McCarthyism & Red Scare
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Not only does this collection feature some of this immortal folk musician's most memorable titles, including "This Land Is Your Land," "Hard Ain't It Hard," and "Roll On Columbia," it also features "Deportee (Plane Wreck)," a ballad he wrote in the late 1940s in response to a newspaper article about a plane crash in California; he was disturbed by the fact that the victims in the crash had been dismissed because they had been "deportees."
Blacklisted in the 1950s for his ties to the Communist Party USA, folk singer Pete Seeger composed songs of both protest and patriotism. Originally a member of the Weavers, Seeger helped revive the American folk music scene in 1950s even while under HUAAC investigation. This collection features some of the gems from his early solo career, including "Where Have All the Flowers Gone," "Turn, Turn, Turn," and "If I Had a Hammer."
Like Pete Seeger, Oscar Brand was a musician blacklisted by anticommunist crusaders in the 1950s. His earliest songs often dealt with the plight of the working man, while his later albums delved more into the world of politics and power.
One of several African-American artists blacklisted during the McCarthy era, Lena Horne is a blues legend. This collection features many of her elegant early recordings, including "Stormy Weather," "As Long As I Live," and "St. Louis Blues."
Who would've thought that Ole Blue Eyes had been a Red! Well, sort of. Sinatra was in fact suspected of Communist ties, primarily because he spoke out against the witch hunts, which he felt were unjust and fueled by paranoia. This recently released collection may be one of the most complete compilations of his early work yet produced.