To a greater extent than even his predecessors Sam Cooke and Otis Redding, Al Green embodies soul music’s mix of sacred and profane. He was one of the Seventies’ most popular vocalists, selling over 20 million albums. His wildly improvisational, ecstatic cries and moans came directly from gospel music, and in the late-1970s he returned to the Baptist church as a preacher. In the 2000s, Green returned to secular music and continues to turn out acclaimed albums, staying close to the Memphis-soul sound that made him famous.
Green (who dropped the third “e” from his surname when he went solo) was born on April 13, 1946, to a large family of sharecroppers in Forrest City, Arkansas. When he was nine, he and his brothers formed a gospel quartet, the Greene Brothers. They toured the gospel circuits in the South and then the Midwest after the family moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan, three years later. Green’s father dismissed him from the quartet after he caught him listening to the “profane music” of Jackie Wilson. At 16 he formed a pop group, Al Greene and the Creations, with high school friends. Two members of the Creations, Palmer James and Curtis Rogers, founded a record company, Hot Line Music Journal, for which the group — renamed Al Greene and the Soul Mates — cut “Back Up Train” in 1967. The single went to Number Five on the national R&B chart. Follow-ups failed, however, and the group broke up.
Green met his most important music collaborator, Willie Mitchell, in Midland, Texas, in 1969. Mitchell was a bandleader, a producer, and a vice president of Hi Records of Memphis, to which he signed Green. He also became Green’s producer and songwriting partner for the next eight years. Green Is Blues introduced the sound that would distinguish all the records Green made with Mitchell: simple but emphatic backbeats riding subdued horns and strings, and Green’s voice floating untethered over the instruments.
His second album contained Green’s first solo hits — “You Say It” (Number 28 R&B, 1970), “Right Now, Right Now” (Number 23 R&B, 1970), and “I Can’t Get Next to You” (Number 11 R&B, 1970) — and his first gold single, “Tired of Being Alone” (Number 11 pop, Number Seven R&B, 1971), which he wrote. That began a three-year string of gold singles, most of them written by Green, Mitchell, and Jackson: “Let’s Stay Together” (Number One pop, Number One R&B, 1971), “Look What You Done For Me” (Number Four pop, Number Two R&B, 1972), “I’m Still in Love with You” (Number Three pop, Number One R&B, 1972), “You Ought to Be with Me” (Number Three pop, Number 1 R&B, 1972), “Call Me (Come Back Home)” (Number Ten pop, Number Two R&B), “Here I Am (Come and Take Me)” (Number Ten pop, Number Two R&B), “Sha La La (Make Me Happy)” (Number Seven pop, Number Two R&B, 1974), and “L-O-V-E (Love)” (Number 13 pop, Number One R&B, 1975).
In October 1974 Green was hospitalized with second-degree burns on his back, arm, and stomach after a former girlfriend, Mary Woodson, poured boiling grits on him while he was bathing in his Memphis home and then killed herself with his gun. The incident apparently triggered a spiritual crisis in Green, and he announced his intentions to go into the ministry. In 1976 he purchased a church building in Memphis and was ordained pastor of the Full Gospel Tabernacle.
He did not, however, give up on his pop career, and he preached at his church only when he was not on tour. His records continued to place regularly on the R&B chart and occasionally on the pop chart. In 1977 he built a studio and, with Belle, began producing his own records, maintaining the style and standards he had set with Mitchell. But during a 1979 concert in Cincinnati, he fell off the stage and narrowly escaped serious injury. He considered the incident a warning from God. For a time thereafter, his public appearances were limited to religious services in churches around the country, where he both sang and preached.
His Eighties recordings, distributed by Myrrh, a gospel label, contain only religious songs, both standard hymns and Green’s originals, in a style that mixes Memphis soul with gospel. In 1982 he did a stint on Broadway, co-starring with Patti LaBelle in Vinnette Carroll’s gospel musical Your Arms Too Short to Box with God. Talking Heads scored one of their biggest pop hits with a cover of Green’s “Take Me to the River” in 1978, and Green himself duetted with Annie Lennox of Eurythmics on the Jackie DeShannon classic “Put a Little Love in Your Heart,” for the soundtrack of the 1988 film Scrooged.
