What is the Minneapolis Sound?
What is the Minneapolis Sound? It's the age old question that I've been asked in every interview I've given over the last 40 years. I’m Jellybean Johnson. I grew up in North Minneapolis. As a kid, I helped create a band called Flyte Tyme with David Eiland and Terry Lewis. Soon, I hooked up with Prince and Morris Day; becoming the first, only and current drummer for the Minneapolis band, The Time. I went on to be in another Prince created band, The Family; becoming one of only a select few to be in two of his bands. I then started my writing and production career with Flyte Tyme Studios—creating hit songs for New Edition, Nona Hendryx, and the Grammy nominated number one pop song Black Cat for Janet Jackson. I created my own collaborative project in 2018 called The Jellybean Johnson Experience,showcasing new and established artists in performances, and now my first solo work on CD, streaming and of course vintage vinyl, The Jellybean Johnson Experience. And now…I am a co-founder of The Minneapolis Sound Museum. (MSM) So as a person who has lived the Minneapolis Sound, as a person who helped CREATE the Minneapolis Sound, I always say, the Minneapolis Sound IS Prince but you have a lot of elements in there that we all created as kids coming from the Northside of Minneapolis.
The MSM will try to answer this question and more. Prince Rogers Nelson was born and grew up in Minneapolis, MN. He was the product of a tight knit, culturally rich, creative and extremely talented Black community that due to segregation and red lining within the city of Minneapolis had to develop a fierce competitiveness to even be heard. Prince was surrounded by friends, peers and mentors who shared his passion to be the best. All of these people were instrumental in helping to create this genre of music. Most of us know Prince's story, but what about everyone else's story? The MSM will be a place for them. It will exist to tell their stories and to explore that question, what IS the Minneapolis Sound?
As Dick Clark so famously said in 1980 to a young Prince and his fellow Minneapolis musicians in his band on their first appearance on American Bandstand, “Where'd you learn to do this in Minneapolis? This is not the kind of music that comes from Minneapolis.” But this music did come from Minneapolis. Dick Clark was simply observing what was obvious to the world, how did this funk, R & B, rock and pop mix ever come out of a state where at that time the Black population had never exceeded 2%?
The MSM will be from the cultural lens and emic perspective of the people who worked and created this genre of music that came to define an era. The museum will offer artifacts, films, audio recordings, oral histories, interactive media, graphics and visuals to bring the history of the Minneapolis Sound and it's creators to life. It will have a special emphasis on the Northside of Minneapolis and it's Black community—something so very much needed in a city that just witnessed the start of the largest civil rights movement in the past half century.
While looking back we will also look forward. Other plans for our space include:
-Event space for music release parties, book readings, musical performances, artist talks, educational events, rental space and much more
-Permanent and rotating exhibits including visiting works that can coincide with special events or performances
-Memorial Walk of Fame with inductees getting a star on our floor along with a special ceremony
-Retail Space for MSM merchandise, consignment merchandise with a focus on local artists and musicians—both past and present, products and books that promote and educate about our local musical community, and artifacts and collectibles including vinyls from the heyday of the Minneapolis Sound
-Wall of Records featuring Jellybean's own collection of vintage vinyls from his days with Prince, The Time, The Family and Flyte Tyme Studios.
-Recording studio in memory of Regal The Rare, local producer, musical artist and Jellybean's son. The studio will exist to join the young with their elders, the up and coming with the legends, and to help mentor and educate a whole new generation of Minneapolis Sound makers.
The MSM will highlight our city of Minneapolis and our Northside community but it will be a place for visitors and tourists from all over the world who know and love the Minneapolis Sound. And right now you have an opportunity to be a part of, to help build it, to help create it by becoming a Star Founding Member. As a Star Founding Member you will have the opportunity to have input into our space. We will ask you for your ideas, for your suggestions. We value you for your love of the Minneapolis Sound. You will be a part of creating history. You will receive a special invitations for our events before the general public, including our pre-opening party for Star Founding Members only. You will receive recognition for your support at our events including your very own star in our galaxy of supporters.
Please join us as we embark on this journey, together! Only a select few will be able to get Star Founding membership to the Minneapolis Sound Museum, consider this your invitation to our VIP. We are currently assembling a team of professionals for our museum including historians, designers, curators, accountants, writers, archivists and visionaries. We will be working with a realtor soon to find our perfect location. We need investors like you to help us get started. We need you to become a Star Founding Member of the Minneapolis Sound Museum today.
Help us keep the Minneapolis Sound Alive, Forever!