When ‘the Lion’ roars you have to listen..Sam Cooke..the greatest singer ever to record. Rarely equaled NEVER bettered. Listen Tune…
“Jesus wash away my, my troubles,
While I’m traveling here below,
For I’ve, I’ve got enemies..lord you know,
And Jesus wash away my, my burdens,
For they’re so, they’re so hard to bear
But I know there’s consellation,
As long as I know you’re there,
Yes it is, yes it is,
You know Sometimes I feel I feel like a motherless child,
I’m a long way from home,
You know Sometimes I feel, I feel like I’m almost gone
Still I’m a long ways from home
But Jesus take me on to glory lord when I, when I die
For I know that day is coming, It’s coming by and by
milestone on themusicologist…500 cuts and still haven’t even scratched the surface of the vaults !! here’s hoping that you cats and kittens have enjoyed the journey so far. how long will it last? who knows…but I’ll keep spinning as long as I’m able. When I took the first step on this musical journey I had no idea where it would lead. I just felt that the time had come to communicate with the world and open up a dialogue with my heart, soul and mind using the most effective language that I know…the sweet sounds of music. What is it about music that leaves such a deep impression? I don’t know but there have been many books written, lectures discussions and debates around tables, on street corners, in bars, classrooms and hallowed halls for generation after generation and still there are no definitive explanations, such is the power of frequency and especially harmony to resonate deep within us and touch the soul in ways that, at least for me, nothing else comes close to reaching other than that elusive feeling words can’t describe, Love…
I was going to wax lyrical and go right into ‘one’ but, (and I don’t know for sure why?), to be brutally honest with you today’s cut nails the way I have been feeling these last few days courtesy of the one artist who, for me, stands above all others..The Lion, Mr Soul…Sam Cooke without whom the music we now call Soul may not have emerged and even if it did definitely wouldn’t have been the same. Recorded in 1964 not long before the curtain closed on the troubled last few years of his short life. Sung in such a way that it leaves no doubt why the Lion is known as Mr Soul…The man who put the Soul in Soul….what a F***in’ TUNE, (excuse the profanity but the piece always brings me to my knees and trembles my marrow)
The Kid has been rolled over by Fats who showed him that not only does he who laugh last laughs longest but also that action speaks louder than words. Talent alone can get you ‘there’ but is not enough to keep you there, that takes character which comes only with experience. I doubt Eddie had been chewed up and spat out like that before…collapsing in a heap on the floor that a few hours ago he was parading around on like a king. That’s a long way to fall from “I’m the best there is” to begging Fats to play him for his last ‘bottle’…
One of the many things I like about this film is how it deals with some of the raw sides of human nature. There Isn’t a ‘nice’ character anywhere to be found, they are all Corrupt, Twisted and Crippled in some way, (like we all are), and when I watched it recently it was a touch painful to be honest..as I said at the start of the theme as a youngblood growing up on London’s mean streets themusicologist identified with the Fast Eddie character and although I was only young, still I saw and was involved in enough ‘experiences’ to gain some of the ‘Character’ that the film deals with. I was always in disagreement with the ‘respect your elders just because they are older than you’ ideology and found it hard, (especially with authority), to accept. I was young and foolish, (and happy..doo doo doo do do do do !!), and was brought up to value actions over words. The man to watch is the one who says nothing not the one who is shouting and gesticulating about what is going to be done at some future date. I was taught that by both the males and the environment that influenced my early life and it has often provided insight during some of my less salubrious moments. Anyway I’m rambling a bit so I’ll get back on the track..where was I…
Oh yeah, Eddie has taken a beating from Fats and after a short sleep in a hotel room abandons his partner Charlie and heads for the Bus Station. From across the room he spots a lone female and makes a move…Hustler style? I don’t know..I have always believed that people are like magnets and some we are drawn to while others repel us. Made more sense when a few years back I read a lot about Frequency and how every living entity has one. Naturally harmony would draw us to those who are ‘playing our tune’ so that together we could make sweet music. What draws the bee to the pollen, the horse to water and the man to the woman..frequency, so with that in mind, (as far as I’m concerned at least), ‘our man’ Eddie is drawn to this woman and he ‘makes a play’.
Sarah, played by Piper Laurie, (real name Rosetta Jacobs), sees it coming and makes it plain that she’s not interested in his advances. She answers him but doesn’t leave him any room in which to manoeuvre so he gets his ‘nut’ down, (sleeps), for a while and when he wakes she’s gone.
