Sunday, November 12, 2006

Too Hip For Nashboro!

The Dixie Nightingales - The Assassination

The story of the Dixie Nightingales, who would eventually become the Stax soul group Ollie & The Nightingales, has been covered in a prior post. As mentioned then, "The Assassination" had been deemed by gospel powerhouse Nashboro records as not being a gospel song, as it didn't refer to God or Jesus in any way, rather serving as a lamentation of the assassination of JFK (which had particular resonance in the black community, despite the somewhat inaccurate belief that JFK championed the civil rights movement - Kennedy's strategy was one of moderation in order to appease Southern Democrats; it wouldn't be until Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act in 1964 that a President would openly side with the movement - in addition to various musical works memorializing the JFK assassination, Rev. O.L. Holiday released a sermon entitled The Assassination of John F. Kennedy and the Crucifixion of Jesus!) Fortunately for Ollie and the group, Stax Records' new Chalice label was very receptive to the concept, and this atmospheric record is the great result. It's haunting and beautiful.

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