The Bridge: Chi-Town, Soul Town
Chicago music expert Ayana Contreras says the Great Migration made the Midwest funkier and more soulful.
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In this mini-episode of Hit Parade, host Chris Molanphy welcomes Chicago broadcaster and Black music scholar Ayana Contreras, host of the radio show Reclaimed Soul and author of Energy Never Dies: Afro-Optimism and Creativity in Chicago. Contreras says the Great Migration made not only Chicago but all of the Midwest—from Detroit to Dayton—a cradle of R&B styles in the ’70s, particularly soul and funk. And while disco proved a challenge to Windy City acts, they eventually remade dance music through the power of their innovative arrangements, building a foundation for the hip-hop era.
Next, Chris quizzes a Slate Plus listener with some music trivia, gives him a chance to turn the tables with a question of his own, and previews next month’s full-length episode. Slate Plus members can sign up for a chance to be our trivia contestant on a future episode here.
Podcast production by Kevin Bendis.