WSCP 12: Songs of Freedom with Sweet Honey in the Rock

Woodsongs Old-Time Radio Hour

 

Transcript
Toggle Index/Transcript View Switch.
Index
Search this Index
X
00:00:00 - Show Introduction

Play segment Segment link

Segment Synopsis: Statement of the show number and its sponsoring organizations.

00:01:11 - Performance: "Believe" (Michael Johnathon)

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: Johnathon: "Here's a song from an opera about Woody Guthrie, and in the opera he's asked what he believes, and this is the aria of his answer."

Segment Synopsis: Michael Johnathon performs "Believe."

Keywords: Woody Guthrie; biography; ideology

Subjects: Americana; Michael Johnathon (musician); acoustic; acoustic guitar; electric bass; folk; folk opera; opera; string quartet; theatrical music

00:04:48 - Welcome / Artist Introduction

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: Johnathon: "And welcome to the historic Lyric Theater in our hometown of Lexington, Kentucky; we're broadcasting worldwide, celebrating independent and grassroots music of all kinds."

Segment Synopsis: Johnathon provides an introduction to this episode of Woodsongs and then discusses the founding of Sweet Honey in the Rock in the 1970s and their connection to the earlier Freedom Singers ensemble.

Keywords: African Americans; Bernice Reagon; Civil Rights Movement; Ella Baker; Freedom Singers; Lyric Theater; Martin Luther King, Jr.; Sweet Honey in the Rock; Washington, DC; social justice; women

00:06:11 - Performance: "Ella's Song" (Sweet Honey in the Rock)

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: Johnathon: "They're gonna perform a song based on the words of Ella Baker, the music written by Bernice Reagan--who is no longer with the group, but these ladies are certainly carrying the wonderful torch that was started back then."

Segment Synopsis: Sweet Honey in the Rock perform Bernice Reagon's "Ella's Song."

Keywords: African Americans; Bernice Reagon; Civil Rights Movement; Ella Baker; Sweet Honey in the Rock (artist); social justice

Subjects: a cappella; gospel; social justice; spoken word; vocal music

00:10:25 - Interview 1: Louise Robinson, Sweet Honey in the Rock

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: Johnathon: "Let's say 'Hi' to founding member Louise Robinson."

Keywords: 1970s.; African Americans; Bernice Reagon; Bible; Carol Maillard; Christianity; D.C. Black Repertory Theater; Louise Robinson (musician); Sweet Honey in the Rock; Washington, DC; acting; theater; women

Subjects: social activism; social justice

00:12:26 - Interview 2: Carol Maillard, Sweet Honey in the Rock

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: Johnathon: "Cofounding member Carol Maillard is here as well. The music of Sweet Honey--it was a quartet for a while, became a quintet, and you're back as a quartet with a wonderful addition (which we're going to get to)."

Segment Synopsis: Maillard discusses how the membership and musical style of Sweet Honey in the Rock have varied over the history of the ensemble, while still unified by the continuing social significance of their music.

Keywords: 1970s; Carol Maillard (artist); Civil Rights Movement; Freedom Singers; Kennedy Center; National Symphony; Sweet Honey in the Rock; Washington, DC; bass; family life; musical style; orchestral music; percussion; piano; politics; protest music; relevance; social justice; violin

Subjects: protest songs; social activism; social justice

00:16:02 - Performance: "Somebody Prayed for Me"( Sweet Honey in the Rock)

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: Johnathon: It is called "Love in Evolution," this is a tune off the album called "Somebody Pray for Me"

Segment Synopsis: Sweet Honey in the Rock perform a gospel song, "Somebody Pray for Me," from their newly-released album "#LoveInEvolution."

Keywords: #LoveInEvolution; Christianity; Musical recordings; family life; prayer; religion

Subjects: Gospel music; electric bass; tambourine; vocal music

00:19:21 - Interview 3: Aisha Kahlil, Sweet Honey in the Rock

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: "Let's say 'Hi' to Aisha Kahlil."

Segment Synopsis: Kahlil recalls how she was invited to audition for Sweet Honey in the Rock after having participated in a workshop with them in Boston in the early 1980s.

