American Icons: Amazing Grace

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This is America’s anthem for civil rights.

There is exactly one old hymn that everyone recognizes, and moves people who have no feeling for the spiritual or religious. “Amazing Grace” transcended the church and became a folk song, and an anthem for civil rights. Yet its origins are unexpected and complicated: it was written by a slave trader who did not renounce slavery until long after he wrote it. 

Produced by Trey Kay

Special thanks to Gene Gilliland and the people from the Big Singing Day in Benton, Kentucky.

Music Playlist

  1. Amazing Grace

    Artist: Rod Stewart
    Album: Every Picture Tells A Story
    Label: Mercury
  2. Amazing Grace

    Artist: Rev. J.M. Gates
    Album: Rev. J.M. Gates Vol. 4 (1926)
    Label: Document Records
  3. Amazing Grace

    Artist: Sister Rosetta Tharpe & The Gospelsingers
    Album: The History of Black Gospel Volume 3
    Label: Wamsenzo
  4. Amazing Grace

    Artist: Fannie Lou Hamer
    Album: The Songs My Mother Taught Me
    Label: Smithsonian Folkways Recordings / Auvidis-UNESCO
  5. Amazing Grace

    Artist: Judy Collins
    Album: The Very Best Of Judy Collins
    Label: Rhino/Elektra
  6. Amazing Grace

    Artist: Elvis Presley
    Album: He Touched Me
    Label: RCA Records Label
  7. Amazing Grace

    Artist: Joan Baez
    Album: From Every Stage
    Label: A&M
  8. Amazing Grace

    Artist: Al Green
    Album: Higher Plane
    Label: Fat Possum
  9. Amazing Grace

    Artist: Johnny Cash
    Album: Johnny Cash Sings Precious Memories
    Label: Legacy Recordings
  10. Amazing Grace

    Artist: Ike and Tina Turner
    Album: The Gospel According To Ike & Tina
    Label: Varese Sarabande
  11. Amazing Grace

    Artist: The Military Band Of The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards
    Album: Amazing Grace / Cornet Carillon
    Label: RCA Victor
  12. Outro (Amazing Grace...dedicated to Andretta Tillman) 

    Artist: Destiny's Child
    Album: The Writing's On The Wall
    Label: Columbia