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Saturday, March 17, 2012

Bayard Rustin Sings

I want to join those honoring the 100th anniversary of the birth of Bayard Rustin, and of course I’m doing it with music. It’s easy to use search engines to learn of the history of this remarkable leader, but not so easy to learn of this other side of him, the singer.

The 10” LP above was recorded in the 1940s when Rustin was secretary for the Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR). You can read the full back cover notes on my website, but a section of it is below.

The cassette tape below was released in 1988, a year after his death, and the date of recording is not given, but it was obviously a live performance. One Wiki reference gives a recording year as 1972.

Both of these recordings are available on CD.

I want to recommend the video shown below, as a quick history lesson on the contributions of Bayard Rustin to the Civil Rights Movement.

Rustin’s influence goes on, and one example is the sampling of a speech by him, used to start off the hip hop track “We Out,” found on the 2004 CD “The Famous Outlaw League of Proto-Negroes,” by Deep Dickollective. That group, led by Juba Kalamka, was a project by a number of some of the most talented artists of that genre.

D/DC disbanded in 2008, but here is some summary data for the group.

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