And so it seems the themes of all of this year’s music posts are tributes. Unfortunately, there have been many musicians that have passed on this year. Many that made a difference in our musical history. Another one of those is sadly, Maurice White, co-founder of Earth Wind and Fire.
While I generally try not to mention race in my posts because it’s usually irrelevant (by that I mean I respect all races), sometimes it is a part of heritage. This time music heritage. While my family is white and I grew up in the traditional white area, my mother did not. She was from Tennessee and worked the fields growing up right along people of color. Later in her teens her family moved to the Detroit area and she fell in love with R&B. As a child my mother listened to Linda Ronstadt and the Eagles, but she also listened to and introduced us kids to James Brown, Smokey Robinson, the Commodores and Earth, Wind and Fire.
Maurice White is also famous in his own right. He was a session drummer for Chess Records which inspired the move Cadillac Records featuring Adrien Brody, Beyonce and Jeffrey Wright. He also worked to promote and produce other musicians and artists.
This post could easily turn into a tribute to Maurice White, but I want to highlight the band as well. Earth, Wind and Fire opened doors not only for themself but for others. They opened for guitar great Santana, preformed in the movie Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart Band, and worked with too many bands and musical greats to count. They put thought behind their performances and were known for laser lights and pyrotechnics before they were the norm.
Earth Win and Fire was band that evolved with the times and was popular from the 70s to the present day. Their brass and horn playing was of particular interest to me because I play many different brass instruments. They had hits with Shining Star, September, Let’s Groove and so many more.