Motown's 'Great March on Washington' Gets First-Ever Digital Release - Rolling Stone
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Motown’s ‘Great March on Washington’ LP Gets First-Ever Digital Release

1963 audio document of March on Washington features Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech

Martin Luther King Jr Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. addresses marchers during his "I Have a Dream" speech at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington. Former South African president Nelson Mandela never met with King but the two fought for the same issues at the same time on two different continents. Mandela said in a 1964 speech that he was prepared to die to see his dream of a society where blacks and whites were equal become reality. King was killed by an assassin's bullet while working for that same dreamSouth Africa Mandela King, WASHINGTON, USA

Motown Records’ 'The Great March on Washington' LP, featuring MLK's "I Have a Dream" speech, has been released digitally for the first time.

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Motown Records’ 1963 audio document of the March on Washington, featuring Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, has been released digitally for the first time.

Recorded on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., on August 23rd, 1963, The Great March on Washington also contains speeches by civil rights activist A. Philip Randolph, UAW president Walter Reuther, NAACP’s Roy Wilkins and March organizer Whitney Young.

The Great March on Washington, which the label rush-released in October 1963, also boasts Motown artist Liz Lands’ performance of the civil rights anthem “We Shall Overcome.”

“We are privileged and honored to be entrusted by the MLK estate to oversee the release of his historic speech,” Universal Music president Bruce Resnikoff said in a statement. “As the long-time custodians of the Motown catalog and its legacy, we will ensure that the recordings of Dr. King will be available in the highest quality. We have gone back to the original source tapes to digitally remaster this release, and the clarity of Dr. King’s voice brings his message to today’s audience in a remarkable way.”

In addition to the document’s digital debut, Motown President and EVP of Capitol Music Group Ethiopia Habtemariam also spoke to Elvis Mitchell about MLK’s partnership with Motown founder Berry Gordy.

The Great March on Washington Tracklist

1. A. Philip Randolph (7:17)
2. Walter Reuther (6:50)
3. Roy Wilkins (10:29)
4. Liz Lands – “We Shall Overcome” (3:31)
5. Whitney M. Young, Jr. (6:59)
6. Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. (18:19)

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