Sunday, January 15, 2012

Freedom Isn't Free

Once again are the Loving Sisters and their vocal marvel, Gladys Givens McFadden, back on this blog ... and it was about time! The ob- vious occasion for today's post is their 1969 (?) album Peacock LP # PLP 162 A Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King. As always with the Loving Sisters (and you can read about several of their '70s albums in earlier posts), this LP contains mainly material written by Gladys McFadden and, in some cases, her son Leonard Givens. Leonard is also supposed to play piano and organ on these recordings (though this remained uncredited), in one song, »What My God Can Do«, you also can hear him singing.

This LP offers material so varied that I'd like to play it from beginning to the end. Alas, this isn't possible. There are some deeply-felt hymns showing Gladys McFadden at her very best (»Trials Of Job«, »Go Down Moses«) and, of course, one song dedi- cated especially to MLK, »Tribute To Martin Luther King«. However, the last-men- tioned tune focuses on the assassination of MLK and thus might not be fitting when celebrating his birthday. So I chose two »freedom« songs from this LP for today's (actually tomorrow's) occasion: »Time Is Winding Up« and »Freedom Isn't Free«.

»Time Is Winding Up« is an uptempo sing-and-shout tune; it culminates in the message we gotta have freedom! It is correctly listed on the back cover but appears as »Time Is Almost Up« on the label. »Freedom Isn't Free« is completely different: laid back, with the voices of the entire group much in evidence. There is even a second (soprano) lead voice apart from Gladys's, but I don't know to whom of the Sisters it belongs.

In memory of Martin Luther King.

The Loving Sisters: »Time Is Winding Up« / »Freedom Isn't Free« from the Peacock LP # 162 (1969):

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