8 Jun 2016

Sound Archives on Ali's visit to Auckland in 1979

From Jesse Mulligan, 1–4pm, 1:33 pm on 8 June 2016

"Ladies and Gentlemen, from Lousiville, Kentucky, wearing a black tie, Mr Cassius Clay... "

Ali vs Superman cover

Ali vs Superman cover Photo: supplied

With the passing of Muhammad Ali in the weekend, you have probably seen archival footage of his fights and legendary interviews all over the media, but you might not have heard anything yet about the two albums he released.

One was I Am the Greatest, which was released under his name Cassius Clay in August 1963, only six months before he won the World Heavyweight Championship. The rhyming and delivery style could be considered an early form of rap, with the album opening with the line “This is the legend of Cassius Clay, the most beautiful fighter in the world today”.

In 1979 Ali visited New Zealand, and RNZ's Ian Woodley managed to get a few precious minutes with the boxer at a training session. Ali took the opportunity to discuss his public service album Muhammed Ali vs. Tooth Decay, an entire album about dental hygiene.


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