Throwback Thursday: Retro Track of the Week

nancy-1Song: James Brown
Artist: Nancy Dupree
Year: 1969

As a music teacher in New York State, Nancy Dupree soon grew tired of the songs that she was expected to teach her young protégés at Rochester School No. 4; as a result Dupree, a radical and effusive educator, introduced the children to the songs of Nina Simone, Odetta and Miriam Makeba. Subsequently rewriting and adapting these songs, in order to make them more relevant to present day social concerns, Dupree and her class soon progressed to creating compositions of their own.

“James Brown” was composed on the Monday after her pupils had witnessed the song’s eponymous hero at a show in their hometown of Rochester and, according to Dupree, the children were “still full of the sight, sound and feel” of the Godfather of Soul.

Considering that they are merely the capturing of a music teacher sat at a piano with a group of elementary school children, it is incredible to think that “James Brown” and Ghetto Reality, the album from which it is taken, ever saw the commercial light of day; the album was released on Folkways after Dupree took advantage of a serendipitous aeroplane flight where she was able to accost the label’s founder Moses Asch.

Dupree was fired from her teaching post just a year after the record’s release and, despite the given reason of a refusal to wear high heels, her progressive, black feminist politics (she later become a Black Panther) and defiance of conformity perhaps hint at  more realistic, and pernicious, reasons for her sacking.

Scott Hammond

Review: Bad Sounds = Good Times at Thekla

Read more

Review: Richard Thompson's folk tunes and guitar wizardry master Colston Hall

Read more

Review: Party for Pete - fundraising spectacular bids farewell at The Fleece

Read more

Preview: Party for Pete Fundraiser Returns to The Fleece

Read more

Review: Adam Buxton serves up the Best of Bug at Colston Hall

Read more

Review: Alvvays' world class indie pop thrills Thekla

Read more

Preview: The Downs Festival Returns for Second Annual Event

Read more

Review: Despite technical issues Holy Fuck storm Colston Hall

Read more

Review: Spiderman - Homecoming

Read more

Review: Forever Pure

Read more

Preview: Cinema Rediscovered Festival at The Watershed

Read more

Review: Liberation Day (out on iTunes 17th July)

Read more

Review: Baby Driver

Read more

Review: A pre-Glasto treat from Lisa Hannigan at Marble Factory

Read more

Review: The return of Manic Street Preachers at Bristol Sounds

Read more

Review: Bonobo's blistering show to open Bristol Sounds

Read more

Review: Bristol Comedy Garden's third night shows this year could be it's best

Read more

Review: Bristol Comedy Garden continues with impressive second night

Read more

Review: A superb opening of Bristol Comedy Garden

Read more

Review: Alien: Covenant

Read more