In 1992 Green signed a new deal with BMG Records and returned to the Memphis soul sound of his roots with Don’t Look Back, which featured production help from David Steele and Andy Cox (Fine Young Cannibals) and Arthur Baker (Afrika Bambaataa’s “Planet Rock” and other early-Eighties electro-dance hits). MCA released a revised version of the album in the U.S. as Your Heart’s in Good Hands in 1995. The year before, Green duetted with Lyle Lovett on Willie Nelson’s “Funny How Time Slips Away” for Rhythm, Country, and Blues, a collection of duets that teamed up well-known artists in each of those fields. That collaboration netted him a Grammy. The four-CD Anthology includes not only the hits and other album cuts, but his onstage sermonizing and interview snippets. In 1995 Green was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He sang “Funny How Time Slips Away” with Willie Nelson at the induction ceremony. Green had an ongoing role on the TV series Ally McBeal playing an evanescent character who moved in and out of McBeal’s subconscious. In fall 2000 HarperCollins released Green’s autobiography Take Me to the River. Two years later the Grammys awarded him for lifetime achievement.
In 2003 Green had a late-career resurgence with I Can’t Stop. With Willie Mitchell working with the soul singer for the first time in 18 years (it had been even longer since they’d made secular music together), the album was a triumph that utilized the band Mitchell and Green used in the early-1970s. Green made it into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 2004, and the following year Everything’s OK appeared, a more confident version of the I Can’t Stop blueprint.
In May 2008, at age 62, Green released Lay It Down (Number Nine, Top 200), produced by the Roots’ drummer, Ahmir “?uestlove” Thompson and keyboardist James Poyser and featuring duets with younger contemporary artists such as John Legend, Corrine Bailey Rae, and Anthony Hamilton. In 2009, Green teamed with Trinidadian R&B singer Heather Headley on a version of the soul classic “People Get Ready” for the Oh Happy Day: An All-Star Music Celebration compilation.
Click here to read more (the original article was published by Rolling Stones).
Warehouses are used by companies to store large amounts of product inventory. Although a lot of warehouses today are run by automation (Amazon warehouses being a prime example of this), warehousing had a far humbler beginning. Inventory storage and warehousing have been around for thousands of years, with the first warehouses dating back to the early Roman Empire. Today warehouses are a crucial part of our economy.
Let’s look back in history to see how warehouses developed into what they are now.
The first type of public warehouse was the Roman Horreum. Originally constructed during the 2nd century BC, these buildings were used to store grain, olive oil, wine, food items, clothing and marble. The biggest of these was the Horrea Galbae, which contained 140 rooms on the first floor alone. In total the Galbae covered more than 225,000 square feet! To help you understand the Galbae’s size, less than half of warehouses in the U.S. are larger than 100,000 square feet.
Although these horrea (plural for horreum) were the first of their kind, they were undoubtedly ahead of their time. When Roman emperor Septimius Severus died in 211 AD, he left the Horrea Galbae stocked with enough food to feed all 1 million citizens of Rome for 7 years! Additionally, ancient Roman horrea were built with ramps instead of stairs, which made transporting goods in and out of the buildings a breeze. Horrea were built with thick walls to reduce the chances of fire, and high windows to reduce the chance of theft. These ancient warehouses were often located close to major shipping ports which streamlined the process of importing and exporting goods. The Ancient Romans really thought of it all!
The Industrial Revolution of the 18th and 19th centuries brought new advancements to warehouses which made them more specialized. The dramatic and sudden increase in globalization during this period caused warehouses to emphasize product movement. This emphasis brought forth some of the earliest large-scale supply chains.
Once the railway system began to take hold in the United States, more people began to travel and colonize previously barren areas. This development led to the creation of several “rail warehouses” that were conveniently located alongside railways. Rail warehouses and railways allowed companies to transport goods over land more efficiently than ever before.
