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We at S.F.T.S / Sinecure44 had an in-depth chat with a music icon & living legend. The interview in its entirety can be read here.  I often introduce up-and-coming or Unsung artists. This interview will reintroduce our guest, whose music is heard national and international. His song, Express Yourself ' can be heard, on numerous TV ads such as; Nike, Burger King,  the theme song of the Emoji movie and others. Today, we reintroduce Grammy-nominated recording and performing artist and book author; Mr. Charles Wright.    [Ss C] Mr. Wright we know that YOU have, Something for the Soul. How are you?
[C.W.] I'm fine darling. How are you doing?
[Ss C] I am great. We are pleased to have you as our guest celebrity today, and  I'm going to get right to the point.  As I said I'm not going to introduce you, we're going to reintroduce you. So I will ask you to remind the fans & readers of the Express Yourself Experience.
[C.W. ] What would you think they'd like to hear?  Just express yourself, that's the best thing that happened to me?  It's a song I wrote. As a matter of fact, I started writing it at Texas A & M.
[C.W. ] My group and  I were performing a hit record we had which was called 'Do Your Thing,' which was a big record. When it ended, The students just kept stomping and clapping, so, I don't know why I said it but I just said; Express Yourself! They went completely wild. Yeah! So I said it a few other times, and they kept screaming and Hollering. So I went to the hotel that night and made it my business to write a song called express yourself. [Ss C] And in that song you had a very memorable phrase. It was a long phrase, but it was memorable.
[ C.W. ] You mean, “It’s not what you look like when you’re doin’ what you’re doin’ 
[Ss C]Yes that's the one.
[ C.W.] It’s what you’re doin’ when you’re doin’ what you look like you’re doin’!”
 [ Ss C ]That's it.
[Ss C] Whenever I'm asked what's my favorite quote, that's what I tell them. We also need to let the reader know that you didn't disappear off the scene. You know, you didn't just go away, that you've been on the music scene all the time.
[ C.W.] Yes, I've been here all the time
[Ss C] We're going to speak on that and let them know what you've been doing. [C.W. ] Well, I've been doing a lot of things, but frankly, you know, I guess my music and my words are pretty outspoken. I guess I'm considered sort of a rebel in the industry. Not only that; I think the industry decided in the late sixties that they were going to just kill off R&B as it were.
[Ss C] We're going to speak on that and let them know what you've been doing. [C.W. ] Well, I've been doing a lot of things, but frankly, you know, I guess my music and my words are pretty outspoken. I guess I'm considered sort of a rebel in the industry. Not only that; I think the industry decided in the late sixties that they were going to just kill off R&B as it were.
 R&B was one of the greatest things ever happened to this country and the world. But they decided they had to kill it I guess. The music that's made today is no longer made like it was when; Earth Wind & Fire, Ohio Player, Kool & the Gang and myself recorded music. We didn't use drum machines or computers. We used the real thing. We really rocked the whole entire world.  For some reason, they figured they had to kill that off.
I was the main one because I'm the reason Earth Wind & Fire exist. I'm the reasons Ohio Players, War, and a lot of those groups exist. After the Watt's 103rd Street Rhythm Band came out, everybody came out of the ghetto blasting.
No one had really been playing music. I insist on making music with live musicians. When you listen to most of my record, you'll hear they are played by human beings, not by machines.  So for that reason, maybe you guys haven't heard me a lot. But I'm here. And I'm recording. You hear my music every day on television, I know. [C.W. con't ] You know... 'Express Yourself'  is in a thousand commercials. And that keeps me going. I'm so very thankful for that. But as far as recording; I am recording. I have a new CD now call 'That Funky Thang.'
 [C.W.] It sounds like I'm doing all the talking sister.
[Ss C] I want you to talk. You're the one who knows about Mr. Charles Wright, and we want the people to know about Mr. Charles Wright.
[C.W.] Fantastic. Yeah. Funky Thang is another song of my latest music and I love it. I'm just hoping everybody else will. I am also doing a television show called the Express Yourself TV Show.  
