Monday, January 17, 2011

Let's celebrate Curtis Mayfield today too

As the nation celebrates Martin Luther King Jr's birthday today, his righteous and courageous leadership, I want to do a shout out to the great Curtis Mayfield.
Following King's assassination, the country went through a difficult time to put it mildly, and few places experienced more turmoil than Detroit where I grew up. And the legendary Motown music of that city played a role in building a bridge between the white and black kids of my generation.
But when I think of the strongest music of that era in terms of courage and righteousness, I think of Curtis Mayfield from across I-94 in Chicago.
Mayfield's work was unflinching, both musically and thematically. He addressed the black experience head on. And for me as a white teenager, it was a walk down the other side of the street. Thought provoking, challenging, yet uplifting. And oh so swinging.
The first video here is a killer 1972 live version of Give Me Your Love.
The second "Move On Up" isn't a great quality video in terms of images but the sound is great and this is my song for today. The music here is the recorded version of one of my favorite Mayfield songs, with a montage of photos and live shots overlayed.

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