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Archive for March 2nd, 2012

Listen, Whitey! Incendiary New Compilation Features Bob Dylan’s Rare “George Jackson” and Much More

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In her 1989 autobiography And a Voice to Sing With, Joan Baez recalled once asking Bob Dylan what was the difference between them. It was simple, he replied: she thought she could change things, and he knew that no one could. But one could argue that music did indeed, change things. Youth were politically engaged as never before, and awareness was raised of many crucial issues still debated today. Author Pat Thomas recalls “those turbulent years (approximately 1967 to 1974) when revolutionaries were considered pop culture icons and musicians were seen as revolutionaries.” Thomas is the author of Listen, Whitey! The Sights and Sounds of Black Power, a weighty 200-page tome just released by Fantagraphics Books revisiting the movement that empowered an entire people. In his definitive book, Thomas addresses the fact that many of that movement’s prominent members shared quite different views on how to go about bringing change.

A soundtrack to the written chronicle seemed essential: “My book is not really about white rock stars mingling with Black Power icons; it is a primer on the birth of the Black Power movement and a near-definitive catalog of related recordings; albums and singles; stray cassettes and reel-to-reel tapes that have been suppressed for decades.” And so the just-released Listen, Whitey! The Sounds of Black Power from Light in the Attic emphasizes diversity in its selection of artists but also the rarity of its material. At least seven of the album’s sixteen incendiary tracks have never been issued domestically on CD before, including one track by Bob Dylan himself. Other artists represented include John Lennon and Yoko Ono, comedian and activist Dick Gregory, jazz/soul chanteuse Marlena Shaw, poet, musician and spoken-word innovator Gil Scott-Heron, soul man Gene McDaniels and even British folk legend Roy Harper.

Hit the jump to read more about this exciting new release, plus a full track listing with discographical info, and an order link!

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Written by Joe Marchese

March 2, 2012 at 09:34