Tag Archives: Sam Cooke

Change Is Gonna Come

Change Is Gonna Come

Released December 22, 1964

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Change is Gonna Come


In October 1963 Sam Cooke was touring Louisiana. He had made reservations at a Shreveport Holiday Inn, but when he, his wife, brother, and another arrived, hotel personnel told them that there were no vacancies. 


Cooke argued to no avail and left angrily. When they arrived at their next hotel, police arrested them for disturbing the peace. 


With the rebirth of the civil rights movement, Black entertainers faced a difficult decision: make a living by catering to the tastes of the majority white audience, most of whom weren’t thrilled with black activism, or musically/philosophically join the civil rights struggle and risk their livelihood.


Bob Dylan’s “Blowin’ In the Wind” surprised Cooke. How could a white person write such a moving song? Cooke began to use the song in his shows.



And Cooke also decided to write his own.


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By December 1963 he’d written “A Change is Gonna Come.” In February he performed it live on the Johnny Carson Show (no video available), but had not yet recorded it. Two days after Cooke’s performance on the Tonight Show, the Beatles were on Ed Sullivan.


A Change is Gonna Come


Cooke did not record “A Change is Gonna Come” until November 1964 and RCA did not release it until December. 



Sadly, Cooke had died eleven days before on December 11, 1964. (NYT article)

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It became one of the civil rights movement’s anthems and dozens of artists have since covered the song.


In 2005, representatives of the music industry and press voted the song number 12 in Rolling Stone magazine’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.


Cooke’s style and spirit continue to inspire many of today’s young artists. The New York Times Magazine recently described Leon Bridges as “The Second Coming of Sam Cooke.” (NYT article)


 

 

 

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October 8 Peace Love Activism

October 8 Peace Love Activism

October 8 Music et al

Sam CookeOctober 8 Peace Love Activism,  
October 8, 1963, BLACK HISTORY, Bob Dylan & News Music: after hearing Bob Dylan's "Blowin' in the Wind"  earlier in the year, Sam Cooke was greatly moved that such a poignant song about racism in America could come from someone who was not black. While on tour in May and after speaking with sit-in demonstrators in Durham, North Carolina following a concert, Cooke returned to his tour bus and wrote the first draft of what would become "A Change Is Gonna Come". The song also reflected much of Cooke's own inner turmoil. Known for his polished image and light-hearted songs such as "You Send Me" and "Twistin' the Night Away", he had long felt the need to address the situation of discrimination and racism. However, his image and fears of losing his largely white fan base prevented him from doing so.

A Change Is Gonna’ Come,” very much a departure for Cooke, reflected two major incidents in his life. The first was the death of Cooke's 18-month-old son, Vincent, who died of an accidental drowning in June of that year. The second major incident came this date when Cooke and his band tried to register at a "whites only" motel in Shreveport, Louisiana and were summarily arrested for disturbing the peace. Both incidents are represented in the weary tone and lyrics of the piece, especially the final verse: There have been times that I thought I couldn't last for long/but now I think I'm able to carry on/It's been a long time coming, but I know a change is gonna come.

Cooke would not record the song until November 1964. (BH, see Oct 10; Cooke, see November 11, 1964; Dylan, see Oct 23
News Music
In 1964 The Impressions with Curtis Mayfield released single “Keep on Pushin’” (see Feb 7)
WOR-FM

October 8 Peace Love Activism,  

October 8, 1966: in New York City, WOR-FM disc jockeys start. (see Jan 1, 1967) NYT WOR-FM article

October 8 Peace Love Activism,  

Cold War

October 8, 1967: Che Guevara, Argentine Marxist revolutionary, physician, author, intellectual, guerrilla leader, diplomat and military theorist, and a major figure of the Cuban Revolution whose stylized visage has become a countercultural symbol of rebellion and global insignia within popular culture was wounded and taken prisoner in Bolivia by CIA-assisted Bolivian forces.

Vietnam & Weather Underground

October 8 - 11, 1969:  the "Days of Rage" riots occur in Chicago, damaging a large amount of property. 287 Weatherman members are arrested, some become fugitives when they fail to appear for trial in connection with their arrests. (see Oct 15)

Native Americans

American Indian Center
October 9, 1969: the American Indian Center in San Francisco burned down. It had been a meeting place that served 30,000 Indian people with social programs. The loss of the center focuses Indian attention on taking over Alcatraz for use as a new facility. (see Nov 9, 1969)
Leonard Peltier
October 8, 2012: Leonard Peltier released a 2012 Indigenous Day Statement which began,

Greetings my relatives and friends, supporters! 

