Is that the disc that has selections from "Showboat" on one side and Robeson's "Ol' Man River" on the other, conducted by Paul Whiteman? I can't say absolutely that that recording doesn't have the "N" word, but I don't remember it being there, (I'm nowhere near my records at the moment). There's also the Brunswick/Columbia album of "Showboat" selections which opens with Robeson singing "Ol' Man River" but I don't remember it there either. Come to think of it, there's also a 10 inch version with Robeson backed with "Ah Still Suits Me", perhaps that's the one you're referring to. In any case, when I get home from vacation, I want to find the one you're talking about because, like Steve, I thought Robeson avoided that word.
On Wednesday, April 29, 2015 11:13 AM, Mickey Clark <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
I have an HMV B3653 of Paul Robeson using the 'N' word in Ol' an River -
about 1930 -Mickey
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----- Original Message -----
From: "Paul Stamler" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Tuesday, April 28, 2015 8:54 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Pittsburgh's Stephen Foster Memorial Museum
> On 4/28/2015 1:05 PM, Michael Biel wrote:
>> David Burnham brings up Old Man River and Paul Robeson. Yes the use of
>> the N word in the song in Show Boat was as an ANTI-racism comment, but
>> although Paul Robeson went on to sing the song so often that it was his
>> theme song he NEVER used the N word outside of the context of the show.
>> I am not sure if he ever used "Darkies" as others did, but it usually
>> was "The people" or "We all". Furthermore, to make the song a political
>> statement he changed the words of the final chorus in his later years "I
>> must keep fighting until I'm dyin'". I suppose that Oscar Hammerstein
>> let him go at that point with the changes, because it was not in the
>> context of the show.
> Robeson did record the word "darky" on at least one occasion, his 1920s
> (1925? Sorry, it's buried in a box) recording of "Li'l Gal", where he
> referred to himself as "dis darky". I remember being surprised at that.
> He recorded "Li'l Gal" again in the 1950s, but I don't know if he used
> that word. Must go check -- if I can find *that* CD.)
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