Midnight Lightning: Jimi Hendrix and the Black Experience

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August, 2003 | Midnight Lightning: Jimi Hendrix and the Black Experience | Many of us know that Jimi Hendrix started in the world of R&B as a guitarist for the Isley Brothers, Wilson Pickett,
Little Richard, King Curtis, and others.

Hendrix author Greg Tate is a journalist who has written about literature, music, and popular culture.

For some late Summer reading, I highly recommend this book. You'll get a perspective about Hendrix that's a real eye opener.

As a solo artist, Jimi was forced to go to England to make a name for himself, before breaking through in the USA.

Did you know that to this day, Jimi Hendrix CD catalog sales total over 3 million dollars annually.

Tate pulls no punches in a book which he calls, "a kind of Jimi Hendrix Primer for black folk."

The gritty liner notes say it all..."Incorporating extensive interviews with black Americans who can shed light on Hendrix's complicated racial relationships, Midnight Lightning explores, among other issues:

  • How Hendrix exploded our complacently segregated world
    to emerge as an icon for white boys (direct quote).
  • Why we never hear his songs on black radio.
  • Why black people once viewed him as a hippie Uncle Tom.
  • His connection to the Black Power movement.
  • How he electrified soul music and made the electric
    guitar supplant the human voice.
  • How he revolutionized the technology in popular music.
  • How he redefined rock fashion.
  • His sex appeal, especially for black women."


    Review written by King for the Powerhouse Radio Newsletter, August, 2003.

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