Café Mouffe: Willard White & Paul Robeson

I heard the rich, resonant voice of Sir Willard White on the BBC this week. He talked about the Paul Robeson Legacy, his latest recording and concert tour. The interviewer noted declining opera patronage and asked Sir Willard if he would consider performing via the Internet. He laughed at the notion but suggested that he’d try anything to reach an audience. Whether he knows it or not, there are Willard White clips on YouTube. Deep River is a traditional spiritual that evokes Robeson. And Ol’ Man River is the Kern-and-Hammerstein classic from Show Boat (1936 revision) that launched the legacy.

Encore: For more Paul Robeson, listen to Volga Boatmen, Joe Hill, My Curly-Headed Baby, and Swing Low, Sweet Chariot.

Café Mouffe opens on Fridays at 3:00 p.m. Please drop by for a listen and a chat. Sometimes the embedded videos don’t work here due to bandwidth constraints, but you’ll always find links to video sources in the set notes. Try them. If you’re curious about the Mouffe, here’s the original idea behind it’s creation.

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2 Responses to Café Mouffe: Willard White & Paul Robeson

  1. tomrobertstennessee says:

    Hi Mark, Your tribute to Paul Robeson reminded me of stories John Granger had told me about performing with him in “Othello” in the 1940’s. John mostly talked about being on the road with Paul Robeson in a traveling company. I just now googled the two names along with “Othello”, and saw that the show also made a one month run on Broadway in 1945. Tom

  2. Mark Willis says:

    That’s very cool, Tom. I had no idea that John worked with Robeson. Imagine that!

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