American activist and leader in the civil rights movement (1929-1968)
Episode 168 of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at “I Say a Little Prayer”, and the interaction of the sacred, political, and secular in Aretha Franklin's life and work. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have a forty-five-minute bonus episode available, on "Abraham, Martin, and John" by Dion. Tilt Araiza has assisted invaluably by doing a first-pass edit, and will hopefully be doing so from now on. Check out Tilt's irregular podcasts at http://www.podnose.com/jaffa-cakes-for-proust and http://sitcomclub.com/ Resources No Mixcloud this week, as there are too many songs by Aretha Franklin. Even splitting it into multiple parts would have required six or seven mixes. My main biographical source for Aretha Franklin is Respect: The Life of Aretha Franklin by David Ritz, and this is where most of the quotes from musicians come from. Information on C.L. Franklin came from Singing in a Strange Land: C. L. Franklin, the Black Church, and the Transformation of America by Nick Salvatore. Country Soul by Charles L Hughes is a great overview of the soul music made in Muscle Shoals, Memphis, and Nashville in the sixties. Peter Guralnick's Sweet Soul Music: Rhythm And Blues And The Southern Dream Of Freedom is possibly less essential, but still definitely worth reading. Information about Martin Luther King came from Martin Luther King: A Religious Life by Paul Harvey. I also referred to Burt Bacharach's autobiography Anyone Who Had a Heart, Carole King's autobiography A Natural Woman, and Soul Serenade: King Curtis and his Immortal Saxophone by Timothy R. Hoover. For information about Amazing Grace I also used Aaron Cohen's 33 1/3 book on the album. The film of the concerts is also definitely worth watching. And the Aretha Now album is available in this five-album box set for a ludicrously cheap price. But it's actually worth getting this nineteen-CD set with her first sixteen Atlantic albums and a couple of bonus discs of demos and outtakes. There's barely a duff track in the whole nineteen discs. Patreon This podcast is brought to you by the generosity of my backers on Patreon. Why not join them? Transcript A quick warning before I begin. This episode contains some moderate references to domestic abuse, death by cancer, racial violence, police violence, and political assassination. Anyone who might be upset by those subjects might want to check the transcript rather than listening to the episode. Also, as with the previous episode on Aretha Franklin, this episode presents something of a problem. Like many people in this narrative, Franklin's career was affected by personal troubles, which shaped many of her decisions. But where most of the subjects of the podcast have chosen to live their lives in public and share intimate details of every aspect of their personal lives, Franklin was an extremely private person, who chose to share only carefully sanitised versions of her life, and tried as far as possible to keep things to herself. This of course presents a dilemma for anyone who wants to tell her story -- because even though the information is out there in biographies, and even though she's dead, it's not right to disrespect someone's wish for a private life. I have therefore tried, wherever possible, to stay away from talk of her personal life except where it *absolutely* affects the work, or where other people involved have publicly shared their own stories, and even there I've tried to keep it to a minimum. This will occasionally lead to me saying less about some topics than other people might, even though the information is easily findable, because I don't think we have an absolute right to invade someone else's privacy for entertainment. When we left Aretha Franklin, she had just finally broken through into the mainstream after a decade of performing, with a version of Otis Redding's song "Respect" on which she had been backed by her sisters, Erma and Carolyn. "Respect", in Franklin's interpretation, had been turned from a rather chauvinist song about a man demanding respect from his woman into an anthem of feminism, of Black power, and of a new political awakening. For white people of a certain generation, the summer of 1967 was "the summer of love". For many Black people, it was rather different. There's a quote that goes around (I've seen it credited in reliable sources to both Ebony and Jet magazine, but not ever seen an issue cited, so I can't say for sure where it came from) saying that the summer of 67 was the summer of "'retha, Rap, and revolt", referring to the trifecta of Aretha Franklin, the Black power leader Jamil Abdullah al-Amin (who was at the time known as H. Rap Brown, a name he later disclaimed) and the rioting that broke out in several major cities, particularly in Detroit: [Excerpt: John Lee Hooker, "The Motor City is Burning"] The mid sixties were, in many ways, the high point not of Black rights in the US -- for the most part there has been a lot of progress in civil rights in the intervening decades, though not without inevitable setbacks and attacks from the far right, and as movements like the Black Lives Matter movement have shown there is still a long way to go -- but of *hope* for Black rights. The moral force of the arguments made by the civil rights movement were starting to cause real change to happen for Black people in the US for the first time since the Reconstruction nearly a century before. But those changes weren't happening fast enough, and as we heard in the episode on "I Was Made to Love Her", there was not only a growing unrest among Black people, but a recognition that it was actually possible for things to change. A combination of hope and frustration can be a powerful catalyst, and whether Franklin wanted it or not, she was at the centre of things, both because of her newfound prominence as a star with a hit single that couldn't be interpreted as anything other than a political statement and because of her intimate family connections to the struggle. Even the most racist of white people these days pays lip service to the memory of Dr Martin Luther King, and when they do they quote just a handful of sentences from one speech King made in 1963, as if that sums up the full theological and political philosophy of that most complex of men. And as we discussed the last time we looked at Aretha Franklin, King gave versions of that speech, the "I Have a Dream" speech, twice. The most famous version was at the March on Washington, but the first time was a few weeks earlier, at what was at the time the largest civil rights demonstration in American history, in Detroit. Aretha's family connection to that event is made clear by the very opening of King's speech: [Excerpt: Martin Luther King, "Original 'I Have a Dream' Speech"] So as summer 1967 got into swing, and white rock music was going to San Francisco to wear flowers in its hair, Aretha Franklin was at the centre of a very different kind of youth revolution. Franklin's second Atlantic album, Aretha Arrives, brought in some new personnel to the team that had recorded Aretha's first album for Atlantic. Along with the core Muscle Shoals players Jimmy Johnson, Spooner Oldham, Tommy Cogbill and Roger Hawkins, and a horn section led by King Curtis, Wexler and Dowd also brought in guitarist Joe South. South was a white session player from Georgia, who had had a few minor hits himself in the fifties -- he'd got his start recording a cover version of "The Purple People Eater Meets the Witch Doctor", the Big Bopper's B-side to "Chantilly Lace": [Excerpt: Joe South, "The Purple People Eater Meets the Witch Doctor"] He'd also written a few songs that had been recorded by people like Gene Vincent, but he'd mostly become a session player. He'd become a favourite musician of Bob Johnston's, and so he'd played guitar on Simon and Garfunkel's Sounds of Silence and Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme albums: [Excerpt: Simon and Garfunkel, "I am a Rock"] and bass on Bob Dylan's Blonde on Blonde, with Al Kooper particularly praising his playing on "Visions of Johanna": [Excerpt: Bob Dylan, "Visions of Johanna"] South would be the principal guitarist on this and Franklin's next album, before his own career took off in 1968 with "Games People Play": [Excerpt: Joe South, "Games People Play"] At this point, he had already written the other song he's best known for, "Hush", which later became a hit for Deep Purple: [Excerpt: Deep Purple, "Hush"] But he wasn't very well known, and was surprised to get the call for the Aretha Franklin session, especially because, as he put it "I was white and I was about to play behind the blackest genius since Ray Charles" But Jerry Wexler had told him that Franklin didn't care about the race of the musicians she played with, and South settled in as soon as Franklin smiled at him when he played a good guitar lick on her version of the blues standard "Going Down Slow": [Excerpt: Aretha Franklin, "Going Down Slow"] That was one of the few times Franklin smiled in those sessions though. Becoming an overnight success after years of trying and failing to make a name for herself had been a disorienting experience, and on top of that things weren't going well in her personal life. Her marriage to her manager Ted White was falling apart, and she was performing erratically thanks to the stress. In particular, at a gig in Georgia she had fallen off the stage and broken her arm. She soon returned to performing, but it meant she had problems with her right arm during the recording of the album, and didn't play as much piano as she would have previously -- on some of the faster songs she played only with her left hand. But the recording sessions had to go on, whether or not Aretha was physically capable of playing piano. As we discussed in the episode on Otis Redding, the owners of Atlantic Records were busily negotiating its sale to Warner Brothers in mid-1967. As Wexler said later “Everything in me said, Keep rolling, keep recording, keep the hits coming. She was red hot and I had no reason to believe that the streak wouldn't continue. I knew that it would be foolish—and even irresponsible—not to strike when the iron was hot. I also had personal motivation. A Wall Street financier had agreed to see what we could get for Atlantic Records. While Ahmet and Neshui had not agreed on a selling price, they had gone along with my plan to let the financier test our worth on the open market. I was always eager to pump out hits, but at this moment I was on overdrive. In this instance, I had a good partner in Ted White, who felt the same. He wanted as much product out there as possible." In truth, you can tell from Aretha Arrives that it's a record that was being thought of as "product" rather than one being made out of any kind of artistic impulse. It's a fine album -- in her ten-album run from I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You through Amazing Grace there's not a bad album and barely a bad track -- but there's a lack of focus. There are only two originals on the album, neither of them written by Franklin herself, and the rest is an incoherent set of songs that show the tension between Franklin and her producers at Atlantic. Several songs are the kind of standards that Franklin had recorded for her old label Columbia, things like "You Are My Sunshine", or her version of "That's Life", which had been a hit for Frank Sinatra the previous year: [Excerpt: Aretha Franklin, "That's Life"] But mixed in with that are songs that are clearly the choice of Wexler. As we've discussed previously in episodes on Otis Redding and Wilson Pickett, at this point Atlantic had the idea that it was possible for soul artists to cross over into the white market by doing cover versions of white rock hits -- and indeed they'd had some success with that tactic. So while Franklin was suggesting Sinatra covers, Atlantic's hand is visible in the choices of songs like "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" and "96 Tears": [Excerpt: Aretha Franklin, "96 Tears'] Of the two originals on the album, one, the hit single "Baby I Love You" was written by Ronnie Shannon, the Detroit songwriter who had previously written "I Never Loved a Man (the Way I Love You)": [Excerpt: Aretha Franklin, "Baby I Love You"] As with the previous album, and several other songs on this one, that had backing vocals by Aretha's sisters, Erma and Carolyn. But the other original on the album, "Ain't Nobody (Gonna Turn Me Around)", didn't, even though it was written by Carolyn: [Excerpt: Aretha Franklin, "Ain't Nobody (Gonna Turn Me Around)"] To explain why, let's take a little detour and look at the co-writer of the song this episode is about, though we're not going to get to that for a little while yet. We've not talked much about Burt Bacharach in this series so far, but he's one of those figures who has come up a few times in the periphery and will come up again, so here is as good a time as any to discuss him, and bring everyone up to speed about his career up to 1967. Bacharach was one of the more privileged figures in the sixties pop music field. His father, Bert Bacharach (pronounced the same as his son, but spelled with an e rather than a u) had been a famous newspaper columnist, and his parents had bought him a Steinway grand piano to practice on -- they pushed him to learn the piano even though as a kid he wasn't interested in finger exercises and Debussy. What he was interested in, though, was jazz, and as a teenager he would often go into Manhattan and use a fake ID to see people like Dizzy Gillespie, who he idolised, and in his autobiography he talks rapturously of seeing Gillespie playing his bent trumpet -- he once saw Gillespie standing on a street corner with a pet monkey on his shoulder, and went home and tried to persuade his parents to buy him a monkey too. In particular, he talks about seeing the Count Basie band with Sonny Payne on drums as a teenager: [Excerpt: Count Basie, "Kid From Red Bank"] He saw them at Birdland, the club owned by Morris Levy where they would regularly play, and said of the performance "they were just so incredibly exciting that all of a sudden, I got into music in a way I never had before. What I heard in those clubs really turned my head around— it was like a big breath of fresh air when somebody throws open a window. That was when I knew for the first time how much I loved music and wanted to be connected to it in some way." Of course, there's a rather major problem with this story, as there is so often with narratives that musicians tell about their early career. In this case, Birdland didn't open until 1949, when Bacharach was twenty-one and stationed in Germany for his military service, while Sonny Payne didn't join Basie's band until 1954, when Bacharach had been a professional musician for many years. Also Dizzy Gillespie's trumpet bell only got bent on January 6, 1953. But presumably while Bacharach was conflating several memories, he did have some experience in some New York jazz club that led him to want to become a musician. Certainly there were enough great jazz musicians playing the clubs in those days. He went to McGill University to study music for two years, then went to study with Darius Milhaud, a hugely respected modernist composer. Milhaud was also one of the most important music teachers of the time -- among others he'd taught Stockhausen and Xenakkis, and would go on to teach Philip Glass and Steve Reich. This suited Bacharach, who by this point was a big fan of Schoenberg and Webern, and was trying to write atonal, difficult music. But Milhaud had also taught Dave Brubeck, and when Bacharach rather shamefacedly presented him with a composition which had an actual tune, he told Bacharach "Never be ashamed of writing a tune you can whistle". He dropped out of university and, like most men of his generation, had to serve in the armed forces. When he got out of the army, he continued his musical studies, still trying to learn to be an avant-garde composer, this time with Bohuslav Martinů and later with Henry Cowell, the experimental composer we've heard about quite a bit in previous episodes: [Excerpt: Henry Cowell, "Aeolian Harp and Sinister Resonance"] He was still listening to a lot of avant garde music, and would continue doing so throughout the fifties, going to see people like John Cage. But he spent much of that time working in music that was very different from the avant-garde. He got a job as the band leader for the crooner Vic Damone: [Excerpt: Vic Damone. "Ebb Tide"] He also played for the vocal group the Ames Brothers. He decided while he was working with the Ames Brothers that he could write better material than they were getting from their publishers, and that it would be better to have a job where he didn't have to travel, so he got himself a job as a staff songwriter in the Brill Building. He wrote a string of flops and nearly hits, starting with "Keep Me In Mind" for Patti Page: [Excerpt: Patti Page, "Keep Me In Mind"] From early in his career he worked with the lyricist Hal David, and the two of them together wrote two big hits, "Magic Moments" for Perry Como: [Excerpt: Perry Como, "Magic Moments"] and "The Story of My Life" for Marty Robbins: [Excerpt: "The Story of My Life"] But at that point Bacharach was still also writing with other writers, notably Hal David's brother Mack, with whom he wrote the theme tune to the film The Blob, as performed by The Five Blobs: [Excerpt: The Five Blobs, "The Blob"] But Bacharach's songwriting career wasn't taking off, and he got himself a job as musical director for Marlene Dietrich -- a job he kept even after it did start to take off. Part of the problem was that he intuitively wrote music that didn't quite fit into standard structures -- there would be odd bars of unusual time signatures thrown in, unusual harmonies, and structural irregularities -- but then he'd take feedback from publishers and producers who would tell him the song could only be recorded if he straightened it out. He said later "The truth is that I ruined a lot of songs by not believing in myself enough to tell these guys they were wrong." He started writing songs for Scepter Records, usually with Hal David, but also with Bob Hilliard and Mack David, and started having R&B hits. One song he wrote with Mack David, "I'll Cherish You", had the lyrics rewritten by Luther Dixon to make them more harsh-sounding for a Shirelles single -- but the single was otherwise just Bacharach's demo with the vocals replaced, and you can even hear his voice briefly at the beginning: [Excerpt: The