“Music had become the soundtrack of the American conscience,” Peter Yarrow says in the current issue of Time magazine.
The Peter in the recipe of Peter, Paul and Mary knows firsthand the emotion and importance of performing at the March on Washington (see their clip below), as does Joan Baez, who tells the magazine, “Speak truth to power. It’s a Quaker expression. We felt that we could do that, and you know, we still can.”
Baez, who performed the anthemic protest song, “We Shall Overcome” at the event, as well as singing with Bob Dylan, is one of the names most associated with the historic event.
In keeping with the music of the era, Mark Kurlansky recently released “Ready for a Brand New Beat: How ‘Dancing in the Street’ Became the Anthem for a Changing America.” The book details how the song, released weeks before race riots in Philadelphia, became the summer anthem of 1964.
But this weekend, it’s about remembering the history of 1963 and the music that helped cement its importance.
Bob Dylan and Joan Baez, “When the Ship Comes In,” “Only a Pawn in Their Game,” “Keep Your Eyes on the Prize.”
Mahalia Jackson, “How I Got Over.”
Joan Baez, “We Shall Overcome” (12:55 mark) and Marian Anderson, “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands” (20:40 mark).