Thursday, November 10, 2016

Mickey Newbury - 'An American Trilogy'

Although arguably one of the greatest songwriters to have walked the planet Mickey Newbury is probably best known for a song he arranged but didn't actually write.

As the 60's approached the 70's in the U.S. and with a backdrop of great upheaval and national anxiety over war and race issues Newbury performed one night in Los Angeles - Whilst on stage he spontaneously pieced together a southern anthem 'Dixie', a minstrel song that became the unofficial anthem of the Confederacy during the Civil War and written by Northerner Daniel Emmett...

Plus a northern anthem 'The Battle Hymn of the Republic', the marching song of the Union Army during the Civil War written by Southerner William Steffe...

And a third song 'All My Trials' which was originally a Jamaican slave song and Bahamian lullaby derived itself from African-American spirituals.

In the audience that night were numerous notaries including Odetta, Kris Kristofferson and Barbra Streisand and this combined trio of songs brought tears to Odetta's eyes. It came to be called 'An American Trilogy' and it's fair to say was later made most famous by Elvis Presley of course becoming the centerpiece of his subsequent live extravaganzas.
Bonanza & Son on Resonance 104.4FM


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