Fall 2023

American Music: Roots and Routes

History, Geography, and Musical Genre

Professor Allen Tullos
e-mail: allen [dot] tullos [at] emory [dot] edu
Office hours via Zoom: Thursdays 2:30-3:30 at https://emory.zoom.us/j/92332359518
And also by appointment.

Fall 2023. HIST 359.  AMST 321.e
Monday/Wednesday 2:30-3:45. Bowden Hall 116.
This course satisfies Emory GER: for Area VII HAP (Humanities, Arts, Performance) with Race & Ethnicity Requirement.

American Routes explores the roots and routes of selected musical genres and styles in the U.S., their historical-geographical beginnings, and their cultural meanings.

This course considers major vernacular genres, emblematic performers, song content, audiences, circulation, and preservation. Where, when, and why do musical genres and styles emerge and spread? How does popular music express social history, cultural identities, ranges of feeling, “authenticity,” displacement and mobility, and political critique? Race, ethnicity, class, gender, and spatiality? Genres include: African American spirituals and gospel, the beginnings and early routes of jazz and blues, Appalachian secular and sacred styles, Louisiana Cajun and Zydeco, ‘old time’ and country music, the origins of rock and roll, soul, episodes of protest music, as well as the social contexts of klezmer, conjunto, salsa, rap, and recent ‘singer-songwriter’ styles.

Listening and reading assignments are linked from the course syllabus and/or will be made available on Emory course reserves Grading is based on attendance and participation, weekly quizzes or written summaries on the reading and listening,  a midterm exam, and a final exam.

Check the syllabus regularly (refresh your browser page) for updates and changes.

August 23   Introduction

Some key words for the semester.  “Roots” and “routes,” song genres, styles, historical cultural geography;  social justice; “folk,” working class, vernacular, and popular musics.  Discussion of syllabus and assignments.

Online Resources:

Alabama Shakes—  “Hold On” (2012)  LYRICS

Motherless Children — Two Tune Families:

Mary Pinckney and Jane Hunter, “Been in the Storm so Long” a spiritual from the Low Country  (ca 1967)
Jazmine Sullivan,  “Sometimes I Feel like a Motherless Child,”   (2022)
Richie Havens, “Freedom” at Woodstock (1969)
The gospel blues of Blind Willie Johnson (1902?-1949): “Motherless Children Have a Hard Time” Johnson, vocal and guitar. Recorded in Dallas, 1927.  LYRICS
Roseanne Cash, “Motherless Children” (2009)
Killer Mike, “Motherless” ft. Eryn Allen Kane (2023)  LYRICS.  Mike talks about the creation of this song.
Archie Shepp and Jason Moran    “Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child”. (2021) Jazz instrumental version.

August 28   Roots and Routes

Well-travelled songs. Listen to and read about versions of  “In the Pines

Writing Assignment:  250-300 words comparing each of the different versions of “In the Pines.” Consider the singers’ biographical and geographical situations,  styles of singing, lyrics,  the emotions they evoke, how they adapt the song, the instrumentation, etc. Print your comments and turn in at the end of class.

Read about  “In the Pines.” (Wikipedia). This song illustrates themes that the American Routes course pursues about  genre and performance style in relation to regional geography, social class, race, and gender.

Today’s lecture will also include versions of  “Poor Boy Blues”:
“Poor Boy, Long Ways from Home”.   Gus Cannon, (vocals, banjo) with Blind Blake (guitar). (Recorded in Chicago 1927) LYRICS
“Poor Boy Long Ways From Home”    Buell Kazee, (vocals, banjo). (Recorded in New York, 1928).  LYRICS
“Poor Boy A Long Way From Home”     R. L. Burnside. (Independence, Mississippi, 1978) LYRICS
“Poor Boy a Long Way From Home”    The Black Keys     (2021) 

“Last Kind Words”:
Geeshie Wiley  and Elvie Thomas  Last Kind Words” (1930) Recorded in Grafton, Wisconsin. LYRICS
Rhiannon Giddens    “Last Kind Words”   (2015) Minnesota Public Radio.
Kronos Quartet,   “Last Kind Words” (2014) The Greene Space, New York City.

August 30  Roots and Routes, continued

Read Stephen Wade’s chapter on Vera Hall from The Beautiful Music All Around Us (2012). Located in e-Reserves for the American Routes course. 

