Song Of The Day 4/7/2015: John KaSandra – “Mose (Pt. 3)”

We Need to Talk: Respect Records was an imprint of Stax. There’s a paucity of information available about Respect. Their original mission was to represent the socially conscious music made under the Memphis label’s umbrella. They released the Rev. Jesse Jackson’s “I Am Somebody” speech as an album in 1971. Also on their roster, somewhat surprisingly, was Buford Pusser, the wrester-turned-sheriff who went to war with the Dixie Mafia and had his life chronicled in the ’70s cult hit Walking Tall. Pusser’s two-part single “It Happened in Tennessee” came out in October 1973. Can’t even find a scratchy vinyl copy of it on the web.

Respect’s signature act was John KaSandra, “Stax Records’ Funky Philosopher.” Originally the billing was “John W. Anderson presents KaSandra,” but of course Anderson was KaSandra, in a seminal lead to 21st century identity-flinging. Anderson actually had a musical background and had a couple of singing exhibitions to his credit, but hit his stride as a spoken communicator with the (by now KaSandra) single “What’s Under That Natural Do?

I’m not sure what folks would think about “Mose, Part 3.” In today’s political climate fueled by cyclops with bad breath, pyrotechnic carnival freaks and TV preachers with way too many internal monologues, it could be construed as having a conservative viewpoint. Especially post-Ferguson. (This is probably more the case with KaSandra’s “Color Me Human,” which I also can’t find anywhere.) Maybe in 1973 it was interpreted more as a message encouraging self-determination and empowerment. I forget how things worked back in 1973. All people tell me is that we won the war and the president was a stand-up guy. Right?

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