Here’s why this song should be in your collection!
Holler composed the song late in 1968, the year Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy were murdered. Five years earlier, John F. Kennedy, Robert’s older brother and the USA’s 35th President, was assassinated. The year 1965 had marked the 100th anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination.
The song links the four men through their efforts to bring about historic social change in the nation, and how their lives ended in the midst of their work.
Dion DiMucci released the first version, in 1969. Jackie “Moms” Mabley released the most famous cover version, also in 1969. The song has also been recorded and performed by such artists as Smokey Robinson and The Miracles, Marvin Gaye, Harry Belafonte, Bob Dylan, Ray Charles, Emmylou Harris, Leonard Nimoy, Bon Jovi, Whitney Houston, and Andy Williams, who was a personal friend of Robert Kennedy.
Versions of this song are available on many records in CD and MP3 format from major vendors. Please consider purchasing it from a local independent record store.
Here’s an interesting fact!
Dick Holler also composed “Snoopy vs. The Red Baron,” a 1966 hit song for The Royal Guardsmen. The song recounts the exploits of the ace German fighter pilot who shot down 80 enemy planes during World War I. The Great War began 100 years ago, on July 28, 1914.