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Pastors of Different Races Merge Churches and Release New Book to Help Heal Racial Divides (EUR EXCLUSIVE!)

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Pastor Derrick Hawkins and Pastor Jay Stewart

welded

*In 1960, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “11 ‘o’clock on Sunday morning is one of the most segregated hours, if not the most segregated hour, in Christian America.”

The civil rights leader’s famed quote was in reference to of course just how segregated church services were, and in many cases still are, across the United States.

Hoping to bridge this wide gap, in 2016, Pastors Derrick Hawkins (African American) and Jay Stewart (Caucasian American) decided to merge their racially separate congregations into The Refuge Church in North Carolina.

The recently released book, “Welded: Forming Racial Bonds That Last,” co-authored by the pastors, chronicles their relationship and what led to this racial reckoning. (Buy book now).

“We are living in a time where there still is much division, anger, and confusion in our nation especially as it relates to racial unity,” Pastor Stewart said in an EUR phone interview. “The bottom line is that we have a very unique story and God has chosen to write a better narrative in the midst of all the confusion and anger.”

Pastor Stewart continued, “So, we have an opportunity to share our story but to also give practical guidelines for how people can build relationships with people who look different than they do. The subtitle of the book is ‘forming racial bonds that last’ and that’s really the reason we’ve written this book.”

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Pastor Jay Stewart (Photo Credit: iDisciple Publishing)

Pastor Hawkins blames the media partly for the racial strife and sees their story as a positive alternative.

“I think there are so many different narratives going on across the media,” Pastor Hawkins told the EUR. “There are so many things that the enemy is trying to spread. We wanted a better narrative and not just a better story and to let people know that there are amazing things happening with the body of Christ that are positive.”

Guidelines in the book to start racial healing include practicing understanding others, respecting others’ opinions, getting out of one’s comfort zone, and committing to unity.

“We seek to understand more than we seek to be understood,” said Pastor Stewart. “So, we have to lay down our own agenda and really come to the table with the goal of understanding the other person. Secondly, we value the relationship more than being right. We live in a day where everybody feels that they have a right to their own opinion. One thing we’ve learned is that we lay down our rights because the relationship is more important.”

Pastor Stewart added, “We also have to break out of our comfort zones and be willing to inconvenience ourselves for the sake of others and if we do that we discover the most greatest and thrilling adventures in our relationship with Christ.”

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Pastor Derrick Hawkins (Photo Credit: iDisciple Publishing)

Pastor Hawkins said of people coming together, “I live by the motto in Ephesians 4:3, just making unity a priority. We know that we don’t have the ability to create unity, but it is our job to project unity. Pastor Jay always said we want to take every opportunity to make unity a priority but also preserve it.”

“Unity doesn’t mean there’s an absence of disagreement, but we have the ability to protect unity at all costs,” added Pastor Hawkins. “And there’s a way to look at your own echo chamber to see what you can do to make sure you are building healthy relationships with people who don’t look the same as you.”

The recent presidential election and election in general showed that most white Christians favored Donald Trump and Republicans. This support has led many in the black community to believe that white Christians overwhelmingly support racism and other ideologies that divide the races. The pastors said political views should have no place in the church.

“The kingdom of heaven trumps any political party,” said Pastor Hawkins. “Our job is to always align people to the kingdom and those things that we know are biblical truth. That’s why Ephesians 4:3 is so important.”

“We’ve only chosen to focus on the things that we share in common,” said Pastor Stewart. “And those are the things that unite us in the word of God. Bottomline, our loyalty is to Jesus Christ and our loyalty is not to some political party or to some person and that’s the thing that unites us.”

Pastor Stewart and Pastor Hawkins met in 2014 and two years later the two merged their churches. The Refuge Church has three campuses in North Carolina- Kannapolis, NC (main campus), Salisbury, and Greensboro. Plus, an international location in Brazil.

Pastor Stewart heads the main campus, while Pastor Hawkins leads the Greensboro location. They often lead together in the church as one unit.

Here is a video clip regarding the merging.

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If you have not noticed, the pastors are also of different ages. They maintain a close father-son relationship because, “I’m just incredibly cool,” said Pastor Stewart. “I just have a heart for the kingdom and age doesn’t matter to me. God just knit us together in a really special way. It’s never been an issue for me, and I don’t think it’s been an issue for him.”

