Muhammad Ali ‘was also a musician’

Muhammad Ali ‘was also a musician’


norman lebrecht

June 06, 2016

…according to the Louisville Symphony music director, Teddy Abrams….

“Muhammad Ali became a symbol of hope and love, and among other things he was also a musician,” said Teddy Abrams, conductor of the Louisville Orchestra. “He could sing. So we came out to bring some of that love and music to the people. Right now people could use a little hope.”

teddy abrams keyboard

He sure had a sweet voice.


  • zeitchef says:


  • Petros Linardos says:

    Beautiful singing. And he knew how to sustain a long line!

  • John Borstlap says:

    According to the media tsunami, Mr Ali was not only an athlete, in a profession where knocking-down your collegues is the main source of pleasure for practitioners and onlookers alike, but also a genius and a saint, in short: a Great Man. And now he also was a Great Singer. No doubt soon a contemporary composer will write a contemporary opera about Mr Ali, extending the hope he gave to numerous people to ever be able to deal knock-outs like him, into the territory of Art.

  • Sue says:

    A good deal of rubbish has been written in praise of Ali. After one such piece I’ve cut and pasted these below-the-line comments as I think they are laser accurate (and I’ve deleted the reference to the original article):

    This piece is hagiographical and unworthy of ****** often good instincts to promote worthy humanism instead of falling for the tired PC narrative of “empowerment”, “inspirational” and similar pap.

    Walter Williams once said he was lucky to have gone to University before white liberals decided to like blacks. He was pushed hard like any other student and was never made to feel he needed preferential treatment for the sins of white people who lived long before he was born. Similarly Thomas Sowell has said that the black family survived slavery and Jim Crow but has disintegrated in the wake of liberals’ welfare state.

    This is the tragedy of black people in America. Men of real accomplishments and learning like Williams, Sowell or Ben Carson are ignored by bleeding heart liberals who claim to love everything black. Instead, irrelevant figures like Ali are showered with cringing praise.

    A sport like boxing which under normal circumstances would be considered barbaric by the bien pensants of the left, suddenly becomes an art form because a black rebel excels at it. A man whose views on race went from stereotypical in the extreme to openly racist to those living in the mental cage of PC and yet Ali’s opinions escaped the judgement that any white person would receive simply because he was a toy of the left. A man celebrated for his swagger, for avoiding the draft and for converting to Islam. Not because of any intrinsic value in these actions but because they went against the establishment, the eternal ‘sticking it to the man’ of the puerile left.

    The real black liberation will happen the day they refuse to be the liberals’ plaything and when black kids have a poster of Oscar Peterson (the only jazz pianist in history who could have made it as a concert pianist) in their bedroom instead of Mohamed Ali.

  • Pianofortissimo says:

    Another “icon” is dead, “canonized”, and soon to be forgotten after the politicians, the press, and other vultures have eaten their fill of the dead body in media-exposition-winning emotional talks, special magazine issues, TV shows, DVDs, t-shirts, action figures, etc. And now the classical music public knows that that jungle-rumbling, rope-a-doping big guy from Kentucky, blessed in his younger days with an IQ of 78 that became just better and better when winning the world heavyweight championship three times, whose inspiring sayings (like “I am the greatest! I shook up the world. I’m the prettiest thing that ever lived”; “I’m black, confident, cocky!”; “My enemy is the white people, not the Vietcong”; etc) were recently suggested to be printed as an appendix to the Koran or the Bible, was also musically gifted and could sing “Stand by Me” (the invitation was probably not for everybody). Yes, I know that this comment can be perceived as insensitive just now, we must respect Mr Ali’s exercise of his free will in choosing his way in life, he was presumably as successful and happy as one can ever be when getting in a boxing kind of Faustian pact, but he was no saint, his social commitments were more divisive than inclusive (those who call him a “global humanitarian” just can’t be serious), and his narcissistic attitude was more a negative than a good example (young poor people should be stimulated to study and work to get out of the ghetto, not to boast “I’m beautiful!” and demand goods). And that’s all.