Black Music Month

Texas Radio Hall-of-Famer Turned Mavs In-Game Host Talks Black Music Past, Present, and Future

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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 Billboards Top Hot 100. Rounding out the top five was the Jackson 5’s “Dancing Machine.” Two very different sounds that Arnold said, like all music, have at least one thing in common.

“There are artists out there who have sound and they have music, and it will stand the test of time. There are people that will keep playing them in the movies, or in clubs, bands and much more, so we will always remember them,” Arnold said.

His point, all music has been influenced by Black music.

“You can go to Dr. Dre. He took it to another level when he started sampling back in the 1980s. You know there were always rap musicians who were sampling on the ones and twos with the DJ skills,” Arnold said. “This is not just about American culture; this is worldwide culture. The Beetles and the Rolling Stones grew up on Blues music. Elvis’ rock and roll was invented off Little Richard. Black music is the backbone of music.”

He spent decades in the music scene and worked on a television show he wrote, produced, and hosted. “On The Beam” was a syndicated entertainment television show that was seen by more than 20 million households in 46 cities across 46 cities and many countries.

Now, he is the game night emcee and inclusion ambassador for the Dallas Mavericks, but because music is an international conversation, he wants to always be part of it.

“I can go on and on. Just when you think that a song is something new, you can probably trace it back to oldies. I tell my kids that now. They think something is new just because Bruno Mars sang it. And I love Bruno, he is amazing! But there is a lot these days that has been sampled from decades before. Music just continues to evolve,” Arnold said.

More of NBC 5’s coverage of Black Music Month here .

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