John Passmore is the Archives Manager at WNYC.
Listen to Rare, Beautiful Music from the Robeson Archives
Monday, April 28, 2014 - 01:01 PM
Paul Robeson Jr. (November 2, 1927 - April 26, 2014) spent much of his life preserving his father's legacy, and in 1976, he came to the WNYC studios to share rare recordings spanning the performer's influential life and singing career.
Robeson and Folk and Baroque host Dave Sear begin with some of Robeson Senior's earliest Spiritual recordings from the 1920s and continue with a stirring performance of "John Henry" with Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee and a rare gospel recording of "Oh When I Come to the End of my Journey."
Following his father's death in 1976, Robeson Jr. established the Paul Robeson Archives at Howard University and wrote extensively on the singer and activist's life. Unlike his father, he was a member of the Communist Party from 1948 to 1962 and considered the party instrumental in the African-American civil rights movement. As a boy, Robeson lived with his grandmother in Moscow and later in life, became a Russian translator and a lecturer on Russian and American history.
Part two of the Robeson Jr. talk