June 6, 2000 - Issue: Vol. 146, No. 68 — Daily Edition106th Congress (1999 - 2000) - 2nd Session
RECOGNIZING THE IMPORTANCE OF AFRICAN-AMERICAN MUSIC; Congressional Record Vol. 146, No. 68
(House of Representatives - June 06, 2000)
Text available as:
Formatting necessary for an accurate reading of this text may be shown by tags (e.g., <DELETED> or <BOLD>) or may be missing from this TXT display. For complete and accurate display of this text, see the PDF.
[Pages H3876-H3878] From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov] RECOGNIZING THE IMPORTANCE OF AFRICAN-AMERICAN MUSIC Mr. GOODLING. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and agree to the resolution (H. Res. 509) recognizing the importance of African- American music to global culture and calling on the people of the United States to study, reflect on, and celebrate African-American music, as amended. The Clerk read as follows: H. Res. 509 Whereas artists, songwriters, producers, engineers, educators, executives, and other professionals in the music industry provide inspiration and leadership through their creation of music, dissemination of educational information, and financial contributions to charitable and community-based organizations; Whereas African-American music is indigenous to the United States and originates from African genres of music; Whereas African-American genres of music such as gospel, blues, jazz, rhythm and blues, rap, the Motown sound, and hip-hop have their roots in the African-American experience; Whereas African-American music has a pervasive influence on dance, fashion, language, art, literature, cinema, media, advertisements, and other aspects of culture; Whereas the prominence of African-American music in the 20th century has reawakened interest in the legacy and heritage of the art form of African-American music; Whereas African-American music embodies the strong presence of, and significant contributions made by, African-Americans in the music industry and society as a whole; Whereas the multibillion dollar African-American music industry contributes greatly to the domestic and worldwide economy; Whereas African-American music has a positive impact on and broad appeal to diverse groups, both nationally and internationally; and [[Page H3877]] Whereas in 1979 President Carter recognized June as African-American Music Month, and President Clinton subsequently recognized June as African-American Music Month: Now, therefore, be it Resolved, That the House of Representatives-- (1) recognizes the importance of the contributions of African-American music to global culture and the positive impact of African-American music on global commerce; and (2) calls on the people of the United States to take the opportunity to study, reflect on, and celebrate the majesty, vitality, and importance of African-American music. The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. Goodling) and the gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. Fattah) each will control 20 minutes. The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. Goodling). General Leave Mr. GOODLING. Madam Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members may have 5 legislative days within which to revise and extend their remarks on H. Res. 509. The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from Pennsylvania? There was no objection. Mr. GOODLING. Madam Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume. I rise today in support of H. Res. 509 offered by the gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. Fattah), a very important member of our Committee on Education and the Workforce. I particularly want to call to all of my colleagues' attention that the gentleman has indicated that we will have a most memorable and enjoyable meeting in the City of Brotherly Love when our convention meets there. He has assured me that the bad name that the city gets on sporting events from time to time has nothing to do with the people of the City of Brotherly Love. I think he said they come from across the river, the ones that cause the trouble. Now he is in trouble with the people across the river. Madam Speaker, African-American music has been a part of the American and global culture for decades. From glorious gospel blues, jazz, rhythm and blues to rap and hip-hop, African-American music has influenced all aspects of our society in the form of dance, fashion, language, art, literature, cinema, media, and advertisements. Throughout time, African-American artists, songwriters, educators, and other professionals in the music industry have provided inspiration and leadership through their creation of music, dissemination of educational information, and financial contributions to charitable and community-based organizations that had allowed African-American music to embody the strong presence of and significant contributions made by African Americans. All in all, African-American music has made a positive impact on and a broad appeal to diverse groups, both nationally and internationally. Madam Speaker, this resolution is very simple. We want to rightly recognize and celebrate the magnificent contributions that African- American music has provided, not only in shaping the social and political fabric of our Nation, but to the global culture as well. I commend the gentleman from Pennsylvania for his leadership in authoring this legislation, and I urge my colleagues to vote in its support. Madam Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time. Mr. FATTAH. Madam Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume. I rise in support of H. Con. Res. 509. I would like to thank the chairman of the committee for facilitating this legislation's appearance here on the floor, and I would share with him again that we look forward to welcoming the Republican National Convention in Philadelphia. It is the first time our city will be hosting a convention in the last 50 years. Philadelphia is an appropriate place for either of our national parties to meet because it is the founding city of our country in which the document that was referred to earlier, the Declaration