Columbia/Legacy Readies 'Freedom' Box Set
Columbia/Legacy will release the box set, "Freedom: Songs From the Heart of America," on Nov. 19. Featuring timeless recordings from Bruce Springsteen ("Chimes of Freedom"), Bob Dylan ("The Times TheyColumbia/Legacy will release the box set, "Freedom: Songs From the Heart of America," on Nov. 19. Featuring timeless recordings from Bruce Springsteen ("Chimes of Freedom"), Bob Dylan ("The Times They Are A-Changin'"), and Johnny Cash ("Song of the Patriot"), the three-disc, 65-song set will serve as a companion to "Freedom: A History of US," an upcoming eight-hour PBS series hosted by Katie Couric. Columbia/Legacy has also planned a single CD soundtrack for January 2003 that shares its title with the series.
Drawing on Columbia's deep catalog of American recordings, the "Freedom" box will consist of tracks selected for the series as well as songs inspired by the narrative of the program. The set houses well-known compositions such as "The Star Spangled Banner" (performed by Duke Ellington), "Shenandoah" (from Jerry Garcia and David Grisman), and "Erie Canal" (by Suzanne Vega and one time Del Fuego Dan Zanes.)
Album producers worked in tandem with series producers Kunhardt Productions to find music to fit the themes of the program while standing on its own as a collection of music celebrating freedom in America. Such examples include Simon & Garfunkel's "America," Sly & the Family Stone's "Stand," the Isley Brothers' "Fight the Power," Pete Seeger's "If I Had a Hammer," and Woody and Arlo Guthrie's "This Land Is Your Land."
"Freedom: Songs From the Heart of America" will include a deluxe booklet with many historical photos featured in the PBS series, as well as an introductory essay by Joy Hakim, author of "Freedom: A History Of US," the book on which the series is based. Actor Christopher Reeve, who lends his voice to the series, will also contribute a brief essay to the boxed set.