Underlying the sweetness of Kyu Sakamoto's unexpected hit song "Sukiyaki" was a story of sadness and loss. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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When played on the radio in 1963, songs like Big Joe Turner's "Shake, Rattle and Roll" were code to Birmingham youths, telling them to assemble. Jan Persson/Redferns hide caption

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Shake, Rattle And Rally: Code Songs Spurred Activism In Birmingham

In 1963, civil rights activists wanted to recruit more of the city's young people to the cause. The way to their hearts was often through DJs and music.

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A 17-year-old Civil Rights demonstrator is attacked by a police dog in Birmingham, Ala., on May 3, 1963. This image led the front page of the next day's New York Times. Bill Hudson/ASSOCIATED PRESS hide caption

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Bob Dylan performs at the Newport Folk Festival in 1963. His set included "Only a Pawn in Their Game," which he would also play at the 1963 March on Washington. Eyeneer hide caption

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Alabama Gov. George Wallace (right) blocks the door of the the Foster Auditorium at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Ala., on June 11, 1963. Wallace, who had vowed to prevent integration of the campus, gave way to federal troops. AP hide caption

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Sylvester Monroe and then-wife Regina at his graduation from Harvard University in 1973. Courtesy of Sylvester Monroe hide caption

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Medgar Evers' widow, Myrlie, comforts the couple's 9-year-old son, Darrel, at her husband's funeral in Jackson, Miss., on June 15, 1963. AP hide caption

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Martin Luther King Jr., with the Rev. Ralph Abernathy (center) and the Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, defied an injunction against protesting on Good Friday in 1963. They were arrested and held in solitary confinement in the Birmingham jail where King wrote his famous "Letter From Birmingham Jail." Courtesy of Birmingham Public Library Archives hide caption

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