ARTICLE WAINAO N°28 - THE SOUND OF HURRICANE
December 8th 1975: BoB Dylan who had written a protest song about the imprisonment of Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, takes part in a big charity concert in honor of the imprisoned boxer at Madison Square Garden .
Bob Dylan, is an American folksinger who moved from folk to rock music in the 1960s. Decribed as the Shakespeare of his generation, Dylan , wrote more than 500 songs and sold tens of millions of albums
Bob Dylan had discovered the history of Rubin “Hurricane” Carter by the book The "Sixteenth Round: From Number 1 Contender to Number 45472 in the summer of 1975". Rubin "The Hurricane" Carter was an American-Canadian middleweight boxer. After his release from prison in September 1961, Carter became a professional boxer. His punching power earned him the nickname "Hurricane. He was ranked top ten middleweight in the world until he upset world champion Emile Griffith and beat him by technical knockout". Carter, later, met Giardello in Philadelphia for a 15-round championship match. Giardello won by a unanimous decision. Carter's career record in boxing was 27 wins, 12 losses, and one draw in 40 fights, with 19 total knockouts (8 KOs and 11 TKOs).
On June 17, 1966, at approximately 2:30 a.m., two men entered the Lafayette Bar and Grill at East , New Jersey, and began shooting. The bartender and a customer were killed immediately. An other customer, died almost a month later
Police arrested both Carter and friend John Artis on the night of the crime because they fit an eyewitness description of the killers ("two Negroes in a white car"), but they had been cleared by a grand jury when the one surviving victim failed to identify them as the gunmen.After that, The state produced two eyewitnesses, Alfred Bello and Arthur D. Bradley who had recognized Artis and CARTER but except that, During the trial that followed, the prosecution produced almost no evidence linking Carter and Artis to the crime. Nevertheless, on June 29, 1967, Carter and Artis were convicted of triple murder and sentenced to three life prison terms. In late 1974, Bello and Bradley both confessed that they had lied in order to receive sympathetic treatment from the police.
Two years later, The New York Times ran an exposé about the case and the New Jersey State Supreme Court overturned Carter's and Artis's convictions. The two men were released but for only six months because they were convicted once more at a second trial in the fall of 1976, during which Bello again reversed his testimony again. During the second trial, despite all evidences, the jury again found Carter and Artis guilty of the murders.
The book that Carter wrote while he was in prison, was published in 1975 by Warner Books. Dylan heard about it and went out to go visit Carter at prison . “I took notes because I wasn’t aware of all the facts and I thought maybe sometime I could condense it down and put it into a song.” After that, Dylan decided to write a song. Dylan first recorded the song in late July 1975 but he was forced to change some lyrics to prevent possible. The song was released on the album Desire in January 1976, . The song became his fourth most successful single of the decade, reaching #33 on the Billboard Hot 100. Dylan was accused of lack of objectivity by some people at the time, but he makes the Carter case known to a broader public.
On December 8, 1975: Dylan had the idea to organize an event which was a benefit for imprisoned boxer. it was called “Night of the Hurricane” and it took place in the Madison Square Garden. Dylan round up his friends musicians and take them on the road. Bob headed out with the likes of Joan Baez, Ramblin’ Jack Elliot, Mick Ronson, Roger McGuinn, T Bone Burnett, and more. Dylan and Baez performed together for the first time in years, The whole crazy caravan came to the Garden for the last show of the 1975 outing, The Garden performance also included Muhammed Ali, Roberta Flack, and Allen Ginsberg chanting poetry on the side of the stage.
A petition was started by a band of Canadians who supported Rubin Carter and was used by Carter's attorneys, for a writ of habeas corpus in federal court.
In 1985, Judge Haddon Lee Sarokin of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey granted the writ.
He added that "the prosecution had been predicated upon an appeal to racism rather than reason, and concealment rather than disclosure," and set aside the convictions.
Carter, 48 years old, was freed without bail in November 1985.
To know more about the subject:
Bell, Ian (2012). Once Upon a Time: The Lives of Bob Dylan. Mainstream Publishing
Court Urged to Return Rubin Carter to Prison". The New York Times. Associated Press. December 20, 1985. Retrieved January 24, 2009.
Judge Drops Murder Charges in the Hurricane Carter Case". Nytimes.com. February 27, 1988. Retrieved April 8, 2011.
Exonerated and Set Free After 29 Years". The Wall Street Journal. October 15, 2014. Retrieved October 16, 2014.
Kelly, Mike (March 26, 2000). "Doubts, errors, unknowns still haunt the case of 'Hurricane' Carter, John Artis". The Record (North_Jersey). Retrieved April 24, 2020.
The Sixteenth Round: From Number 1 Contender to Number 45472 by Rubin "Hurricane" Carter | Apr 1, 2011
Rubin 'The Hurricane' Carter - obituary". Telegraph.co.uk. 21 April 2014.
Hirsch, James S. (2000). Hurricane: The Miraculous Journey of Rubin Carter. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.