Shirelles, "Baby, It's You"] But he'd also started becoming interested in the production side of records more generally. He'd iced that some producers, when recording his songs, would change the sound for the worse -- he thought Gene McDaniels' version of "Tower of Strength", for example, was too fast. But on the other hand, other producers got a better sound than he'd heard in his head. He and Hilliard had written a song called "Please Stay", which they'd given to Leiber and Stoller to record with the Drifters, and he thought that their arrangement of the song was much better than the one he'd originally thought up: [Excerpt: The Drifters, "Please Stay"] He asked Leiber and Stoller if he could attend all their New York sessions and learn about record production from them. He started doing so, and eventually they started asking him to assist them on records. He and Hilliard wrote a song called "Mexican Divorce" for the Drifters, which Leiber and Stoller were going to produce, and as he put it "they were so busy running Redbird Records that they asked me to rehearse the background singers for them in my office." [Excerpt: The Drifters, "Mexican Divorce"] The backing singers who had been brought in to augment the Drifters on that record were a group of vocalists who had started out as members of a gospel group called the Drinkard singers: [Excerpt: The Drinkard Singers, "Singing in My Soul"] The Drinkard Singers had originally been a family group, whose members included Cissy Drinkard, who joined the group aged five (and who on her marriage would become known as Cissy Houston -- her daughter Whitney would later join the family business), her aunt Lee Warrick, and Warrick's adopted daughter Judy Clay. That group were discovered by the great gospel singer Mahalia Jackson, and spent much of the fifties performing with gospel greats including Jackson herself, Clara Ward, and Sister Rosetta Tharpe. But Houston was also the musical director of a group at her church, the Gospelaires, which featured Lee Warrick's two daughters Dionne and Dee Dee Warwick (for those who don't know, the Warwick sisters' birth name was Warrick, spelled with two rs. A printing error led to it being misspelled the same way as the British city on a record label, and from that point on Dionne at least pronounced the w in her misspelled name). And slowly, the Gospelaires rather than the Drinkard Singers became the focus, with a lineup of Houston, the Warwick sisters, the Warwick sisters' cousin Doris Troy, and Clay's sister Sylvia Shemwell. The real change in the group's fortunes came when, as we talked about a while back in the episode on "The Loco-Motion", the original lineup of the Cookies largely stopped working as session singers to become Ray Charles' Raelettes. As we discussed in that episode, a new lineup of Cookies formed in 1961, but it took a while for them to get started, and in the meantime the producers who had been relying on them for backing vocals were looking elsewhere, and they looked to the Gospelaires. "Mexican Divorce" was the first record to feature the group as backing vocalists -- though reports vary as to how many of them are on the record, with some saying it's only Troy and the Warwicks, others saying Houston was there, and yet others saying it was all five of them. Some of these discrepancies were because these singers were so good that many of them left to become solo singers in fairly short order. Troy was the first to do so, with her hit "Just One Look", on which the other Gospelaires sang backing vocals: [Excerpt: Doris Troy, "Just One Look"] But the next one to go solo was Dionne Warwick, and that was because she'd started working with Bacharach and Hal David as their principal demo singer. She started singing lead on their demos, and hoping that she'd get to release them on her own. One early one was "Make it Easy On Yourself", which was recorded by Jerry Butler, formerly of the Impressions. That record was produced by Bacharach, one of the first records he produced without outside supervision: [Excerpt: Jerry Butler, "Make it Easy On Yourself"] Warwick was very jealous that a song she'd sung the demo of had become a massive hit for someone else, and blamed Bacharach and David. The way she tells the story -- Bacharach always claimed this never happened, but as we've already seen he was himself not always the most reliable of narrators of his own life -- she got so angry she complained to them, and said "Don't make me over, man!" And so Bacharach and David wrote her this: [Excerpt: Dionne Warwick, "Don't Make Me Over"] Incidentally, in the UK, the hit version of that was a cover by the Swinging Blue Jeans: [Excerpt: The Swinging Blue Jeans, "Don't Make Me Over"] who also had a huge hit with "You're No Good": [Excerpt: The Swinging Blue Jeans, "You're No Good"] And *that* was originally recorded by *Dee Dee* Warwick: [Excerpt: Dee Dee Warwick, "You're No Good"] Dee Dee also had a successful solo career, but Dionne's was the real success, making the names of herself, and of Bacharach and David. The team had more than twenty top forty hits together, before Bacharach and David had a falling out in 1971 and stopped working together, and Warwick sued both of them for breach of contract as a result. But prior to that they had hit after hit, with classic records like "Anyone Who Had a Heart": [Excerpt: Dionne Warwick, "Anyone Who Had a Heart"] And "Walk On By": [Excerpt: Dionne Warwick, "Walk On By"] With Doris, Dionne, and Dee Dee all going solo, the group's membership was naturally in flux -- though the departed members would occasionally join their former bandmates for sessions, and the remaining members would sing backing vocals on their ex-members' records. By 1965 the group consisted of Cissy Houston, Sylvia Shemwell, the Warwick sisters' cousin Myrna Smith, and Estelle Brown. The group became *the* go-to singers for soul and R&B records made in New York. They were regularly hired by Leiber and Stoller to sing on their records, and they were also the particular favourites of Bert Berns. They sang backing vocals on almost every record he produced. It's them doing the gospel wails on "Cry Baby" by Garnet Mimms: [Excerpt: Garnet Mimms, "Cry Baby"] And they sang backing vocals on both versions of "If You Need Me" -- Wilson Pickett's original and Solomon Burke's more successful cover version, produced by Berns: [Excerpt: Solomon Burke, "If You Need Me"] They're on such Berns records as "Show Me Your Monkey", by Kenny Hamber: [Excerpt: Kenny Hamber, "Show Me Your Monkey"] And it was a Berns production that ended up getting them to be Aretha Franklin's backing group. The group were becoming such an important part of the records that Atlantic and BANG Records, in particular, were putting out, that Jerry Wexler said "it was only a matter of common decency to put them under contract as a featured group". He signed them to Atlantic and renamed them from the Gospelaires to The Sweet Inspirations. Dan Penn and Spooner Oldham wrote a song for the group which became their only hit under their own name: [Excerpt: The Sweet Inspirations, "Sweet Inspiration"] But to start with, they released a cover of Pops Staples' civil rights song "Why (Am I treated So Bad)": [Excerpt: The Sweet Inspirations, "Why (Am I Treated So Bad?)"] That hadn't charted, and meanwhile, they'd all kept doing session work. Cissy had joined Erma and Carolyn Franklin on the backing vocals for Aretha's "I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You": [Excerpt: Aretha Franklin, "I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You"] Shortly after that, the whole group recorded backing vocals for Erma's single "Piece of My Heart", co-written and produced by Berns: [Excerpt: Erma Franklin, "Piece of My Heart"] That became a top ten record on the R&B charts, but that caused problems. Aretha Franklin had a few character flaws, and one of these was an extreme level of jealousy for any other female singer who had any level of success and came up in the business after her. She could be incredibly graceful towards anyone who had been successful before her -- she once gave one of her Grammies away to Esther Phillips, who had been up for the same award and had lost to her -- but she was terribly insecure, and saw any contemporary as a threat. She'd spent her time at Columbia Records fuming (with some justification) that Barbra Streisand was being given a much bigger marketing budget than her, and she saw Diana Ross, Gladys Knight, and Dionne Warwick as rivals rather than friends. And that went doubly for her sisters, who she was convinced should be supporting her because of family loyalty. She had been infuriated at John Hammond when Columbia had signed Erma, thinking he'd gone behind her back to create competition for her. And now Erma was recording with Bert Berns. Bert Berns who had for years been a colleague of Jerry Wexler and the Ertegun brothers at Atlantic. Aretha was convinced that Wexler had put Berns up to signing Erma as some kind of power play. There was only one problem with this -- it simply wasn't true. As Wexler later explained “Bert and I had suffered a bad falling-out, even though I had enormous respect for him. After all, he was the guy who brought over guitarist Jimmy Page from England to play on our sessions. Bert, Ahmet, Nesuhi, and I had started a label together—Bang!—where Bert produced Van Morrison's first album. But Bert also had a penchant for trouble. He courted the wise guys. He wanted total control over every last aspect of our business dealings. Finally it was too much, and the Erteguns and I let him go. He sued us for breach of contract and suddenly we were enemies. I felt that he signed Erma, an excellent singer, not merely for her talent but as a way to get back at me. If I could make a hit with Aretha, he'd show me up by making an even bigger hit on Erma. Because there was always an undercurrent of rivalry between the sisters, this only added to the tension.” There were two things that resulted from this paranoia on Aretha's part. The first was that she and Wexler, who had been on first-name terms up to that point, temporarily went back to being "Mr. Wexler" and "Miss Franklin" to each other. And the second was that Aretha no longer wanted Carolyn and Erma to be her main backing vocalists, though they would continue to appear on her future records on occasion. From this point on, the Sweet Inspirations would be the main backing vocalists for Aretha in the studio throughout her golden era [xxcut line (and when the Sweet Inspirations themselves weren't on the record, often it would be former members of the group taking their place)]: [Excerpt: Aretha Franklin, "Ain't Nobody (Gonna Turn Me Around)"] The last day of sessions for Aretha Arrives was July the twenty-third, 1967. And as we heard in the episode on "I Was Made to Love Her", that was the day that the Detroit riots started. To recap briefly, that was four days of rioting started because of a history of racist policing, made worse by those same racist police overreacting to the initial protests. By the end of those four days, the National Guard, 82nd Airborne Division, and the 101st Airborne from Clarksville were all called in to deal with the violence, which left forty-three dead (of whom thirty-three were Black and only one was a police officer), 1,189 people were injured, and over 7,200 arrested, almost all of them Black. Those days in July would be a turning point for almost every musician based in Detroit. In particular, the police had murdered three members of the soul group the Dramatics, in a massacre of which the author John Hersey, who had been asked by President Johnson to be part of the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders but had decided that would compromise his impartiality and did an independent journalistic investigation, said "The episode contained all the mythic themes of racial strife in the United States: the arm of the law taking the law into its own hands; interracial sex; the subtle poison of racist thinking by “decent” men who deny they are racists; the societal limbo into which, ever since slavery, so many young black men have been driven by our country; ambiguous justice in the courts; and the devastation in both black and white human lives that follows in the wake of violence as surely as ruinous and indiscriminate flood after torrents" But these were also the events that radicalised the MC5 -- the group had been playing a gig as Tim Buckley's support act when the rioting started, and guitarist Wayne Kramer decided afterwards to get stoned and watch the fires burning down the city through a telescope -- which police mistook for a rifle, leading to the National Guard knocking down Kramer's door. The MC5 would later cover "The Motor City is Burning", John Lee Hooker's song about the events: [Excerpt: The MC5, "The Motor City is Burning"] It would also be a turning point for Motown, too, in ways we'll talk about in a few future episodes. And it was a political turning point too -- Michigan Governor George Romney, a liberal Republican (at a time when such people existed) had been the favourite for the Republican Presidential candidacy when he'd entered the race in December 1966, but as racial tensions ramped up in Detroit during the early months of 1967 he'd started trailing Richard Nixon, a man who was consciously stoking racists' fears. President Johnson, the incumbent Democrat, who was at that point still considering standing for re-election, made sure to make it clear to everyone during the riots that the decision to call in the National Guard had been made at the State level, by Romney, rather than at the Federal level. That wasn't the only thing that removed the possibility of a Romney presidency, but it was a big part of the collapse of his campaign, and the, as it turned out, irrevocable turn towards right-authoritarianism that the party took with Nixon's Southern Strategy. Of course, Aretha Franklin had little way of knowing what was to come and how the riots would change the city and the country over the following decades. What she was primarily concerned about was the safety of her father, and to a lesser extent that of her sister-in-law Earline who was staying with him. Aretha, Carolyn, and Erma all tried to keep in constant touch with their father while they were out of town, and Aretha even talked about hiring private detectives to travel to Detroit, find her father, and get him out of the city to safety. But as her brother Cecil pointed out, he was probably the single most loved man among Black people in Detroit, and was unlikely to be harmed by the rioters, while he was too famous for the police to kill with impunity. Reverend Franklin had been having a stressful time anyway -- he had recently been fined for tax evasion, an action he was convinced the IRS had taken because of his friendship with Dr King and his role in the civil rights movement -- and according to Cecil "Aretha begged Daddy to move out of the city entirely. She wanted him to find another congregation in California, where he was especially popular—or at least move out to the suburbs. But he wouldn't budge. He said that, more than ever, he was needed to point out the root causes of the riots—the economic inequality, the pervasive racism in civic institutions, the woefully inadequate schools in inner-city Detroit, and the wholesale destruction of our neighborhoods by urban renewal. Some ministers fled the city, but not our father. The horror of what happened only recommitted him. He would not abandon his political agenda." To make things worse, Aretha was worried about her father in other ways -- as her marriage to Ted White was starting to disintegrate, she was looking to her father for guidance, and actually wanted him to take over her management. Eventually, Ruth Bowen, her booking agent, persuaded her brother Cecil that this was a job he could do, and that she would teach him everything he needed to know about the music business. She started training him up while Aretha was still married to White, in the expectation that that marriage couldn't last. Jerry Wexler, who only a few months earlier had been seeing Ted White as an ally in getting "product" from Franklin, had now changed his tune -- partly because the sale of Atlantic had gone through in the meantime. He later said “Sometimes she'd call me at night, and, in that barely audible little-girl voice of hers, she'd tell me that she wasn't sure she could go on. She always spoke in generalities. She never mentioned her husband, never gave me specifics of who was doing what to whom. And of course I knew better than to ask. She just said that she was tired of dealing with so much. My heart went out to her. She was a woman who suffered silently. She held so much in. I'd tell her to take as much time off as she needed. We had a lot of songs in the can that we could release without new material. ‘Oh, no, Jerry,' she'd say. ‘I can't stop recording. I've written some new songs, Carolyn's written some new songs. We gotta get in there and cut 'em.' ‘Are you sure?' I'd ask. ‘Positive,' she'd say. I'd set up the dates and typically she wouldn't show up for the first or second sessions. Carolyn or Erma would call me to say, ‘Ree's under the weather.' That was tough because we'd have asked people like Joe South and Bobby Womack to play on the sessions. Then I'd reschedule in the hopes she'd show." That third album she recorded in 1967, Lady Soul, was possibly her greatest achievement. The opening track, and second single, "Chain of Fools", released in November, was written by Don Covay -- or at least it's credited as having been written by Covay. There's a gospel record that came out around the same time on a very small label based in Houston -- "Pains of Life" by Rev. E. Fair And The Sensational Gladys Davis Trio: [Excerpt: Rev. E. Fair And The Sensational Gladys Davis Trio, "Pains of Life"] I've seen various claims online that that record came out shortly *before* "Chain of Fools", but I can't find any definitive evidence one way or the other -- it was on such a small label that release dates aren't available anywhere. Given that the B-side, which I haven't been able to track down online, is called "Wait Until the Midnight Hour", my guess is that rather than this being a case of Don Covay stealing the melody from an obscure gospel record he'd have had little chance to hear, it's the gospel record rewriting a then-current hit to be about religion, but I thought it worth mentioning. The song was actually written by Covay after Jerry Wexler asked him to come up with some songs for Otis Redding, but Wexler, after hearing it, decided