Music HistoryMusic History Monday: April 4

April 4, 2016by emilylowe0

Music History Monday: April 4 Today, we look at a tragedy the inspired Bono to write, “the most successful pop song he’s ever written”. April 4, 1968 was the day that US civil rights activist, Martin Luther King Jr. was fatally shot on a Memphis hotel balcony. King had traveled to Memphis in order to address...

Music History Monday: April 4

Today, we look at a tragedy the inspired Bono to write, “the most successful pop song he’s ever written”.

April 4, 1968 was the day that US civil rights activist, Martin Luther King Jr. was fatally shot on a Memphis hotel balcony. King had traveled to Memphis in order to address a gathering at the Headquarters for the Church of God in Christ, and was planning on speaking at a meeting the evening of April 4. He was shot in the evening while on the balcony of his room at the Lorraine Motel. He was rushed to a hospital where he was later pronounced dead.

Many years later, when Bono and U2 visited an exhibit dedicated to King at the Chicago Peace Museum in 1983, King would inspire the song Pride (In the Name of Love).

The song was initially written to condemn the actions of President Reagan (arrogant pride that led to nuclear escalations), but wasn’t working. Bono decided that the song needed to focus more on an inner Pride for all humanity, nonviolence, and the equality of all men. Bono thought Martin Luther King Jr. was a primary example of this kind of Pride.

This song was released as a single a month before their album release and was the band’s first US Top 40 hit.

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