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Monday, March 23, 2009

"Let it Flow (for Dr. J)": Classic Song for an All-Time Great

There has always been a great connection between music and basketball, dating all the way back to when basketball games were actually played in dance halls. Julius Erving was mentioned in many songs during his career, ranging from Run-D.M.C.'s "You be Illin'" to Kurtis Blow's "Basketball" but he also had the great honor of having an entire song composed as a tribute to his greatness: Grover Washington Jr.'s "Let it Flow (for Dr. J)." The ebbs and flows in that song perfectly fit the way Erving glided smoothly down the court before slamming the ball home with unmatched grace and style. The Greatest Sports Legends episode about Erving includes a fantastic video montage of Erving highlights with "Let it Flow" as the soundtrack; Erving's assortment of inimitable moves and Washington's wonderful melody meld seamlessly into one of the most beautiful pieces of performance art you will ever see or hear. That clip does not seem to be available on the internet but while looking for it I stumbled upon a treasure that is almost as good:

Sadly, Washington passed away in 1999, at just 56 years of age. Washington performed the National Anthem before many Sixers home games at the Spectrum, which recently hosted its final Sixers game; the Sixers moved across the street to the Wachovia Center in 1996 but returned to the Spectrum for one last time before the building is demolished this summer.

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posted by David Friedman @ 11:00 PM



At Tuesday, March 24, 2009 8:50:00 AM, Blogger madnice said...

i heard this on the radio a few weeks ago and damn near cried since dr j was my fathers (RIP) favorite player. my 4 yr old daughter loves this song. i grew up to grover washington and many other jazz artist of his time. let it flow is perfect for doc.

At Thursday, May 26, 2011 5:28:00 PM, Blogger highlandcreek7 said...

Does anyone know the name of the song played at the end of this episode of Greatest Sports Legends, during the credits when Erving and Ken Howard were shooting hoops?




At Friday, May 27, 2011 4:49:00 AM, Blogger David Friedman said...


That is a good question that I wondered about as well but I don't know the answer; I think that the same tune appears in other GSL episodes as well. GSL had certain stock melodies that accompanied the highlight packages in various episodes, while "Let it Flow" was composed specifically for Julius Erving (and not for GSL).


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