LUTHER VANDROSS / “A House Is Not A Home”


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6 Responses to “LUTHER VANDROSS / “A House Is Not A Home””

Rudy Says:
July 12th, 2005 at 5:51 pm

There’s been a lot happening today with respect to Luther Vandross and his celebrity funeral. Radio stations are playing his songs, and he’s in newspapers and on the internet, including Jamie Walker’s funeral report and photos.

 

So we at ChickenBones: A Journal (www.nathanielturner.com) felt a need to do something to honor the man. Something different.

 

I admit I’m not a Luther Vandross fan. Indeed I thought he was talented, and I liked the way he used his voice. There was a kind of purity about his voice, almost as if it were a musical instrument. I would not turn him off or anything like that, but his songs were just what I listen to. My sensibility was that he sang for women.

 

I stumbled across Kalamu’s interview and I like almost anything he does. There was also the attraction that the interview was old and so it would give a different perspective than the current funeral reports.

 

After I read it I found a lot of music history and musicality there. And I found the man, Luther. So there is a lot in the interview, and it was handled well. It gave me a new and fresh perspective on Luther Vandross. I think others will also become more sympathetic to our loss of this great artist.

 

The posting of the interview on ChickenBones will bring additional attention to the importance of the interview and the man, and maybe to what you all are doing at BOL and what to expect.

 

So a posting of the interview on ChickenBones might be a win-win all the way around.

 

Rudy

 


youngfus Says:
July 13th, 2005 at 4:31 am

First, Baba Kalamu & Ndugu Mtume – thank you for always making us welcome in your circle.
n o w – unlike more of my peers (22-35 yr old black males) than i thought, i was a luther fan, simply because had he not given me the soundtrack, i _never_ would have had a girlfriend.
that simple.
it’s almost embarrassing to know that [pop R&B stylist] luther paved the way when i’d like to say i was raised on the potent passion and politicism of Curtis Mayfield, or the musical majesty of Stevie Wonder, but in the 80s, in dallas, texas, _Luther_ was on the radio. My dad’s priceless record collection held those other iconic voices, and the O’Jays and the Spinners, with Aretha & Mama Africa laying a solid foundation, but dad didn’t share so much.
so i rocked the radio. and Luther’s version of Creepin’ was the first i knew. And Luther let me know that seeking the assurance of continued love (Are you gonna be – say you’re gonna be) is okay.
Luther made it plain. No arcane references to philosophical concepts i wouldn’t understand for another decade. No hidden metaphorical messages. Just: Let’s get this love right.
Let’s make it last. And if i mess up, you have to know i’m sorry because love is so amazing . . .
He made Burt Bacharach songs Black. (i know Dionne souled up some Burt, too – but she wasn’t on the radio!)
So, yeah, Luther was real-really-real-real right for me.

Thanks for letting me get that out.
Sharing feeds the spirit.
i wish you peace & power.


Craig Werner Says:
July 16th, 2005 at 7:27 am

First, gracias for the blog. I’ve missed Mtume’s voice a lot since the days of the Hip Hop round tables. Anyway, you’re right that everyone over 30 has their Luther story (and as y’all young folks follow the path, you’ll start to hear him different. I promise.)

Champaign, Illinois, late 1970s. I’m in grad school at the University of Illinois, teaching the Black Lit class and feeling pretty much alienated and isolated in an academic scene that has trouble with the notion art’s connected to the world. Sometime around 4:30 a.m., I wander down to the cafeteria in the student union (they actually tolerated education at all hours of the day then–kept the library open and everything), feeling pretty bluesy, with less of the sweet side than is good for you. Sat down at a booth next to one where a couple of the women from the night shift (the one island of blackness in a mostly white campus) were talking. More specifically, they were raving about this new singer who, they agreed, was the best thing to come down the pike since Sam Cooke. Recognizing a trustworthy review when I heard one, I went to the record store when it opened the next morning and picked up For Every For Always with the Sam medley. For an old school gospel/soul cat, there couldn’t have been a better introduction. Played the hell out of that album; a big part of the music mix that kept me in school. These days I teach a Black Music and American History (which includes yesterday and tomorrow) course at Wisconsin. Always always make sure the hip hop generation gets it’s shot of Luther, usually via "Power of Love."


peace and justice, 

craig werner

ANN REISS Says:
November 15th, 2006 at 1:26 pm

I AM A BIG LUTHER FAN. MY SISTER AND I ATTENDED A CONCERT IN ST. LOUIS, MO. I AM GUESSING IT WAS IN THE EIGHTIES. I TOLD HER THAT LUTHER HAD LOST WEIGHT AND SHE SAYS HE HAD NOT. I REMEMBER HIM MOVING ALL OF THE EQUIPMENT OFF THE STAGE AND HIS SINGERS TO PERFORM. DO YOU HAVE ANY PICTURES OF HIM AT THE CONCERT?


Rob Schmieder Says:
February 10th, 2008 at 5:22 pm

Great words on the great Luther. Thanks for the shoutout to his club presence–one of my millions of happy Luther memories is getting the DJ at the Spike in San Fran to play “For the Sweetness of Your Love” for a friend on his birthday (“I’d go ten rounds with Sugar Ray, for the…”) Ouch! That voice could rock the joint!


ellen Says:
June 10th, 2008 at 7:11 pm

luther was the man, he made a lot of love music, being alone music, being dumped, being used…. but, he was singing as if he was the one going through all these trials…. listen how he sings dance with my father, he said somehthing about his innocene was taken…what is he talking…. was he molested… did he have a significant other… I always wondered…. he was the best of all time with love music…. just wondered… I still love his music no matter what


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