it was better suited to Franklin, who gave an astonishing performance: [Excerpt: Aretha Franklin, "Chain of Fools"] Arif Mardin, the arranger of the album, said of that track “I was listed as the arranger of ‘Chain of Fools,' but I can't take credit. Aretha walked into the studio with the chart fully formed inside her head. The arrangement is based around the harmony vocals provided by Carolyn and Erma. To add heft, the Sweet Inspirations joined in. The vision of the song is entirely Aretha's.” According to Wexler, that's not *quite* true -- according to him, Joe South came up with the guitar part that makes up the intro, and he also said that when he played what he thought was the finished track to Ellie Greenwich, she came up with another vocal line for the backing vocals, which she overdubbed. But the core of the record's sound is definitely pure Aretha -- and Carolyn Franklin said that there was a reason for that. As she said later “Aretha didn't write ‘Chain,' but she might as well have. It was her story. When we were in the studio putting on the backgrounds with Ree doing lead, I knew she was singing about Ted. Listen to the lyrics talking about how for five long years she thought he was her man. Then she found out she was nothing but a link in the chain. Then she sings that her father told her to come on home. Well, he did. She sings about how her doctor said to take it easy. Well, he did too. She was drinking so much we thought she was on the verge of a breakdown. The line that slew me, though, was the one that said how one of these mornings the chain is gonna break but until then she'll take all she can take. That summed it up. Ree knew damn well that this man had been doggin' her since Jump Street. But somehow she held on and pushed it to the breaking point." [Excerpt: Aretha Franklin, "Chain of Fools"] That made number one on the R&B charts, and number two on the hot one hundred, kept from the top by "Judy In Disguise (With Glasses)" by John Fred and his Playboy Band -- a record that very few people would say has stood the test of time as well. The other most memorable track on the album was the one chosen as the first single, released in September. As Carole King told the story, she and Gerry Goffin were feeling like their career was in a slump. While they had had a huge run of hits in the early sixties through 1965, they had only had two new hits in 1966 -- "Goin' Back" for Dusty Springfield and "Don't Bring Me Down" for the Animals, and neither of those were anything like as massive as their previous hits. And up to that point in 1967, they'd only had one -- "Pleasant Valley Sunday" for the Monkees. They had managed to place several songs on Monkees albums and the TV show as well, so they weren't going to starve, but the rise of self-contained bands that were starting to dominate the charts, and Phil Spector's temporary retirement, meant there simply wasn't the opportunity for them to place material that there had been. They were also getting sick of travelling to the West Coast all the time, because as their children were growing slightly older they didn't want to disrupt their lives in New York, and were thinking of approaching some of the New York based labels and seeing if they needed songs. They were particularly considering Atlantic, because soul was more open to outside songwriters than other genres. As it happened, though, they didn't have to approach Atlantic, because Atlantic approached them. They were walking down Broadway when a limousine pulled up, and Jerry Wexler stuck his head out of the window. He'd come up with a good title that he wanted to use for a song for Aretha, would they be interested in writing a song called "Natural Woman"? They said of course they would, and Wexler drove off. They wrote the song that night, and King recorded a demo the next morning: [Excerpt: Carole King, "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman (demo)"] They gave Wexler a co-writing credit because he had suggested the title. King later wrote in her autobiography "Hearing Aretha's performance of “Natural Woman” for the first time, I experienced a rare speechless moment. To this day I can't convey how I felt in mere words. Anyone who had written a song in 1967 hoping it would be performed by a singer who could take it to the highest level of excellence, emotional connection, and public exposure would surely have wanted that singer to be Aretha Franklin." She went on to say "But a recording that moves people is never just about the artist and the songwriters. It's about people like Jerry and Ahmet, who matched the songwriters with a great title and a gifted artist; Arif Mardin, whose magnificent orchestral arrangement deserves the place it will forever occupy in popular music history; Tom Dowd, whose engineering skills captured the magic of this memorable musical moment for posterity; and the musicians in the rhythm section, the orchestral players, and the vocal contributions of the background singers—among them the unforgettable “Ah-oo!” after the first line of the verse. And the promotion and marketing people helped this song reach more people than it might have without them." And that's correct -- unlike "Chain of Fools", this time Franklin did let Arif Mardin do most of the arrangement work -- though she came up with the piano part that Spooner Oldham plays on the record. Mardin said that because of the song's hymn-like feel they wanted to go for a more traditional written arrangement. He said "She loved the song to the point where she said she wanted to concentrate on the vocal and vocal alone. I had written a string chart and horn chart to augment the chorus and hired Ralph Burns to conduct. After just a couple of takes, we had it. That's when Ralph turned to me with wonder in his eyes. Ralph was one of the most celebrated arrangers of the modern era. He had done ‘Early Autumn' for Woody Herman and Stan Getz, and ‘Georgia on My Mind' for Ray Charles. He'd worked with everyone. ‘This woman comes from another planet' was all Ralph said. ‘She's just here visiting.'” [Excerpt: Aretha Franklin, "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman"] By this point there was a well-functioning team making Franklin's records -- while the production credits would vary over the years, they were all essentially co-productions by the team of Franklin, Wexler, Mardin and Dowd, all collaborating and working together with a more-or-less unified purpose, and the backing was always by the same handful of session musicians and some combination of the Sweet Inspirations and Aretha's sisters. That didn't mean that occasional guests couldn't get involved -- as we discussed in the Cream episode, Eric Clapton played guitar on "Good to Me as I am to You": [Excerpt: Aretha Franklin, "Good to Me as I am to You"] Though that was one of the rare occasions on one of these records where something was overdubbed. Clapton apparently messed up the guitar part when playing behind Franklin, because he was too intimidated by playing with her, and came back the next day to redo his part without her in the studio. At this point, Aretha was at the height of her fame. Just before the final batch of album sessions began she appeared in the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade, and she was making regular TV appearances, like one on the Mike Douglas Show where she duetted with Frankie Valli on "That's Life": [Excerpt: Aretha Franklin and Frankie Valli, "That's Life"] But also, as Wexler said “Her career was kicking into high gear. Contending and resolving both the professional and personal challenges were too much. She didn't think she could do both, and I didn't blame her. Few people could. So she let the personal slide and concentrated on the professional. " Her concert promoter Ruth Bowen said of this time "Her father and Dr. King were putting pressure on her to sing everywhere, and she felt obligated. The record company was also screaming for more product. And I had a mountain of offers on my desk that kept getting higher with every passing hour. They wanted her in Europe. They wanted her in Latin America. They wanted her in every major venue in the U.S. TV was calling. She was being asked to do guest appearances on every show from Carol Burnett to Andy Williams to the Hollywood Palace. She wanted to do them all and she wanted to do none of them. She wanted to do them all because she's an entertainer who burns with ambition. She wanted to do none of them because she was emotionally drained. She needed to go away and renew her strength. I told her that at least a dozen times. She said she would, but she didn't listen to me." The pressures from her father and Dr King are a recurring motif in interviews with people about this period. Franklin was always a very political person, and would throughout her life volunteer time and money to liberal political causes and to the Democratic Party, but this was the height of her activism -- the Civil Rights movement was trying to capitalise on the gains it had made in the previous couple of years, and celebrity fundraisers and performances at rallies were an important way to do that. And at this point there were few bigger celebrities in America than Aretha Franklin. At a concert in her home town of Detroit on February the sixteenth, 1968, the Mayor declared the day Aretha Franklin Day. At the same show, Billboard, Record World *and* Cash Box magazines all presented her with plaques for being Female Vocalist of the Year. And Dr. King travelled up to be at the show and congratulate her publicly for all her work with his organisation, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Backstage at that show, Dr. King talked to Aretha's father, Reverend Franklin, about what he believed would be the next big battle -- a strike in Memphis: [Excerpt, Martin Luther King, "Mountaintop Speech" -- "And so, as a result of this, we are asking you tonight, to go out and tell your neighbors not to buy Coca-Cola in Memphis. Go by and tell them not to buy Sealtest milk. Tell them not to buy—what is the other bread?—Wonder Bread. And what is the other bread company, Jesse? Tell them not to buy Hart's bread. As Jesse Jackson has said, up to now, only the garbage men have been feeling pain; now we must kind of redistribute the pain. We are choosing these companies because they haven't been fair in their hiring policies; and we are choosing them because they can begin the process of saying, they are going to support the needs and the rights of these men who are on strike. And then they can move on downtown and tell Mayor Loeb to do what is right."] The strike in question was the Memphis Sanitation Workers' strike which had started a few days before. The struggle for Black labour rights was an integral part of the civil rights movement, and while it's not told that way in the sanitised version of the story that's made it into popular culture, the movement led by King was as much about economic justice as social justice -- King was a democratic socialist, and believed that economic oppression was both an effect of and cause of other forms of racial oppression, and that the rights of Black workers needed to be fought for. In 1967 he had set up a new organisation, the Poor People's Campaign, which was set to march on Washington to demand a program that included full employment, a guaranteed income -- King was strongly influenced in his later years by the ideas of Henry George, the proponent of a universal basic income based on land value tax -- the annual building of half a million affordable homes, and an end to the war in Vietnam. This was King's main focus in early 1968, and he saw the sanitation workers' strike as a major part of this campaign. Memphis was one of the most oppressive cities in the country, and its largely Black workforce of sanitation workers had been trying for most of the 1960s to unionise, and strike-breakers had been called in to stop them, and many of them had been fired by their white supervisors with no notice. They were working in unsafe conditions, for utterly inadequate wages, and the city government were ardent segregationists. After two workers had died on the first of February from using unsafe equipment, the union demanded changes -- safer working conditions, better wages, and recognition of the union. The city council refused, and almost all the sanitation workers stayed home and stopped work. After a few days, the council relented and agreed to their terms, but the Mayor, Henry Loeb, an ardent white supremacist who had stood on a platform of opposing desegregation, and who had previously been the Public Works Commissioner who had put these unsafe conditions in place, refused to listen. As far as he was concerned, he was the only one who could recognise the union, and he wouldn't. The workers continued their strike, marching holding signs that simply read "I am a Man": [Excerpt: Stevie Wonder, "Blowing in the Wind"] The Southern Christian Leadership Conference and the NAACP had been involved in organising support for the strikes from an early stage, and King visited Memphis many times. Much of the time he spent visiting there was spent negotiating with a group of more militant activists, who called themselves The Invaders and weren't completely convinced by King's nonviolent approach -- they believed that violence and rioting got more attention than non-violent protests. King explained to them that while he had been persuaded by Gandhi's writings of the moral case for nonviolent protest, he was also persuaded that it was pragmatically necessary -- asking the young men "how many guns do we have and how many guns do they have?", and pointing out as he often did that when it comes to violence a minority can't win against an armed majority. Rev Franklin went down to Memphis on the twenty-eighth of March to speak at a rally Dr. King was holding, but as it turned out the rally was cancelled -- the pre-rally march had got out of hand, with some people smashing windows, and Memphis police had, like the police in Detroit the previous year, violently overreacted, clubbing and gassing protestors and shooting and killing one unarmed teenage boy, Larry Payne. The day after Payne's funeral, Dr King was back in Memphis, though this time Rev Franklin was not with him. On April the third, he gave a speech which became known as the "Mountaintop Speech", in which he talked about the threats that had been made to his life: [Excerpt: Martin Luther King, "Mountaintop Speech": “And then I got to Memphis. And some began to say the threats, or talk about the threats that were out. What would happen to me from some of our sick white brothers? Well, I don't know what will happen now. We've got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn't matter with me now. Because I've been to the mountaintop. And I don't mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I'm not concerned about that now. I just want to do God's will. And He's allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I've looked over. And I've seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land. So I'm happy, tonight. I'm not worried about anything. I'm not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord."] The next day, Martin Luther King was shot dead. James Earl Ray, a white supremacist, pled guilty to the murder, and the evidence against him seems overwhelming from what I've read, but the King family have always claimed that the murder was part of a larger conspiracy and that Ray was not the gunman. Aretha was obviously distraught, and she attended the funeral, as did almost every other prominent Black public figure. James Baldwin wrote of the funeral: "In the pew directly before me sat Marlon Brando, Sammy Davis, Eartha Kitt—covered in black, looking like a lost, ten-year-old girl—and Sidney Poitier, in the same pew, or nearby. Marlon saw me, and nodded. The atmosphere was black, with a tension indescribable—as though something, perhaps the heavens, perhaps the earth, might crack. Everyone sat very still. The actual service sort of washed over me, in waves. It wasn't that it seemed unreal; it was the most real church service I've ever sat through in my life, or ever hope to sit through; but I have a childhood hangover thing about not weeping in public, and I was concentrating on holding myself together. I did not want to weep for Martin, tears seemed futile. But I may also have been afraid, and I could not have been the only one, that if I began to weep I would not be able to stop. There was more than enough to weep for, if one was to weep—so many of us, cut down, so soon. Medgar, Malcolm, Martin: and their widows, and their children. Reverend Ralph David Abernathy asked a certain sister to sing a song which Martin had loved—“Once more,” said Ralph David, “for Martin and for me,” and he sat down." Many articles and books on Aretha Franklin say that she sang at King's funeral. In fact she didn't, but there's a simple reason for the confusion. King's favourite song was the Thomas Dorsey gospel song "Take My Hand, Precious Lord", and indeed almost his last words were to ask a trumpet player, Ben Branch, if he would play the song at the rally he was going to be speaking at on the day of his death. At his request, Mahalia Jackson, his old friend, sang the song at his private funeral, which was not filmed, unlike the public part of the funeral that Baldwin described. Four months later, though, there was another public memorial for King, and Franklin did sing "Take My Hand, Precious Lord" at that service, in front of King's weeping widow and children, and that performance *was* filmed, and gets conflated in people's memories with Jackson's unfilmed earlier performance: [Excerpt: Aretha Franklin, "Take My Hand, Precious Lord (at Martin Luther King Memorial)"] Four years later, she would sing that at Mahalia Jackson's funeral. Through all this, Franklin had been working on her next album, Aretha Now, the sessions for which started more or less as soon as the sessions for Lady Soul had finished. The album was, in fact, bookended by deaths that affected Aretha. Just as King died at the end of the sessions, the beginning came around the time of the death of Otis Redding -- the sessions were cancelled for a day while Wexler travelled to Georgia for Redding's funeral, which Franklin was too devastated to attend, and Wexler would later say that the extra emotion in her performances on the album came from her emotional pain at Redding's death. The lead single on the album, "Think", was written by Franklin and -- according to the credits anyway -- her husband Ted White, and is very much in the same style as "Respect", and