Keywords: #LoveInEvolution; 1980s; Aisha Kahlil (musician); Boston, MA; Nitanju Bolade Casel (musician); auditions; family life; touring; workshops

Subjects: social activism; social justice

00:20:53 - Interview 4: Bolade Casel, Sweet Honey in the Rock

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: Johnathon: "And let's say 'Hi' to your [Kahlil's] sister, Nitanju."

Segment Synopsis: Bolade Casel describes when she joined Sweet Honey in the Rock and explains her views on the responsibility of artists toward their communities.

Keywords: 1980s; Nitanju Bolade Casel (musician); Sweet Honey in the Rock; activism; philosophy; social justice

Subjects: social activism; social justice

00:22:27 - Performance: "I Don't Want No Trouble at the River" (Sweet Honey in the Rock)

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: Johnathon: "This is a tune off the album called 'I Don't Want No Trouble at the River.'"

Segment Synopsis: Sweet Honey in the Rock perform James Cleveland's gospel song "I Don't Want No Trouble at the River" from their newly-released album "#LoveInEvolution."

Keywords: Christianity; Sweet Honey in the Rock (artist); death; heaven; religion

Subjects: Gospel music; a cappella; social activism; social justice; vocal music

00:30:09 - Break 00:30:34 - Woodsongs Kid: School for the Creative and Performing Arts, "We Shall Overcome" (Interview and Performance)

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: Johnathon: Welcome everybody, we're broadcasting from the Lyric Theater in our hometown of Lexington, Kentucky. Is this not a gorgeous theatre for our broadcast? In the 1960s, the folksinger and activist named Guy Carawan heard a traditional song that he sang to Pete Seenger, and Pete Seeger really liked the song and changed a couple words in it, and he sang the song to Martin Luther King, who sat in the back of his car after he heard about it."

Segment Synopsis: Sweet Honey in the Rock, students from the School for the Creative and Performing Arts (SCAPA), and the audience members perform "We Shall Overcome."

Keywords: Civil Rights Movement; Freedom Singers; Guy Carawan; Martin Luther King, Jr.; Pete Seeger; SCAPA; School for the Creative and Performing Arts; Woodsongs Kid; audience participation; folk music revival

Subjects: Sweet Honey in the Rock; choral music; guitar; protest songs; vocal music

00:36:57 - Performance: "Sankofa" (Sweet Honey in the Rock)

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: Johnathon: "Shiley Childress--now, you watch her in the audience while we get into this next very, very dramatic song, based on race riots in the 1920s in Tulsa, Oklahoma."

Segment Synopsis: Sweet Honey in the Rock perform "Sankofa" from their album "#LoveInEvolution."

Keywords: 1830s; 1920s; African Americans; Akan people; Cherokee Nation; Dick Rowland; Ghana; Sarah Page; Trail of Tears; Tulsa race riots of 1921; Tulsa, OK; Twi language; death; lynchings; memorials; memory; race relations

Subjects: Ramir Mendez (artist); Sweet Honey in the Rock (artist); double bass; percussion; social activism; social justice; soul; vocal music

00:43:12 - Performance: "Operator" (Sweet Honey in the Rock)

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: Johnathon: "Sweet Honey in the Rock from their new CD '#LoveInEvolution.'"

Segment Synopsis: Sweet Honey in the Rock perform the song "Operator" from their CD "#LoveInEvolution."

Keywords: Christianity; Jesus; prayer; religion; technology; telecommunications

Subjects: Sweet Honey in the Rock; electric bass; gospel music; tambourine; vocal music

00:48:14 - Coda: Michael Johnathon

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: Johnathon: "Sweet Honey in the Rock comes from this magnificent lineage of artists that sing for peace and justice and social change and for the idea of community--love, for lack of a better word."

Segment Synopsis: Johnathon ends the broadcasted portion of the episode by suggesting that listeners cultivate art in their own communities to be "soldiers for peace."

Keywords: Martin Luther King, Jr.; Sweet Honey in the Rock; activism; ideology

00:49:59 - Message from Michael Johnathon 00:50:30 - From the Woodsongs Archives: "Mercy Mercy Me" (Sweet Honey in the Rock)

Play segment Segment link

Keywords: Mercy Mercy Me (Song); Sweet Honey in the Rock (Artist); Woodsongs Archives