Monday, January 17, 2011

Happy Birthday...Steve Wonder's MLK Jr. Tribute

This song appeared on Stevie Wonder's 1980 CD "Hotter Than July" (which is a GREAT CD by the way). The CD has a heavy reggae influence thanks to Stevie spending a lot of time with Bob Marley before he went into the studio.

At the time Stevie was very active in the campaign to make Martin Luther King Jr's birthday a Federal holiday. The holiday was very controversial.

In 1983 President Reagan signed the bill making it a holiday. The celebration started in 1986. However, not every state celebrated the holiday at first. For the longest time Arizona refused to. In Mississippi and Virgina the holiday was combined with the celebration of Confederate heroes Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee.

Virgina finally split the holidays after many complained it wasn't very appropriate.

Happy Birthday Dr. Martin Luther King.


Brad Fallon said...

Happy Birthday Dr. Martin Luther King!! As he had said, and can't forget it;
"A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom."
Your words will not die on our hearts..

gibber said...

I love this song. I remember listening to the record in the living room and dancing around. Remember how we used to have to sneak playing stuff on the record player lest mom would know that we were playing in the "formal" area? Lol.

Rose in Cali said...

I LOVE this song. (The video version with different artists singing is quite the flashback experience!)

I like this quote by Dr. King:
"If you can't fly then run, if you can't run then walk, if you can't walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward."
— Martin Luther King Jr.

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

brad - deep words. Very deep.

gibber - ha. I do remember that. The living room was only for guests or practicing/playing the piano.

rose - I like that quote too.