Wake Up Everybody has new day
Timmy Love.

Typical of many soul-stirring songs from the 1970s, Wake Up Everybody by Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes called for global unity amid turmoil in Vietnam and the Middle East.

The classic song, written by John Whitehead, Gene McFadden, and Victor Carstarphen, was produced by Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff for Philadelphia International Records.

It remains relevant in a time of international uncertainty. Singer Timmy Love and veteran band Big Mountain collaborate on a reggae version of Wake Up Everybody, which was released this week.

"My road manager and booking agent Don Hines played some of my songs for [Big Mountain] lead singer Quino McWhinney, who said he liked my voice and would like to do a song with me. I told my drummer Alphanso Brown about it and a few days later he told me that he had a vision that the song should be a remake of Harold Melvin and The Blue Notes' Wake Up Everybody," Love recalled. "Just then, it dawned on me that for the past 20-plus years since 9/11, all the wars, tsunamis, depression… the world has been undergoing so much negativity, and it's about time for the universe to wake up."

The rhythm track was made by Neville Marlon Clarke, who also produced the song.

St Mary-born Love lives in Connecticut, where he has made a name leading the RefleXX Band. He has had success with reggae covers of pop hits such as Africa by Toto and Forever Young, originally done by German band Alphaville and made popular in Jamaica by Laura Branigan.

Big Mountain from San Diego, California, are best known for their 1994 cover of Peter Frampton's Baby I Love Your Way, which peaked at number six on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

Love pointed to another reason for covering Wake Up Everybody.

"I always like Teddy Pendergrass and he was the lead singer for Harold Melvin and The Blues Notes," he said.

Wake up Everybody is also the title of Pendergrass' last album with Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes.

Howard Campbell

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