Timmy Thomas is a multiplatinum hitmaker who has influenced Nelson Mandela, Henry Stone, Metro Boomin, and Drake. And he still wants the world to live together.
This March 26th he’ll sing the most famous question he’s ever asked in a free concert at the Museum Of Contemporary Art in North Miami. “Why Can’t We Live Together?” is as vital as when it first came out on the Glades record label in 1972.
Henry Stone picked up the copyright to the tune for about $75,000 paid to the original publisher of the tune, Noel “King Sporty” Williams. Sporty was a Jamaican music pioneer living in Miami, running his own labels Konduko and Tashamba, and later writing “Buffalo Soldier” with Bob Marley.
Sporty brought the demo tape to Tone Distributors at 495 S.E. 10th Ct in Hialeah, and Stone heard a mono reel of the song, tested it with his South Florida jockeys, and saw a hit. He picked up the rights, re-recorded it in his own studio, pressed and released it regionally, and was on his way to NYC to meet with Atlantic Records to lease them the cut for national distribution, when he decided he’d rather distribute it himself.
That’s how T.K. Productions was born.
“Why Can’t We Live Together?” wasn’t just a long playing staple of American radio, nightclubs, and college dorm rooms. It became the rallying cry against apartheid in South Africa, and the official induction song for the election of Nelson Mandela as President of his country. To hear the power of that trans-atlantic connection, listen to the Henry Stone Music label’s release of Timmy Thomas Live In Johannesburg.
Today, Timmy Thomas is still one of the nicest guys in the world, and MOCA North Miami welcomes him with open arms to express his creative genius.
March 26: Jazz at MOCA presents soul legend Timmy Thomas and the Overtown Soul Review, with special guest vocalist Cina Jones, in a FREE performance from 8 to 9:15 PM at the Museum of Contemporary Art, 770 NE 125th St., North Miami. “Timmy’s song [‘Why Can’t We Live Together’] resonates now more than ever-ever,” says NPR. For more information visit mocanomi.org or call 305-332-2623. Music program is curated by KCC Productions.