Friday, October 19, 2012

The Battle of the "People Get Ready" versions

In the world of soul music, there's one song that I know I could go on and on with when it comes to all the different versions of a song that have been performed by scores of various musicians from all across the musical globe.

The song is "People Get Ready," written in the early 1960s by Curtis Mayfield and gaining popularity first with the group Mayfield was in, The Impressions.  Rolling Stone magazine named it the 24th greatest song of all time, and deservedly so among modern music.

It's a song that is indeed timeless, and even though it's a gospel-tinged classic it touches the heart of just about anyone who listens to it.

I did a music playlist in another blog of mine back in early February of this year, back when my wife was thinking of performing this song herself.  I included a variety of versions so she could get a good taste of how it's been done through the years.  In that blog alone, I came up with 15 different videos of the same song.

A VIEW FROM THE MIDDLE (CLASS):  My music playlist for today (February 2, 2012 edition)

It's too hard to pick just one favorite version of this song, because each one of them is performed with tons of heart, soul, and gospel feeling.  You can't beat that.

One of the versions has been performed by The Chambers Brothers, with lead vocals done by my friend Lester Chambers.  Lester's performing again Saturday night, October 20, at The Mystic Theatre in Petaluma, CA, along with his band The Mud Stompers.  If you're in the area, I encourage you to check it out.  Chances are that they'll do another rendition of "People Get Ready," and Lester will sing it with just as much heart, soul, and gospel feeling as he did in the 1960s.

Lester Chambers and The Mud Stompers at The Mystic Theatre in Petaluma, CA

So, people, do get ready for a stone-cold soul classic.  Don't feel like you have to choose the best version on this one.  Just sit back and enjoy.

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