Thursday, October 15, 2009

People Get Ready

"the preachings of my grandmothers and most ministers when they reflect from the Bible:"

There's a train a-comin.
Don't need no ticket, you just get on board.
All you need is the faith to hear those deisels hummin,
You don't need no ticket, you just thank the

Raised in Chicago projects, Curtis left highschool to be in a band which in 2 years became the Impressions. That was in '56 when he left school. He was a songwriter and singer and he wrote "message songs" to a sound of funk. His songs were a source of pride for black Americans. He wrote this song when he was 23 in 1964. It was a year after Johnson had taken office, the civil rights march on Washington, D.C, the arrest of Martin Luther King for parading, the test ban treaty had been signed by John Kennedy, the war in Vietnam was still going on, and Sam Cooke's A Change is Gonna Come.

Sam Cooke had a name for his great singing of light tunes. When he was 32 in 63, his baby boy was drowned. At around the same time, Sam was arrested for disturbing the peace after his band was denied rooms in a whites-only hotel. He was worried this song might lose him some of his white fans, which was most of them, but he never saw that time anyway. He was shot one night by a hotel manager. The story goes that he was chasin down some doll who'd taken off with his clothes while he was in the bathroom. He was irate when the manager told him she didn't know where the woman was, and he took hold of her, and she fled to her gun and shot Cooke. Anyway, that was later and this song was sooner. The song ended up being what people consider Cooke's finest song, and it became an anthem for the Civil Rights Movement.


Before that 32-year-old Sam wrote this song, which he wrote it after one of his concerts talking with some sit-in demonstraters, he was impressed by a song written by a 21-year-old folk singer of little fame, and, actually, that song had impressed many black people in the same way. They were shocked how a white kid could write a song that caputured so well what the black people were feeling at the time. That song was Blowing in the Wind, and the singer you know already. Sam liked to sing it live in his set.

Yeah, well, I like the way Cooke used to sing those sweet songs of his.

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