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American Highways | Rush Hour

AMERICAN HIGHWAYS # 109 KEYS OF CHANGE  

Today’s show focuses on Paul Robeson and Marc Blitzstein, both ardent socialists, passionate musicians, charismatic personalities, and most of all, both willing to lay everything on the line for their beliefs.

Both were harassed by the House Un-american Committee. In the end, Marc was murdered because he was gay. And Robeson died depressed, his life in ruins because of his communist associations.

Political lives, musical lives. A series on ten American musicians whose work was/is profoundly influenced by the forces of politics. This series grew out of a conversation I had a few years ago with composer and improviser Donal Fox. We began arguing about the relevance of race in music, and realized that our conflicting ideas made for a wonderful dialogue. Hence the inspiration for “Keys of Change.”

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