15 May 2009

It's been a long time coming

A Change Is Gonna Come by Sam Cooke (the Black Elvis) has been a long time coming. Cooke recorded it in 1963 and died shortly before it was released in 1964. It was his farewell address to the living. This beautiful recording was then made unavailable for most of the period between 1964 and 2003 (in connection with a dispute between a music publisher and a recording company).
Despite all that, the song early on became an anthem of the civil rights movement. This was the song Rosa Parks played when Martin Luther King died.
I was born by the river
In a little tent and o
Just like that river
I've been running ever since

It has been black (African-American) music (no less than Martin Luther King and Malcolm X) that kept bringing about those beautiful changes that have always been a long time coming.
Did you notice that most innovations in popular music in this and the past century – jazz, rock'n'roll, rap, hip hop – originated from black musicians?
Elvis Presley or Jerry Lee Lewis cannot be fathomed without them. Music as we know it today cannot be fathomed without them. You and me and everybody we know cannot be fathomed without them.

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