became another of her most-loved hits: [Excerpt: Aretha Franklin, "Think"] But probably the song on Aretha Now that now resonates the most is one that Jerry Wexler tried to persuade her not to record, and was only released as a B-side. Indeed, "I Say a Little Prayer" was a song that had already once been a hit after being a reject. Hal David, unlike Burt Bacharach, was a fairly political person and inspired by the protest song movement, and had been starting to incorporate his concerns about the political situation and the Vietnam War into his lyrics -- though as with many such writers, he did it in much less specific ways than a Phil Ochs or a Bob Dylan. This had started with "What the World Needs Now is Love", a song Bacharach and David had written for Jackie DeShannon in 1965: [Excerpt: Jackie DeShannon, "What the "World Needs Now is Love"] But he'd become much more overtly political for "The Windows of the World", a song they wrote for Dionne Warwick. Warwick has often said it's her favourite of her singles, but it wasn't a big hit -- Bacharach blamed himself for that, saying "Dionne recorded it as a single and I really blew it. I wrote a bad arrangement and the tempo was too fast, and I really regret making it the way I did because it's a good song." [Excerpt: Dionne Warwick, "The Windows of the World"] For that album, Bacharach and David had written another track, "I Say a Little Prayer", which was not as explicitly political, but was intended by David to have an implicit anti-war message, much like other songs of the period like "Last Train to Clarksville". David had sons who were the right age to be drafted, and while it's never stated, "I Say a Little Prayer" was written from the perspective of a woman whose partner is away fighting in the war, but is still in her thoughts: [Excerpt: Dionne Warwick, "I Say a Little Prayer"] The recording of Dionne Warwick's version was marked by stress. Bacharach had a particular way of writing music to tell the musicians the kind of feel he wanted for the part -- he'd write nonsense words above the stave, and tell the musicians to play the parts as if they were singing those words. The trumpet player hired for the session, Ernie Royal, got into a row with Bacharach about this unorthodox way of communicating musical feeling, and the track ended up taking ten takes (as opposed to the normal three for a Bacharach session), with Royal being replaced half-way through the session. Bacharach was never happy with the track even after all the work it had taken, and he fought to keep it from being released at all, saying the track was taken at too fast a tempo. It eventually came out as an album track nearly eighteen months after it was recorded -- an eternity in 1960s musical timescales -- and DJs started playing it almost as soon as it came out. Scepter records rushed out a single, over Bacharach's objections, but as he later said "One thing I love about the record business is how wrong I was. Disc jockeys all across the country started playing the track, and the song went to number four on the charts and then became the biggest hit Hal and I had ever written for Dionne." [Excerpt: Dionne Warwick, "I Say a Little Prayer"] Oddly, the B-side for Warwick's single, "Theme From the Valley of the Dolls" did even better, reaching number two. Almost as soon as the song was released as a single, Franklin started playing around with the song backstage, and in April 1968, right around the time of Dr. King's death, she recorded a version. Much as Burt Bacharach had been against releasing Dionne Warwick's version, Jerry Wexler was against Aretha even recording the song, saying later “I advised Aretha not to record it. I opposed it for two reasons. First, to cover a song only twelve weeks after the original reached the top of the charts was not smart business. You revisit such a hit eight months to a year later. That's standard practice. But more than that, Bacharach's melody, though lovely, was peculiarly suited to a lithe instrument like Dionne Warwick's—a light voice without the dark corners or emotional depths that define Aretha. Also, Hal David's lyric was also somewhat girlish and lacked the gravitas that Aretha required. “Aretha usually listened to me in the studio, but not this time. She had written a vocal arrangement for the Sweet Inspirations that was undoubtedly strong. Cissy Houston, Dionne's cousin, told me that Aretha was on the right track—she was seeing this song in a new way and had come up with a new groove. Cissy was on Aretha's side. Tommy Dowd and Arif were on Aretha's side. So I had no choice but to cave." It's quite possible that Wexler's objections made Franklin more, rather than less, determined to record the song. She regarded Warwick as a hated rival, as she did almost every prominent female singer of her generation and younger ones, and would undoubtedly have taken the implication that there was something that Warwick was simply better at than her to heart. [Excerpt: Aretha Franklin, "I Say a Little Prayer"] Wexler realised as soon as he heard it in the studio that Franklin's version was great, and Bacharach agreed, telling Franklin's biographer David Ritz “As much as I like the original recording by Dionne, there's no doubt that Aretha's is a better record. She imbued the song with heavy soul and took it to a far deeper place. Hers is the definitive version.” -- which is surprising because Franklin's version simplifies some of Bacharach's more unusual chord voicings, something he often found extremely upsetting. Wexler still though thought there was no way the song would be a hit, and it's understandable that he thought that way. Not only had it only just been on the charts a few months earlier, but it was the kind of song that wouldn't normally be a hit at all, and certainly not in the kind of rhythmic soul music for which Franklin was known. Almost everything she ever recorded is in simple time signatures -- 4/4, waltz time, or 6/8 -- but this is a Bacharach song so it's staggeringly metrically irregular. Normally even with semi-complex things I'm usually good at figuring out how to break it down into bars, but here I actually had to purchase a copy of the sheet music in order to be sure I was right about what's going on. I'm going to count beats along with the record here so you can see what I mean. The verse has three bars of 4/4, one bar of 2/4, and three more bars of 4/4, all repeated: [Excerpt: Aretha Franklin, "I Say a Little Prayer" with me counting bars over verse] While the chorus has a bar of 4/4, a bar of 3/4 but with a chord change half way through so it sounds like it's in two if you're paying attention to the harmonic changes, two bars of 4/4, another waltz-time bar sounding like it's in two, two bars of four, another bar of three sounding in two, a bar of four, then three more bars of four but the first of those is *written* as four but played as if it's in six-eight time (but you can keep the four/four pulse going if you're counting): [Excerpt: Aretha Franklin, "I Say a Little Prayer" with me counting bars over verse] I don't expect you to have necessarily followed that in great detail, but the point should be clear -- this was not some straightforward dance song. Incidentally, that bar played as if it's six/eight was something Aretha introduced to make the song even more irregular than how Bacharach wrote it. And on top of *that* of course the lyrics mixed the secular and the sacred, something that was still taboo in popular music at that time -- this is only a couple of years after Capitol records had been genuinely unsure about putting out the Beach Boys' "God Only Knows", and Franklin's gospel-inflected vocals made the religious connection even more obvious. But Franklin was insistent that the record go out as a single, and eventually it was released as the B-side to the far less impressive "The House That Jack Built". It became a double-sided hit, with the A-side making number two on the R&B chart and number seven on the Hot One Hundred, while "I Say a Little Prayer" made number three on the R&B chart and number ten overall. In the UK, "I Say a Little Prayer" made number four and became her biggest ever solo UK hit. It's now one of her most-remembered songs, while the A-side is largely forgotten: [Excerpt: Aretha Franklin, "I Say a Little Prayer"] For much of the
On this episode Aries and Andy talk about Equalizer 3, Mel Gibson movie recommendations, a tick in my taint, congrats on 500, ageing, porn names, MLK sketches, dating question, sports movies, Louisville show, down south lingo, and a serious moment. Social Media Instagram: @SpearsBergPod Twitter: @SpearsBergPod Facebook: SpearsBergPod Patreon: SpearsBergPod Youtube: SpearsBergPod Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Real Talk podcast is joined by Hank Nuwer, a renowned anti-hazing journalist, author, and scholar with over four decades of experience. He is known for his unwavering dedication to eradicating hazing culture and has authored many influential books on the subject. Hank maintains a comprehensive database of hazing deaths and continues to be a leading voice in raising awareness and advocating for prevention efforts in colleges and beyond. He is a respected authority on hazing and has conducted extensive research and interviews to shed light on this issue. Show Notes: ● Sharing personal experiences with hazing (01:20) ● Analyzing the role of institutions in hazing prevention (05:10) ● Highlighting the importance of education and awareness (08:15) ● Should schools abolish Greek life or fraternity sororities? (10:25) ● Discussion about different types of hazing (13:00) ● How to define hazing (13.40) ● How hazing manifests in different organizations (15:00) ● Hank discusses his books and plays (19:00) ● Hank discusses future projects (20:30) ● Positive turn around stories from institutions (21:52) ● Experiences at other universities (23:50) ● How can we get coaches involved (25:00) ● How lonliness factors into hazing (26:30) ● Conclusion (28:00) Transcript: Kristina Supler: Welcome back to Real Talk with Susan Stone and Christina Supler. We are full-time moms and attorneys bringing our student defense legal practice to life with real, candid conversations. Susan Stone: Today's podcast is going to tackle the issue of hazing and what a lot of you out there may not know is that Christina and I have looked at hazing from many different perspectives in our career. We have defended accused of hazing. We've actually been asked to help a Greek organization against accusations of hazing. And we have represented victims of hazing. So we have a real 360, don't Christina? Kristina Supler: We do and we're, as our listeners may know, we're located in Ohio, but we handle cases across the country. And what's interesting is that Ohio has been a real hotbed of this activity, though, of course, it happens in students across the country are dealing with these sorts of issues. So we're excited to jump into this topic today. Susan Stone: I really am too. And I am super excited about the guest we have. I feel very fortunate. I want all our listeners know before we give our name out that we reach out to him or her. And we just kept at it because I really wanted this guest on the podcast. So with that, why don't you do the intro? Kristina Supler: Sure. We are joined today by Hank Newer, who is a renowned anti-hazing journalist, author and scholar, known for his unwavering dedication to eradicating hazing culture. With over four decades of experience, he's authored many influential books. He maintains a comprehensive database of hazing deaths. And he continues to be a leading voice in raising awareness and advocating for prevention efforts in colleges and beyond. Welcome, Hank. We're so happy to have you with us today. Hank Newer: Thank you. I'm very pleased to be here. Susan Stone: And I got to add. We just learned Hank lives in Alaska. So we got a little northern exposure going on here. So I love it. But with Hank, let's kick it off. How did hazing become your career focus? Hank Newer: Not because I was hazed, but because I was at the University of Nevada, Reno. And we had a hazing death that was just off campus. But I had seen the initiation. At that time, hazing was rampant, not against the law in a lot of places. I had seen the initiation on campus. And then at a campus bar, I saw someone passed out at a pool table. He was foaming at the mouth. The organization was called the Sun Downers. And their alumni are some of the leading citizens in Nevada. The initiation consisted of making people drink ever clear. And they would throw a match at their lips. So a lot of people were-- Susan Stone: Oh my gosh. Hank Newer: Yeah, that was supposed to be funny. Kristina Supler: That's shocking. Hank Newer: It was. So the person that was foaming I got them to take him and walk him. But I think if I had called the police or so, they wouldn't have done it another time. And John Davies might still be alive. So they did it one more time. And they did this one, not in public. They went to an Indian reservation. And John Davies died, and another pledge was without oxygen for a while. And so I've done database reporting since the 70s. So I made a database of all the hazing deaths that were out there. And editor friend of mine put me in touch with Human Behavior Magazine. And so in the mid 70s, that first article came out. And I kept the database going ever since. Susan Stone: Wow. I can't even respond. Kristina Supler: I think your database is really an important resource. And tell us more about how you receive information and reports that you put into your database. And how do you verify the accuracy of this information? Hank Newer: It's actually time consuming. I also on the page have a long list of deaths that are not considered hazing deaths, but appeared in the press as deaths. Some of these, in particularly around 1900, were with sensational reporting. And I had to track them to find out if these really did occur. So mostly it's from media reports. But people get in touch all the time. If there's a death, the chances of me talking to the parents within two or three days are very good. They're going to be calling for information. And now I would say it's the most difficult part of doing this job. But it was a lot of time. And it was very expensive in the 70s. I had a pay for Lexus Nexus myself. I paid the New York Times for their database. And I started a list serve in the 80s. And people were sending in information on that list serve, which you still could find some places online. So I just kept that over and over. And the good thing about being so public, if people disagree or want to talk about it, it's all out there with full disclosure, where the information comes from. Kristina Supler: That's the purpose of the database. Hank Newer: Because in the set, as I said before, there were a lot of deaths that did not occur that were listed. People were taking any alcohol related death at all and calling it hazing. And so I was trying to break down the details as much as anything else. The next database I'll do will be all these sexual haze and cases involving athletes. And I hope to have that done next year. Susan Stone I'm sure you're thinking about that because of the Yates versus Northwestern case, am I correct? Hank Newer: You have a lot of phone calls about that. Kristina Supler: And we're seeing a real rise in those sorts of cases in our practice that we handle the issue from all different angles. So I think that's really important work you're doing. Susan Stone: I applaud you. What I want to know in your work because we address this, so I'm going to ask you a very selfish question, because I want to know the answer. But I'm sure Christina does too. So much of hazing is shrouded in secrecy and the members of hazing protect each other. What's the best way for a person who's a victim of hazing to gather the evidence to expose what's going on, especially in a culture of silence? Hank Newer: The way I try to do things is I go to the alums, people who've graduated a year or two earlier. And that's very, very quickly after a death when I'm doing a story. Talking to the alums, yes, some of them will close, you know, shut the phone on you, but others will talk about it. And it's a good way of getting into the middle. I try to talk to the advisors and get information from them. And if you just talk to people on campus, hazing isn't as shrouded in secrecy as you think. People are going to be talking to their significant others. So it's not the secret that fraternity members would like to think that it is. Susan Stone: For sports organizations, correct? Hank Newer: Yeah, for sport, well, one of the big problems is they don't consider it as hazing Kristina Supler: No, we know. We got it. We got it. I just wanted to comment that I think it's also important to point out, and I'd like to hear more of your thoughts. I think often hazing is sort of conceptually conceived of as just happening among young men in fraternities. And in fact, it spans across all student organizations, entities, athletic teams, military groups. And it's also not exclusively a male issue. I mean, Susan and I have plenty of case experiences involving female athletes in hazing. Can you talk a little bit more about what you're seeing in the breakdown? And is there any rise in female hazing in your research? Susan Stone: Generally, what are the trends? Hank Newer: Yeah, I don't really see a rise. I think it's consistent. We've not had a death this year or last year, but we've had so many close calls. So people would like to think that we have a trend of deaths ending. We don't. The people were lucky. Maybe what's happening is they're quicker to call 911 and not to just drop somebody off at the hospital where a few deaths have happened. Susan Stone: Or leave them at the foot of the stairs like at Penn State? Hank Newer: Yeah. Well, that-- he was just left alone there. But several times, members have gotten frightened and taken somebody to the hospital and just dropped them off at the emergency. And it's too late at that particular point. From what I saw in the one case, people went from standing up to being dead drunk and just short amount of time. So they're talking, talking, talking, and then suddenly, it hits them. That case of foaming at the mouth was the most dramatic that I've ever seen. Kristina Supler: I can't imagine. I just can't imagine what that must have been like and how that experience has obviously stayed with you. Hank, I'm curious. I'd like to hear your thoughts on whether you think schools should abolish Greek life fraternity sororities? Or