“I grew up around my grandmothers and older individuals and I love gleaning from the wisdom from the generations,” Pastor Hawkins said. “There’s no future without the shoulders of the previous generations. Outside of white, black, political differences, chaos, and challenges, this man has poured into me and my life has been better because of his core and his relationship with the Holy Spirit.”

The book “Welded: Forming Racial Bonds That Last” is now out and available to buy here. For more information on the book, go here. For information on The Refuge Church, go here.

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Pastor Derrick Hawkins and Pastor Jay Stewart, authors of newly released book “Welded: Forming Racial Bonds That Last.”

 

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Steven Ivory: That Day I was Peggy ‘Mod Squad’ Lipton

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Peggy Lipton (Getty)

Mod Squad season 1 poster

*I didn’t care for Derek.  He had the kind of nervous energy grown-ups attributed to kids who ate too much sugar.

He talked too much, laughed too loud, and despite  Melvin’s mom’s  edict  for us to keep our  13 year-old selves   close to  home on that still, humid, lazy Oklahoma  City   Saturday afternoon—she said Melvin’s uncle was driving up from tiny Seminole, about 50 miles away  from us—Derek kept insisting the three of us abandon our perch on the peeling white banister along the front porch of Melvin’s family’s faded lemon clapboard house and go hang out at Washington Park.

When it was clear we weren’t budging, Derek introduced   another idea.

“Let’s play Mod Squad!”

“Cool,” said Melvin.

Before  he  or I could say anything else, Derek blurted,  “I’m Linc!”

Like most children, those in my predominantly Black, Eastside neighborhood played  pretend. You know—pretend to be someone or something you’re not: a cowboy,  fireman,  policeman,   soldier.  When we got older but still kids, we pretended to be characters from our favorite TV shows.   After it  made its premiere on ABC-TV in 1968,  one of our favorite things to play was  “The Mod Squad.”

The drama, starring 20-something white unknowns Michael Cole, Peggy Lipton and black newcomer Clarence Williams III, about a trio of young, hip undercover cops (“One Black, One White, One Blonde,” went the show’s catchphrase), might have seemed unbelievable, but in 1968, we  desperately  needed the escape.

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Martin Luther King (Getty)

Martin Luther King (Getty)

Think things are crazy today?  Consider 1968: On April 4th, six months  before  “Mod Squad”’s  debut,  the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in Memphis.  It was one of the few times I saw mama  cry.  King’s murder cast a pall of anger, fear and hopelessness over black America, where, in several major cities,  riots broke out.

That  June, Democratic Senator and presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy,  younger brother of President  John F. Kennedy and the man on whom Black America hung its  last, anguished   political hope, was gunned down during a campaign appearance at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles.  Meanwhile,  the Viet Nam war,  under the direction of President   Lyndon Johnson,  raged on.

At least  “The  Mod Squad”’s  cool “counter culture” cops  took  a smidgen of edge off  how Blacks felt about law enforcement.  After all the horrific evening news images of Blacks being beaten water hosed and shot during  the nation’s civil unrest,  young  Black America was more than ready to see a Soul Brother like Williams’s Lincoln “Linc” Hayes character, with his together ‘fro, dark glasses and super cool demeanor, sock it to white crooks.  Clarence Williams would go on to an acting career of varied roles, notably, almost two decades later, as father to Prince‘s character  in “Purple Rain.” But in ’68, he was Linc, whose dramatic running dive while chasing down a bad guy became the trademark move every young, male black “Mod Squad”  fan imitated at least once.

But I’d never played “Mod Squad.” How could you,  with no  female around to be Lipton’s Julie Barnes?   See, when it came to pretend, I was adamant  about authenticity.  Some  people  have an aversion to different foods on their plate touching;  it was the same with me and playing pretend.  It had to be right.

I remember attending a boy’s birthday party, where, in the backyard, some of the kids were playing pretend.  There was  Superman, “Kato” ( the sidekick to TV’s “Green Hornet,” portrayed on the show by a young unknown martial artist named Bruce Lee), the Fantastic Four’s Human Torch, somebody pretending to be Greg Morris’ character  on “Mission Impossible”  and  60s’ TV private eye, “Mannix.”

I  found it all disgusting:  Not in a million years would Mannix have  ever been acquainted  with the Human Torch.  Ever.

