My Earliest Memory

24 09 2009

A. 40  9/24/09

I think my earliest memory was when I was two years old. I know this because the year was 1987. I very distinctly remember sitting in front of the television mesmorized, watching the music video for George Harrison’s hit song, I’ve Got My Mind Set On You. It wasn’t until a couple decades later that I rediscovered such a memorable video. My parents gave me a birthday present of a DVD of all things George Harrison, my favorite Beatle and one of my heroes. On the DVD was the music video I so remembered. It was such a wonderful experience to revisit the video I remembered watching on TV when I was little. I remembered the odd animatronics, the dark sense of humor, and the set. To this day, the song remains one of my all-time favorites.

Well, it wasn’t until today, that I realized that this George Harrison classic was actually a (gasp!) cover. Who knew? The original was done 25 years earlier in 1962 by an unheard of artist, James Ray. (The song was written by Rudy Clark, another person I’ve never heard of.) I played the original for my co-workers who are very knowledgeable about African American music of the 1960s, hoping they would have heard of either this musician or the version. Nobody knew of it. How odd. I’m wondering if anyone knew of the original when George Harrison’s hit version came out. I actually kind of like the original version. James Ray sounds like Sam Cooke and the original has a very African, almost reggae beat. The soprano choir-like vocals (which remind me of something out of a Harry Belafonte tune) in the chorus and the banjo (??!) strumming help to give this version a very retro sound. Enjoy…

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