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A Man and His Beliefs

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Album Review

Legacy International (not to be confused with Sony's reissue label, Legacy) licensed 16 of Paul Robeson's 1930s EMI recordings for this disc, which features folk songs, vintage popular tunes such as Stephen Foster's "Old Folks At Home," and adaptations of spirituals, such as Turner Layton and Henry Creamer's "Dear Old Southland," based on "Deep River." (Despite the suggestive album title, there is no political material.) Robeson is given a supportive orchestral accompaniment, and his sonorous voice is as impressive as usual. The unimproved CD sound is only fair, with a scratchy, hissy background, and the album's sparse annotations — no recording dates, no songwriter credits — mark this as a low-budget effort.


Born: 09 April 1898 in Princeton, NJ

Genre: Vocal

Years Active: '20s, '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s

Paul Robeson excelled as an athlete, actor, singer, and activist, qualifying him as a contemporary renaissance man. His early accomplishments as a professional football player, Columbia law school graduate, and an actor on Broadway in the 1920s seemed but a prologue to even greater achievements to come. Involvement with the political left in the 1940s, however, led to a confrontation with the House of Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) in the late 1940s. He was blacklisted, his passport was...
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A Man and His Beliefs, Paul Robeson
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