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Paul Robeson - The Complete EMI Sessions 1928-1939


Release Date: 08/19/2008 
Label:  Emi Classics   Catalog #: 15586   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Jerome KernJohnson,Will Marion CookTraditional,   ... 
Performer:  Paul RobesonLawrence BrownRuthland ClaphamHerbert Dawson
Conductor:  Herman FinkCarroll GibbonsRay NobleJack Hylton,   ... 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Drury Lane Theatre OrchestraOrchestraJack Hylton Orchestra,   ... 
Number of Discs: 7 
Recorded in: Mono 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

R E V I E W S:

Paul Robeson remains as well known as an actor and athlete as for his musical activities, and in general is a "big name" whose music most listeners have sampled only in bits and pieces. For that reason alone, this seven-disc compilation of Robeson's EMI recordings, made in Britain, would be worth a place in libraries and collections; it presents music by the great African-American bass not in bits and pieces but in collections that show the full range of his activities and capture a whole arc of his career. Missing among the types of music Robeson recorded are only his explicitly leftist workers' anthems, which generally date from years later than the 1939 cutoff point of this set. Beyond that, the
Read more first thing to strike the listener may be the vast range of music with which Robeson was comfortable. He is best known for African-American spirituals and for the artful quasi-spiritual language of Jerome Kern's "Ol' Man River" and similar items. But even a quick Internet sampling of this set will reveal much more. A partial list would include early African-American musical theater (Robeson's several versions of Will Marion Cook's "Down de Lovers Lane" convey perhaps the best idea yet of what these shows sounded like in their time); minstrel and "plantation" songs like Dixie, from both white and black composers (some of them irredeemably racist by today's standards); pop songs including a glorious set by Hoagy Carmichael; operetta; folk songs from Russia and elsewhere; parlor-room classics by Ethelbert Nevin and Carrie Jacobs Bond; country and western music (which were separate genres at the time); and American and British art songs. Robeson sounds as natural singing of "England's green and pleasant land" in Hubert Parry's Jerusalem (CD 7, track 6) as in a spiritual like Steal Away. The British origin of the recordings results in a few ridiculous moments, but Robeson spent years in Britain (especially in Wales, whose industrial struggles played a key role in the development of his activist consciousness), and in general the box represents the mainstream of Robeson's career in the late '20s and 1930s, not one of its tributaries. The remastering is superb, and the original recordings, with the later ones supervised by legendary producer Walter Legge, were impressive enough in their own time. The booklet notes, in English, French, and German, basically present a brief Robeson biography with a slight emphasis on the European phases of his career, but the track list is detailed and informative in itself. A major historical release that is highly listenable in itself.

-- James Manheim, All Music Guide

----------------------

An obvious first port of call for pre-War Robeson material.

This is now an obvious first port of call for pre-War Robeson material given that it includes his complete EMI recordings made over a dozen years. This is apparently the first time they have been collated in a single box in this way and the Abbey Road team has effected the re-masterings. It includes the first published EMI recordings from 1928, which are decidedly less common than the more familiar later sides of the same material. The bands are high class if not always attuned to the genre – but by the time we get to the later material things work well.

It would be rather exhausting – and not recommended – to do what your critic did and listen to every track one after the other. For one thing Robeson re-recorded a lot and left behind numerous examples of his medleys. So there’s invariably quite a bit of duplication one way or another.

Highlights of the first disc include the Kensingtonian tones of the so-called Mississippi chorus in Ol’ Man River – with the orchestra of the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. Better of course are Robeson’s first recordings with pianist Lawrence Brown. I also enjoyed the non-Spiritual things such as Nevin’s Mighty lak’a rose where Ray Noble directs the anonymous band with distinction. By the time of the second disc things have settled down. One can only admire what I’d call the recitativo theatricality of the Will Marion Cook song Exhortation, the cavernous Go down, Moses and the elegant arrangement of High Water – though Crosby always sang this to the manner born. There are some bluesy contributions from a good trumpeter and some string players on Rockin’ Chair – it’s a frustrating feature of such recordings that it’s next to impossible now to work out who they were; but maybe the fiddlers were Eric Siday or Jean Pougnet. The highlight of this disc was the glorious coupling of Bear de Burden and All God’s chillun got wings with another splendid pianist and colleague, Ruthland Clapham. There’s no getting away from the fact that songs such as That’s why darkies were born are also here.

