Southern Cultures

Journal covering the history, politics, folklore, art, literature and social structure of the Southern U.S.

Articles from Vol. 15, No. 3, Fall

Blues Greats
For over a century the blues has served as the musical anchor of American music. Muddy Waters aptly titled one of his songs "The Blues Had a Baby, and They Named it Rock and Roll." Without the blues, we could not imagine gospel, rock 'n' roll, rock,...
Blues Power in the Tuscarora Homeland: The Music of Pura Fe
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] his late April 2007 day marked the nicest that New Yorkers had yet experienced in the year. Pura Fe and her accompanist, Danny Godinez, were rehearsing on a bench in Central Park, reveling in the deep luster of the Sunday...
Cool-Water Music
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Liner Notes "Satan is Real," asserted the title of an old Louvin Brothers record, though the album cover's red plywood devil would seem to suggest otherwise. Of course, the Louvins' audience probably needed no persuading...
Country Music Stars
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Tradition runs deep in country music. One of the hallmarks of the genre is that new generations of singers pay tribute to their predecessors by building on their legacies and adhering to the strongest claims of lineage. Stars...
Front Porch
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Southern music is special. Everybody says so. The South is the home of blues, jazz, Cajun, zydeco, bluegrass, country, spirituals, gospel, and rock. A few other musical traditions that originated elsewhere--fife and drum music...
Haunting America: Emmett till in Music and Song
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] The murder of Emmett Till has haunted the American imagination. Though Chicago born and bred, he will be forever linked to Mississippi and the South. While visiting relatives in the Delta in August 1955, the fourteen-year-old...
Mill Mother's Lament: Ella May Wiggins and the Gastonia Textile Strike of 1929
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Woody Guthrie considered her one of our nation's best songwriters. Alan Lomax published her stark union ballads in his acclaimed collections of American folksongs. Pete Seeger recorded a version of her most famous song on...
Southern Jazz Musicians
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Selecting the top ten southern jazz musicians proved to be a more difficult task than I expected. Some of the choices are obvious, others perhaps less so. Had I used other criteria, some selections might well have been different....
Southern Rockers
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Let's be honest: Southern rock is a critically despised genre, a redneck sound draped in the Confederate flag and fueled by an oh-so-'70s mix of Jack Daniels and Quaaludes. But the genre's critics have it only partly right....
"When I Say Get It": A Brief History of the Boogie
One night I was laying down. I heard mama and papa talking. I heard papa tell mama to let that boy boogie-woogie. 'Cause it's in hive, and it's got to come out. --John Lee Hooker, "Boogie Chillen" We love to boogie on a Saturday...
Winston-Salem Blues: Captain Luke, Macavine Hayes, and Whistlin' Britches
Captain Luke, Macavine Hayes, Whistlin' Britches, and I settled down to a table in the small front room, lit by Christmas lights strung around the ceiling, R&B playing on the boombox. It was a Saturday morning in April, and the three elderly bluesmen...
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