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ELLN July Music Quick Pick

Each month, I highlight an album as part of the ACC’s Employment and Labor Law Network’s outreach and engagement, and just to give you something non-legal related to enjoy every month.  I hope you join us on our Forums and at today’s monthly teleconference where ELLN Network Sponsor Jackson Lewis will present a Legal Quick hit entitled Could Ransomware Ruin Your Summer Vacation? If you’re an in-house counsel and not part of the ACC or the ELLN, you can join ACC and ELLN today and see what we’re all about!  I hope to (virtually) see you soon.

ELLN July Music Quick Pick

Former ELLN Chair Doug Hass has long been a music buff (he founded country music site Roughstock.com in 1993) and had plenty of windshield time for work over the years. That’s given him lots of time to indulge and explore his music interests! To help entertain you on your commutes or at the gym, office, home, or on the go, Doug is offering another year-long series of picks that will showcase some of the best albums you may have never heard, or that deserve another listen. We hope that each monthly choice piques your interest in these albums and artists. These may be titles that you have never heard of, but our hope is that your interest will be piqued and your musical world enriched!

Ray Charles – Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music, Vols. 1 & 2 (1962)
  Amazon Music – Apple Music – Spotify — Pandora

Last summer, I highlighted another “unexpected” country artist pick in Tina Turner.  This summer, I wanted to do it again.  Even if you are a country music fan that doesn’t typically listen to Ray Charles, you are likely familiar with some of his country hits, including the Grammy-winning “Georgia on My Mind.”  His 1984 collaborative album Friendship featured duets with some of country’s biggest names from Johnny Cash to Merle Haggard to Willie Nelson and topped the Billboard Top Country Albums chart.  The last track on that album, “Seven Spanish Angels” with Willie Nelson and written by Troy Seals and Eddie Setser is an all-time classic and enduring #1 country hit.  A little more off the beaten country path, Charles’ 1972 funk-soul-blues fusion release A Message from the People includes a slick reimagining of the straight-laced John Denver hit “Take Me Home Country Roads” (and amazing versions of Melanie’s “What Have They Done to My Song, Ma” and a gospel-tinged version of the Dion hit “Abraham, Martin and John” while you’re at it).

Charles had a profound impact on country music beyond those hits sprinkled throughout his later career.  Early on in his career, Charles sought to experiment with country music, commenting in liner notes for an album that he “used to play piano in a hillbilly band” and that he believed that he “could do a good job with the right hillbilly song today.”  In 1962, he did just that.  At the height of his career, he released Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music.  The project took 12 then-recent hits and some old standards and reinterpreted them in new ways using Charles’s jazz and soul influences.  The resulting arrangements gave a universal, accessible feel to songs that might not have otherwise reached a wider audience.  Songs like Hank Williams’ “Hey, Good Lookin’” and Eddy Arnold’s “You Don’t Know Me” (with the Don Gibson classic “I Can’t Stop Loving You,” my three favorite tracks) helped Charles unite his (black) fan base with a (white) country fanbase, laying the groundwork for more country crossover success for himself and others.

More importantly, a black musician releasing a country album at the height of the civil rights movement had a massive social impact and fractured the black/white market segregation of music distribution.  The biggest testament to the impact of this album: Charles and his label rushed a 12-song Volume 2 to market just six months later.  Both are linked here for your listening pleasure.

Enjoy!

Can’t get enough? Further Listening:

Ray Charles, A Message from the People (1972) (via Spotify)

Ray Charles, Friendship (1984) (via Amazon)

Each month, I highlight an album as part of the ACC’s Employment and Labor Law Network’s outreach and engagement, and just to give you something non-legal related to enjoy every month.  I hope you join us on our Forums and at today’s monthly teleconference where Jackson Lewis Principal Eric Felsberg will present a Legal Quick hit entitled AI in Hiring. If you’re an in-house counsel and not part of the ACC or the ELLN, you can join ACC and ELLN today and see what we’re all about!  I hope to (virtually) see you soon.

ELLN June Music Quick Pick

Former ELLN Chair Doug Hass has long been a music buff (he founded country music site Roughstock.com in 1993) and had plenty of windshield time for work over the years. That’s given him lots of time to indulge and explore his music interests! To help entertain you on your commutes or at the gym, office, home, or on the go, Doug is offering another year-long series of picks that will showcase some of the best albums you may have never heard, or that deserve another listen. We hope that each monthly choice piques your interest in these albums and artists. These may be titles that you have never heard of, but our hope is that your interest will be piqued and your musical world enriched!

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