Sunday, April 14, 2024

Gil Scott-Heron, Legendary Musician and Poet, Dead at 62

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Gil Scott-Heron is dead at 62, probably of something connected to drugs. It’s very sad. He passed away yesterday in New York after reportedly not feeling well following his return from Europe. Scott-Heron had struggled with drugs, and spent time in prison and rehab according to reports. But he was so much more than that. Before rap and hip hop, Scott-Heron invented a new genre of soul with his spoken word “songs.” He probably invented rap. “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” was his seminal work, but he went on to create a vibrant library of songs all through the 1970s. I remember seeing him in the summer of 1977 at Pall’s Mall in Boston, a basement jazz club on Boylston Street. He was the shit. Gil Scott-Heron released four independent albums from 1970 to 1974 including his first, and seminal, “Small Talk at 125th and Lenox,” in 1970. But starting in 1975, he put out nine albums in a row with — guess who?– Clive Davis, at the same time Clive was releasing Patti Smith’s work on Arista. RIP, Gil Scott Heron. The video for “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” is in the video player below.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedmanhttps://www.showbiz411.com
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.
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