The elephant of Lodhi

Intertwined in New Delhi’s Lodhi Arts Colony:

Lodhi elephant

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memories of the ’80s – Ebony and Ivory by Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder

Ebony and Ivory.jpgFor summer 1982, one of the songs of the day was a duet by two superstars: Ebony and Ivory by Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder.

Written by McCartney for his third solo album Tug of War, the song was initially a comment on how songs are made from the white key and black keys of a piano. But the deeper meaning is about racial equality and harmony.

Because of conflicting schedules, McCartney and Wonder recorded separately, with studio machinery and skill creating the striking harmony and duet for release in March 1982.

The album was produced by George Martin, well-known for his work with McCartney when he was making albums with The Beatles and was released after the death of his former writing partner and band mate John Lennon.

Ebony and Ivory was the first single from Tug of War, and released on Columbia Records in the US and Parlaphone in the UK.

This song was McCartney’s most successful release post-Beatles, spending seven weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot 100. Check out the duet here.

The song also became notorious as it was banned by South Africa’s national radio, because of collaborator Stevie Wonder’s support of ANC leader Nelson Mandela.

Although many critics didn’t like the song, it was still chosen as one of Billboard’s Greatest Songs of All Time in 2013.





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In a gentle way you can shake the world – Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

(as seen in the Lodhi Arts Colony in New Delhi)

Lodhi Gandhi

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memories of the ’70s – I’ll Take You There by The Staple Singers

I'll Take You There - Staple Singers.jpgIn 1972, a girl group’s song caught fire on the Billboard charts with I’ll Take You There.

Recorded in 1971 at the famous Muscle Shoals Studio in Alabama, the song was written by the album’s producer Al Bell, and was the second time The Staple Singers worked with Bell.

He had produced their previous album when they were called The Staple Swingers, and then worked with them again on Be Altitude, Respect Yourself as they relabelled themselves The Staple Singers.

After releasing Respect Yourself, the first single from the album in 1971, Stax Records released I’ll Take You There in February 1972.

Spending 15 weeks on the chart, the single hit number one in June 1972, thanks to the steady support of radio airplay. The song’s distinctive call and response style was familiar to the African-American audiences and was a call to ascend to heaven.

The Staples Singers were known for songs that referenced faith, social issues and civil rights. The song also charted on the Billboard R&B charts for four weeks in May 1972.

According to Rolling Stone critic David Fricke, the song epitomized the sound of Muscle Shoals, now a known signifier in memorable pop music.

In 1999, the song was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, and remains one of the group’s best known songs.

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Two birds

Beautiful birds of the Lodhi Colony in New Delhi:

Lodhi birds

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Feel Me

A plea from a Kathmandu shopkeeper:

Feel me

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Things spotted in downtown Toronto:

Thing 1

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