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Crystal Bowersox's "Up to the Mountain" is Rich in History

In this publicity image released by Fox, "American Idol" season nine contestant, Crystal Bowersox, of Elliston, Ohio, is shown in Los Angeles.
AP Photo/Michael Becker
"American Idol" contestant, Crystal Bowersox, of Elliston, Ohio, is shown in Los Angeles sang "Black Velvet" and "Up to the Mountain" at the finals. (AP Photo/Michael Becker)

"Up To the Mountain," the song Crystal Bowersox chose to perform in Tuesday's "American Idol" finale, is rich in history.

A folk song with spiritual overtones, it was written by Patty Griffin and draws on the emotions of Martin Luther King Jr.'s historic 1968 speech "I've Been to the Mountaintop." The civil rights leader delivered that speech in Memphis, Tenn., just the day before his assassination.

Pictures: "American Idol"

Griffin first performed it at a 2005 concert and later recorded it in a 2007 album. The first recording of it was made by Solomon Burke in his 2006 album Nashville.

"Idol" alumna Kelly Clarkson, accompanied by guitar legend Jeff Beck, sang it on Season 6's "Idol Gives Back" and later added it to her concert repertoire.

Scottish Singer Susan Boyle also recorded it for her debut album " I Dream A Dream," released in November.