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Live from Carnegie Hall: Harry Belafonte

Quoted in a recent article about Sweet Honey In The Rock, and with a recently released HBO documentary that coincides with his new memoir published earlier this month, this week's star of Live from Carnegie Hall is singer, songwriter, actor, and social activist Harry Belafonte.

Artist: Harry Belafonte
Album: Belafonte at Carnegie Hall
Label: RCA Victor
Date Recorded: April 19 and 20, 1959
Fun Fact: Theses two concerts were benefits for the New Lincoln School and Wiltwyck School, both of which Belafonte championed.

Having made his debut here 10 years earlier, Harry Belafonte was a superstar by the time he performed a pair of concerts at Carnegie Hall in April 1959, going on to win an Emmy for his solo television show Tonight with Belafonte later that year.

In addition to his more conventional accompaniment of guitars, bass, drums, congas, and piano, Belafonte was joined on the stage by a 50-piece orchestra. Dividing the performance into three themes, he sang African American songs ("Sylvie" and "Cotton Fields"), Caribbean songs ("Day-O" and "Jamaica Farewell"), and folk songs of the world ("Hava Nageela" and "Danny Boy").

As well as being a frequent Carnegie Hall concertgoer (James Taylor gave him a shout out from the stage during the April 12 gala that celebrated 120 years of the Hall), Belafonte regularly appeared here for years, his most recent performance being part of a 2004 celebration of Haiti's 200th birthday.

If you have a favorite Live from Carnegie Hall album you'd like us to feature, let us know on our Facebook page.

November 4 Sweet Honey In The Rock
Live from Carnegie Hall Series
History of the Hall

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