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Because I was already booking recording dates and producing my mixed bag of works (jazz, funk with string quartets and vocals), I consequently decided to form my own recording company. With a $4,000 liquidated stock-savings gift from my parents, BMagic Records was born. I was the president of my own record company, complete with a small staff, a roster of artists, and a deal with NDN distributors out of New York. We had a running contract with the Port Authority train and bus station in New York.

We didn’t need police officers or social workers, because the neighbors on the block—every household—kept watch. That’s the way it was. In our days, Black music streamed from cars, radios, and our basements, and it was the most beautiful thing. My mom’s generation had swing, but musicians like Louis Jordan never expressed social consciousness like ours. Our music was—had to be, I guess—a full flowering of all we hoped and lived for. That Black soul stuff was enough to set the world on fire. And, it did.

Actually, the school was more like a junior college than anything else. For many of us, perhaps, this place represented a view of what the corporate world, the business-busy world, was like. And Cass Tech was preparing us to conquer that world. It had the kind of energy that produced young people who excelled. There are probably other schools like this all over the country today, and if so, I’d like to hear more about them. But good news about good people doesn’t sell newspapers. Cass Tech was huge, so huge that it had cargo elevators that could carry fifty kids up and down to get to classes.

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