Paul Robeson, singer, activist, dies
Singer ~ Actor ~ Activist

Paul Robeson

April 9, 1898, Princeton, NJ ~ January 23, 1976, Philadelphia, PA

In 1925, he sang the first concert recital consisting solely of black spirituals, at the Greenwich Village Theatre in New York. ~ IMDb: Paul Robeson Sr ~ retrieved January 22, 2015 © IMDb

Paul Robeson was the epitome of the 20th-century Renaissance man. He was an exceptional athlete, actor, singer, cultural scholar, author, and political activist. His talents made him a revered man of his time, yet his radical political beliefs all but erased him from popular history. Today, more than one hundred years after his birth, Robeson is just beginning to receive the credit he is due. ~ PBS: American Masters/Paul Robeson Sr ~ August 26, 2006 © PBS

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April 9, 1994 ~ Billboard Hot 100 ~ #3 (3) Mariah Carey, Without You/Never Forget You ~ #2 (1) Ace Of Base, The Sign ~ #1 (2) R. Kelly, Bump N Grind


The director told the audience that he first discovered Robeson at the age of 14. A neighbour called Mr Milton used to give McQueen books and articles he thought might be of interest, and one day put a cutting about Robeson through his parents’ letterbox. “It was about this black guy who was in Wales and was singing with these miners,” remembered McQueen. “I was about 14 years old, and not knowing who Paul Robeson was, this black American in Wales, it seemed strange. So then, of course, I just found out that this man was an incredible human being.” The son of an escaped slave, the young Robeson excelled at virtually everything he turned his hand to. Abandoning a legal career after experiencing severe racism at work, Robeson embarked on an acting and singing career that earned him worldwide fameforce whose booming baritone and oratory skill made him an iconic figure of the 20th Century. ~ The Guardian: Steve McQueen to make film about Paul Robeson ~ November 18, 2014 © The Guardian

Paul Robeson, Sr. ~ Awarded a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1998.

Paul Robeson ~ Ol' Man River (Kern/Hammerstein) ~ Named one of the Time 100 All-TIME Greatest Songs in 2011 ~ Jules Bledsoe introduced Ol' Man River, but in a 1929 Broadway revival and in James Whale's definitive 1936 film version, the song found its ideal singer: Paul Robeson, a Rutgers football star and Columbia-educated lawyer whose charismatic presence would have propelled him to the top of any entertainment medium not hobbled by racism. ~ 2011 © TIME

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