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Ol’ Man River

Ol’ Man River


by Paul Robeson


Paul Robeson Foundation

Read a great, thorough biography of this American hero, and see what his admirers are up to these days.

Peter Applebome: “From the Valley of Obscurity, Robeson’s Baritone Rings Out: 22 Years After His Death, Actor-Activist Gets a Grammy” (New York Times, February 1998)

This is a fascinating article about Robeson’s legacy 100 years after his birth, which highlights the ways that Cold War politics put an almost full stop on Robeson’s reputation. In 1998, there was a massive effort to bring back his memory, which seems to have had some effect today.

Scott Simon: “Ol’ Man River: An American Masterpiece” (NPR, May 2003)

This little radio piece commemorates the 75th anniversary of “Ol’ Man River” and highlights Robeson’s association with the song.

Show Boat overview

This background page on Show Boat gives a brief synopsis, plus some context and background on the show’s importance in the context of American musical theater.

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