VARIOUS ARTISTS / “Young, Gifted & Black Mixtape”
This is a classic song from the golden era, 1969 to be specific. Nina Simone composed the music, her musical director during that period Weldon Irvine wrote the lyrics.
I remember in the nineties hanging out with brother Irvine for a minute. We were in Madison, Wisconsin attending a hip hop conference—you know come to think of it, even though both of us were close to, if not past, fifty years old, neither one of us asked the other what we were doing there.
Weldon told me that he had taken Black Studies classes in college and the song came to... well actually came through him, as he reflected on the state of black America during that period. The song proved to be super-popular and became an anthem of the period.
There ought to have been many more recorded versions than exist today. One major twist is that reggae artists took up the banner with enthusiasm and waxed a number of versions. Four of the ten versions on this Mixtape are reggae interpretations.
Nina frequently recorded the song including the long version on the Mixtape. Other than Ms. Simone’s definitive reading, if I were forced to select a favorite, I think I would hesitate before finally settling on Donny Hathaway.
Enjoy one of the truly classic soul songs from the sixties.
—Kalamu ya Salaam
P.S. Believe it or not, I forgot that we featured Young, Gifted and Black” on BoL back in November 2005. (Go here to read the first BoL write up.) This posting is an extension of that earlier one almost five years ago to the month. Invariably when I think of master Weldon, when I reflect on his contributions and his truly tragic suicide death, invariably I am saddened fortunately the music strengthens me and I give thanks for this truly, truly uplifting legacy.
Young, Gifted and Black Mixtape Playlist
01 Black Gold - Nina Simone
02 Oh Me Oh My: Aretha Live in Philly - Aretha Franklin
03 Child of A King - Luciano
04 Young Gifted And Black - The Early Years - C J Lewis
05 Pied Piper - Bob & Marcia
06 Young Gifted And Black CDS - Baby J Ft. Dynamite MC
07 J. Period's The Best Of Big Daddy Kane Big Daddy Kane
08 Legends Of Acid Jazz - Houston Person
09 Young, Gifted And Black - Aretha Franklin
10 Everything Is Everything - Donny Hathaway
This entry was posted on Monday, October 11th, 2010 at 2:48 am and is filed under Cover. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
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