In his introduction, President Obama reminds viewers that the civil rights movement had a sound track, was "sustained by music" and “sharpened by protest songs.”
This program brings back some of the real greats, even Bob Dylan and Joan Baez, whose historical importance overshadows their weak performances. They are, after all, almost 70 years old! Smokey Robinson, on the other hand, is even older and, as far as I’m concerned, stole the show with his performance of Abraham, Martin and John. When you think about where he was singing and when (the eve of Lincoln’s birthday), you wonder how he got through the song at all.
This very special uninterrupted concert features the Blind Boys of Alabama, John Mellencamp (one of my second cousins!), Yolanda Adams, Jennifer Hudson and Natalie Cole, and others.
To go directly to Smokey Robinson, scroll ahead to 45:35. For a snippet from MLK’s “I Have a Dream” speech and the Blind Boys of Alabama, go to 49:15.