Freedom Highway (The Staple Singers album)

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The Staple Swingers
Freedom Highway (The Staple Singers album).jpg
Live album by
LabelEpic Records
ProducerBilly Sherrill
The Staple Singers chronology
The Staple Swingers

Freedom Highway is a 1965 album by The Staple Singers (Epic LN24163/ BN26163).[1][2][3] The title song referred to the murder of Emmett Till at Tallahatchie River.[4][5] The lyrics begin “March up freedom's highway / March, each and every day.” and continue “Made up my mind / And I won't turn around." Mavis Staples reprised the song in 2008 on Live: Hope at the Hideout, which was released on November 4, 2008, the same day that Barack Obama won the presidential election.[6]

Track listing[edit]

1965 release[edit]

The remastered LP was re-issued as Freedom Highway Complete - Recorded Live At Chicago's New Nazareth Church by Sony in 2015

  1. "Freedom Highway" - Pops Staples
  2. "What You Gonna Do?"
  3. "Take My Hand Precious Lord"
  4. "When I'm Gone"
  5. "Help Me Jesus"
  6. "We Shall Overcome"
  7. "When The Saints Go Marching In"
  8. "The Funeral"
  9. "Build on That Shore"
  10. "Tell Heaven"
  11. "He's All Right"

1991 compilation[edit]

A compilation of the same title was released on CD by SBME in 1991 but preserves only two of the original LP tracks. The other tracks are a "hitlist" of favourites from the other albums made for Epic at the same period.

  1. "Will the Circle Be Unbroken?" (Ada Ruth Habershon, Charles Hutchinson Gabriel) - 2:37
  2. "Move Along Train" (Roebuck Staples) - 2:25
  3. "Are You Sure" (Ike Cargill, 1943) - 2:44
  4. "Wade in the Water" (J. W. Alexander, Sam Cooke) - 2:57
  5. "If I Could Hear My Mother Pray Again" (J. Rowe, J. Vaughan) - 2:22
  6. "Glory, Glory, Hallelujah!" (Traditional; arranged by Roebuck Staples) - 2:20
  7. "The Lord's Prayer" (Albert Hay Malotte (1935), arranged by Roebuck Staples) - 3:02
  8. "Jacob's Ladder" (A. Smith; arranged by Roebuck Staples) - 2:04
  9. "Why? (Am I Treated So Bad)" (arranged by R. Staples) - 2:51
  10. "Praying Time" (Traditional; arranged by Roebuck Staples) - 3:03
  11. "For What It's Worth" (Stephen Stills) - 2:24
  12. "Hammer and Nails" (A. Schroeder, D. Hill) - 2:25
  13. "Freedom Highway" (Roebuck Staples) - 2:55
  14. "What You Gonna Do?" (arranged by Roebuck Staples) - 2:37
  15. "Samson and Delilah" (Traditional; arranged by Roebuck Staples) - 2:33
  16. "Nobody's Fault But Mine" (1927) (arranged by Roebuck Staples) - 2:48
  17. "Be Careful of Stones that You Throw" (Bonnie Dodd) - 2:48
  18. "This Train" (arranged by Roebuck Staples) - 2:38


  1. ^ The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin Full discography of Epic albums by The Staples Singers.
  2. ^ Mike McGonigal Well Down Freedom Highway: The Staple Singers' Masterpiece 1938410149 - 2012 "In April of 1965, the Staples recorded their second album for Epic Records,Freedom Highway. Their producer at the time was Billy Sherrill, the same man who co-wrote and produced Nashville sheen gems like “Stand By Your Man,” “He ."
  3. ^ Steve Sullivan Encyclopedia of Great Popular Song Recordings 1442254491 Volume 3 2017 p.387 "Wade In the Water (1965)—Staple Singers Recorded in April 1965 for Epic album Freedom Highway The Staple Singers had been performing songs that became integral parts of the civil rights movement for years, even before Roebuck “Pop” ..."
  4. ^ Robert M. Marovich A City Called Heaven: Chicago and the Birth of Gospel Music 2015 0252097084 "The presence of the Staple Singers on the 1966 program was fitting because they had been lending their talent to civil ... Roebuck wrote the title track of Freedom Highway, their second Epic album and first live project for the label, in tribute to the 1965 Selma to Montgomery March..."
  5. ^ Graeme Thomson I Shot a Man in Reno 0826428576 2008 "Dylan wrote a song about it, but the event was most vividly brought to life by the Staple Singers in 1965, on the title track of their superb, live-in-church album Freedom Highway: “Found dead people in the forests, Tallahatchie River and lakes ."
  6. ^ Greg Kot -Mavis Staples, the Staple Singers 1451647875 2014 I'll Take You There Mavis Staples, the Staple Singers, and the March up Freedom's Highway "Live: Hope at the Hideout was released on November 4, 2008, the same day that Obama won the election. That night, the ... Mavis reprised the song at the Hideout: “March up freedom's highway / March, each and every day.” Now a black man ... “Made up my mind / And I won't turn around.” She hadn't yet ..."