Sunday, June 26, 2011

Sunday Morning Vault: Maya Angelou--Run Joe (1957)

     Maya Angelou is a professor, author, poet, civil rights activist, playwright, actress, and motion picture director. She has been nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in 1971, and has been one of two poets since 1960 to speak at a president's inaugural (Robert Frost being the other one in 1961). However, what many might not know is that she began her career as a dancer and later as a singer. Her one album, "Miss Calypso" was released in 1957 to attempt to cash in on the Calypso craze begun by Harry Belifonte. The Album went nowhere, but the songs I've heard on it were quite good, and much like Belifonte, focused a lot on the plight of the downtrodden, and the longing for freedom...themes that would be a part of her work for the rest of her life. Her story is one of courage, triumph and the power of the human soul to seek freedom both inwardly and out.  If you get a chance to read her autobiographies I would suggest you do so....her mark wasn't made in music, but that failure moved her to a position where she has become one of America's treasures.  


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