GIL SCOTT-HERON 100: A RBG Blakademics Tribute to Our Trailblazer
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A Brief Biography 9:18Black History & TheWorld - Gil Scott-Heron Gil Scott-Heron was born in Chicago, Illinois, but spent his early childhood in the home of his grandmother Lillie Scott (mothers family) in Jackson, Tennessee. Gils mother Bobbie Scott-Heron sang with the New York Oratorial Society. Gils DOCUMENTARY 2:59 father was a professional soccer player and isRBG Black History-Gil- also a poet. His fathers family is of JamaicanScott-Heron HIS-STORY descent. When he was 13, his grandmother died and he moved with his mother to the Bronx, where he enrolled in DeWitt Clinton High School. He transferred to The Fieldston School 4:55 after one of his teachers, a Fieldston graduate,Gil Scott Heron - Message showed one of his writings to the head of theto the Messengers English department there and he was granted a full scholarship. Gil attended Lincoln University because it was the college of choice by his biggest influence Langston Hughes. It was at 5:16 Lincoln University that Gil met Brian JacksonGil Scott Heron "The and they formed the band Black & Blues. AfterBottle" (1974) about two years at Lincoln University in Pennsylvania, Scott-Heron took a year off to write a novel The Vulture. He returned to New "BBC Originals: The Revolution York City, settling in Chelsea, Manhattan, which Will Not Be Televised: A Film was at the time a multiracial and multicultural About Gil Scott-Heron" 5:13Gil Scott Heron & Brian neighborhood. The novel, The Vulture, wasJackson- We Almost Lost published in 1970 and well received. AlthoughDetroit- Bridges Gil never received his undergraduate degree, he has a Masters in Creative Writing from Johns Hopkins University. Scott-Heron began his recording career in 1970 with the LP Small Talk at 125th and Lenox. Bob Thiele of Flying Dutchman Records produced the 8:34 album and Scott-Heron was accompanied by Eddie Knowles and CharlieGil Scott-Heron | Winter in Saunders on conga and David Barnes on percussion and vocals. The albumsAmerica 15 tracks dealt with themes such as the superficiality of television and mass consumerism, the hypocrisy of some would-be Black revolutionaries, white middle-class ignorance of the difficulties faced by inner-city residents, and fear of homosexuals. In the liner notes, Scott-Heron acknowledged as 2:51 influences Richie Havens, John Coltrane, Otis Redding, Jose Feliciano,Gil Scott-Heron - TheRevolution Will Not BeTelevised RBG TRIBUTE- GIL SCOTT-HERON 100 Page 1
Billie Holiday, Langston Hughes, Malcolm X, Huey 5:49 Newton, Nina Simone, and the pianist who wouldGil Scott Heron- Angel become his long-time collaborator, Brian Jackson.Dust Scott-Herons 1971 album Pieces of a Man used more conventional song structures than the loose, spoken- word feel of Small Talk. He was joined by Johnny Pate (conductor), Brian Jackson (piano and electric 3:18 piano), Ron Carter (bass and electric bass), BernardGil Scott Heron "Home Is Pretty Purdie (drums), Burt Jones (electric guitar), andWhere The Hatred Is" RBG Black History: Gil Hubert Laws (flute and saxophone), with Thiele(1971) Scott Heron, His Story- producing again. Scott-Herons third album, Free Will, Text, Video and Poster was released in 1972. Jackson, Purdie, Laws, Download Knowles, and Saunders all returned to play on Free Will and were joined by Jerry Jemmott (bass), David Spinozza (guitar), and Horace Ott (arranger and 5:50 conductor).Gil Scott Heron - Innercity blues 1974 saw another LP collaboration with Brian Jackson, Winter in America, with Bob Adams on drums and Danny Bowens on bass. He didnt reach the charts until 1975 with the song Johannesburg, from the album From South Africa to South Carolina. That year he and Jackson also released Midnight Band: The First Minute of a New Day. A live album, Its Your World, 1:47 followed in 1976 and a recording of spoken poetry, The Mind of Gil Scott-Gil Scott Heron -No Heron was released in 1979. His biggest hit came with a song called AngelKnock Dust, which he recorded as a single with producer Malcolm Cecil. Angel Dust peaked at #15 on the R&B charts in 1978. In 1979, Scott-Heron played at the No Nukes concerts at Madison Square Garden. The concerts were organized after the Three Mile Island accident by Musicians United for Safe Energy to protest the use of nuclear energy. Scott- 3:44Gil Scott Heron & Brian Herons song We Almost Lost Detroit, about a previous accident at a nuclearJackson - Hello Sunday, facility, was included in the No Nukes album of concert highlights.Hello Road During the 1980s, Scott-Heron continued recording, releasing Reflections in 1981 and Moving Target in 1982. Scott-Heron was a frequent critic of President Ronald Reagan and his 4:52 conservative policies:Gil Scott Heron - TheNeedles Eye "The idea concerns the fact that this country wants nostalgia. They want to go back as far as they can -- even if its only as far as last week. Not to face now or tomorrow, but to face backwards. And yesterday was the day of our 5:42 RBG TRIBUTE- GIL SCOTT-HERON 100Gil Scott Heron "Dont Page 2Give Up"