For a religiose pairing leading organist Herbert Dawson accompanied Robeson – heard on the third disc. In Carey’s Nearer, my God, to Thee one can detect an intrinsic bleat in Robeson’s voice. But he’s on inspirational form in the traditional Pilgrim’s Song and on one of the best Harry Burleigh arrangements – Were you there? In disc 4 we have some unusual repertoire, as if EMI were trying him out in lighter fare. It doesn’t work; the voice is too immobile to do anything with such admitted trifles as Wagon Wheels and So shy. This disc also contains some music from the film Sanders of the River. Gloomy Sunday, on CD 5, is a histrionic tone poem – pre- Billie Holiday – and there’s yet another version of Ol’ Man River. There are extracts from the film of Song of Freedom whose composer was Eric Ansell, who is on hand, a year apart, to conduct four extracts as he does Spoliansky’s music from King Solomon’s Mines. Interesting there is a poem by Langston Hughes read with dignity by Robeson. Disc six dates from 1937-38 and most things here are on the highest level of accomplishment. The first four tracks are indispensable for anyone who admires great artistry. Arthur Somervell’s bardic arrangement of All through the night is perhaps less so but that’s not the singer’s fault. Robeson also sings Ellington and Gershwin in this volume though he is altogether shakier on the pianist-composer Edward Kilenyi’s Encantadora Maria.

Robeson was great Russophile; he sings Grechaninov’s Lullaby half in English and half in Russian, recites Blake’s The little black boy and then embarks on some unlikely material with a chamber orchestra directed by Walter Goehr – Jerusalem, The Blind Ploughboy and the like. The band sounds as if it composed of café fiddlers earning a few bob. A few other incongruous items stud this volume – Plaisir d’amour (I think not), John Ireland’s Sea Fever and Quilter’s Now sleeps the crimson petal.

As I noted at the beginning then a first port of call for Robeson enthusiasts looking to acquire the complete EMI sides. There are reasonably succinct notes, good pictures, no texts and no matrix or issue numbers. As for the transfers they are smooth but treble-starved; too much so for my taste, though many will enjoy the aural ride free of shellac hiss.

-- Jonathan Woolf, MusicWeb International
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Works on This Recording

