Gonna Come and Gary Allen’s Every Storm Every Storm was written by Gary Allen, Hillary Lindsey, and Matthew Warren and released September 2012. A Change is Gonna Come was written by Sam Cooke and composed by Rene Hall and released December 24, 1964. A Change is Gonna Come had a great historical and social impact. Every Storm is a song of hope with some impact. After being refused to enter a “whites only” hotel in Shreveport, LA and getting into an altercation with the manager.
Sam Cooke’s wife asked him to leave but he said, No, I’m Sam Cooke”. She told him that to them he was just another negro. After Same Cooke left, he was followed by police and arrested for disturbing the peace. This is when is when A Change is Gonna Come came to life. He was originally a gospel singer that had changed to pop. Up until this point he has stayed away from writing anything political.
But was ashamed he didn’t write Bob Dylan’s Blowing in the wind.
He wanted a song with equal magnitude to come from a man of color. Cooke gave the privilege of composing the piece to Rene Hall. He was able to achieve a beautiful and perfectly fitting symphony arrangement to fill the three-and-a-half-minute song. Cooke’s vocals and the instruments complement each other so well. The band included drummer Earl Palmer, pianist Harold Battisie, and Rene Hall as one of the four guitarists. There was also a five-piece horn section, four backup singers, and a 13-piece string section.
It took eight takes to record the song. Cooke debuted the song on The Tonight show with Johnny Carson on February 7, 1964 but it was overshadowed by The Beetle’s Ed Sullivan appearance just a few days later. After the performance his friend told him that the song sounded like death. Cooke agreed and said he would never perform it again. The song became an anthem for the civil rights movement. Unfortunately, Cooke did not live to see this, as he was murdered shortly before the release on December 11, 1964.
The song is opened by the sound of eerie strings. The first line is,” I was born by the river in a little tent. Oh, and just like the river I’ve been running ever since.” This line makes me think he is talking about being born into poverty and having to run because of the color of his skin. The verse that is most heart wrenching is verse three. This is where I think he speaks directly about segregation and his experience at the Hotel. “I go to the movie and I go downtown/Somebody keep telling me, ‘Don’t hang around’. Rolling Stones ranked A Change is Gonna Come number 12 in its list of 500 best songs ever written. The song was featured in the movie Malcolm X. Al Green performed the song at the 9/11 benefit in 2001. Even Barack Obama referred to the song during his speech after he won the 2008 election. It has been covered by singers like Bob Dylan, Al Green, and Aretha Franklin. Gary Allen’s Every Storm is not quiet as deep but like Cookes song, it is a song about hope.