One of my favorite endeavors is what I often refer to as connecting the dots. For me, it really is important to have a firm musical and historical context. Through this process I have learned two things: 1. There’s nothing new under the sun and 2. Every innovation begins within the dominant musical force of the time.

There reason that I posted this clip of Dee Dee Sharp is twofold: 1. To bring about awareness if you didn’t know that Dee Dee is widely considered the first black teen idol of the “Rock” era(she was a high school student when she recorded several million sellers) 2. There is a direct link that we can draw between the music of Dee Dee Sharp and what many consider the “Terra Firma” of Grown Folks Music. I will unpack that idea of the next few weeks.

For now enjoy this stroll down memory lane.

Ivan Orr is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, performer, and writer. A native of Charlottesville, Virginia Ivan was involved with the forming and nascent days of The Music Resource Center as its first Program Director. A graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University’s Department of Music, Ivan currently resides in Richmond, VA where he maintains an active performance and production schedule while serving as the Music Editor for Grown Folks Music, a position he has held since 2010.