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Move On Up: Chicago Soul Music and the Rise of Black Cultural Power
Aaron Cohen, City Colleges of Chicago, Truman College
Grant details: https://securegrants.neh.gov/publicquery/main.aspx?f=1&gn=FZ-231559-15
"Baby Huey's Journey" (Conference Paper/Presentation)
Title: "Baby Huey's Journey"
Author: Aaron Cohen
Abstract: R&B singer Baby Huey (a.k.a. James Ramey) and his band, The Babysitters, are part of my forthcoming book, "Move On Up: Chicago Soul Music and the Rise of Black Cultural Power" (University of Chicago Press, 2017). Before Baby Huey's untimely death in 1970 at age 26, his band represented a commingling of different backgrounds and music during a time and place that is generally considered deeply segregated. This group of mostly African American musicians originally became popular within Chicago's predominantly white music venue's on the city's North Side. At the same time, the group drew from sources in black music as well as the identifiers of late-'60s rock music, particularly electric guitar leads and feedback. The presentation examines how the group was a small, yet influential, movement of integrated bands that were performing in Chicago at that time, including Rotary Connection and Rufus. I also look at how much the band's roots in Indiana fueled its initial inspiration before moving onto bigger stages across the state line. As part of a larger work on soul music in Chicago, I have been researching this subject for 10 years and primary sources include interviews with people who were part of Baby Huey's ensemble.
Conference Name: Association For Recorded Sound Collections Conference, Indiana University, Bloomington, Ind.