CD Voices of the Civil Rights Movement Black American Freedom Songs 1960-1966 (CD 599525),
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Voices of the Civil Rights Movement Black American Freedom Songs 1960-1966

  • 0. DISC 1:
    1. Freedom Medley: Freedom Chant / Oh, Freedom: This Little Light Of Mine - The Freedom Singers
    2. This Little Light of Mine - Betty Mae Fikes
    3. If You Miss Me From the Back of the Bus - Betty Mae Fikes
    4. Lord, Hold My Hand While I Run This Race
    5. Get on Board, Children - Willie Peacock
    6. Calypso Freedom - Willie Peacock
    7. Freedom Now Chant
    8. Oh Freedom - Hollis Watkins
    9. Ain' Scared of Nobody - Amanda B. Perdew/Virginia Davis
    10. Leaning on the Everlasting Arms
    11. Sermon - Rev. Lawrence Campbell
    12. We Are Soldiers in the Army
    13. Go Tell It on the Mountain - Fannie Lou Hamer
    14. Wade in the Water - Fannie Lou Hamer
    15. Come Bah Yah - Willie Peacock
    16. Walk With Me, Lord - Fannie Lou Hamer
    17. Jesus on the Mainline, Tell Him What You Want - Sam Block
    18. Freedom Train - Sam Block
    19. Don't You Think It's About Time That We All Be Free - Mabel Hillary
    20. We're Marching on to Freedom Land - Carlton Reese
    21. We Shall Overcome
    0. DISC 2:
    1. We'll Never Turn Back - The SNCC Freedom Singers/Emory Harris
    2. We Shall Not Be Moved - SNCC Freedom Singers Led By Rutha Harris
    3. Certainly, Lord - CORE Freedom Singers
    4. Get Your Rights, Jack - CORE Freedom Singers
    5. Which Side Are You On? - The SNCC Freedom Singers/Cordell Hull Reagon
    6. Woke up This Morning With My Mind on Freedom - The SNCC Freedom Singers/Bernice Johnson Reagon
    7. Been in the Storm So Long - Bernice Johnson Reagon
    8. Dog, Dog - The SNCC Freedom Singers/Cordell Hull Reagon
    9. a & P Song, The - Integration Grooves
    10. Oh Pritchett, Oh Kelly - The SNCC Freedom Singers/Bertha Gober
    11. I Told Jesus - Bertha Gober
    12. 99 1/2 Won't Do - Alabama Christian Movement Choir/Carlton Reese
    13. I'm on My Way - Alabama Christian Movement Choir Led By Brown
    14. City Called Heaven - Cleo Kennedy
    15. In the Mississippi River - SNCC Freedom Singers Led By Marshall Jones
    16. Ain' Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me 'Round - The SNCC Freedom Singers/Cordell Hull Reagon
    17. Will the Circle Be Unbroken - Jimmy Collier & The Movement Singers/The Movement Singers/Diane Smith
    18. Governer Wallace - The SNCC Freedom Singers/Charles Neblett
    19. Ballad of Medgar Evers - The SNCC Freedom Singers/Matthew Jones
    20. Uncle Tom's Prayer - Cordell Hull Reagon
    21. Oginga Odinga - The SNCC Freedom Singers/Matthew Jones
    22. We Shall Overcome - The SNCC Freedom Singers
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 40084

  • Credits

    Producer: Bill Bennett.
    Reissue producer: Bernice Johnson Reagon.
    Includes liner notes by Bernice Johnson Reagon.
    The civil rights movement used freedom songs to spread their message, adapting folk and pop tunes with contemporary topical lyrics, or writing new songs addressing social injustice in general, and injustice for African-Americans in particular. This is a two-CD, 43-song compilation of such songs, recorded live in mass meetings in churches between 1960 and 1966. The SNCC Freedom Singers, including in their ranks future Sweet Honey in the Rock mainstay Bernice Johnson Reagon (who wrote the liner notes), contribute quite a few tracks, but the majority are by less professional soloists and choirs. Historically speaking, this is a valuable document of a movement whose importance cannot be underestimated; if nothing else, it's interesting to see how folk and pop songs (including such unlikely candidates as Ray Charles' "Hit the Road Jack") were changed to reflect struggle for equality. Musically speaking, it's not that captivating; the fidelity is sometimes rough, and the performances interesting purely from an archival standpoint. This isn't meant to diminish in any way the significance of these songs, just to say that they were effective mostly as organizing tools, not as pure musical statements. Listeners will need to have a strong interest in the historical context of these recordings to justify their purchase, because as music it can make for a dry experience. Some of the SNCC performances, however, do stand up on their own as fine folk/gospel, especially "In the Mississippi River," "Governor Wallace," and "Oginga Odinga," imaginative compositions that are movingly sung. ~ Richie Unterberger

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