‘A Change is Gonna Come’

Chuck Badie, Sam Cooke, Martin Luther King, Barack Obama
Chuck Badie, bass player on Sam Cooke’s “A Change is Gonna Come”

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be uploading work from a project I’ve been working on for a couple years now — “That New Orleans Touch” — featuring interviews with musicians, producers and engineers about music recordings by musicians from the Crescent City.

Bass player, Chuck Badie, lives around the corner from me in the Musicians Village. He was the bass player on Sam Cooke’s “A Change is Gonna Come” (1964), a song that maintains an anthem like status. I asked Mr. Badie about that song and what it meant to everyone recording it. However, this story turned towards a reflection of race relations over the years.

“He was riding along the highway looking at this what he seen, and he said, “Some day it is going to happen.” That is why, I wish many time, I had tears in my eyes in that room right there when Obama was elected.
I said, “Oh god, if only Martin Luther King…” [could’ve seen Obama become President]… cause I know what he went though out there cause I was out there on that highway when he was getting whipped in his head and all that. Just to get a drink of water or whatever. I was out there.”

These reflections were bittersweet, as our interview was recorded just a week before the Donald Trump was sworn into office.