Motown releases Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s 'I Have a Dream' speech as a digital single

Why Dr. King's dream still carries significance today
Posted at 12:27 PM, Aug 28, 2020

Fifty-seven years ago Friday, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered one of the most rousing and iconic speeches of the 20th century on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. His "I Have A Dream" speech represented a watershed moment in the Civil Rights movement.

On Friday — the same day that a new generation marched on Washington to support Black lives — King's speech was released as a digital single, making it available to stream on many music platforms.

Legendary music label Motown originally recorded King's speech on Aug. 28, 1963. According to The Detroit Free Press, Billie Jean Brown of Motown recorded the address live with "top-end audio gear and professional engineers," not knowing the impact the speech would have on history. The recording is reportedly one of the highest-quality recordings of the speech in existence.

In addition to releasing the speech as a single, Motown also released lost footage of a Coretta Scott King's appearance on "The Ed Sullivan Show" in 1970, and a "March On Washington Playlist" featuring tracks from Black artists like Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder and Kendrick Lamar.