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BBC4 The Changin' Times of Ike White - Arena Mon 18 May 2020

BBC4 The Changin' Times of Ike White - Arena Mon 18 May 2020 magazine cover

BBC 4 The Changin' Times of Ike White...  Mon 18 May 2020

The Changin’ Times Of Ike White follows the journey of a musical prodigy and the mythical album he made whilst serving life for murder.

Released in 1976, Changin’ Times was a commercial album recorded inside an American prison, gaining Ike White industry adulation from the likes of Stevie Wonder. This compelling new documentary for BBC Four traces a gritty and soulful tale that twists and turns like the best true-crime cinema and is anything but a straightforward music biography.

Following his release from prison, Ike White was on the path to redemption, but just as he was charting a course to stardom, he disappeared. 

Pictured: Ike White Publicity photo, taken in prison for album launch

Monday 18 May







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abridged part of an article i wrote/posted in SS: Black Panthers, The Lumpen, and Marvin Gaye

As an inmate, Ike White was heading a committee which booked outside entertainment to play at San Quentin prison. In 1971 he helped organise “Soul [Consciousness] Day” (which became renamed as Malcolm X Day at San Quentin”). Curtis Mayfield, Muhammad Ali, War, Jimmy Witherspoon and Eric Burden were invited[1] [2]. It was a day-long event organised by the prisoners’ organisation, with the help of the newly formed San Quentin Prison Chapter of the Black Panther Party (BPP). There is a further account that Curtis Mayfield was actually the headliner. What the prison authorities were unaware of was the supporting band was none other than The Lumpen and their band the Freedom Messengers[3].



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It is worth a watch. Ironically his music is only a small part of it - the life of the man and result on people around him is fasincating.  It's interesting in there how much music he was performing and is shown but seemingly not releasing - adapting to the style of the era, big haired 80s boogie, 90s R&B, bedroom Soul - he kept on but it was the attention from the music rather than releasing the music itself that seemed most important.  There's more to him than was even in the documentary as subsequent articles have picked up on. 

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