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African American musicians




Quincy Jones: The Man Behind The Music.

Legendary music producer, arranger, composer and media mogul Quincy Jones was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on May 18. In 2001, Fresh Air spoke with him about his career and working with the likes of Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Frank Sinatra and Michael Jackson.

This interview was originally broadcast on Nov. 5, 2001.

Musician and producer Quincy Jones

Isaac Hayes

Memphis soul label Stax records celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. One of its biggest stars was Isaac Hayes, who topped the charts in the '70s, going gold with the album Hot Buttered Soul and platinum with his 1972 soundtrack to the movie Shaft. The latter won him an Oscar.

This interview first aired on July 28, 1994.


Drummer Ahmir Thompson

He is also known as "Questlove" of the hip-hop group The Roots. The Grammy award-winning sextet has six albums to its credit. Their latest CD is Phrenology. Their first single from the album is "Break You Off." One reviewer writes, "To fully savor the sound, you've got to commit to spending time with The Roots, to wallow in both the music and the message.


Quincy Jones

Musician, producer, arranger, composer Quincy Jones has a new autobiography, Q: The Autobiography of Quincy Jones, (Doubleday) and a 4-CD boxset collecting his work, Q: The Musical Biography of Quincy Jones (Rhino). In his fifty year career hes worked with just about anyone who is anybody in the music business. As a teenager he played backup for Billie Holiday, along with his 16 year old friend, Ray Charles. At 18 he began playing the trumpet in Lionel Hamptons band beside Clifford Brown.


From the Archives: Temptations Singer Otis Williams.

Singer Otis Williams. He was the founder of The Temptations, whose smooth five-part harmonies and synchronized dance steps made them one of the hottest of Motown's super groups. Their hits included "My Girl," "Just My Imagination," and "Papa Was a Rolling Stone." He is the only surviving member of the original group. The Temptations have just released a new CD called “Ear-Resistible.” (9/15/88)


From the Archives: Soul Musician Isaac Hayes.

Composer and musician Isaac Hayes. The new movie “Shaft” features the theme music that he wrote for the original 1972 “Shaft” film and which won him an Oscar. HAYES is also an actor, who has held roles in the movies "Robin Hood: Men in Tights," "I'm Gonna Git You Sucka," "Posse," and "It Could Happen to You." He's also a regular voice (as the Chef) on the cable animation show "South Park." (REBROADCAST from 7/28/94)


From the Archives: Rhythm and Blues Singer Ruth Brown.

Rhythm and Blues singer Ruth Brown. She got her start in the 1940s, and influenced a whole generation of singers including Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Little Richard and Bonnie Raitt. Her hits include "Mama, He Treats Your Daughter Mean" and "Teardrops From My Eyes." Later she appeared in John Water's film "Hairspray" and in the Broadway hit "Black and Blue." Her autobiography "Miss Rhythm" was published in 1996. Rebroadcast from 12/22/97.


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