Vinyl of the Day

When the kids went off to college, they couldn’t take everything. I am lucky to have their libraries of records; their music has enriched my life, changed my life. Each one was special — to them and to me. None more so than “Rapper’s Delight” by Bernard Edwards and Nile Rodgers, performed by the Sugarhill Gang. Released in 1979 by Sugarhill Records, Ltd., 1790 Broadway; NY, NY 10019. Sylvia Robinson found them: Big Bank Hank (Henry Lee Jackson)(RIP), Wonder Mike (Michael Anthony), and Master Gee (Guy O’Brien). Mrs. Robinson met them on a weekend, and they recorded “Rapper’s Delight” in one “take” on that Monday. The music is from 1977 Chic Music, Inc. “Good Times” (BMI). And the rapping is worthy of a listen at least once a week. Waaaaay ahead of their time and before almost anyone else (except Gil Scott Heron), they popularized hip-hop. Their work is listed in Rolling Stone’s greatest songs of all time, and by About.com and VH1 in listings of greatest hip-hop songs. In 2011, “Rapper’s Delight” was placed in the Library of Congress. Memories — too many to mention — came flooding back as I listened to it today. The vinyl has a long version and a short version. Both are great — in different ways. They also released a shortened single version as a record, and there was an official remix in 1989 (Ben Liebrand); I will be checking those out! People always like to talk about where rap started — Bronx, Queens, New Jersey, L.A., Chicago, NYC, Compton. But there can be no argument about who brought it to the rest of us!

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