It's got some very important people on there. And one of the things I've tried to highlight on that show, especially in Los Angeles, it that there's a lot of great artists. They have done a lot of great things and nobody knows who they are and they're dying off like flies. And I want people to know who these artists are; or who they were.
[Ss C] We're going to discuss that shortly, but let's talk about the track's title. Tell us how you came up with that title, and is there any significant meaning to that title?
 [C.W.] Listen to the words and that will tell you everything you need to know.
[Ss C] I listened to your song Mr. Wright and the vocals were there still strong and. the production is great. So tell us is there a new variation in the Charles Wright show. Going back to when Charles Wright first presented 'Express Yourself'  up to now, is there a difference in the show, the actual performance or is it the same great show? [C.W.] Oh, it's got a lot of other stuff added to it now really. I've got another layer of soul added to it actually, yeah.  We had five chart-topping records back in the '60s and '70s, now we have songs from five other CDs. We do at least one or two songs from those. I think the shows are very exciting because we won't quit until we get the people up on their feet. [Ss C ] Oh, okay. That's a show! That's a party! So that's what we can expect from a Charles Wright show... We know that the audience is going to participate in the show. They're going to want to be a part of it.
[ C.W. ] Oh, absolutely. Start to finish really.
[Ss C] Is there a difference in the reception from the audience when you're overseas, compared to the audience in the United States. [C.W.] People overseas tend to appreciate our music better, than people here. It's a racial thing,  I think really. They don't have the racial divide that we have in America.  In America, you'll notice that we play, one kind of music on this station and one kind on another station, but it's not like that in the rest of the world. So people appreciate us more there than the people do here for some reason.
[Ss C] Yes; I hear that from artists who actually travel overseas, that the way they are received over there is a totally different way.
[ C.W.]  You know, over there, they even know every band member's names, they know everything about you. They know who wrote the song. They know who produced it, they know everything. But they want to know.
And when I was a teenager buying records, I was that way too. I wanted to know. So I can understand how they feel. There was no bigotry in what you felt, you just felt it and you loved it. You know?
[Ss C] I believe I do. It's why I do what I do.  You were telling us about the artists that are forgotten. Can we discuss that topic now?
[C.W.] Yes, There are so many artists here in Los Angeles and they are never heard about on the world stage. Here in America you hardly hear about what they have accomplished, and most of them are dying off now.  I mean guys from the 50s and 60s and 70s. And a lot of them, nobody knows who they were. Sometimes people of other races have assumed their names and legacy. They go on stage and make money. [C.W. con't] I want to make sure that people know who these people were.
It startled me when we went to a show three years ago and there was a group called the flamingos. Have you ever hear of the flamingos?
[Ss C] I sure have!
[C.W. ]  They had a big song. They had more than one, but they had this particular one ' I only have eyes for you.'  There when we saw The Flamingos they were white.
[Ss C]Really!
[ C.W. ]  Yes! Then...when I went to see the Penguins.  These guys did 'Earth Angel'  and they were white. So I figured I have a duty to perform. So I've started the express yourself tv show. But not just for entertainers, but all kinds of people. I do actors and actresses, even people from the space program. But my main focus is to make sure that people know who these artists were in Los Angeles who 'has not' passed away yet; before they go.
 [Ss C] And you've written a book correct? And all of this is in your book?
[ C.W.] Oh yeah. I've written several books. My first book is about my childhood and the Mississippi cotton field. And the next one is called  'From the Cotton Patch to the Record Field.  It deals with all of this Hollywood stuff. [Ss C] That's interesting. Mr. Wright, that's a very deep title there. You know, I didn't know that you were from Mississippi.
[ C.W.] Oh yeah, born in the Mississippi Delta.
[Ss C] Okay, so I'm sure you are connected with a lot of the artists that are doing what they are now calling southern soul.