do you think that there's value in these organizations? Hank Newer: With certainty, abolish pledging. Not abolish Greek life. I taught 18 years of Franklin College. We didn't have any incidents. I was the advisor to the honor society there, which is male and female. And we had positive initiations that could not in any way shape or form be considered hazing. And the students brought their parents or grandparents to the ceremony. But for me, it's like a mathematical equation, pledging, becomes hazing as pledging becomes hazing. In terms of sports, get rid of the word rookie and stop this dominant subordinate culture that we have out there. And the other is a lot of the coaches will either turn their heads or say, don't take it too far. And that is very, very common. Now, it's very, very dangerous for coaches to do that. If you say, don't take it too far, and you're allowing it. And if alcohol is involved, it is going to go too far. Susan Stone: Hank, just to kind of turn the question and turn the dial a little differently, there are the extreme cases of alcohol. The one you described you witness is horrific. And we've also worked on some pretty scary cases. But I have to say, we've also worked on cases where activities were labeled as hazing and taken as this serious infraction. I don't know. I didn't think it was so serious. I want to give you an example and get your response. We worked on a case where there was a pledging and when the pledges went active, there was a champagne shower. Like they do after car racing. Kristina Supler: Yeah, it celebrates. Susan Stone: That was investigated for being hazing. I don't think that's hazing. What do you think? Hank Newer: I broke it out out into criminal hazing and non-criminal hazing. Certainly, with something that you're describing, I would have never gotten into this kind of thing. The hazing that I had as a fraternity member was being dropped off in the country. We knew about it ahead of time and had money to call friends. So when you look at it that way, you don't think it's so bad. But then you look at Grove City College in Pennsylvania. Four pledges were killed and aligned as they were walking. And actually, alcohol wasn't involved for them when they were in the middle of nowhere. So the problem is that what would look like innocent fun, sometimes things go wrong. In that case, it's a hard line between what's hazing and what's an accident. And in talking to fraternity advisors, you can't punish the same way. You can't punish somebody for having a pledge pen, the same way that you would for having them drink a handle of alcohol. But in some cases, hazing is hazing, and it's punished that way. It doesn't make any sense at all. Susan Stone: So how do you define hazing? Hank Newer: And hazing to me would be any activity that's silly, dangerous, or repulsive, that's done to newcomers by veterans in order to bring them into the organization. Susan Stone: Why silly? Kristina Supler: Is it because you think it's humiliating and embarrassing? Hank Newer: We're talking about the things that you said were not so bad. Like for me, I think it says something about male attitudes toward women when baseball players make each other dress up and go on to play in women's clothing or so on. But what about singing a song? Singing your fight song? That was in the movie, Paper Lion. Alex Karris was in that particular movie. George Plympton, who I interviewed about it, was pretending to be a player, a quarterback on the Detroit Lions, and he brought out a lot of that. So that kind of culture is still there. The only problem is, and there's no real study on it, our people going to take it farther if you have this kind of dominance. Somehow it got into from singing to tying people up to a goal post. And these are big, burly guys fighting back in people have been injured. Or hockey, it's gotten sexualized as you probably have seen in your research. Susan Stone: We have. Hank Newer: Band is very physical. Look at the death of Robert Champion. And when you were talking about different kinds, so when I'm talking to parents in 2018 in South Carolina, the parents were of a band member, their fraternity members. Interestingly enough, no sorority moms have gotten involved. I don't know exactly why it is, but the activists are the parents of fraternity members. And Kathleen Wyatt, for example, in Ohio is a big actress. Yeah, yeah, a lot. And before I took Robert Fairbanks, by the way, I was the editor of the Solana paper. Kristina Supler: Many of our listeners are parents of high school and college students. And so based on your experience and knowledge with this subject, what are some of the warning signs that parents, but also students should be aware of and look out for regarding hazing within organizations? Hank Newer: Well, there's like a personality change, a good way that a young woman put it, who was hazed at DuPau with having cigarettes put between our legs and burnt. Susan Stone: That's torture. Hank Newer: That one was interesting. It was Kappa Kappa Gamma. They were members of a family within the organization. And this happened at Chico State too, where the family has their choice of alcohol. One death, Adrian Hydeman at Chico State, it was brandy. These young women, I can't remember what their alcohol was, but they had to drink that particular liquor. And so with that particular case, the warning signs were that she lost her bubbliness, and that's the best description I could give. That she, the young woman, had been dancing. She grew up with ballet. When I interviewed her, she was working in a pizza parlour. And she had put on a bit of weight with stress. And that was one interview. Another young woman who fought back and later got her PhD in family studies fought back. So people have just different kinds of reactions. Mine with the case of having to go out, I didn't really think that much about it. Because we had somebody pick us up right away. But if somebody had gotten killed on one of those marches, I'd be looking at it differently. If the death hadn't occurred at Nevada Reno, I certainly never would have written about hazing. Susan Stone: You have written four books, is that correct? Hank Newer: Yeah, four books. And then I have a novel which has a hazing of Basques and Chinese in the early United States. Susan Stone: And you've also written a play, correct the broken pludge? Hank Newer: Yes, it was a winner of an Anne Frank Award at Buffalo State University. It used to be Buffalo State College. And I got to put my one man play on. And I put that play on for athletes. And I call it Death Of A Rookie. And then there's the Broken Pledge, which is about fraternity members. But it's pretty much the same. A grandfather, buries his grandson that day, and this overcome with grief, hatred, asking where God was when this occurred, losing his faith, and then turning it around with quotations that were in his son's diary from Martin Luther King. So I hope it's as powerful as I think. Susan Stone: Well, I have to tell you, I watched a lot of it. And I thought it was incredibly poignant. How is it that you keep able to turn out content on this one issue and see so many angles and sides of it? It's impressive. Hank Newer: Yeah, I think part of it is by talking to the parents and experts and people that are in the Greek world, they have the insights too. So I had interviewed Louis Lamore one time and he said, it's not that we're so clever, we're a sponge, we're a filter, and we take all of this in. So I think I have to give credit to other people for their perspective and how they see things, but I do have a good memory. Kristina Supler: What's next for you, Hank, on the horizon of this project? Hank Newer: Okay, so we'll be doing that database that I told you about with sexual hazing. I have a chapter coming out for the University of Toronto, Cress out in 2024 with my own experiences which will be on athletic hazing. I am putting together in the garage about all these files, putting together all the hazing incidents I can find and to do those as a database as well. It's a little more difficult when you're working as an editor than when you're teaching. The amount of free time is not quite as much. And now it's politics coming up elections. You know, Ohio and Alaska, I won't have as much time at all this weekend, I'll be in that office constantly. Kristina Supler: This is, we've talked a lot, a lot of heavy things and we always like to give our listeners something a little positive as well when, you know, contemplating our various topics. So can you share with us in your experience any success stories of schools, institutions, and specific organizations that have really tackled this issue of hazing and essentially turned a really negative situation into a positive to recreate culture surrounding this issue? Hank Newer: Yes, Alfred University did that. They had the death of Chuck Stenzel, which was the subject of my book Broken Pledges, came out in 1989. But they got rid of the Greek system also. And there were a lot of lawsuits with that.Dr. Norm Pollard and a colleague of his, we were the ones that did the first high school hazing surveys. They also did surveys of fraternity members. I got to help write the questions for that, but they did most of the work. That was a big, big turnaround. And the impetus was not only the death of Chuck Stenzel, they had a bad football hazing. And I don't think they lost the season, but they did suspend the team for a game or two. So yes, that was a turnaround. My personal story is I spoke at Penn State, and not two weeks later at Penn State, I got a phone call from the advisor at that particular time to say that the sorority, not hazing, had a woman take way too much alcohol, near point four BAC. Kristina Supler: Oh my gosh, wow. Hank Newer: The young women did not want to make the call. And one person who heard the, they all heard the talk, one person insisted, and they saved this young woman's life. Kristina Supler: And it only takes one person. It only takes one student to reach out for help that by standard intervention to stop something horrific. Hank Newer: And it only takes one idiot in the room, sometimes, who's, especially if that person is physically powerful to cause all these bad things as well. You hear that over and over again. So when there was a death of a lacrosse player at Western Illinois University, the punishment for the players, which was interesting, they were all fraternity members too, was to have a writer come in and go through the hazing with them, not the alcohol related part, which was 15 bottles put on stands, but to go into the river, to go marching through, to go to the house, so I'd be able to write about that. In a way, I felt like I was punished as well, because I did that at my own expense. And then it went into a book. But over and over, what's the point? The point is they kept pointing to the student coach who not only did this, but instigated so that they would get the team credit card and put gas into their own vehicles. And each one had the same story. I thought somebody else would step up. Over and over, I kept hearing that same thing. And guess what? The instigator would not talk to me. He never went to jail, either. The judge did not follow through. But yeah, there was one perpetrator who was the prime mover. Susan Stone: How can we get coaches to get on board? Kristina Supler: Great question. Hank Newer: Really difficult. So I talked at a Quaker school in Delaware, athletic director, a female, really against all kind of hazing, really working football coach. The veteran comes up to me later and said, yeah, this is all fine, but we're not going to take it too far. I thought, geez, you just heard this whole talk. You saw the pictures of the kids on the screen and you're going to tell me this. And so then also when I was at Regis in Denver, I was talking, the athletic director was very much against it, talking to the different coaches. And I asked the coach, after what would happen if you heard there was hazing on your team, would you punish them? And he said, starter or reserve? Kristina Supler: I was just going to say, I mean, obviously, in particularly collegiate athletics and big schools, coaches are often evaluated based on their winning record. And so it's decision for them to make when a hazing perpetrator is also a star athlete. We just hope that the coach makes the right choice in terms of promoting student safety versus thinking about wins and losses over truly in the long run, what's best for the team from a cultural perspective and student safety perspective. Susan Stone: I think that especially as kids just went back to school, everybody wants to feel a sense of belonging. People can be a very lonely place, both high school and college. And we have to train people that abuse is not the way to bond. Hank Newer: And here in Fairbanks, there was a case I never heard about until I came here where the football coach called it team bonding to have the players jump into the swimming pool and take off all their clothes to switch it to everything, put them back on while in the pool and there were three near deaths. And he forbid his assistants to jump into the water until it was almost too late. And yes, he lost his job, but I never heard about it because our paper in covering it called it what he called it, a team building or team bonding. Susan Stone: Right. Hank Newer: I've written about that since and called it hazing exactly what it is. Kristina Supler: It's been a pleasure speaking with you today, Hank. And I think that you're obviously a wealth of knowledge on this topic. So we really appreciate your knowledge and insights and encourage our listeners to check out your wealth of material on the topic as well, your books and your database. You are worth the weight. Susan Stone: You are worth the wait. Really. Thank you so much. Kristina Supler: Thanks for listening to Real Talk with Susan and Christina. If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe to our show so you never miss an episode. And leave us a review so other people can find the content we share here. You can follow us on Instagram, just search our handle @StoneSoupler. And for more resources, visit us online at studentdefense.kjk.com. Thank you so much for being a part of our Realtalk community. We'll see you next time. —----------------------------------------------------------------------- Pull Quotes (Try to find a minimum of 4): · “I think often hazing is sort of conceptually conceived of as just happening among young men in fraternities. And in fact, it spans across all student organizations, entities, athletic teams, military groups. And it's also not exclusively a male issue. I mean, Susan and I have plenty of case experiences involving female athletes in hazing. Can you talk a little bit more about what you're seeing in the breakdown?” (08:25) · “I can't imagine. I just can't imagine what that must have been like and how that experience has obviously stayed with you. Hank, I'm curious. I'd like to hear your thoughts on whether you think schools should abolish Greek life fraternity sororities? Or do you think that there's value in these organizations?” (10:00) · “I broke it out out into criminal hazing and non-criminal hazing. Certainly, with something that you're describing, I would have never gotten into this kind of thing. The hazing that I had as a fraternity member was being dropped off in the country. We knew about it ahead of time and had money to call friends.” (12:20) · “I think that especially as kids just went back to school, everybody wants to feel a sense of belonging. People can be a very lonely place, both high school and college. And we have to train people that abuse is not the way to bond.” (26:41)
NoorJehan Tourte and Hajar Yazdiha visit friends and discuss the misuse of Dr. Kings Words , immigrant communities indebted to the Civil Rights movement, Hasan Minhaj and more with host Marina Franklin. Hajar Yazdiha is an Assistant Professor of Sociology, faculty affiliate of the Equity Research Institute, and a CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar (2023-2025). Dr. Yazdiha received her Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and is a former Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow and Turpanjian Postdoctoral Fellow of the Chair in Civil Society and Social Change. Dr. Yazdiha's research examines the mechanisms underlying the politics of inclusion and exclusion as they shape ethno-racial identities, intergroup relations, and political culture.In addition to award-winning articles, she is the author of the new book, The Struggle for the People's King: How Politics Transforms the Memory of the Civil Rights Movement (Princeton University Press). Through her research, Dr. Yazdiha works to understand how systems of inequality become entrenched and how groups develop strategies to resist, contest, and manifest alternative futures. NooJehan Tourte After unexpectedly making it to the semi-finals of the 2022 Sports Illustrated Swim Search Competition,NoorJehan Tourte has made it her mission to get women excited about the prospect of falling on their faces, over and over, if it means they are making their one life on this earth count. She believed that becoming a Sports Illustrated model would represent the culmination of a lifetime spent searching for her true identity, but the experience helped her realize that her childhood dream was not only to be a cover model, but also a role model, one who empowers ladies to show the world every side, from every angle, unapologetically. Amidst the multitude of societal pressures put on women to conform, she wants to reassure her fellow females that living the life you painstakingly cultivated for yourself is worth even the worst of days, the worst of moments. Because wouldn't you rather stumble living life, than squander it standing still? NoorJehan is currently a Group Senior Vice President Brand Strategist at healthcare advertising agency AREA 23. Prior to working in advertising, she was a U.S. Brand Marketer at Pfizer and a healthcare consultant at PwC. She holds an MBA from Columbia University and an MPH from UCLA. She has a passion for storytelling that is universal, and believes this can be done if we all lead with empathy. Always hosted by Marina Franklin - One Hour Comedy Special: Single Black Female ( Amazon Prime, CW Network), TBS's The Last O.G, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, Hysterical on FX, The Movie Trainwreck, Louie Season V, The Jim Gaffigan Show, Conan O'Brien, Stephen Colbert, HBO's Crashing, and The Breaks with Michelle Wolf.
