In a week that has seen the transitioning of not only our AOM but also Johnny Otis who was instrumental in putting this “answer record” to Hank Ballard’s hit “Work With Me Annie” I feel that it is of utmost importance to realize that what we are all truly part of a continuum. Some may have believed that “answer records” are the sole provincial of Hip-Hop, they are not. Some would want you to believe that purposely because that’s convenient for marketers or segmenters or separaters as I like to refer to them. Once we can realize that this is all a continuum of creativity we can start to appreciate the genius just a little bit more. There’s no difference between “Dance With Me Henry” and “The Showstopper” if you think about it… I mean maybe the difference in delivery, but sentiment, no difference. We’re talking about connection and the connection that ran from Louis Armstrong to Louis Jordan to Hank Ballard, Johnny Otis and Etta James and on forward to this day we should continue to work to our level best to see that connection can remain unbroken.

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.