Taking me back to my R & B, jazz and gospel roots in St. Louis today while I’m here in Studio G at the Mohn Broadcast Center. Working on a spot for UCLA Live at Royce Hall featuring powerhouse, gospel singer, Mavis Staples and citizen of the world, Billy Bragg.
These are two icons/musicians from back in the day when I wore a black arm band while marching and voicing an opinion about social injustices. You see, in St. Louis, there were a lot of fine musicians and it didn’t matter what shade you happen to be. If you made good music and the vibe was right, it was about the sound, where you put your fingers on the keys or strings and nothing to do with the race of the players.
Mavis Staples and Billy Bragg are both bound by the spirit of social injustice and activism and are coming together for a special celebration of music. Mavis Staples blazes a rhythm and blues trail while hanging on to her gospel roots. The Lifetime Grammy Award winner and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee was honored as one of Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Singers of all time. Billy Bragg’s inspiration stems from the socially conscious folk tradition of Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan. Bragg has two Grammy-nominated albums with Wilco — "Mermaid Avenue" (1998) and "Mermaid Avenue, Volume II" (2000).
For more information about their upcoming Hope, Love and Justice concert at UCLA Live at Royce Hall, go to http://www.uclalive.org/calendar/event_detail.asp?id=26
(Audio clip is an underwriting spot for UCLA Live featuring a musical excerpt of Mavis Staples’ song, “Eyes On The Prize. SCPR voice talent is Hettie Lynne Hurtes.)