Another King also sang of 'Love and Pride'
Today is the Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday and while the obvious choice for today is U2's Pride (In the Name of Love), that song is not very lost, so instead we will feature the band King and the song Love and Pride.
Before we get to some music trivia on the subject of the MLK holiday, let's first show some love for the song Love and Pride. The English band King was named after its leader, Paul King. In the video for Love and Pride, King dances around in his trademark painted Doc Martens while desecrating Mother Nature with spray paint (somewhere an Indian is crying). Just when you think the video for Love and Pride can't get any cheesier, a pack of minion break dancers emerge that cumulates to King's dramatic vocal ending.
Love and Pride was a near hit in the U.S. peaking at No. 55 on the pop singles chart in 1985. Paul King would go solo after Love and Pride and eventually abandoned his cockatoo haircut when he landed on MTV Europe as a vee-jay for a number of years in the '90s.
While Love and Pride is not about MLK Jr., the coincidental title transposition with the U2 song reminds us that Pride (In the Name of Love) is not the only MLK Jr. song from the '80s. In fact, U2 had two tribute songs on The Unforgettable Fire with MLK along with Pride. There was also two fairly relevant '80s songs that pushed for a declaration of a national holiday to honor MLK Jr. In 1981, Stevie Wonder released Happy Birthday and in 1986 a group of stars led by Whitney Houston, Run DMC, New Edition and others recorded the song King Holiday under the name King Dream Chorus & the Holiday Crew. An awful video for King Holiday is available on Youtube. In 1983, President Reagan signed off on the holiday that was first observed in 1986. It would take until 2000 before all fifty states would honor the holiday.