of Independence, was penned. Notwithstanding a few people who do not live in our city who may come to a sporting event and not act appropriately, the citizens of our city have agreed that they are going to be Republicans for a whole week when they come for the convention. Then, on this particular legislation, Philadelphia has played and continues to play, a very important role in the development of African- American music from the Philadelphia Sound, and Marian Anderson, and a host of others. This year I have introduced this resolution, particularly in honor of the late great Grover Washington, Jr. and Curtis Mayfield who both have passed, but the contributions of African Americans in the field of music are well known; and they go through all of the different types of music, from gospel to jazz to hip-hop and the like. Madam Speaker, I want to thank the majority, particularly the chairman, for allowing this resolution. It is important because, in this month of June under the leadership of the International African- American Music Association under the leadership of Diana Williams, there will be an important acknowledgment, and this dates back decades now from Jimmy Carter up through President Bill Clinton, acknowledging this month, and I think it is appropriate that the Congress does likewise. I want to thank all of my colleagues and hope for favorable consideration of this resolution. Mr. KNOLLENBERG. Madam Speaker. I rise today to express my support for House Resolution 509 which extolls the contributions of African- American music to American culture. I would like to thank the gentleman from Pennsylvania, Chairman Goodling, and the gentleman from Pennsylvania, Mr. Fattah, for their fine work in crafting this resolution and also for allowing me to insert language into this bill recognizing the importance of the Motown Sound. Motown, as many of us will remember, Madam Speaker, is the recording label started in Detroit, Michigan back in 1959. The Motown story is the story of Berry Gordy, Jr., who was born in Detroit, Michigan on November 28, 1929. He was the seventh of eight children of Berry, Sr. and Bertha Gordy who themselves moved to Detroit from the South. After being drafted into the Army in 1951, he obtained his high school equivalency degree while in the Army. When Berry got out of the Army 1953, he opened a jazz-oriented record store called the 3-D Record Mart with his family's help. By 1955, the store had failed and Berry was working on the Ford automobile assembly line. While working on the line, Berry constantly wrote songs, submitting them to magazines, contests, and singers. His first break as a songwriter came in 1957 when Jackie Wilson recorded ``Reet Petite'', a song he, his sister Gwen and Billy Davis (under the pseudonym of Tyran Carlo) had written. ``Reet Petite'' became a modest hit and netted Berry $1,000 for the song. The rest, as they say, is history--a wonderful history of African-American contributions to American music and culture. The list of entertainers that share their roots in Motown is long and incredibly distinguished. Their music forms an integral part of the American experience. This list includes Jackie Wilson, the Miracles, the Four Tops, Marvelettes, Martha and the Vandellas, Supremes, the Temptations, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Mary Wells, Mickey Stevenson, Smokey Robinson, Holland-Dozier-Holland, the Funk Brothers, Gladys Knight and the Pips, the Isley Brothers, Diana Ross and the Supremes, Marvin Gaye, Michael Jackson, the Jackson 5, the Commodores, and Lionel Ritchie to name only a few. Motown afforded these and many other talented performers the opportunity to showcase their music to all of America. In 1970 Motown established a new subsidiary label called Black Forum that released the historical speeches of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Stokely Carmichael and black poets such as Langston Hughes and Margaret Danner. The Motown label continues to thrive today, ensuring that future generations will be able to enjoy this rich musical tradition. For ready information about Motown I would like to express a special thank you to Mike Callahan and his web page, http://www.bsnpubs.com/ motownstory.html. I would also like to recommend and thank the web site of the Recording Institute Of Detroit at http://www.recordingeq.com/ motown.htm. There you can find a photo essay tour of the Motown Historical Museum guided by Robert Dennis, Former Mastering Supervisor, Motown. For the museum's excellent photos I would like to thank Nick David for REQ and the Motown Historical Museum. An in-person visit is always better. You can contact the museum at (313) 875-2264. The Motown Historical Museum is housed in two adjacent and connected buildings at 2648 West Grand Boulevard, Detroit, Michigan. These are the two original buildings out of the eight West Grand Boulevard buildings that [[Page H3878]] Motown owned on the boulevard in the 1960's--before the company moved its headquarters to a ten-story office building on Woodward Avenue in downtown Detroit. The Motown Studio A remained at Hitsville, USA. In light of Motown's historic musical contribution, I felt it necessary that we include recognition of the Motown Sound in this resolution and highlight a fantastic chapter of the Detroit area's place in history. Congratulations and thank you to Motown! Mr. FATTAH. Madam Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time. Mr. GOODLING. Madam Speaker, I encourage all of my colleagues to support this legislation, and I yield back the balance of my time. The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the motion offered by the gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. Goodling) that the House suspend the rules and agree to the resolution, H. Res. 509, as amended. The question was taken. Mr. GOODLING. Madam. Speaker, on that I demand the yeas and nays. The yeas and nays were ordered. The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to clause 8 of rule XX and the Chair's prior announcement, further proceedings on this motion will be postponed. ____________________