Fatback Band Letter

“Music Is My Life”

June 15, 2011

Music is my life and has been for over sixty years. I remember when music was part of everyone lives; when you used to hear a song and associate it with what you were doing when that song came out. The dance you did with that particular song. When you went to a live performance you talked about it for days. Those were the days when you used to dress up to go see your favorite artist. That’s when music was king, at least in my hometown of Fayetteville, NC.

Once upon a time, Fayetteville was one of the main stops for touring musicians and entertainers, and all of the big acts made the stop. Nowadays the acts are asking for more money. The cost of living keeps going up and they had to build larger venues to accommodate larger crowds in order to pay entertainers. At the time, Fayetteville wanted no part of that of that movement. One of the reasons was because the city didn’t want to keep up with time. They wanted things to stay the same, while other cities in the Carolina’s were looking towards the future and continuously changing with the times. The old farts in the city liked things just the way they were, whereas they were making, stealing and controlling all the money and what went on in the city.

The same thing happened to the record industry. The old farts didn’t want to embrace the new changes. They did all the wrong things to hold on to what they had while technology was making ways for people to access the music a different way and giving people access to the world. At the same time, they were freeing the artist from the old paradigm.

In my hometown, rumors were flying around that one of our landmarks is closing down… “Vick’s Drive in.” Vick’s was established in 1953. When I travel and meet people and tell them I’m from the Ville and if they’re familiar, the next question is… “Is Vick’s still there?” Vick’s is famous for its soul food and not just any kind of soul food, Black Cuisine. Famous for their foot longs, hamburgers, bologna & egg, pork chop & most of all chitterling sandwiches with a side of collard greens, candied yams & cornbread and all the other foods that’s associated with our culture. Vick’s can be described as a “greasy spoon” restaurant that is visited by many that have served in the Ft Bragg area and has been in business for over 50 years.

The other day a friend of mine was in Vick’s to order their favorite…sausage link w/the works. It was early on a quiet Saturday morning. They had some ole school CD’s playing in the background. She said to her surprise the music playing was Backstrok’n and she asked Tommie (now owner & operator), what was the name of that group. He said, “Oh! That’s my favorite group, Fatback Band!” She told him, “He didn’t know anything about Fatback.” You see, the owner is Greek. His reply was… “I’ve been around soul food and music all my life, what makes you think I don’t know about that kind of music?” It made his day when she told him Fatback was a native of Fayetteville and called me up so she could prove it after he called her a “liar.” He was overly excited while snatching the phone from her & telling me all about his experience growing up on Fatback music! When you’re traveling 95…you got to stop in town long enough to visit Vick’s – any Mon – Sat.

I want to throw this in about food, over the past decade food is where music used to be…whereas people would talk about it long after. Nowadays you hear someone talking about the restaurant they visited over the weekend and how great the food was or I found this place out the way, that not many people know of, that has this great dish! Man you gotta try it. This is the way music used to affect people. Look at all the new food channels. I even found myself watching one the other night believe it or not, that’s how music was at one time.

We couldn’t live without it! Like the cell phone today…try taking one away from a teenager. His or her life would fall apart. Music will always be around, but not king.

Our download of the month is a remix of “Love in the Tub” by Kay Jay. It will be available on Integrity Records June 19th 2011. Please give me your feedback.

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Fatback at Southport Weekender

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Fatback Live at the 02 in London 2009




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