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All things Blues!

Bobby Rush Remembers Martin Luther King Jr.

Bobby Rush (left) and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at Chicago's City Hall in 1965.
Courtesy of the artist / Bernard Kleina
Bobby Rush (left) and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at Chicago's City Hall in 1965.

Bobby Rush is one of the last living blues legends of his generation. He toured the South and the chitlin' circuit in the '50s and was often forced to perform music behind a curtain for white audiences. Shortly before the Montgomery Bus Boycott, Rush heard through fellow Chicago bluesman J.B. Lenoir about a Baptist minister and activist who offered hope: Martin Luther King Jr.

In honor of Martin Luther King Day, Rush shares his memories about the early days of the civil rights movement, the harrowing racism he endured and the powerful message Dr. King delivered when they met in person. Listen and download the audio above.

Copyright 2021 XPN. To see more, visit XPN.

Talia Schlanger hosts World Cafe, which is distributed by NPR and produced by WXPN, the public radio service of the University of Pennsylvania. She got her start in broadcasting at the CBC, Canada's national public broadcaster. She hosted CBC Radio 2 Weekend Mornings on radio and was the on-camera host for two seasons of the television series CBC Music: Backstage, as well as several prime-time music TV specials for CBC, including the Quietest Concert Ever: On Fundy's Ocean Floor. Schlanger also guest hosted various flagship shows on CBC Radio One, including As It Happens, Day 6 and Because News. Schlanger also won a Canadian Screen Award as a producer for CBC Music Presents: The Beetle Roadtrip Sessions, a cross-country rock 'n' roll road trip.