Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 12:46 pm
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The civil rights movement captured the nation's attention in 1963, and musicians proved no exception. The marches, protests and tragedies of 50 years ago influenced some of the greatest artists of the 20th century, including Aretha Franklin, Bob Dylan, Harry Belafonte and Mavis Staples. We've gathered more than 150 songs for a special NPR Music Radio channel that commemorates this important moment in our nation's history. Several of the songs we chose were part of the movement, sung by protestors at rallies, while others were inspired by the events of the era — such as Neil Young songs answered by Lynyrd Skynyrd. The stream includes many genres of music from across the last five decades that draw direct inspiration from that historic year.