These videos and CD collections were recommended by past participants in the Voices Across Time Summer Institutes for Teachers.
Black Is—Black Ain’t: A Personal Journey Through Black Identity. Independent Television Service. (San Francisco, CA: California Newsreel 1995).
Making Sense of the Sixties. PBS, 1991.
The History of Rock-N-Roll. Andrew Solt Productions, Time Life Video & Television. (Burbank, CA: Warner Home Video, 2004).
Berkeley in the Sixties. Kitchell Films in Association with POV Theatrical Films. (San Francisco, CA: California Newsreel, 1990).
The Golden Age of Cartoons: Cartoons for Victory! (Mackinac Media, 2006).
Brother Can You Spare a Dime (1975). Starring Vivien Leigh, Clark Gable. Directed by Phillippe Mora. “Totally without the benefit of narration, the movie mixes newsreel footage with clips from Hollywood films to tell the story, from the stock market crash through Pearl Harbor. Movie-minded viewers will easily recognize footage from They Made Me a Criminal, Public Enemy, Golddiggers of 1933, Employee’s Entrance, Little Caesar, Lady Killer, I Was a Fugitive from a Chain Gang, and countless other Hollywood films from the time—some classics, some more obscure. The scope of the film covers not only historical landmarks such as the Dust Bowl, FDR’s election, and the New Deal, but dance marathons and the Louis-Schmeling heavyweight fight for a comprehensive look at the country’s social climate.” (Quoted from Amazon.com)
The Great War and the Shaping of the 20th Century. Starring Salome Jens, Judith Dench. Directory Carl Byker. (PBS Home Video, 1996).
Recorded Collections of Interest
“The Best of the Broadside Collection, 1962-1988.”
In 1962 Sis Cunningham and Gordon Friesen began publication of Broadside, a topical song magazine that quickly would help to start a national movement. After the cold war ‘50s, a social, cultural, and political revolution was in the air. Broadside began publishing hundreds of songs of social dissatisfaction by musicians who later became the leading lights of the folk and protest movements. Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs, Tom Paxton, Pete Seeger, and dozens more all had their songs first published in Broadside.
This five-CD set is a marvelously comprehensive document of the magazine’s songs and songwriters, all of whom were recorded by Folkways Records. The lyrics of each song are printed and extensive information is given about the context in which the song was created. Background material is provided on all of the songwriters, too.
The discs are compiled primarily around the main topics: labor, nuclear weapons, social injustice, Vietnam, civil rights. Eighty-nine songs in all are featured, most of which loosely could be termed “folk music” in style: basic rhythms, acoustic instruments, spirited singers. Listening to the songs and following the annotations serve to remind one of an era of potent protest in this country when music really mattered, and the songs themselves were the primary means of expressing dissatisfaction and disillusionment. (From Amazon.com)
“Beautiful Dreamer: The Songs of Stephen Foster” (Nashville, TN: American Roots Publishing, 2004. No. 591594-2)
This CD is a collection of Foster’s most beloved compositions – and lesser-known exquisite parlor songs of his day – sung by some of today’s most respected musical artists. The album includes songs by: Raul Malo, Alison Krauss with Yo Yo Ma, Edgar Meyer and Mark O’Connor, BR549, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Judith Edelman, The Duhks, John Prine, Henry Kaiser, Beth Nielsen Chapman, David Ball, Michelle Shocked & Pete Anderson, Grey De Lisle, Mavis Staples, Ollabelle, Roger McGuinn, Suzy Bogguss, Will Barrow and Ron Sexsmith.
“Rhapsodies in Black: Music and Words from the Harlem Renaissance” (Los Angeles, CA: Rhino, 2000. R2 79874 Rhino)
Rhapsodies reaches back to 1918 for Wilbur C. Sweatman’s Original Jazz Band and their recording of “Indianola,” and it gathers in poems and excerpts from stories and essays, read by such luminaries as Quincy Jones, Public Enemy’s Chuck D, Branford Marsalis, and Angela Bassett. Musically, the collection focuses in some depth on early jazz and the first iteration of “urban blues.” Bessie Smith’s 1925 “St. Louis Blues,” Duke Ellington’s 1929 “Cotton Club Stomp” and 1926 “East St. Louis Toodle-Oo,” Fats Waller’s 1929 “Harlem Fuss” and “Smashing Thirds,” Cab Calloway’s 1931 “Minnie the Moocher,” and Louis Armstrong’s 1929 performance of Waller’s “Ain’t Misbehavin’” all stand out indelibly.
“The Voice of Langston Hughes” (Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, SFW47001, 1995).
Combines poetry, Afro-American history, folklore, humor, jazz, and gospel music—subjects of enduring interest in the 46-year literary career of Langston Hughes, the most versatile and prolific author of his generation. All ages can share Hughes’s humor in these recordings from the 1950s. Selections culled from six previously released Folkways albums feature works of the late Hughes spanning the years 1925-1932. The author reads poetry from The Dream Keeper and Other Poems, prose from Simple Speaks His Mind, and he narrates his text of The Story of Jazz, Rhythms of the World and The Glory of Negro History. These treasured selections offer part of the rich legacy of an American author whose writing remains timeless. “Captured here are the deadpan humor, wit, eloquence, and regal distinctivness of the Harlem Bard’s voice and delivery” —URB
“The Sounds of History.” (Time-Life Recording, 1962).
Difficult to locate, but if you can this is a very helpful collection. 12 records in total with a companion book for each album.
“Songs of the Suffragettes” (Folkways Records #FW0581.1958).
First recorded in the 1958 and reissued in 1995, with excellent liner notes about the women’s suffrage movement.
“Hurrah For Woman Suffrage!”
The Homespun Singers. Miriam Reed presents one-woman shows about early feminists, including Margaret Sanger, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony. This CD or cassette contains 17 suffrage-era songs performed by Homespun Singers. The songs date from 1840 to 1920, with simple, authentic arrangements your group can easily sing along with. A lyric sheet is also available. These songs are an excellent tool for teachers at all levels, a history lesson and a feminist critique for involving both the casual listener and the serious student. Available from miriamreed.com, or write to Miriam Reed, 1320 Prospect Street, Ashland, Oregon 97520, or phone (917) 710-2354, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.