Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Eden Ahbez The First Hippie

By Andrew Midkiff            Eden Ahbez  April 15, 1908 – March 4, 1995

The greatest thing you'll ever learn
Is just to love and be loved in return.
Nature Boy

The man who wrote the song was eden ahbez, he spelled his name in small letters because he believed that only God and Infinity should be capitalized. Nature Boy was a big hit for Nat "King" Cole in 1948. This was a song that touched people, but few know who wrote it. Eden Ahbez a philosopher, mystic, traveler, songwriter and musician, who wore shoulder-length hair, beard, and white robes, camped out below the first L in the Hollywood sign in LA and studied Far Eastern cultures and philosophies.

Eden was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1908 and spent his early years in an orphan asylum. He was adopted, in 1917, by a family in Kansas and raised under the name George McGrew. He did not stay in Kansas long, he never stayed any place very long. He hopped freight trains and walked across the country many times. Eden was a gentle person who believed in love, practiced yoga and was a vegetarian. Eden once said, " When I was young I dreamed of a boy searching for God. Now I am old and I dream of God searching for a boy."

He emerged to public attention in 1948, when Cole recorded his song Nature Boy. Eden hung around Lincoln Theater where he met Mort Ruby, Cole's manager, insisting that he have Cole look at a soiled, rolled-up manuscript of Nature Boy. Cole tried the song a few times in his show and decided to record it. Cole recorded the song on August 22, 1947 but did not release it for months. Cole and Ruby were ready to release the song but no one knew where to find it's author. Eden had no job and no fixed residence, and legend has it that Ruby found Eden and his wife camped out below the HOLLYWOOD sign. In 1948 when Nature Boy first played on WNEW in New York the song quickly became Capitol's #1 single.

Eden became a legend for his unusual life style. Even after he and his wife had a son, and attained some fame, they kept on living out under the stars. His wife died in 1963, and his son drowned in 1971 at the age of 22. Until his death Eden continued to work in the music business. Eden died on  March 4, 1995, of injuries sustained in a car accident, at the age of 86.

Nature Boy - Nat "King" Cole 1947
I am a being of Heaven and Earth, of thunder and lightning, of rain and wind, of the galaxies.

Now Heaven and Earth are older than the temples, and older than the Scriptures.

The Earth is my altar, the sky is my dome, mind is my garden, the heart is my home and I'm always at home- yea, I'm always at Om.

Eden's wife Anna and son

We're not earthly beings any more....we're cosmic beings.

Some white people hate black people, and some white people love black people, some black people hate white people, and some black people love white people. So you see it's not an issue of black and white, it's an issue of Lovers and Haters.

1 comment:

  1. Nature Boy, in my humble opinion, sounds like a vignette out of the life of Jesus as a boy. Only Jesus would say the words, 'The greatest thing you'll ever learn, is to love and be loved in return'. eden ahbez, the author and composer of the song, rightly asserts that only God's name, (Jesus being God in the flesh) should be honored with a capital letter! The entire song, from being ' a little shy and sad of eye' to 'but very wise was He ...' could only be our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.