Black Liberation 1969 Archive

Black Liberation 1969: the Playlist

Description

Inside and outside of SASS, the Black students of Swarthmore College bonded with each other through music. Whether it was remembering the concerts off-campus that they drove to see, the soul parties they held on Saturday nights, or their own musical undertakings, particularly the Gospel Choir, music was constant in their lives at Swarthmore. SASS’s first Student Council funding was in part for musical performances; they brought Conga drums on their midnight march to President Cross’s office in 1970; and they sang songs during meals in the Sharples Dining Hall. A depiction of Black students at Swarthmore College from 1968 to 1972 would be incomplete without a soundtrack.

The following twenty-five songs were chosen for their popularity, for their lyrics, and for the fact that Swarthmore alumni remembered them specifically. Encapsulated in these songs is a glimpse of music from the late 1960s and, more importantly, a sense of how Black Swarthmore students related to it. Below you will find genre-influencing, career-shaping singles and albums. Hits like Otis Redding’s “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay” and The Supreme’s “You Keep Me Hanging On” are mixed with the timely, poetic, graphic depiction of a Southern lynching in Nina Simone’s rendition of “Strange Fruit” as well as James Brown’s empowering "I Don't Want Nobody to Give Me Nothing (Open Up the Door, I'll Get It Myself)". Students sang spirituals such as “Oh, Freedom” and “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” together; some of the same students danced together to The Impressions’ “I’ve Been Trying”.

These songs, albums, and artists were chosen from those remembered by alumni. I would like to thank Joyce Frisby Baynes ‘68, Marilyn Holifield ‘69, Clinton Etheridge ‘69, and Don Mizell ‘71 for sharing their musical interests and memories while at Swarthmore, and I would like to thank Harold Buchanan ‘69 and Myra Rose ‘72 for remembering that Feliciano was played in the halls of Parrish, at least for a few nights.

Items in the Black Liberation 1969: the Playlist Collection

"Oh Happy Day"
"Oh Happy Day" is the Edwin Hawkins Singers' arrangement of the hymn "Oh, Happy Day," which dates from the 18th century.It was released as a single and on the albumLet Us Go Into the House of the Lordin 1968 by both Pavilion and Buddha Records.

"You Keep Me Hangin' On"
"You Keep Me Hangin' On" was written by Lamont Dozier, Brian Holland, and Eddie Holland. It was first released as a single and later on the albumThe Supremes Sing Holland–Dozier–Hollandin 1967.

Sketches of Spain
Sketches of Spainwas recorded at theColumbia 30th Street Studio.Gil Evans, an arranger and composer, worked with Miles Davis to create the album.Miles Davis recorded the album between November 1959 and March 1960; it was released later in 1960.

"Respect"
"Respect" was written by Steve Cropper and Otis Redding. Redding released the original version of the song in 1965.Aretha Franklin recorded and released "Respect" in 1967 as a single and later on the albumI Never Loved A Man The Way I Loved You.

"Ready or Not Here I Come (Can't Hide From Love)"
"Ready or Not Here I Come (Can't Hide From Love)" was written by Thom Bell and William Hart. It was released by Philly Groove Records.It was released in 1968 as a single and then on the albumThe Sound of Sexy Soulin 1969.

"Green Onions"
Volt 102 of Stax Records first released the song as the B-side to “Behave Yourself” in 1962.. Stax 127 later released it.

"To Be Young, Gifted and Black"
Lyrics were written by Weldon Irvine. "To Be Young, Gifted and Black" was first released as a single in 1970, then on the albumBlack Gold. This recording comes from the Harlem Cultural Festival in 1969.

"Mercy, Mercy, Mercy"
The song was written by Joe Zawinul and released by Capitol Records. The song was released onMercy, Mercy, Mercy! Live at 'The Club'in 1966.

"Ain't Too Proud to Beg"
"Ain't Too Proud to Beg" was written by Norman Whitfield and Edward Holland, Jr.It was recorded in 1966 and released as asingle and on the albumGettin’ Ready.

"I Don't Want Nobody to Give Me Nothing (Open Up the Door, I'll Get It Myself)"
"I Don't Want Nobody to Give Me Nothing (Open Up the Door, I'll Get It Myself)" was written by James Brown and released by King Records as a single in 1969.

"Tighten Up"
"Tighten Up" was written by Archie Bell and Billy Buttier. It was released as single and on the albumTighten Upin 1968.

A Love Supreme
The album was recorded in 1964 and released in 1965 by Impulse! Records.

"I Heard It Through the Grapevine"
The song was written by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong for Motown Records in 1966. Smokey Robinson & the Miracles first recorded it. Marvin Gaye released it on Motown's Tamla label in 1968 as a single and later onIn the Groove.

"Both Sides, Now"
Joni Mitchell wrote "Both Sides, Now" and released it in 1969 onClouds. Judy Collins first included it on her 1967 albumWildflowers,and in 1968 she released it as a single with Elektra Records.

"Soul Man"
"Soul Man" was written and produced by Isaac Hayes and David Porter. It was released by Stax and Atlantic Recordsas a single and later on the albumSoul Manin 1967.

"Strange Fruit"
"Strange Fruit" was first a poem written by Abel Meeropol. It was first performed by Billie Holiday.Nina Simone recorded the song for her 1965 albumPastel Blues, released by Philips Records.

"Light My Fire"
The song was written by the Doors and released in 1967 on their debut album. José Feliciano released the song through the RCA Viktor label as a single and later on his albumFeliciano!.

"Say It Loud - I'm Black and I'm Proud"
James Brown recorded "Say It Loud - I'm Black and I'm Proud" in 1968. It was released as a single as well as on the albumsSay It Loud - I'm Black and I'm ProudandA Soulful Christmas.

"Swing Low, Sweet Chariot"
The earliest known recording of "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" is that of the Fisk Jubilee Singers in 1909. It was written by Wallace Wilson in the 19th century.

“(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay”
“(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay” was written by Otis Redding and Steve Cropper. Redding recorded it just before his death.Otis Redding recorded it in 1967. It was released posthumously as a single and on the albumThe Dock of the…