We’ve been Very Serious around here lately. Criticizing politicians, worrying about climate change, mourning the extinction of species, even studying geology. Let’s take a break, and spend some time with the marvelously named Playing for Change.
As the story goes, in 2005, Mark Johnson was walking in Santa Monica, California, when he heard the voice of street musician Roger Ridley (who has since died) singing “Stand By Me.” Ridley’s inspired interpretation of Ben E. King’s hit led Johnson and Enzo Buono to travel around the world, recording other street musicians, buskers, burnt-out ex-stars and amateurs. With some brilliant editing, they created this incredible version of a classic.
Since then, Playing for Change has created three albums, a mess of new stars, revived the career of the brilliant, troubled Clarence Bekker, and even created a new band that is now playing the world. Uniting the world through music is a wonderful goal, but wonderful music is an end in itself. A sister foundation has opened nine music schools around the world. The website has a large number of these videos; WC recommends them as a sovereign remedy against depressing events.
And speaking of sovereign remedies, let’s have some Sam Cooke:
WC thinks that the late Sam Cooke would have liked this version of his anthem very much.
Just playing for change.