People Get Ready

People Get Ready” is a 1965 single by the Impressions, and the title track from the People Get Ready album. The single is the group’s best-known hit, reaching number-three on the Billboard R&B Chart and number 14 on the Billboard Pop Chart. The gospel-influenced track was a Curtis Mayfield composition that displayed the growing sense of social and political awareness in his writing.

Rolling Stone magazine named “People Get Ready” the 24th greatest song of all time and also placed it at number 20 on their list of the 100 Greatest Guitar Tracks. The song was included in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame‘s 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll. “People Get Ready” was named as one of the Top 10 Best Songs Of All Time by Mojo music magazine, and was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1998. In 2016, the song was selected for preservation in the National Recording Registry due to its “cultural, historic, or artistic significance.”[1] Martin Luther King Jr. named “People Get Ready” the unofficial anthem of the Civil Rights Movement and often used the song to get people marching or to calm and comfort them.[2]

The gospel-influenced track was written and composed by Curtis Mayfield, who was displaying a growing sense of social and political awareness in his writing. Mayfield said,

That was taken from my church or from the upbringing of messages from the church. Like there’s no hiding place and get on board, and images of that sort. I must have been in a very deep mood of that type of religious inspiration when I wrote that song.

The song is the first Impressions hit to feature Mayfield’s guitar in the break.[3]

“People Get Ready” is in a long tradition of Black American freedom songs to use the train imagery – other examples are “Wade in the Water“, “The Gospel Train“, and “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot“. The imagery comes from the Underground Railroad, not a real train but an escape route North to freedom for escaped slaves in America pre-civil war, with conductors such as Harriet Tubman going back time and again to the South to show people the route of the “railroad.” Images of mobility have been consistently linked to liberation in African American music including trains, highways, marching and space travel.[4]



My Favorite Sultan

My Favorite Sultan was born on this day


“This getting older stuff ain’t for wimps.”

“My idea of heaven is a place where the Tyne meets the Delta,
where folk music meets the blues.”

“I actually spend as much time listening to new music as to old. Probably more. I just try to get something out of it all. Take Van Morrison. His voice has been a part of my life since “Them,” and it’s a wonderful thing to be singing with him. But it’s also wonderful to discover somebody new.”
– Mark Knopler, The Sultan of Swing, born Aug. 12, 1949
former junior reporter in Leeds for the Yorkshire Evening Post (Wikipedia)

Whitney Houston (Aug 9, 1963 – Feb 11, 2012)



whiteney and cissy

Cissy Houston* and daughter Whitney






Aretha and Whitney

“When I heard Aretha, I could feel her emotional delivery so clearly. It came from down deep within. That’s what I wanted to do.”

“Being around people like Aretha Franklin and Gladys Knight, Dionne Warwick and Roberta Flack, all these greats, I was taught to listen and observe.”

“I’m either my best friend or my worst enemy.”

“God gave me a voice to sing with, and when you have that, what other gimmick is there?”

“When I decided to be a singer, my mother warned me I’d be alone a lot. Basically we all are. Loneliness comes with life.”

I like being a woman, even in a man’s world. After all, men can’t wear dresses, but we can wear the pants.”


*Emily “Cissy” Houston is an American soul and gospel singer. After a successful career singing backup for such artists as Roy Hamilton, Dionne Warwick, Elvis Presley and Aretha Franklin, Houston embarked on a solo career, winning two Grammy Awards for her work. Wikipedia