Wender’s record of Neil Rosengarden’s peace anthem has become an unlikely and welcome hit
“It’s not impossible, or unlikely
That people could learn to live together.”
Decades have passed since Teddy Wender and Neil Rosengarden were last together, back when they were both musical kids growing up in Great Neck, New York. Both went onto flourishing and multitudinous music careers; each is an acclaimed songwriter and session musician who have played on countless albums and live shows.
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Mostly they have been on opposite coasts, Neil in L.A. and Teddy in New York. But now for the first time in all these years, the two have reunited, and it’s all because of a song of peace.
“Peace Will Come” is an inspirational and infectious song by Neil which promotes a simple and powerful message: that peace is possible. From his 2006 album Insurgency! Insurgency, it’s a song Teddy realized was perfect for this American moment of perpetual discord.
He sought Neil’s permission to record and release it, and also to expand it, as the original has one verse only. Neil agreed, and Teddy got to work writing, arranging and recording. He also supervised the making of a music video for the song
“I wasn’t sure if I would like it,” said Neil of this new verse written for this old song, “but I do. I like the whole thing – the new verse, the arrangement, production. Even the video is great. Teddy did a good job.”
Neil’s not alone in that estimation. Since the video was released on September 10, the reaction has been overwhelming. As of today, it has received over 76,000 views on YouTube.
“I’m thrilled Teddy recorded it,” Neil said. “It’s a song that people really like anytime I play it. I wrote it as a peace anthem back in the early 90s, when we were in the Gulf War. I always thought it would be a good song for Stevie Wonder.”
“With the nation being at such crossroads,” wrote Teddy about why this song of peace was needed now, “with over 200,000 deaths due to the pandemic, resulting in millions of jobs lost, and a dramatic rise in racial injustice not seen since the 60’s, political polarization is at an all-time high, peace, love and understanding is all we need now.”
“It’s time to work together and this song says just that. Please join us to try to make a better world for our kids.”
A celebrated keyboardist, Teddy’s a founding member of the new wave band 3-D, and has played keys for Dr. John, Odetta, Johnny Winter, Albert King, Gordon Waller, Ray Draper, Gary Stewart, Michael Powers, and Loudon Wainwright III.
Neil Rosengarden started playing trumpet professionally when he was a kid. He even did a TV duet, both singing and playing trumpet, with Al Hirt, when he was 9. A multi-instrumentalist, he has played on the albums of many legends, including John Prine, on his classic “Paradise,” from his landmark debut album. He’s also played on records with the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, and has released 12 albums of his own songs, many of which are beloved cult favorites.
You can find “Peace Will Come” on Spotify, as well as YouTube.
For more on Teddy Wender: teddywender.com
For more on Neil Rosengarden; neil rosengarden music
Paul Zollo: [email protected]