Song of the day – 305: The Edwin Hawkins Singers
Greatest vocal performance on vinyl ever? One of them, for sure.
This is being played at my funeral. I couldn’t give a cuss if it’s religious. It’s sung with a secular fervour.
This song was one of my secret weapons back when I used to DJ. (Why is it that, in near three years of living in Brisbane, not one person has asked me to DJ? ATP at Mount Buller, yes. The Falls Festival along the Great Ocean Road, yes. QLD, no. Guess it’s always harder to break into a local scene where everyone knows everyone else than an international one, where they don’t.) One of my fondest memories of my Plan B days was DJ-ing in front of a rabid 500-strong Friday night crowd in Istanbul and shoving this on, cranking the volume and watching the place go absolutely crazy-happy. I followed that with Shock-Headed Peters’ ‘I Blood Brother Be’ – two songs most the folk there can’t have known, surely? – and it was pandemonium inside, in all the best senses of the word. Only time I’ve ever been billed at the top of a poster as a DJ, too – my name writ larger than the bands – except for a Kimya Dawson show a couple of years back (post-Juno), and we were rather surprised at that!
Anyway. Play this at as high a volume as possible. It really does start to take on ‘Freak Scene’ textures, the louder it gets.
Thing is, it’s so easy to get it completely wrong.