White House Sounds: Music From The Civil Rights Movement

The White House had an event last week that brought musicians together for a “Celebration of Music from the Civil Rights Movement”. As today is a President's Day, Tell Me More presents some highlights from the program.

Copyright © 2010 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.


Finally, today is, of course, Presidents Day. So, we decided to highlight an event at the White House last week called, A Celebration of Music from the Civil Rights Movement. The concert brought together musicians from all over to sing songs that captured the spirit of those who fought for racial equality in the 1960s. Here's Natalie Cole performing Marvin Gaye's poignant hit "What's Going On."

(Soundbite of song, "What's Going On")

Ms. NATALIE COLE (Singer): (Singing) Mother, mother. There's too many of you crying. Brother, brother, brother. There's far too many of you dying. You know we've got to find a way. To bring some loving here today, yeah. Father, father, we don't need to escalate. You see, war is not the answer. It only love can conquer hate. You know, we've got to find a way, to bring some loving here today. Picket lines and picket signs. Don't punish me with brutality. Come on, talk to me, so you can see. What's going on? What's going on? What's going on? What's going on?

MARTIN: That was Natalie Cole performing "What's Going On," at a special White House concert titled, A Celebration of Music from the Civil Rights Movement. You can hear more songs from that evening as well as a special I hosted for the network that will be airing throughout the month on various NPR stations as well as online by visiting the NPR Music Page at npr.org/music.

Ms. COLE: (Singing) What's happening brother? Mother, mother.

MARTIN: And that's our program for this Presidents Day.

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Let's talk more tomorrow.

Copyright © 2010 NPR. All rights reserved. No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to NPR. This transcript is provided for personal, noncommercial use only, pursuant to our Terms of Use. Any other use requires NPR's prior permission. Visit our permissions page for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio.



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.