Tapestry, from 90.3 WBHM

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From August 4, 2005...

Arts news

People often turn to art and literature in times of great stress. I'm Greg Bass and tonight on Tapestry we hear from one man who endured seven years of captivity with a little help from the Bard. Also - the legacy of WC Handy. And - pickin' with Red Mountain White Trash. Right after this roundup of arts news...

Arts news

Stasi Prison Cell

From the ashes of World War II there emerged two Germanys, each divided by the Iron Curtain - a free society in West and a Communist one in East. To keep the populace under control, the communists developed an elaborate spy network and secret police known as the Stasi. The Stasi was known for its psychological torture of thousands of Germans - among them Hans Eberhard Zahn. Zahn was a university student when he was arrested by the Stasi and says a love of learning, literature and Shakespeare helped keep him sane during seven years in a Stasi prison. During a recent journalist exchange to Germany, WBHM's Rosemary Pennington met Zahn at that prison. She brought back this audio postcard.

Rosemary Pennington's audio postcard from Germany

Hans Eberhard Zahn talking about his experience as a victim of the Stasi - East Germany's secret police. The Stasi operated from 1950 until just before the Berlin Wall fell in 1989. There are photos and more information, at our website, WBHM dot org.

W.C. Handy statue on Beale Street in Memphis

William Christopher Handy was born in Florence, Alabama, to a fundamentalist Christian household where musical instruments were believed to be works of the devil. But despite a childhood that discouraged his obvious talent, W.C. Handy went on to make history as a musician, composer, and music publisher. Today, he's known as "the Father of the Blues". His birthplace is a museum, and the city of Florence honors its favorite son with an annual music festival that attracts players and audiences from around the world. Reporter Dale Short sampled the music and the people at last weekend's festival...

W.C. Handy, the "Father of the Blues"


By now, you either have one yourself or know someone who does. The iPod and other mp3 players are redefining how we listen to music. With an iPod you can mix up all your music, potentially thousands of songs, and listen to them in ways that were not possible just a few years ago. For our occasional feature "What's on your iPod?", we invite a listener into the studio to hear what they're hearing on their iPod. We've got a couple of rules: put the iPod on shuffle and tell us about the first three songs that come up. Tonight's iPodder is Lisa Findley a Clinical Care Coordinator with UAB's Cardiovascular Services....

What's on Lisa Findley's iPod?"

The songs we heard on Lisa Findley's iPod were, Beethoven's Symphony No. 6 from the original soundtrack to "Fantasia"..."Too Young" sung by Nat King Cole....and Gershwin's "Summertime" sung by Sarah Vaughan. If you're interested in being part of "what's on your iPod", send us an email to - tapestry@wbhm.org. And while you're at it why don't you put Tapestry on your iPod. The show is now offered as a Podcast and is available in iTunes. Details on that - on our website, wbhm.org.

What's going on in and around the Birmingham area. For additional details, go to our online version of the Community Calendar.

Community Calendar

Sweet 'Bama by Red Mountain White Trash

The Red Mountain White Trash is Alabama's preeminent old-time string band. Since 1986, the Trash has regularly performed at dances, festivals and concerts all over the country. Many of the pieces they play are indigenous Alabama fiddle tunes collected by two of their members, Joyce and Jim Cauthen. Here is just such a tune, Step Around Johnny, recorded on Joyce and Jim's front porch in their Bluff Park neighborhood. We asked mandolin player Phillip Foster where the band's name came from. (AUDIO) The Red Mountain White Trash consist of Jim Cauthen on fiddle, Joyce Cauthen on guitar, Bill Martin on autoharp, Jamie Finley on harmonica, Nancy Jackson on bass, Phillip Foster on mandolin and Carole Griffin on vocals. You can get more of their music for download at our website, wbhm.org.

Tapestry is produced by Tanya Ott and Michael Krall. Hunter Bell handles musician relations and Francesca Rosko crafts the community calendar. Reporting this week by Rosemary Pennington and Dale Short... and production assistance from Rosalynn Fairless. I'm Greg Bass. Thanks for joining us!

Support for Tapestry comes from the Jefferson County Commission through the Jefferson County Community Arts Funds administered by the Cultural Alliance of Greater Birmingham.