we shall overcome*(Los Angeles) – EVERYTHING you think you know about the song; “We Shall Overcome”… is WRONG.

In his new book, We Shall Overcome: Sacred Song on the Devil’s Tongue,  music industry veteran, Isaias Gamboa uncovers the shocking, untold story of the iconic freedom-song and introduces readers to its true author; Louise Shropshire – a sharecropper’s daughter and self-proclaimed “nobody”, who through love and dedication to God, Gospel-music and the African-American Church; overcame racism and poverty to find herself in the inner-circle of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, Rev. Thomas A. Dorsey and the Civil Rights Movement.

In the process, Shropshire composed and copyrighted a popular Gospel-hymn that would become secularized and claimed by Pete Seeger and four others – then peddled for untold millions all over the globe by Seeger, Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Bruce Springsteen and countless others. Exhaustively researched and featuring more than 160 extraordinary photographs -this astonishing book not only describes the disturbing details surrounding the misappropriation of this sacred hymn, but also explores the historical attitudes of Black-exploitation, subjugation and racism in America – attitudes that Gamboa emphasizes, enabled such an unthinkable act to occur in the first place and remain unchallenged for over half a century. Although the US Library of Congress would call We Shall Overcome; “The Most Powerful Song of the 20th Century” and the song would earn untold millions for its illegitimate claimants, Louise Shropshire would die penniless and unrecognized.


About the Author: Isaias Gamboa was born in San José, Costa Rica to parents of Spanish and African ancestry. Over his 30-year career as an acclaimed and Grammy® decorated music-producer, songwriter, recording engineer and arranger, he has scored gold and platinum records working with  artists as diverse as The Temptations, Janet Jackson, Tupac, Gladys Knight, Bamboleo and many more. A member of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), and The Recording Academy, Isaias is also the founder of the non-profit We Shall Overcome Foundation, which is dedicated to humanitarian work throughout the US and Latin America. For more information please visit www.WeShallOvercomeFoundation.org.

This is Isaias Gamboa’s literary debut.




Gil Robertson