Music of the Civil Rights Movement

Jim and Greg mark the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s I Have a Dream Speech with a discussion of the Music of the Civil Rights Movement.

Martin Luther King
Download Subscribe via iTunes

Music News

Robin Thicke and his producers Pharrell Williams and Clifford Harris Jr.(known to the rest of us as T.I.)—the team behind this summer’s hit single Blurred Lines —have filed suit against the estate of Marvin Gaye and Bridgeport Music, rights holders to some of Funkadelic’s compositions. The reason? Thicke and company claim that no, Blurred Lines sounds nothing like Gaye’s Got to Give It Up or Funkadelic’s Sexy Ways. (Members of the estate of Marvin Gaye, including his son, have claimed otherwise).

Chance the Rapper’s mixtape Acid Rap ( reviewed favorably on our show) has been selling well. The only problem is that Chance isn’t the one selling it. Since Chance is lacking in a record deal, he isn’t covered by the protection of the RIAA, it’s made the selling of his mixtape by a company called Mtc (for $14.83 a pop) all the more complicated. Still, Chance’s manager Patrick Corcoran is looking on the bright side This shows that there’s a strong appetite for Chance in the marketplace, he says. How often does a bootleg hit a Billboard chart?

Protest Songs

August 28, 2013 is the 50th anniversary of the historic March on Washington and Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech I Have a Dream. And when Jim and Greg look back at that era, the music stands out as much as the marches and words. During this segment they talk about the role music played in the struggle for civil rights and how gospel and folk influences found their way into the pop charts. Jim and Greg also speak with legendary disc jockey Herb Kent about working at WVON (Voice of the Negro) during this time. Here are the protest songs Jim and Greg highlight:

  1. Driva Man by Max Roach & Oscar Brown Jr. featuring Abbey Lincoln, 1960
  2. How I Got Over performed by Mahalia Jackson at the March on Washington, 1963
  3. In the Mississippi River by the Freedom Singers, 1965
  4. Mississippi Goddamn performed by Nina Simone at Carnegie Hall, 1964
  5. A Change is Gonna Come by Sam Cooke, 1964
  6. Keep On Pushing by The Impressions, 1964
  7. Freedom Highway by The Staple Singers, 1965
  8. Lift Every Voice and Sing performed by Kim Weston at Wattstax, 1972

Dear Listeners,

For more than 15 years, Sound Opinions was a production of WBEZ, Chicago's public radio station. Now that the show is independent, we're inviting you to join the band and lend a hand! We need your support more than ever because now we have to do all the behind-the-scenes work that WBEZ handled before (like buying insurance and paying for podcast hosting, ugh). Plus, we have some exciting ideas we'd like to try now that there's no one to tell us no!