Santa Monica, CA (January 21, 2004)–“Working with Solomon Burke was truly one of the most inspiring collaborations in my life,” said HUM owner/creative director Jeff Koz of his recent experience on “Commemoration,” a new ad for the US Army via Muse Cordero Chen, Los Angeles.
Tricia Halloran, HUM’s director of A&R, recruited the legendary singer to perform “America the Beautiful” for the ad, which uses historical footage and poignant still photographs to honor African American GI’s in celebration of Black History Month. The spot broke Monday, January 19, Martin Luther King, Jr., Day.
“Though the spots were :30’s and :60’s, we decided to create a full-length version of the song,” Koz noted. “I have had the privilege of working with many wonderful singers over the years, but I have never experienced anything like this.”
Koz describes the session, beginning with entrance of the wheelchair-bound artist. “In comes this man, dressed in a beautiful three-piece suit, just an enormous presence. He is a preacher, you know, amongst many other things. He wheels up to the microphone and he is ready to go, doesn’t even want to run it down. Solomon brought his own organist, Rudy Copeland, who is blind and was dressed in a tuxedo and played his ass off. We had maybe 15 people in the control room and Solomon starts to sing the song. When he hit the first chorus, people started to get emotional. By the second chorus, we were all in tears–ad agency, editorial, HUM staff, managers, everyone. I asked him what gave his performance such a depth of emotion. He said, ‘I believe these words, I was singing the truth.'”
HUM Music + Sound Design