don't, do you believe in coincidences or do you believe in fate? <laugh>?

Dr. Westbrook (00:46:47):

Well, I would say, I guess it was just, just just the man of faith.

Fritz Coleman  (00:46:50):

Divine intervention. Yeah. He's a minister, we gotta give him.

Louise Palanker (00:46:53):

Yeah. Now you talk a lot about

Dr. Westbrook (00:46:56):

Yeah, go ahead. I better word divine intervention.

Louise Palanker (00:46:58):


Dr. Westbrook (00:46:59):

Yep. Yeah. Yep. Because one thing, you know, I had no idea that I would become so involved in the music industry. As a matter of fact, growing up as a child, I have, uh, my siblings, I have three sisters and one brother, and all four of them were exposed to piano lessons, music. It was never even offered to me. And, but I'm the one that ended up in the music business.

Louise Palanker (00:47:27):

Why wasn't it offered to you? Why weren't warranty you, you offered the lessons?

Dr. Westbrook (00:47:31):

I have no idea. <laugh>, I have no idea. I guess it was a situation where my, my mother probably just felt that this, this, this boy is not interested in music, that I'm not gonna even spend these few little dollars on him and giving him that training. So how even offered me, and of course I never showed any interest in it.

Louise Palanker (00:47:48):

Mm. So how, how, what's your pathway that, when you look back on it, that led you into the music industry? When did you first become, I, I, I guess you were a talented child, or I imagine you were a very talented child who showed a lot of promise in business in other areas in school. So what led you, what was your, the first interest that caught your ear, the music?

Dr. Westbrook (00:48:10):

Well, in growing up all through, I was always sort of, uh, advanced in my study and things such as that. I always was sort of at the very top of my classes, uh, grade school. And even on through on, through high school I was at, I was at the very, very top, uh, but still there was no interest in music. Uh, I was working and living there in Chicago, Illinois, and through the Urban League, I had heard about a manager training program that was being offered by, uh, r c and they suggested that I applied and I did. And it was just a management training program. Now, in this management training program, we worked through all of the areas of the company. And at the time, our C Victor, they were distributing world, two Washington dryers mm-hmm. <affirmative>, they were redistributing black and white television sets, which in authors called Home Entertainment Centers.


And they also were distributing, uh, R c Victor Records. Yeah. So I'm working in the various areas of the company, and just ironically, uh, I asked the sales manager if I could have a pair of tickets to a concert that was at one of the major hotels downtown Dinner concert recently, me, mine in short. So this is the next opportunity for my wife and I to go out to find restaurant and, and for a show mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So when I asked him that, he said, oh, are you interested in music? Well, yes, I am interested in music, but my, my main concern was getting those tickets <laugh> to go to. So he said, why don't you work in the, the record division? Next said, okay, that's the what it came about. So consequently, I started working in the record division as a training and in and out of the various records shops and working directly with the record salesman there at R C A, uh, victory.


That was the beginning of it. And in working with those salespeople and those honors, there was Presley and also Sam Cook out on the street. I, I had heard that there was a company that was looking to hire their first black salesman, which was Capital Records. So I applied for the job. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I got it. That's when I started working, either work there through retail or outlets, retail shops, in and out of record shops on the south side of Chicago and on the west side of Chicago. And also, uh, the far, far west side of Chicago. Quite a few of, uh, top 40 and even classical record shops. But that was the beginning of it. It was almost like a flute. I just stumbled into it.

Fritz Coleman  (00:50:58):

Wow. Meant to be, you said there was an irony in, in, um, in the black music industry, not in necessarily the black music industry, but in the music industry altogether, after a period of time, uh, the white executives got comfortable with having white salespeople involved in the record sales industry, which sort of watered it down for the black salespeople, that that business was meant to empower in the first place. So when the doors came down, when there was less, um, um, I don't, I don't wanna call it racism, but when there was, when there were fewer restrictions on white and black people sort of migrating back and forth between departments in the music industry, more white guys came into the sales department, which made for, uh, fewer black salesmen. Am I getting that right? There was some mention of that in your book.

Dr. Westbrook (00:51:52):

Well, there was never, there was never a big influx. There was never a big influx of, uh, of black salesman high. It was always on a very, very limited basis. As a matter of fact, I was very first there at the, at, at Capital Records in Chicago, and then when I left at the company, they had another black salesman behind me. But I don't know of any other black salesman anywhere in the country that, that young black guys are being hired as salespeople. It was still somewhat of a racist or a fighting, well, one thing in the sales stand, you know, you make big dollars mm-hmm. <affirmative>, and it was just confined on the white side. And very, very few black people were allowed, uh, through that door.

