JACOB H. CARRUTHERS FOR INNER CITY STUDIES
From an early age Paris Brightledge understood his calling, as he listened to the "Motown" giants that streamed through his transistor radio. He also relished the British icons of the 60's/70's Classic Rock/Pop, era, like Robert Plant, John Lennon, Roger Waters & Mick Jagger. However, none of these artists would manipulate and mold his artistry more than Marvin Gaye. Although Paris continues to maintain that Robert Plant would be unequaled in inspiring his raw passion. That inspiration would be salient as he began a 4 year, "apprenticeship", in the renowned "Chicago Childrens Choir". His vocal talents though raw, were obvious as he was able to perform with most sections of the choir. From soprano to baritone Paris was able to blend in effortlessly in any chord structure harmonically. As a young teenager he slowly began to foment a serious reputation as an up and coming vocalist in the Chicago music scene. He began to cement that recognition with an appearance on Chicago's own Soul Train, where he met Curtis Mayfield, and performed alongside the band of Curtis's son.
Paris struggled to cultivate himself in a city that isn't well know for it's production of "Stars". Trying to gain a foothold and recognition would be a major obstacle in Chicago. Regardless, he continued to enter countless talent shows, and sing jingles encouraging listeners to drink Sprite". Paris then teamed up with a little known Chicago band dubbed, Central Park. It was within this band that his uniqueness would be fostered and begin to take shape. Coincidentally the band would compete against a different band with another up and coming "House Music" vocalist. That vocalist was none other than, Kevin "Jackinhouse" Irvin. Another member of, "Central Park", was Paris' family member the little mentioned, major parts player, Robert Bond. Through Robert Bond, Paris would meet the Iconic Legend, Marshall Jefferson.
It was March, 1985. In the next few months he would become a major participant in one of the most storied American events never told. He came to meet and befriend legends such as Ron Hardy, Tyree, Fast Eddie, Adonis, Bam Bam, Keith Nunnely, Darryl Pandy, and Joe Smooth. He would also meet and befriend, Peter Black who must be mentioned as one of the most "Behind The Scenes" personalities in House Music, involved in almost every major production to ever come out of Chicago in the very early days, Productions that are just too numerous to note...........without Peter Black there is no "House Music", as we have come to understand it. The next 5 years would be a blur that ended with Paris Brightledge having toured England. By this time Paris would become a major player in the Americas East Coast Night Life Scene, Playing such clubs as Studio 54, The World, New Jersey's Cheetah Club, the Red Parrot, The Limelight, to name just a few. He would also Climb the renowned BillBoard charts with tracks like Set Me Free, and It's Alright, the latter being hailed as one of the most influential songs in House Music (Countless remixes and covers of the song attesting to that fact). It's Alright, which by most would come to be known as the first conscious lyrical effort in "House Music", would be covered more than any other song in the house genre, by various acts including The Pet Shop Boys, 'Pussy 2000', as well as others. It continued its momentum by being featured in countless advertisements, sitcoms, and films all over the world. While paying close attention to maintaining the "Chicago Sound", Paris Brightledge would also pen the phenominal underground everclassic "Learn To Love", concerning the brotherhood of man, and the socially accountable, "She Didn't Know", shedding light on the plight of women lost in a world of drugs and prostitution. All the while Paris' vocals and lyrical content being compared to that of his childhood idol Marvin Gaye. It was during this period Paris vowed "Underground For Life", and has not wavered. Paris remains a mainstay in the House Music community, having just added to his repertoire, he has teamed up once again with one of his most revered mentors in the business, Mars aka Marshall Jefferson, releasing the enigmatic & haunting Searchin on one of House Music's hottest record labels, USB RECORDS. Busy as ever, Paris also fronts the Stitely Orchestra , 'The David Rothstein Music Co', Rob Parton Orchestra, and the Wilder 2! Orchestra. He continues to maintain a residency on the south side of Chicago with his wife of twenty one years and their three children. .. .. ..
Visit our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter!
Check our EVENTS page for upcoming shows!
©2014 The Great Black Music Project. All rights reserved.