2 de julio de 1964. Después de una lucha que marcó su vida durante más de diez años, el reverendo Martin Luther King tiene la profunda convicción de que Estados Unidos acaba de presenciar un punto de inflexión histórico en la lucha por la emancipación de los afroamericanos. . Diez años de inmensas marchas pacifistas, innumerables riesgos asumidos, incluidos numerosos encarcelamientos y palizas, hasta que el presidente estadounidense Lyndon B. Johnson, entonces Congreso, finalmente abolió la segregación racial al adoptar primero la Ley de Derechos Civiles y luego, trece meses después, estableció el derecho al voto para todos con la Ley de Derecho al Voto. Un avance histórico. Al menos, en apariencia...
Our exploration of the history of race in America takes us to Montgomery, Alabama. Harvard Attorney Bryan Stevenson opened the offices of the Equal Justice Initiative in the city where Rosa Parks refused to yield her seat on a public bus and where a young Dr. Martin Luther King became pastor of Dexter Street Baptist Church. The best-selling book which became a full-length feature film, JUST MERCY, tells the story of Bryan's work uncovering the incarceration of innocent victims and exposing the racial inequities of the Criminal Justice System. The Legacy Museum takes our contributors through the history of Slavery to Segregation to Incarceration to Lynching, highlighting the real resistance and the champions of the Civil Rights Movement. The Peace and Justice Memorial is designed to acknowledge and honor more than 4,000 documented lynchings that took place in some 800 counties in the United States. This episode is a moving account as our team processed, engaged, and learned, sharing their personal responses. SHOW NOTESMeet our contributors.Listen to the entire series - TRUTH QUEST: Exploring the History of Race in America - in their own words.Support the show
TIME STAMPS: 00:58 What is FAITH? 01:44 “Faith is taking the first step, even when you can't see the staircase.” -Martin Luther King Jr. 02:33 Verse-by-verse reading of Hebrews CH11 HCSB. 08:35 RAHAB the PROSTITUTE'S FAITH. 09:02 Why FAITH includes ALL 3 ASPECTS of INTEGRITY. 12:42 GK4102 “pistis” - how FAITH is used in the NEW TESTAMENT. 13:24 Habakkuk 2:4 ** PLEASE NOTE I ACCIDENTALLY SAID “HEBREWS 2:4” and not “HABAKKUK 2:4” ** 14:23 Athlete Spotlight of the week: LEO DAWKINS @leopinkbeach shredding through the BAHAMAS!
SUNDAY NIGHT: A street party slowed traffic near Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Street. SATURDAY NIGHT: 3 back to back Double Shootings. 1 North, 1 South + 1 near Monument CircleFRIDAY NIGHT: 2 Armed Robbery Suspects wounded in shootout w/ SWAT officers near Lucas Oil Stadium. Suspect opened fire on Officers while they attempted Pursuit Prevention Technique.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
David Jurasek is a father, husband, Sensei, and Registered Psychotherapist working with boys and men for over 20 years. He's worked within a clinical context, in a communal setting, and within various men's groups. However, despite his expertise and experience, David found himself continuing to struggle in intimate relationships, especially with his wife. Inspired by Martin Luther King's words on the balance of power and love, David founded a community called Powerful and Loving. David's life mission is building a village for men to rediscover and strengthen relationships that help them grow into Relational Leaders. David also mentors women seeking guidance on navigating their relationships with the men in their lives.
I hope this quote from Martin Luther King Jr helps you do what is right. Join the FREE Facebook group for The Michael Brian Show at https://www.facebook.com/groups/themichaelbrianshow Follow Mike on Facebook Instagram & Twitter
Infancia y Educación: Martin Luther King Jr. nació el 15 de enero de 1929, en Atlanta, Georgia, en una familia de clase media. Su padre, Martin Luther King Sr., era pastor en la Iglesia Bautista Ebenezer y su madre, Alberta Williams King, era una pianista talentosa. King creció en un ambiente religioso y familiar que promovía la igualdad y la justicia. Desde temprana edad, King mostró una inteligencia excepcional y se graduó en la secundaria Booker T. Washington. Luego, asistió a la Universidad Morehouse en Atlanta, donde estudió sociología y se destacó como líder estudiantil. Después de obtener su licenciatura, continuó sus estudios en la Universidad de Boston y la Universidad de Crozer Theological Seminary en Pennsylvania, donde obtuvo un doctorado en teología. El Liderazgo en el Movimiento por los Derechos Civiles: El activismo de King comenzó en serio cuando se convirtió en pastor de la Iglesia Bautista Dexter Avenue en Montgomery, Alabama, en 1954. En esa época, el sur de Estados Unidos estaba marcado por la segregación racial y la discriminación sistémica contra los afroamericanos. El 1 de diciembre de 1955, Rosa Parks se negó a ceder su asiento en un autobús a un pasajero blanco, lo que llevó a un boicot de autobuses que duró 381 días. King emergió como el líder de este boicot, y su liderazgo inspiró el surgimiento del Movimiento por los Derechos Civiles. La Lucha por los Derechos Civiles: El 28 de agosto de 1963, en el Monumento a Lincoln en Washington, D.C., Martin Luther King pronunció su famoso discurso "I Have a Dream" (Tengo un sueño) durante la Marcha en Washington por el Trabajo y la Libertad. En este discurso, King hizo un llamado a la igualdad y la justicia, y expresó su visión de un Estados Unidos donde las personas fueran juzgadas por su carácter en lugar de su color de piel. King fue un defensor apasionado de la no violencia y la resistencia pacífica, influenciado por la filosofía de Mahatma Gandhi. A lo largo de su vida, lideró numerosas protestas pacíficas, marchas y actos de desobediencia civil, incluida la histórica Marcha de Selma a Montgomery en 1965, que contribuyó a la promulgación de la Ley de Derechos Electorales. La Lucha contra la Pobreza: Además de su activismo por los derechos civiles, King también abogó por la justicia económica. En 1967, lanzó la Campaña de los Pobres, que buscaba mejorar las condiciones de vida de las personas de bajos ingresos en Estados Unidos. Su compromiso con la igualdad no se limitaba solo a la raza, sino que también incluía la lucha contra la desigualdad económica. Asesinato y Legado: Trágicamente, el 4 de abril de 1968, Martin Luther King Jr. fue asesinado en Memphis, Tennessee, por James Earl Ray. Su muerte conmocionó al país y provocó disturbios en muchas ciudades de Estados Unidos. Sin embargo, su legado perdura. El Día de Martin Luther King Jr. se celebra cada año en Estados Unidos en su honor. Las palabras y acciones de King inspiraron la promulgación de leyes de derechos civiles fundamentales, como la Ley de Derechos Civiles de 1964 y la Ley de Derechos Electorales de 1965. Su liderazgo y su mensaje de no violencia siguen siendo un ejemplo para movimientos de derechos civiles en todo el mundo. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Antena Historia te regala 30 días PREMIUM, para que lo disfrutes https://www.ivoox.com/premium?affiliate-code=b4688a50868967db9ca413741a54cea5 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Produce Antonio Cruz Edita ANTENA HISTORIA Antena Historia (podcast) forma parte del sello iVoox Originals ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- web……….https://antenahistoria.com/ correo.....firstname.lastname@example.org Facebook…..Antena Historia Podcast | Facebook Twitter…...https://twitter.com/AntenaHistoria Telegram…...https://t.me/foroantenahistoria DONACIONES PAYPAL...... https://paypal.me/ancrume ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ¿QUIERES ANUNCIARTE en ANTENA HISTORIA?, menciones, cuñas publicitarias, programas personalizados, etc. Dirígete a Antena Historia - AdVoices Escucha el episodio completo en la app de iVoox, o descubre todo el catálogo de iVoox Originals
Is there space for Asian American voices in the evangelical church? How have recent events changed how Asian Americans view both the local and broader church? On August 20, 2023, Exilic Church hosted a discussion called “An Asian American Moment: Our Place in the Future of the Evangelical Church.” Gene Joo, associate pastor of Exilic Church, moderated a conversation between Aaron Chung, senior pastor of Exilic Church and SOLA Council member, and Pastor Abe Cho, senior director of training at Redeemer City to City NYC and North America and associate pastor at Redeemer East Harlem. They shared their thoughts on the past, present, and future of the Asian American church through the following questions: On the past: Would you agree that the Asian-American church has largely remained siloed from the broader evangelical church in America? If so, why do you think that is? Here in New York, the Evangelical Asian American Church is considerably more underrepresented compared to the Black church, Jewish communities, and the White evangelical church. What is the historical and anthropological context behind how this came to be? How do you define what constitutes a multi-cultural church, and who gets to define it? Should every church be multi-ethnic? Is there a space for Asian American, Black, or Latino churches? Why are they important? How does this relate to what Rev. Martin Luther King said about Sunday morning being the most segregated time in America? On the present: Do Asian Americans have more to offer the church than just the topics of race and justice? If so, what are they? What is unique about this present moment for the Asian American Church? On the future: You might say that the Korean Ministry/English Ministry partnership represented the infancy of the Asian American church or at least the Korean American church. We're now starting to see the Asian American church in its adolescent phase as we see more independent Asian American churches and church plants. What might the Asian American church look like in its adulthood, and what sort of impact and contribution can you see it making to the larger evangelical church? Exilic Church, which is a supporter of SOLA Network, graciously shared this video with us so we could share it with our audience. We are grateful to them for leading this conversation. We hope this video sparks important conversations as we seek to build Christ's kingdom together. https://sola.network/article/a-place-for-asian-americans-in-the-future-of-the-evangelical-church/
Guest: Dr. Cornel West is a renowned philosopher, author, and activist who is running to be the U.S. Green Party Presidential Candidate. He is a professor at Union Theological Seminary in New York. Dr. West is known to be an outspoken advocate for social justice in the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, Abraham Joshua Heschel, Fannie Lou Hamer, and bell hooks. The post Dr. Cornel West Takes Listener Calls About Presidential Run appeared first on KPFA.
