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Fri August 16, 2013
The Music of The Unghosting of Medgar Evers
Billie Holiday (1915-1959)
American jazz singer known as “Lady Day.” She was the first to sing and record “Strange Fruit” in 1939. The song began as a poem, “Bitter Fruit,” written by Abel Meeropol, to protest racism and lynching.
The Best of Billie Holiday: 20th Century Masters, Hip-O Records, 2002.
Complete Commodore & Decca Masters Box Set, Hip-O Select, 2009.
Bobby “Blue” Bland (b.1930-2013)
American singer known as the “Lion of the Blues.” His early hits include, “Turn on your Love Light” (1961) and “I Pity the Fool” (1961). He passed away during the making of Turn Me loose.
Definitive Collection. Geffen Records, 2007.
Read about: http://www.bobbybluebland.com/
Chuck D. (b.1960)
American hip-hop artist, political activist, and member of the group, Public Enemy.
Most Of My Heroes Still Don't Appear On No Stamp. Eastlink, 2012.
Power to the People & the Beats: Greatest Hits, Def Jam, 2005.
Dixie, the song (1859)
Written in New York City by Daniel Decatur Emmett (1815-1904) for a Bryant’s Minstrels’ stage show. Early American minstrel shows were performed primarily by white actors in blackface. Played at the inauguration of Jefferson Davis, “Dixie” became the anthem of the Confederate cause, and later, the South.
George Jones (1931-2013)
American country singer and songwriter known for his distinctive voice and his marriage to Tammy Wynette. His first record was Grand Ole Opry’s New Star in 1957.
50 Years of Hits. Bandit Records, 2004.
George Jones & Tammy Wynette: 16 Biggest Hits. Epic/Nashville, 2011.
Guy Carawan (b.1927) and Candie (b.1939)
Singers, folklorists and political activists whose arrangement of the black spiritual, “I’ll Overcome Someday,” became the anthem of the American civil rights movement, “We Shall Overcome.”
Sing for Freedom: The Story of the Civil Rights Movement through its Songs. New South Book, 2008. Book.
This Little Light of Mine. Folkways Records, 2012 (original release date 1959). CD.
Johnny Cash (1932-2003)
American gospel /country singer and songwriter. Born the son of a poor sharecropper, Cash became known as “The Man in Black.” Hits included “Folsom Prison Blues” (1957), “I Walk the Line” (1957), “Ring of Fire” (1964).
Johnny Cash - 16 Biggest Hits. Sony Music, 1999.
Ring of Fire: The Best of Johnny Cash. Sbme Special Mkts, 2008.
Nina Simone (1933-2003)
American singer, songwriter, pianist, and civil rights activist. Her song, “Mississippi Goddam” (1964), is Simone’s response to the murder of Medgar Evers in Mississippi and the bombing of a Birmingham, Alabama, church that killed four little girls.
Nina Simone's Finest Hour. Polygram Records, 2000.
Best of Nina Simone. Polygram Records 1990.
Ray Charles (1930-2004)
American bandleader, pianist, singer, and songwriter whose music sprang from blues, gospel, and R&B roots and helped create the music that became known as soul. His musical talents earned him the nickname “The Genius.” Some of his early hits include “What’d I Say” (1959), “Hit the Road, Jack” (1961), “Georgia on My Mind” (1960).
Genius: The Ultimate Collection. Concord Records, 2009.
Ray Charles: Live in Concert (1964). Concord Records, 2011,
Sam Cooke (1931-1964)
American gospel/soul singer and songwriter who wrote and recorded a series of hit pop singles including “You Send Me” (1957), “Wonderful World” (1960), and “Bring It on Home to Me” (1962).
His music: Portrait of a Legend 1951-1964. Abkco, 2003.
Smokey Robinson and the Miracles (1955-1972)
Detroit-based rhythm and blues group who scored the first million-selling hit record for Berry Gordy’s Motown Records with “Shop Around” (1960). Other hits included “You've Really Got a Hold on Me” (1963) and “Mickey’s Monkey” (1964). Smokey Robinson was a prolific composer, writing songs such as “My Girl” for others artists.
The 35th Anniversary Collection. Motown, 1994
Ultimate Collection. Motown, 1998.
Tammy Wynette (1942-1998)
Country music singer-songwriter best known for her hit, “Stand by Your Man” (1968), and her duets with husband, country singer George Jones.
Tammy Wynette - 16 Biggest Hits. Epic/Nashville, 2001.
Woody Guthrie (1912-1967)
American singer-songwriter. Many of his songs were composed while he travelled around the country during the Depression era, and reflected his solidarity with poor and working people. One of his best-known songs, “This Land is Your Land,” was written in 1940 as a response to a popular song at the time, “God Bless America.”
His music: The Asch Recordings: This Land Is Your Land, Vol. 1; Muleskinner Blues, Vol.2; Hard Travelin’, Vol.3; Buffalo Skinners, Vol.4. Smithsonian Folkways, 1997