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



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Comments [2]

Andy Lanset, Director of Archives

I just checked the catalog and it looks like there is one more program. Stay tuned to this page, we'll try to get it up before the end of the week.

Apr. 29 2014 10:35 AM
Titicat from NYC

Where can one listen to subsequent recorded sessions with Robeson Jr? I believe the host said that he came once a week to the studio to play and talk about his father's music. Thank you.

Apr. 28 2014 09:36 PM

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About NYPR Archives & Preservation

Mission Statement: The New York Public Radio Archives supports the mission and goals of WNYC and WQXR by honoring the broadcast heritage of the radio stations and preserving their organizational and programming legacy for future generations of public radio listeners. The Archives will collect, organize, document, showcase and make available for production all original work generated by and produced in association with WNYC and WQXR Radio.

The NYPR Archives serves the stations staff and producers by providing them with digital copies of our broadcast material spanning WNYC and WQXR's respective 90 and 77 year histories.  We also catalog, preserve and digitize, provide reference services, store, and acquire WNYC and WQXR broadcast material (originals and copies) missing from the collection. This repatriation effort has been aided by dozens of former WNYC and WQXR staff as well as a number of key institutions. Additionally, our collecting over the last ten years goes beyond sound and includes photos, publicity materials, program guides, microphones, coffee mugs, buttons and other ephemera. We've left no stone unturned in our pursuit of these artifacts. The History Notes is a showcase for many of these non-broadcast items in our collection. 

In fact, if you’ve got that vintage WNYC or WQXR knick-knack, gee-gaw, or maybe a photo of someone in front of our mic, an old program guide or vintage piece of remote equipment and would like to donate it to us, or provide a copy of the item to us, write to Andy Lanset at   

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