I’d bully  Tonymy younger brother,  into joining  me and our  friend  Donnie Minnis  in pretending to be the Beatles: Would it kill you to stand here,  hold that broom  and be George Harrison?  I’d assign Donnie to be John Lennon.  I was always Paul.  We didn’t have a Ringo.  Okay, so I wasn’t always consistent in my insistence on authenticity.

Peggy Lipton - Getty - 60247150_2531490486895688_1340044906046947328_o

Peggy Lipton

After Derek jumped on being “Linc,” Melvin  immediately  said he’d be “Mod Squad”’s Cool White Boy, “Pete Cochran.”   Then they  looked at me.  Uh uh.  No way  am I going  to be the chick. I’m not a girl.

“But we just playin’,” Derek coyly pushed back.  “You know I  ain’t really Linc.  Melvin ain’t that white cat.  We just playin’.”

“Yeah,  but…I ain’t  doin’  it.”

We went back and forth about this, before Derek tossed a grenade into the mix:  “…And we was gon’ play Mod Squad all the way to Grady’s,” he said, referring to the mid-sized trailer a few blocks away that had been permanentized by a cement foundation and plumbing into an air conditioned, counter seating-only diner serving  burgers and hot dogs.  “I was going to  treat.”  Melvin’s eyes widened.  Again, he looked at me.

Shoot. I did not want to do this.  I suspected  Derek simply wanted me to be Julie Barnes in the name of humiliation.

chilli-dog

But the stakes were high.  A  Grady’s hot dog, smothered in chili and onions,  accessorized  by a  bag  of Lay’s potato chips, all of it washed down with an ice cold  grape  Nehi pop, was no joke.

So I relented to being Julie Barnes.  But I had rules. For one, they  couldn’t call me Julie Barnes.  No yelling out,  “Let’s get outta here, Julie!” or “Duck, Julie, it’s a bomb!” None of that.  Melvin’s  mother agreed that he could go to Grady’s.  However,  coolness had its limits: she gave him some change and instructed him to at some point Mod Squad himself into Safeway and  return with a bottle of Clorox.

 Playing Mod Squad involved what playing pretend usually entailed: a lot of stylized running, peeking around the corners of trees, cars, buildings, and socking it out with imaginary crooks.

As Julie,  I merely walked with the guys.  Thanks  to God’s divine mercy, on TV Julie Barnes never sashayed  or  was purposefully “sexy.” Indeed,  Lipton’s character, which appeared perpetually contemplative and  seldom smiled, was the first woman in a man’s world that I remember watching on TV who didn’t exist simply for the pleasure of men.  She was a human being.  Quiet, introspective.

We fought crime all the way to Safeway ’s massive parking lot,  where we ran into  Joseph  Weeks.  Fifteen,  JW, as we called him, seemed even older, his maturity the result of stunning circumstances.

When his mother passed away suddenly,  with no father in the house and apparently no extended family to speak  of, JW and his two siblings–Pam and Jonathan, thirteen and fourteen, respectively–all working various jobs after school (where they  made good grades), simply continued living in the ramshackle  house on their own.  They raised themselves.

Jimmy Stewart - gettyimages-3169699-2048x2048

Jimmy Stewart (Getty)

Tall, lanky, handsome, smart, resourceful and dignified for a kid, JW  always reminded me of  a mashup of actor Jimmy Stewart in “It’s A Wonderful Life,” and Gregory Peck in “To Kill A Mockingbird” were the combination  Black and teenaged.  JW’s dry humor could strike like a cobra. He didn’t suffer Derek’s silly antics easily, often putting Derek in his place, even when Derek didn’t always know it was happening.

“Wha’ chall doin.’”

“Playing Mod Squad,” said Melvin.

“Oh yeah?  Who’s Linc?”

“I am,” Derek said proudly.

I’m the white boy….” Chimed Melvin.

“Just two Mod Squad?” JW asked. “Where’s the chick?” He looked at me.  I looked away.

“We’re going to Grady’s,” Derek interjected, attempting to impress  JW.  “Wanna come? I’m buyin’….”

“Naw, I just ate.”

“Where you headed,’” I asked.

JW said he was going over to Darvin Bennett’s house, who, under the guidance of his dad,  owned a monster Lionel train set, legendary in the neighborhood,  that nearly  took up  their whole  garage.  “You wanna come?”

