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Freedom Songs: Selma, Alabama

Various Artists
Freedom Songs: Selma, Alabama

This documentary recording chronicles civil rights protesters singing during a march from Selma, Alabama, to the State Capitol in Montgomery, to demand fair access to voting registration. The songs express hope and sorrow and a call for equality, and many of them are traditional with lyrics adapted for the protests. There are no instruments, just the voices of the demonstrators and their leaders.

On February 18th, 1965, Jimmie Lee Jackson was fatally shot by an Alabama state trooper during a peaceful protest. The shooting inspired a march from Selma to Montgomery on March 7th. As the six hundred protesters reached the Edmund Pettus Bridge to cross the Alabama River, state troopers and local police blocked their path and ordered them to turn around. When the protesters refused, officers shot tear gas and beat some of the protesters with clubs. More than fifty people were hospitalized during the march, which became known as “Bloody Sunday.” A subsequent march on March 9th also was stopped, this time without violence; finally, later in March, a larger, better organized third march successfully reached Montgomery. Partially as a result of these protests, on August 6th, 1965, the U.S. Congress passed the Voting Rights Act.

This album was recorded and produced by Carl Benkert, who served as the night watchman for the marchers and made audio recordings of the third march. Benkert’s liner notes tell the story of the protesters, including lyrics to these powerful songs and riveting photographs of the march.

Track Listing

101
God Will Take Care of You / Climbing Jacob's Ladder (medley) Hosea Williams and Marchers 3:13
102
Steal Away, Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen Hosea Williams and Marchers 2:31
103
Come By Here Marchers 1:14
104
Berlin Wall Marchers 0:55
105
We Shall Not be Moved Marchers 2:01
106
Oh, Freedom Congregation of Brown Chapel 1:11
107
If You Miss Me From the Back of the Bus Congregation of Brown Chapel 1:02
108
Woke Up This Morning With My Mind Stayed on Freedom Congregation of Brown Chapel 1:21
109
Which Side Are You On, Boy? / Keep Your Eye on the Prize (medley) James Orange and Protestors 2:39
110
Everybody Wants Freedom Demonstrators at March 0:41
111
Freedom Now Chant Demonstrators at March 0:35
112
Go Tell It on the Mountain / Which Side are You On, Boy? (medley) Demonstrators at March 4:29
201
Oh, Wallace Band 1 3:21
202
Get On Board Band 2 1:35
203
Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Round Two little Girls at March 1:32
204
This Little Light of Mine / Which Side Are You On? / Freedom Now Chant / Come By Here (medley) Workers in Selma at Mass for Jimmie Lee Jackson 4:44
205
We Shall Overcome Workers in Selma at Mass for Jimmie Lee Jackson 4:52
206
Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me 'Round / Freedom, Freedom, Freedom / Oh Wallace (medley) James Orange and Youth 3:27
207
Which Side Are You On, Boy? James Orange and Youth 2:19

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