ALLAN HARRIS AND DOUG WIMBISH @ ART DECO WEEKEND 2014
Fifty Years Ago, an integrated group of concerned citizens, led by Martin Luther King Jr. and calling themselves "THE FREEDOM RIDERS" traveled throughout the Southeast United States, teaching and preaching a message of peace, integration, voting rights, and racial justice.
Allan (vocals/guitar) and Doug (electric bass guitar) returned to Miami Beach to reprise "THE BRIDGE," on The 50th Anniversary of what's known in American History as "BLOODY SUNDAY" (March 7, 1965) — the day Martin Luther King Jr. and thousands of Voting Rights activists marched in Selma, Alabama, across The Edmund Pettus Bridge.
TODAY, led by Allan and Doug, a band of musicians, writers, and visual artists calling themselves the 21st Century Freedom Riders have united to remind a still-divided nation of its historic struggle for Civil Rights, and a time when a we were closer to becoming ONE AMERICA.
THE ART DECO WEEKEND/MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. CONNECTION
Allan and Doug's Martin Luther King Jr. Day (2015) performance of "THE BRIDGE" at the Pompano Beach Community Center (with Jesse Jones Jr., Dave Shiverton, and Michel Ferré) was, to date, the most evolved. Just before the 50th Anniversary of "Bloody Sunday" (March 7, 2015) in Selma, Alabama, Allan chose to insert into each selected song a story telling the African American history. Starting with the Black Seminoles and their participation in Florida's pre-statehood Seminole Wars; to a Black Cowboy Crossing the Red River from Oklahoma to Texas where he joins the Buffalo Soldiers; "Porgy and Bess," the Gershwin Brothers' musical description of Slavery; and leaping forward to a Bedford Styvesant (Brooklyn) barbershop, his personal discovery of Jimi Hendrix, and convincing his father to allow him to pursue his own carrer in music.
— video by dave hogerty (original noise)
In telling America's Civil Rights story, Allan and Doug agreed that "A Change Is Gonna Come" would be an effective song in the show's socially conscious narrative.
Here they play Sam Cooke's Civil Rights standard (for the first time) at a WLRN (Miami radio) broadcast the day before their Art Deco Weekend debut.
In addition to covering story-telling standards, "The Bridge" will include many songs in both Allan and Doug's extensive catalogs.
For Harris' part, CROSS THAT RIVER, is something of the seed from which "The Bridge" has grown. His 2006 (Folk/Roots) CD tells the story of a 19th Century American slave cowboy named Blue, who crosses (is snuck across) the Red River from Oklahoma to Texas and Joins the Buffalo Soldiers.
Wimbish brings a number of more modern, activist, anti-war, pro-environment, and significant compositions from his 35-year career with bands ranging from THE ORIGINAL SUGAR HILL RHYTHM SECTION, TACK>>HEAD, LITTLE AXE, and LIVING COLOUR.
This unique fusion of Doug and Allan's personal material, combined with popular standards such as "Change is Gonna Come" [above], "The World is a Ghetto," and others will complete "THE BRIDGE" historic narrative.
Despite the obvious difference in the musical styles that made Allan and Doug two of the Music Industry's most respected artists, both have always played material that similarly speaks to the AFRICAN-AMERICAN and HUMAN CONDITIONS ... Both share a common desire to use their talent in an effort to bridge America's still widening political, racial, and economic gaps.
Website Design and Editorial Management by Dave Hogerty / Original Noise
MARCH 7, 1965 — The "Bloody Sunday" march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge.
Edmund Winston Pettus (July 6, 1821 – July 27, 1907), was an American lawyer, soldier, and legislator. He served as a Confederate general during the American Civil War, during which he was captured three times. After the war he led the Alabama Ku Klux Klan and was a U.S. Senator. [MORE]
Young and old, black and white, a diverse group of thousands participated in the Voting Rights march that was planned between Selma and Montgomery, Alabama.
Thousands of Civil Rights activist were met by violent Alabama State Troopers after crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge.
Martin Luther King Jr. and thousands of Voting Rights activists (including Georgia Congressman John Lewis, right) marches toward the Edmund Pettus Bridge.
After announcing that Alabama Gov. George Wallace had forbidden the march, State Troopers deployed 40 canisters of tear gas, 12 cans of smoke, and eight cans of nausea gas, and struck at the marchers as they chased them back across the bridge.
A mother and child (Selma residents) watched as Martin Luther King Jr. and his Voting Rights protesters approached the Edmund Pettus Bridge.
The Edmund Pettus Bridge crosses the Alabama River in Selma, Alabama.