The twentieth century brought warehousing to the next stage. Machine-operated factories were sprouting up everywhere and consumer goods were being produced at an astounding rate. Advancements in communication and transportation technologies increased globalization and urbanization, which led to warehouses being created all over the world.
This brings us to the current period. Here in the 21st century, we are currently witnessing the next major development in warehousing– automation. Whereas in the past when heavy boxes full of goods would have to be moved by humans, automated machines now handle most of the heavy lifting. These warehouses usually only require a few human operators to schedule tasks while the machines handle the rest. Products move on automated conveyors and are organized completely by automated machinery. Although most warehouses today are still operated predominantly by real people, the trend of warehousing automation is growing.
There is much debate today regarding the issue of homelessness, and municipal government’s response. The issue of homelessness is complicated because it includes several social factors, economic concerns, and drug addiction, as well as mental health and recidivism rates in the American Prison system. With all of these concerns being taken into consideration, there are a few recommendations that this Policy Paper makes in regards to the issue of homelessness, including: greater resources being allocated for mental health, and better management of convicts after they serve their time being incarcerated, and while they are locked up. It is also the belief of this paper that the issue of homelessness will never be entirely solved, but at least the number of individuals who are homeless can at least decrease.
The issue of homelessness is something that has been a problem from the inception of civilization. From the Ancient Greeks, till the time when Jesus walked through the cities of Ancient Israel, to the modern world, homelessness has been with man. Historically, homelessness was the result of economic factors like a factory being closed, or a person not having the right training in order to have a skill set that they could get paid off of. Homelessness began to change though when income levels and people’s standards of living increased all around the globe, which was a movement that started about 100 years or so ago.
The face of homelessness, and those who are homeless today looks different than it did historically, meaning that there are several different factors that can contribute to a person being homeless in today’s world, especially in the United States. The purpose of this Policy Paper is to examine what the City of Los Angeles can do to combat the problem of homelessness. This Policy Paper will do the following: first, go into detail on a brief history of homelessness in the United States, and Los Angeles in particular, second, we will examine what the City is currently doing to address this issue, and the third order of business will be to examine what other actions can be taken in order to properly address this issue, and if the issue of homelessness can ever be solved.
Although a study, and policy recommendation made on the issue of homelessness can only have its true diligence done through a collection of several writings being written on the topic, this policy paper will explore, briefly, some of the major factors that contribute to homelessness in the United States. First though, it should also be mentioned that homelessness has different faces in different parts of the world. A person can be homeless in the California and spend their entire day at a Chinese Buffet, whereas someone who is homeless in India struggles with hunger. With that being said, a person who is homeless can be defined as someone who does not have a regular place to sleep at night, or who is a person who cannot maintain a regular place of residence (Vaness, 1993, 320-325). Even the definition of this term is hard to describe considering the fact that a person can live with a family member for years, and not have a job, and not be considered homeless, whereas a person can be a day-laborer and occasionally have to spend the night in their car, or on the streets because they either do not have a place to sleep, or they just recently lost their place of residence and are considered to be homeless. Because of the nature of research that exists on this topic, is becomes incredibly difficult to quantify the number of homeless persons living in the United States, or in the City of Los Angeles City. With that being said though, estimates on the number of homeless persons living in the City of Los Angeles ranges from 50,000 to 55,000 (AHAR, 2014).
Section One, A Brief History of Homelessness:
Homelessness has existed in the United States since the 17th century, and it continues to exist to this day. As cities continued to grow in the United States, more people began to fall into the cracks of society. The exact data on the number of people that have been homeless in this country’s history is hard to quantify because of the fact that this segment of the population is the least represented, and counted/documented segment of society. With that being said, there have always been homeless people living in the United States.
Although there have been homeless people living in this country for centuries, there was a turning point in this country’s history in regards to this issue, and that was the Post-Civil War era. During the Civil War, and the immediate period after the conflict, the drug morphine began to be used by a large number of soldiers who had participated in the conflict (Schroeder-Lein 2008, 218). After the War was over, there were still a substantial number of veterans who were addicted to the drug, and after coming back from War, they continued in their addiction, and struggled to find their way back into society.
