What is it about "Amazing Grace" that makes it so popular? After all at the time John Newton penned the hymn, it was no more than poetry since hymnbooks did not contain music. It was not until 1808 when the words and music joined hands.
According to author Steve Turner, the joining of these words and melody was a “marriage made in heaven . . . There was a rise at the point of confession, as though the author was stepping out into the open and making a bold declaration, but a corresponding fall when admitting his blindness.” Source: sevennotesofgraceWhile the words and melody strike a chord straight to the heart, so does the real story behind "Amazing Grace", complex and ambiguous. The connection on this date does not relate to its history but to one of the most memorable recordings, which by the way have been multitudes (over 7,000 as of September 2011) by numerous recording artists.
December 5, 1970 'Amazing Grace' by Judy Collins entered the UK singles chart for the first of eight times, it spent a total of 67 weeks on the chart, the longest run by a female artist. 'Amazing Grace' is a Christian hymn with lyrics written by the English poet and clergyman John Newton which was first published in 1779. "Amazing Grace" has been featured on more than 1,100 albums. Judy Collins' version reached the pop charts in the United Kingdom and the United States. This was during a time of turbulence as U.S. military forces were mired in an unpopular war in Vietnam.
"The song, Amazing Grace, has the power to transform and to heal." ~Judy Collins
The second reached a broad new audience for contemporary artists through a style of American music absent from pop charts for five decades or more, bluegrass. The music spotlighted is the soundtrack album from the movie O Brother, Where Art Thou? With the film set in Mississippi during the Great Depression, the soundtrack, produced by T-Bone Burnett, infuses bluegrass, country, gospel, blues, and folk music appropriate to the time period.
December 5, 2000 The soundtrack from the film O Brother, Where Art Thou? was released ahead of schedule. The soundtrack would eventually sell upwards to 7 million copies. Within several months of its release, the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack had topped the country album charts, but its crossover to the pop charts came much more slowly. By August 2001, the film had left theaters in the United States, but the album was still building momentum. It finally reached #1 on the Billboard 200 chart of pop albums in March 2002—the longest climb to #1 for a pop album in the modern era.
For more songs from the movie, click HERE...
And the music goes on beating to the rhythm of the changing times...