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IT'S ALIVE: Jimmy Cliff "You Can Get It If You Really Want" (Later... with Jools Holland, 2012)

It's Alive briefly devotes the airwaves to live music everyday at 1pm. Tune in today hear this performance and more live tracks!

The groundbreaking soundtrack to the film The Harder They Come was released on this day in 1972. It was compiled by director and co-writer Perry Henzell, and featured the music of Jimmy Cliff (who also starred in the film). In addition to Cliff, artists like Desmond Dekker and Toots and the Maytals help to create a collection that is often credited for introducing reggae music to the United States. In 2021, the Library of Congress selected the film for preservation in the National Recording Registry for being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."

Jimmy Cliff's cultural influence earned him an undying legacy, and even the Order of Merit from the Jamaican government. It is their fourth highest honor, and the highest honor that can be awarded for arts and science. It can be argued that without The Harder They Fall, Cliff's story would be much different. This video finds him in 2012 on an airing of Later... with Jools Holland, performing "You Can Get It If You Really Want," a 1970 single that was famously included in the film's soundtrack.

Otis is the late morning host on WFPK. Email Otis at ojunior@lpm.org