By Andy Kubis
Nanci Griffith has been performing and touring for more than two decades. Her classic tunes have been recorded by the likes of Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson and Emmylou Harris, but Griffith has also released 19 of her own albums. Her latest, The Loving Kind, is her first studio record of new, original material since 2005.
The title track tells the story of Mildred and Richard Loving, the couple at the heart of the landmark Supreme Court case that legalized interracial marriage. In 1958, Richard and Mildred went to Washington, D.C. to get married. Interracial marraige was legal there. But when they returned home to Virginia, they were arrested, jailed and banished from the state for 25 years for violating the state’s Racial Integrity Act.
When the case finally made it to the Surpreme Court, the young ACLU attorney challenging the conviction, Bernard Cohen, made this argument:
“The Lovings have the right to go to sleep at night knowing that if should they not wake in the morning, their children would have the right to inherit from them. They have the right to be secure in knowing that, if they go to sleep and do not wake in the morning, that one of them, a survivor of them, has the right to Social Security benefits. All of these are denied to them, and they will not be denied to them if the whole anti-miscegenistic scheme of Virginia… [is] found unconstitutional.”
Nanci Griffith wrote her song, The Loving Kind, in one, swift session. She writes in the liner notes of her new album, “May they stand for change in laws of love (there should never be laws of love) for the future.” It’s the first song Griffith plays for Bob in today’s performance chat.