1960

FREE * TY HUNTER & THE VOICE MASTERS * ANNA 1123 * USA

The Voice Masters were Ty Hunter, C.P. Spencer, Lamont Dozier, David Ruffin and Freddie Gorman, a rich mix of talent who eventually became known the world over as The Temptations.  Sung in a faux West Indian accent the song seems to be about being liberated, possibly prison, woven into the lyrics are some bitter comments on the form of custody, though an association with the history of slavery would not be too out of place. When this record was made the concept of 'freedom' was still very prevalent and intense vis--vis slavery and emancipation in the ontology of the African American. It would be a few years until  the National Voting Rights Act of 1965 which outlawed discriminatory voting practices that had been responsible for the widespread disenfranchisement of African Americans, an act which was helped in part by Sam Cooke's seminal A Change Is Gonna Come.  What is interesting as I write this, on the day after the elections of first black man to be elected president of America, is the overt reference that Barack Obama made to the Sam Cooke song in his acceptance speech last night in Grant Park Chicago, he said: "Its, been a long time coming . . . but at last a change has finally come". Last night I posed the question did the election of Obama render the lyrics of countless American Soul and Blues records redundant? I think that line in his speech answered the question.


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