Lombard, IL – Songcatcher and songwriter Chris Vallillo presents his special program “Oh Freedom, Songs of the Civil Rights Movement” at The Lombard Historical Society on Thursday February 26, 2015 8pm FREE The Lombard Historical Society is located at 23 W. Maple Street, Lombard, IL 60148 630-629-8233.
The Civil Rights Movement has been described as one of the greatest singing movements that this country has experienced. From “We Shall Overcome” to “This Little Light of Mine”, music played an vital role in that historic struggle both as an inspirational rallying point and as a way to spread the message of equality and justice.
From the Freedom Riders, to the the jails of Montgomery Alabama, and Parchman Prison, all the way to Washington DC, both old and new songs of the era spoke of the yearning for equal rights, the struggle and the determination to win freedom. They engaged and energized the movement and became the backbone of the nonviolent civil disobedience movement led by Dr King and others. Music was a huge part of the process both locally and nationally.
In a show created to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the civil rights movement, award winning Illinois folksinger Chris Vallillo performs pivotal songs from the music that inspired and sustained this landmark movement. Intermixed with the music, Vallillo presents first hand accounts of the historic struggle and discusses the impact of music to our nation’s most important social cause.
Vallillo, a former Archaeologist turned self taught folk musician, documented the last of the pre- radio generation of Western Illinois in the 1980s for the Library of Congress, drawing both material and inspiration for his own songs from their music. Along with fingerstyle and flatpicked guitar, Vallillo is best known for his unique bottleneck slide guitar playing. His 2008 CD Abraham Lincoln in Song charted at #10 on Billboard’s Bluegrass Album Charts.