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  • "A Change Is Gonna Come" to Receive Towering Song Award From Songwriter's Hall of Fame

    Fri, 26 Apr 2013 15:59:38

    "A Change Is Gonna Come" to Receive Towering Song Award From Songwriter's Hall of Fame - It has seen 500 versions

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    • Sam Cooke - LIVERPOOL, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 17: The Lyrics to Sam Cooke's song 'A Change Is Gonna Come' are pasted onto a derelict house in Liverpool's Welsh Streets on June 17, 2014 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. A Public Inquiry begins today into plans to demolish 271 derelict houses, build around 150 new homes and refrurbish 37 terraced properties in the Toxteth area of the City.The £15 million plan has been opposed by heritage campaigners who say that the houses should be restored. The properties are nicknamed the Welsh Streets as they were built and lived in by Welsh workers in the late 19th Century and named after Welsh towns, villages and valleys. Beatles drummer Ringo Starr was born at 9 Madryn Street, one of the properties affected by the plans.

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    "A Change Is Gonna Come" towers over so many other songs -- 500 versions have been recorded. That's just one of the reasons that the 2013 Songwriters Hall of Fame Towering Song Award will be presented to "A Change Is Gonna Come" at the 44th Annual Induction and Awards Dinner slated for Thursday, June 13 at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City, SHOF Chairman Jimmy Webb announced today. The song, written and originally performed by the legendary Sam Cooke, is published by ABKCO Music.

    The Towering Song Award is presented to the creator(s) of an individual song that has influenced our culture in a unique way over many years. Previous Towering Songs have included "Take Me Out To The Ballgame," "Moon River," "Bridge Over Troubled Water," "It Was A Very Good Year" and "Stand By Me."

    "A Change Is Gonna Come" was written by Sam Cooke in 1963 and recorded in January of 1964 in Hollywood, CA. The track was released as a single in December of 1964. This evocative composition was adopted as an anthem by the Civil Rights Movement virtually upon its release and is widely considered to be Cooke's most significant and enduring composition.

    "A Change Is Gonna Come" has garnered over 500 recorded versions, including covers by Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding, Solomon Burke, Bobby Womack, the Fugees, Jon Bon Jovi, Seal, R. Kelly, Gavin DeGraw, Terrence Trent D'Arby, The Righteous Brothers, Al Green and many others. Over the years, "A Change Is Gonna Come" has garnered great accolades and in 2005, was voted #12 by representatives of the music industry and media in Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, and voted #3 in Pitchfork Media's The 200 Greatest Songs of the 1960s. The song is also among those deemed as "the most important ever recorded" by National Public Radio (NPR) and was selected by the Library of Congress for inclusion in the National Recording Registry.

    After the results of the 2008 U.S. presidential election, President-elect Barack Obama specifically referred to "A Change Is Gonna Come," stating "It's been a long time coming, but tonight, change has come to America" to the supporters gathered in Chicago's Grant Park. In the days leading up to the president's inauguration, "A Change Is Gonna Come" could be heard repeatedly at different events throughout the Capital in Washington DC including a duet version by Bettye LaVette and Jon Bon Jovi at the Lincoln Memorial. Cooke's hopeful tome and vision for a multi-cultural society had come to fruition many years after he prophetically recorded the song, which is a cipher for righteous causes seeking change, equality and justice.

    Do you have a favorite version of this song?

    —Carly Costello

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    Tags: Sam Cooke, Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding, Solomon Burke, Bobby Womack, Fugees, Jon Bon Jovi, Seal, R. Kelly, Gavin DeGraw, The Righteous Brothers, Al Green, Bettye LaVette

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