23 - 8:30 PM
Blind boys of Alabama
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For more than 70 years, Jimmy Carter has bursting into gospel song in his band « Blind Boys of Alabama ». God only knows how well he knows his gospel, and God knows him well: “There were six boys in my family, and I was the only one that was blind, and I used to question God, ask him, ‘Why’d you have to take my sight?’ I know why now, because this is what he wanted me to do. If I could see I wouldn’t be doin’ this.”
Aged all of 80 years, Jimmy Carter is the only founding member of the « Blind Boys of Alabama » still active, but that doesn’t prevent this prestigious formation from travelling the world with, in its lead, three blind singers.
The story of these Boys goes back as far as 1939, when the very Young Jimmy and his partners of that time joined a choir at the Alabama Institute for the Negro Blind in Talladega. One day in 1948, the group competed against a choir from New Jersey in a friendly « battle ». To attract the public, the D.J. on site decided to name the competition « Battle of the Blind Boys ». The name stuck. So did their gospel calling. Over the years, the Blind Boys, who have earned five Grammy Awards, have sung with an impressive number of artists from various musical currents (Tom Waits, Tom Petty, Charlie Musselwhite, Allen Toussaint, Bonnie Raitt, Peter Gabriel...) But they have never deviated from their guiding rule, as summarised by Carter: If some want to convert to R‘n’B, no problem, but the Blind Boys will always be a gospel band.
Evening courtesy of the town of Antibes, free entry.