On this Wednesday topical show, Crystal chats with Tammy Morales about her campaign for Seattle City Council District 2. Listen and learn more about Tammy and her thoughts on: [01:08] - Why she is running [01:51] - Lightning round! [8:43] - What is an accomplishment of hers that impacts District 2 [10:46] - City budget shortfall: Raise revenue or cut services? [14:45] - Public Safety: Alternative response [18:11] - Victim support [21:33] - Housing and homelessness: Frontline worker wages [23:38] - Climate change [27:10] - Transit reliability [30:55] - Bike and pedestrian safety [33:45] - Small business support [35:58] - Childcare: Affordability and accessibility [39:30] - Difference between her and opponent As always, a full text transcript of the show is available below and at officialhacksandwonks.com. Follow us on Twitter at @HacksWonks. Find the host, Crystal Fincher, on Twitter at @finchfrii and find Tammy Morales at @TammyMoralesSEA. Tammy Morales Tammy is a sitting City Councilmember running for re-election. She was one of the only supporters of I-135 for permanent affordable housing from the get-go. And Tammy's an urban planner who was previously an organizer for the Rainier Beach Action Coalition and a UFCW 21. Her priority is to amplify the voices of Seattle's racial, climate, and economic justice coalitions. Tammy will continue her commitment to authentic community engagement that centers racial equity, especially when looking to prevent displacement, improve public health, create food security, and ensure access. She envisions a city where all single parents and their kids have full stomachs every single day; where every type of renter can afford where they sleep and have plenty left over for some fun; where children don't have to worry about bullets or cars as they make their way home from school or meet up with friends; where we prevent struggle; where we are kind to each other interpersonally and in policy; and where everyone has a fair shot at a happy and healthy life. Resources Campaign Website - Tammy Morales Transcript [00:00:00] Crystal Fincher: Welcome to Hacks & Wonks. I'm Crystal Fincher, and I'm a political consultant and your host. On this show, we talk with policy wonks and political hacks to gather insight into local politics and policy in Washington state through the lens of those doing the work with behind-the-scenes perspectives on what's happening, why it's happening, and what you can do about it. Be sure to subscribe to the podcast to get the full versions of our Friday week-in-review show and our Tuesday topical show delivered to your podcast feed. If you like us, the most helpful thing you can do is leave a review wherever you listen to Hacks & Wonks. Full transcripts and resources referenced in the show are always available at officialhacksandwonks.com and in our episode notes. Well, I am very excited to be welcoming current City councilmember and candidate for Seattle City Council District 2, Tammy Morales. Welcome. [00:01:03] Tammy Morales: Hi, Crystal - so good to see you. Thanks for having me. [00:01:06] Crystal Fincher: Good to see you. Well, I just wanted to start off asking - why did you choose to run for re-election? [00:01:12] Tammy Morales: Well, you know, when I ran last time, it was because I saw the displacement that's happening in the City of Seattle, particularly here in the South End and in our communities of color. And so I spent my first term working on trying to address those issues. And the work's not done - there's a lot more to do to increase affordability for our neighbors, to really build more community safety, and to make sure that we have the kind of healthy, vibrant neighborhoods that I know we can have in Seattle. And that's work that I'm really excited to continue to do. [00:01:51] Crystal Fincher: Well, and we're doing things a little bit differently than we have some of the past candidate interviews and implementing including a lightning round. [00:01:59] Tammy Morales: Okay. [00:02:00] Crystal Fincher: So we have some quick yes or no, or quick answer questions. Starting with - this year, did you vote yes on the King County Crisis Care Centers Levy? [00:02:10] Tammy Morales: Yes, I did. [00:02:11] Crystal Fincher: This year, did you vote yes on the Veterans, Seniors and Human Services Levy? [00:02:16] Tammy Morales: Yes, I did. [00:02:17] Crystal Fincher: Did you vote in favor of Seattle Social Housing Initiative 135? [00:02:22] Tammy Morales: You bet I did. [00:02:25] Crystal Fincher: In 2021, did you vote for Bruce Harrell or Lorena González for mayor? [00:02:32] Tammy Morales: I voted for Lorena. [00:02:33] Crystal Fincher: In 2021, did you vote for Nicole Thomas Kennedy or Ann Davison for Seattle City Attorney? [00:02:39] Tammy Morales: I voted for Nicole. [00:02:41] Crystal Fincher: In 2022, did you vote for Leesa Manion or Jim Ferrell for King County Prosecutor? [00:02:47] Tammy Morales: I voted for Leesa. [00:02:48] Crystal Fincher: Did you vote for Patty Murray or Tiffany Smiley for US Senate? [00:02:53] Tammy Morales: Patty Murray. [00:02:54] Crystal Fincher: Do you own or rent your residence? [00:02:57] Tammy Morales: I own. [00:02:58] Crystal Fincher: Are you a landlord? [00:03:00] Tammy Morales: I am not a landlord. [00:03:02] Crystal Fincher: Would you vote to require landlords to report metrics, including how much rent they're charging, to better plan housing and development needs in District 2? [00:03:12] Tammy Morales: I did vote for more metrics for landlords, including more rental registration information in City Council - working with Councilmember Pedersen, which is not a well-expected partnership for me, but we work together well on some issues and that was one. Unfortunately, it was vetoed by the mayor. [00:03:36] Crystal Fincher: Are there any instances where you'd support sweeps of homeless encampments? [00:03:40] Tammy Morales: No. [00:03:41] Crystal Fincher: Will you vote to provide additional funding for Seattle's Social Housing Public Development Authority? [00:03:47] Tammy Morales: Yes. [00:03:48] Crystal Fincher: Do you agree with King County Executive Constantine's statement that the King County Jail should be closed? [00:03:55] Tammy Morales: Yes. [00:03:57] Crystal Fincher: Should parking enforcement be housed within SPD? [00:04:03] Tammy Morales: No. [00:04:05] Crystal Fincher: Would you vote to allow police in schools? [00:04:08] Tammy Morales: No. [00:04:09] Crystal Fincher: Do you support allocation in the City budget for civilian-led mental health crisis response? [00:04:15] Tammy Morales: Yes. [00:04:16] Crystal Fincher: Do you support allocation in the City budget to increase the pay of human service workers? [00:04:21] Tammy Morales: Yes. [00:04:23] Crystal Fincher: Do you support removing funds in the City budget for forced encampment removals and instead allocating funds towards a Housing First approach? [00:04:32] Tammy Morales: Yes. [00:04:33] Crystal Fincher: Do you support abrogating or removing the funds from unfilled SPD positions and putting them towards meaningful public safety measures? [00:04:43] Tammy Morales: Yes, I voted on that a couple of times. [00:04:46] Crystal Fincher: Do you support allocating money in the City budget for supervised consumption sites? [00:04:51] Tammy Morales: Yes. [00:04:52] Crystal Fincher: Do you support increasing funding in the City budget for violence intervention programs? [00:04:58] Tammy Morales: Yes. [00:04:59] Crystal Fincher: Do you oppose a SPOG contract that doesn't give the Office of Police Accountability and the Office of Inspector General subpoena power? [00:05:09] Tammy Morales: If that's the way it's presented, I would oppose that. [00:05:12] Crystal Fincher: Do you oppose a SPOG contract that doesn't remove limitations as to how many of OPA's investigators must be sworn versus civilian? [00:05:23] Tammy Morales: I would oppose that, yes. [00:05:27] Crystal Fincher: Do you oppose a SPOG contract that impedes the ability of the City to move police funding to public safety alternatives? [00:05:37] Tammy Morales: Do I oppose - would I oppose that? Yes. [00:05:40] Crystal Fincher: Do you support eliminating in-uniform off-duty work by SPD officers? [00:05:46] Tammy Morales: Yes. [00:05:47] Crystal Fincher: Will you ensure that trans and non-binary students are allowed to play on the sports teams that fit with their gender identities? [00:05:55] Tammy Morales: I certainly would support it - yeah. [00:05:58] Crystal Fincher: Will you vote to ensure that trans people can use bathrooms and public facilities that match their gender? [00:06:04] Tammy Morales: Yes. [00:06:06] Crystal Fincher: Do you agree with the Seattle City Council's decision to implement the JumpStart Tax? [00:06:10] Tammy Morales: Yes, I do. [00:06:12] Crystal Fincher: Will you vote to reduce or divert the JumpStart Tax in any way? [00:06:21] Tammy Morales: Reduce it - no. I'll say maybe divert, but it very much depends on for what purpose. [00:06:30] Crystal Fincher: Are you happy with Seattle's newly built waterfront? [00:06:37] Tammy Morales: Meh. [00:06:39] Crystal Fincher: Sometimes I do wish our viewers could see faces and this - a little bit - that was a very meh face. Do you believe return to work mandates, like the one issued by Amazon, are necessary to boost Seattle's economy? [00:06:53] Tammy Morales: No. [00:06:54] Crystal Fincher: Have you taken transit in the past week? [00:06:58] Tammy Morales: Yes. [00:07:00] Crystal Fincher: Have you ridden a bike in the past week? [00:07:02] Tammy Morales: No. [00:07:03] Crystal Fincher: In the past month? [00:07:05] Tammy Morales: Yes. [00:07:06] Crystal Fincher: Should Pike Place Market allow non-commercial car traffic? [00:07:10] Tammy Morales: No. [00:07:11] Crystal Fincher: Should significant investments be made to speed up the opening of scheduled Sound Transit light rail lines? [00:07:19] Tammy Morales: Should what hap-- [00:07:22] Crystal Fincher: I'll repeat the question. Should significant investments be made to speed up the opening of scheduled Sound Transit light rail lines? [00:07:37] Tammy Morales: Yes. [00:07:38] Crystal Fincher: Should we make investments to speed it up? [00:07:41] Tammy Morales: I don't know if it's the money that is causing the problem or if there's some other issues, but - I'll say yes. [00:07:48] Crystal Fincher: Should we accelerate the elimination of the ability to turn right on red lights to improve pedestrian safety? [00:07:54] Tammy Morales: Yes. [00:07:56] Crystal Fincher: Have you ever been a member of a union? [00:07:59] Tammy Morales: No, I haven't. [00:08:01] Crystal Fincher: Will you vote to increase funding and staffing for investigations into labor violations like wage theft and illegal union busting? [00:08:09] Tammy Morales: Yes. [00:08:11] Crystal Fincher: Have you ever walked on a picket line? [00:08:13] Tammy Morales: Yes. [00:08:14] Crystal Fincher: Have you ever crossed a picket line? [00:08:16] Tammy Morales: No. [00:08:18] Crystal Fincher: Is your campaign staff unionized? [00:08:20] Tammy Morales: No, they aren't. [00:08:22] Crystal Fincher: If your campaign staff wants to unionize, will you voluntarily recognize their effort? [00:08:27] Tammy Morales: Sure. [00:08:28] Crystal Fincher: Well, that's the end of our lightning round. Hopefully that was easy. [00:08:34] Tammy Morales: I need to do a little more digging on Sound Transit's - delay, delay, delay. [00:08:42] Crystal Fincher: Yeah. Now, lots of people look to work you've done to get a feel for what you prioritize and how qualified you are to lead. Can you describe something you've accomplished or changed in your district, and what impact it has on residents? [00:08:58] Tammy Morales: Oh, great. Yeah, so in District 2, we have fewer - less green space than in other parts of the city. And because we have so many young people down here, there's a lot of interest in more opportunity for young people to recreate. So we've invested a lot through the Metropolitan Parks District and through - mostly through the Metropolitan Parks District - for things like park improvements at Be'er Sheva Park art installation, for a new skate park in Rainier Beach. There's a lot of interest in creating opportunity for young people to be outside. So there's a lot that we've done to improve, to change the community centers to help them become community resilience hubs that are following Green building practices and preparing for extreme weather events. So creating space where people can go during extreme heat or during smoke events. So, you know, those are a few examples of the things that we've done in kind of the parks and climate arena. And then we've also invested millions of dollars in sidewalk improvements in different parts of District 2. This is a part of the city that lacks sidewalks in much of it - much of the South End. And so every year we've tried to put money into the budget process to make sure that at least in some patches of neighborhoods, there's sidewalk repair or sidewalk improvements that are being done. [00:10:46] Crystal Fincher: Well, I do want to talk about the budget because the City is projected to have a revenue shortfall of $224 million beginning in 2025, which is right around the corner. Because we are mandated by the state to pass a balanced budget, our options to address this upcoming deficit are either raise revenue, cut services, or some combination of the two. Which one will be your approach to address this budget shortfall? [00:11:12] Tammy Morales: Well, we absolutely have to raise revenue. So in the last budget cycle, we had a proposed amendment to do a modest increase of the JumpStart payroll expense tax - that was something that I supported, it did not pass - but I do think we're going to have to look at that again. You know, we are a growing city. In the last 20 years, we grew, I think, twice as fast as anybody anticipated. And so that means that we have increased need in the city, whether that's infrastructure or service needs, to make sure that our neighbors are getting the kind of public service that they deserve. And we have to be able to pay for that. So I do think that we will have to have a conversation about increasing the payroll expense tax. We're also looking at a capital gains tax - I think that will be part of the conversation we have this budget cycle. And, you know, the thing is that this is not new information for the City - there was a progressive revenue committee that was formed in 2017, 2018 that started looking at these issues, Mayor Harrell had another task force in the last year to continue that conversation. But the recommendations are the same, which is that as a growing city, given the constraints that we have at the state level, we do have to contemplate how else we will raise revenue to be able to serve our community. And increasing revenue, particularly on large corporations is - in my opinion, and the opinion of many of my colleagues - the way for us to go. [00:12:58] Crystal Fincher: Certainly the JumpStart tax was a popular policy, not just with the City Council, but with the residents of Seattle - so looking at expanding that is definitely an option on the table. Are there still going to have to be cuts? Will those, you know, even if we were to successfully generate more revenue with both of those, does that cover that shortfall or will there also need to be some cuts? [00:13:22] Tammy Morales: You know, we are absolutely looking at the possibility of having to reduce the budget next year. There's - and the challenge is that it is, you know, something like $140 million next year, and it will be even more than that the following biennium. And so how we address that is going to be part of the conversation we start this budget cycle. You know, how we address the staffing of the City is going to be a really hard conversation because what I fear is that, you know, the departments where, you know - there's been a lot of work done to recruit new people into the city, to make sure that we're diversifying our City workforce. And I want to make sure that if we get to a point where we have to have staff layoffs, that those new folks - who are mostly people of color - who have come in are not going to be the first people to go. So it's going to be hard conversations. And, you know, we are just now starting to think about the strategy for dealing with what those conversations are going to have to look like over the next year. [00:14:45] Crystal Fincher: I do want to have a conversation about public safety - it's on the forefront of many people's minds. But also what we see through elections and polling is that a comprehensive view of public safety is where most voters are at - and many leaders in the City are talking about it - so it includes not just police, but also community response, alternative responses that are community-based. [00:15:09] Tammy Morales: Absolutely. [00:15:09] Crystal Fincher: While other jurisdictions around the country and in our own region have rolled out some of these alternative response programs to better support those having behavioral health crises, Seattle is stalled in the implementation of what again is a widely-supported idea. Where do you stand on non-police solutions to public safety issues? And what are your thoughts on civilian-led versus co-response models? [00:15:34] Tammy Morales: Well, that's a great question. And it is something that we have been and will continue to talk about a lot in the city. I feel like I've been really clear for a very long time that the challenges that we have in our communities are very often the result of history of disinvestment in some communities. And so, in my opinion, we need to start at a higher level of this conversation - in order to reduce the violence and reduce some of the community safety issues that we are all very well aware of, we really have to be investing in changing the community conditions that lead to violence in the first place. So that's why it is important to me that we invest in affordable housing, that we invest in food security and access to healthcare and education. And really focus on economic opportunity, particularly for our young people. I think that's an important first step in this conversation. The next step is really looking at the different problems that we have in the city. We do have a need for police to be investigating - particularly if we're talking about violent crime - gun violence, for example. And we need trained experts in responding to mental health crises. We need community programs, as you referred to, who are focused on violence interruption and can really support families after there is an incident. So there are different challenges - safety challenges - that we have, and they each require their own response. I think it's important that we really set up these different responses to be successful, particularly if we're talking about sending somebody out to respond to someone who's having an acute mental health crisis or a behavioral health crisis - police aren't equipped to deal with that. So Councilmember Lewis has been working - trying to set up a CAHOOTS-style alternative response system here for many years now. And I think that is the direction we need to be going. And I think we need to, as a city, really get serious about creating our public health response to some of the public health crises that we have. [00:18:11] Crystal Fincher: Now I wanna talk about people who have been harmed and victimized. And for people who have been victims, they say overwhelmingly they want two things. One, to make sure that what happened to them doesn't happen to them or anyone else ever again. And they want better support. Sometimes - well, many times - people are left hanging, they