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Copyright 2005 Mumia Abu-Jamal/Prison Radio

"The Late Lou Rawls"

rec. 1-7-06  Mumia sings a couple of verses of "My Ancestors"

1) 3:10  Essay Mp3

THE LATE LOU RAWLS (1936-2006)
=============================
[Col. Writ. 1/6/06] Copyright '06 Mumia Abu-Jamal

His smooth voice, laced with Chicago-bred soul, and his down-home delivery, explains why he has sold over 40 million albums.

His songs were mostly ballads, love croonings, mixed with occasional social commentary as deep and as rich as that wonderful sound of his.

Lou Rawls, after nearly 70 years of life, sings no more.

But though he may be here no longer, his voice, his soulful singing, will continue to be a global presence for generations.  His hits, like "Tobacco Road," "You'll Never Find," "Love is a Hurtin' Thing," "Groovy People," and "Natural Man" found homes in the music collections of millions.

His impassioned singing went straight to the heart.

Even though I acquired "Tobacco Road" shortly after its release, and thought it was a hit, a hidden, lesser-known gem caught my ear.  In the cut, "My Ancestors," one found a Lou Rawls that was rarely featured on top-40 or even urban radio.  Yet, when news came of him passing, these lyrics leapt back to memory, flooding back from over a quarter of a century, with the poignant refrain:

"My ancestors, were Kings of Old;
They ruled the world, and all of its gold --
But, look at me; Oh-oh-oh -- Look at me; Look at me....
My ancestors, would fight the Sun,
before they bowed down, to anyone --
Oh, but look at me; Look at me -- Look at me ..."

His lyrical juxtapositions between the glories of Black antiquity, compared with the emptiness of the present, tore at the soul.  In songs such as these, Lou Rawls expressed his pride in Black folks, and African origins, themes that were by no means common -- then, *or* now.

His later work over the past 2 decades consisted not only of his trademark music, but of his prodigious fundraising telethons for the United Negro College Fund, raising over $200 million for Black colleges.

In the age of soul, and RnB, Lou Rawls made wonderful, memorable music.

It will be remembered for ages to come.



Copyright 2005 Mumia Abu-Jamal

 

[Check out Mumia's latest: *WE WANT FREEDOM:
A Life in the Black Panther Party*, from South
End Press (http://www.southendpress.org); Ph.
#1-800-533-8478.] 

"When a cause comes along and you know in your bones that it is
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========================================

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The Power of Truth is Final — Free Mumia!

PLEASE CONTACT:
International Concerned Family & Friends of MAJ
P.O. Box 19709
Philadelphia, PA 19143
Phone - 215-476-8812/ Fax - 215-476-6180
E-mail - AND OFFER YOUR SERVICES!

Send our brotha some LOVE and LIGHT at:
Mumia Abu-Jamal
AM 8335
SCI-Greene
175 Progress Drive
Waynesburg, PA 15370

WE WHO BELIEVE IN FREEDOM CAN *NOT* REST!!

Submitted by: Sis. Marpessa