1. Show Boat: Ol' Man River by Jerome Kern
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass)
Conductor:  Herman Fink
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Drury Lane Theatre Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1927; USA 
Date of Recording: 05/15/1928 
2. Seem Lak' to Me by Johnson,
Performer:  Lawrence Brown (Piano), Paul Robeson (Bass)
Conductor:  Carroll Gibbons
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Date of Recording: 06/15/1928 
3. Down the lover's lane by Will Marion Cook
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass)
Conductor:  Carroll Gibbons
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Date of Recording: 06/15/1928 
4. Scandalize my name by Traditional
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass), Lawrence Brown (Piano)
Written: USA 
Date of Recording: 06/19/1928 
5. Sinner, please don't let this harvest pass by Traditional
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass), Lawrence Brown (Piano)
Written: USA 
Date of Recording: 06/19/1928 
6. Weepin' Mary by Traditional
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass), Lawrence Brown (Piano)
Date of Recording: 09/13/1928 
7. I wanna be ready by Traditional
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass), Lawrence Brown (Piano)
Date of Recording: 09/13/1928 
8. My Lord, what a morning by Traditional
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass), Lawrence Brown (Piano)
Written: USA 
Date of Recording: 09/13/1928 
9. De li'l pickaninny's gone to sleep by Traditional
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass), Lawrence Brown (Piano)
Date of Recording: 09/13/1928 
10. Git on Board by Traditional
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass), Lawrence Brown (Piano)
Written: USA 
Date of Recording: 09/13/1928 
11. Dere's no hiddin' place by Traditional
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass), Lawrence Brown (Piano)
Date of Recording: 09/13/1928 
12. Plantation Songs Part 1 by Traditional
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass)
Conductor:  Carroll Gibbons
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Date of Recording: 10/02/1928 
Notes: This selection is a medley that includes "So early in the morning," "Carry me back to old Virginia," "Old folks at home" and "Goodnight ladies." 
13. Plantation Songs Part 2 by Traditional
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass)
Conductor:  Carroll Gibbons
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Date of Recording: 10/02/1928 
Notes: This selection is a medley that includes "Away down south in Dixie," "Poor old Joe," "Oh, Susanna" and "My old Kentucky home." 
14. Oh! Rock Me, Julie by Traditional
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass), Lawrence Brown (Piano)
Date of Recording: 10/04/1928 
15. Oh, didn't it rain by Traditional
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass), Lawrence Brown (Piano)
Date of Recording: 10/04/1928 
16. Mammy by Tunbridge,
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass)
Conductor:  Carroll Gibbons
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Date of Recording: 11/15/1928 
17. Roll Away, Clouds by Traditional
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass)
Conductor:  Carroll Gibbons
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Date of Recording: 11/15/1928 
18. Sonny Boy by Traditional
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass)
Conductor:  Carroll Gibbons
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Date of Recording: 01/28/1929 
19. Little Pal by Buddy G. DeSylva
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass)
Conductor:  Ray Noble
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: USA 
Date of Recording: 08/30/1929 
20. Lonesome road by Nathaniel Shilkret
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass)
Conductor:  Ray Noble
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1928; USA 
Date of Recording: 08/30/1929 
21. Just Keepin' On by Phillips,
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass)
Conductor:  Ray Noble
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Date of Recording: 08/30/1929 
22. Mighty lak' a rose by Ethelbert Nevin
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass)
Conductor:  Ray Noble
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1901; USA 
Date of Recording: 10/02/1929 
23. Mammy Is Gone by Buddy G. DeSylva
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass)
Conductor:  Ray Noble
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Date of Recording: 10/02/1929 
24. Hail de Crown by Traditional
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass), Lawrence Brown (Piano)
Date of Recording: 02/27/1930 
25. Exhortation by Will Marion Cook
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass), Lawrence Brown (Piano)
Date of Recording: 02/27/1930 
26. I stood on de ribber ob Jerdon by Traditional
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass), Lawrence Brown (Piano)
Date of Recording: 02/27/1930 
27. Go down, Moses by Traditional
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass), Lawrence Brown (Piano)
Date of Recording: 02/27/1930 
28. High Water by Jim McHardy
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass)
Conductor:  Ray Noble
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Date of Recording: 09/11/1930 
29. Old folks at home by Fritz Kreisler
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass)
Conductor:  Ray Noble
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: Austria 
Date of Recording: 09/11/1930 
30. Poor Old Joe by Stephen Foster
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass)
Conductor:  Ray Noble
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Date of Recording: 09/11/1930 
31. My old Kentucky home, good night by Stephen Foster
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass)
Conductor:  Ray Noble
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1853; USA 
Date of Recording: 09/12/1930 
32. Show Boat: Ol' Man River by Jerome Kern
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass)
Conductor:  Ray Noble
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1927; USA 
Date of Recording: 09/12/1930 
33. River stay 'way from my door by Harry M. Woods
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass)
Conductor:  Ray Noble
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: USA 
Date of Recording: 09/12/1930 
34. Medley of Spirituals by Traditional
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass)
Conductor:  Jack Hylton
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Jack Hylton Orchestra
Date of Recording: 09/24/1931 