Fritz Coleman  (00:52:37):

There was huge pay disparity between black and white salespeople in your business. There was a huge, there was a huge pay disparity. Right. White guys doing your same job were paid more than you were.

Dr. Westbrook (00:52:50):

That happened, well, since you mentioned that, uh, that was a position that I had, but I was transferred to the home office at Capital Recs. I was, I was working in Vegas in Chicago, Illinois as a regional promotion manager, and I was promoted to the assistant, to the vice president of marketing out of the home office in Hollywood, California. So the company moved my wife and I to Los Angeles, California, and I was working there at the Capitol Tower there in Hollywood. And my wife had befriended one of the, uh, young ladies there whose husband was also in the same position that I had. Only he was on the temp port staff side. And through that association was when my wife found out that the two of us were doing exactly the same job, but there was a difference in our salary. So it was obvious that that was going on even then. And of course, uh, I raised the issue, something was done about it, but the bottom line is it was unfair, but that's just the way that it was. Mm-hmm.

Louise Palanker (00:54:00):

<affirmative>. Now you, you talk about in your book, um, you refer to he who owns the railroad tracks. Tell me about how things have pro progressed in terms of ownership and having agency in terms of where, where the money deserves to flow and if it gets to flow there.

Dr. Westbrook (00:54:21):

Well, there's so many dollars involved, uh, in this, in this music industry. And of course, uh, one, one of the major areas for Big <inaudible> was on the executive producing side. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> of Records. And the primary examiner of that was a good friend of mine, uh, guy named Rock and Arnold, who we started working right after I had moved out to the West Coast. And he was hire there at, uh, Catholic Records. So we were both working there at the CVS Tower, and of course he had gotten out of a lawsuit. He was, he was a lawyer and he was working in the legal department, and he was privileged to all those different deals and what was taking place. And a result of that knowledge, uh, he became the executive producer of a number of acts that he was responsible for bringing in, uh, to Capital Records matter of, he was properly enjoying residuals from some of those artists that he signed, even leave.


And then that lady, eventually gentleman, he transferred over to CBSs Records out of New York, and he became the executive producer of the Jackson Fi of Michael Jackson's album. As a matter of fact. Uh, the biggest album was Sailor of All Time. He, his executive producer on that album, he's still earning big dollars from that album. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So that was an area that had been closed to black folk for a number of years. And of course, fortunate for Larkin, he was on the inside. He saw what was happening, he was able to take care of it. A guy named, uh, Laurel, Laurel Silas, that was, uh, he unfortunately deceased now, he was working for, and one time, and he was in as executive leader on some of the top setting albums, uh, over there. But that was an area that was close to black folk, meaning just, just didn't get in.

Fritz Coleman  (00:56:19):

You, you talk in the book about, um, the mid and late sixties being the biggest change in black music. You had the death of Malcolm X, you had the death of Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy, the Vietnam war, the Tate Manson murders, the Monterey Pop Festival in Woodstock. How did the black music industry change? That was also the Civil Rights movement. And so how did the black music change? I remember, you know, Sam Cook's song, A Change is Gonna Come and the Impressions with, uh, people Get Ready, those particular songs, but how did the black music industry itself change during that time period?

Dr. Westbrook (00:56:56):

Well, uh, prime example, I mentioned matter of fact, this book, this book is, is, is dedicated to Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff and, and Tom Bell. We were incidentally just passed just, just a few days ago. Uh, but if you take a listen to the kind songs that they were writing, and one thing that, uh, Kenny Gamble's always saying that there is a message and the music, and if you, you listen to the kind of songs that they were writing, things like, uh, ain't No Stopping Us Now, uh mm-hmm. <affirmative> OJ will, uh, sing, uh, uh, about Love and all those love songs that they were writing, uh, backs, the Love Our Lost, uh, when, when I See You Again, ain't No Stopping Us Now. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, these

Fritz Coleman  (00:57:46):

We're a winner by the Impressions

Dr. Westbrook (00:57:48):

<laugh>, and these are kinds of songs that they were writing. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So they, the messaging, the music mm-hmm. <affirmative> and which is why I disagree with some of the lyrics that a lot of the rappers have you right now. Because what they're saying, they're lyrics. There is a message in the, in, in, in, in the music. And if they are talking about gangster rap and killing and raping and abusing women, and young people are listening to that, that's the message that they're receiving. Where back then, the late sixties and all until the seventies when you were getting those messages, those message songs, these were the kinds of songs that they were writing. And this is what the young people were listening to, and this is what they were adhering to. So then Messages of Hope and the kind of music that was being written then, and what's being written now mm-hmm. <affirmative>, hopefully it'll stop Little Change. See, Louis Tucker years ago was advocating the same thing. She had a big fight with the, the rappers at the very beginning, the cost of the kinds of lyrics that they were writing.

