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Folk singer behind popularity of 'We Shall Overcome' dies

2 years 5 months 2 weeks ago Friday, May 08 2015 May 8, 2015 May 08, 2015 9:38 AM May 08, 2015 in News
Source: Associated Press

KNOXVILLE- The musician and folk singer who promoted the song "We Shall Overcome" and is credited with helping it rise in popularity as an anthem during the civil rights movement in the 1960s has died.

Guy Carawan's wife, Candie, said Friday that he died May 2, at his home in New Market, Tennessee, after suffering from a form of dementia for years. He was 87. She says a private funeral service is planned.

For years, Carawan was a leader of the Highlander Research and Education Center in New Market. It served as a gathering place for social-justice activists. Visitors included the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks.

The Carawans marched with King in Selma, Alabama, and made recordings to preserve the civil rights movement.

Carawan spent much of his time collecting and preserving folk songs.

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