Good Sunday Morning POU!
In his first semester playing football at San Diego State University, Gregory Porter severely injured his shoulder. Doctors told him his days on the field were over, but there was some good news: The school would let him keep his athletic scholarship. Suddenly without football, but with a lot of time on his hands, Porter searched for a new calling — and found it in his voice.
Gregory Porter has since become a world-renowned jazz singer; his latest album, out next week, is called Liquid Spirit. He recently spoke with NPR’s Audie Cornish, and the conversation turned quickly from his football days to his late parents: the minister mother who raised him and the freewheeling father whose absence became a source both of pain and inspiration.
Being a college athlete can be like a full time job. What was it like letting that part of your life go?
I was devastated. I called my mother, crying. And she said, “So, you don’t get hit in the head anymore. You don’t get tackled and you won’t be tackling anybody anymore. But you still get to keep your scholarship?” And, through tears, I’m like, “Yes!” And she’s like, “Oh, this is great!” And I was like, “No, Mom, this is terrible!”
Another encounter I had with my mother was before her passing, just maybe a couple of years later. She had breast cancer; she had a couple of days left. On her deathbed, we were talking about everything: children, and how to buy a house, and what I’ll do with the rest of my life. I wanted to tell her, “Mom, I’m studying city planning. I’ll be a good municipal worker or whatever I’ll be, so you don’t have to worry about me when you leave.” And she said to me, “Gregory, singing is one of the best things you do. Don’t forget about that.” In a way, she gave me this surprising nudge into music. …She said, “Sing, baby,” and laid her head down. So that’s what I’m doing now.
Read more of this interview here and below, enjoy the sounds of Gregory Porter.
Be Good (Lion’s Song) (I’ve fallen in love with this song)
Illusion (this video bought me to tears)
On My Way To Harlem