Top 10 Influential Artists Who Were Never U.S. Chart Toppers
In the world of music, you don't have to crack the top of the charts to be influential (though, let's face it, it doesn't hurt). In fact, some of the most influential music acts either never charted at all or rarely made it to the Top 40 in the United States. Only a few artists on this list eventually became successful in their own right decades later or, in one case, posthumously, but they all either influenced other musicians or charted new paths in musical genres without becoming major U.S. chart toppers.
Lost and Found in Iowa
One summer, I found myself lost in a Greyhound station somewhere in Iowa. It was 1999, and I was on my way to Iowa City to attend a week-long writing festival hosted by the University of Iowa's Writer's Workshop. Established in 1936, Iowa's famous workshop launched the careers of some of the most celebrated writers in America. Wallace Stegner, James Alan McPherson, Jane Smiley, Michael Cunningham, Rita Dove, Robert Olen Butler, Jr., Flannery O’Connor, and so many others. Ever since I was fourteen, I knew I wanted to write, but with no formal education (I wouldn’t attend college until three years later), I was mostly self-taught. Until two years before that, I had never joined a workshop. Now I was attending the most famous workshop in the country.
Confessions of a Former Aliterate
H.P. Lovecraft turned me off from reading once. I wish I could say it was because of his well-documented racism, but I was a little girl when I read Lovecraft for the first and only time and hadn’t known he existed before much less known his attitudes toward black folks. The fact that he nearly destroyed my love of reading makes sense in the end.
Dealing with Writing Challenges
I don't get writer's block anymore, which is not to say I don't encounter problems. God knows I do. I get frustrated at the usual tribulations that come with writing, but I don't consider them blocks. It's a matter of perspective really. Block sounds insurmountable, like a solid brick wall that you can't climb over or barge through. Instead, I get challenged.
4 Kick-Ass Black People Who've Contributed to US History
Black people have such a rich history in the United States. But unfortunately a lot of it is untold. If you haven't been living under a rock lately, then you know with all the anti-CRT bills getting passed back and forth in the southern parts of the US, some people would rather none of it gets told. Well, too bad. History can't stay hidden for long, and this article intends to dig up some of the most interesting black folks in the US. Yeah, you may have heard of pioneers like George Washington Carver or Benjamin Banneker, but let's branch out a bit. There's a lot more where that came from, because Black folks are lit. This list takes a look at some names who might not be as well-known, but their kick-ass contributions to history are not only important, but fascinating as well.
It's the Fat that Gives it Flavor
In the thirty odd years I've been writing, I've gotten two great pieces of advice in my life. One came from a professor at San Francisco State University: "If it still makes you cry, then it's not ready." What he meant was that writing may be an emotional act, but it also requires a certain detachment that allows objectivity. Or, to put it another way, you're going to have to "kill your darlings" eventually. It was strong advice that I've taken with me since.