Larry Heard's "Can You Feel It" vs. Martin Luther King's "I Have A Dream" Speech

In the dance music world, when producers lay vocals over house music tracks, sometimes you get that one gem that appears out of nowhere, offering up a new and innovative way to hear an important vocal delivery from a legendary figure through a medium usually associated with a carefree attitude. But house music producers have a way of saying things without ever picking up a microphone or making a speech themselves.

Tonight, I was browsing around a really cool vinyl site, VinylSearch.com, which offers up an incredible collection of classic house tracks that I didn’t think were ever possible to find on vinyl. As I scanned through page after page of pre-90’s house gems, I thought I’d dig deeper and do a few searches using Acquisition, a P2P client exclusively for the Mac.

I searched for a number of tracks that I’d seen on VinylSearch, hoping to add a few gems to my collection, like Electribe 101’s “Talking With Myself” or Praxis feat. Kathy Brown’s, “Turn Me Out” and Chicago hip-house legend Fast Eddie’s, “Acid Thunder.”

After a while of punching in tracks by name, I resorted to searching broadly by the category house classics, typing the term into the search string. The program returned a result I thought I’d never ever come across online. One of the most important pieces of vinyl in my collection appeared on my screen as an .mp3!

In the early 90’s, I was on one of my weekly record shopping jaunts at Carol Mitro’s Vinyl Connection record store on Huntington Avenue in Boston’s Copley Square. Carol carried all the latest imports and would usually reserve things for me that she though I might play.

On that day, she had, if I recall correctly, only two copies of an white-labeled (promotional copy only) import remix of the classic house track, “Can You Feel It” by legendary house music producer, Larry Heard, who is known in DJ circles by his alter-ego, Fingers, Inc. On the B-side, second track, was a version of “Can You Feel It” with Martin Luther King’s powerful and extremely important “I Have A Dream” speech overlayed on top of it.

For me, growing up in a racially divided Boston, hearing that speech laid over a house track was like going to church and getting the sermon of a lifetime. I keep that piece of vinyl in my collection and and am always moved when I play it for myself or for a crowd, as it combines two unique times in history in a way that breathes a different life into both when merged together.

Seeing as I didn’t do anything special on MLK day this past Monday (I did take in a lot of media on the day and remembered how important of a man he was then and now in relation to where we are today), I thought I’d do MLK right by posting the track here as a contribution to his memory and beliefs, to let you download it to hear the speech in the context of how the someone thought to combine one of the most important house music tracks of all time with one of the most important speeches in American, if not world history.

I hope you enjoy it.

You can click on the Play icon, and the MP3 will play through a small Flash application. Or, PC users, Right-click the link and Save As to download to the folder of your choice. Mac users, click and hold on the link and Save As to the folder of your choice.

“Can You Feel It” by Larry Heard (a.k.a. Fingers, Inc.) feat. Martin Luther King (5.1 MB)

Forgive the crass advertising below…but someone’s gotta pay for this blog to run, lol

24 comments

  1. djelyte says:

    Hi Tony,
    My name is Eli and I am a Boston born/bred DJ. I don't know how I got on your email list but I periodicly check your blog. As a younger house DJ I have always strived to learn about the history and Caril Mitro has a huge part in my education. It was wonderful to see you mention Caril and VC in your blog and would love more info about what you do.
    Thanks,
    Eli aka Elyte of Soul Clap
    ngparty.com

  2. djelyte says:

    Hi Tony,
    My name is Eli and I am a Boston born/bred DJ. I don’t know how I got on your email list but I periodicly check your blog. As a younger house DJ I have always strived to learn about the history and Caril Mitro has a huge part in my education. It was wonderful to see you mention Caril and VC in your blog and would love more info about what you do.
    Thanks,
    Eli aka Elyte of Soul Clap
    ngparty.com

  3. Tony Zeoli says:

    Hey Eli!

    Thanks for posting your comment. Caril (I should get that right, I never really knew that was the way to spell it) has been very influential in Boston's dance music scene and was instrumental in helping me discover new music from Europe and Australia that I needed to be a successful DJ in Boston. As a matter of fact, I purchased Rozalla "Everybody's Free" on white label promo from her, probably somtime around 1992, I think it was, and became one of the first DJs to break that record in Boston. There used to be a restaurant on Kneeland Street called, The Loading Zone. On Friday night's, Chrisophe and Manos from Roxy and Caprice would throw parties there, after the dinner crowd. I played "Everybody's Free" and the crowd went crazy, and that was the true beginnings of my success in Boston's Euro-dance scene.

    In the blog-roll on the right, you can see my bio posted, which should give you some idea of what I've been doing, where I've come, etc…

    If you go directly to Netmix.com, you can check my online radio station, where I feature my mix sets and program a classic house show from 12 midnight to 4 am.