[ C.W.]  I'm really not. Nobody even knows I'm from Mississippi. They all associate me with Los Angeles and Watts.  People still back there don't even know I'm from Mississippi. I don't advertise it, but I say it all the time. I just don't try to push it to make sure that they know that I'm from there. Yeah. Mostly all of my family left there. They are all here, Saint Louis or Chicago and places like that.
[Ss C] Okay. One of your latest releases is titled, 'Going to the Party.'
[ C.W. ] Oh yes. That's it. Yes. That's from the new CD.
[Ss C] Would you like to tell us who's involved in making this song, creating the songs, the production or what have you. I know that you used a live band.
[ C.W. ] It's a bunch of my friends. They were singing background and we just had a live party.
[Ss C] For the readers, I will add your websites and contact to the article.[Ss C] Mr. Wright, I'm going back right here. Was there a particular moment that you knew that you wanted to share, your talents with the rest of the world? A moment that you knew that it had to be done, that you really wanted this? [C.W.] Yeah, It was a couple of good incidents that happened to me. I hadn't thought about doing anything like that until I went to high school. The first day I went to high school, where I saw a group on campus singing.  I had finished my orientation and sat down for lunch, and I heard the noise, behind one of the bungalows. I followed my ear back there and a group called 'the Youngsters,' singing a song called 'Dreamy Eyes.'  This was a record they had on the radio as well.  I went back every day listening to them because I had never heard anything so beautiful as this raw harmony.
That's the difference in what we had then, and we have now. those days the kids all inspired to be her harmonious.  We just wanted to sing, not like today where we all want to kill each other, for some reason. [C.W.] But anyway, that sparked my interest in doing this. But what really got me into it was when I was listening to the radio and, there's a guy named Jesse Belvin, who was the local hero with a record out at the time called, 'One Little Blessing'. I never really heard a sound like that. It Sounds so good to my ears. So I looked this man's number up in the phone book. He was the only Belvin in the phone book. When I finally got him on the phone I said, look, Mr. Belvin, you sound so good. I want to sound just like you. He gave me the best advice anybody ever gave me. He said, get your own sound boy and leave mine the 'F' alone.
I said I thought that would be a compliment. He said, you ever heard of Johnny Ace. I said, 'Yes I did. He was good too, but not like you'.
 He said, 'well if you don't get it by now, I'm getting off the phone.' [C.W. con't] I told him, Oh No, please don't get off the phone. I just want to be a part of this. I didn't know how to get started and I need some pointers; would you help me out, please? He was gracious enough to invite me over to his house that Saturday to a rehearsal. There was another group that was a hit also. He invited me over to his house to hear him and that group rehearsal. That's the best time I had ever had in my life.  I was hooked from then on. He helped me get into the business. That's how it got started. [Ss C] As we end the interview; is there anything that you want to cover, or that you want to put out there for the readers? [C.W.] Well, I hope the audience will understand what I have to say. I feel that our music had gone from being soul music to a computerized version of soul music and, it's a derivative of the music itself.
I can't tell you what to listen to or what the like, but try and differentiate what you're listening to from what it supposed to be. What I'm saying is, they say it's Soul music, but today you rarely hear 'real soul' music anymore. If you have the wherewithal to manage it somehow, try to demand pure soul music because I think we should bring it back to where it should be.
That's all I can really say about that because it's hard to talk to people and tell them about what music is. But I always tried to make music and I'm sticking to that. Music has to have real people playing it. Why... Because the human heart does not have a mechanical machine in it.
[Ss C] That says it all right there. You put that very well.
[ C.W. ] I hope I did,  Thank you. And thank you for giving me the opportunity to put it out there. [Ss C] We would like to thank the Icon Mr. Charles 'Express Yourself' Wright for taking the time to share his musical journey with us.  For more on the life of Charles Wright, it can be found in his biography titled, '  Up from Where We've Come.'
Charles Wright Book Up From Where Weve Come


[Submitted by Ms M. Ssugah Chaney]

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https://expressyourself.net/


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