Calvin Earl
As A Singer / Songwriter / Guitarist / Storyteller / Activist - I Share The Stories And Music Of Our Americana Musical Heritage & History.

Deep River

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First on the menu a little food for thought. In music there are two kinds of sound vibrations, one is an external sound and the other is an internal sound. The external sound arrives through your minds perception telling you that you have heard the sound through your ears. The internal sound vibration comes through what you perceive yourself to feel from within your soul. Both internal and external sound vibrations affect your mood, what you feel in your soul can change your physical body, mind and spirit in that moment. It’s no wonder we all love to listen to music, laughter, a babies joyful squeaks, or sounds of nature and the sound of water flowing. We also use sound to help us in times of pain or struggle, such as a person moaning or groaning or a baby crying for attention, that sound we make helps us release the pain in that moment.

As with any song, the intention is to provoke a feeling in the listeners ears and heart. If you want stress relief, and relaxation from an exhausting work week, and rejuvenation to prepare for a fun filled evening then I suggest you watch and listen to my rendition of the 1800’s spiritual classic “Deep River”. Now that your relaxed, put your dancing shoes on for an evening of fun, in fact you might start your dancing out by requesting the DJ spin the 1970’s classic “Rock Steady” sung by Aretha Franklin, ending the perfect evening slow dancing to the 1960’s classic “Unchained Melody” sung by the Righteous Brothers. Sounds like a plan to me. Enjoy…..and don’t forget to add your favorite songs to the comment section below!

The Spirituals Helped Awaken My Soul To Live With Gratitude!

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As a cultural citizen, and a person who loves the cultural arts, music and history around the world, I have often wondered how could I make a difference. In 2006, I asked and then helped introduce Twin Resolutions to the United States Congress in hopes of preserving and honoring America’s first original music created by the slaves in the cotton fields of the Old South. In February 2007, the Twin Resolutions passed unanimously to honor our American slave ancestors for their contributions to our nation with our deepest gratitude and respect, and recognize the African American Spiritual as a National Treasure.

Check out this video which includes famous celebrities, famous American scholars from Harvard and Princeton Universities, and dedicated Civil Rights leaders, who lent their support to my efforts. Ya’ll know you want to know who helped me……… so grab a cup of coffee and enjoy the video! I’d also like to invite you to subscribe to my YouTube channel, just click on the subscribe button below the video!

The Slaves Made Music To Heal And Comfort Their Souls

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Deep River is simply a cry to God from the inner soul of the slave to find comfort and acknowledgement that someone was listening to their cry. It was a song to soothe a weary soul and to communicate with God the struggle he/she was having staying focused on the path to God when so much of their daily experience as a slave was an assault on human dignity.

In the late 1800’s the melody and tempo of Deep River was altered several times from the original sound found being sung in the cotton fields of the Old South. The most notable change came from Harry Burleigh who was a classically trained singer and composer, when he used the standard musical scale to transcribe the spirituals from their origins to a musical art form. A spiritual was in its original form a cry of the human soul of the unknown slave. Unfortunately, Burleigh could only get close to transcribing the original sound of a spiritual as it is widely known, that there are not enough musical notes in the standard scale to accommodate the slides in the human voice, and the slide is the signature spirit of a spiritual. Hence, some of the essence of the spirituals have been lost in the heroic attempts to save them.

Harry Burleigh was no stranger to the black spirituals and plantation songs, his father was a former slave and Burleigh sang spirituals regularly. He was also instrumental in introducing the European composer Antonin Dvorak to the black spirituals. Dvorak was profoundly moved by the spirituals. In fact it inspired Dvorak to compose “The New World Symphony”, which paid homage to the black spirituals. Burleigh helped Dvorak with the copy work for that symphony. While living in America studying the music in the new world, Antonin Dvorak stated in an article in 1895- “A while ago I suggested that inspiration for truly national music might be derived from the Negro melodies or Indian chants. I was led to take this view partly by the fact that the so-called plantation songs are indeed the most striking and appealing melodies that have yet been found on this side of the water, but largely by the observation that this seems to be recognized, though often unconsciously, by most Americans. All races have their distinctively national songs, which they at once recognize as their own, even if they have never heard them before.”

As We Celebrate July 4TH, Let Us Be Grateful

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Happy 4th of July everyone! Happiness is: Our culturally diverse nation celebrating together in all corners of our nation! Enjoy your BBQ’s, beach parties, family reunions, roof top champagne gatherings, NYC Fireworks, baseball, soccer, Mom’s peach pie, and parades, and last but not least I just have to brag about my sister Betty’s best ever in the world fried chicken and potato salad! If you know Betty, ya’ll know what I’m talking about! Be safe and have fun! ONE LOVE YA’LL!

1 = One Nation Under God, Indivisible, With Liberty And Justice For All

L = Life, Liberty, And The Pursuit of Happiness Is Our Goal

O = One Love, One Human Race, One Nation, We The People Stand Together

V = Vibrant American Voices Sing Spirituals Together In Our Hometowns

E = Equality For All, Equal Protection And Treatment Under The Law

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