I looked at the Mod Squad. “I’m goin’ to Grady’s,” Melvin insisted, as if to say, no train set can compete with a  hotdog smothered in chili  and onions.  And cheese.  Melvin liked grated cheddar  on his.

Derek’s covert glare at  me said, Ima tell JW you’re Julie Barnes.  Nervous,  I braced  myself  for  the  ridicule…that never came.  Derek didn’t say boo  about me being Julie.  I bailed on the Squad for JW and the train set, but not without finding new  love for Derek that day, for keeping his mouth  shut.

While taking an alley shortcut to Darvin’s, we came upon a group of kids I didn’t know.  Turns out, they were playing Justice League of America, D.C. Comics’ collective of superhero crimefighters, the comic book’s original version of which included, among others,   Superman, Batman, Aquaman and The Flash.  JW knew the kid who, as Green Lantern, seemed to be running things.

Unlike the usual pretend-play, where the enemy is imaginary, these kids were about to head over to the grounds of Woodson Elementary, where another group of kids—evil space invaders—were waiting to do battle.  At stake was dominion of the Universe.

JW’s buddy said that, were we interested, we could round out the League.  “We could use a Batman,” the kid said matter-of-factly.  “We had one, but he had to go home and cut the grass….”

“I’ll be Batman,” I perked up.

“No, I’ll be Batman,” said JW.

“Nope, I said it first.  I’m Batman.”

JW waited until his friend walked away and then turned to me.  “Now, niggarito,” he undertoned firmly, “I just rescued yo’ Black ass from being a white woman.   I’m GON’ be Batman, motherfucka.”

So JW was hip all along.  That he knew I was Julie Barnes back there  and never said anything  made him my real life hero.

Robin the Boy Wonder  wasn’t in the  original Justice League, but what’s a small discrepancy  among super friends?

Quincy Jones & Peggy Lipton (Getty)

Peggy Lipton and Quincy Jones (Getty)

Fast forward  nine years  to Los Angeles, 1977.  I’m standing in the lobby  of  the  Music Center downtown swigging  Heineken with Ed Eckstein, then running Quincy Jones Productions.  We’re awaiting the start of a concert for jazz-rock band Return To Forever, when Ecktein’s famous boss, with whom I’d become acquainted through my young career as a music journalist,  suddenly appears.  He’s not alone.

“Steve, have you met Peggy?” Quincy  asks,  just as she walks up. It’s…it’s Julie Barnes!  Only it’s not Julie Barnes,  it’s Peggy Lipton.  Casually chic in a flowing white summer dress and immediately personable,  the  actress is nothing like her old Mod Squad character.  For one thing, Lipton smiles. “Hi ya doin,’” she says, extending a small  hand that executes a firm handshake.

So  taken was I to meet Lipton that I’m sure I didn’t give proper respect to another introduction Quincy made to me right after Lipton: his runnin’ buddy standing right there, legendary composer Henry Mancini, with his wife, singer Virginia  O’Connor-Mancini.

It was all over in a matter of minutes, the surreal  encounter.  Soon, Eckstein and I were in our seats digging the ferocious musicianship of RTF’s Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke, Lenny White and Al Di Meola.  The concert climaxed with an encore  of Stevie Wonder being led onstage to join the quartet for a perfunctory rendition of  Wonder’s “Superstition,”  made exciting only by the unexpected presence of Wonder  himself.

I enjoyed it all immensely. But even before Wonder’s arrival,  in my mind,  the night’s music  had been relegated to serving as soundtrack to sentimental memories. All I could think about was childhood buddies Melvin, Derek and JW, and the fact that I’d just met Ms. Mod Squad.  After the concert Eckstein and I headed into Hollywood for Greenblatt’s deli, when what I really craved was a Grady’s hot dog with  chili.  And plenty onions.  END

Steven Ivory

Steven Ivory

Steven Ivory, veteran journalist, essayist and author, writes about popular culture for magazines, newspapers, radio, TV and the Internet. Respond to him via [email protected]

 

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Arts & Culture

Steven Ivory: D.J. Rogers: ‘Say You Love Me’ Singer Gone, But Not Forgotten + Exclusive Bobby Holland Photos

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DJ Rogers_3 (frontpage1) 24331_0312
DJ Rogers_3 (frontpage) 24331_0312

DJ Rogers at The Total Experience Night Club, circa mid 1970s / ©Bobby Holland

*It was sometime in 1978,  just after midnight  at  Total  Experience Recording Studios  in the  heart of  Hollywood, and through gigantic wall sound monitors,  D.J. Rogers was blasting  a  track called “Love Brought Me Back.”

