People Get Ready

The Impressions keep on pushing.

This week, we bring social awareness to the Friday Cocktail Hour.

Curtis Mayfield wrote People Get Ready in 1965. He was inspired by the Civil Rights movement to write this gorgeous song. The song’s message still packs a powerful punch. Freedom songs are eternal.

There are many great versions of People Get Ready. That made this week’s selection process particularly difficult. If you don’t believe me, take a gander at its listing at Secondhand Songs.

We begin with the songwriter:

The Queen of Soul cut an early cover of this week’s song:

The Staple Singers. Say no more.

Al Green with a gospel version of the Curtis classic:

Jeff Beck and Rod Stewart had a substantial hit with their interpretation of PGR, never to be confused with PBR:

Ziggy Marley cut People Get Ready in 1997, in part, as a tribute to his father Bob who recorded it in a medley with his own song One Love.

Finally, my homey Aaron Neville with a 21st Century version of the Mayfield masterpiece:

What would the Friday Cocktail Hour be without instrumental versions of the week’s tune? This time, Larry Carlton followed by Maceo Parker.

That’s it for this week. Raise your glass and toast the late Curtis Mayfield for writing one of the best songs of the last century. It’s what Mac, Irma, Allen, and Aaron would want. Never argue with them.