Wednesday, May 2, 2007
‘Baby Jean’ Kennedy rocks your face off!
After last night’s “American Idol,” where the judges compared Melinda Doolittle to a young Tina Turner, I just have to call a reality check.
You wanna see what it looks like when a sister really rocks out? Then you gotta see Joyce “Baby Jean” Kennedy throw down.
She is an unsung hero of rock ’n’ roll. Been burning up the stage for decades with Mother’s Finest, an interracial rock group that had a few black-radio hits back in the ’70s but is little remembered outside the community of hardcore funk fans.
(Mother’s Finest, which made its reputation as a hellafied live band, is still performing, mostly around its home state of Georgia, with Joyce Kennedy still out front.)
Thank God for YouTube, where everything old is new again. The above clip is from a 1978 concert. It shows Kennedy and the band in their prime. The tune is “Give You All the Love (Inside of Me).” Watch Baby Jean do the arena-rock thing with gusto, then wonder why she’s not more famous. There’s more of her on YouTube, if your appetite is whetted.