This is a tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr., a civil rights leader who was shot and killed in 1968. Proceeds raised money for the King foundation.
Artists who appeared on this include El DeBarge, Fat Boys, Full Force, Grandmaster Melle Mel, Whitney Houston, Kurtis Blow, Stacy Lattisaw, Lisa Lisa, Teena Marie, Menudo (with Ricky Martin), Stephanie Mills, New Edition, Run-D.M.C., James "J.T." Taylor, and Whodini.
Kurtis Blow wrote this with Phil Barnes and Melle Mel. Says Kurtis: "Dexter Scott King calls me up one day and says, 'This is Martin's son.' Dexter Scott King looks just like his dad and talks just like his dad. He calls me and says, 'Hello, can I speak to Kurtis Blow...' He started telling me this story, and I'm like, Yeah, right. I didn't believe this guy to save my life. He had to call me back, I hung up on him a couple of times. We finally got together and put all these people together."
This came out shortly after the Sun City project, an album and single that raised awareness about Apartheid in South Africa. That project was organized by "Little Steven" Van Zandt, who included Kurtis Blow and some of the other artists who were part of this. Steven was a little upset that he wasn't included in King Holiday. Kurtis felt bad about this, but once he set it up, Dexter Scott King's people took over and started calling everybody, so he didn't get to be a part of it.
R. Burke from Tallahassee, Fli have always loved this song.to be honest i was beginning to think i was not going to here it again.finally i got a computer and looked it up.i sat down with my daughter and told her the reason it was written.martin luther king day was not always a holiday.she did not know that.