Jazz, Blues, Rhythm and Blues, Rock 'n' Roll, Soul, Funk and Hip-Hop; there's no question African American musical creativity has fuelled the modern music industry. But faced with racism and cultural theft for decades, African-American musicians, DJs, businessmen and women have struggled to have any real control or ownership in the business. In this three part series financial educator, broadcaster and music obsessive Alvin Hall examines the political economy of African American music, from jazz to Jay Z.
In this second episode, Alvin looks at the 1960s and 70s. Soul music wasn't just the soundtrack and fashion to a turbulent and eventful period in the civil rights movement. It defined a specific period of social development for black people. Motown became the sound of young America with the first, commercially successful black-owned record label. James Brown preached his black capitalist message through his self-titled Soul Power. And CBS Records commissioned the Harvard Business School to investigate the profitability of black music. A report that would change industry thinking forever.