In Celebration of Gil’s born day, April 1st
©2022 by Pat Kelly
Gil Scott-Heron was born on this day, but never got a chance to say, how he wanted to be remembered.
So, we reminisce; there’s mastery of the spoken word, countless lives touched with ‘storm music,’ and spoken words depicting our lives, just a few contributions from Gil as an artist.
Most people know Gil was born in Chicago, raised in Tennessee, and later, New York.
At times seeming complicated to others, Gil spent his life working relentlessly to get his messages across; beginning with Small Talk…to 17th Street, to the ‘Ghetto code,’ A Toast to the People, New Beginnings, and A Lovely Day, are samplings of music so profound, he was the revolution not televised.
While at Lincoln University, he formed his first group, Black and Blues. There he approached an older student, Eddie Ade Knowles, and freshman Brian Jackson to join him in what became musical history.
Later, along with Bilal Sunni-Ali, Victor Brown, Danny Bowens, and Charlie Cosmic’ Saunders, Barnett ‘Doc’ Williams became members of the Midnight Band.
It was during this period after being introduced to him in New York we began our friendship. I was a Hilltop features editor, and graduate student at Howard University in ‘75.
Later on, when the band changed names they added and included Robbie Gordon, Ed Brady, Tony Green, Carl Cornwell, Ron Holloway, and Larry McDonald who played with Ameer Façade, and Amnesia Express. Together, these musicians left their mark in history, and blueprints for generations unborn.
Gil brought light, and sarcasm in H20 Blues…laughter and irony in Whitey on the Moon.
A man who’s legacy is still being fought over in an e-war that should never be.
Gutter vultures need to be taught, this was a brother not to be bought, nor can his true legacy be erased.
Gil valued simple things; old-fashioned honesty, beauty and truth.
Is it valued still? Does it now matter to us?
As Gil’s long term partner, and mother of our first born, we profoundly feel the void.
Also, his beloved sister Gayle, and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins on both sides of the family tree.
His laughter, smile, and unselfish compassionate spirit remains a positive impact in our lives, and is still being felt.
We will always remember those private, precious, and personal moments with family we shared.
We will set the record straight.
The man with a sharp, quick wit, and giving heart who told me this epitome of truth.
“I’m gonna be a hard act to follow.”
Sleep In Peace, love.
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