“All You Need Is Love” Worldwide Broadcast

On June 25, 1967, the first live, world-wide satellite program was broadcast to an estimated 350 million people around the world. The “Our World” global broadcast ran for a little more than two hours and featured representatives from around the world.  Fourteen countries provided material (after the Soviet Union and six other Eastern Bloc countries pulled out apparently in response to Western nations’ response to the Six Day War).

“All You Need is Love”

The Beatles, the biggest music act of the time, represented Great Britain and the BBC.  The band performed “All You Need Is Love” with a little help from some friends.

The song was written specifically for the “Our World” broadcast.  After the Beatles signed the contract in May for the show, John Lennon wrote “All You Need Is Love” for the broadcast.  Then, the band recorded a rhythm track and some backing vocals. The song was especially powerful considering the Vietnam War was a major issue at the time.

The Beatles performance of “All You Need Is Love” from Studio Two at Abbey Road Studio included The Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, Graham Nash, and Marianne Faithfull singing along in the audience. According to The Beatles Bible website, Lennon recorded additional vocals after the broadcast.

The entire Beatles performance of “All You Need is Love’ is not currently available on YouTube, but you may check out a portion of the Beatles segment below.

The original broadcast appeared in black and white, but the above video is from 1995’s The Beatles Anthology special, which colorized parts of this segment, using color photographs taken at the event.

Playing for Change

The “Our World” performance is not the only time “All You Need Is Love” went around the world. Although not done with the technological marvel of a live broadcast, Playing for Change put together kids from around the world singing the song about love and harmony.

Check out the Playing for Change version of “All You Need is Love.”

What is your favorite part of “All You Need Is Love”? Leave your two cents in the comments.

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    David Lynch: Surrealist of Americana

    ScreenPrism has created a short video that explores the work of screenwriter and director David Lynch. The video discusses Lynch’s history and his films. And it considers what his movies reveal about his views on Americana.

    The narrator explains how Lynch uses surreal images and mixes them with a film noir tone in Americana settings. In less than ten minutes, the video zips through Lynch’s works such as Eraserhead (1977), The Elephant Man (1980), Blue Velvet (1986), Mulholland Drive (2001), Lost Highway (1997), and the TV series Twin Peaks. And the video explains its thesis about how Lynch’s unique cinematic approach explores the complexity of humanity.

    So, check out David Lynch: Surrealist of Americana.

    What is your favorite David Lynch film? Leave your two cents in the comments.

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    Little Steven and Bruce Springsteen: “It’s Been a Long Time”

    When Little Steven kicked off his tour in New Jersey to promote his new album Soulfire, it may not have been a big surprise that Bruce Springsteen joined him on stage.  But it was still pretty awesome for the two to perform “It’s Been a Long Time” together.  They look like they’re having a lot of fun with Steve as the front man too.

    The song originally appeared on the 1991 album by Southside Johnny & the Ashbury Jukes, Better Days.  The wonderful album is worth tracking down. The album includes songs by Steven Van Zandt, a.k.a. Little Steven (and Miami Steve), as well as vocal contributions by both him and Springsteen.

    The original “It’s Been a Long Time” recording featured Springsteen, Van Zandt, and Southside Johnny. It was the perfect song for the three, reflecting on their youth at the Jersey shore: “We lived in a time and a world of our own,/ Making up the rules as we went along.”  Van Zandt, who wrote the song, features it on his new album Soulfire.

    Some of the lines in the chorus about lost comrades seem even more poignant now that Clarence Clemons and Danny Federici of the E Street Band have passed away. But the song remains a celebration of both the past and the future.

    It’s been a long time since we laughed together;
    It’s been a long time since we cried;
    Raise your glass for the comrades we’ve lost;
    My friend it’s been a long, long time.

    The performance of Springsteen and Little Steven with the Disciples of Soul is from May 27, 2017 at the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank, New Jersey.

    Leave your two cents in the comments.

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    Slaid Cleaves Releasing “Ghost On The Car Radio”

    Singer-songwriter Slaid Cleaves is releasing a new album, Ghost on the Car Radio. Cleaves last released an album in 2013 with Still Fighting the War.

    The Texan has created some wonderful songs through his career.  He often captures the sadness of life while also showing a good sense of humor.  Rolling Stone says that the songs on the new album “reinforce Cleaves’ reputation as a master storyteller, one influenced not by the shine of pop-culture but by the dirt of real life.”

    Ghost on the Car Radio includes the song “Drunken Barber’s Hand,” which Cleaves co-wrote with Rod Picott.  The singer in the song has seen a lot of the world, having had good and bad fortune: “I’ve drowned in the pull of young love / Known the high and the hurt.”  But at the end, he knows there is something wrong with the world.

    I don’t need to read the papers,
    Or the tea leaves to understand,
    That this world’s been shaved,
    By a drunken barber’s hand.

    The pessimism and the drunken barber reference connects to the political situation of the world. Rolling Stone has noted the song alludes to W.B. Yeats’ “The Second Coming” (“Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; / Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world.”).

    Below is the video for “Drunken Barber’s Hand.”

    Another song on the album is “Primer Gray.”  Here, Cleaves performs the song at Southgate House Revival in Newport, Kentucky on October 18, 2016.

    Ghost on The Car Radio hits the Internet on June 23, 2017.

    What is your favorite Slaid Cleaves song? Leave your two cents in the comments.

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    Skip James: “Hard Times Killing Floor Blues”

    Nehemiah Curtis James was born on June 9, 1902 in in Bentonia, Mississippi.  But he became famous as a blues guitarist-singer-songwriter named Skip James.

    James first recorded “Hard Time Killing Floor Blues” and other songs in 1931. The recordings, however, did not sell well record buyers lacked disposable income during The Great Depression.  So, James gave up performing for awhile.

    In the early 1960s, though, blues fans rediscovered James. And he began recording and performing again until he died in Philadelphia on October 3, 1969

    Below, Skip James performs “Hard Time Killing Floor Blues” American Folk and Blues Festival in Cologne, Germany on October 9, 1967.

    In the film O Brother, Where Art Thou?, singer and actor Chris Thomas King sang “Hard Time Killing Floor Blues” around a campfire.

    Leave your two cents in the comments.

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