Melodies International are extremely proud to bring you at last, a disco anthem from Detroit that was originally recorded in 1980 and dedicated to the “King Of The Champion Fighters”: Le Stim – A Tribute to Muhammad Ali (We Crown The King). Le Stim was a band formed by lead vocalist Donald Jennings in the late 70s. Now an ordained deacon back in Detroit, Jennings was brought up in a gospel environment and was said to be born to sing. Growing up picking up songs from the likes of Nat King Cole, Ella Fitzgerald or Sam Cooke, Jennings frequently performed for family and friends and went on to sing for audiences in New York, St. Louis and all around Detroit.
We Crown The King is a song written in the mid 70s by the late Herbert Andrei Duncan, also from Detroit. Duncan approached Jennings with the song who was initially reluctant to sing it because it took him out of his usual vocal range. However, Duncan finally (thankfully!) managed to persuade Jennings after five years to record a tune that would prove to become a party anthem decades later. According to Jennings, Muhammad Ali did hear the track back then and liked it! Le Stim were in touch with Ali’s management and were about to meet him on a number of occasions which unfortunately didn’t work out.
Licensing this record has proven to be Melodies’ biggest research effort as of yet and has involved visiting it’s author, Duncan’s former house in Detroit only to discover it had burned down and that his family had moved years ago. It wouldn’t have been possible without the invaluable help of Jeremy from Rain and Shine records (NZ) who then managed to track down the family back in Texas! Officially licensed, remastered and cut to half-speed lacquers at 45rpm (instead of it’s original 33rpm format) to bring the shine out of the top end – MEL013 comes forth in it’s original 12” vinyl format with exclusive Melodies stickers.
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- Paul W Albums of the Year 2018