While you read, click to on one of the links and fire up the song:
About the song:
"Love is bound to come around, pick us up and carry us, let us be bound, let us be one. We're wearing the Badge of Norman"
As a person who enjoys making up songs, I'm (like many other writers) constantly on the lookout for something inspirational or simply cool to write about. Something relatable. I came across an article that a good friend of mine shared on Facebook a couple years ago. It was the story of Peter Norman who was an Australian sprinter in the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City. About a year prior to that summer Olympics there was an organization that had been started by Olympians called the Olympic Project for Human Rights. It was about equal rights for all olympic athletes. Upon finishing the article I immediately wrote BON. I actually heard the music playing in my head as I read the article. I knew something would come out. Anyway, the story was so compelling, but I was more blown away at the fact that I was just learning of this fellow and his story. What a badass he was. We should have learned about this fellow in school.
I've always been curious about our history with the civil rights movement and the record touches on the topic a couple of times on WTWS.
I've been inspired by figures like the Reverend Bobby McClain who marched with MLK, I've heard his horrific stories (in person in Washington, DC on a Methodist Youth Conference when I was 17) on how bad some of his experiences were in those days. I've heard Dr. Hereford speak in his living days about being "optimistic about Huntsville, AL". I've pulled inspiration from his son and friend Sonnie Hereford Jr. and his story. Touch on that story in Rockets & Watercress... I'll get to that story in another blog post. I think its a topic that should be ready for discussion. We can't forget where we came from and we need to also be cognizant of where we are now as a society too. I wrote the song to simply bring awareness to the story of Peter Norman, John Carlos, and Tommy Smith. It's a beautiful one.
Find the movie Salute, which was produced by Norman's nephew, watch it with the family.
About the recording of Badge of Norman:
Jim Cavender, who produced the record, did a great job on putting the song in Mexico City with the mariachi style trumpet accompaniment from the talents of Richard Campbell.
The backing harmonies are done by Tara Sayre of the Quantaphonics and also a talented writer and solo artist. She has such a powerful voice and is so great with her craft. Her vocals do a great job of pulling the needed emotion for the song. Really grateful for her presence on the record along with Richard Campbell. Jim is playing bass, I'm playing suitcase drums. (I'll have to explain suitcase drums later.)
I hope this clears up what the song is about and that it grabs you in some way.
Thanks for stopping by,