Sam Cooke is set to receive a very special honor. His song, ‘A Change is Gonna Come’ is one of a small handful of songs to receive the “2013 Songwriters Hall of Fame Towering Song Award.” The presentation will be made at the 44th annual Induction and Awards Dinner on Thursday, June 13th. The dinner and awards ceremony will be held at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City.
The song—which was originally written by Cooke in 1963 and recorded in 1964—was referenced as recently as the 2008 election by President Barack Obama after winning the election that year. It was also used as an anthem during the Civil Rights movement. Since its original release, it has been covered over five hundred times by various artists from the likes of: Aretha Franklin, Al Green, and Otis Redding to more modern artists such as: R. Kelly, Gavin DeGraw, and Seal just to name a few. These are just a few of the song’s accolades. It has even been deemed by National Public Radio (NPR) as “the most important ever recorded” and has been selected by the Library of Congress for inclusion into its National Recording Registry. Cooke himself was posthumously inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1987.
‘A Change is Gonna Come’ will be inducted into the SHOF along with works from Tony Hatch, Mick Jones & Lou Gramm, Holly Knight, JD Souther, and Steven Tyler & Joe Perry. A full list of inductees and bios is available online via the SHOF’s virtual museum at http://songwritershalloffame.org.
Tickets for the induction ceremony are available now. They start at $1,000 each. They are available through Buckley Hall Events by phone at 212-573-6933.
Movies based on actual events are far too many in today’s era of film making. And far too many of those movies over-glamorize the events on which they are based. However, among that genre of movies though, is thankfully an occasional diamond in the rough. One of those diamonds comes from veteran comic Mike Birbiglia and NPR host Ira Glass. That movie is the indie flick, Sleepwalk With Me.
Sleepwalk With Me is quirky. It’s sometimes bizarre. And it’s original. There is nothing like this movie out there today either in the mainstream or indie world. The story behind Sleepwalk With Me centers on Mike’s character Matt and his attempt to become a big time comedian all while trying to very precariously balance his relationship with then girlfriend Abby (played by Lauren Ambrose). In the middle of all of this is Matt’s sleeping disorder called “R.E.M. Behavior Disorder.” According to the doctor that Matt listens to on his book on tape, “R.E.M. Behavior Disorder” is the tendency of a person to actually physically act out his/her dreams. That behavior makes for more than its share of both funny and emotional moments. Added into the story’s balance of comedy and drama, it adds its own touch to make for both more laughs and emotional moments, making for a movie that is entirely original and entertaining at the same time.
The central story of Sleepwalk With Me is original in that as star Mike Birbiglia notes in the additional Q&A bonus feature, it is in large part autobiographical. So rather than being just another one of those movies that is based on actual events, Birbiglia and friend Ira Glass (NPR’s This American Life) have crafted a story that while somewhat fictional still is a very close mirror to Birbiglia’s life. And what’s more entertaining that someone telling a story of their own life in their own words? Birbiglia’s story is both funny and at times heartwarming. As is the case with any movie though, it is a niche film. So it’s not a movie for everyone. But those who are fans of Ira Glass work on NPR or Birbiglia’s work will appreciate this movie. Niche film aside, it’s still nice to see this movie as it’s nice to see that among all the prequels, sequels, and remakes that abound in today’s movie industry that original and enjoyable scripts are still out there. Sleepwalk With Me will be available on DVD and Blu-ray next Tuesday, December 18th.