Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Let Freedom Sing!

Music of the Civil Rights Movement
This is a far-reaching collection of songs by, for or about participants in the civil rights movement. You'll find blues, folk, jazz, gospel, rock, funk, pop, r&b, soul, hip-hop and all the blends and fusions possible among the musical styles. The songs date from the forties all the way to 2008. Let Freedom Sing provides a great reminder about how integral music was to the movement: in the streets, churches, jails, segregated lunch counters as well as the concert halls. The artists read like a who's who of Black (and some White) musicians: Aretha Franklin, Smokey Robinson, John Lee Hooker, James Brown, B.B. King, Bob Marley, Neville Brothers, Mahalia Jackson, Bob Dylan, Nat King Cole, Big Bill Broonzy, Josh White, Phil Ochs, Harry Belafonte, Otis Redding, the Weavers and a few dozen more. The who's who doesn't include everyone (notable exceptions include Paul Robeson, Sam Cooke, Leadbelly and Miriam Makeba), but then it is only 3 CDs. If you've never heard Billie Holiday singing Strange Fruit or Nina Simone singing Mississippi Goddam, you have to check out this set.

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