Every Tone a Testimony: An African American Aural History

( 1 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Richie Unterberger
Subtitled "An African American Aural History," the scope of this two-CD set is impressive, encompassing poetry, writings, speeches, and music by many major Black musicians, writers, and activists of the 20th century. The focus of the disc, however, wavers enough to make it an uneven, jumpy listening experience, although it's a valuable source for educators and radio programmers that might want to draw upon specific tracks to make specific points. All but five of the 59 selections come from within the Smithsonian Folkways collection itself, ranging in length from 20-second soundbites to six-minute musical performances. Whether read by others or by the authors ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Richie Unterberger
Subtitled "An African American Aural History," the scope of this two-CD set is impressive, encompassing poetry, writings, speeches, and music by many major Black musicians, writers, and activists of the 20th century. The focus of the disc, however, wavers enough to make it an uneven, jumpy listening experience, although it's a valuable source for educators and radio programmers that might want to draw upon specific tracks to make specific points. All but five of the 59 selections come from within the Smithsonian Folkways collection itself, ranging in length from 20-second soundbites to six-minute musical performances. Whether read by others or by the authors themselves, this contains excerpts of notable literary works or speeches by significant African-Americans such as Langston Hughes, Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass, Booker T. Washington, Angela Davis, Bobby Seale, Martin Luther King, Jr., Amiri Baraka, Jayne Cortez, and Ishmael Reed sometimes read by notable actors like Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee. The music is a real mixed bag of styles, but again commendably diverse, with performances by Reverend Gary Davis, Leadbelly, Muddy Waters, Paul Robeson, Hamiet Bluiett, the Fisk Jubilee Singers, Brownie McGhee & Sonny Terry, James P. Johnson, and Arrested Development -- everything from country-blues and jazz to gospel and rap. Occasionally some of the pieces transcend their considerable historical/educational interest as incendiary performances in their own right, such as Amiri Baraka's remarkably lively, visceral performance of his poem "Dope" and the Golden Eagles' infectious Mardi Gras percussive chants. There are extensive liner notes, but these don't always indicate the date of performance
ecording, which even in case of the spoken word tracks would be useful information for many of the people apt to listen to such a disc.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 2/27/2001
  • Label: Smithsonian Folkways
  • UPC: 093074700327
  • Catalog Number: 47003
  • Sales rank: 20,608

