Now that you have a sense from one young persons view, let us go back and fill in the background and couch the emergence of Hip Hop in perspective –
The sun shown bright and warm as an airplane propeller soothingly droned on in the sky that Saturday noon in 1957 as I walked along 222nd St in the Bronx from White Plains Rd shopping. I was 5 years old and wished to God I had, had a new transistor radio like my sister Lita, 5 years older than me, who listened to Jocko and Symphony Sid music on the radio at night while our parents thought we were asleep.
As we passed our Church St Lukes Episcopal on 22nd and Barnes Av. I silently prayed to God that I would have something to do with music one day and have a show just like Jocko and Symphony Sid and know all the musicians. A warm flooding feeling came washing over me. It felt a little funny as I looked at my mother to see if she noticed anything, she didn’t, but that was it.
Later that Saturday evening I found out what, the what was. All of a sudden at about 9pm we heard a loud car horn honking all the way up on the 14th floor of our apartment 14B at 1175 E 229th Edenwald Projects the Bronx. When we looked out the window we found it was coming from a convertible Chevy Impala car filled with Black and White teenagers from the projects that broke out into singing Doo-Wops, at the tops of their lungs from that car. No one bothered to call the Police on their party line phones of the times, why I don’t know, so the music went on, and they sang great.
So on the night I didn’t need a transistor Radio and felt like the music was all especially for me, from the warm feeling God had showed me earlier in the day.
*Authors note: Carlos is the name I grew up being known as in Edenewald projects. I grew up fortunately around many famous musicians from there. To name a few Andy González and Jerry González of Cuban extraction that went on to play with Eddie Palmieri and other Salseros. Andy was my inspiration to pick up the bass guitar in my first group, Group Power. Also there was John F Adams Piano, and my buddy I tried to get into our band Richie Morales who went on to play be the backbone drummer for Spyro Gyra for so many years. Look for more articles as I lay the foundation for the era, mood and times in which Hip Hop was formulated.
Bronx Living Legends – Andy Gonzalez from Bronx Music Heritage Center