cinema heroes riding to the rescue at the last possible moment. The day of the man in the whitehat or the man on the white horse - or the man who always came to save America at the lastmoment -- someone always came to save America at the last moment -- especially in B movies.And when America found itself having a hard time facing the future, they looked for people likeJohn Wayne. But since John Wayne was no longer available, they settled for Ronald Reagan --and it has placed us in a situation that we can only look at -- like a B movie." (Gil Scott-Heron,"B Movie")Scott-Heron was dropped by Arista Records in 1985 and quit recording, though he continued totour. He also appeared in the Sun City (album) track, "Let Me See Your ID" in 1985.In 1993, he signed to TVT Records and released Spirits, an album that included the seminal trackMessage to the Messengers. The first track on the album was a position point poem to the rapartists of the day and included such comments as:* "Four-letter words or four-syllable words wont make you a poet, it will only magnify howshallow you are and let everybody know it."* "Tell all them gun-totin young brothers that the man is glad to see us out there killin oneanother! We raised too much hell, when they was shootin us down."* "Young rappers, one more suggestion, before I get outta your way. I appreciate the respect yougive to me and what youve got to say."Scott-Heron is known in many circles as "the godfather of rap" and is widely considered to beone of the genres founding fathers. Given the political consciousness that lies at the foundationof his work, he can also be called a founder of political rap. Message to the Messengers was aplea for the new generation of rappers to speak for change rather than perpetuate the currentsocial situation, and to be more articulate and artistic:"Theres a big difference between putting words over some music, and blending those samewords into the music. Theres not a lot of humour. They use a lot of slang and colloquialisms,and you dont really see inside the person. Instead, you just get a lot of posturing."In 2001, Gil Scott-Heron was sentenced to one to three years imprisonment in New York Statefor cocaine possession. While out of jail in 2002, he appeared on the Blazing Arrow album byBlackalicious. He was released on parole in 2003.On July 5, 2006, Scott-Heron was sentenced to two to four years in a New York State prison forviolating a plea deal on a drug-possession charge by leaving a treatment center. Scott-Heron saidhe is HIV-positive and claimed the in-patient rehabilitation center stopped giving him hismedication. The prosecution countered that Scott-Heron had once skipped out for an appearancewith singer Alicia Keys. Scott-Herons sentence was to run until July 13, 2009. He was paroledon May 23, 2007. He has since begun performing live again, starting with a show at SOBs in RBG TRIBUTE- GIL SCOTT-HERON 100 Page 3
New York on 13 September 2007. On stage, he stated that he and his musicians were working ona new album, and that he had resumed writing a book entitled "The Last Holiday" (previously onlong-term hiatus) about Stevie Wonder and his successful attempt to have Martin Luther Kingsbirthday made a national holiday in the USA. Gil was arrested October 10, the day before asecond SOBS performance scheduled for October 11, 2007 on felony posession of cocainecharges.Scott-Herons father, Giles "Gil" Heron (nicknamed "The Black Arrow") was a Jamaican footballplayer who played for Glasgows Celtic Football Club in the 1950s. In fact, when he came toScotland from the United States to join Celtic in 1951 he became the teams first black player. Atthe time, Celtic F.C. was the team of Scotlands Irish immigrants. However, Gil himself has saidthat he supports Celtics great rivals, Rangers.Mark T. Watson, a student of Scott-Herons work, dedicated a collection of poetry to Gil entitledOrdinary Guy which also contained a foreword by Jalal Mansur Nuriddin of The Last Poets. Thebook was published in the UK in 2004 by Fore-Word Press Ltd. Gil recorded one of the poemsin Mark T. Watsons book entitled "Black & Blue" due for release in 2008 as part of the album"Rhythims of the Diaspora" by Malik & the OGs on the label "CPR recordings".For more see:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gil_Scott-Heron RBG TRIBUTE- GIL SCOTT-HERON 100 Page 4
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