It is taking longer than expected to fetch the next song to play. The music should be playing soon. If you get tired of waiting, you can try reloading your browser.


Please check our Help page for information about troubleshooting Pandora on your browser.

Please ensure you are using the latest Flash Player.


If you are unable or do not wish to upgrade your Flash Player,
please try a different browser.


Please check our Help page for information about troubleshooting Pandora on your browser.
Your Pandora Plus subscription will expire shortly.
More Info
No Thanks
Your Pandora Plus trial will expire shortly.
Restore
Close
close
Your Pandora Plus trial subscription will expire shortly. Upgrade to continue unlimited, ad-free listening.
Upgrade Now
You've listened to hours of Pandora this month. Consider upgrading to Pandora Plus.
More Info
No Thanks
Close
Hi . Pandora is using Facebook to personalize your experience. Learn MoreNo Thanks
 Upgrade  sign up   |   help   |  
-0:00
0:00
Change Skin

Free personalized radio that
plays the music you love

Now Playing
Music Feed
My Profile
Create a Station
People who also like this
Also listening to:

The Freedom Singers

In the early 1960s, folk singing and political activism went hand-in-hand. In the South in particular, participants in the Civil Rights Movement sang spirituals like "We Shall Overcome" and "We Shall Not Be Moved" as they marched in the streets. The Freedom Singers were formed in the midst of civil rights battles in Albany, Georgia in 1962. After being expelled from Albany State College for her civil rights work, Bernice Johnson moved to Saratoga Springs, New York. She worked as a waitress, and took part in a hootenanny at Carnegie Hall sponsored by the folk magazine, Sing Out! While she considered a solo career, Pete Seeger encouraged this "teenage Odetta" to help bring together a group of singers from the ranks of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). Soon, Johnson had formed a quartet with Rutha Harris, Charles Neblitt, and Cordell Hull Reagon. Together, the Freedom Singers pursued two goals: first, to raise money for the SNCC, and secondly, to help unite other African Americans in the cause of integration.

The first version of the Freedom Singers remained together for only a year, but the group's impact was substantial. The quartet was managed by Toshi Seeger, and although their first fundraising event at Chicago's McCormick Place was unsuccessful, joint appearances with Pete Seeger soon gave them a boost. In 1962-63, the Freedom Singers traveled 100,000 miles to sing "freedom songs" at universities, churches, and colleges. Through the group's travels, spirituals like "Woke Up This Morning" and "Fighting for My Rights" -- songs that celebrated the struggles of the Civil Rights Movement -- became better-known. The road they traveled in their old Buick station wagon was a rocky one, but despite arrests and opposition, the quartet persevered.

The highpoint of the Freedom Singers' career occurred in the spring and summer of 1963. They appeared at the March on Washington in May, an event that drew 350,000 people and climaxed with Martin Luther King's dream of an equal America. "On the march the air was filled with the sounds of the jail-ins, sit-ins, and street marches of Southern campaigns," Johnson later recalled. The Freedom Singers also sang at the Newport Folk Festival. During the closing moments of the festival, the Freedom Singers linked arms with Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, and Peter, Paul and Mary to sing "We Shall Overcome." After recording one album for Mercury in 1963, the group disbanded.

In 1964, a second, all-male version of the group, also under the SNCC banner, formed with Rafael Bentham, Emory Harris, Matthew Jones, Marshall Jones, James Peacock, and Chuck Neblitt. Unlike the original group, the new Freedom Singers traveled less and relied on more original material. They recorded one live album -- also on Mercury -- in Atlanta in 1964. Samples of the original Freedom Singers can be found on Newport Broadside and The Newport Folk Festival 1963: The Evening Concerts, while recordings of the later group can be found on The Best of Broadside. ~ Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr.
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Broadside Ballads, Vol. 1

2. The Ballad Of Old Monroe

4. As Long As The Grass Shall Grow

5. The Ballad Of William Worthy

6. Benny Kid Paret

7. Faubus Foibles

11. Ain't Gonna Let Segregation Turn Us Around

12. Go Limp

13. Bizzness Ain't Dead

14. The Civil Defense Sign

15. I Can See A New Day

x

Track List: Every Tone A Testimony

2. Field Call

3. Complaint Call

5. Brother Terrapin, Slow Train To Arkansas

6. Jack And Mary And Three Dogs

9. Pharaoh's Host Got Lost

12. I Wonder Where My Brother Gone

16. Steal Away To Jesus

19. Free At Last

21. There's A Great Camp Meeting

23. John Henry

25. Boatman Dance

31. My Heart Is Fixed

34. Jungle Drums

35. No More Auction Block

39. Backwater Blues

44. How He Delivered Me

47. Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around

x

Track List: Lest We Forget, Vol. 3: Sing For Freedom

1. Up Over My Head / This Little Light Of Mine (Medley)

2. Bullyin' Jack Of Diamonds

3. Give Me The Gourd To Drink Water

4. Been In The Storm So Long

5. Guide My Feet While I Run This Race

6. 99 1/2 Won't Do

7. Yes, We Want Our Freedom

8. Which Side Are You On?

9. Brown Baby

10. Father's Grave

11. Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me 'round

12. I'm Gonna Say What I Have To Say

13. I'm On My Way

x

Track List: Sing For Freedom: The Story of the Civil Rights Movement Through Its Songs

6. Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Round

11. This Little Light of Mine

13. Which Side are You On?

14. I'm Gonna Sit at the Welcome Table

15. Mass Meeting and Prayer

26. We Shall Overcome

x

Track List: Voices Of The Civil Rights Movement: Black American Freedom Songs 1960-1966

8. Oh Freedom

26. Which Side Are You On?

28. Been In The Storm So Long

31. Oh Prichett, Oh Kelly

36. In The Mississippi River

39. Governor Wallace

41. Uncle Tom's Prayer

Comments

Don't have a Pandora account? Sign up

We're sorry, but a browser plugin or firewall may be preventing Pandora from loading.

In order to use Pandora internet radio, please upgrade to a more current browser.

Please check our Help page for more information.

It looks like your browser does not support modern SSL/TLS. Please upgrade your browser.

If you need help, please email: pandora-support@pandora.com.

In order to use Pandora internet radio, please upgrade to a more current browser
or install a newer version of Flash (v.10 or later).

In order to use Pandora internet radio, please install Adobe Flash (v.10 or later).

[88, 111, 97, 94, 109, 81, 77, 70, 65, 64, 85, 105, 64, 107, 81, 108, 82, 71, 107, 114, 113, 102, 77, 120, 81, 111, 108, 103, 120, 121, 95, 97, 70, 64, 91, 72, 70, 72, 124, 75, 117, 77, 87, 84, 89, 70, 115, 87, 112, 101, 99, 106, 115, 103, 96, 68, 117, 72, 125, 91, 108, 89, 99, 96, 90, 99, 107, 86, 90, 115, 74, 106, 92, 78, 89, 75, 77, 114, 70, 115, 88, 99, 71, 73, 71, 110, 103, 106, 84, 102, 64, 108, 107, 97, 75, 77, 86, 100, 87, 103, 103, 65, 118, 94, 79, 69, 121, 87, 113, 91, 83, 115, 75, 109, 97, 112, 91, 119, 84, 95, 118, 87, 123, 76, 90, 109, 117, 99, 108, 119, 91, 73, 127, 96, 98, 120, 104, 116, 86, 83, 85, 98, 127, 103, 64, 97, 102, 109, 70, 108, 90, 75, 77, 102, 116, 65, 74, 112, 123, 83, 97, 72, 117, 102, 71, 94, 106, 73, 108, 73, 110, 89, 79, 72, 70, 116, 104, 113, 85, 75, 88, 125, 79, 78, 119, 77, 105, 115, 64, 72, 126, 83, 97, 120, 110, 126, 114, 77, 112, 67, 70, 78, 96, 71, 102, 90, 71, 70, 121, 82, 78, 66, 120, 81, 67, 73, 99, 100, 119, 109, 122, 77, 84, 122, 92, 124, 116, 83, 110, 66, 105, 111, 64, 117, 88, 127, 90, 73, 123, 98, 80, 73, 82, 104, 119, 92, 107, 74, 71, 86, 73, 100, 87, 107, 120, 78, 99, 112, 95, 111, 78, 78, 84, 93, 87, 104, 107, 127, 82, 120, 125, 118, 96, 76, 66, 77, 125, 72, 74, 66, 115, 83, 115, 111, 115, 69, 81, 96, 68, 126, 89, 84, 88, 88, 115, 101, 71, 117, 93, 124, 81, 64, 66, 72, 118, 65, 71, 80, 103, 125, 105, 95, 125, 64, 89, 65, 103, 73, 67, 85, 105, 71, 105, 68, 95, 106, 113, 100, 104, 65, 74, 73, 101, 102, 98, 98, 73, 78, 119, 88, 126, 74, 78, 110, 70, 112, 126, 82, 69, 99, 81, 125, 123, 94, 92, 114, 126, 104, 78, 70, 84, 83, 76, 72, 91, 72, 71, 89, 102, 74, 98, 83, 96, 100, 68, 95, 84, 77, 103, 83, 110, 92, 80, 88, 126, 121, 94, 85, 87, 117, 112, 84, 88, 101, 119, 102, 96, 123, 125, 93, 92, 122, 94, 83, 125, 66, 97, 88, 82, 88, 93, 71, 105, 79, 106, 107, 123, 66, 98, 93, 120, 124, 127, 75, 103, 84, 85, 94, 118, 93, 93, 90, 77, 120, 124, 114, 81, 90, 91, 99, 87, 81, 67, 108, 89, 84, 101, 68, 91, 87, 72, 67, 76, 121, 96, 115, 98, 77, 120, 79, 74, 101, 84, 97, 127, 92, 123, 82, 104, 117, 90, 109, 88, 116, 86, 78, 103, 64, 81, 72, 85, 109, 74, 78, 101, 82, 71, 66, 89, 99, 78, 76, 103, 84, 88, 106, 76, 84, 94, 103, 98, 101, 96, 96, 98, 104, 117, 92, 84, 82, 104, 112]