I first heard this wonderful civil-rights anthem on the fantastic 'Stand Up And Be Counted' compilation in 1999, and ever since this song and its singer have remained great favourites of mine... "'I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free" is a song written by Billy Taylor & Dick Dallas, most well known for the recording by Nina Simone in 1967 on her 'Silk & Soul' album. Billy Taylor's original version (as "I Wish I Knew") was recorded November 12, 1963 and released on his 'Right Here, Right Now' album the year after. His 1967 instrumental take was later used as the theme music for The Film programme on BBC television.
Billy Taylor reports that "I wrote this song, perhaps my best known composition, for my daughter Kim. This is one of the best renditions I’ve done, because it is very spiritual."..."