Tuesday April 6, 2010 | History of the Blues in the South

April 2, 2010 at 10:16 am | Posted in Coming Up | 5 Comments

The Blues is indisputably a Southern American art form and now a noted Southern folklorist has written a book exploring the roots of the blues by giving voice to those who know it best including people like Willie Dixon and B.B. King. We’ll meet William Ferris, author of Give My Poor Heart Ease: Voices of the Mississippi Blues. We’ll talk about the Blues in the South, and Ferris’ bumpy and sometimes dangerous journey over the years to hear the stories of the blues and of the people who made that music in the American South. 
Guest
William Ferris
– Author and folklorist, former Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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  1. I’d like to ask Professor Ferris to comment on the importance of Piedmont Blues in the history of the American Blues tradition–particularly those artists, such as South Carolina’s Drink Small, who are carrying on this tradition.
    Thanks,
    Stephen Criswell, Ph.D.
    Director of Native American Studies
    Assistant Professor of English, Folklore, and Native American Studies
    USC Lancaster

  2. If it keeps on rainin, the levee’s goin to break / when the levee breaks, I have no place to stay: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i6C_5wxkuAQ

    Led Zeppelin version: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WbrjRKB586s&feature=related

  3. Love this show! I was born in Mississippi and my great, great grandfather owned Landry’s Department Store where Morgan Freeman now has his restaurant, Madidi. Can’t wait to return to visit. Mike, thanks to you and Professor Ferris for this great show on the blues!

  4. About 20 years ago, in Clarksdale, MS, I experienced one of the most memorable arts performances in my life. I worked at the Southern Arts Federation in Atlanta and I arranged to pick up Arun Ghandi who was in residence at your program at Oxford, MS and his wife and to drive them to Clarksdale where the local Arts Council director ( an African-American man) took us to meet a barber who was a one-man band. He taught Muddy Waters and he performed for us for hours. What music and what stories he had to tell. There we were, this unusual group…the grandson of Mahatma Ghandi, the black Arts Council Director and this Jewish white girl from NYC sitting in the barber chairs and listening to this amazing music!

  5. I saw Dr. Ferris speak at the Don Gibson theater in Shelby, N.C. He is just as authentic as the blues. Fine speaker, writer, and an expert in his craft.

    I just posted about him also.

    Dr. Tom Bibey, author, “The Mandolin Case”


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