call the police, report is taken. And even if a person is arrested, they're still left with - you know, if there is a break in, having to replace whatever it is, time lost work, medical bills, just a wide variety of things. How can we better support victims and survivors? [00:18:50] Tammy Morales: Yeah, that's a great question. You know, I was having lunch yesterday with some leaders in the Vietnamese community. And as you know, there's been a string of home invasions, you know, with elderly folks being assaulted. It's important, as we're understanding their impacts, that we are addressing what they want. So, you know, whether that's victim support after the fact, support with mental health care, with medical care, or really looking at the interaction that they have when they call 911. So in the case of these incidents, for example, you know, we're understanding that there was a 15, 20 minute delay in getting a person on the 911 call who could speak their language. And when you're in a traumatizing situation, when you've been victimized, you know, you need support much faster than that. So one of the things that we're looking at is language justice and how we better support our neighbors who don't speak English as a first language in getting access to the City services that they deserve. The other thing I'll say is that we have some accountability that - we really need to be investigating or inquiring about from our police department. You know, in one of these instances, we understand that it was two weeks later before a detective actually reached out to the family. So getting a better understanding of how the investigation - you know, language access issues and getting those resolved, what the process is for investigating, beginning the investigations sooner - and then really understanding why it takes so long to get information is gonna be important for all of these families. The other thing I'll say is that we have organizations in the city that do provide victim support. They provide aftercare. I'm thinking about Choose 180, Community Passageways - these are groups that work with the family afterward to make sure that they get the support they need. And all of these violence interruption programs, diversion programs - you know, real community support - also need to be supported so that they can scale up and provide the kind of assistance that they do to our community members. [00:21:33] Crystal Fincher: I also wanna talk about homelessness. And one thing called out by experts as a barrier to the effectiveness of our homelessness response is that frontline worker wages don't cover the cost of living, especially in Seattle. Do you believe our local nonprofits have a responsibility to pay living wages for Seattle? And how can we make that more likely with how we bid and contract for services? [00:21:59] Tammy Morales: Yeah, that's a great question, Crystal. I mean, we all see the crises that are happening on our street. You know, when I see somebody who's homeless, what I see is somebody who's been failed by all of our different systems. And so as a city, we have an obligation to take care of the health and safety of all of our neighbors - you know, I hear a lot of people referring to our City charter saying that, you know, it is our primary duty to ensure the public safety. That's not just for some people - that's not just for housed people - that's for all of us. And so to your question, you know, the City contracts with many social service providers, with many different nonprofit organizations to deliver care and service to our homeless population on behalf of the City. And therefore it is our obligation to make sure that those workers are also paid well and compensated for, you know, really important frontline work that they do. In the last budget cycle, we did have to fight for, you know, cost of living increases for our social service workers. Our Human Services Department contracts with many different organizations and the contracts that they put out really need to include cost of living increases and adjustments so that folks get paid for the work they do. I mean, that's basic. So yeah, there is an obligation for us to make sure that folks who we are contracting with to deliver City services need to be paid fairly. [00:23:38] Crystal Fincher: Now on almost every measure, we're behind on our 2030 climate goals, while we're experiencing horrible impacts ranging from extreme heat and cold, wildfires, smoky and toxic air, floods, just everything. What are your highest priority plans to get us back on track to meet those goals? [00:24:02] Tammy Morales: That's a great question. So there's a couple pieces of legislation that are in the works that need a lot of support from community. The first I'll say is the Building Emissions Performance Standards, which is a bill that has been - I think had been negotiated and was about to come before council. The mayor has recently decided not to transmit that. And I think it's because there's still a lot of work to do. So building emissions and transportation are the two big contributors to greenhouse gas emissions in the city. And those are the two places where we really need to start making change because as you said, we are way off track in meeting our 2030 climate goals for reducing emissions. So that bill is intended to, you know, set standards for future construction. And I think part of the challenge that we are hearing from advocates is that it doesn't go far enough and it doesn't achieve the goals soon enough. So we have a 2030 plan. The bill as created would set a 2050 deadline for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. And so, you know, I am hopeful that the mayor does transmit that legislation. I believe Councilmember Sawant, whose committee it would be in, is planning to introduce her own bill if that doesn't come soon. So that's an important conversation for us to be having. And then there's another piece of legislation called the Living Hotels policy that would set similar environmental standards for hotels that are built in the city. I'm sure you know that tourism is itself part of the climate challenge for all of us as people come to the city - in planes, in cars, to stay in hotels - that really does add to our climate crisis. And so this is a policy that would intend to set some standards for green construction for any future hotels that are built and would really set some different standards for how we are raising expectation about what construction looks like in the city. So that's the building side. And then what I guess I will say about the transportation side is, you know, we really need to get people out of their cars, which means we need to invest and really support a robust public transit system. So working with King County Metro to make sure they have enough workers, make sure that they're increasing their routes, the frequency and reliability of their routes - because we really need to make getting out of your car the easy choice in the city if we want to address the transportation emissions, transportation-related emissions in the city. [00:27:10] Crystal Fincher: Well, and that kind of leads into my next question in that - right now, staying out of people's car, even for people who are using transit, is more challenging today because reliability of the system is tanking, really. Whether it's because of staff shortages or other challenges - more buses aren't showing up, routes being suspended, canceled. And so just the reliability of the system is posing a challenge for many people who rely on timely and consistent buses to get to work and their necessities of life. What can the City do to stabilize transit reliability - even keeping in mind that Sound Transit is a regional entity and King County Metro is a county entity - how can the City help to stabilize that? [00:27:59] Tammy Morales: Yeah, well, so part of the work that we do is regularly meeting with Sound Transit and really trying to hold them accountable for delivery of service, for how they are delivering service. And when there are frequent disruptions because of maintenance needs or something is - it seems mostly maintenance-related needs - it's really disruptive to anybody who relies on that line to get into work or to do whatever else they need to do. So that is a conversation that we need to have with the department. And as they are building out the system, my hope is that there is a greater efficiency with getting these repairs done so that it is not so disruptive in the future. The bus transit system is something that is operated by King County Metro. And I think the fact that they recently - finally - signed a contract with their workers is a huge step. So part of the challenge at King County Metro is that workers are not paid well - they were still in bargaining - and I think a lot of that has been addressed. So my hope is that that will lead to folks coming back to work, their ability to increase staff retention, and start to address some of the reliability in that system. And I think the last thing I'll say is that, we have a transportation levy that is coming up. So as we support getting more riders into Metro, it's gonna be important to make sure that they are getting access to service. So we use funding from the Transportation Benefit District to buy more bus service hours. But we can also use funding from the levy to really focus on other ways for folks to get around - building out, as you were referring to earlier, building out the bicycle infrastructure, the pedestrian infrastructure - to make sure that the sort of fragmented networks of bike lanes that we have are better connected. That would make it really easy for folks to get out of their cars and to start using a safer network system to get around. And really supporting the creation of greener infrastructure in the city so that people can get out of their cars and take advantage of those opportunities is gonna be an important part of the transportation levy conversation. [00:30:55] Crystal Fincher: Well, and safety for pedestrians and people riding bikes is a humongous concern - right now, it's really a crisis. With more deaths occurring than ever before, we're far away from meeting our Vision Zero goals as the City of Seattle. What can be done? How will you move to improve pedestrian and bicycle safety? [00:31:18] Tammy Morales: Yeah, well, I think we've talked about this before, Crystal, but the district that I represent experiences almost 60% of the traffic fatalities in the city. So we know that we have huge issues with the major arterials - Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, Rainier Avenue, Beacon Avenue - all of these streets have high, they're really designed to be speedways. So the conversation we've been having with the Department of Transportation in the City is not just how do we improve sidewalks, how do we add more crosswalks, what can we do about signal timing - all of those things are important. But even more than that is that we need to redesign the streets themselves so that it is not easy to go 60 miles an hour down what is supposed to be a 25 mile an hour road. That's work that I think is starting to shift - there is more acknowledgement in the Department of Transportation that if we're gonna reach our Vision Zero goals, there is a significant shift in the way we design our roads that will be needed. And so that is work that we are beginning as a city. And then I really think that one of my goals is to see in every neighborhood a pedestrianized street. So during COVID, we did some of these street closures to create Healthy Streets. We don't maybe need them in every block, but it would be great to have a pedestrianized street - you know, here in Beacon Hill, we have Plaza Roberto Maestas, where they close down the street - there's vendors, there's food trucks, it's a community gathering space. I think just having people be able to share an experience like that in every neighborhood can also help elevate the awareness of the fact that we have neighbors who are trying to navigate our community and we all have an obligation to be careful as we're going through our neighborhood. So it is increasing awareness of the fact that there are pedestrians and also - very importantly - rethinking the way we design our streets to make sure that folks can get around safely. [00:33:45] Crystal Fincher: I do wanna talk about the economy and the businesses in your district. We have some of the largest corporations in the world in Seattle, but also very vibrant and diverse small businesses. What are the biggest concerns that you hear from small businesses in your district and what are your priorities to help them? [00:34:05] Tammy Morales: Boy, what I hear about a lot is about commercial rents. So part of the issue about displacement in Seattle is not just residential tenants, but it's also about business tenants. So small businesses are also experiencing displacement, they're also dealing with landlord-tenant issues that they don't necessarily know how to resolve. And so a lot of the work that we're doing - that we plan to do next year - is around, it's sort of rooted in generational wealth building strategies. But it is very much about increasing commercial ownership of commercial property - so allowing business owners to buy something instead of being tenants. It's about access to capital, so that they can purchase commercial property. We have a lot of folks who need language access - again, this keeps coming up. A lot of our small businesses - the owners don't speak English as a first language. And so they need support understanding a lease agreement, understanding how to apply for a loan and what that loan is requiring of them. So that's another piece where, you know, we are working with our Office of Economic Development, with our Office of Immigrant and Refugee affairs to figure out what the right business navigator system is. But there's a lot of work to be done to support our small businesses in being able to stay in the city. And I'm excited about starting that work with OED and really making sure that our neighbors can stay. [00:35:58] Crystal Fincher: I want to talk about another issue that's crucial to the economy and that's childcare. Now, childcare, we've recently seen reporting that it is now more expensive than college on an annual basis. We can't talk about inflation or affordability without contending with childcare, which is also just in shorter supply than it was, in addition to being much more expensive. What can you do to help families struggling with the cost of childcare? [00:36:32] Tammy Morales: Yeah, that's an important issue. So there are a few things that we need to consider. The first is just the availability of childcare - so whether it is an in-home family daycare provider or a licensed childcare facility, we have to scale up all of those things. So from a land use perspective, that means making it easier to build childcare facilities and making sure that they are exempt from some of the paperwork requirements that we often impose on construction. We also need to make sure that we are supporting childcare workers themselves. It is an expensive proposition to take your child to childcare - and I know I've got three kids, it was not easy - but it's expensive because we are entrusting these childcare providers with our littlest citizens and they do an important job. And there's also limitations on how many children they can watch at one time. So making sure that we are providing them with good wages and access to benefits is also important. And as you said, it is so expensive to provide childcare. So some of the things that we've talked about in the past - some things I would like to see - include, for example, having sort of a health savings account, but for childcare. So having employers provide access to a savings opportunity to be able to stockpile that. And also just asking our employers to provide better access to childcare subsidies so that they can ensure that their workers can get to work and do the things that they - provide the services that they are providing for folks. Part of the thing, one of the things that the City is doing is also trying to, through the Families and Education levy, increase the Seattle preschool program opportunities. So we just expanded, particularly for bilingual slots, we just added seven additional facilities that can provide bilingual education. So we now have 35 Seattle preschool programs operating in the city. And I think most of the additional ones were here in the South End. So there is work that the City can do in terms of providing actual financial support. And then there is work that we can do to make sure that it is easier to build and easier to increase the capacity of our city to provide space for childcare providers. [00:39:30] Crystal Fincher: Now, as we close this conversation today, there is still a number of residents trying to contend and determine the differences between you and your opponent. When you're talking to someone who's trying to understand the difference and deciding for whom they're gonna vote, what do you tell them? [00:39:49] Tammy Morales: Well, thank you for the question. You know, what I will say is that we are losing half of our current council, and I can tell you that that is potentially destabilizing. So we need trusted, experienced leaders on the council - people who can partner skillfully with other colleagues, with advocates, with the mayor's office to really get things done - and that's the experience I bring. I will say that's why I've been endorsed by other elected or formerly elected leaders like King County Councilmember Zahilay, Larry Gossett, Senator Saldaña, small business owners, advocates - it's because they wanna see a thriving Seattle and they know that I wanna see a thriving Seattle. But I also want a council that can collaborate, that can agree to disagree on policy without getting divisive - you know, I think we all understand that the council needs to be working better together. And so we need folks who can partner and collaborate. You know, I think folks might be surprised to learn that I have a great working relationship, for example, with Councilmember Pedersen, with whom I don't agree on very much at all. But we are very transparent with each other, we're very clear about where we're coming from and why we may not be able to support something. And that allows us to work together really well when we can find something that we agree on, like the legislation I referred to earlier. So, you know, it's important to have folks there who understand how to deliver, whether it's policy or budget resources, for the district. And that's something that I'm really proud of having done in my first term, and that I would be honored to be able to do in a second term. [00:41:52] Crystal Fincher: Well, thank you so much, Seattle City Councilmember and candidate for re-election in Seattle's Council District 2, Tammy Morales. [00:42:01] Tammy Morales: Thanks so much for having me, Crystal - good to see you. [00:42:03] Crystal Fincher: Thank you for listening to Hacks & Wonks, which is produced by Shannon Cheng. You can follow Hacks & Wonks on Twitter @HacksWonks. You can catch Hacks & Wonks on every podcast service and app - just type "Hacks and Wonks" into the search bar. Be sure to subscribe to get the full versions of our Friday week-in-review shows and our Tuesday topical show delivered to your podcast feed. If you like us, leave a review wherever you listen. You can also get a full transcript of this episode and links to the resources referenced in the show at officialhacksandwonks.com and in the podcast episode notes. Thanks for tuning in - talk to you next time.