Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Jimmy Cliff – white man’s hero?
You know what? I never saw the movie “The Harder They Come.” (And I like reggae.)
That movie – specifically the soundtrack LP featuring its star, Jimmy Cliff – popularized Jamaican music in the United States.
Jimmy Cliff didn’t become a major star in America... but check out some of the many white artists who have covered his songs from the “Harder They Come” soundtrack: Keith Richards, Elvis Costello, Joe Cocker, Joe Jackson, Harry Nilssson, Cher, Fiona Apple, Linda Ronstadt, Three Dog Night, John Sebastian.
Three years ago, Willie Nelson put out a whole reggae-inspired album called “Countryman.” Willie’s video for “The Harder They Come” is embedded above.
Follow this link to see a live performance of “Many Rivers to Cross” (Jimmy Cliff’s most oft-covered tune) by the Southern-rock jam band Gov’t Mule. This was recorded in Cologne, Germany, in 2005.
Yes, white folks be lovin’ some Jimmy Cliff.