Atlantic Records 70th: Black Music (free stream or download)

Spotlighting the contributions of a Middle Eastern immigrant to the cannon of American culture.

"As I grew up, I began to discover a little bit about the situation of black people in America and experienced an immediate empathy with the victims of such senseless discrimination. Because although the Turks were never slaves, they were regarded as enemies within Europe because of their Muslim beliefs." – Ahmet Ertegun, founder and former president, Atlantic Records

Recently, I told a potential listener that this program was political in nature, as few other music anthology programs are attempting to ensure that the contributions of people of color and women are represented as important, significant and worthy.

The show you are beginning right now is similar in tone, but for a very different reason. It details the unique and singular vision of a middle Eastern immigrant, Ahmet Ertegun, the son of a Turkish diplomat who came stateside as a young man with his family and lived in Washington D.C., where he was exposed to Black people and their music for the first time. When the family moved back to Turkey, Ahmet, and his brother Neshui, stayed.


Ahmet Ertegun, the founder and former president of Atlantic Records, circa mid-1960's. Photographer unknown, courtesy of Atlantic Records. Click on image to enlarge for detail. 

In October 1947, 70 years ago, Ahmet, with the financial help of a Jewish New York dentist, Herb Abramson, he founded Atlantic Records, which specialized in what was then called “Race Music”: the music of Black musicians, often looked down upon by mainstream record companies of the era.

Take a trip through 70 years of popular Black music with us today, all released or distributed by what may be the most important and influential record label in recorded music history.

Our tracks for this show: Title, Artist

First Hour: First Part
1. Drinkin’ Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee, Stick McGhee
2. Save Me, Aretha Franklin
3. Someday We’ll All Be Free, Donny Hathaway
4. Spanish Harlem (original single mono mix), Ben E. King
5. Secretary, Betty Wright
6. Respect, Otis Redding
7. Along Came Jones, The Coasters
8. In the Midnight Hour, Wilson Pickett
9. You’re Taking Up Another Man’s Place, Mabel John   

First Hour: Second Part
10. Lowe Groovin', Joe Morris
11. 5-10-15 Hours, Ruth Brown
12. The Rubberband Man, Spinners
13. Shake, Rattle and Roll, Big Joe Turner
14. B-A-B-Y, Carla Thomas
15. Waiting In Vain, Bob Marley
16. Le Freak, Chic

First Hour: Finale
17. What’d I Say, Ray Charles

To download this program, click here.

Second Hour: First Part
1. If Your Girl Only Knew, Aalyiah
2. Grenade, Bruno Mars
3. Low, Flo Rider
4. Coming to You, Jill Scott
5. Nuthin’ But a G Thang, Dr. Dre featuring Snoop Doggy Dogg
6. The Devil Is a Lie, Rick Ross featuring Jay Z

Second Hour: Second Part
7. Casanova, LeVert
8. Q.U.E.E.N., Janelle Monae featuring Erykah Badu
9. Give Me Tonight, Shannon
10. My Love (You’re Never Gonna Get It), En Vogue
11. Lose Control, Missy Elliot featuring Ciara and Fat Man Scoop

Second Hour: Finale
12. C’Mon Ride The Train (Full Length Version), Quad City DJ’s

To download this program, click here.

Love to you all.

Ben "Bear" Brown Jr., owner
Ace of Spades PDX

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