January 21, 2013
Patty Griffin sings “Up to the Mountain” (MLK Tribute)
Singer-songwriter Patty Griffin based this song on the haunting sentiments and imagery in Martin Luther King, Jr.’s final speech, the “Mountaintop Speech,” which was delivered to a packed church in Memphis, Tennessee, on April 3, 1968, the night before his assassination. King had gone to Memphis to support the sanitation workers who were on strike, protesting their low wages and deplorable working conditions (described here by two of the sanitation workers). You can also read or listen to a brief 2008 NPR story providing further background on the events surrounding the Mountaintop Speech.