August 28: Bob Dylan’s performance @ March On Washington in 1963

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bob dylan joan baez 1963

Dylan is one of the performers at the Washington Civil Rights March. Photographs of the historic march show him perched on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, singing with Baez. He also accompanies folk revivalist Len Chandler on the traditional “Hold On,” as well as performing solo versions of “Only a Pawn in Their Game” and “Blowin’ in the Wind.” “Only a Pawn in Their Game” appears in bastardized form on the Folkways’s We Shall Overcome documentary album, largely obliterated by some ill-considered polemic superimposed over the song.
~Clinton Heylin (Bob Dylan: A Life in Stolen Moments Day by Day 1941-1995)

But I thought Kennedy, both Kennedy’s – I just liked them. And I like Martin…. Martin Luther King. I thought those were people who were blessed and touched, you know? The fact that they all went out with bullets doesn’t change nothin’. Because the good they do gets planted. And those seeds live on longer than that.
~Bob Dylan (to Kurt Loder, March 1984)


Date August 28, 1963
Location Washington, D.C.
Also known as March on Washington
Participants 200,000 to 300,000 (estimated 250,000)
Litigation Civil Rights Act of 1964Voting Rights Act

The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom or “The Great March on Washington“, as styled in a sound recording released after the event, was one of the largest political rallies for human rights in United States history and called for civil and economic rights for African Americans. It took place in Washington, D.C..Thousands of Americans headed to Washington on Tuesday August 27, 1963. On Wednesday, August 28, 1963. Martin Luther King, Jr., standing in front of the Lincoln Memorial, delivered his historic “I Have a Dream” speech in which he called for an end to racism.

And here is one of the greatest performances ever Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech:

The march was organized by a group of civil rights, labor, and religious organizations, under the theme “jobs, and freedom”. Estimates of the number of participants varied from 200,000 to 300,000; it is widely accepted that approximately 250,000 people participated in the march. Observers estimated that 75–80% of the marchers were black.

The march is credited with helping to pass the Civil Rights Act (1964) and motivating the Selma to Montgomery marches which led to the passage of the Voting Rights Act (1965).

Bob Dylan’s performance

Lincoln Memorial,
Washington, District Of Columbia
28 August 1963
March On Washington (Washington Rights March)

  1. When The Ship Comes In
  2. Blowin’ In The Wind
  3. Only A Pawn In Their Game
  4. Keep Your Eyes On The Prize (Len Chandler)

1 Bob Dylan (guitar, harmonica & vocal)., Joan Baez (guitar & vocal).
2 Bob Dylan (guitar & vocal).
4 Len Chandler (guitar & vocal), Bob Dylan, Joan Baez (guitar & backup vocal) and possibly Gil Turner (guitar).

Here is a video including song 1, 3 & 4:

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