Sandy Hook

Sandy Hook

Saturday, February 06, 2010

1960s: Baez, Jackson, Seeger and LBJ - We Shall Overcome

This is in honor of Black History Month and is a tribute to President Barack Obama.

I couldn't make up my mind, so I decided to play all three very different renditions. This moving song will live in my heart for as long as I live. The Iranian people have adopted it in their struggle for freedom.

A little history.


  1. LBJ showed great courage in signing the Civil Rights Bill. He knew it was going to devastate the Democratic party in the south for decades;he did it anyway cause it was the right thing to do.
    Props to Daddy Bush too, raising taxes to avoiding cutting programs he felt were necessary was political suicide;he too did the right thing.Credit where credit is due.
    I love Joan Baez.

  2. tnlib, if you haven't guessed by now, we are of the same generation, and these YouTube clips are nostalgia for me. I remember those times all too painfully well ... the assassinations of Kennedy-King-Kennedy, Clean for Gene, the Chicago Dem convention, Kent State ... and my summers at the Newport Folk Festival where I see these folks in person.

    One afternoon behind stage, I was eating lunch alone at a picnic bench when I heard a voice say, "Young man, you don't need to eat your lunch alone. Come over and sit by me." It was Johnny Cash, one of the warmest, nicest people I have ever met.

  3. Oso: I love all three of these artists, Instead of selecting one, go for broke - people can look at one, or all three or none?

    I just stumbled across LBJ. I never thought JFK could have gotten that Bill across for a variety of reasons. LBJ had that nose to nose, arm to arm, sit down have some good ole Black Jack and let's talk awhile - like through the night. Oh, did I wake you. Well shucks, I'm sorry - it's only 3 am. Why don't you put on your robe and come up to the house? Got some Republicans on his side by twisting their arms in a steel grip and offering more Jack.

    I've loved Baez all my life. She performed for $3 back in her early days but Seeger was the one who made it popular and arranged it. Jackson was powerful as hell.

  4. Oto: Those were the days, my friend. Aside from the tragedies, we had something pretty powerful going. Most importantly, we weren't all stoned out of our minds all the time - we genuinely cared and wanted to right some wrongs.

    We were criticized for being "dirty" hippies, but when you see videos from that era, these kids looked little different from a lot of today's kids.

    Thanks for commenting and please come back.

  5. tnlib: "we genuinely cared and wanted to right some wrongs"

    And still do ... more than ever!

  6. Octo: Great Johnny Cash anecdote. I'm only now finding out more and more about him.

    I know so little of this music (wrong generation). This reminds me of the movie "Soundtrack to a Revolution" which I have read about and wanted to see. They showed it in my town on the MLK holiday, and it was instantly sold out with a huge standby line, so I had no change to see it. I imagine it was fill of music like this.

  7. It's important to have such reminders of history. There were times in the past when the forces of reaction were even stronger and more violent and more frightening than they are today. But the forces of progress did overcome, even then. And they will overcome in the present, and they will overcome in the future.

    Oso: He knew it was going to devastate the Democratic party in the south for decades; he did it anyway cause it was the right thing to do.

    We could use a few more like that in Congress right now -- people with the guts to do the right thing even at the risk of losing a few elections.

  8. Speaking of Johnny Cash, I never knew it until recently and found it totally by accident - he did an album titled "Johnny Cash sings the ballads of the American Indians: Bitter Tears."

    I highly recommend it.

    Sometimes I have to wonder what the face of this country would look like had JFK, RFK and MLK lived.

  9. Forgot to mention, the Johnny Cash album Bitter Tears can be downloaded at Amazon.

  10. I was too young to have experienced any of this directly....

    But I am glad to see that LBJ is getting a little credit....

    He was so disgusting to most of the elite liberals of the time (JFK and RFK) but without him nothing would have been accomplished.

    Sure could use someone like him today...

  11. There is a story about which Frodo has reported before. Two preachers from Atlanta were traveling to Kentucky in the 1950's, and since they both happened to be "colored" the places to overnight were limited. They pulled into a place called "The Highlander Center" in the town of New Market where they were offered comfort. That evening, the good people there sang songs around a campfire. Among the songs was an old spiritual, previously unknown to either of the preachers. The next day, so the story goes, as they drove on toward Kentucky, one of the preachers said to the other "You know Ralph, I just can't get that song out of my mind."
    The preachers--Ralph David Abernathy and Martin Luther King, Jr.
    The song --"We shall overcome."
    The singer--Pete Seeger
    The truth--When asked about the story, Pete Seeger told Frodo that was exactly as it happened.
    The Highlander Center is still there by the way, despite the concerted efforts of many of their neighbors to drive the "Communists" away.

  12. Infidel753,
    Absolutely, we could use some Congress people in there willing to lose elections to do the right thing. And who knows-that kind of honesty could be "catching"!

  13. Leslie,
    The Baruch Plan-to share the nuclear formula.

  14. dmarks: NPT produced a wonderful series on MLK and the CR era. Most of them are on YouTube.

    Infidel: "But the forces of progress did overcome, even then. And they will overcome in the present, and they will overcome in the future."

    I've been thinking along the same path. Our country has been through a lot of upheaval, a lot of it from other reactionary groups and still we survive.

    JFK, I don't think, could have accomplished what LBJ did, but then he didn't have the chance to prove himself.

  15. Bee: My comment about JFK should have been in answer to you and not Infidel - sorry. But I wonder how our country might have been had they lived.

    One of my favorite Cash songs as "A Boy Named Sue." I know, a little off the beaten path but fun.

    Tao: I was too young to have experienced any of this directly....

    Rub it in! If Vietnam hadn't been such an albatross around LBJ's neck (which he allowed and encouraged), I think he would have gone down as one of the greatest presidents in the country. He let VN detract him from the Great Society program.

  16. I think we need to move back to the subject of the post.

  17. tn: good suggestion. At least the detour happend with complete civility :)

  18. Thanks, dmark. Actually, I hope none of you will be offended or take it personally, but because things really got way, way off topic, I'm going to delete the VN discussions. People come here expecting to talk about music and civil rights, and we've spent over half the comment section on Viet Nam. It's most interesting and I think it would make a great post for either or both of you. Perhaps a joint effort - a kind of 2-parter coming from different perspectives or whatever.

    I don't get a lot of ugliness. The one time I did Infidel swooped in and helped me out. I ended up deleting right and left. The few times since, when I've had trolls, Anons, near-anons, and personal insults, I have deleted asap. So, I think most of these folks have decided it's not worth the effort. I'm simply not going to tolerate that kind of stuff or let PPs turn into a war zone.

    I hope you'll come back here.

  19. Leslie,
    You're absolutely right. If not kept on topic things can degenerate.While dmarks and I were civil, that's not always the case with this type of thing.I completely agree.Sorry Leslie!