The singer/songwriter/keyboardist had invited me and Bobby Holland—fledgling Soul Newspaper music journalist and the paper’s staff photographer, respectively–to hear his new music, and we were eager to oblige.

We didn’t even bother to drop off our dates.  After taking them to a concert at the Roxy Theatre, we simply  brought the ladies with us to the studio.

D.J. didn’t mind.  The more ears, the better.  In the studio, there was just the five of us—six, if  you count Gap Band bassist  Robert Wilson,  quietly intoxicated more than any human should ever be, who periodically wandered in and out of the studio to take an approving listen.

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The then portly Rogers,  in a wine colored, long sleeve button down dress shirt and gray slacks, alternated between sitting behind the studio sound board turning  knobs  and occasionally standing  up and rocking to the music,  occasionally firing  off soulful vocal ad-libs with the groove.

And  “Love  Brought Me  Back”  was quite the groove.  A mid-tempo arrangement driven by a chugging, funky rhythm  section  and a  choir’s  worth  of  joyously singing background session voices,  all of it accented by  dramatic, majestic strings charted by virtuoso  arranger Jerry Peters, “Love Brought Me Back,” was more than the title song  of D.J.’s  fifth album  and  his first for Earth, Wind & Fire  founder Maurice White ’s Columbia-distributed ARC label;  the big, anthemic track represented the jubilant declaration of one man’s resilience through funny  money, bad record  deals  and assorted personal woe,  to rise back up.

The lyric said “Love” brought him back, but since  D.J. never  wrote  a  secular song that wasn’t a lyric away from being uncut gospel, you knew who he was really singing  about.

Recorded in parallel “Woods”—at Total Experience studio, owned by  black  music impresario, the late  Lonnie Simmons, D.J.’s manager at the time, in Hollywood,  and Ike Turner’s legendary Bolic Sound facility in Inglewood–the album was going to be D.J.’s undisputed  breakout.  At least, that’s how Bobby  and I  felt that   night, and we  told a beaming  D.J. as much.

MORE ON EURweb: Clarke Peters ‘Regrets’ Thinking Co-star Chadwick Boseman Was ‘Precious’ [VIDEO]

DJ Rogers - Lionel & Brenda Ritchie

D J Rogers, Lionel Richie, Brenda Richie, Benny Ashburn (Commodores Manager) Motown Records event mid 70’s Hollywood CA. / Photo: ©Bobby Holland

I  love  DeWayne Julius Rogers.  I say this in present tense  because,  while  he passed away on August  22,  D.J. hasn’t  gone anywhere.  Through  eight R&B albums, plenty yet-to- be-released R&B material and extensive recorded work in gospel genre, Mr. Rogers is still here, moving  and inspiring us with his music.

Here, I choose to honor D.J. by sharing parcels of  memories I have of the man.

First: freely I admit that over the years,  during the hundreds of times  I’ve  played D.J.’s  sentimental “Say You Love Me,”  I’ve often listened through tears.  Who  wouldn’t want to feel about somebody what D.J. expresses in the song?

While “Say You Love Me” has been recorded by Natalie Cole and Jennifer  Holliday,  unwittingly,  it’s D.J.  himself who keeps his  song  from  being  covered  over and again.

That’s  because a cover can’t do “Say You Love Me” justice. What appears simple is a masterpiece of subtle, intricate chording and the melding of a capable rhythm section, sweetened by the harmonics of one  Keith Hatchell on bass. That arrangement possess a feel that will  remain  elusive.

And then there’s D.J. Explaining and pleading, his folksy, impassioned delivery  transforms  often downright  corny lyrics into sheer, unmitigated swooning romance. Again: who wouldn’t want to feel that  way  about somebody?

D.J. was down to earth. Funny. Kept me laughing throughout our 1975 interview at RCA’s Hollywood building.  The label had just released It’s Good To Be  Alive—featuring “Say You Love  Me”—D.J.’s second album after he’d released his first on songwriter Leon Russell’s Tulsa-based Shelter label (where he worked with a fledgling Gap Band; it was D.J. who introduced  them to  Lonnie Simmons, who in turn launched Gap, downsized to Charlie,  Ronnie and  Robert  Wilson, into a run of hits),  and he  was hopeful.

