donderdag 22 juni 2017

Oh Freedom (1860´s) / Sweet Freedom (1931)

Oh, Freedom - Wikipedia

O Freedom

Free Slave, The

"OH FREEDOM" is an African-American spiritual dating from the Civil War of the 1860´s. The author is unknown.
According to oral tradition "Oh Freedom" was used as a marching song by Blacks protesting the Atlanta race riots of 1906. With changes in lyrics, it was used in the 1930´s by organizers of the Southern Tenant Farmer´s Union.
By the time of the Civil Rights Movement, "Oh Freedom" was not generally found in the repertoire of the Black Church congregations. Movement activists familiar with the song culture of the 1930´s, brought the song to the sit-ins and Freedom Rides and into the mass meeting song repertoire.
Odetta made a recording in 1956 and it became an anthem of the Civil Rights movement of the 1960's. Odetta also sang it, when Martin Luther King gave his famous "I Have a Dream" speech on August 28, 1963 in Washington, D.C., in front of nearly 250,000 civil rights supporters.

"Oh Freedom" is on page 25 of William E Barton's "Old Plantation Hymns" (1899)

It´s also on page 114 of Thomas P Fenner's "Cabin and Plantation Songs As Sung by the Hampton Students" (1901)

The Nance Family seems to be the first artists who recorded this song in 1931, with a different title and a slightly different musical setting.

E.R. Nance was a singing-school teacher, who was living in Booneville, North Carolina. He first approached Art Satherley about recording his family at the American Record Corporation in 1930.
Few of the records from their lengthy stay in New York City were ever released, and Nance was very interested in having more of his music available on record. Now familiar with the system and having established a modest track record, Nance approached Brunswick and Gennett.
Both companies decided to take a gamble and in quick succession the Nance Family had recordings out on Brunswick and on Gennett's subsidiaries, Champion and Superior.

Virginia's Blues, Country, and Gospel Records, 1902-1943: An Annotated ... - Kip Lornell - Google Boeken

(c) Nance Family with Traphill Twins (1931)
Earl R. Nance: Bass Vocal
Madie Nance: Soprano Vocal
Helen Nance: Alto Vocal
Byron Bryan: banjo
Sam Halbrook: guitar
Recorded April 14, 1931 in New York
Released on Brunswick 565

Country Music Records: A Discography, 1921-1942 - Tony Russell, Bob Pinson - Google Boeken

(c) E.R Nance Family with Clarence Dooley (1931)
Earl R. Nance: Bass Vocal
Clarence Dooley: Tenor Vocal & Guitar
Madie Nance: Soprano Vocal
Helen Nance: Alto Vocal & Mandolin
Recorded on August 26, 1931 in Richmond, IN.
Released on Champion S-16410

CHAMPION 78rpm numerical listing discography: 16000 - 16500

Also released on Superior 2813 (billed as James Horton & Family)

Superior by Gennett (78rpm numerical listing discography)

This recording taken from the 2008 album "In The Pines" (Old Hat CD-1006) (CD)

Old Hat Records - Reviews

IN THE PINES - Tar Heel Folk Songs & Fiddle Tunes - Old Time Tunes of North Carolina 1926-1936

Various - In The Pines: Tar Heel Folk Songs & Fiddle Tunes (Old-Time Music Of North Carolina 1926-1936) (CD, Album) at Discogs

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In 1937 John Handcock, a sharecropper from Brinkley, Arkansas recorded a version for the Libary Of Congress

John Handcox - Wikipedia

Sharecropper’s Troubadour: John L. Handcox, the Southern Tenant Farmers ... - M. Honey - Google Boeken

(c) John Handcox (1937) (as "No More Mourning (Oh Freedom)"
Recorded March 9, 1937 in Washington, DC

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(c) Deep River Boys (1946)
Recorded in 1946
Released on the album "Spirituals and Jubilees" (on the Pilotone label)

Deep River Boys

Billboard - Google Boeken

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Or to a sample here:

The Early Years 1937-50 - Deep River Boys | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic

(c) Odetta (1956) (as part of "Spiritual Trilogy")

Odetta Sings Ballads and Blues - Wikipedia

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(c) Joan Baez (1958)  (as "Oh Freedom")
Recorded in June 1958.
Released in 1964 on the album "In San Francisco"

Joan Baez in San Francisco was a demonstration record recorded by the 17-year-old Joan Baez in 1958, released without permission on Fantasy Records in 1964.

Joan Baez - Discography, Joan Baez in San Francisco

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(c) Harry Belafonte (1959)  (as "Oh Freedom")

(c) The Montgomery Gospel Trio, The Nashville Quartet, and Guy Carawan (1961) (as "Oh Freedom")
Recorded in 1961 and released on Folkways Records FH 5591

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(c) Pete Seeger (1963)  (as "Oh Freedom")
Recorded June 8, 1963 at Carnegie Hall
Released on his album "We Shall Overcome"

We Shall Overcome (Pete Seeger album) - Wikipedia

Joan Baez also sang it at the 1963 Newport Folk Festival
Recorded July 28, 1963 at Fort Adams Park in Newport

Newport Folk

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Odetta also sang her medley in 1963 at the March On Washington Civil Rights meeting

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. - We Shall Overcome! (The March On Washington - August 28th 1963) (Vinyl, LP) at Discogs

(c) Hollis Watkins (1963)  (as "Oh Freedom")
Recorded Fall/winter 1963 in Jackson, MS

Voices of the Civil Rights Movement: Black American Freedom Songs 1960-1966 - Smithsonian Folkways

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(c) SNCC Freedom Singers with Rutha Harris (1964)  (as "Freedom Medley")
Recorded Spring 1964 in Atlanta, Georgia

Voices of the Civil Rights Movement: Black American Freedom Songs 1960-1966 - Smithsonian Folkways

(c) Leon Bibb (1962)

Leon Bibb - Oh Freedom And Other Spirituals (Vinyl, LP, Album) at Discogs

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(c) Congregation Of Brown Chapel (1965)  (as "Oh Freedom")
Recorded March 1965 at Selma, Alabama

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(c) Peter, Paul & Mary (1996) (as "Freedom Medley")

LifeLines Live

(c) Sweet Honey In The Rock (2000)  (as "Oh Freedom")

On the soundtrack for the movie: "Freedom Song" (2000)

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(c) Roger McGuinn (2004) (as "Oh Freedom")
Recorded in 2004 for his Folk Den Project.

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(c) Golden Gospel Singers (2007)  (as "Oh Freedom")
Released on their album "A Capella Praise" - Golden Gospel Singers Gospel Vocal Harmony A Cappella Group

(c) Renée Fleming & Joan Baez & Suzanne Vega & Lou Reed (2009)

Celebrating 20th years of the Velvet Revolution in Prague on 17. November 2009

(c) Aaron Neville (2010)

Aaron Neville - I Know I've Been Changed (CD, Album) at Discogs

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(c) Vivian Green (2012) (as "Oh Freedom")
Recorded in 2012 as sort of a soundtrack for the 2009 movie: "Soundtrack For A Revolution".
This soundtrack was released during Black History Month 2012

Listen here:

"Oh Freedom" was also used to great effect in season 3 episode 9 of American Horror Story.
On television we see Odetta performing the song at a Civil Rights meeting, after 1 minute taken over by The Golden Gospel Singers magnificent version.

Head (American Horror Story) - Wikipedia

And early 2017 "Oh Freedom" by the Golden Gospel Singers was also used on the soundtrack of the movie: "Gettysburg Addres".

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