Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Half slave, half free is an oxymoron

Of all the various versions of this song, I like Solomon Burke's straightforward gospel-style cover of this song the best. Add in the Blind Boys of Alabama as the backing singers, and everybody else's version is just lame.

"None Of Us Are Free", Solomon Burke, off of the 2002 album Don't Give Up On Me.

Solomon died at age 70 a little over a year ago in Haarlemmermeer, Netherlands, where he collapsed and died at the airport. The old-time gospel singers are pretty much all gone now, and their like will not be seen again, for the culture they came out of -- the Southern black praise song culture transplanted to the North with the black workers who moved North to work in the factories that built the tanks and bombs that won this country's wars -- no longer exists.

-- Badtux the Music Penguin


  1. Thanks for posting this. Solomon Burke doesn't get near the praise he deserves. I have this album (CD) and every song on it is wonderful.

  2. What amazes me most is how Solomon took a song that was written by a couple of white Jewish New York songwriters and turned it into something that sounds like a gospel spiritual right out of the cotton fields of the Old South. We will not see a giant like him (literally, heh!) again.

    - Badtux the Appreciative Penguin


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