Notes: This selection includes "I'm rolling and sing-a-ho," "Hail de crown," "Joshua fit de battle ob Jericho," "I got a robe," "Oh Lord I done," "De gospel train," "Black sheep," "Heav'n bells are ringin’," "I'll hear de trumpet sound," "Swing low, sweet chariot" and "Walk together, children."  
35. Rockin' Chair by Hoagy Carmichael
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass)
Conductor:  Ray Noble
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: USA 
Date of Recording: 09/17/1931 
36. My heart is where the Mohawk flows tonight by Carson Robison
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass)
Conductor:  Ray Noble
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: USA 
Date of Recording: 09/26/1931 
37. The folks I used to know by Max Kester
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass)
Conductor:  Ray Noble
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: USA 
Date of Recording: 09/26/1931 
38. Mary had a baby by Traditional
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass), Ruthland Clapham (Piano)
Date of Recording: 12/16/1931 
39. Li'l Gal by John Rosamond Johnson
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass), Lawrence Brown (Piano)
Date of Recording: 12/16/1931 
40. Bear de burden by Traditional
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass), Lawrence Brown (Piano)
Written: USA 
Date of Recording: 12/16/1931 
41. That's why darkies were born by Ray Henderson
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass)
Conductor:  Ray Noble
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mayfair Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: USA 
Date of Recording: 12/18/1931 
42. When it's sleepy time down south by Clarence Muse
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass)
Conductor:  Ray Noble
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mayfair Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: USA 
Date of Recording: 12/18/1931 
43. Seekin' by Marshall,
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass)
Conductor:  Ray Noble
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mayfair Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: USA 
Date of Recording: 12/18/1931 
44. Nearer my God to Thee by James Carey
Performer:  Herbert Dawson (Organ), Paul Robeson (Bass)
Date of Recording: 10/19/1932 
45. There is a green hill far away by Charles Gounod
Performer:  Herbert Dawson (Organ), Paul Robeson (Bass)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1871; England 
Date of Recording: 10/19/1932 
46. My Lindy Lou by Lily Strickland
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass)
Conductor:  Ray Noble
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1920; USA 
Date of Recording: 10/20/1932 
47. Ma Curly Headed Babby by George H. Clutsam
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass)
Conductor:  Ray Noble
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: by 1897; England 
Date of Recording: 10/20/1932 
48. Pilgrim's Song by Traditional
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass), Ruthland Clapham (Piano)
Date of Recording: 12/13/1932 
49. Roll de ole chariot along by Traditional
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass), Ruthland Clapham (Piano)
Date of Recording: 12/13/1932 
50. Since you went away by Johnson,
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass), Ruthland Clapham (Piano)
Date of Recording: 12/13/1932 
51. Wid de Moon, Moon, Moon by Will Marion Cook
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass), Ruthland Clapham (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: USA 
Date of Recording: 12/13/1932 
52. Got the South in My Soul by Victor Young
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass)
Conductor:  Ray Noble
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1932; USA 
Date of Recording: 12/15/1932 
53. Hush-a-bye Lullaby by Ruthland Clapham
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass)
Conductor:  Ray Noble
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Written: USA 
Date of Recording: 12/15/1932 
54. Round the bend of the road by John Klenner
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass)
Conductor:  Ray Noble
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: USA 
Date of Recording: 02/03/1933 
55. Take me away from the river by Kaye Lois Parker
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass)
Conductor:  Ray Noble
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: USA 
Date of Recording: 02/03/1933 
56. Swing low, sweet chariot by Traditional
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass), Ruthland Clapham (Piano)
Date of Recording: 02/15/1933 
57. On ma journey now by Edward Boatner
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass), Ruthland Clapham (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Date of Recording: 02/15/1933 
58. Bye and bye by Traditional
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass), Ruthland Clapham (Piano)
Written: USA 
Date of Recording: 02/15/1933 
59. Were you there? by Traditional
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass), Ruthland Clapham (Piano)
Written: USA 
Date of Recording: 02/15/1933 
60. Swing along by Will Marion Cook
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass)
Conductor:  Ray Noble
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: by 1912; USA 
Date of Recording: 05/02/1933 
61. Piccaninny Shoes by Eubie Blake
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass)
Conductor:  Ray Noble
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: USA 
Date of Recording: 05/02/1933 
62. In a narrow street by Warren,
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass)
Conductor:  Ray Noble
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Date of Recording: 05/02/1933 
63. Carry me back to green pastures by Pepper,
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass)
Conductor:  Ray Noble
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Date of Recording: 09/08/1933 
64. Lazy Bones by Hoagy Carmichael
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass)
Conductor:  Ray Noble
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1933; USA 
Date of Recording: 09/08/1933 
65. Blue Prelude by Joe Bishop
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass)
Conductor:  Ray Noble
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: USA 
Date of Recording: 09/20/1933 
66. Paul Robeson Medley Part 1 by Various
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass)
Conductor:  Ray Noble
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Date of Recording: 09/20/1933 
Notes: This selection includes "Roll de ole chariot," "Mary had a baby," "Swing low, sweet chariot" and "Heav'n, heav'n." 
67. Paul Robeson Medley Part 2 by Various
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass)
Conductor:  Ray Noble
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Date of Recording: 09/20/1933 
