12/5/17: The Chambers Brothers “Time Has Come Today”
Gimme some soul, gimme some gospel! Add some rock and roll, a touch of psychedelia. What do you get? The Chambers Brothers, of course! The only music that leaves your soul “psychedelicized!”
The Chambers Brothers grew up in Mississippi, and like so many great music icons from all walks of life, they grew up singing in church. I can’t imagine how great those church services must have been with the young brothers performing, but I’m sure they were fantastic. The oldest brother, George, was drafted into the Army and served in Vietnam. When he got back to the States, he settled in Los Angeles. There was some groundbreaking stuff happening in California in those days, including in the music scene, and that’s exactly where he wanted to be. He invited his younger brothers Joe, Lester, and Willie out to the West Coast, and the Chambers boys started to put together a band.
A local drummer, Brian Keenan, joined the effort and the Chambers Brothers’ career as a high-profile musical act started to take off. They met the legendary Pete Seeger and were growing strong roots as a folk music group, especially after performing at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965. Once they electrified their sound, though, they really started rockin’!
The Chambers Brothers’ switch to a more modern sound coincided with Bob Dylan’s moves in the same direction. In 1968, the Chambers Brothers came out with “Time Has Come Today,” which might just be their best-known song. In my mind, no other tune out there does a better job of capturing the feel of the late ‘60s. The Vietnam War was raging, the country was experiencing a tremendous wave of protests and uprisings, we’d seen the assassinations of JFK, Bobby Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., suffice to say it was a time of great change. People were marching in the streets, riots seemed to be breaking out everywhere. Some youth were “dropping out” of a society that rejected them, and the movement we now associate with the word “hippie” was in full bloom.
Along came the Chambers Brothers, capturing it all in a song that lasted for more than 11 minutes. They recorded a lot of other great music, but this was the one that hooked me. This is the kind of music, the kind of message, that’s just as appropriate now as it was then.
To read and listen to all of Ron’s Music in My Head entries, click here!
After playing a show at The Cat’s Cradle in July, at Local 506 in August, The Carrboro Music Festival in September; and The Southern Village Green in November, the School of Rock students’ next BIG public LIVE performance will be Saturday January 6th at the Pittsboro Roadhouse.
At 1pm, its “Rock Goddesses” with Music from Stevie Nicks, Tina Turner, Janis Joplin and More. This is followed at 3pm with the songs of Led Zeppelin I and II. January 6th at the Pittsboro Roadhouse, put it on your calendar now!
The School of Rock Chapel Hill is a music school located in the 501 Diner location on Fordham Blvd in front of Eastgate, in the Blue Hill District!
Why should the kids have all of the rock and roll fun? The School of Rock Offers adult programs as well. It is never too late to learn how to rock!
Locally owned, locally operated, locally staffed, locally sourced instruments, and locally built!
You are invited to stop in for a tour or schedule a free demo session. Their hours are Monday-Thursday 3PM-9PM and Saturday 10AM-4PM!
Learn how to play a real rock and roll song in just 30 minutes!
AND, through a partnership with the Public School Foundation; they’ll donate 1% of their gross revenue to support music in the local public schools, so help bring music to our community and enroll today!
Sign-up at chapelhill.schoolofrock.com, or call 919-338-1011.
Open for Rocking!
‘Music in My Head’ airs every morning @9:15AM. Over the air on 97.9FM and streaming on chapelboro.com