Classic Clearstory this week with The Blues, The Stories, The LIfe.
GIVE MY POOR HEART EASE, Voices of the Mississippi Blues -
by William Ferris
This book first explores the musical roots of the blues, starting with the stories and hymns of Mary Gordon and Reverend Isaac Thomas in the Rose Hill community. The voices of Scott Dunbar (traditional songster), Louis Dotson (one-strand guitar player), Fannie Bell Chapman (gospel singer and faith healer), Otha Turner (fife player), Johnny Lee “Have Mercy” Thomas (former Parchman Penitentiary inmate), Tom Dumas (fiddle and banjo player), and Lee Kizart (blues pianist), among others, come next. Each speaker describes musical traditions that shaped the blues in significant ways.
The book’s second section is set in black neighborhoods like Kent’s Alley in Leland and the Brickyard in Clarksdale where the blues developed in dramatic ways. In Leland, we meet James “Son Ford” Thomas, Gussie Tobe, and Shelby “Poppa Jazz” Brown; in Clarksdale, Jasper Love and Wade Walton; in Jackson, WOKJ radio announcer Bruce Payne; and in Memphis, clothing salesman Robert Shaw.
The third section looks back on the blues through two of the most significant figures in blues history, composer and performer Willie Dixon and performer B. B. King.
The fourth and final section joins sacred and secular worlds by documenting a Rose Hill church service and a Clarksdale blues house party, each of which celebrates and affirms the spirit in distinctive ways.
Tune in on 107.1 WRFN Nashville at 12:00 Central Time or listen streaming at http://www.clearstoryradio.com Featured this week on Clearstory Radio - best-selling author, James Swanson and his most recent book on John F. Kennedy. It's an amazing book and our chat with him includes his book for young-adults and the version written for the Adult reading market, End of Days. Both books are excellent and if you think History is boring or that this story has been told, think again. Both books read like novels, a mystery in the making, and yes, a slice of history told as no one can share like James Swanson.
Then stick around to discover what Elvis Presley and Pulitzer-prize winner author, Rick Bragg have in common. A fun visit with this incredible, southern writer during the Southern Festival of the Book in Nashville.
All mixed with a little bit of music and a lot of Clearstory attitude.
Thanks for being with us!