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44 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Freedom Songs that were the life blood of the Movement
This double-CD reissue of "The Voices of the Civil Rights Movement: Black American Freedom Songs 1960-1966" documents the importance of songs in the Civil Rights Movement. Teachers covering this tumultuous time in American History in their class can certainly give students a better sense for the time by not only showing videos of the peaceful demonstrations...
Published on April 8, 2002 by Lawrance M. Bernabo

versus
2.0 out of 5 stars A scholarly collection
This album comes no where near the Eyes on the Prize soundtrack. Also, the audio levels are uneven and jarring.
Published 8 months ago by Charles Hardy


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44 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Freedom Songs that were the life blood of the Movement, April 8, 2002
By 
This review is from: Voices Of The Civil Rights Movement: Black American Freedom Songs 1960-1966 (Audio CD)
This double-CD reissue of "The Voices of the Civil Rights Movement: Black American Freedom Songs 1960-1966" documents the importance of songs in the Civil Rights Movement. Teachers covering this tumultuous time in American History in their class can certainly give students a better sense for the time by not only showing videos of the peaceful demonstrations and police brutality, but by playing them some of the songs from this album. Many of these freedom songs were recorded live in mass meetings held in churches. These are not just spirituals and gospel songs, but draw upon rhythm and blues, football chants, blues, and calypso for their beauty and energy. The first disc features songs from mass meetings, where a singer or core of singers leads the people in the singing of the songs, while the second focuses on ensemble works by the SNCC Freedom Singers and other groups. The accompanying booklet written by Bernice Johnson Reagon combines historic photographs with insights into each song, providing an excellent education in the meaning of the music. Reagon not only explains how these songs were song, but also which songs were prominent for the Selma-to-Montgomery March ("Governor Wallace"), "Freedom Train" for the vigil for the Mississippi Democratic Party elections, and so on.
Chances are that unless you were involved in the Civil Rights Movement you will not especially recognize many of these songs, with "This Little Light of Mine," "Go Tell It On the Mountain," and "We Shall Overcome" being the obvious exceptions. But you will be surprised at some of the popular songs that were appropriate for the cause, such as "Calypso Freedom," based on Harry Belafonte's "The Banana Boat Song," and "Get Your Rights, Jack," based on the Ray Charles hit "Hit the Road, Jack." For me the song that stood out was "In the Mississippi River," written by Marshall Jones after the disappearance of three Civil Rights workers in Mississippi during the summer of 1964. As local rivers were dragged in search of the men, many other bodies were discovered, a chilling fact that certainly needs to be more than a historic footnote to that tragic event. There is also a lengthy segment from a sermon by Rev. Lawrence Campbell, which illustrates the song-sermons that were an integral part of the movement and its traditions. The result is a historical document of immense value to teachers and their students.
Folkways Records was founded by Moses Asch and Marian Distler in 1948 to document music and spoken word from around the world. The Smithsonian Institution acquired Folkways from the Asch estate and has succeeded in preserving the best of the label's 2,200 albums. Smithsonian Folkways Recordings has continued this grand tradition. I have checked out a half-dozen of their offerings and their are uniformly superb, especially in terms of providing the historical context by which we can best appreciate these songs from another place and another time.
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars emmotionally charged and historically valuable document, September 25, 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Voices Of The Civil Rights Movement: Black American Freedom Songs 1960-1966 (Audio CD)
For any one interested in the freedom struggle in the sixties this is essential listening. The first disc of recordings made in the South during the mid sixties captures the importance of music at the mass meetings.
The second disc with ensemble recordings shows the skill of the SNCC singing groups.
The cd is accompanied by extensive liner notes by Bernice Johnson Reagan, herself a member of a SNCC ssinging group and founder of "Sweet Honey in the Rock". She draws out not only the historical references in the songs, but also the different African American musical influences at play.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent documentary CD, January 4, 2006
By 
Andre M. "brnn64" (Mt. Pleasant, SC United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Voices Of The Civil Rights Movement: Black American Freedom Songs 1960-1966 (Audio CD)
This Cd is an excellent docuemtnary with complete versions of the Freedom songs of the Civil rights movmeent of the 60s.

