Where We Belong, a 1982 crossover hit co-written by Cree folk
singer Buffy Sainte-Marie, lends its name to an upcoming exhibition
about American Indians in rock and pop music at the Smithsonians
National Museum of the American Indian.
trying to show where Native musicians were instrumental in crafting
the big American music, said Tim Johnson, one of the museums
associate directors, and document instances where Native musicians
were right in the center of it.
exhibition opens July 1.
Where We Belong was popularized by Joe Cocker and Jennifer
Warnes in the movie An Officer and a Gentleman, winning
the 1982 Oscar for Best Song. Sainte-Marie co-wrote the song with
Jack Nitzsche and also made a recording of it.
was raised with his Cherokee grandmother, a former vaudevillian
who passed on her performance gene as well as a taste for extravagant
stage clothes. Janie Hendrix, the late singers stepsister,
loaned the museum Hendrixs long, multi-colored leather patchwork
coat. It was one of the few pieces of Hendrixs belongings
that his father was able to recover from the musicians apartment
after his death at age 27 in 1970. The rest were stolen.
coat has never been exhibited anywhere before, Johnson said.
Janie Hendrix personally delivered it after we indicated that
we didnt want a guitar or a gold record. We wanted the person.
may only be the most famous of the Native artists to emerge in the
1960s and 1970s. The band Redbone, a pair of Yaqui/Shoshone brothers
who played with a Cheyenne drummer and a flamenco guitarist, performed
hits like Come and Get Your Love.
such as Jesse Ed Davis, who was Comanche and Kiowa,
and Link Wray, Shawnee, were musicians musicians.
was a session guitarist in the 1970s who performed with each of
the former Beatles. At one point John Lennon asked producer Phil
Spector to get Davis to help Lennon create what he called the back
to the roots sound on his 1975 album Rock n
also gave voice to Native themes through songs like Washita
Love Child and set John Trudells spoken poetry to music
for the album AKA Graffiti Man. It was nominated for
a Grammy in 1986, two years before Davis died.
Wrays 1958 song Rumble helped set a course for
rock-and-roll guitar, loud and distorted and foreboding. The song
was banned for its titles suggestion of violence. In 2003,
the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame named Rumble to a list
of 500 songs that shaped rock music.
and listen to the songwriters version of Up Where We
Belong at www.youtube.com/watch?v=rLCk066o9sU
and listen to Jimi Hendrix perform Hey Joe at
and listen to Redbone perform Come and Get Your Love
and listen to Davis perform on Taj Mahals 1968 Everybody
Got to Change Sometime,
and listen to Link Wray from a 1978 video, www.youtube.com/watch?v=LUHz0i8_ziAhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LUHz0i8_ziA