For the first time ever, Motown Records’ 1963 audio document of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom is available digitally.
The document, which contains Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, was recorded on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. on Aug. 23, 1963.
In addition to the iconic “I Have a Dream” speech, the spoken word album contains speeches by civil rights activist A. Philip Randolph, UAW president Walter Reuther, NAACP’s Roy Wilkins, and March organizer Whitney Young, as well as 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.”
The Great March on Washington was originally released by Motown Records in October 1963. You can now stream The Great March on Washington on all streaming services.
See The Great March on Washington tracklist below.
- A. Philip Randolph (7:17)
- Walter Reuther (6:50)
- Roy Wilkins (10:29)
- Liz Lands – “We Shall Overcome” (3:31)
- Whitney M. Young, Jr. (6:59)
- Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. (18:19)
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Article image: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mathew Ahmann in a crowd at the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. (Rowland Scherman [Available through Public Domain] via Wikimedia Commons.)