    I've been in and around the dance music industry since 1987-88 in various capacities and if you have any other questions, let me know and I'd be happy to answer them.

  4. Tony Zeoli says:

    Hey Eli!

    Thanks for posting your comment. Caril (I should get that right, I never really knew that was the way to spell it) has been very influential in Boston’s dance music scene and was instrumental in helping me discover new music from Europe and Australia that I needed to be a successful DJ in Boston. As a matter of fact, I purchased Rozalla “Everybody’s Free” on white label promo from her, probably somtime around 1992, I think it was, and became one of the first DJs to break that record in Boston. There used to be a restaurant on Kneeland Street called, The Loading Zone. On Friday night’s, Chrisophe and Manos from Roxy and Caprice would throw parties there, after the dinner crowd. I played “Everybody’s Free” and the crowd went crazy, and that was the true beginnings of my success in Boston’s Euro-dance scene.

    In the blog-roll on the right, you can see my bio posted, which should give you some idea of what I’ve been doing, where I’ve come, etc…

    If you go directly to Netmix.com, you can check my online radio station, where I feature my mix sets and program a classic house show from 12 midnight to 4 am.

    I’ve been in and around the dance music industry since 1987-88 in various capacities and if you have any other questions, let me know and I’d be happy to answer them.

  5. Uri L. says:

    Hi Tony,

    Thanks for putting this excellent tracks and posting on it. Was lovley to be washed by those warm vintage house flakes, layered with MLK's eternal words.
    A true gem…thanks for posting 🙂

    I'm also curious to check the Acquisition client that you mentioned…sounds interesting.

  6. Uri L. says:

    Hi Tony,

    Thanks for putting this excellent tracks and posting on it. Was lovley to be washed by those warm vintage house flakes, layered with MLK’s eternal words.
    A true gem…thanks for posting 🙂

    I’m also curious to check the Acquisition client that you mentioned…sounds interesting.

  7. Tony Zeoli says:

    I'm so glad you found it and that it moved you. In light of everything that is going on today, I thought it was extremely important to participate in the debate by simply posting a track that carries the message of hope over the freedom of music.

    Acquisition can be downloaded at download.com or by visiting AcquisitionX.com. 🙂

  8. Tony Zeoli says:

    I’m so glad you found it and that it moved you. In light of everything that is going on today, I thought it was extremely important to participate in the debate by simply posting a track that carries the message of hope over the freedom of music.

    Acquisition can be downloaded at download.com or by visiting AcquisitionX.com. 🙂

  9. Moses M. says:

    Tony.

    Thank You!

    I first heard this track in a dark cramped dance bar in Toronto years ago. I was just there to pick up a friend but the mood was very striking. It was late fall – Nothing but the body heat of the patrons warming the room. This track as a background to the clinking of glasses, young people swaying and bobbing to the music. Young men and women of all shades of the spectrum enjoying their freedoms, their lives, the company of each other, and that moment. As I stood there watching the scene, I found myself smiling and preserving the scene in my minds eye. This was exactly what that speech was about. This was the future that the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. wanted for us all.

    I had to leave before I could ask the DJ about the track. I asked various "music" people and searched the net off and on to no avail. It was after listening to a show on Mash-Ups on Alan Cross' "The Ongoing History of New Music" (www.ongoinghistory.com) that I tried searching again with a little more knowledge of the genre. That search led me to your post and the elusive track.

    I am listening to it now as I type and I find it just as brilliant and moving now as I did then.

    Thanks again.

  10. Moses M. says:

    Tony.

    Thank You!

    I first heard this track in a dark cramped dance bar in Toronto years ago. I was just there to pick up a friend but the mood was very striking. It was late fall – Nothing but the body heat of the patrons warming the room. This track as a background to the clinking of glasses, young people swaying and bobbing to the music. Young men and women of all shades of the spectrum enjoying their freedoms, their lives, the company of each other, and that moment. As I stood there watching the scene, I found myself smiling and preserving the scene in my minds eye. This was exactly what that speech was about. This was the future that the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. wanted for us all.

    I had to leave before I could ask the DJ about the track. I asked various "music" people and searched the net off and on to no avail. It was after listening to a show on Mash-Ups on Alan Cross' "The Ongoing History of New Music" (www.ongoinghistory.com) that I tried searching again with a little more knowledge of the genre. That search led me to your post and the elusive track.

    I am listening to it now as I type and I find it just as brilliant and moving now as I did then.

    Thanks again.

  11. Tony Zeoli says:

    Moses!

    I'm so glad you found the track here. That was my intent. I know it's so hard to find, that I wanted to post it here so that people like you, who were moved by it so many years ago, could find it and enjoy it.

