Tuesday 24 October 2017

Episode 24: Blood of an American - Soul Music and the Vietnam War

This month's episode marks the forthcoming Melodies International reissue of the beautiful anti-war folk-soul ballad 'Blood of an American' by Bobby Wright (now Abu Talib). Little known and rarely heard, the record stages a reflection upon the unique intersection of popular music and radical politics in late 1960s and early 1970s soul music.  This becomes an opportunity to think critically about the ways in which counter-cultural soundtracks have been sanitised and re-packaged in recent decades.

-Peter Guralnick, Sweet Soul Music: Rhythm and Blues and the Southern Dream of Freedom, Canongate Books, 2002.
-Craig Hansen Werner, A Change is Gonna Come: Music, Race & the Soul of America, University of Michigan Press, 2006.
-Doug Bradley & Craig Werner, We Gotta Get Out of This Place: The Soundtrack of the Vietnam War, 2015.
-Brian Ward, Just My Soul Responding: Rhythm and Blues, Black Consciousness, and Race Relations, University of California Press, 1998.
-Leroi Jones (Amiri Baraka), Blues People: Negro Music in White America, Greenwood Press, 1980.
-Leroi Jones (Amiri Baraka), Black Music, Akashic Books, 2010.

Bobby Wright, 'Blood of an American'
Marion Brown, 'Porto Novo'
Archie Shepp, 'Poem for Malcolm'
Cecil Taylor, 'Enter Evening (Soft line structure)'
Eddie Kendricks, 'My People... Hold On'
Syl Johnson, 'Is It Because I'm Black'
The Last Poets, 'Ho Chi Minh'
The Sweet Inspirations, 'Am I Ever Gonna See My Baby Again'
Archie Bell & the Drells, 'A Soldier's Plea'
Johnny & Jon, 'Christmas in Vietnam'
Penny Goodwin, 'Too Soon You're Old'
Lou Bond, 'To The Establishment'