Even thirty years after the Civil War ended, vets of the conflict who had suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome which in some cases led to drug abuse, were still able to purchase, over the counter, the highly addictive drug morphine, and the drug it spawned, heroin (Merry 1975, 307). Between these and other drugs mixed with rapid industrialization, the number of people who became addicted to some substance increased (although impossible to know because this kind of data does not exist), and the number of people who were homeless also increased. Overtime as new drugs, wars, and economic factors had their impact on society, the number of people who are chronically homeless in America continued to grow.
There have been homeless people living in Los Angeles area since before the city was called Los Angeles, but the time period that is most relevant to this policy paper is the early 20th century till today. Homeless and homelessness in Los Angeles are two words that are synonymous with a certain area in the city, and that area is called Skid Row. Skid Row originally was not a terrible place. It was originally built up in between 1870 to 1930, and that is largely due to its situation in between a popular train track crossing section (Encyclopedia of American Urban History 2007, 722-724). The train track crossing would bring a large number of workers, and other single/alone men into the area, and as a result of this, establishments were founded to service the needs of the men coming into the area, meaning that brothels and other places of ill-report were established in this area. Overtime, Skid Row began to become run down, and by the 1970’s, it had established itself as a place of decadence and poverty.
Section Two, The City’s Response:
With the existence of the homeless, there has almost always been some kind of group that has fought to help those who need help. Historically the greatest ally to the homeless population in the United States has been the American church. Again because there is no research on the amount of money, and charitable acts every church that has ever existed in this country has done for the homeless, but the amount of money the Church has given to help fight homelessness can never be truly known. It can be stated, overall though, that the Church was, and continues to be a place of refuge for homeless people, and this can be seen by their running of half-way houses, and the fact that they open up their doors to the needs of homeless people regularly.
Although the American Church is a major private ally in the fight against homelessness, the biggest player in this fight is the government, both Federal and Municipal. Even though the number of homeless persons living in the United States is a number that can never be truly known, the public does have access to the amount of money the government has spent fighting homelessness. It is reported that the Federal government has spent 16 trillion dollars on projects and programs aimed at curbing homelessness and poverty more generally, with a large portion of that money going to State and Municipal governments aimed at cutting down the number of homeless in their own cities and states (Tanner 2014). Although the Federal government has taken an active role against the issue of homelessness, and this can be seen through the War on Poverty and other Federal programs, the problem of homelessness has remained a task for Municipal governments to answer because this is the government that interacts with homelessness on the most regular basis.
Homelessness is a major concern at the Municipal and Federal level. At the municipal level, some of the programs that the City/County of Los Angeles has set up in its fight against homelessness are: General Relief Aid, Half-Way houses, laws and ordinances designed to be “Homeless-Friendly” and the City provides all essential services for homeless persons free of charge.
The biggest problem that exists with homelessness is not money, and resources, the biggest issue that exists with homelessness are the people who are homeless. If it was only a matter of funds, than there should not be any homeless people in this country because we spend a large amount of money per-year on homeless people. The major issues that contribute to a person being homeless are the actually driving force behind the problem in the first place. Accordingly, 25% of homeless people suffer from mental illness, another 38% suffer from drug-addiction (Amerson 2008, 109-113). The people who are homeless suffer from other ailments, which lead to them being homeless.
It should be mentioned at this time that most research shows that the number of homeless people living in the United States has been on the decline, and that the upswing that occurred in latter part of the last decade, and into this decade, is more a result of the economic downturn than it is an overall trend. With that being noted, the issue of homelessness is still a very important, and pits the needy against homeowners and the municipal government on a regular basis. Additionally, the homeless and property owners, and other members of society clash on the very existence of homeless people living in the city itself. Although it is a difficult truth to admit, most people do not like homeless people, or they at least do not like having to see them sitting in island dividers when they are leaving the store, and they especially do not like seeing homeless people in their neighborhoods. This feeling towards the homeless has led some cities to adopt tough on homeless laws that at least prohibit homeless people from certain areas, or these laws at least encourage homeless people to congregate in certain areas. Additionally, another issue that occurs with homeless people is the issue of “Dumping.” Dumping is the act of gathering up homeless people, and leaving them in another city/area, in order to get rid of them (Baeder 2006).
Section Three, Solutions:
Now that we have explored this issue in detail, that being who are the stakeholders (homeless and the rest of the population), and we have addressed the fact that homelessness is a big problem for the City of Los Angeles, we will now go onto to assess what can be done to fix this problem. It should be said that if there was a simple solution to this problem, than politicians would have already done it because both parties can agree that they do want to see homeless people sleeping on benches in front of Big Box stores. With that in mind though, there are some practices that if done, can potentially reduce the number of people who are chronically homeless.
Before we examine the issue of homelessness, we should first look at “getting rid of homelessness” and actually reducing the number of people who are homeless. These two issues are different from one another. For example, one city might “fix” their homeless problem by simply gathering up homeless people who live in their city, and take them to another area. Other practices that cities do to fix the problem include shaping benches in certain ways that make sleeping on them very difficult, and they pass laws that prohibit people from sleeping in their cars, and sleeping in parking lots past a certain hour. Now those practices do reduce the number of homeless people, but only for that particular city, or area. These acts do not actually reduce the number of people who are homeless, they just discourage in their own backyard. With this being noted, the policy suggestions this paper is making attack the core of the problem of homelessness itself, not just a solution for getting homeless people to leave the city of Los Angeles, and Skid Row, and have them move to Orange County or Lancaster.
First, one thing that the city of Los Angeles could do is invest more on mental health programs. Proposition 63 was passed in 2004 as a means to increase spending on mental health programs, and money was given to several different counties, which were met with mixed results (Guglielmoni-Oliver 2010). The Department of Mental Health of the City of Los Angeles actually boosts of one of the best mental health departments in the country. As it has been noted, mental illness is one of the most common traits among homeless people, and it is also one of the most common reasons for homelessness. If we invest more in mental health programs, and target individuals for treatment before they become too difficult to treat, perhaps in primary school, then we might be able to stop the issue at its inception, rather than when it has already began to manifest itself.
Another course of action the City of Los Angeles could take would be to create a more effective work placement program for individuals who serve time in jail/prison. Another major commonality among people who are homeless would be criminal records. Now, there are some who serve their time in jail/prison and they walk away from crime, but for the vast majority of individuals, it is a revolving door. The recidivism rate for individuals who commit crime in California is 65.1% (Home Edition 2006). This means that a vast majority of the same people are committing crime over and over again. One way to remedy this issue might be through a greater emphasis on work placement for petty offenders. In addition, before a person leaves prison, if they have shown progress in their work training, they could be placed into a job, that way immediately after their sentence is over, they can directly go into a job. Of course the response to this solution would be the fact that employers are weary of hiring a convict because they do not know what they are going to get from them both production wise, and even safety wise. Plus, in this economy, it becomes a hard sell to push jobs for convicts over the vast majority of the non-criminal population.
The solution to this problem will come through a combination of both governmental and non-governmental actors, i.e. churches, non-profit organizations and people in general. The government only has so many resources, and these other organizations can bring, and have brought a great deal of materials and energy to addressing this issue. In regards to work placement, there will even be a greater need for businesses to hire convicts, and that will take an act of businesspeople coming to the table, or being brought there by either the City or by churches.
Ultimately though there is one group that is most important when it comes to combating homelessness, and that group is the homeless themselves. There is a portion of the homeless population that is homeless due to the lost of a job, or the downswing in the economy more generally speaking, but for a large portion of the homeless population, they are homeless because they are either drug addicts, they suffer from mental health, they have a criminal record, or they fall into all three camps. Now, for the three of those groups mentioned above, two of them (drug addiction and people with criminal backgrounds) are solely the doing of the person themselves. The vast majority of individuals who have a drug addiction choose to have that addiction, even if that means they just “tried it” and became addicted, and for those with a criminal record, that again is the result of the individual himself (there might be a few cases where someone committed a crime because they were forced to, but again the vast majority of individuals who are in jail are there because they chose to commit a crime) choosing to commit a crime. Just because a person has these factors working against them, it does not mean that their life is over. Their lives can resemble the rest of the population’s if they choose to work at, and there are quite a few people in this country today who have families, own houses, and have jobs who were either at one time in jail, homeless, or a drug addict.