    I originally got this as a white label from a dance shop in Boston many years ago. I found it on a p2p a few years back, and here it is for everyone to enjoy.

    It makes me so happy that I helped you find something that so inspired and moved you. Keep listening to the groove, my friend.

    Tony Z.

  12. Tony Zeoli says:

    Moses!

    I’m so glad you found the track here. That was my intent. I know it’s so hard to find, that I wanted to post it here so that people like you, who were moved by it so many years ago, could find it and enjoy it.

    I originally got this as a white label from a dance shop in Boston many years ago. I found it on a p2p a few years back, and here it is for everyone to enjoy.

    It makes me so happy that I helped you find something that so inspired and moved you. Keep listening to the groove, my friend.

    Tony Z.

  13. Matt T says:

    Thanks for posting this track. I heard it at NYC's Body & Soul party back in 2000. It was an event that used to be held on Sunday evenings at Vinyl down in Tribeca and on this occasion it was MLK weekend. The experience was incredibly moving and represented in so many ways the realization, if only for an evening, of Dr. King's dream.

    The club was packed with Body & Soul's regular crowd of men and women from all backgrounds – blacks, whites, latinos and latinas, gay and straight. The scene sounds similar to the post by Moses above. That moment has stayed with me ever since and I am so grateful to have found your post today. I hope it inspires others as it did me.

  14. Matt T says:

    Thanks for posting this track. I heard it at NYC’s Body & Soul party back in 2000. It was an event that used to be held on Sunday evenings at Vinyl down in Tribeca and on this occasion it was MLK weekend. The experience was incredibly moving and represented in so many ways the realization, if only for an evening, of Dr. King’s dream.

    The club was packed with Body & Soul’s regular crowd of men and women from all backgrounds – blacks, whites, latinos and latinas, gay and straight. The scene sounds similar to the post by Moses above. That moment has stayed with me ever since and I am so grateful to have found your post today. I hope it inspires others as it did me.

  15. Tony Zeoli says:

    Matt:

    I am so glad that you found the site and downloaded the track. It is such a special tribute to MLK…to blend Larry Heard's "Can You Feel It" with the legendary speech. It's an amazing tribute to a legacy that should never be forgotten.

    Hey! Guess what? Body & Soul took place last night at New York's Webster Hall. I wish I could have been there, but I was't able to make it. A lot of people went to celebrate Dr. King's b'day with music spun by the regular B&S DJ's! It must have been a great event.

    Well, good luck and Godspeed! Enjoy the music!

    Tony Z.

  16. Tony Zeoli says:

    Matt:

    I am so glad that you found the site and downloaded the track. It is such a special tribute to MLK…to blend Larry Heard’s “Can You Feel It” with the legendary speech. It’s an amazing tribute to a legacy that should never be forgotten.

    Hey! Guess what? Body & Soul took place last night at New York’s Webster Hall. I wish I could have been there, but I was’t able to make it. A lot of people went to celebrate Dr. King’s b’day with music spun by the regular B&S DJ’s! It must have been a great event.

    Well, good luck and Godspeed! Enjoy the music!

    Tony Z.

  17. looeee says:

    Hiya
    I see its been three years since you made this post, but I just wanted to share my elation about also rediscovering this track.

    What a treat! It still shines as a fantastic piece of art.

    While googling, your blog entry was the first one I came across that pointed me in the direction of the tune. Thanks for the help 🙂

    I have subsequently found that someone has made a video to fit the track: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hGXeA8tsJ2c

    and here's a (not bad at all) modern version: http://palmsout.net/music/joee/Can%20You%20Feel%2

    looeee

  18. looeee says:

    Hiya
    I see its been three years since you made this post, but I just wanted to share my elation about also rediscovering this track.

    What a treat! It still shines as a fantastic piece of art.

    While googling, your blog entry was the first one I came across that pointed me in the direction of the tune. Thanks for the help 🙂

    I have subsequently found that someone has made a video to fit the track: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hGXeA8tsJ2c

    and here's a (not bad at all) modern version: http://palmsout.net/music/joee/Can%20You%20Feel%2

    looeee

  19. Tony Zeoli says:

    Hey Looee:

    That's great that you found the MLK / Larry Heard mix here. I'm proud to be able to have this forum to share that mix with everyone. Yes, I've heard the Obama track. It's very good too, and I think I posted about that as well somewhere here.

    Enjoy the track. I'm so glad you found it!

  20. Tony Zeoli says:

    Hey Looee:

    That’s great that you found the MLK / Larry Heard mix here. I’m proud to be able to have this forum to share that mix with everyone. Yes, I’ve heard the Obama track. It’s very good too, and I think I posted about that as well somewhere here.

    Enjoy the track. I’m so glad you found it!

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