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From August 31, 2006...
Sixty years ago a music professor hit the back roads of Alabama collecting folksongs. The results are compiled a new CD - Bullfrog Jumped. Also, a new take on the blues...and soothing instrumentals from Birmingham's Lee Richards. I'm Greg Bass and this is Tapestry.
In the summer of 1947, a music professor from the University of Alabama traveled across the state with a borrowed disc recorder to capture folk songs performed by non-professional singers. Previously, Byron Arnold had collected songs in written form but, with the help of 1940s recording technology, he was able to preserve these songs in a way that would bring them back life for future generations. From those 400 plus recordings, folklorist Joyce Cauthen selected 42 children's songs for the new CD Bullfrog Jumped. I asked her why the Alabama Folklife Association decided to produce this disc.
Joyce Cauthen is Executive Director of the Alabama Folklife Association and producer of the CD Bullfrog Jumped, a collection of children's folksongs from the Byron Arnold Collection. You can learn more about the CD and download a couple songs from it on the Tapestry page of our website, WBHM.org.
African-American work songs from the 19th century laid the foundation for modern popular blues music... The sort of stuff you'll hear this Sunday at the Magic City Blues Fest. The lineup includes Leonard Watkin a local delta blues slide guitarist as well as an 84-year-old Juke Joint entertainer from Bessemer. Later in the night national and international acts take the stage, including Mo' Blues...an Argentinian foursome that performs in English and Spanish. Artists and producers are starting to experiment with the "blues"...
When Barry Manilow accepted the Emmy award for outstanding individual performance in a variety or music program last weekend...there was at least one member of the Tapestry crew who was celebrating.
You can hear more of Francesca Rosko's award-winning commentaries at WBHM.org. And for those on you on Barry Manilow watch... he sailed through hip surgery earlier this week - with the Emmy statuette in the O-R. He'll be recovering at home for several weeks before jumping back into his performance routine.
To hear the audio portion of the Community Calendar from Tapestry, click here.
Want to know more? Activeculture.info is a one-stop source for finding out what's going on in the Birmingham metro area.
Lee Richards has studied violin throughout the world. With a family member in the Air Force, Richards lived in Japan, California, Michigan, Louisiana and Hawaii. He began at the age of three...started playing with orchestras at age seven...played in competitions in High School and soon after, began playing with professional orchestras. But what changed Richards' life was some of the OTHER "musical" B's. It wasn't Bach or Beethoven but the Beatles and the Beach Boys which led him to other instruments such as the piano, guitar, bass and mellotron. Those influences combined with his time spent in Hawaii, led him musically to the light, relaxing sounds on his new CD. Although he's moving back to Hawaii soon, for the last 15 years Richards has lived in Birmingham. Richards performs relaxing instrumentals paying homage to the islands. This is "The Last Song of Summer" from the CD "Another Day in Paradise". (AUDIO MONTAGE)
"The Last Song of Summer" from the CD "Another Day in Paradise" by Lee Richards. There's more on Lee Richards including some music downloads, at the Tapestry section of WBHM.org.
Tapestry is produced by Tanya Ott, Michael Krall and Hunter Bell. Francesca Rosko tracks community events and cultural affairs. Next week on Tapestry we hear from the Alabama Blues Camp kids. I'm Greg Bass and we'll see you next week.