Below, the Free Speech Center presents newly produced video of Felix Cavaliere, legendary singer-songwriter and founding member of the Rascals, accepting the Free Speech in Music Award during a Feb. 23 event at Middle Tennesse State University’s Tucker Theater. The event included an interview and performance celebrating Cavaliere’s contribution to free speech.  

“The people are listening,” Cavaliere said, “so what are we going to say? How about if we say something that means something?” 

For over half a century, Cavaliere has used his music to support important social causes, from civil rights to military veterans to mental health awareness. The Rascals refused to play on racially segregated tours and always ensured that at least half of the musicians who performed with them were black. Cavaliere’s work has helped countless movements to progress, and his music shows the power of music as free speech. 

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