Notes: This selection includes "Carry me back to old Virginia," "Mighty lak' a rose," "Round the bend of the river," "River, stay 'way from my door" and "Ol' Man River." 
68. Fat li'l fella wid his mammy's eyes by Traditional
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass)
Conductor:  Ray Noble
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Date of Recording: 10/20/1933 
69. Shortnin' Bread by Traditional
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass)
Conductor:  Ray Noble
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Date of Recording: 10/20/1933 
70. Snowball by Hoagy Carmichael
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass)
Conductor:  Ray Noble
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: USA 
Date of Recording: 10/20/1933 
71. Water boy by Traditional
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass), Ruthland Clapham (Piano)
Written: USA 
Date of Recording: 12/14/1933 
72. Doan' you cry, ma honey by Noll,
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass), Ruthland Clapham (Piano)
Date of Recording: 12/14/1933 
73. Steal away by Traditional
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass), Ruthland Clapham (Piano)
Written: USA 
Date of Recording: 12/14/1933 
74. Scarecrow by McCarthy,
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass)
Conductor:  Ray Noble
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Date of Recording: 02/16/1934 
75. Wagon Wheels by Peter De Rose
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass)
Conductor:  Ray Noble
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1934; USA 
Date of Recording: 02/16/1934 
76. So shy by Samuels,
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass)
Conductor:  Ray Noble
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Date of Recording: 02/16/1934 
77. Piccaninny's Slumber Song by Murray,
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass)
Conductor:  Ray Noble
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Date of Recording: 02/20/1934 
78. St. Louis Blues by W.C. Handy
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass)
Conductor:  Ray Noble
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1914; USA 
Date of Recording: 02/20/1934 
79. Mammy's little kinky-headed boy by Joseph M. White
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass)
Conductor:  Ray Noble
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Date of Recording: 02/20/1934 
80. Little Man, You've Had a Busy Day by Mabel Wayne
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass)
Conductor:  Ray Noble
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1934; USA 
Date of Recording: 06/21/1934 
81. I Ain't Lazy, I'm Just Dreamin' by Dave Franklin
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass)
Conductor:  Ray Noble
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1934; USA 
Date of Recording: 06/21/1934 
82. The Banjo Song by Sidney Homer
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass)
Conductor:  Ray Noble
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Date of Recording: 06/21/1934 
83. Paul Robeson Medley no 2 by Various
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass)
Conductor:  Percival Mackey
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Date of Recording: 11/13/1934 
Notes: This selection includes "Lazy bones," "Scarecrow," "Fat li'l Fella," "Wagon Wheels," "Deep River," "Ma curly-headed baby," "Carry me back to green pastures" and "Old folks at home."  
84. Love song by Mischa Spoliansky
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass)
Conductor:  Muir Mathieson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Date of Recording: 04/15/1935 
85. Sanders of the River: Congo Lullaby by Mischa Spoliansky
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass)
Conductor:  Muir Mathieson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: USA 
Date of Recording: 04/15/1935 
86. Sanders of the River: Canoe Song by Mischa Spoliansky
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass)
Conductor:  Muir Mathieson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: USA 
Date of Recording: 05/14/1935 
87. Sanders of the River: Killing Song by Mischa Spoliansky
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass)
Conductor:  Muir Mathieson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Date of Recording: 05/14/1935 
88. Shenandoah by Traditional
Performer:  Lawrence Brown (Piano), Paul Robeson (Bass)
Written: USA 
Date of Recording: 03/24/1936 
89. Jes' mah song by Lily Strickland
Performer:  Lawrence Brown (Piano), Paul Robeson (Bass)
Date of Recording: 03/24/1936 
90. De ole Ark's a-movering by Traditional
Performer:  Lawrence Brown (Piano), Paul Robeson (Bass)
Date of Recording: 03/24/1936 
91. Ezekiel saw the wheel by Traditional
Performer:  Lawrence Brown (Piano), Paul Robeson (Bass)
Written: USA 
Date of Recording: 03/24/1936 
92. Joshua fit the Battle of Jericho by Traditional
Performer:  Lawrence Brown (Piano), Paul Robeson (Bass)
Date of Recording: 03/24/1936 
93. Honey (Dat's All) by Egbert Anson Van Alstyne
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass)
Conductor:  Clifford Greenwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Date of Recording: 03/26/1936 
94. Gloomy Sunday by Rezsö Seress
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass)
Conductor:  Clifford Greenwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: Hungary 
Date of Recording: 03/26/1936 
95. Show Boat: Ol' Man River by Jerome Kern
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass)
Conductor:  Clifford Greenwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1927; USA 
Date of Recording: 05/18/1936 
96. Show Boat: Ah still suits me by Jerome Kern
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass)
Conductor:  Clifford Greenwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1927; USA 
Date of Recording: 05/18/1936 
97. Sleepy river by Eric Ansell
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass)
Conductor:  Eric Ansell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: USA 
Date of Recording: 05/20/1936 
98. Lonely Road by Eric Ansell
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass)
Conductor:  Eric Ansell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Date of Recording: 05/20/1936 
99. Song of freedom by Eric Ansell
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass)
Conductor:  Eric Ansell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: USA 
Date of Recording: 05/21/1936 
100. The Black Emperor by Eric Ansell
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass)
Conductor:  Eric Ansell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Date of Recording: 05/21/1936 
101. Mam'selle Marie "Creole Song" by Guion,
Performer:  Lawrence Brown (Piano), Paul Robeson (Bass)
