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Uncovering Motown's Black Forum

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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

In the early ‘70s, a small branch of Motown Records released politically charged albums from the likes of Martin Luther King Jr., Langston Hughes, and Black Panther leader Elaine Brown. Today: A forgotten chapter in the history of the influential soul label. Plus: Italian jazz trumpeter Enrico Rava joins us with his band for a live performance.

Motown Records: Lost History

In the early 1970s, Motown Records released politically charged albums on a subsidiary called Black Forum – most of which faded into obscurity. Now, the producer and historian Pat Thomas has collected the sounds and the stories of artists like Langston Hughes, Elaine Brown, Amiri Baraka and more, for the book “Listen Whitey! The Sights and Sounds of Black Power 1965-1975.” He joins us to explore a time when politics and pop culture intersected in a most revolutionary way.

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Copy Cat: Space Shifting

Last week during our series on Supercollectors, we discussed digital music collections. Today, we follow up on a question that arose: is it legal to keep ripped music files after you've gotten rid of the CDs that they came from? Our go-to copyright expert, Jonathan Reichman - otherwise known as the "Copy Cat" - joins us to explain the legality of "space shifting" and how it works. 

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Enrico Rava: In Studio

Although he isn’t a household name in the U.S., trumpeter Enrico Rava is one of Italy’s best known jazz artists. His latest album is called Tribe, and includes several pieces that the 72-year-old has recorded before. But this time, they’ve been played by a quintet comprised of several up-and-coming Italian musicians who are new to Rava’s group. They join us to play live.


Living On Borrowed Sounds

Reactions to yesterday's segment about a controversial film score

Gig Alert: Sarah Jaffe

Texas singer-songwriter Sarah Jaffe hits Mercury Lounge ahead of her upcoming new album's release next month. Download her gauzy cover of Cold War Kids' "Louder Than Ever."