Chris Arnold started in radio in 1974 in Memphis, Tennessee.
That year, Barbra Streisand’s “The Way We Were” was the number one song on the Billboards Top Hot 100. Rounding out the top five was The Jackson 5’s “Dancing Machine.” Two very different sounds that, according to Arnold, like all the music has at least one thing in common.
“There are artists who have sound and who have music, and that will stand the test of time. There are people who will continue to play them in the movies, or in clubs, bands and so on. more so we will always remember them,” Arnold said.
His point, all music has been influenced by black music.
“You can go see Dr. Dre. He took it to another level when he started sampling in the 1980s. You know, there were always rap musicians sampling on one and both with the DJ skills,” Arnold said. . “It’s not just about American culture; it is the world culture. The Beetles and the Rolling Stones grew up on Blues music. Elvis rock and roll was invented by Little Richard. Black music is the backbone of music.
He spent decades in the music scene and worked on a television show which he wrote, produced and hosted. “On The Beam” was a syndicated entertainment television show that was viewed by over 20 million households in 46 cities across 46 cities and numerous countries.
Now, he’s the game night emcee and inclusion ambassador for the Dallas Mavericks, but because music is an international conversation, he still wants to be a part of it.
“I can go on and on. Just when you think a song is something new, you can probably trace it back to some old ones. I tell my children now. They think something is new just because Bruno Mars sang it. And I love Bruno, he’s amazing! But there are many things these days that have been sampled for decades. The music continues to evolve,” Arnold said.
More on NBC 5’s Black Music Month coverage here.