Do You Remember?: 21st day of September is Earth Wind and Fire Day –
Written by Gregory Johnson on September 21, 2020
Group celebrates with an official remix of the classic “September”
One of my favorite groups in life is the immortal Earth Wind and Fire. And today, I am so pleased to reflect on this band’s greatness as it is Earth Wind and Fire Day. What’s that? Earth Wind and Fire has a day? Well of course let me explain. In thier classic mega jam “September” EWF asks the question “Do you remember the 21st day of September…”. Yup. Today is the 21st day of September….. Not only that, we were all witnesses to the Los Angeles City Council’s proclamation in 2019 that September 21st is officially Earth Wind and Fire Day.
And so we reflect and observe…. So many hits.. so much inspiration…. deep musical artistry. The band itself has taken on the celebration with a great remix produced by well known industry producer and instrumentalist Eric Kupper, known for his work with house music legend Frankie Knuckles.
Reflecting back on the creation of this song in 1978, EWF member Philip Bailey told Allison Gibbs of Forbes Magazine: “I would never have guessed that such a simple catchy song as it is, and was, would become an all-time global favorite for generations.”
Here are five things to know about this iconic song.
1. The track was originally recorded in September of 1978 and released in November. The track shot up to number one on the Billboard Hot R&B Songs chart, while also grabbing number eight on the Hot 100 and number three on the UK Singles chart.
2. EWF guitarist Al McKay wrote the chord progression. McKay, originally from New Orleans, left EWF and now has his own group, The Al McKay Allstars.
3. Lyricist Allee Willis worked on the composition for a month or so and wasn’t certain that White’s “ba-dee-ya” hook would work. But it did. Said Willis: “learned my greatest lesson ever in songwriting from him, which was never let the lyric get in the way of the groove.” Willis died in 2019 and also co-wrote “Boogie Wonderland,” “The Neutron Dance” for the Pointer Sisters and the theme for “Friends.”
4. Little kids were introduced to “September” via a remake created by EWF featuring Anna Kendrick and Justin Timberlake for 2016’s Trolls: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack.
5. The group created the song “December” in 2014, riffing off the classic September lyrics: “Do you remember/the 21st night of September?”