Bruce Springsteen’s “Highway Patrolman”: A Ballad as Prayer

The Early Years I played Bruce Springsteen’s album Nebraska over and over when I was in high school. It’s a dark, meditative album full of rage and sadness, which soothed me. I was sixteen, and had just moved to a new town. I was miserable. Long-distance phone calls were rare … → read more

TENNESSEE ERNIE FORD: Portrait of an American Singer

Tennessee Ernie Ford Portrait of An American Singer

          TENNESSEE ERNIE FORD Portrait of an American Singer Bear Family 17332 www.bear-family.com   Have you ever felt like – to paraphrase “Sixteen Tons” – you owed your soul to the company store? October 17th marks the 60th anniversary of the release of Tennessee Ernie Ford’s … → read more

JOHN FLYNN: Poor Man’s Diamonds

JohnFlynn: PoorMansDiamonds

          John Flynn Poor Man’s Diamonds www.johnflynn.net 009 www.johnflynn.net   The prolific John Flynn checks in with a new release that is a truly beautiful album. His bright spirits and the excellence of his song craft buoy the project. John’s good friend Harvey (John Harvey, Philadelphia-based … → read more

Podcast: In Praise of Labor
Episode #15-36 | airing 9-02-15

Joe Hill

In celebration of Labor Day this week’s program dedicated to the American Labor Force. A recent Associated Press survey found 58% of American Adults approve of Labor Unions. This is the highest level since 2008 when 59% supported the establishment of Unions. Organized Labor was the cornerstone in the establishment … → read more

A Walkin’ Chunk a Mean-Mad: Pretty Boy Floyd & Robin Hood

I love a good man outside the law
 just as much as I hate a bad man inside the law. — Woody Guthrie (1940) Legend On October 22, 1934, Charles Arthur “Pretty Boy” Floyd – a bank robber suspected by the FBI as a gunman in a 1933 Kansas City … → read more

SORM Playlist #15-20: The Alan Lomax Legacy
(airing the week starting 5-13-15)

Alan Lomax would have turned 100 this past January. On the next two editions of The Sing Out! Radio Magazine we look back on his career of folk song collecting and recording. This week we’ll hear some of earliest recordings made for the Library of Congress with his father John … → read more

SORM Playlist #15-09: Finger Pointin’ Songs
(airing the week starting 2-25-15)

Topical songs have been a major component of American folk music for many years. This week we’ll hear some of the classic songs about warfare, railroads, coal mining and unions. Music from The Almanac Singers, Big Bill Broonzy, Guy Carawan, Paul Robeson and many more. LISTEN: https://singout.org/audio/sorm/sorm1509_podcast.mp3 To subscribe via … → read more

SORM Playlist #15-08: Legacy of Leadbelly
(airing the week starting 2-18-15)

Smithsonian Folkways is releasing a massive 5CD collection of the music of Leadbelly on February 24th. On this week’s edition we will listen to some of the songs on that great collection. We’ll also hear some classic renditions of Leadbelly songs by a variety of folk musicians past and present. … → read more

VARIOUS ARTISTS: Songs of the Spanish Civil War

          VARIOUS ARTISTS Songs of the Civil War Smithsonian/Folkways www.folkways.si.edu   The Spanish Civil War, often referred to as the “dress rehearsal” for World War II, was waged between 1936 and 1939 and ended in victory for fascism in the person of General Francisco Franco – … → read more