Langston Hughes

The Voice of Langston Hughes

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Langston Hughes' greatest hits? Well, sort of. This compilation is derived from the six albums the poet laureate of the Harlem Renaissance recorded for Moe Asche's Folkways label in the '50s and it features Hughes reading from poetry and prose he wrote at the beginning of his career (between 1925 and 1932), including excerpts from his children's book "The Dream Keeper and Other Poems," and the adult "Simple Speaks His Mind." On the tracks "The Story of the Blues" and "I Want to Testify," Hughes' readings are superimposed, respectively, over old blues and gospel records, which turns out to be an effective gambit, but most of the album is the undiluted man himself.

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