It is the estimation of this paper that the issue of homelessness can have a positive movement, meaning that the number of homeless people can perhaps be reduced, but overall, it is the belief of this paper that this country is going to struggle in the future, like it has in the past, with the issue of getting rid of homelessness all together. There are several factors that play a role in homelessness in the United States, including mental illness, drug addiction, and criminal records, and with the Internet gathering more and more information about people, the ability to look someone up online, and learn their entire history, might make it even harder for people who have made mistakes in their lives to find work, and start over.
In conclusion, the issue of homelessness is an important issue facing the City of Los Angeles. There are quite a bit of resources that go towards fighting homelessness on the streets in Los Angeles, and there will be continued spending on this issue. It was also the belief of this paper that money is not the solution to this problem. What is the solution is a coming together of several groups with the common mindset of eradicating homelessness in the City of Los Angeles, and in a practical manner, address and combat the issue. There will also need to be a significant number of homeless individuals to come to the table, and take the necessary steps towards not being homeless.
Amerson, R. (2008). Mental illness in homeless families. The Journal for Nurse Practitioners, 4 (2), 109-113.
Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR) to Congress. (2014, January 1).
Baeder, B. (2006). ‘dumping’ of homeless alleged. Whittier Daily News.
Encyclopedia of American Urban History, Skid row. (2007). 2, 722-724.
Guglielmoni-Oliver, C. (2010). Perceptions and Implications of Proposition 63.
Home Edition, Inmate recidivism rates. (2006). Los Angeles Times, B.12.
Merry, J. (1975). A social history of heroin addiction. The British Journal of Addiction to Alcohol and Other Drugs, 70 (3), 307.
Schroeder-Lein, G. (2008). Morphine. Encyclopedia of Civil War Medicine, 218.
Tanner, M. (2014, January 8). War on Poverty at 50 — despite trillions spent, poverty won. Fox News.
Veness, A. (1993). Neither homed nor homeless: Contested definitions and the personal worlds of the poor. Political Geography, 12(4), 319-340.
“Moorpark’s a city with a bright future. We have a hotel coming to town, and the economy is growing” Dale Parvin, President of the Moorpark Chamber is quoted saying about the outlook for Moorpark.
When Inocencio C. Villegas’s request for Moorpark to get a Post Office was approved no one could have imagined what Moorpark would become. Moorpark was one of the first cities in America to be run on nuclear power, it was one of the cities that was featured in Southern Pacific Railroad’s Coast Line route which connected Los Angeles to San Francisco, and it has grown to become one of the safest cities in America.
With all of that said, Moorpark is still on the rise, and there are a number of things that builders, business people and the City are doing to make Moorpark even more extraordinary.
One of the first things worth mentioning would be that Moorpark is getting a hotel. The exact specifications about the hotel (how many rooms it will have and the exact location) are still to be determined, but regardless, Moorpark is still getting a hotel and it should be opening in the not too distant future.
Next, the City is getting a Truck Weighing station (similar to the one that exists on the 101 just before the grade the Conejo Grade). This weighing station will help to prevent trucks with very heavy loads from getting onto the 23 or the 118 and damaging the road. Essentially, heavy trucks are responsible for a great amount of damage that freeways and other roads have and are the leading cause for why roads need to be worked on.
A third major point to bring up would be that the economy is growing in Moorpark, and that there are a number of building projects which are already in the works, and others that are in the pipelines. As it stands now, there are three building projects in the developmental stages, with all three tentatively opening their doors to buyers within the next few years. When it comes to the economy in Moorpark, the outlook is good! There have been a number of businesses that have either opened in Moorpark recently, or are in the process of coming here. On top of that, larger corporations that have been in the City for years are growing and/or are looking to expand.
