Bowie, Waits Among 'Artists For Literacy'
David Bowie, Tom Waits, and Rosanne Cash are among the artists who have contributed tracks to a new disc benefiting the programs of San Francisco's Artists For Literacy organization. "Songs Inspired bDavid Bowie, Tom Waits, and Rosanne Cash are among the artists who have contributed tracks to a new disc benefiting the programs of San Francisco's Artists For Literacy organization. "Songs Inspired by Literature - Chapter 2" is available now through SIBLproject.org, and will be available March 12 through participating U.S. retailers, libraries, and community organizations interested in promoting literacy.
Bowie's "1984" was inspired by the George Orwell novel of the same name, while Tom Waits' "A Good Man Is Hard To Find" is based on Flannery O'Connor's similarly titled short story. Cash donated "The Summer I Read Colette," inspired by a collection of stories by author Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette.
"I am delighted to communicate my own love of reading through my music," Cash said in a statement. "In my mind, the two are inextricably bound; great literature has exquisite melody, and great songs exemplify the richest language and finest verse. I believe the SIBL Project can help people discover entire new worlds of imagination and passion through a love of reading."
The album also features Steve Earle's "Dixieland," inspired by Michael Shaara's historical novel "The Killer Angels." Vicki Randle, an artist who is best known for her backing vocals for such artists as Celine Dion, Aretha Franklin, and Michael Bolton, among others, offers "Don't Let Me Fall," which stems from James McBride's memoir "The Color of Water."
Like last year's "Chapter One" -- which featured cuts donated by Bruce Springsteen, Suzanne Vega, Aimee Mann, Jefferson Airplane/Starship's Grace Slick, and the Doors' Ray Manzarek -- the new disc is rounded out by 10 songs by winners of an international songwriting competition. Along with literacy information, the first disc is also available from the SIBL Project site.
In 1999, singer/songwriter Deborah Pardes founded Artists for Literacy as an innovative way to promote reading, with initial funding from the California State Library system. Along with raising funds, the discs are offered as teaching tools for adults who cannot read.