Ring in the Fourth of July weekend with some festive and reflective popular-song patriotism from
- Nat King Cole
- Paul Robeson
- Frank Sinatra
- and Paul Desmond
on Afterglow, the other weekly program that I host at WFIU. Robeson performs “Ballad for Americans,” the epic Earl Robinson song that had such a broad appeal that it was adopted by both American Communists and the 1940 Republican presidential convention, while Cole’s recording, “We Are Americans, Too,” was an early popular-culture manifesto for black pride and civil rights. Duke Ellington checks in with versions of both “The Star-Spangled Banner” and that standard favorite of July 4th “Picnic With the Pops” celebrations, Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue.”
There’s more on this Afterglow program: Born On the Fourth of July.
A safe and happy Fourth of July to all, and best wishes for the rest of the summer.