When I was growing up in Britain in the 1950s and 1960s Paul Robeson was much in evidence on records – on the radio – on television.
His name was haloed with the sort of respect accorded to few performers.
The astonishing voice that like the Mississippi in the most famous number in his repertory – just kept rolling along – seemed to carry within it an inherent sense of truth.
There was no artifice – there were no vocal tricks – nothing came between the listener and the song.
It commanded effortless attention – perfectly focused – it came from a very deep place – not just in the larynx but in the experience of what it is to be human.