In the decade leading up to his death in 2003, Johnny Cash worked with producer Rick Rubin on a series of albums they called American Recordings. This week, in honor of Cash's birthday, Rubin's label released Ain't No Grave, the sixth disc of songs produced in their collaboration.
This interview was originally broadcast on November 25, 2005
Today is the 100th anniversary of the birth of the great African-American singer, actor and political activist Paul Robeson. Classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz reviews his recording of "Songs of Free Men" (Sony's Masterworks Heritage series).
Gwendolin Sims Warren has performed with the Metropolitan Opera and the Boston Symphony and has sung in opera houses in Europe, but she's most at home singing in church. She's the daughter and granddaughter of ministers. Now she's the minister of music and choir director at the Allen AME Church in Queens, New York. She's compiled 101 best-loved Psalms, Gospel hymns and spirituals of the African American church in her new book "Ev'ry Time I Feel The Spirit." We invited her to talk about and sing some of those songs.
Classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz reviews a new CD collection of songs by the late Roland Hayes. Hayes was the first major black concert singer, and paved the way for performers such as Marion Anderson. (It's issued by the Smithsonian).
Classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz reviews a new RCA Victor recording called Marian Anderson: Bach, Brahms, Schubert. The album also includes a recording of Marion Anderson's 1955 debut performance at the Metropolitan Opera singing an aria from Verdi's "A Masked Ball".
Writer Maya Angelou's newest installment in her series of autobiographical books, called All God's Children Need Traveling Shoes, has just been published. She returns to Fresh Air to talk about the influence her childhood had on her life and career.