Date of Recording: 01/27/1937 
102. Dere's no hiddin' place by Traditional
Performer:  Lawrence Brown (Piano), Paul Robeson (Bass)
Date of Recording: 01/27/1937 
103. Oh, no John by Traditional
Performer:  Lawrence Brown (Piano), Paul Robeson (Bass)
Written: England 
Date of Recording: 01/27/1937 
104. Passing by by Edward Cockrane Purcell
Performer:  Lawrence Brown (Piano), Paul Robeson (Bass)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: Germany 
Date of Recording: 01/27/1937 
105. Hammer Song by Traditional
Performer:  Lawrence Brown (Piano), Paul Robeson (Bass)
Date of Recording: 01/27/1937 
106. Li’l David by Traditional
Performer:  Lawrence Brown (Piano), Paul Robeson (Bass)
Date of Recording: 01/27/1937 
107. Jericho: My Way by Michael Carr
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass)
Conductor:  Clifford Greenwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Date of Recording: 04/29/1937 
108. Jericho: Golden River by Michael Carr
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass)
Conductor:  Clifford Greenwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Date of Recording: 04/29/1937 
109. Ho! Ho! "Wagon Song" by Mischa Spoliansky
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass)
Conductor:  Eric Ansell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Date of Recording: 05/01/1937 
110. Climbing Up "Mountain Song" by Mischa Spoliansky
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass)
Conductor:  Eric Ansell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Date of Recording: 05/01/1937 
111. Lazin' by Eric Ansell
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass)
Conductor:  Eric Ansell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Date of Recording: 05/03/1937 
112. I Don't Know What's Wrong by Eric Ansell
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass)
Conductor:  Eric Ansell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Date of Recording: 05/03/1937 
113. Roll Up, Sailorman by Eric Ansell
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass)
Conductor:  Eric Ansell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Date of Recording: 05/03/1937 
114. You Didn't Oughta Do Such Things by Eric Ansell
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass)
Conductor:  Eric Ansell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Date of Recording: 05/03/1937 
115. Jericho: Deep Desert by Michael Carr
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass)
Conductor:  Van Phillips
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Date of Recording: 07/02/1937 
116. Sometimes I feel like a motherless child by Traditional
Performer:  Lawrence Brown (Piano), Paul Robeson (Bass)
Written: USA 
Date of Recording: 07/05/1937 
117. Minstrel Man by Langston Hughes
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Spoken Vocals)
Date of Recording: 07/05/1937 
Notes: This selection is a reading of the poem by Langston Hughes. 
118. The Wanderer by Traditional
Performer:  Lawrence Brown (Piano), Paul Robeson (Bass)
Date of Recording: 07/05/1937 
119. Dere's a man goin' roun' takin' names by Brown,
Performer:  Lawrence Brown (Piano), Paul Robeson (Bass)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: USA 
Date of Recording: 10/08/1937 
120. No more auction block by Traditional
Performer:  Lawrence Brown (Piano), Paul Robeson (Bass)
Date of Recording: 10/08/1937 
121. Work all de summer by Traditional
Performer:  Lawrence Brown (Piano), Paul Robeson (Bass)
Written: USA 
Date of Recording: 10/08/1937 
122. Didn't my Lord deliver Daniel? by Traditional
Performer:  Lawrence Brown (Piano), Paul Robeson (Bass)
Written: USA 
Date of Recording: 10/08/1937 
123. Silent Night by Franz Xaver Gruber
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass)
Conductor:  Ronnie Munro
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1818; Austria 
Date of Recording: 10/18/1937 
124. All through the night by Traditional
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass)
Conductor:  Ronnie Munro
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Written: Wales, UK 
Date of Recording: 10/18/1937 
125. Solitude by Edward "Duke" Ellington
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass)
Conductor:  Ronnie Munro
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1934; USA 
Date of Recording: 10/18/1937 
126. Mood Indigo by Edward "Duke" Ellington
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass)
Conductor:  Ronnie Munro
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1931; New York, USA 
Date of Recording: 10/18/1937 
127. Porgy and Bess: Summertime by George Gershwin
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass)
Conductor:  Carroll Gibbons
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1935; USA 
Date of Recording: 01/14/1938 
128. Porgy and Bess: It takes a long pull by George Gershwin
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass)
Conductor:  Carroll Gibbons
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1935; USA 
Date of Recording: 01/14/1938 
129. Porgy and Bess: It ain't necessarily so by George Gershwin
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass)
Conductor:  Carroll Gibbons
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1935; USA 
Date of Recording: 01/21/1938 
130. Porgy and Bess: A woman is a sometime thing by George Gershwin
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass)
Conductor:  Carroll Gibbons
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1935; USA 
Date of Recording: 01/21/1938 
131. Songs (7) as Unpretentious as the Wild Rose: Just A-Wearyin' for You by Carrie Jacobs-Bond
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass)
Conductor:  Walter Goehr
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1901; USA 
Date of Recording: 03/24/1938 
132. At dawning, Op 29 no 1 by Charles Wakefield Cadman
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass)
Conductor:  Walter Goehr
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1906; USA 
Date of Recording: 03/24/1938 
133. Song of the Volga boatmen by Traditional
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass)
Conductor:  Walter Goehr
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Written: Russia 
Date of Recording: 03/28/1938 
134. An Eriskay Love Lilt by Marjorie Kennedy-Fraser
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass)
Conductor:  Ronnie Munro
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: Scotland 
Date of Recording: 04/13/1938 
135. Encantadora Maria by Edward Kilenyi
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass)
Conductor:  Ronnie Munro
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Date of Recording: 04/13/1938 
136. Goin' to ride up in de chariot by Traditional
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass), Lawrence Brown (Piano)
Date of Recording: 09/15/1938 
