Podcast: Black History Month, More Than The Blues
Episode #17-08 | airing 2-22-17

This week on the Sing Out! Radio Magazine we’ll hear a bit about the establishment on Black History Month and listen to some archival music. We’ll hear tunes from Jelly Roll Morton, Louis Armstrong and WC Handy and songs from Jim Jackson, Bessie Smith, Henry Thomas and others. LISTEN: https://singout.org/audio/sorm/sorm1708_podcast.mp3 … → read more

Podcast: National Museum of African American History and Culture
Episode #16-41 | airing 10-12-16

This week we celebrate the opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture on the Mall in Washington DC LISTEN: https://singout.org/audio/sorm/sorm1641_podcast.mp3 To subscribe via iTunes, click .  |   To listen using Stitcher, click . Artist / “Title” / CD / Label Pete Seeger / “If I Had … → read more

“Gambler’s Blues” (Unfortunate Rake, Part Two)

This post on “Gambler’s Blues”/”St. James Infirmary” is the second installment on variants of the “Unfortunate Rake” ballads. The first installment was on an older, British “Rake” ballad, called “Pills of White Mercury,” in which the narrator comes across a military comrade wrapped in white linen and dying. Mercury was a … → read more

Podcast: Louisiana
Episode #15-30 | airing 7-22-15

This week we begin a two week visit to Louisiana. Our first program focuses on classic Louisiana music and a trip to The Crescent City of New Orleans. Louisiana is a melting pot of many musical traditions. This week we’ll sample some Brass Band music as well as selections from … → read more

Mack the Knife

Louis Armstrong SatchmoIf there’s any one person to thank for bringing this bit of murderous, Marxist musical-theater satire to a large English-language audience, it’s none other than Louis Armstrong.  He was not the first performer of an English version of the song, but he made it swing, and he certainly … → read more

Ain’t gonna tell you no stories

We’ll start today’s posts with some news accounts, to begin thinking about whether and how the facts matter to the song, and how the facts leave their traces, often in indirect ways, in the songs.  For the moment at least, we’ll proceed on the assumption that “Frankie…” tells the story … → read more