TIL: The Gap Band Name Has Ties to The Tulsa Massacre of 1921
I was THIS WEEK years old when I found out that the name of the popular R&B funk group, The GAP Band, has special ties to the Tulsa Massacre.
I was alerted to this by an article link on Twitter and then later my great-aunt in Baton Rouge sent me a link to the same story.
Charlie Wilson, one of the original GAP Band members, even talked about it on a radio show in New York City not too long ago.
Charlie says that the name stems from three streets that were terrorized in Oklahoma during the Tulsa Massacre of 1921.
Nearly one-hundred years ago, in June of 1921, a small and exceptionally successful section of town called Greenwood, white men destroyed shops, killed Black people, and burned down businesses and homes. The event stemmed from vicious accusations and lead to dire calamity. The streets of Greenwood, Archer, and Pine were demolished.
Some years later, Charlie Wilson, and his two brothers, Ronnie and Robert, formed a band and named it in honor of their Tulsa, Oklahoma roots, and thus was born, The GAP Band.
In 1982, The Gap Band gained mainstream fame when one of their songs made the Top 20 list on the Billboard Music Charts. One of their hits, You Dropped A Bomb On Me, may sound like a song about a man whose love was scorned by a former lover, but some people say the true meaning of it actually pays homage to the ruins of the Tulsa Massacre, when planes dropped literal bombs on the residents in what people nostalgically refer to as "Black Wall Street".