137. Every time I feel de spirit by Traditional
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass), Lawrence Brown (Piano)
Date of Recording: 09/15/1938 
138. Lay down late by Traditional
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass), Lawrence Brown (Piano)
Date of Recording: 09/15/1938 
139. After the Battle by Modest Mussorgsky
Performer:  Lawrence Brown (Piano), Paul Robeson (Bass)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Russia 
Date of Recording: 10/25/1938 
140. David of the White Rock by Traditional
Performer:  Lawrence Brown (Piano), Paul Robeson (Bass)
Written: Wales, UK 
Date of Recording: 10/25/1938 
141. Trees by Oscar Rasbach
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass)
Conductor:  Ronnie Munro
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1931 
Date of Recording: 12/20/1938 
142. Zigeunermelodien (7), Op. 55: no 4, Als die alte Mutter by Antonín Dvorák
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass)
Conductor:  Ronnie Munro
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1880; Bohemia 
Date of Recording: 11/20/1938 
143. Loch Lomond by Traditional
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass)
Conductor:  Ronnie Munro
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Written: Scotland 
Date of Recording: 11/20/1938 
144. Drink to me only with thine eyes by Traditional
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass)
Conductor:  Ronnie Munro
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Written: England 
Date of Recording: 11/20/1938 
145. Down the lover's lane by Will Marion Cook
Performer:  Lawrence Brown (Piano), Paul Robeson (Bass)
Date of Recording: 05/09/1939 
146. Songs, Op. 1: no 5, Cradle song by Alexander Grechaninov
Performer:  Lawrence Brown (Piano), Paul Robeson (Bass)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1927; France 
Date of Recording: 05/09/1939 
Language: English and Russian 
147. Night by Traditional
Performer:  Lawrence Brown (Piano), Paul Robeson (Bass)
Written: Russia 
Date of Recording: 05/09/1939 
148. The little black boy by William Blake
Performer:  Lawrence Brown (Piano), Paul Robeson (Bass)
Date of Recording: 05/09/1939 
Notes: This selection is a reading of the poem by William Blake. 
149. Dear Old Southland by Turner Layton
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass)
Conductor:  Walter Goehr
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1921; USA 
Date of Recording: 09/26/1939 
150. Jerusalem by Charles Hubert Parry
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass)
Conductor:  Walter Goehr
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1916; England 
Date of Recording: 09/26/1939 
151. The Blind Ploughman by Richard Coningsby Clarke
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass)
Conductor:  Walter Goehr
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: England 
Date of Recording: 09/26/1939 
152. Chu Chin Chow: The Cobbler's Song by Frederic Norton
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass)
Conductor:  Walter Goehr
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Date of Recording: 09/26/1939 
153. O could I but express in song by Leonid Malashkin
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass)
Conductor:  Walter Goehr
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: Russia 
Date of Recording: 09/26/1939 
154. Love at My Heart by Libbie,
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass)
Conductor:  Walter Goehr
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Date of Recording: 09/27/1939 
155. Nothin' by Layton,
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass)
Conductor:  Walter Goehr
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Date of Recording: 09/27/1939 
156. The Rosary by Ethelbert Nevin
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass)
Conductor:  Walter Goehr
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: by 1898; USA 
Date of Recording: 09/27/1939 
157. A Perfect Day by Carrie Jacobs-Bond
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass)
Conductor:  Walter Goehr
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1910; USA 
Date of Recording: 09/27/1939 
158. Absent by Metcalf,
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass)
Conductor:  Walter Goehr
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Date of Recording: 09/27/1939 
159. Black Eyes by Traditional
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass)
Conductor:  Walter Goehr
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Date of Recording: 09/27/1939 
160. Robin Hood: Oh, promise me by Reginald De Koven
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass)
Conductor:  Walter Goehr
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1890; USA 
Date of Recording: 09/28/1939 
161. Plaisir d'amour by Johann Paul A. Martini
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass)
Conductor:  Walter Goehr
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: by 1775; France 
Date of Recording: 09/28/1939 
162. Sylvia by Oley Speaks
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass)
Conductor:  Walter Goehr
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1914; USA 
Date of Recording: 09/28/1939 
163. She is far from the land by Traditional
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass)
Conductor:  Walter Goehr
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Written: Ireland 
Date of Recording: 09/28/1939 
164. Thora by Adams,
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass)
Conductor:  Walter Goehr
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Date of Recording: 09/28/1939 
165. Songs (3), Op. 3: no 2, Now sleeps the crimson petal by Roger Quilter
Performer:  Lawrence Brown (Piano), Paul Robeson (Bass)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1904; England 
Date of Recording: 09/29/1939 
166. Sea fever by John Ireland
Performer:  Lawrence Brown (Piano), Paul Robeson (Bass)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1913; England 
Date of Recording: 09/29/1939 
167. Ebenezer "Ton-y-Botel" by Thomas John Williams
Performer:  Lawrence Brown (Piano), Paul Robeson (Bass)
Period: Romantic 
Written: by 1900; Wales, UK 
Date of Recording: 09/29/1939 
168. Land of My Fathers by Traditional
Performer:  Lawrence Brown (Piano), Paul Robeson (Bass)
Date of Recording: 09/29/1939 
169. Deep river by Traditional
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass)
Conductor:  Ernest Irving
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Written: USA 
Date of Recording: circa 08/1939 
170. Elijah, Op. 70: Lord God of Abraham by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Paul Robeson (Bass)
Conductor:  Ernest Irving
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1846-1847; Germany 
Date of Recording: circa 08/1939 

