Saturday, April 18, 2015

L is for Living Colour & Lady Bo

Living Colour is an American rock band that was formed in New York City in 1984. Best known for mixing alternative rock, metal, funk, jazz and hip hop and their politically charged lyrics that also brought attention to the racism in America. The band has had changed members throughout the band's career; the original members of the band were Vernon Reid on guitar and some lead vocals, D.K. Dyson and Mark Ledford on vocals, Alex Mosely, Jerome Harris and Carl James on base, Greg Carter, Pheeroan akLaff and J.T. Lewis on drums, Geri Allen on keyboard. The band released their debut album titled "Vivid" in 1988, which instantly shot the band stardom, going on to release hit single after hit single. This band is probably most iconic for not only their talent for fusing so many genres of music together but for their song "Cult of Personality" which earned them a Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Performance in 1990 and also an MTV Video Music Award for Best New Artist in 1989. 
     The band disbanded in 1995 over creative differences but later reunited with members Vernon Reid, Corey Glover, Will Calhoun, and Doug Wimbush in 2000 playing a show at the CBGB. The band went on their first tour as a band again in the summer of 2001. In 2003 signed with Sanctuary Records and released their album "Collidescope" and went on to release compilation albums and a new album titled "Chair in the Doorway" in 2009. The band's song " Cult of Personality" was featured in the video game "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas" and in "Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock". 
   According to the Living Colour official website, the band has a show coming up in July and is working on an album to be released in the spring of 2015 and they will be doing a full line up tour in the fall to celebrate their 30th Anniversary in the Fall.


Lady Bo born Peggy Jones was born on July 19th, 1940 in New York City. Developing an interest and talent for music early on she was a trained tap dancer at the age of 3 and began studying opera and learning to play the ukelele at age 9. She attended and graduated from the New York High School of Performing arts where she leaned to play several instruments and to compose her own music. In 1955 she bought her fist gutar, and the following years after that went on to record three singles that became hits on the local scene. In 1957 she met Bo Diddley and replaced his guitarist Jody Williams of which she became the first woman to be featured as a Lead Guitarist in history. She would go on to work with Diddley until 1961 when she formed her own group who were later called "Lady Bo & The Family Jewel". She continued to find success by playing with several other big named bands and continued to make music and became internationally known when the hit "San Franciscan Nights" by Eric Burdon & The Animals for which she did the percussion reached the Top 10 spot on music charts all around the world.She continued to accompany Bo Diddley with her band for several decades and continued making music, blazing a trail as a pioneer and being referred to as the "Queen Mother of Guitar". She continues to this day to make music; to stay up to date on news about her visit her official website below.
   I had never hear of  Lady Bo until I began my research for this list; I was excited to know that not only had she played with one of the most notable figures in rock history but that she was a part of that history and also black woman who I feel has not gotten the recognition she deserves, many women guitarists should pay homage to Lady Bo for paving the way for them to become guitarists. It is because of her that they exist and now that women today are beginning to gain respect for their work in rock music, especially black women. It is beautiful and I have absolutely loved learning about her because as I've said before and as the saying goes representation definitely matters. To learn how awesome her skills are check out the videos below she was a beast!!!!


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