Arts Post
Posted at 12:00 PM ET, 08/25/2011

Music of the Movement: He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands

The early 20th century spiritual, “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands,” has been a favorite of generations of singers.

The song, usually given a solemn, slow treatment, has been sung by folk musicians, such as Odetta, and classical artists, such as Leontyne Price and Jessye Norman. Randy Travis and U2 have also performed this anthem.
Earlier in the week, James "Plunky" Branch plays the soprano saxophone in silent tribute at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial. (Photo by Nikki Kahn/The Washington Post)

This selection continues a survey of songs of the Civil Rights era, leading up to the dedication of the Rev. Martin L. King, Jr. memorial this Sunday. The memorial is open to the public Thursday but will be closed the rest of the week to prepare for the official unveiling.

At the 1963 March on Washington “He’s Got the Whole World....” was performed by one of the greats, Marian Anderson. Here is a classic version from Mahilia Jackson, who was one of King’s favorite singers.

By  |  12:00 PM ET, 08/25/2011

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