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dylan to perform at white house concert

January 28, 2010

Bob Dylan & Joan Baez at the March on WashingtonBob Dylan will join an impressive roster of musicians at the White House on Wednesday, February 10th for “A Celebration of Music from the Civil Rights Movement, part of the ongoing White House Music Series. While “Protest Singer” is one of the many mantles that Dylan has worked to shrug off over the years, his voice was definitely part of the musical force in the mid-‘60s that was driving for change. Iconic songs like “Blowin’ in the Wind” and “The Times They Are A-Changin” became anthems for the Civil Rights Movement and beyond. He performed with Joan Baez at the 1963 March on Washington and later that year received the Tom Paine Award from the National Emergency Civil Liberties Committee recognizing his service in the fight for civil liberty.

Bob Dylan is certainly a lot of different things to a lot of different people. I won’t use this post to wax on about what he means to me, though I tend to share his disdain for many of the various exalted monikers that have been laid at his feet. But I am thrilled that he is performing in this concert. And I am even happier to see the Obamas bringing so much music into the White House. It’s just wonderful.

The concert can be streamed live on the 10th, starting at 5:15 ET through It will be televised at 8:00 ET the following day (2/11) on public broadcasting stations nationwide.

musicnotes“Only a Pawn in Their Game” written in response to the 1963 murder of Civil Rights activist Medgar Evers. Absolutely haunting.
“The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll” recounts the killing of a 51-year old black barmaid by a wealthy young tobacco farmer and the inequities of the subsequent trial. Check out versions from both the Bootleg Series Vol. 6 – 1964 at Philharmonic Hall version (acoustic) and the Bootleg Series Vol. 5 – 1975 Rolling Thunder Revue (full band) – very different treatments, both extremely powerful.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Eric permalink
    February 1, 2010 4:25 pm

    You’ll be happy to know I’ve been listening to more and more Bob recently.

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