I know I say this same line all the time but in reality you all are my relatives and I appreciate you. I cannot say that enough. Some of our people, as well as ourselves have decided to call today Indigenous Day instead of Columbus Day and it makes me really think about how many People who still celebrate Columbus, a cruel, mass murderer who on his last trip to the Americas, as I have read, was arrested by his own people for being too cruel. When you consider those kinds of cruelty against our People and his status, it makes you wonder to what level he had taken his cruelty. In all of this historical knowledge that is available people still want to celebrate and hold in high esteem this murderer. 

If we were to celebrate Hitler Day, or Mussolini Day, or some other murderer and initiator of violence and genocide, there would be widespread condemnation. It would be like celebrating Bush Day in Iraq. It's kind of sad to say that even mentioning Columbus in my comments gives him more recognition that he should have. So I agree wholeheartedly with all of you out there that have chosen to call this Indigenous Day. If I weren't Native American or as some of have come to say - Indigenous, I would still love our ways and cling to our ways and cherish our ways. I see our ways as the way to the future, for the world. Whereas I, and others, have said over and over, and our People before us: This earth is our Mother. This earth is life. And anything you take from the earth creates a debt that is to be paid back at some time in the future by someone. (full text) (see Oct 22)
October 8 Peace Love Activism

IRAQ

Kuwait withdrawal
October 8, 1994: the UN Security Council said that Iraq must withdraw its troops from the Kuwait border, and immediately cooperate with weapons inspectors. (see Oct 15)

United Farm Workers

Lettuce strike
October 8, 1970: Bud Antle, Inc, which grew about 8% of the Salinas valley lettuce, obtained an injunction prohibiting the farm workers from continuing their strike and boycott until the original case was settled. (see Dec 4, 1970)
Cesar E. Chavez National Monument
October 8, 2012:  President Obama visited Keene, Califorinia to dedicate the Cesar E. Chavez National Monument, the nation's first such site to honor a contemporary Mexican American.

Dissolution of Yugoslavia

October 8, 1991: Croatia independent from Yugoslavia. (Dissolution of Y see Nov 2; ID, see Oct 27)

BLACK HISTORY

see George Whitmore, Jr for the whole long story
October 8, 2012: Whitmore died in a Wildwood, N.J., nursing home. He was 68. In a NY Times Op-Ed article entitled, “Who Will Mourn George Whitmore?” T. J English wrote:

This week, a flawed but beautiful man who offered up his innocence to New York City died with hardly any notice. To those who benefited from his struggles or who believe the city is a fairer place for his having borne them, I ask: Who grieves for George Whitmore?

 In recent months, I’d fallen out of touch with George Whitmore, Jr.. Knowing him, and attempting to assume a measure of responsibility for his life, was often exhausting. While I had come to love him, the drunken phone calls, the calls from hospital emergency rooms and flophouses, and the constant demands for money became overwhelming. When people who claimed to be friends of his starting calling me and asking for favors, I decided to back off. But when I received a cryptic e-mail from one of his nephews, informing me that Whitmore had died on Monday, I was overcome with sadness and regret. NYT article

Sexual Abuse of Children

Boy Scouts of America
October 8, 2012: Timothy Kosnoff, a Seattle attorney, released the names of nearly 1,900 men whom the Boy Scouts of America expelled alleged sexual abuse between 1970 and 1991. Kosnoff has sued the Boy Scouts on behalf of more than 100 alleged victims, identifies many men who have never been reported to police or faced criminal charges.

In addition, Kosnoff released brief summaries of 3,200 other cases of suspected sexual abuse dating to 1948, without naming the alleged perpetrators. (BSA & SAC, see Oct 18)

LGBTQ

October 8, 2014: the day after a federal appeals court struck down same-sex marriage bans in Idaho and in Nevada, implementation of the decision in Idaho was temporarily blocked by Justice Anthony M. Kennedy of the Supreme Court.

Justice Kennedy’s order came shortly after Idaho filed a request to the Supreme Court for an immediate stay of the appeals court ruling. The ruling was the latest in a nearly unbroken string of courtroom victories for gay couples. Justice Kennedy asked the proponents of same-sex marriage to file a response by Thursday afternoon.

The ruling striking down the Nevada and Idaho bans, by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in San Francisco, came a day after the Supreme Court allowed similar rulings by three other appeals courts to stand. That cleared the way for same-sex marriage to start immediately in Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin and to be extended soon to six other states in those circuits. (see Oct 10)

October 8 Peace Love Activism,  October 8 Peace Love Activism,  October 8 Peace Love Activism,  October 8 Peace Love Activism,  October 8 Peace Love Activism,  October 8 Peace Love Activism,  

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