Sound Samples

Ol' Man River (Live At The Dury Lane Theatre) (2008 Digital Remaster)
Seem Lak' To Me (2008 Digital Remaster)
Down De Lover's Lane (2008 Digital Remaster)
Scandalize My Name (2008 Digital Remaster)
Sinner Please Doan' Let Dis Harves' Pass (2008 Digital Remaster)
Weepin' Mary (2008 Digital Remaster)
I Want To Be Ready (2008 Digital Remaster)
My Lord What A Mornin' (2008 Digital Remaster)
De Li'l Pickaninny's Gone To Sleep (2008 Digital Remaster)
Git On Board Li'l Children (2008 Digital Remaster)
Dere's No Hidin' Place (2008 Digital Remaster)
Plantation Songs (Part 1) (2008 Digital Remaster)
Plantation Songs (Part 2) (2008 Digital Remaster)
Oh Rock Me Julie (2008 Digital Remaster)
Oh Didn't It Rain (2008 Digital Remaster)
Mammy (2008 Digital Remaster)
Roll Away Clouds (2008 Digital Remaster)
Sonny Boy (2008 Digital Remaster)
Little Pal (2008 Digital Remaster)
The Lonesome Road (2008 Digital Remaster)
Just Keepin' On (2008 Digital Remaster)
Mighty Lak' A Rose (2008 Digital Remaster)
Mammy Is Gone (2008 Digital Remaster)
Hail De Crown (2008 Digital Remaster)
Exhortation (2008 Digital Remaster)
I Stood On The Ribber Jordan/Peter Go Ring Dem Bells (2008 Digital Remaster)
Go Down Moses (2008 Digital Remaster)
High Water (2008 Digital Remaster)
Old Folks At Home (Swanee River) (2008 Digital Remaster)
Poor Old Joe (2008 Digital Remaster)
My Old Kentucky Home (2008 Digital Remaster)
Ol' Man River (2008 Digital Remaster)
River Stay 'Way From My Door (2008 Digital Remaster)
Rockin' Chair (2008 Digital Remaster)
Medley Of Spirituals (2008 Digital Remaster)
My Heart Is Where The Mohawk Flows Tonight (2008 Digital Remaster)
The Folks I Used To Know (2008 Digital Remaster)
Mary Had A Baby (Yes Lord) (2008 Digital Remaster)
Lil' Gal (2008 Digital Remaster)
Bear De Burden/All God's Chillun Got Wing (2008 Digital Remaster)
That's Why The Darkies Were Born (2008 Digital Remaster)
When It's Sleepy Time Down South (2008 Digital Remaster)
Seekin' (2008 Digital Remaster)

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