2007-01-12 Newsday (Long Island, NY)

Garland Jeffreys has sung songs of human dignity ever since the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s voice was stilled in 1968. He’ll sing those songs – many his own – at the University Caf Sunday to honor King’s birthday Monday.

Born in Brooklyn of an interracial couple, Jeffreys graduated from Syracuse University, where he befriended singer Lou Reed. “Wild in the Streets,” an FM radio hit, led to a solo career, which Jeffreys interrupted in the ’90s with the birth of his daughter, Savannah Rae, now 10.

Among songs from his new CD is the title track, “Don’t Call Me Buckwheat,” which he’ll deliver at Sunday’s 2 p.m. concert on the Stony Brook University campus. (Tickets, $25; 631-632-1093, universitycafe.org.)

Of King, Jeffreys says, “He was not just a black leader but a leader of all mankind. I remember in the ’60s, blacks and whites marching together against poverty, not just racism. He built a floor for us all to stand on.”

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