Louise Palanker (00:59:03):

Right. Sometimes it's it's shock value or just rage. I am, you know, it's, it's hard to know. But, you know, uh, you know, ever since slavery messages were delivered via song, sometimes right under the noses of the white people who owned the plantation, they were sing mm-hmm. <affirmative> to each other and communicate. And then as you're talking about through the Civil Rights Movement, Uhhuh, they're talking past the parents to the kids who are listening. Even white kids like me and Fritz who are hearing this is what we want, aspire to a world where things are more just, and, uh, that's music should be a mess, a delivery system for hope and, and good and positive change.

Dr. Westbrook (00:59:46):

You know, it's interesting when you talk about the Civil Rights movement and, and artists and how, uh, uh, Rhonda King sort of adopted with the Franklin, but she just accompanied him and his different riders and queens, and he took advantage of that. And even Mahalia Jackson, she also was the follower of Martin Luther King. Again, that music mentioned the music with the politicians and the Civil rights movement and the became success. He worked hand in hand him child. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>,

Fritz Coleman  (01:00:17):

Dr. King used to call Mahalia Jackson the night before a big speech and have her sing a song to him over the phone. And he would be inspired by that, especially in the darkest hours of his life, when his life was threatened every single day. It was really a touching part of one of the recent movies about him.

Dr. Westbrook (01:00:33):

Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>.

Louise Palanker (01:00:35):

You, you talk, you touched a little bit about hip hop in the book and how you know it, when kids weren't No, not given any access to musical education. You know, hip hop is something that they can sort of have access to creation, uh, and, and give voice to their, to their thoughts and feelings, and then become huge stars and then, uh, infuse school systems with musical programs so that ironically, even though there's sometimes not so much music and their work, they're actually paying it forward and putting music sy uh, educational programs back into schools. Talk about that a little bit.

Dr. Westbrook (01:01:08):

Well, you know, it's unfortunate that, uh, how those island music programs were discontinue at the schools throughout the entire country. Uh, but, you know, people, uh, they will improvise. And as a result of that, you know, these youngsters, they just start beating on the desktop and creating a beat and start coming up with lyrics, uh, rhymes, and, you know, which is the, the beginning, uh, the rap era, uh, they had to improvise and it was successful. Them, because you have your rap on shit now. They, they're making millions of dollars as a result of that. Mm-hmm.

Louise Palanker (01:01:49):

<affirmative> mm-hmm. <affirmative> and then, and using their power now to help bring up others. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> put it ingest musical programs back into schools so that, you know, because it's like interesting that even if they don't have the means, the music is gonna come out of them. The thoughts are going to come out of them. They're going to create just on a desktop, as you said, everything is a drum, you know, and we all have a voice. We all have a message, and we all need to move and, uh, and create rhythm, and it's of like our heartbeat. Right. So tell us where folks can find your book and, uh, and what else that you would like to share before we close.

Dr. Westbrook (01:02:27):

Well, the main thing is I'll suggested one go out and we purchase a book on Amazon, uh, bonds and noble uh, dot com or even, uh, logan westbrooks uh, dot com, and it's all there for your use or your enjoyment. And from a historical standpoint, let's get some idea of what was happening in music in the city. This, this is what was happening in the back rooms. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, it, it's all right there. And you'll find an interesting reading. And of course, I have several other books that I have written, but I'm really concerned about this latest book here now. And for someone that has very no, had no knowledge of all his music industry, let's pick up all four of my books and walk away with that knowledge.

Fritz Coleman  (01:03:13):

That's really an interesting book. Doctor, the book is your co-writers name is Sky Traveler. Is that how he pronounces his name?

Dr. Westbrook (01:03:20):

That's correct.

Fritz Coleman  (01:03:21):

Okay. He has, I obviously, this is a great way to close Weezy. Okay. He has a great, you know, trying to describe soul music is one of those, uh, it's like mercury in your hands. It's almost impossible. But he has a great description of what soul is in your book, and I think we should close with it. It's called, it, it, this is a quote, soul is love no more, no less. Sometimes it's a soft love. Sometimes it's a tough love. No more, no less. Love is the ultimate power. No one in actuality wants to be tough. All human beings originate from the female egg. I thought that was such a beautiful expression. It just perfectly describes not only soul music, but any matters of the soul. It's, it's quite beautiful, right?

