Join us on Twitter for a #FreetoBe40 event with Lori Rotskoff

It’s a Twitter event! This Wednesday, December 12, from 9-10 pm EST join @LoriRotskoff, @uncpressblog, and @MamaDramaNY for a Twitter celebration and discussion of the 40th anniversary of Free to Be…You and Me, the popular nonsexist children’s album/book/TV special that has helped shape the childhoods and parenting practices of generations. Continue Reading Join us on Twitter for a #FreetoBe40 event with Lori Rotskoff

Southern Gateways: essential southern reading that makes a great gift

Our Holiday Sale is now underway! If you need some gift ideas for the folks on your list, our Southern Gateways catalog is a great place to start. Southern Gateways is where we collect of all our general interest books about this region we call home. Continue Reading Southern Gateways: essential southern reading that makes a great gift

Video: William Ferris on the music of survival

Great video interview with William Ferris, including excerpts from video included in Give My Poor Heart Ease: Voices of the Mississippi Blues. Continue Reading Video: William Ferris on the music of survival

Christian McWhirter: Did They Get It Right?: Civil War Music in Popular Film

Glory is noteworthy as one of the few popular representations of the war to include African American music. The Civil War had a tremendous impact on black music but the songs created and sung by African Americans are rarely included in books and films. Although Burns makes use of black spirituals, even he does not incorporate those that were actually most popular among slaves, freedpeople, and USCTs. Continue Reading Christian McWhirter: Did They Get It Right?: Civil War Music in Popular Film

Christian McWhirter: Musical Theft in the Civil War

Like the often-lamented vicious political rhetoric of modern politics, the phenomenon of using popular songs for political gain is nothing new. During the Civil War, politicians, military officials, and civilians frequently appropriated and revised popular songs for their own purposes. The primary difference is that today’s legal system is robust enough for songwriters and musicians to oppose such usage. Continue Reading Christian McWhirter: Musical Theft in the Civil War

Nadine Cohodas: Nina Simone and Israeli Folk Music

Nina Simone—the High Priestess of Soul to some, a fierce advocate of racial justice to others—would seem to be an unlikely interpreter of Israeli folk songs. Yet in 1962, as her career was taking off, Simone incorporated “Eretz Zavat Chalev” (“The Land of Milk and Honey”) into her repertoire. It proved to be an early example of her eclectic musical taste and one of her initial steps in moving beyond the traditional jazz combo–piano, bass, and drums–an evolution that would cement her place among world-renowned artists.
Continue Reading Nadine Cohodas: Nina Simone and Israeli Folk Music

Happy Birthday, Nina Simone

“My work completely takes all my energy,” Nina said later, “but when there are kids who come backstage afterward who want to talk, or who are moved to the point sometimes, they’re moved to tears and want to know more about it, they shake my hand and kiss me and want to talk about their problems, I find the time to do so.” Continue Reading Happy Birthday, Nina Simone

Nadine Cohodas: The Power of Nina Simone’s Musical Versatility

But for me, a medley from her July 4, 1963, appearance stands out as the quintessential Nina Simone moment. In just over six minutes, she displayed the range of her musical inspirations and a gift for improvisation that can come only from a deep appreciation of each genre and the skill—both vocal and at the keyboard—to carry it off. Continue Reading Nadine Cohodas: The Power of Nina Simone’s Musical Versatility

Announcing the Southern Cultures Music Issue and enhanced ebook

Southern Cultures has just released the 2011 Music Issue–in print, online, and in eBook formats–including an enhanced Kindle edition that includes all the tracks from this year’s free CD. The Avett Brothers headline our CD, which also features Doc and Merle Watson and a blend of many more new and classic Southern artists. Continue Reading Announcing the Southern Cultures Music Issue and enhanced ebook

Free Book Friday! Music From the True Vine

Update 4:19 pm: And our winner this week is Maggie Baker! Congratulations, Maggie. I’ll email you for shipping instructions. Matt, thanks for playing (and tweeting about it!). Happy Friday everyone! And even happier because you get a chance to win a free book. It’s our monthly Free Book Friday giveaway, and today’s book is Music From the… Continue Reading Free Book Friday! Music From the True Vine

Bill C. Malone: Music from the True Vine – An Excerpt

In an excerpt from ‘Music from the True Vine: Mike Seeger’s Life & Musical Journey,’ biographer Bill C. Malone relates Seeger’s introduction to Hazel Dickens. Continue Reading Bill C. Malone: Music from the True Vine – An Excerpt

Watch: Demo of Enhanced Ebook of Give My Poor Heart Ease, by William Ferris

See the features of the enhanced ebook for Give My Poor Heart Ease: Voices of the Mississippi Blues, by William Ferris. Features include embedded video & audio. Continue Reading Watch: Demo of Enhanced Ebook of Give My Poor Heart Ease, by William Ferris

Interview: Bill Malone on Mike Seeger’s Life and Legacy

In this Q&A, author Bill Malone shares his knowledge of musician Mike Seeger’s life, work, and legacy. Continue Reading Interview: Bill Malone on Mike Seeger’s Life and Legacy

It’s time for our Spring ’11 titles to take the Page 99 Test–I hope they studied.

It’s been a while since we’ve put any of our books to the Page 99 Test.  Let’s make up for lost time, shall we?  Just as a refresher, the Page 99 Test follows Ford Madox Ford’s suggestion to “open the book to page ninety-nine and read, and the quality of the whole will be revealed… Continue Reading It’s time for our Spring ’11 titles to take the Page 99 Test–I hope they studied.

David W. Stowe: Coming Out of the Jesus Movement: A Conversation with Marsha Stevens-Pino

David Stowe reflects on meeting and interviewing Marsha Stevens-Pino, a popular singer in the 1970s Jesus Movement who was ostracized for coming out as a lesbian. Continue Reading David W. Stowe: Coming Out of the Jesus Movement: A Conversation with Marsha Stevens-Pino

When You’re Lookin’ at Her, You’re Lookin’ at History

As we mark Loretta Lynn’s 50th anniversary in country music, I think it’s important to recognize her not only for her contributions to country music, but also for her role in women’s history as a troubadour for working-class women everywhere. Continue Reading When You’re Lookin’ at Her, You’re Lookin’ at History

The Dirty South: Why It’s on MY Pop Culture Radar

My students, and probably some friends and relatives, would be surprised to learn that I am a fan of southern hip hop.  What, pray tell, would a 40-something white woman know and enjoy about music from the Dirty South?  Well, to answer that I’d have to go back to the days of my youth.  Way… Continue Reading The Dirty South: Why It’s on MY Pop Culture Radar

David Stowe: Larry Norman, the Bad Boy of Christian Rock

We welcome a guest post today from David Stowe, author of the forthcoming book No Sympathy for the Devil: Christian Pop Music and the Transformation of American Evangelicalism. In his cultural history of evangelical Christianity and popular music, Stowe demonstrates how mainstream rock of the 1960s and 1970s has influenced conservative evangelical Christianity through the… Continue Reading David Stowe: Larry Norman, the Bad Boy of Christian Rock

Give My Poor Heart Ease now available as enhanced E-book!

Here’s something that would give anyone’s poor heart ease: William Ferris’ Give My Poor Heart Ease: Voices of the Mississippi Blues is available through Amazon in an enhanced Kindle Edition at a great price. This enhanced edition is an ideal way to enjoy a work that draws heavily from archival video and audio recordings. Listen,… Continue Reading Give My Poor Heart Ease now available as enhanced E-book!