Civil Rights

Willie Chambers and his brothers fell in love with gospel music while growing up singing in church. Even though they received some strong criticism, they expanded the places where church music was heard, including night clubs and bars in the late 1950s and early 1960s. With the support of Pete...
Al Bell was in the Stax recording studio in Memphis at the very moment Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was shot and killed just a few blocks away. Ironically, the recording Al was producing at that time was a song he wrote encouraging Dr. King, whom he had known for years, to be cautious carrying...
Phil Ranelin stood in line at school to pick an instrument for band. He really wanted the saxophone but when he got to the head of the line all the saxophones were gone and he was given a trombone. It was not his first choice, but he grew to love the instrument and in fact made it his own over the...
Peter Yarrow is the Peter in the wildly successful popular folk music trio Peter, Paul, and Mary. During his often musical NAMM Oral History interview, Peter spoke of the role music played during the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s, as well as the anti-war movement during the Vietnam War. The...
Tommy Roe wrote most of the hit songs for which he is best known, such as "Dizzy," "Sheila," "Everybody" and "Sweet Pea." Each were hit songs in the 1960s and were part of the early days of his career, which included a tour with the Beatles in 1963. Tommy later formed a music publishing company and...
Tom Paxton spoke eloquently about the role folk music played during critical events in American history, such as the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s for which he was involved with. Tom marched, wrote songs, and played the songs of others, such as Pete Seeger, in order to bring about...
Fat Dog is the founder of Subway Guitars in Berkeley, California.  Since the 1960s, the store has become a hub for musicians to gather to discuss everything from politics and human rights concerns as well as music and poetry. The level of social awareness that Subway had was in Fat Dog's...
Vernon Reid was among the founding members of the cutting edge and influential rock band Living Colour.  The band helped break the color line in hard rock music by showcasing an all-black band can perform heavy metal rock with the best of them.  Vernon’s career has covered a wide range of musical...
Clifton “Fou Fou” Eddie began his career as a big band and jazz drummer but soon discovered he has the skills for the blues and pop music.  He has played with the likes of The Dells, Patti La Belle and Tommy Hunt, along with his dear friend Preston Epps.  After moving from his native Chicago, Fou...
Preston Epps was the percussionist who had a top 20 hit recording in 1959 entitled "Bongo Rock."  The success of the song led to additional recordings and concert tours that forever tied his name with the bongos!  His fascinating career in music included gigs with Count Basie, Ben Pollack and even...

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