About

Presented by the Newseum Institute & Middle Tennessee State University's College of Media and Entertainment
'Freedom Sings' is an entertaining, irreverent and thoroughly engaging experience.

Imagine listening to songs you've heard all your life – from Elvis to the Beatles and beyond - and then learning the untold stories of censorship, activism and inspiration behind them. The show has been playing to standing ovations across America, fueled by some of Nashville's finest musicians and hit-makers. It's all part of the Freedom Sings initiative — a partnership between musical artists and First Amendment Center to teach about our most fundamental freedoms in a truly inventive way. Ken Paulson, the dean of the College of Media and Entertainment at Middle Tennessee State University, president of the First Amendment Center and the former editor-in-chief of USA Today, wrote and narrates the show, teaming with an all–star band for an unforgettable concert. In the words of Charles Davis, the dean of Grady College at the University of Georgia, "what’s magical about Freedom Sings is that no one in the audience stops singing and clapping and laughing, yet they leave with a deep sense that something profound has happened." Don't miss the opportunity to book this extraordinary show.

media

music with a purpose

“We want to tell the story of free speech in as vibrant a way as possible.” Click to hear more about the mission of Freedom Sings and how it embodies the impact of music on society over time.

taking it on tour

“American history meets rock ‘n roll to put together a remarkable story. This is about how guitars and drums changed the path of history, because they were accompanied by the kind of lyrics that make a difference.”

Real-world experience

The experience MTSU students gain while working behind the scenes at events like the Newseum Institute’s Oct. 29 “Freedom Sings” anniversary at Nashville’s Bluebird Café is much more than camera angles and lighting.

Honored by Mayor Dean

Former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean honored the 15th anniversary of Freedom Sings during a set of celebration concerts at The Bluebird Cafe on Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2013.

 


 

"FREEDOM SINGS: THE SONGS THAT SHAPED AMERICA"

DVD NOW AVAILABLE

Freedom Sings DVD The Songs that Shaped America - Presented by Middle Tennessee State University, First Amendment Center and Newseum Institute

 

FREE to Educators for a Limited Time Only!

"Freedom Sings: The Songs that Shaped America" is a concert/documentary on free speech and censored songs featuring some of Nashville's finest artists performing at the legendary Bluebird Café. The film was shot by students at Middle Tennessee State University's College of Media and Entertainment and is a joint production of the college and the Newseum Institute.

Are you an educator who would like to request a FREE DVD?

Photo courtesy of CK Photo

Photo courtesy of CK Photo

Get your FREE DVD and promotional materials!

the cast

The voices of Freedom Sings
KEN PAULSON
KEN PAULSON
Author and narrator of Freedom Sings, Dean of the College of Media and Entertainment at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU); also President of the First Amendment Center and a former editor-in-chief of USA Today.
BILL LLOYD
BILL LLOYD
Wrote and recorded four Top 10 country hits as a member of Foster and Lloyd, and went on to a successful career as a producer (for Carl Perkins), guitarist (with Buck Owens, Steve Earle and Cheap Trick) and songwriter (for Trisha Yearwood, Martina McBride and Hootie and the Blowfish).
ASHLEY CLEVELAND
ASHLEY CLEVELAND
Three-time Grammy award winner in the ‘Best Rock Gospel’ category, and was also nominated for a Grammy award in the ‘Best Traditional Gospel Album’ category. Ashley has won Dove Awards for three of her albums.
DAVE COLEMAN
DAVE COLEMAN
Singer and guitarist of the band The Colemen, a Nashville-based rock band whose most recent album is titled “Escalator.”
DEZ DICKERSON
DEZ DICKERSON
The original guitarist for Prince and the Revolution, Dickerson has written songs for Vanity 6 and The Time, and both played the guitar solo and sang on Prince’s “Little Red Corvette.”
DON HENRY
DON HENRY
Grammy-winning singer, songwriter whose hit “Where Have You Been?” was named “Song of the Year” by both the Academy of Country Music and the Country Music Association. Henry also wrote “All Kinds of Kinds,” a recent hit for Miranda Lambert. His work has also been recorded by Ray Charles, Patti Page, Conway Twitty, B.J. Thomas and Blake Shelton.
JONELL MOSSER
JONELL MOSSER
Jonell Mosser is one of Nashville’s most vibrant singers, and has appeared on recordings and performances by Vince Gill, Wynonna, Etta James and Kristin Chenoweth. She was also a member of the supergroup the New Maroons, along with Ringo Starr, Don Was and Benmont Tench of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. Her voice has also been heard in such movie soundtracks as “Hope Floats” and “Boys on the Side.” Her latest album is ‘Fortunes Lost, Fortunes Told.’
SUZI RAGSDALE
SUZI RAGSDALE
Accomplished singer and songwriter with a successful solo career. She has also served as a background singer for such artists as Suzy Bogguss, Randy Travis, Pam Tillis, Darrell Scott and Guy Clark.
JASON WHITE
JASON WHITE
Critically-acclaimed singer/songwriter and the writer of “Red Rag Top,” one of Tim McGraw’s biggest hits. His latest album is titled “The Longing.”
LARI WHITE
LARI WHITE
Recorded three Top 10 country songs for RCA and then went on to appear on Broadway in the Johnny Cash musical “Ring of Fire,” and on film with Tom Hanks in “Cast Away.” She has also produced such artists as Toby Keith and Billy Dean.
JOSEPH WOOTEN
JOSEPH WOOTEN
Three-time Grammy winner, solo artist and former keyboardist for the Steve Miller Band. His most recent album is “Soul of Freedom.”

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