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Civil Rights Movement: Desegregation Music

Ray Charles, The Birth of Soul: The Complete Atlantic Rhythm and Blues Recordings, 1952-1959 (1991)

The most comprehensive collection of the early work of the sophisticated Ray Charles. Includes a number of recordings from his days with Atlantic Records. Ballads, blues, and bravado!

Etta James, At Last! (1961)

The first full-length album from singer Etta James. You'll hear a sampling of her earlier R&B crooning, lots of cool Soul, and a bit of Blues. Includes the famous title track "At Last," as well as "All I Could Do Was Cry," "Tough Mary," "Sunday Kind of Love," and "Trust In Me."

James Brown, Live at the Apollo, 1962 ()

A powerful live recording and one that captures the interplay between Brown and his audience. Includes the tracks "I'll Go Crazy," "Try Me," "I Don't Mind," "Think," "Please, Please, Please," "Strange Things Happen," and "Night Train."

Freedom Is A Constant Struggle: Songs of the Mississippi Civil Rights Movement (1994)

A collection of folk songs from and about the Civil Rights Movement compiled by the Cultural Center for Social Change. Many of the tracks are original recordings by Movement activists such as Fannie Lou Hamer, Judy Collins, Bob Dylan, and the SNCC Freedom Singers.

Mavis Staples, We'll Never Turn Back (2007)

A recent release from Mavis Staples of the Staple Singers, the sixties-era Soul group. The album is a forceful reflection on the early years of the civil rights struggle, complete with pounding beats, chilling guitar rifts, and Staples's thunderous voice. In the emotion-filled "My Own Eyes," Staples recounts the night she spent in an Arkansas jail and sings of the profound affect the experience had upon her. "Down in Mississippi" and "99 And 1/2" are stand-outs, and the grinding Blues track "Turn Me Around" will have you singing along.

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