BY GEORGE J. DACRE
Musical and film legend Sam Waymon of Nyack wrote the gospel-humming song “Mrs. Jackson” in memory of an 85-year-old black woman who members of the Students Nonviolent Coordinating Committee helped to register to vote in Mississippi in 1964. Another song, “Freedom Is My Name,” recalls the days of violence and the efforts to break discrimination in 1964.
These songs are among many that will be featured next weekend at Shades Repertory Theatre’s presentation of “Freedom Summer.” Waymon is the original score writer of the play and will join the “Freedom Summer” cast in singing the numbers in Haverstraw. (See article on page 1 of section II for more information)
Continuing on in Rockland, he will then be honored February 16 by Rivertown Films at the Nyack Center with a tribute featuring clips from the films “Ganja” and “Hess” that Waymon starred in and scored. There will also be clips and a composition performed by Waymon’s “In Your Eyes” from the movie “Philadelphia,” directed by Jonathan Demme, who will also be there to discuss the film and Sam’s influence on film and music.
Waymon and the New School Band will pay tribute to Sam’s sister, Nina Simone, performing songs she is known for and a composition by Waymon for Nina, “A Brother’s Love.” For information on Freedom Summer call Shades at 845-675-8044 and for the Rivertown Tribute To Waymon at 845-353-2568 or rivertownfilm.org.
To read about Freedom Summer, click here: https://www.rocklandtimes.com/2013/01/31/author-of-freedom-summer-william-tucker-was-in-mississippi-in-1964-when-three-college-students-were-murdered/