Blog October 8th “Johnny Nash”

One of my favourite songs is “I Can See Clearly Now” which topped the charts in US 1972. In fact, I like the song so much that the Mustard Seed Soul Band once sung it for a concert held at St Marys Church, Porchester. The song was, of course composed and recorded by Johnny Nash who sadly died yesterday of natural causes in his hometown of Houston, Texas aged 80.
His son, Johnny Nash Jr., told The Associated Press:
Nash’s career began in the 1950s covering standards and by the mid-60s, he was co-running a record company. He was among the first artists to bring Jamaican reggae to US audiences and he also helped launch the career of his good friend Bob Marley.
He peaked commercially in the late 1960s and early 1970s, when he had hits with Hold Me Tight, You Got Soul, an early version of Marley’s Stir It Up and I Can See Clearly Now, which remains his signature song.
The upbeat track with its pop-reggae groove was reportedly written by Nash as he recovered from cataract surgery.
The song promised a ‘bright, bright sunshiny day’ and had a gospel-style exclamation midway in ‘Look straight ahead, nothing but blue skies!’
The rock critic Robert Christgau would call the song, which Nash also produced, ‘2 minutes and 48 seconds of undiluted inspiration.’
‘I Can See Clearly Now’ was covered by artists ranging from Ray Charles and Donny Osmond to Soul Asylum and Jimmy Cliff, whose version was featured in the 1993 movie Cool Runnings.
It also turned up everywhere from the film Thelma and Louise to a Windex commercial, and in recent years was often referred to on websites about cataract procedures.
‘I feel that music is universal. Music is for the ears and not the age,’ Nash told Cameron Crowe, then writing for Zoo World Magazine, in 1973. ‘There are some people who say that they hate music. I’ve run into a few, but I’m not sure I believe them.’
Was Johnny Nash a Christian? I am not sure – I do know that he was brought up singing Gospel music at the Progressive New Baptist Church but I cannot find any information on his faith. So, I just hope and pray that he is now in heaven and can most definitely exclaim “I can see clearly now!”
Quote of the week
You are the only Bible some unbelievers will ever read.
John McArthur