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 The Struggle (0:22)
  2. 2 Field Call (1:19)
  3. 3 Complaint Call (0:44)
  4. 4 Intro and Kneebone Bend - Doretha Skipper (2:55)
  5. 5 Brother Terrapin, Slow Train to Arkansas (2:00)
  6. 6 Jack and Mary and Three Dogs (5:55)
  7. 7 Buck Dance (1:22)
  8. 8 I'm Going up North (1:26)
  9. 9 Pharaoh's Host Got Lost - Lawrencs McKiver (1:35)
  10. 10 Bars Fight (1:26)
  11. 11 Earl of Dartmouth (0:52)
  12. 12 I Wonder Where My Brother Gone (1:20)
  13. 13 Narrative (1:03)
  14. 14 Speech at Akron Convention (2:09)
  15. 15 Singing Slaves - Ossie Davis (1:04)
  16. 16 Steal Away to Jesus (1:54)
  17. 17 What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July? - Ossie Davis (2:39)
  18. 18 Why Slavery Is Still Rampant (1:49)
  19. 19 Free at Last - Vera Hall-Ward (1:38)
  20. 20 When Malindy Sings (3:49)
  21. 21 There's a Great Camp Meeting (2:05)
  22. 22 Atlanta Exposition Address (1:16)
  23. 23 John Henry - Sonny Terry (4:07)
  24. 24 Banjo Player (0:45)
  25. 25 Boatman Dance (1:46)
  26. 26 Shine (1:07)
  27. 27 Chopping in the New Ground (1:41)
  28. 28 Lynching, Our National Crime (3:47)
  29. 29 A Recorded Autobiography (2:37)
  30. 30 Listen Lord, a Prayer (2:57)
  31. 31 My Heart Is Fixed - Rev. Gary Davis (2:07)
  32. 32 The Titanic (4:08)
  33. 33 Heritage (2:59)
  34. 34 Jungle Drums (2:32)
Disc 2
  1. 1 No More Auction Block (2:13)
  2. 2 The Negro Speaks of Rivers (0:47)
  3. 3 If We Must Die (1:01)
  4. 4 Ma Rainey - Sterling A. Brown (2:06)
  5. 5 Backwater Blues (I Got up One Mornin' Blues) (2:51)
  6. 6 Married Man Blues - Billie Pierce (5:15)
  7. 7 For My People (5:45)
  8. 8 The Children of the Poor, Sonnet 2 (0:51)
  9. 9 Body and Soul - George Nicholas (3:50)
  10. 10 How He Delivered Me (2:42)
  11. 11 Long Distance Call - Muddy Waters (7:00)
  12. 12 Cry to Me (2:16)
  13. 13 Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around (2:34)
  14. 14 Birmingham 1963-Keep Moving - Martin Luther King Jr. (3:46)
  15. 15 Black Panther Party Platform (3:02)
  16. 16 Interview - Angela Davis (1:06)
  17. 17 Together to the Tune of Coltrane's "Equinox" (1:42)
  18. 18 Nikki Rosa - Nikki Giovanni (1:16)
  19. 19 Liberation/Poem (0:38)
  20. 20 Dope - Amiri Baraka (4:49)
  21. 21 The Village of Brooklyn, Illinois 62059 - Hamiet Bluiett (3:35)
  22. 22 For the Poets - Jayne Cortez (3:58)
  23. 23 Shotgun Joe (5:22)
  24. 24 St. Louis Woman (1:26)
  25. 25 People Everyday (3:27)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Arrested Development Track Performer
Big Bill Broonzy Track Performer
Elizabeth Cotten Track Performer
Paul Robeson Track Performer
Golden Eagles Track Performer
Solomon Burke Track Performer
Hamiet Bluiett Baritone Saxophone
Jayne Cortez Track Performer
Billy Hart Drums
Langston Hughes Track Performer
James P. Johnson Piano
Ishmael Reed Track Performer
Marc Ribot Guitar
John Miller Piano
Paul Oscher Harmonica
Angela Davis Track Performer
Nikki Giovanni Track Performer
Luther "Guitar Junior" Johnson Guitar
Bernice Johnson Reagon Vocals
Arna Bontemps Track Performer
Ossie Davis Track Performer
Gwendolyn Brooks Track Performer
Ruby Dee Track Performer
Dock Reed Track Performer
Sonia Sanchez Vocals, Sounds
Amiri Baraka Track Performer
Alan Booth Piano
Brownie McGhee Guitar
Crispin Cioe Baritone Saxophone
Dave Conrad Bass
Rev. Gary Davis Guitar, Vocals
Rutha Harris Vocals
Bob Kent Drums
S.P. Leary Drums
George Nicholas Tenor Saxophone
Percy Randolph Vocals
Cordell Hull Reagon Vocals
Sonny Terry Harmonica
Otis Spann Piano
Wayne Wallace Guitar
Sterling A. Brown Track Performer
James "Pee Wee" Madison Guitar
Rich Manuel "Rich" Amerson Track Performer
Scott Dunbar Guitar
Martin Luther King Jr. Track Performer
Billie Pierce Track Performer
Doretha Skipper Track Performer
Bobby Seale Track Performer
Arno Hecht Tenor Saxophone
Sarah Webster Fabio Track Performer
Claude McKay Track Performer
Countee Cullen Track Performer
Fisk University Jubilee Singers Track Performer
Gabriel Rotello Keyboards
Margaret Walker Track Performer
James P. Johnson & His Orchestra Track Performer
Dave Jackson Bass
Charles Neblett Vocals
Technical Credits
Arrested Development Composer
Lead Belly Composer
Guy Carawan Engineer
Jerry Butler Artwork, Cover Image
Alan Lomax Engineer
Sonia Sanchez Dialect Coach
Moses Asch Interviewer
Rev. Gary Davis Songwriter
Sylvester "Sly Stone" Stewart Composer
Bert Russell Composer
Pete Reiniger Mastering
Traditional Composer
Robert H. Cataliotti Producer, Annotation
James Weldon Johnson Composer
John Work III Arranger, Director
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    The most exciting resource for American History!

    This is without a doubt the most exciting American History resource to cross my desk in years! It contains 59 tracks (nearly two and a half hours) of material drawn from the Smithsonian Folkways archive, organized to create a history of African American life and culture in sound. It presents music, poetry, oratory and prose by historically renowned African American musicians, writers and activists spanning two centuries. Just a sampling of the diverse voices you'll hear include Langston Hughes, Booker T. Washington, W.E.B.Du Bois, Margaret Walker, the Fisk Jubliee Singers, Gwendolyn Brooks, Paul Robeson, Muddy Waters, the SNCC Freedom Singers , Martin Luther King, Jr, Angela Davis, Nikki Giovanni, and Arrested Development. Writers who predate recorded sound are also represented by historical recordings; for example, Arna Bontemps reads writings of Lucy Terry, Ruby Dee reads Sojourner Truth and Ida B. Wells-Barnett. (I was impressed with the equal representation of women throughout the project.) Folk tracks trace the development of African American music: for example, there's a ''field call'' by Annie Grace Horn Dodson, a ''complaint call'' by Enoch Brown. Percy Randolph performs a shoe shining song, and the Inmates Of Ramsey Retrieve State Farms perform a work song. As if that's not enough for under $25, it also includes an extensive booklet with supplemental material. Anyone who teaches American History or African American Studies cannot afford to be without this CD, and anyone who loves aural history will want it in their collection. It's invaluable.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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