Wednesday, February 18, 2009
A scratchboard of Edwin Starr for my M.U.S.I.C.: Musicians Undermining Social Injustice series by Leo Hartshorn
Just finished this scratchboard for my M.U.S.I.C.: Musicians Undermining Social Injustice Creatively series. Edwin Starr is known for this song War, which decries the Vietnam War. His signature song was written by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong and backed by the Funk Brothers. It is a powerful antiwar song with a driving, soulful rhythm, which was only released as a single by Motown after repeated requests. The song was originally on the 1970 album Psychedelic Shack by the Temptations, but Motown deemed it too controversial because it might alienate conservative fans and risk marring the image of one Motown's most popular soul groups. Edwin Starr heard the about the debate over the song and volunteered to re-record it. War became one of the most succesful antiwar songs in the history of popular music. In 1999 Edwin Starr's War was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.