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Paul Robeson

3 Ratings: 4.3
Musicians
1 review about Paul Robeson

A Quick Tip by RabidChihuahua

  • Nov 22, 2011
Aside from being a fantastic bass singer, Paul Robeson was a monumental black figure in entertainment, to be possibly the first in American history to be portrayed in film and stage roles with total dignity.  Aside from that, Robeson is really the only political musician/actor I have respect for because unlike modern political bands such as U2, Rage Against the Machine, and System of a Down, Robeson's fame and fortune were at stake when the Red Scare of the 50's made him a "public enemy" because of his far-left political views. He lost a lot of it becaue of this, and to me, that shows conviction.

Regardless of your political views, you should all see this captivating English translation of the Soviet anthem done by Robeson.
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December 13, 2011
Thanks for this reminder of his enormous voice - actually a rare bass, not a baritone. Robeson was just one of so many talents marginalized by Red Scare paranoia, a victim of nationalist ignorance not wholly dissimilar to his own in support of Stalinism. Had ugly opportunists ranging from Hoover to McCarthy to Nixon not sought to persecute celebrities vocal of their Soviet sympathies, they'd likely have generated little more than noise prior to the collapse of institutionalized Marxism - an inevitability assuredly predicted by Robert Conquest and nearly every legitimate economist of note.

More tragic than Robeson's was the fate of Sam Cooke, the first truly great commercial soul singer, shot dead (probably murdered) in a disheveled rage by a hotel manager. Cooke wasn't just a great singer and able songwriter; he was also the first performing artist of his genre to exhibit sound entrepreneurial ambition. During its brief lifespan of three years prior to his death, his SAR Records label produced a few fine singles indicative of some promise cut short.
December 14, 2011
Thanks for the clarification about Robeson's voice. I'll also check out Sam Cooke.
December 14, 2011
Do yourself a favor - obtain Night Beat, Cooke's miniature masterwork recorded in a mere three nights with teenager Billy Preston on keyboard! Hugely popular upon release, it's not especially well known nowadays by those who aren't R&B enthusiasts, but it's one of the very best soul albums you'll ever hear.
December 14, 2011
I'm checking out the songs from "Night Beat" on YouTube right now, thanks for the reccomendation!! I'm really enjoying it.
 
November 22, 2011
One of the great voices of the 20th century for sure...politics be damned!
 
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