Political literacy takes on the status of Christian stewardship of our time, talent, and intelligence.
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Because our political lives matter, then political literacy becomes something more than just part of living as a citizen. Political literacy takes on the status of Christian stewardship of our time, talent, and intelligence.
Awareness of politics, policy, and how change takes place within those systems is how we as Christians live out our faith.
That is a position I think many people of faith would share, though I suspect some may come to different conclusions.
Movie: SANCTUARY (1961), starring Lee Remick, Yves Montand, Bradford Dillman, and Odetta; screenplay by Ruth Ford and James Poe, based on works by William Faulkner; directed by Tony Richardson. In 1928 Mississippi, the black maid of a white woman helps her employer out of a predicament
The group once known as the Primes did some albums with the trio formerly known as the Primettes.
There are lots of groups out there that have the name of an old-time group, but with Otis Williams in the Temptations, the link to the original group is sustained.
“Williams was born Otis Miles, Jr. in Texarkana, Texas to Otis Miles and Hazel Louise Williams… While he was still a toddler, his mother married and moved to Detroit, Michigan, leaving the younger Otis Miles to be raised by both of his grandmothers in Texarkana. Hazel Williams moved her son to Detroit when he was ten years old, where he lived with his mother and his stepfather.”
The history of The Temptations is way too complicated to go through here, but Otis was in several groups, honing his craft. The original lineup of the group called The Temptations was Otis Williams, Melvin Franklin, Elbridge “Al” Bryant, Eddie Kendricks, and Paul Williams (no relation).
But “Al Bryant had grown frustrated with the group’s lack of success and became restless and uncooperative, preferring the mundane routine of his day job as a milkman over the rigors of rehearsal and performing.” He was replaced by David Ruffin who had already “joined the group onstage and impressed the group with his vocal talent and dancing skills.”
The group then had several hits, most notably My Girl, but eventually, Ruffin left the group. He was replaced by Dennis Edwards, who was the lead vocal in the wah-wah period of the late producer/songwriter Norman Whitfield. It is Otis Williams, Melvin Franklin, Eddie Kendricks, Paul Williams, David Ruffin, and Dennis Edwards who are represented in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame when the group was inducted way back in 1989.
These are some songs I was feeling when I made the list. I could easily switch out half of them for others. The top 7, in some order, would stay.
24. It’s Summer (B-side of Ball of Confusion) – this is the version on the 1970 album Psychedelic Shack, NOT the single that appears on Solid Rock in 1972. It’s corny, but I like hearing Melvin’s voice. 23. Love Can Be Anything (Can’t Nothing Be Love But Love) – this song, with thin lyrics, is more a feeling. Appears on Sky’s the Limit in 1971 22. Please Return Your Love to Me, #26 pop, #4 soul in 1968 – Eddie on lead vocal, but it’s the harmonies I love 21. Standing at the Top, #66 pop, #6 soul in 1982. From that great reunion tour when Eddie Kendricks and David Ruffin briefly return to join Otis Williams, Melvin Franklin, Dennis Edwards, Richard Street, and Glenn Leonard. This song also features Rick James.
20. Try It Baby – the group once known as the Primes did some albums with the trio formerly known as the Primettes. This is from the first one, Diana Ross and the Supremes Join the Temptations from 1968 19. Beauty’s Only Skin Deep, #3 pop, #1 for five weeks soul in 1966. Ain’t it the truth? 18. Get Ready, #29 pop, #1 soul in 1966. Ofttimes covered, including by the Motown group Rare Earth 17. War – from the Psychedelic Shack album. From memory: Berry Gordy didn’t want the Temps to get any pushback for releasing this as a single, but he let the less prominent Edwin Starr put it out, and, of course, it was massively successful
12. Don’t Let the Joneses Get You Down, #20 pop, #2 soul in 1969 – a great attribute of the Whitfield period was shared lead vocals 11. Psychedelic Shack, #7 pop, #2 for 3 weeks soul in 1970 – this must be from the album cut because it starts off with the same party noise previously used in I Can’t Get Next To You 10. Ball of Confusion, #3 for three weeks pop, #2 for 5 weeks soul in 1970. “The Beatles’ new records a gas” just as the Fab Four were breaking up 9. Just My Imagination, #1 for two weeks pop, #1 for 3 weeks soul in 1971 – pretty much Eddie Kendricks’ swan song
4. I Wish It Would Rain, #4 pop, #1 for three weeks soul in 1968. Sometimes I wish it would… 3. Papa Was A Rolling Stone, #1 pop, #5 soul in 1972 – as I recall, Dennis Edwards was getting really irritable in the studio about the length of the intro before he got to sing, which may have been the producer’s intent, to get the snarl in “It was the third of September…” 2. The Way You Do The Things You Do, #11 pop, #1 soul – their first real hit, with that Smokey Robinson poetry 1. I Can’t Get Next To You, #1 for two weeks pop, #1 for 5 weeks soul. The best use of that five lead vocalist thing that Whitfield stole from Sly Stone
The other members – Ron Tyson (thick mustache), Terry Weeks, Joe Herndon, Bruce Williamson
Now we are fighting a war over there
No matter who’s the winner
We can’t pay the cost
I was thinking of what Halloween-themed song I could come up with, but I ended up in a totally different direction, though that back album cover is sufficiently appropriate for All Hallows Eve.
Monster is the title song of Steppenwolf’s 1969 LP that eventually reached #17 on the Billboard charts. The album got mixed reviews for being so overtly political, preachy, and pedantic. And it is, though I enjoyed it for that reason.
Actually, that track is listed as three songs: Monster/Suicide/America. Looking at the lyrics, it appears that not much has changed. From the bluesy Suicide section:
‘Cause the people grew fat and got lazy
And now their vote is a meaningless joke
They babble about law and order
But it’s all just an echo of what they’ve been told
Yeah, there’s a monster on the loose It’s got our heads into a noose And it just sits there watchin’
Our cities have turned into jungles And corruption is stranglin’ the land The police force is watching the people And the people just can’t understand We don’t know how to mind our own business ‘Cause the whole world’s got to be just like us Now we are fighting a war over there No matter who’s the winner We can’t pay the cost
Couldn’t those words have been written last year, rather than nearly a half-century ago? I understand John Kay, lead singer of Steppenwolf, and co-writer with Jerry Edmonton, is out there with a new iteration of the group, STILL performing it occasionally.
There was a single version of Monster, which got to #39 in 1970. I always hated the edit. I prefer playing the album, which I still have, and hear the whole 9-minute iteration.
Move Over, the other single from the Monster album, got to #31 in 1969.
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