Mahalia Jackson ~ the Queen of Gospel & a Great Spirit ~ Born 10/26/1911 ~ Told MLK, Jr., to Speak about His Dream
The famous "I Have a Dream" section of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s, celebrated speech during the 1963 March on Washington was not part of his written presentation. But he had talked about it to his colleagues and other close associates during the long hard struggle for Civil Rights. Which is why Mahalia Jackson, so often moved by the spirit in her many soulful recordings, was moved again on that day to shout out from her place in the audience, "Tell them about the dream, Martin." And the rest, as they say, is history.
Through the magic of Storify, here is a slide presentation in honor of Mahalia Jackson, whose spirit remains with us in the included video clips and recordings. Her voice still packs a wallop. Included here are: His Eye Is on the Sparrow; Amazing Grace; How I Got Over, Summertime, Motherless Child, Just a Closer Walk with Thee, a 26-minute interview, and the song she sang at Martin's funeral in 1968.
Thanks to everyone on Twitter, YouTube, and elsewhere for sharing these remarkable finds - and to Storify for making this tech collaboration possible.
Painter, filmmaker, artist extraordinaire, Julian Schnabel was born this day in 1951. Nominated for an Oscar for his beautiful film, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, he also made a terrific film about the African-American artist, Jean-Michel Basquiat, a taste of which is offered here.
The Gunfight at the O.K. Corral
My Dad did not have much time to take my brothers and me to see many films, what with his job as a dining-car waiter back in the days of separate-but-equal. So when he did, it was a major event. The 1957 version of the famous gunfight with Burt Lancaster as Wyatt Earp and Kirk Douglas as Doc Holliday was the one we saw. What really happened on this day back in 1881 in Tombstone, Arizona, is probably more interesting today as legend than history. But for me, this film is a chance to hang out with my Dad again, though he passed away years ago during my freshman year in college. He did not have much education, but he made sure we all got good ones. And he certainly knew a good movie when he saw one. This one's for you, Dad.
And as long as we're talking fathers and sons, let's say Happy Birthday to novelist, Pat Conroy, born this day in 1946, with this great scene from the movie based on his novel, The Great Santini.
It's true that the video quality of the below clip is not so great, but there's nothing wrong with the audio. A couple of months ago, we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington, and it is widely known that Martin Luther King, Jr., often found inspiration in music. An opera lover, he was also deeply moved by the voice of Mahalia Jackson (1911-1972), and was said to have listened to her sing this song the night before he delivered his immortal Dream speech.
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