Inspiration for "The Bridge"
"CROSS THAT RIVER" — Allan Harris' 2006 album tells the story of a 19th-Century American slave named Blue, who crosses the Red River from Oklahoma into Texas, and becomes a Black Cowboy. Few historic or dramatic interpretations of the American West reflect that 40 percent of cowboys at the time were of African descent. The story goes on to tell of the African-American history, including the creation of the "Buffalo Soldiers," and the migration to the Southeastern United States and Florida, where many came to be known as "Black Seminoles."
"A CHANGE IS GONNA COME" — A 1964 single by R&B singer-songwriter Sam Cooke, written in 1963, first recorded in January 1964, and released in March on the RCA Victor album Ain't That Good News. It was released as a single shortly after his death in 1964.
Though only a modest hit for Cooke in comparison with his previous singles, the song came to exemlify the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. The song has gained in popularity and critical acclaim in the decades since its release, and is #12 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
"THE WORLD IS A GHETTO" — War's album, released in late 1972, attained the number one spot on the Billboard Chart, was 1973's best
selling album, and Billboard Magazine's 1973 Album of the Year. The album is ranked number 444 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.
Singles from the album include "The World Is a Ghetto" backed with "Four Cornered Room", and "The Cisco Kid" backed with "Beetles in the Bog."
The cover illustration was drawn by Howard Miller, with Lee Oskar credited with album concept.
LIVING COLOUR — By the time Living Colour's debut album, Vivid, emerged in 1988, the radical multiculturalism that fueled rock 'n' roll's evolution between 1950 and 1975 was but a faint memory. White musicians dominated the music almost exclusively. There were exceptions (Bad Brains, Prince, Fishbone, 24-7 Spyz), but none focused on hard rock music as intensely as Living Colour. With backgrounds in funk, fusion and even avant-garde jazz, Living Colour's mix of socially conscious lyrics and heavily syncopated rock predated the rise of the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Rage Against the Machine by several years.