Freedom sang in October in Seigenthaler’s honor

It was a night of heartwarming and sometimes heartrending performances as Mass Comm Dean Ken Paulson’s “Freedom Sings” honored the life of the late Nashville journalist and activist John Seigenthaler.

Ray Stevens

The annual Freedom Sings event at Nashville’s iconic Bluebird Cafe starts with a tribute to the legendary journalist John Seigenthaler and a song by Ray Stevens and Suzi Ragsdale, “Everything is Beautiful.”

Celebrating its 16th anniversary, “Freedom Sings” brought songs of “truth, justice and equality” to The Bluebird Café in late October to pay homage to a man who fought for social justice and equality.

“John understood well that the First Amendment was not just about freedom of the press,” said Paulson, who is also president of the First Amendment Center. “It protects all free expression, including art and music.” Seigenthaler died July 11, 2014, after a distinctive career as long-time editor of The Tennessean and leading advocate of free speech and social justice.

Grammy winning singer-songwriter Ray Stevens kicked off the show with a rousing rendition of his hit “Everything Is Beautiful,” sung as a duet with his daughter Suzi Ragsdale. Country artist Hugh Moffatt followed with the Bob Dylan classic “The Times They Are A-Changin’.”

Lari White

Broadway sensation and country powerhouse singer Lari White belts The Young Rascals’ hit “People Got To Be Free” near the show’s end.

Singer/songwriter Michael Kelsh performed solo a haunting rendition of “Ellis Unit One,” Steve Earle’s hit from the Dead Man Walking film soundtrack.

The Freedom Sings house “banned” backing the talented lineup included singer/guitarist/songwriter Danny Flowers, songwriter/recording artist Bill Lloyd (also of the country duo Foster & Lloyd), bass player and founding member of the E–Street Band Garry Tallent, Steve Miller Band keyboard player/vocalist Joseph Wooten and up-and-coming drummer/musician Jessie Wooten.

The show closed with all performers taking to the stage to sing the timeless rock ‘n’ roll classic “Turn Turn Turn,” written by the legendary Pete Seeger and a No. 1 hit for The Byrds in 1965.

Between songs, Paulson introduced to the audience longtime Midstate journalist Pat Embry, the new director of MTSU’s John Seigenthaler Chair of Excellence in First Amendment Studies. MTSU established the Seigenthaler Chair in 1986, and it supports a variety of activities related to free speech, free press rights and other topics of concern for contemporary journalism, including hands-on training for student journalists through the Seigenthaler News Service.

Click here to watch the introduction to Freedom Sings at the Bluebird.

FULL SET FOR FREEDOM SINGS 2014  | TUESDAY, OCT. 28

The Bluebird Cafe

Tribute to John Seigenthaler

Songs of Truth, Justice and Equality

Freedom Sings Poster 2014

Everything is Beautiful – Ray Stevens /Suzi Ragsdale

The Times They Are A-Changin’ – Hugh Moffatt

Brush My Teeth With Coca Cola – Tim O’Brien

Keep Your Dirty Lights On – Tim O’Brien*

Harper Valley PTA – Linda Davis

Where Have All the Flowers Gone? – Kim Richey, Don Henry and Bill Lloyd

Abraham, Martin and John – Don Henry

All Kinds of Kinds – Don Henry

I Again Tonight – Ernest Chapman

Ellis Unit One – Michael Kelsh

Political Science – Bill Lloyd

People Get Ready – Danny Flowers

Put a Little Love in Your Heart – Natalie Noone

People Got to Be Free – Lari White

Everyday People – Joseph Wooten

What’s So Funny ‘Bout Peace, Love and Understanding – Dez Dickerson

Turn, Turn, Turn – Bill Lloyd

HOUSE BANNED:

Danny Flowers, Bill Lloyd, Garry Tallent, Jessie Wooten, Joseph Wooten

Performers take a bow at the end of the evening. Left to right: Dez Dickerson, Bill Lloyd, Don Henry, Lari White, Tim O'Brien, Ernest Chapman,Hugh Moffat, Linda Davis, Ken Paulson, Joseph Wooten, Jessie Wooten,  Suzi Ragsdale, Danny Flowers, Natalie Noone and Garry Tallent.

Performers take a bow at the end of the evening. Left to right: Dez Dickerson, Bill Lloyd, Don Henry, Lari White, Tim O’Brien, Ernest Chapman,Hugh Moffat, Linda Davis, Ken Paulson, Joseph Wooten, Jessie Wooten, Suzi Ragsdale, Danny Flowers, Natalie Noone and Garry Tallent.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Categories: Events, Faculty, News, Partnerships

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: