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The Beautiful Music All Around Us: Field Recordings and the American Experience, by Stephen Wade

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From YouTube (Approved: ECP), produced by The Prairie Production Group
 
4:48 The Beautiful Music All Around Us presents the extraordinarily rich backstories of thirteen performances captured on Library of Congress
field recordings between 1934 and 1942 in locations reaching from
Southern Appalachia to the Mississippi Delta and the Great Plains. Including the children's play song "Shortenin' Bread," the fiddle tune
"Bonaparte's Retreat," the blues "Another Man Done Gone," and the
spiritual "Ain't No Grave Can Hold My Body Down," these performances
were recorded in kitchens and churches, on porches and in prisons, in
hotel rooms and school auditoriums. Documented during the golden age of the Library of Congress recordings, they capture not only the words and
tunes of traditional songs but also the sounds of life in which the performances were embedded: children laugh, neighbors comment, trucks pass by.
Musician and researcher Stephen Wade sought out the
performers on these recordings, their families, fellow musicians, and
others who remembered them. He reconstructs the sights and sounds of the recording sessions themselves and how the music worked in all their  lives. Some of these performers developed musical reputations beyond
these field recordings, but for many, these tracks represent their only
appearances on record: prisoners at the Arkansas State Penitentiary jumping on "the Library's recording machine" in a rendering of "Rock
Island Line"; Ora Dell Graham being called away from the schoolyard to
sing the jump-rope rhyme "Pullin' the Skiff"; Luther Strong shaking off a hungover night in jail and borrowing a fiddle to rip into "Glory in the Meetinghouse."
Reflecting decades of research and detective work, the profiles and abundant photos in The Beautiful Music All Around Us bring to life largely unheralded individuals--domestics, farm laborers, state prisoners, schoolchildren, cowboys, housewives and
mothers, loggers and miners--whose music has become part of the wider American musical soundscape. The book also includes an accompanying CD  that presents these thirteen performances, songs and sounds of America in the 1930s and '40s. By exploring how these singers and instrumentalists exerted their own creativity on inherited forms, "amplifying tradition's gifts," Wade shows how a single artist can make a difference within a democracy.
http://www.go.illinois.edu/StephenWade
 
Ages: 13 - 18 License: Undetermined Owner: Stephen Wade Found by ECP
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