A Musical Journey in the Life of Martin Luther King, Jr.

This episode of All Ears previously aired on January 16, 2010 and January 15, 2011.

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Saturday, February 12, 2011

Martin Luther King, Jr. grew up listening to and singing church songs, and saw gospel and folk music as natural tools to further the civil rights movement.

This week we’re listening to A Beautiful Symphony of Brotherhood: A Musical Journey in the Life of Martin Luther King, Jr., which charts Dr. Martin Luther King’s musical biography. From the church songs that resonated with him to the classical music with which he wooed his wife, Terrance illustrates how Dr. King brilliantly harnessed the power of music to affect personal as well as universal change. We'll hear Marian Anderson and Pete Seeger, as well as Duke Ellington and Mahalia Jackson, all threads in the civil rights movement that helped Dr. King's cause.

We'll also hear examples of how the musical community responded to Dr. King's call to action--and continue his legacy today--with works by Leonardo Balada and Nicolas Flagello.



Precious Lord Take My Hand
Stan Whitmire, piano
Green Hill Productions

Soon, One Mornin'
Various Artists
Smithsonian Folkways 40194

Gone With the Wind: Tara's Theme
Max Steiner
Charles Gerhardt, conductor
National Philharmonic Orchestra
RCA Victor
Ave Maria
Franz Schubert
Marian Anderson, voice
WNYC Archive

My Country 'tis of Thee
Marian Anderson, voice
WNYC Archive

Brothers, Sing On
Edvard Grieg
Morehouse College Glee Club
MCGC 1990

Lonesome Trail Blues
Bumble Bee Slim
Document Records

Let's Do It (Let's Fall in Love)
Billie Holiday, vocals
Eddie Heywood and His Orchestra
Sony 85979

One O'Clock Jump
Count Basie and His Orchestra

Der Nussbaum No. 3, Op. 25
Robert Schumann
Marian Anderson, voice
Franz Rupp, piano
Nimbus 7895

Louise: Depuis le jour

Gustave Charpentier
Dorothy Maynor, soprano
Arpad Sando, piano
Bride Records 9233

Plaisir D'Amour
Johann Paul A. Martini
Paul Robeson, bass
Angel/EMI 15586

Symphony No. 2 in B-flat, Op. 21
George Chadwick
Neeme Jarvi, conductor
Detroit Symphony Orchestra
Chandos 9334

Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-flat, Op. 83
Johannes Brahms
Arthur Rubenstein, piano
Charles Munch, conductor
Boston Symphony Orchesta
RCA 63022

Lucia di Lammermoor: Regnava del silencio
Gaetano Donizetti
Beverly Sills, soprano
Thomas Schippers, conductor
London Symphony Orchestra
Deutsche Grammaphon 471250

The Alabama bus
Brother Will Hairston
Brother Will Hairston, vocals
Various Artists
Pony Canyon

Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me 'Round
The Freedom Singers
Smithsonian Folkways 5488

We Shall not be Moved
Various Artists
Smithsonian Folkways 5594

Elijah Rock
arr. by J. Hairston
Mahalia jackson, voice
Columbia 47083

Black, Brown, Beige: Black
Duke Ellington
The Carnegie Hall Concerts, January 1943
Fantasy Records

King Fit de battle of Alabama

Duke Ellington
Irving Bunton Singers

Guys and Dolls: The Oldest Established (Permanent Floating Crap Game in New York)
Frank Loesser
The Rat Pack Live at the Sands
Capitol records

Otis Redding
Otis Redding,voice
Rhino Atlantic

We Shall Overcome
Pete Seeger
Smithsonian Folkways 40096

We Shall Overcome

Pete Seeger
The Freedom Singers
Dorothy Cotton, vocals
Pete Seeger, vocals
Smithsonian Folkways 40062

Only a pawn in their Game
Bob Dylan
Columbia Records

Oh freedom
Grammercy Records

John Coltrane
John Coltrane, saxophone
Verve Records

Freedom Now Suite: Freedom Day
Max Roach
Max Roach, drums
Abbey Lincoln, vocals
Coleman Hawkins, saxophone
Candid Records

Fables of Faubus
Charles Mingus
Charles Mingus, bass
John Handy, Booker Ervin, Shafi Hadi, saxophones
Willie Dennis, Jimmy Knepper, trombones
Horace Parlan, piano
Dannie Richmond, drums
Columbia Reocrds

Change is Gonna Come
Sam Cooke
Sam Cooke,voice
ABKCO Records

People Get Ready
Curtis Mayfield
Curits mayfield and the Impressions
Geffen Records

Keep Your Eyes on the Prize
Robert Parris Moses, vocals
Smithsonian Folkways

There is a Balm in Gilead
The Florida A&M University Concert Choir
Smithsonian Folkways

Precious Lord Take My Hand

Stan Whitmire, piano
Green Hill Productions

Precious Lord Take My Hand
Mahalia Jackson, voice

Precious Lord Take My Hand
Stan Whitmire, piano
Green Hill Productions

The Passion of Martin Luther King
Nicolas Flagello
Raymond Bazemore, bass
Portland Symphonic Choir
James DePreist, conductor
Oregon Symphony
KOCH International 7293

Symphony No. 1 (Homage to M.Luther King)
Leonardo Balada
Enrique Garcia Asensio, conductor
Spanish Radio/TV Symph. Orch.
Albany 474

Comments [6]

helen burke from NY

Terence, that was beautiful!

Jan. 16 2012 08:08 PM
RG from Boston

Oh my. . . I have tears in my eyes. This was just extraordinary.

Jan. 16 2012 05:37 PM
Gail Hillman from Paterson, New Jersey

Dear Terence,

As other commentators have noted, the program was magnificent. It showed such sensitivity,intelligence,thoughtfulness- we thank you for gracing New York with your presence. We thank you for being you.

Feb. 17 2011 09:28 PM
D Tremper from Maplewood, NJ

Thanks for re-airing the Symphony of Brotherhood program again Saturday. Insightful, thoughtful,poignant and wonderfully conceived and created.

I was studying for finals at Trenton State College(nowTCNJ) when Dr King was assassinated. Our virtually unused small chapel on campus was filled to overflowing on the lawn as mourners gathered to pay tribute. May lives committed to brotherhood in our world continue to pay tribute to Dr. King.

Feb. 14 2011 12:06 PM
Frederick Willman from Madison, WI.

Terence, an extraordinary program.

And "The Passion" is thrilling.

Thank you.

Fred Willman
Madison, WI.

Feb. 12 2011 11:37 PM
Kenneth Bennett Lane from BOONTON, NJ

MUSIC MAKES THE WORLD GO ROUND was a popular saying years ago. It is even more true today. The great artists that Martin Luther King heard on records and in live performances were in abundance in his lifetime. Nicholas Flagello, the composer of The Passion of MLK with his brother the "Met" Opera singer Ezio Flagello were students at Manhattan School of Music when I studied there with the legendary Friedrich Schorr, with Ezio as a fellow student/colleague. Nicholas taught composition there. Sadly both have died. Frank Loesser who wrote How to Succeed in Business knew how to reach out. I was lucky to have sung his Most Happy Fella, rehearsing with him for its first revival. As professionals in the theater, we realize that brotherhood must include both sexes and everyone to make this the kind of world we all NEED. EGYPT today demonstrates that with unified action by large numbers we can, as the Civil Rights peaceful marches proved, arrive at justice.

Feb. 12 2011 08:06 PM

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