It’s summertime, and the living in easy on American Routes. We’ve got cool tunes from Miles Davis, Ray Charles, Martha and the Vandellas, and the Beach Boys to help you beat that summer heat. We’ll hear memories of Sea Breeze, NC, a historically Black resort community that was an early site of integration in the Jim Crow South… And visit with some surfers at Mission Beach, San Diego.
THE FOLK REVIVAL REVISITED: PETE SEEGER, JUDY COLLINS, JIM KWESKIN, JERRY GARCIA, ALAN LOMAX, RAMBLIN' JACK ELLIOTT, JOAN BAEZ, BONNIE RAITT AND MORE
The American folk music revival that grew from the Post-WWII era to the Sixties was about more than just music: it wrapped in political activism, romantic visions of the self and the “folk,” group “sing-a-longs,” “hootenannies” and careers of singer-songwriters. We interview folk heroine Judy Collins about her move from traditional British folk songs to the new songs and sounds in Greenwich Village. Jug bandleader Jim Kweskin talks about his love of communal living. The late Pete Seeger and Alan Lomax offer opinions on their divergent views of folk music and the quest for authenticity. Jerry Garcia tells of his most influential folk music source and we’ll hear Dylan go electric at Newport in 1965. Rhiannon Giddens of the Carolina Chocolate Drops talks about bringing back the peoples’ music of another era today.
American Routes goes from Texas roadhouses to Zydeco dancehalls with two men known for their live performances, Delbert McClinton and Buckwheat Zydeco. Harmonica player, vocalist and songwriter Delbert McClinton has gone from backing up Jimmy Reed and Howlin’ Wolf in the 1960s to top 40 success. But he never stops delivering what his fans want-sweaty, country-tinged rhythm and blues shows. Stanley Dural, Jr., better known as Buckwheat Zydeco, grew up hearing traditional accordion from his father from the very beginning, but preferred soul, funk and R&B. Now he’s known for mixing them all together for high-energy shows across southern Louisiana and the world. All this plus great music from Lightnin’ Hopkins, Emmylou Harris, Fats Domino and more.
We Billie Holiday from her beginnings through a complex life of troubles and musical triumphs, her compelling “autumn” voice and untimely passing at age 44. Biographers John Szwed and Robert O’Meally discuss Lady Day’s style and significance, while Cassandra Wilson describes and sings her approach to the Billie Holiday oeuvre. Singer Catherine Russell describes reaching back to recreate classic blues and jazz. From our archives we hear Nina Simone and Bonnie Raitt praising their blues heroines in story and song.
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