Todays cut is one of the great songs sung by one of the greatest singers of all time…Sam Cooke and even though we all know the tune inside out it still kicks arse..tough tune that I could never tire of. Make no mistake this piece epitomises Soul, a genre that wouldn’t have been the same without ‘The Lion’ blazing trails. I have been listening ALL day to music from 1960 and 1961 waiting for the right slice and as soon as I reached this one, (six hours later !!), it struck the right note..so here it is. Eddie doesn’t know it yet but ‘The arrow’ has flown straight into his heart.
didnt throw one down yesterday, too much on me plate and there wasn’t one tune in particular that communicated the message. today is another day and already there are at least four or five cuts that I would like to lay down. so without further delay…hold this one from another of me favourite artists and communicators…the Lion, Sam Cooke. Taken from the 1963 album Night Beat featuring a sixteen year old Billy Preston on the organ…Arranged by Rene Hall.
penultimate cut of the 12 angry and I must say that I’m looking forward to the end. this soundtrack has been the hardest of all to complete. mainly because of my foolishness in deciding to only throw down music from 1957, (the year the film was released), but also there not being any music in the film has made it difficult to edit in. sounds like a case of ‘bad workman blaming his tools’ !! so I’ll move on….
the dialogue features the ‘old man’ whose 20/20 eagle eyes have spotted something that no-one else had noticed and the stoical cat whose conviction in the boy’s guilt has been, until now, unshakeable…
the music, (another of my personal favourites), is courtesy of gospel group supreme the Soul Stirrers featuring Sam Cooke and is taken from their final recording session together on Art Rupe’s Specialty label in, yep, 1957. the year that Mr Soul announced his arrival on the secular scene with ‘You Send Me’. this one, a traditional gospel tune, is given the full treatment by ‘the lion’ as he roars out a plea to not be forgotten.
Knowing The Eagle, (realising desires; needing nothing)
The great eagle, it’s huge wings covering it’s craggy mountain eyrie, was not immediately aware of losing one of her young as she tried to protect them from the fierce storm. The mother hen in the farm below was similarly unaware that something had dropped into the soft hay of her coup. Reared to behave as a chicken, the young eagle never learned to fly; completely unaware that his nature was to be a king among birds. A passing hermit noticed him awkwardly holding his great wings while strutting and pecking with the other chickens.
‘Don’t you know what you are?’ said the hermit, gently taking the eagle in his arms. ‘Your nature is to soar high in the sky. Come, stretch forth your wings and fly.’
The hermit’s action confused the eagle, however, and as he did not know who he was he jumped down to rejoin the chickens. For several days the hermit persisted, each time taking the eagle to higher ground, saying:
‘Know that although you may live like a chicken, inside you beats the heart of an eagle, a great eagle, know that you are the king of birds. Go, stretch forth your wings and fly.’
But each time, the eagle appeared unaware of his true, unknown, self, and awkwardly hopped back to join the chickens who were scratching for corn in the dust. The hermit noticed, though, how the eagle would cast a few glances at the sky, almost as if sensing something stir deep within its heart.
Finally the hermit carried the bird to the top of the mountain. Reaching a steep crag far above the chicken coup, the hermit held the bird aloft while repeating his words of encouragement. ‘Out there, among the heavens is where you belong. Go now! stretch forth your wings and fly! become the eagle that you are.’
But still the bird did not accept its true power. Not knowing what to do the eagle’s powerful vision swept back and forth from his coup to the sky. He could see the chickens pecking at their food, and felt that he needed to be back there. Then, as if spying something far in the distance, he began to tremble and slowly stretched out his wings. It seemed to the hermit that the eagle was growing in stature and, just at the moment when he could no longer hold him, the great eagle let out a triumphant cry and soared into the heavens.
had to be this one to finish up the Sam Cooke tribute. one from themusicologist’s top10 tunes of all time, regardless of genre…
another quote from the excellent book about Sam Cooke, (Dream Boogie), by Peter Guralnick
“He had given Rene Hall the ‘civil rights’ song he had played for J.W (Alexander), with no specific instructions other than to provide it with the kind of instrumentation and orchestration that it demanded. Rene was in no doubt as to the momentousness of the charge.
“I wanted it to be the greatest thing in my life……..”