Black History Month Part Six

09 Feb
Sundown (Gordon Lightfoot song)

Sundown (Gordon Lightfoot song) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is a repost from December 2, 2013.  As I continue with this series of Black History Month, I would like to introduce you to Gordon Lightfoot, and particularly, to his song “Black Day in July” published in December 1968.

Amazingly, it is banned on many of the United States’ top 40 radio stations.

The lyrics are about the 1967 race riots in Detroit.

The riots were set off by a police raid in an inner-city bar raid. The rioting lasted five days. Tally aftermath was 43 dead, 467 injured, 7,231 arrested and 2,509 stores burned down or looted. City officials estimated damage cost at between $40 and 80 million (US).

CBC Archives did a great job reporting on this.


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24 responses to “Black History Month Part Six

  1. nuwansenfilmsen

    February 10, 2014 at 12:04 pm

    Sounds like an amazing song. I haven’t heard it, but shall check it out.
    Are you telling me this song is still banned today, in the 21st century, in many US Radio stations?? That’s absurd.

    • tkmorin

      February 10, 2014 at 12:58 pm

      Apparently it still in some places … but not like it once was. Yes, I think it’s crazy, too! 🙂

  2. avwalters

    February 10, 2014 at 10:03 am

    I remember the riots; I remember the song. I didn’t know it was banned anywhere. The Lightfoot song that most Americans know is the about the Edmund Fitzgerald. (What should we do, ban November storms?) Neither American nor Canadians are good about history. Canadians don’t know diddly about Louis Real. Americans have their own versions of the past, based on the overarching mantle of intentional ignorance. It seems important to re-investigate history regularly, to see it through new lenses, stripped (hopefully) of the economics and prejudices that formed the story initially.

    • tkmorin

      February 10, 2014 at 10:29 am

      History is indeed ever changing, depending of the writer …

  3. Lone Grey Squirrel

    February 10, 2014 at 3:06 am

    I am a big fan of a number of Canadian folk musicians like Stan Rogers, Rankin Family, Bruce Cockburn etc. Although I know the song “Sundown”, Gordon Lightfoot was slightly before my time. Thanks for introducing to this song with its frank look at the issues of the day. This level of social consciousness and responsibility is lacking in most artistes today.

    • tkmorin

      February 10, 2014 at 8:02 am

      Thank you! 🙂

  4. L. Marie

    February 9, 2014 at 10:43 pm

    A sad but terrible time! Thanks for this post.

    • tkmorin

      February 9, 2014 at 11:13 pm

      You’re welcome! Some of them are uplifting, some not so much. But history must be shared, I feel. 🙂

  5. Mark Armstrong

    February 9, 2014 at 9:57 pm

    I think my favorite GL song is Did She Mention My Name?

    Is the ice still in the river
    Did you ever kiss a frog
    And by the way
    Bite Size Canada’s a great blog!

    I think that’s how it goes, anyway… : )

    • tkmorin

      February 9, 2014 at 10:21 pm

      LOL. [Blush] thank you so much! 🙂

  6. denmother

    February 9, 2014 at 8:29 pm

    You had me at Gordon Lightfoot. I LOVE HIM!

    • tkmorin

      February 9, 2014 at 9:15 pm

      An icon, eh? 🙂 🙂

  7. seeker

    February 9, 2014 at 6:51 pm

    I just listened to the lyrics and the pictures in YouTube. That was so sad. No wonder USofA does not want to own to what happened.

    • tkmorin

      February 9, 2014 at 6:53 pm

      Oh cool! Thank you for the link, P! Much appreciated!! 🙂

    • tkmorin

      February 9, 2014 at 11:19 pm

      Darn it! I get the message that it can’t play in my country. Weird because you live in Canada too! :<(

      • seeker

        February 10, 2014 at 1:24 am

        Maybe you can just go directly to YouTube and search for the song. Sorry.

        • tkmorin

          February 10, 2014 at 8:01 am

          No worries! 🙂

  8. WM

    December 3, 2012 at 2:22 am

    I have never heard about this tragedy …

    • tkmorin

      December 3, 2012 at 3:43 pm

      Though I enjoy writing about some important Canadian timeline stories, I do so enjoy also covering some lesser known (but I think)interesting stories and trivia. Glad you enjoyed it, WM!

      • WM

        December 3, 2012 at 5:05 pm

        Thank you once more for you blog.

        • tkmorin

          December 3, 2012 at 5:28 pm

          You are welcome … I am so happy you enjoy it! 🙂

  9. Geraldine

    December 2, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    I don’t even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was good. I do not know who you are but certainly you’re going to a famous blogger if you are not already 😉 Cheers!

  10. cage3

    December 2, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    Reblogged this on Mother's Garden.


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