The 25 Most Important Civil Rights Moments in Music History

Charles Mingus Records "Fables of Faubus"

Date: May 5, 1959

Initially released on 1959's Mingus Ah Um, this song offended Mingus' label, Columbia Records, finding the lyrics too controversial. They would only release the song as an instrumental. Mingus re-titled and released it as "Original Faubus Fables" on the aptly named Candid label the following year. With its loping rhythm, call-and-response lyrics and rickety construction, the song was a thorough satire of Arkansas governor Orval Faubus. In 1957, the governor had sent the National Guard to Little Rock Central High School in order to prevent integration. Most controversially (at the time), the song accused Faubus, the new Arkansas governor Winthrop Rockefeller, and President Dwight Eisenhower of being "sick and ridiculous," brainwashing and "teaching hate."

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