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PLUS - Free Digital liner notes for RagTop's arrangement of our single, People Get Ready/Waiting on the World to Change!

Renee Oliphant – vocals (lead and background), tar drum, finger shaker
Jim Oliphant – guitar ( lead and rhythm), bass
recorded at Fainting Goat Studio Bedford, VA August 29, 2017

How RagTop came to perform and record their arrangement of People Get Ready/Waiting on the World to Change:

Along the way we have been fortunate to have worked with many incredibly talented musicians. We have pulled together some of these friends for full band performances along the journey. Two of those very talented musicians we have had the opportunity to work with were Henry Hancock and Gary Kelly. Henry played bass and sang. I will never forget the beautiful blonde upright bass that was part of his bass arsenal. Gary Kelly plays drums and is a killer-drummer! We were rehearsing in Gary's studio one afternoon working on People Get Ready when Henry stopped us and said, “Wait a minute – check this out!” and played the same bass line and sing John Mayer's Waiting on the World to Change.

At the time we thought it was cool but really didn't give it any more attention. A few years later I began working on some medleys for our shows and revisited these two songs. In 2016, Henry entered the hospital for what seemed like a routine illness. But it got got much worse and Henry passed away at the young age of 54 on December 8, 2016. We wanted to record our arrangement of this song and dedicate it to Henry – it was important to us to honor his memory and his deep love of music. So this arrangement holds a lot of emotional meaning to us.

As we prepared to record the song, it seemed our world was regressing – falling apart. World events are filled with threats of Nuclear war (bringing to mind when we were in grade school and practiced drills hiding under our desks), the divisiveness, violence and hatred in our own country can be felt everywhere. Music does not happen in a vacuum. It is influenced by everything around it. And so, all of this had an effect on our recording of this song. Below are a few notes about each of the songs in this remix.

People Get Ready
People Get Ready is a 1965 single by the Impressions (Curtis Mayfield's band), and the title track from the People Get Ready album. Rolling Stone magazine named "People Get Ready" the 24th greatest song of all time and also placed it at number 20 on their list of the 100 Greatest Guitar Tracks. The song was included in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll. Various artists have covered the song, including Rod Stewart and Jeff Beck in 1985.

More about People Get Ready from NPR: http://www.npr.org/news/specials/march40th/people.html

“Part of the March on Washington's legacy is its music. Singer and songwriter Curtis Mayfield's "People Get Ready" was written in the year after the march. For many, it captured the spirit of the march -- the song reaches across racial and religious lines to offer a message of redemption, forgiveness and hope.

In addition to the march, the song followed several jarring events in American history: the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham -- which killed four little girls -- and the assassination of President Kennedy.

Music critic Stanley Crouch explains Mayfield's response to those events: "...by saying 'There's a train a-coming, get ready' that was like saying, okay, so regardless of what happens, get yourself together for this because you are going to get a chance. Your chance is coming. The train that is coming in the song speaks to a chance for redemption -- the long-sought chance to rise above racism, to stand apart from despair and any desire for retaliation -- an end to the cycle of pain," Williams adds.

"Curtis Mayfield died in 1999. 'People Get Ready,' the song inspired by the March on Washington, lives on. It's idealism and optimism make it the ultimate crossover -- crossing not only racial barriers but generations," Williams says.


Waiting on the World to Change
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waiting_on_the_World_to_Change

is a song by American singer-songwriter John Mayer. It was released as the lead single from his third studio album, Continuum (2006), on August 1, 2006.

The song's theme centers on the singer and his generation's inaction in regard to current world conditions. However, he attributes this inaction to a lack of power:
Now we see everything that's going wrong
With the world and those who lead it
We just feel like we don't have the means
To rise above and beat it
He also laments the corruption among leaders:
It's not that we don't care,
We just know that the fight ain't fair
John Mayer confirmed this feeling of discontent between the leaders and that led to an interview with The Advocate, explaining the song this way: "It's saying, 'Well, I'll just watch American Idol because I know that if I were engaged in changing anything for the better, or the better as I see it, it would go unnoticed or be completely ineffective.' A lot of people have that feeling."Even so, the song alludes to hope for the future, with the singer intoning that with his generation's ascension to power, things will change:
One day our generation
Is gonna rule the population
So we keep on waiting
Waiting on the world to change

"Missing you now, thinking of us then. Oh how I wish I could see you again"  - RagTop '"Missletoe and Memories" Christmas 2017