MLK Day Special Programming, Monday Noon-2pm, January 17th. Read more below for program details.....



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KING'S LAST MARCH: On April 4th, 1967 Martin Luther King, Jr. gave a landmark speech from the pulpit of Riverside Church in New York. He called for an end to the Vietnam War. Exactly one year later, King was assassinated in Memphis. He was 39 years old. King’s speech in New York set the tone for the last year of his life. Inside the church, he was hailed for his brave, outspoken stance against the war. Outside the church, he was roundly condemned – by the mainstream press, by other civil rights activists and, most decidedly, by President Lyndon Johnson.

This documentary will trace the final year of King’s life. It was one of the most challenging and controversial chapters of the civil rights leader’s career, yet it has not been the focus of significant public attention. For many, the image of King is of a social and political leader at the height of his powers – especially the period up through 1965.But that's not the way he was viewed in the last year of his life.

This program illuminates the profound personal, psychological and philosophical challenges King faced in his last year. In this time, King tried to gain support for his Poor People’s Campaign, fended off fierce critics inside and outside the civil rights movement, and endured an increasing sense of despair and isolation. King's Last March offers listeners a complex view of a man trying to push his philosophy of non-violence to a conclusion many people found more threatening than the dream he described on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial five years before his death.

MLK Edition of BLUES & BEYOND: In this hour of The Blues & Beyond, we'll feature music that ties in with the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day holiday, the civil rights movement, and the aspirations that have arisen from it. We'll hear from Mavis Staples, whose family band The Staples Singers sang at many events attended by Dr. King and contributed many of the songs that were associated with the movement. One of their songs included on this show was a favorite of Dr. King's. Other songs come from Syl Johnson and Eric Bibb, godson of Paul Robeson, singer-actor-athlete and civil rights activist. The Canadian blues band Blackburn provides their version of "Sister Rosa" a tribute to Rosa Parks and her courageous refusal to give up a seat on a segregated bus, and we have a song about the ensuing bus boycott from Brother Will Hairston, an obscure, but compelling, singer from Detroit. Also Charles Mingus doesn't mince words about a segregationalist governor on "Original Faubus Fables" -- in 1959 Columbia Records was reluctant to include Mingus's words, and the song appeared as an instrumental "Fables Of Faubus." Later, on the appropriately named Candid label, Mingus gave us the real deal, and now, of course, it is reissued on Columbia. Also, John Coltrane transforms Dizzy Gillespie's "Night In Tunisia" into a visit to Liberia, the nation formed by freed African-American slaves in the mid 19th century.