That year I was at the Troubadour in West Hollywood  when  D.J. and  his  band  nearly burned the place down  during a rollicking,  two-set one-night-stand.  Onstage,  you couldn’t fuck with D.J.

He’s from the church.  That’s all you have to say, really. If you’re a musician in the church,  you learn how to make people feel the Spirit.  That ability is indispensable.

From Los  Angeles,  his father was a  minister  and  singer.  D.J., self-taught on piano, nurtured his skills in various choirs,  including that of  the legendary  Reverend  James  Cleveland.

And Rogers  was  a  masterful  squaller—that  time-honored, soul-stirring vocal  technique passed down through black gospel lineage over the centuries.

Best described as a  cross between the  sound  of a guttural shout  and  someone  trying to clear  their  throat  of phlegm while somebody is  choking  them  (okay, so it’s not the best description),  a great squaller, like a gale  force wind,  can set a listener back on their heels.  D.J. would unleash his squall during “Bulah Jean,” his churchy, drama-filled, heart-tugging show-stopper about a poor, saintly childhood friend, and bring  the house down.

DJ Rogers & fans 24331_0309

DJ Rogers & fans at the Total Experience night club show in  – Mid 70s / Photo: ©Bobby Holland

In  L.A.  I’d go see Rogers anywhere:  the Simmons-owned  Total Experience nightclub on Crenshaw Blvd;  The Name Of The Game Jr., over on Slauson (I think)—and always left   a  venue pleased and  ever astounded  by D.J.’s gift.

Often  referred to as the west coast’s  Donny Hathaway, vocally Rogers could “run” his  ass  off. I was at the Shrine   Auditorium in 1977 when, during one of those zillion-R&B-acts-on-one-bill shows  (Ohio Players protégé band funk band  Faze-O opened the evening,  playing their hit “Riding High”),   an up and coming  Peabo  Bryson was closing his    set with “Feel The  Fire,”  when out  of the wings,  mic in hand,  emerged  D.J. Rogers.  The  two  went  toe-to-toe trading thunderous vocal runs  and  ad-lbbs (“OoooOOOOhhhhh!”… “OOOOooohhhhhh!”) like two  soul singing gunslingers.  It lasted all of a  minute.  The Auditorium  was  on  its  feet.

Not only a  perceptive singer, writer and  keyboardist, D.J.  was also  a  great bandleader who trusted the players he  chose.

“D.J. would  just let me go,” says the  legendary  bassist  Keni  Burke,  whose artful  moaning,  bending  and string-popping  holds down the funky bottom on  D.J.’s  “Love  Brought  Me Back.”  An alumnus  of the iconic  ‘70s  sibling  group  The  Five  Stairsteps  (“Ooh  Child”), Burke  went  on to  become  a  solo artist  and  producer  whose  1982  hit,  “Risin’  To The  Top,” is one of the  most sampled tracks  of all  time.

“He inspired  the  musicians  he  worked  with,” says Burke,  “because  he’d let you  do your thing.   The rhythm  track  on  ‘Love  Brought  Me  Back?’  We cut that in one take.  D.J. rehearsed us a few  times, and then we recorded  it.  He didn’t spend time doing something  over and  over;  you  wanna  capture  that  fire  on  the  track.  I  loved  D.J.;  he   was like  a  big brother to me.”

Indeed, both gospel and secular music communities revered  Rogers.  Among the great players who  insisted  D.J. guest  on their recordings–Patrice Rushen, who duets  with Rogers during the wicked prowl, “Givin’  It  Up  Is Givin’  Up”  from her 1979 album,  Pizzazz.

Alas,  Love Brought  Me  Back, a vital LP in the Rogers canon, wasn’t the commercial success it deserved to be.  That—the idea that an artist as brilliantly talented  as D.J. never broke out—is not  only Rogers’ story, but the unfortunate tale of a multitude of deserving acts whose recording careers were shortchanged by a music  industry that  historically took more than it gave.

Thankfully, an often dastardly  business  didn’t  stop D.J. Rogers from  creating work that every true  lover of soul music deserves  to  hear.

Steven Ivory

Steven Ivory

Steven Ivory, veteran journalist, essayist and author, writes about popular culture for magazines, newspapers, radio, TV and the Internet. Respond to him via [email protected]

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