*BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — As part of Indiana University’s Black History Month, pioneering music industry executive Logan H. Westbrooks will deliver a presentation, “Bustin’ Loose: Breaking Racial Barriers in the Music Industry” from 5 to 6 p.m. Feb. 4 in the Grand Hall of the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center, 275 N. Jordan Ave.
A reception will follow, where dancing will be encouraged, through a soundtrack of soul, funk and R&B hits from the 1960s through the 1980s that were promoted by Westbrooks over the course of his career.
Westbrooks also is part of the city of Bloomington’s Black History Month event, “Bloomington Style: Lessons in Leadership.” Westbrooks will discuss “Black Leadership in the Music Industry” from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Feb. 5 at Showers City Hall. The public lecture will be followed by a reception.
Most of the month’s events are free and open to the public. The theme will be “At the Crossroads of Freedom and Equality: Honoring the Emancipation Proclamation and the March on Washington.”
Westbrooks’ career began in the 1960s as a Midwest promotion manager for Capitol and Mercury Records. In the 1970s he moved to CBS, becoming the first director of special markets (a newly created black music division), then spearheading the company’s expansion in Africa. Later, after a stint at Soul Train Records, Westbrooks founded Source Records and released the first go-go hit record “Bustin’ Loose” by Chuck Brown & The Soul Searchers, which was sampled in Nelly’s 2002 hit “Hot in Herre.”
In conjunction with Westbrooks’ presentation, the Archives of African American Music and Culture at IU is unveiling the exhibit, “Logan Westbrooks: Music Industry Executive, Entrepreneur, Teacher, Philanthropist,” which will be available in the Neal-Marshall Bridgwaters Lounge throughout February.
The exhibit offers a glimpse into the life of one of the first black music executives at a major record label, beginning with Westbrooks’ formative years in Memphis, and then chronicling his career at record companies in Chicago, New York and Los Angeles, his work in Africa, and his philanthropic and teaching activities.
The story unfolds through photographs, recordings, awards and personal papers from Westbrooks’ collection, which recently was donated to the Archives of African American Music and Culture. A slideshow of photographs from the Westbrooks Collection is also available through the IU Digital Library Programs’ Image Collections Online portal.
In conjunction with Westbrooks’ presentation at Showers City Hall, the Archives of African American Music also is presenting “The Evolution of the Black Music Industry,” an exhibit that traces the local and national history of African Americans in the music industry over the past century. The exhibit will be available there throughout February.
In addition to the Archives of African American Music and Culture, other sponsors are the Liberal Arts and Management Program; the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center; Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Multicultural Affairs; Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology; African American Arts Institute; Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies; and Department of American Studies.
For news on more Black History Month events at Indiana University click here.