Wonderful stuff both for the historian or a lover of uplifting music. The Calypso takeoff of Harry belafonte's "Day-o" (Calypso Freedom) is quite witty and would have done Handsome Harry proud. ("Come Mr. Kennedy give us integration/Freedom come and me want to go home!"). "Get Your Rights Jack" does the same with Ray Charles' "Hit the Road Jack" ("And don't be a tom no more no more no more no more"). But songs like the "Ballad of Medgar Evers" "I Shall Not Be Moved" and the tribute to Schwerner, Chaney and Goodman (the Black and Jewish civil rights team that was killed in Mississippi in 1964) strike straight to the heart as do the tunes sung by the legendary Mrs. Fannie Lou Hamer. The sermon and song by Rev. Lawrence Campbell of Danville Virginia needs no explaination. Hear it and you'll understand that MLK was by no means the only eloquent preacher of this movement. Oginga Odinga, BTW, was an African freedom fighter of that era and Malcolm X was quite pleased when the SNCC Freedom Singers (who later morphed into Sweet Honey in the Rock) sang this at a 1964 program where he spoke.

Fans of the similar CD "Sing For Freedom" are bound to compare the 2 CD's. "SFF" has more in the way of little-known speeches by such luminaries as Dr. King, Medgar Evers, Ralph Abernathy, etc. Some tunes overlap on the two cd's but buy "SFF" for the speeches and this one for the music as a companion piece.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Vocies of the Civil Rights Movement: Black American Songs 1960-1966, March 25, 2014
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This review is from: Voices Of The Civil Rights Movement: Black American Freedom Songs 1960-1966 (Audio CD)
Excellent choice of music. This fit well for the project I had chosen it for. Thank you for carrying such rich music.

Valencia
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Condition, February 27, 2014
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This review is from: Voices Of The Civil Rights Movement: Black American Freedom Songs 1960-1966 (Audio CD)
The CD and accompanying notes came within 3-4 days of my ordering them! The liner notes and CD were in great condition--no scratches. I would order from this person again.
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2.0 out of 5 stars A scholarly collection, October 27, 2013
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This review is from: Voices Of The Civil Rights Movement: Black American Freedom Songs 1960-1966 (Audio CD)
This album comes no where near the Eyes on the Prize soundtrack. Also, the audio levels are uneven and jarring.
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5.0 out of 5 stars LOVE IT!!, August 10, 2013
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This review is from: Voices Of The Civil Rights Movement: Black American Freedom Songs 1960-1966 (Audio CD)
I was VERY happy with the product and the songs will fit right in with our program for the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington.

Thanks.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Voices of the Civil Rights Movement, December 29, 2012
This review is from: Voices Of The Civil Rights Movement: Black American Freedom Songs 1960-1966 (Audio CD)
I've had this cd for 10 years and I love it. I believe every school in America should have a copy in it's library. This cd
could and should be usd as a learning tool for American History.
I think every young people could learn from the struggles of
the African American through their songs and how the song helped
to motivate the African American. Today's youth don't really
understand the struggles of the previous generations. Young people today just take everthing for GRANTED. It should be noted
I am not an African American
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5.0 out of 5 stars SNCC Freedom Singers' Brought Back with Glory, October 4, 2009
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This review is from: Voices Of The Civil Rights Movement: Black American Freedom Songs 1960-1966 (Audio CD)
This 2CD collection of movement voices preserved from field performances is particulary outstanding not only in its quality but in its authenticity. The voices of the SNCC Freedom Singers and important movement figures, among them Mrs. Famie Lou Hamer, Holis Watkins, Sam Block, Bernice Johnson, Cordel Reagon, and many more, make this a collection to be prized and played again and again.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Beyond Awesome!, October 30, 2007
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C. Chase (Dawsonville, GA USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Voices Of The Civil Rights Movement: Black American Freedom Songs 1960-1966 (Audio CD)
This is an amazing collection of Civil Rights songs all on one CD. It is like listening to history. This collection of music will bring back memories to the older generations and introduce younger people to voices from the past.
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