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And the Beat Goes On


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In my ongoing quest to do what some will find boring, the next two entries are meant to remind people that before Motown, Disco, Psychadelic Funk, Hip-hop, and Rap, black people snapped their fingers and patted their feet to other types of R&B music.

Yeah, you know a little about the Blues. BB King. Roberty Cray. But, let’s go back a little further, back to the 1930s. Myth has it that musician Robert Johnson went to the crossroads and while there, sold his soul to the devil in exchange for the amazing guitar skills he inexplicably acquired. Nobody does, or did it better. Blues aficionados claim Johnson approached his guitar like a keyboard and treated the strings like piano keys. Sheer genius.

Ella could chirp the hell out of a romantic love song, and really put over a lively tune. So could a lot of other vocalists. When it came to scat singing, however, the inimitable Ms. Fitzgerald was in a class by herself.

Ella Fitsgerald
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