Lastly, the City has big plans for Moorpark, and it is only a matter before those plans come to fruition. One of those plans is to bring new restaurants and breweries to High Street. The general strategy for High Street is to make it a central hub for the City: with a number of good restaurants, places to drink and spend time with friends and family and to have these new restaurants be used for mixed use. Essentially, the owners or the management of these new restaurants or breweries would have their places of residencies exist directly above where they work. Mixed use structures are becoming more popular throughout Southern California as they are a way for business owners to save money on their own rent/mortgages because their individual and business rents are coupled together. Some construction work has already begun on High Street, and more information about those projects will be reported on when that information comes out.
Overall the City of Moorpark is on the rise! The economy is growing, new houses are being built, the City is getting a Truck Weighing Station, and the City is aiming to become more innovative when it comes to mixed use structures.
Moorpark’s a city with a rich history, and the future looks to be even richer.
There’s no disputing that R&B veteran R. Kelly and soul legend Ronald Isley have made some great songs on their own: “Contagious,” “Showdown,” “What Would You Do?” and “Down Low.” Even when Ronald Isley sang “Busted,” R. Kelly made a guest appearance. There are also quite a few rappers, R&B singers and a comedian who have taken advantage of some of the Isleys’ best hits. But there is nothing quite like hearing Ronald Isley with The Isley Brothers. Check out this Top 10 list of their best hits.
10. Footsteps in the Dark
Long before Ice Cube made “It Was a Good Day” rapping about how he didn’t have to use his AK in 1993, Ronald Isley was pondering about how to be more aware of happiness.
9. It’s Your Thing
Funk is at an all-time high when the horns blast in the background. The lyrics can either be used to encourage folks to mind their business or explore their own free will. Either way, no judgment here.
8. That Lady
Who’s that real fine lady? The Isley Brothers want to know.
7. Between the Sheets
As sexy as this song is, it’s so hard to separate it from the 1993 tragic scene that happened in “Poetic Justice.” But get past that scene and remember the 1983 hit exploring fantasies and taking couples to ecstasy.
6. Brother, Brother
Whether at a family reunion or just a few words of encouragement for guys listening to this song, this is a soulful thank you note to those who have either been there for another person or are hanging in there through the most important times.
5. For the Love of You
Give it up to “ATL” and “Thea” star Jason Weaver, who is probably the only newer school R&B artist who successfully sang this The Isley Brothers’ classic. For teenagers who weren’t familiar with the song, he re-introduced it to them in 1995. But no one does it like the originals. The clap-happy beat is always good for encouraging steppers and slow dancers to get on the floor.
4. Pop That Thang
Comedian John Witherspoon joked on “Sway in the Morning” that Usher Raymond IV owed him some money for using “bang bang bang” in the single “Good Kisser.” But long before we knew Witherspoon’s quotable sound, Ronald Isley was already saying “bang bang bang” on a track. This song definitely brings out sexual energy, especially with the belt-like noise in the background. When The Isley Brothers talked about getting between those sheets, they never specified what would happen in them. On a lighter note, this is a twerk-worthy song long before Miley Cyrus got hip to the 2 Live Crew’s go-to move for video girls.
3. Fight the Power
The Isley Brothers may be known more now for love songs, but these are the songs that showed how much they were aware of current events. Whether your gripe is political, social or financial, this is an ideal song to let it all out. In the case of this song, it’s okay if your music’s too loud. It’ll only be five minutes away.
2. Work to Do
Having one of those mornings when you simply just don’t feel like getting out of bed and going to work? Use this as inspiration to turn off the alarm clock, make breakfast, shower, get dressed and go. Need even more encouragement, blast it in the car. It also doubles as a push to fix a relationship before things go south.
1. Groove With You
Some of The Isley Brothers’ songs could make people fall over just when the beat hits. As soon as the drum and horns hit, people are already on the dance floor before Ronald Isley can sing, “I’ve been thinking of you.” This song even made Yasiin Bey (formerly Mos Def) want to get his flirt on in “Beauty in the Dark.”
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