Louise Palanker (01:04:07):

Yeah. It's a music named after what we are, in essence. Right.

Fritz Coleman  (01:04:11):

Can I beg your intelligence for a minute, Dr. Westbrooks? Yeah. Um, I've been a fan of black music all my life, uh, uh, blues r and b Soul, some of the Less Complicated Jazz. And I wrote and performed a piece about a suburban kid from a Lilly White suburban Philadelphia environment. This is the Gamble and Huff Neighborhood, Philadelphia international neighborhood, all those wonderful acts that you talked about, the Intruders and the ojs, and Harold Melvin of the Blue Knights. And I was obsessed with black music. And when the Black Wives Matter Movement launched, I wanted to record my feelings about the relationship with this music. And I would be honored if, if I could email you the link and you could take a look at this piece of material. Nobody's opinion would mean more to me than yours after having read your book. I think you'll like it. Would you mind if I did that? I'm putting you on the spot.

Dr. Westbrook (01:05:01):

I would love it. I

Fritz Coleman  (01:05:02):

Love it. I, I, if I said this off the air, you could turn me down, but you won't turn me down when we're talking <laugh>, but I think you'll find it interesting. It's just, it's called Race and Old White Guys, and I've had great response from it. Uh, I've been invited to talk about it in classes in African American studies at Loyola Marymount University. I would, I, I would just love to get your opinion of it as good or bad as that might be

Dr. Westbrook (01:05:22):

Logan West yahoo

Fritz Coleman  (01:05:24):

Com. I'll do it, my friend. Thank you. Yeah. Now we gotta, we have to talk about the people that adore us. Swine. I screwed this up at the beginning of the show. Oh, no.

Louise Palanker (01:05:30):

You're gonna get it perfectly

Fritz Coleman  (01:05:31):

This time. Okay, here we go. This is a great, uh, listener that we have. Who has a blog? His name is Gary Chalk. It's a column. A column. A column. A column. Okay. A column or a blog. What's the difference between a column and a blog?

Louise Palanker (01:05:45):

A column

Fritz Coleman  (01:05:46):

Is in a printed newspaper. His a blog is digital.

Louise Palanker (01:05:49):

Yeah, I think they're the same thing.

Fritz Coleman  (01:05:51):

Okay. Anyway, they're words on a page of one sort or another right here. Here's his, uh, blog. Frequently. Jan, I guess is his wife uses the word step. If we were going shopping and she was waiting in the car for me, she would likely say, Gary, step on it. When I pull our car into the parking lot of one of those mammoth shopping outlet centers, when Jan gets out of the car, she will say, Gary, I have some serious shopping to do. Step outta my way. Wow. When we dance, it's Gary, you're stepping on my toes. So yesterday when I mentioned that I was going to use the step counter on my app, on my iPhone, I expected Jan to say something like, that will be a step in the right direction, Gary, or begin with baby steps. Instead, she said, Gary, step aside, can't you see? I'm busy doing Wordle. Jan thought you'd be interested in my fitness, but I'm glad that we have, first of all, this is a, uh, a column that he does for retired people. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, which resonates with me. And, uh, Gary, we're so appreciative that you're a listener. You're a thoughtful guy, and we wish you luck. And now that we're we're doing this on our podcast, perhaps your, your, uh, viewership will increase by dozens.

Louise Palanker (01:07:04):

I think Jan needs a 12 step program for kindness,

Fritz Coleman  (01:07:07):

<laugh>. Good point.

Louise Palanker (01:07:08):

So here come your closing credits this time. I really mean it. Thank you so much for joining us. We would love to continue this conversation with you on Instagram and Twitter, where we are at Media Path Pod and on Facebook where our show page is Media Path Podcast. And our Facebook group is called Media Path with Fritz and Weezy podcast community. You can find full video podcast episodes loaded with bonus visual content on our YouTube channel Media Path podcast. You can write to us at Media Path And if you enjoy this show, please give us a nice rating and review in Apple Podcast using words like, for example, exemplary and monumental <laugh>. And maybe you could talk about us on social media, comment on our posts, and let your friends know just how much fun you are having with us here at Media Path. You can sign up for our saucy rag of a We wanna thank our guest, Jess and Annie Yancy Thomas, and Dr. Logan Westbrooks. Our team includes Dean of Friedman, John Maddox, Sharon Beo, bill Filip, Thomas Hubble, Mason Brown, Garrett Arch, and you. Our theme music is by me and John Maddox. I am Louise Lanker here with Fritz Coleman. Be well and wise and we will see you along the media path.

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