Ahh… what better time to wax philosophically than a Monday morning. Yeah right. But something has been on my mind for a while now and I just wanted to commit a few words to what I’ve been thinking about.

I’m wondering if this concept of “Grown Folks Music” has always been with us? Is it a natural progression in musical taste as one matures? Or is the concept a fairly recent development( and by recent I mean the last 20 years or so) spurred on by a perception of a downgrade in the quality of popular music. Really and truly that’s what we are discussing here, popular music because there has always been great music that for one reason or another does not become popular so unfortunately it is not part of the discussion.

Look at this list of song titles and artists for a moment….

I’ll Be There-The Jackson 5
Master Blaster(Jammin)-Stevie Wonder
Love Takes Time-Mariah Carey
Bag Lady-Erykah Badu
Can’t Be Friends-Trey Songz

The reason I selected these songs is because they just happen to be the #1 R&B single this week of their respective decade from 1970-2010. What I’m curious to know was there a group of music lovers on 1970 who identified themselves as followers of a particular standard who had a disdain for The Jackson Five? Certainly there are persons who have always identified with other forms of music and loathe pop, but I’m curious to know if we can honestly look at these songs decade by decade, artist by artist and say that there was a critical mass of music lovers who yearned for a higher standard for their pop music and were vocal about it.

What say you? What are the origins of GFM? Recent phenomenon or has this concept been with us since the second generation began playing music the first generation didn’t like?

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.