A Tribute to The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial

Here is an original jacket cover from the 45 RPM single released in 1985.
Remember when we used to listen to music on phonographs?

 

 

 "In 1963 in my hometown of Jennings, Louisiana, I remembered watching the "March on Washington" on our newly purchased black and white television. I had just finished high school and was unsure of my future as a black youth in the deep, still-segregated south. I sat glued to this small television set and the haunting words of the great speech stayed with me ever since. I did go on to become a cardiologist and a musician."  Cleve


As many fans already know, the song "Martin" was written and first recorded by Cleve back in 1984. Subsequently Cleve performed the song at many functions in the Washington, DC area including the US Capitol and the National Theater as part of Martin Luther King celebrations.  Cleve was selected to perform the song at the King Center in Atlanta marking the 22nd anniversary of the "I Have a Dream Speech".

In 1993 the song was re-recorded by producer Harley Sanchez as the centerpiece of the album "March On". Cleve's tribute to Dr. King's historic struggle includes an all-star ensemble, including Patti Austin, Olie Woodson, Daryl Coley, Vanessa Williams, Yolanda Adams, Cybill Shepherd, Claude McKnight, Will Downing, Jackie Johnson, Kelli Williams and The National Civil Rights Museum 25th Anniversary Mass Choir.

The poignant and haunting words Cleve wrote nearly 30 years ago now take on new meaning as the nation comes together to honor Dr. King's legacy. With the dedication of the new memorial we hope that you keep Cleve's song in your heart as you stand in awe of the contribution Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. made to our nation and all its people.

As you go down this page you will realize that long before there was a statue or official memorial, Cleve had already created a masterwork that came from his heart.  Included below are letters of recognition, the complete lyrics and a link to listen to this incredible work on You Tube.  Please enjoy. 
 



Original photograph by Marty LaVor

(Picture left, Cleve performing at National Theater
MLK birthday celebration 1987)

"Martin"
Cleve Francis copyright 1983

 You marched from Selma to Washington
hand in hand for freedom sake.

With faith in God and hope in man
a sleeping nation yet to wake.

You were a soldier in the army of justice
fighting a battle we all had to win.

Where a man is judged on character and deeds
and not on his color of skin.

Chorus:

We all love you Martin.
It was you who made us see,
that our nation could never be strong,
until all God’s people are free.

We all love you Martin.
As the years will come and pass
your voice will sound like a mighty storm –
“Free at last, Free at last
thank God almighty
we are Free at last”

You said you might not be with us
when for freedom we’d take that stand.
You said you’d been to the mountain top
and had seen the promise land.
You made this nation so much better.
You made all people proud.
You were a voice in the wilderness,
alone but crying out loud

Repeat Chorus:

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN ON YOU TUBE