We Shall Not Be Moved
November 10, 2016 9:00 AM   Subscribe

The last few days have been hard. Mavis Staples has been restoring my soul. As a devoted Stax fan, I know the music of The Staples Singers pretty well. But what are some other gospel and/or soul tracks from the 20th century Civil Rights movement that are rich with hope and strength?

(While I recognize that white twentieth century folk music is rich with fantastic protest music, please hear me when I say that what I need right now is soul. I need that gospel sound.)
posted by DirtyOldTown to Media & Arts (16 answers total) 28 users marked this as a favorite
Mahalia Jackson
posted by rhizome at 9:20 AM on November 10, 2016 [3 favorites]

I should mention I am looking for songs, individual songs. For a playlist.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:21 AM on November 10, 2016

I love the song "Together We Shall Overcome" by the Magic Tones. It was recorded right before MLK Jr. was killed and came out right afterwards. I collect soul 45s and this is a favorite.

I also love "Nothing Can Separate Me" by the New York Community Choir. Awesome 70s gorgeous gospel!
posted by sucre at 9:30 AM on November 10, 2016 [1 favorite]

Odetta! She is fabulous and I have been listening to her nonstop. In addition to gospels, spirituals, and folk music, she also has a great album of Bob Dylan covers.
posted by stillmoving at 9:45 AM on November 10, 2016 [4 favorites]

Sweet Honey in the Rock!

Wade in the Water
In The Morning When I Rise
Eyes on the Prize
Down by the Riverside

are just a few - but their entire catalog is wonderful.
posted by Daily Alice at 9:56 AM on November 10, 2016 [3 favorites]

Oops, sorry: Masters of War, Hangman, Pastures of Plenty, 900 miles, House of the Rising Sun, Oh Freedom, Down on Me, and With God on Our Side are some good examples. But really almost any song from her catalogue feels really appropriate right now.

And though it is pre 20th Century, I am also always inspired by the Black National Anthem (Lift Every Voice and Sing)--there are dozens of versions online, in varying degrees of gospel.
posted by stillmoving at 9:57 AM on November 10, 2016 [1 favorite]

Not exactly soul or gospel, but..James Taylor, Shed A Little Light

Also, a bit different, but it might be helpful... Phil Ochs Power and Glory
posted by HuronBob at 11:24 AM on November 10, 2016 [1 favorite]

Sorry for all of the entries, but I have been listening to the same music and keep remembering more! "We Shall Overcome," of course is a classic. Here is a pretty riveting chorus, but you can again find versions from a capella to giant church choir of this song. Ray Charles also does a, well, Ray Charles version of Lift Every voice and sing.
posted by stillmoving at 11:27 AM on November 10, 2016 [1 favorite]

Nina Simone - I Shall Be Released and I Got Life, especially. And Heaven Belongs To You.
posted by bunderful at 12:03 PM on November 10, 2016 [1 favorite]

None of Us Are Free by Solomon Burke.
posted by ChuraChura at 1:03 PM on November 10, 2016 [1 favorite]

Sam Cooke - A Change is Gonna Come. Not sure how to do the little video arrow.
posted by lyssabee at 2:28 PM on November 10, 2016 [2 favorites]

Mahalia Jackson is amazing. Stax Gospel.
posted by persona au gratin at 1:35 AM on November 11, 2016 [1 favorite]

I'm not sure if this song was used in the civil rights movement, but Aretha Franklin singing How I Got Over has been comforting for me in these last few days.
posted by amelliferae at 7:06 AM on November 11, 2016 [1 favorite]

Depending on your comfort level with religiosity, here you go:

I Love The Lord from Whitney Houston's memorial service.

The Battle is the Lord's

Jesus Keep Me Near The Cross, Rachelle Ferrell

Not even titled but this is Rachelle Ferrell at Bernie Mac's funeral service

I am not Christian but all of these move me.
posted by nakedmolerats at 10:17 AM on November 11, 2016

lots of versions but here's one: 99 and a half won't do
posted by nakedmolerats at 10:41 AM on November 11, 2016

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