Zero to 180 – Three Minute Magic

Discoveries of a Pop Music Archaeologist

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Category: Civil rights in popular music

Jamil Nasser: Jazz in Russia

Penny Von Eschen’s Satchmo Blows Up the World — notes Muneer Nasser in 2017’s Upright Bass:  The Musical Life and Legacy of Jamil Nasser (in the chapter entitled ‘Getting the Soviets to Swing’) — “reinforces the myth that [Benny Goodman] introduced jazz to the Soviet Union”: Benny Goodman became the first

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"H2O Gate Blues"
Zeroto180

“H2O Gate Blues”: Silver Spring

This piece updated 12/3/19 — scroll to “Lost 45?” appendix near the end This piece also updated 12/27/20 — Lillian Claiborne tribute appended at tail end As you may have already gathered, Zero to 180 has a soft spot for music history related to Silver Spring, Maryland.  We now know,

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"We the People" (1969)
Zeroto180

The Great (Musical) Experiment

Even less seems to be written about Allen Toussaint‘s final A-side for Bell, 1969‘s populist anthem, “We the People“: “We the People”      Allen Toussaint     1969 Imagine the magnitude of our collective output if we all directed our energies toward constructive ends instead of squabbling amongst ourselves.  Help me understand exactly

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Tribute to MLK: Eerily Prescient

Wilson Simonal‘s tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr., a single that was released – eerily enough – the year before his assassination: “Tributo a Martin Luther King”     Wilson Simonal de Castro     1967 “Tributo a Martin Luther King” was the A-side of a single released in 1967 – around the same

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“Don’t Fake It”: Prophecy of a Black Presidency

As Martha Ross writes in the Contra Costa Times, cartoonist Morris “Morrie” Turner broke racial barriers in the 1960s when he became the first African-American to have a syndicated comic strip – Wee Pals – that still runs daily, despite Turner’s death this past January at the age of 90. 

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“This Old Town”: Where Love is the Prevailing Order

In Wilson Pickett‘s town, universal respect for the humanity common to us all allows for an enlightened self-governance to rule the day. “This Old Town”     Wilson Pickett     1970 “This Old Town” from Pickett’s 1970 Atlantic album, Right On, was never to appear on a 45, which is a

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