The Freedom Singers (60's civil rights (SNCC) choir)
Started to raise money for the civil rights organization Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC).
The Freedom Singers are a group that formed in 1962 in Albany, Georgia, to educate communities about civil rights issues through song.
The group originally consisted of four black members all under the age of 21: Cordell Reagon (tenor), Bernice Johnson Reagon (alto), Charles Neblett (bass), and Rutha Mae Harris (soprano). They were joined in 1965 by a young, white guitarist named Bill Perlman, whose parents were SNCC field secretaries in NYC. At the age of 17, Bill got into a station wagon and travelled through the deep south with the band for two years. He continues to perform with the Freedom Singers, appearing in venues all over the world. He lives in Ashfield. MA, where he remained dedicated to local politics and social justice. His wife Patricia is a teacher and actress, and together they have three children; Deirdre, Philippe and Michelle. A number of other people have performed with the Freedom Singers at concerts and movement events in the 1960s through today, including Bertha Gober, Emory Harris, Marshall Jones, and Matthew Jones. The Freedom Singers toured the South, sometimes performing as many as four concerts a day. The songs were mostly spirituals and hymns, with "characteristic call-and-response" and free improvisation. Venues included around 200 college campuses, churches, house parties, demonstrations, marches, and jails. Often, the Freedom Singers were jailed for refusing to leave an area, while supporters and sympathizers also risked police brutality.
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