Martin Luther King, Jr., celebrated today, has been celebrated repeatedly in song. Stevie Wonder’s “Happy Birthday,” a straightforward tribute released in 1981, was instrumental in helping to establish the national holiday commemorating King’s birth. U2’s “Pride (In the Name of Love),” one of the band’s earliest and most enduring anthems, was written after Bono read Stephen B. Oates’s King biography “Let The Trumpet Sound.” And “Abraham, Martin, and John,” written by Dick Holler and originally recorded by Dion, looks at the string of assassinations that defined America in the sixties; it has since been covered by dozens of artists, including Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye, and even Leonard Nimoy. But there are other, lesser-known songs about King.
Ben Greenman rounds up seven: http://nyr.kr/WlYo08