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Basic Black; R And B: Remembering the 60’s


Best of R&B Groups

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Basic Black
R And B: Remembering the 60’s
Program Number


Series Description

THe series was formerly known as Say Brother. Series title change as of 1/8/1998. This series is black produced and is one of public television's longest-running series that is rooted in and reflects the culture, concerns, achievements and history of people of African descent. Also includes controversial issues, African American artists, and events of special interest to the African American community.

Series release date: 1/8/1998

Program Description

James Brown. Patti LaBelle. Sly and the Family Stone. Gladys Knight and the Pips. In the 1960s, WGBH’s BASIC BLACK brought some of the hottest rhythm and blues groups of the era to the WGBH studios for performance specials. BASIC BLACK mines some of these vintage performances to explore the influence that early R&B has had on contemporary rap and hip-hop

R&B: Remembering the ’60s features footage by some of the genre’s biggest stars performing for WGBH’s cameras: Gladys Knight and the Pips perform I Heard It Through the Grapevine, Patti LaBelle sings Somewhere Over the Rainbow with her group Patti and the Blue Bells, The Impressions—featuring Curtis Mayfield—sing Movin’ on Up. The program also features James Brown singing In a Cold Sweat from the historic Boston Garden concert taped by WGBH the night after Martin Luther King, Jr., was assassinated.

Jazz musician and Trinity College professor Salim Washington and WILD-AM "Time Tunnel" host Mark Coleman add historical perspective and discuss the impact that rhythm and blues music has on contemporary artists. The old R&B songs are turning up in rap and hip-hop music, sampled or re-made by young musicians; kids listening to Puff Daddy are learning George Clinton and Parliament classics, says Coleman. "That these old R&B classics are being sampled and utilized in new fashion, new flavor, is a continuation of a long tradition," says Washington. "The R&B roots in hip-hop are very real."



Asset Type

Broadcast program

Media Type


Social Issues
Race and Ethnicity
Chicago: “Basic Black; R And B: Remembering the 60’s,” 11/11/1999, GBH Archives, accessed November 29, 2023,
MLA: “Basic Black; R And B: Remembering the 60’s.” 11/11/1999. GBH Archives. Web. November 29, 2023. <>.
APA: Basic Black; R And B: Remembering the 60’s. Boston, MA: GBH Archives. Retrieved from
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