In the United States this is Labor Day, since 1894 a national holiday that celebrates working peoples’ contributions to the nation. Although the calendar says that summer doesn’t end until September 21 this year, many Americans consider that Labor Day marks the close of the season. This three-day weekend, they pile into their automobiles despite four-dollars-a-gallon gasoline. They range through the land to camp out, have picnics, visit lakes and ocean beaches, and watch fireworks. This being an election year, some seek out rallies and listen to candidates. It is also a day when many working people go to work because the stores that employ them have huge Labor Day sales. The irony.
There is no official song for this holiday, although Pete Seeger’s “Solidarity Forever,” Tennessee Ernie Ford’s “Sixteen Tons” and Dolly Parton’s “9 To 5” always get Labor Day airplay. From 1962—when the average price of a gallon of regular gas was 31 cents—here is the unofficial Rifftides Labor Day song for 2012. Cannonball Adderley introduces it. His sextet has Nat Adderley, Joe Zawinul, Yusef Lateef, Louis Hayes and Sam Jones.
Happy Labor Day.