I recently read a book that chronicles the final 24 hours of Dr Martin Luther King Jr.
He had returned to Memphis on April 3,1968 in the midst of riots and turmoil. He was there, again, on behalf of the city's striking garbage workers, mostly African American, who were working in cruel conditions for little pay.
Following a long day of meetings and as storms were moving in from the south, Dr. King had decided his fatigue and the onsetting of laryngitis would prevent him from speaking to a crowd gathered at Memphis' Mason Temple. Instead, he would ask his most trusted advisor, Ralph Abernathy, to deliver the speech.
As the storms grew more intense, Dr King laid down to rest inside his Lorraine Motel room. Meanwhile, inside the church, thousands had gathered and began to chant Dr. King's name rather than listening to Abernathy. Ralph phoned Dr. King and pleaded with him to come. He agreed.
Arriving at the Temple, Dr King had no remarks prepared. He barely had a voice to deliver a speech. And yet what he chose to share would soon be more prophetic than He or anyone could have realized.
"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!”
The following day, the central leader in the Civil Rights movement was dead.
I've loved the song "Up To The Mountain" by Patty Griffin for many years - a song written by Griffin based on King's final Memphis speech.
In partnership with One Campaign and their collection of protest songs, I am honored to record it. My hope is that you and I have even an ounce of Dr. King's courage to stand and raise our voice on behalf of those who cannot speak up for themselves.
For more info on One Campaign and #ProtestSongs - visit http://www.one.org/protestsongs/
Blessings and thanks for listening,
Writer(s): Patricia J. Griffin
Copyright: Almo Music Corp., One Big Love Music
Recorded Live by Jeffery Armstreet at Red Tree Recording Studios - Magnolia,TX
Overdubs recorded by Chase Jenkins
Robbie Seay - Acoustic and vocals
Lindsey Kidd & Chase Jenkins - BGV's
Aimee Norris - cello
Piano - Chase Jenkins
Zach McNair - Photography + Design
*Video by Zach McNair, assisted by Josh Taylor