Jul 4, 2022
I posted Podcast 689 - "Independence Day 2019 - Red State Blue State" with the hopes that the coming year and election might improve things in America. To some degree the ousting of the Trump administration has helped. However, America remains hopelessly, and I feel forever, divided.
I prepared a Podcast which intends to bring across in music the great frustrations so many of us feel about America. I begin once again with “America the Beautiful” – a song sung by an African-American (Ray Charles), the son of a sharecropper, with lyrics written by a woman (Katherine Lee Bates) and music by a man (Samuel A. Ward). But the message must be refracted through the lens of the rest of the songs I have chosen, all questioning whether we are crowning our good with brotherhood in 2019, and if there is a chance we can regain some of our common sense and grace:
Ray Charles - "America the Beautiful"
Noah Preminger – “A Change is Gonna Come” from Meditations on Freedom
Delfeayo Marsalis presents the Uptown Orchestra – the Title Track from Make America Great Again!
Wadada Leo Smith – “America, Pts. 1-3” from Ten Freedom Summers
Brad Mehldau – “The Prophet is a Fool” from Finding Gabriel
Ratetet – “Red State, Blue State” from Arctic
The Dirty Dozen Band featuring Chuck D – the Title Track from What’s Going On
Charlie Haden and the Liberation Orchestra – “This is Not America” from Not In Our Name
I end with an element of hope – but not a lot of faith:
Mavis Staples – “Build a Bridge” from If All I Was Was Black
Bela Fleck and the Flecktones - “The Star Spangled Banner” from Flight of the Cosmic Hippo
Click on the hyperlink above to download or listen.
(Note: This version of "The Star Spangled Banner" was arranged during the Battle of Wadi Al-Battle in Iraq in1991and was recorded a day after the battle started.)