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Friday, October 5, 2012

The Song Behind New 'Drug War' Doc

Eugene Jarecki's explosive new film on the long-running U.S. "war on drugs" debuts today to some great reviews.  It takes its title from this 1940s songs, "The House That I Live In," and uses this Paul Robeson version over its end credits. There's also a famous Frank Sinatra version--see the film short below, pleading for tolerance, which won an Oscar.


John Demeter said...

Thanks for resurfacing memories of Paul Robeson one of our great American treasures, athlete, singer, actor and political activist. And reminder of one of the most sinister eras of political and racial intolerance in our history. Paul Robeson, Earl Robinson and Albert Maltz, the screenwriter of the Academy Award-winning short you highlight, "The House We Live In" were all blacklisted, banned from writing, performing, even travelling abroad. Sadly, Tea Party Congressman Allen West, his felllow-traveller Michele Bachmann and their ilk have resurfaced that intolerance and hate into current political discourse.

John Demeter said...

And for your Rock and Roll archives, Howie's late stepfather, Earl Robinson is probably best remembered for penning "Joe Hill" (the most memorable recording probably being Joan Baez' performance at Woodstock which I was lucky to witness and which still gives me goosebumps when I hear it). Earl and David Arkin (Alan Arkin's father and my friend Henry Wortis' cousin) wrote "Black and White" celebrating the Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision which was covered by "Three Dog Night" (Pete Seeger, Sammy Davis Jr., as well) and became a #1 Billboard hit for the rock group in 1972.

John Demeter said...

Yada yada