Map of enslaved population 1860.
Black Belt region of Alabama   (Wikipedia) 

Vera Hall, “Another Man Done Gone,”(1940)
LYRICS and commentary about the 1940 recording 

Willie Turner, “Now Your Man Done Gone” (1950)
(LYRICS for Side II, Band 4)
And listen to “Field Calls” immediately following “Now Your Man Done Gone”

Odetta,   “Another Man Done Gone”  (live audience performance, 1964) 

Vera Hall, “Troubles So Hard,” (1937)
Moby, “Natural Blues,”  (2000).  Read about this version.

Referenced in lecture: Spirituals with Dock Reed and Vera Hall (recorded in Livingston, AL.  Released by Folkways Records, 1953)
Read about: Folkways Records, founded in 1948 by Moses Asch.

    September 4 — Labor Day — no class

September 6  Folksong Style and Culture: African American Spirituals and the Carolina Low Country Region

View: Maps of  The Transatlantic Slave Trade.      Map 1: “Overview of the slave trade out of Africa, 1500-1900.”

Read essay by Lawrence Levine, “Slave Songs and Slave Consciousness.” (PDF available on Emory Course Reserves). Why the spiritual was the most important musical genre to emerge from the experience of slavery in the US?

Read/listen to the materials on the Low Country web page.

Read Guy Carawan and Candie Carawan, “Singing and Shouting in Moving Star Hall.” (PDF available on Emory Course Reserves)

Quiz on Levine and Caraway readings (a few short-answer questions about the major points).

For class discussion: Draw upon the Levine and Carawan readings to address why the spiritual was the most important musical genre to emerge from the era of slavery.

In class: YouTube: “Down on Me” (1967) sung by Janis Joplin; versions of “Motherless Children,” “Michael Row the Boat,” other examples of well-travelled songs with roots in nineteenth century African American culture.

Moving Star Hall Singers and Benjamin Bligen, “Let That Liar Alone”  (1967) Compare with Ray Charles, “Leave My Woman Alone” (1958)

Fisk Jubilee Singers recording of   “I Couldn’t Hear Nobody Pray” (1909).

Referenced: Slave Songs of the United States (1867). Read about this first and most influential collection of African American Spirituals. 
Gullah (Wikipedia)
Spirituals (Wikipedia)

    September 11   The “Folk,” Authenticity, Cultural Mediators, and Ballad Mongers

Read for class discussion: Benjamin Filene, “Setting the Stage” (Chap 1 of Romancing the Folk available at Emory Course Reserves.  What are  key ideas presented by Filene?

Quiz on the Filene chapter.

Listen: Example of an Anglo-Celtic (or British) ballad:  “Dowie Dens of Yarrow” sung by Davie Stewart (1962?).  LYRICS and history of song.  Read about Davie Stewart.

Sinead O’Connor     “Moorlough Shore” (2010?)    LYRICS     Read about this Irish ballad.

“Wayfaring Stranger,”       Rhiannon Giddens  (2017).   Nineteenth century American ballad.

Pastoral romance and classical music’s use of “folksong”: Ralph Vaughn Williams,   “Folk Songs of the Four Seasons Suite: The Sprig of Thyme”.

Example of cowboy song: “Chisholm Trail” sung by Woody Guthrie (1944).
Browse John Lomax’s Cowboy Songs (1910).

Fisk Jubilee Singers recording of the spiritual   “I Couldn’t Hear Nobody Pray” (1909).

Listen to some contemporary renderings of the ballad form:

“The Auld Triangle” performed by the Pogues (1984) LYRICS.  History of this ballad.

Steve Earle, “The Devil’s Right Hand,” (1983).   LYRICS

“The Last Living Rose” written and sung by P J Harvey (2011).  LYRICS.

As you read the Filene assignment, begin listening  to examples of fiddle tunes and ballads on the  Southern Appalachians webpage.  Locate a “Child” ballad.

Referenced: Anglo Celtic (Wikipedia)
Child Ballads

September 13   Song Style and Culture: The Southern Appalachian Region

Continue reading and listening to the materials on the Southern Appalachians webpage.

Read carefully the Wikipedia essay “Appalachian Music.”

Browse: Olive Dame Campbell and Cecil J. Sharp, English Folk Songs from the Southern Appalachians (1917).

In class discussion of the murder ballad.

For reference:
The End of an Old Song documentary film by John Cohen, featuring Dillard Chandler, Berzilla Wallin. (1969) “Conversation with Death” begins at 15:09. LYRICS
Barbara Ellen Smith, “The Dispossessions of Appalachia”   (2018)

September 18   Southern Appalachian Region

Continue  listening to the materials on the Southern Appalachians webpage.

Listening quiz on Low Country Songs, versions of “Motherless,” “Poor Boy a Long Way from Home,”  “In the Pines,” the two songs by Vera Hall,  ballad examples from September 11.
Identify song, performer(s), and write a few insightful words about the song  (eg. genre, geography, significance, etc.)

In class:
Old Regular Baptist Church congregation sings “When We Shall Meet”  from Mountain Music of Kentucky (1960).
Willie Chapman plays “Little Birdie”    on the banjo  from Mountain Music of Kentucky (1960).
Carter Family,    “No Depression” (1936). LYRICS

Discussion of scenes from John Cohen‘s documentary film The High Lonesome Sound.

Recommended: Bluegrass (Wikipedia)
For further reading (not required):Scott L. Matthews,  “John Cohen in Eastern Kentucky: Documentary Expression and the Image of Roscoe Halcomb During the Folk Revival.”

September 20    Affrilachians

Read John Jeremiah Sullivan, “Folk Like Us: Rhiannon Giddens and the evolving legacy of black string-band music” (2019)  (Emory e-Reserves)
Read Wikipedia entry for Giddens

Read and listen to the following materials on the  Southern Appalachians  webpage: “African American Banjo Styles” and  “John Henry.”

In class: Scenes from the Terry Zwigoff 1985 documentary film Louie Bluie (Emory Music & Media Library DVD 1510; Also on YouTube) about the life of African American musician Howard “Louie Bluie” Armstrong, a native of LaFollette, Tennessee.

September 25   Some Varieties of Religious Song and the Emergence of Gospel

Listen to the “Genres of Religious Song in Appalachia” section of the  Southern Appalachians   webpage.

Read: Robert Darden, “The Foundations of Gospel,” People Get Ready! (2004).  (Course Reserves)

Quiz on Darden article on “Foundations of Gospel.”

Jacob LawrenceMigration Series  (1940-41)
More about the Migration Series

Some examples of songs and performers discussed by Darden:

Arizona Dranes,        “My Soul Is a Witness”  (ca. 1928)

Fisk University Jubilee Singers,     “My Soul Is a WItness for My Lord”  (1920)

Arizona Dranes,   “Lamb’s Blood Has Washed Me Clean”

Blind Willie Johnson“Dark Was the Night,”     (1927)

“Dark Was the Night,”  (2009)  Kronos Quartet.

Blind Willie Johnson and Willie B. Harris, “John the Revelator”       (Recorded in Atlanta in 1930)  LYRICS 

Blind Willie Johnson and Willie B. Harris, “Nobody’s Fault but Mine,”    (1927)   LYRICS

Rev. Pearly Brown, Georgia street singer.  “It’s a Mean Old World To Try To Live In” (1975)

William and Versey Smith,   “When That Great Ship Went Down”      (1927).  LYRICS

Rev. J. C. Burnett,     “The Downfall of Nebuchadnezzer”   sermon (1938)
Read about Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego

Pace Jubilee Singers,   “Old Time Religion”    (1928)

Famous Blue Jay Singers of Birmingham,   “Clanka A Lanka”  (1929?)

Mitchell’s Christian Singers,      “My Poor Mother Died a’ Shouting”      (1938)

Sam Cook,   “Good News”     (1964)

Mitchell’s Christian Singers,   “Traveling Shoes,”

Golden Gate Jubilee Quartet,   “Gospel Train”       (1937)

Mills Brothers,        “Glow Worm”    (1952)

Mahalia Jackson,    “Move On Up a Little Higher”    (1948)

In class: brief history of vernacular religious song prior to the rise of gospel.

Examples from the 1970s: 

Pastor T. L. Barrett & Youth For Christ Choir, “Like A Ship” (1971) 

Aretha Franklin, “Climbing Higher Mountains” (1972) 

“Take Me to the River” (1974).  Written and recorded by Al Green in Memphis (1974).  Gospel inflected soul music.
“Take Me to the River” (1978). Talking Heads.

Hipster gospel.      Tom Waits,  “Jesus Gonna Be Here” (1992)   LYRICS 
For reference: Claudrena N. Harold, “When Sunday Comes: Gospel Music in the Soul and Hip-Hop Eras” (2020) 

September 27    Race Records and “Old-Time” Music

Read: Karl Hagstrom Miller, “Race Records and Old-Time Music” (2010)  (Available on Emory Course Reserves)

Mamie SmithCrazy Blues.” 1920. LYRICS. This is the first commercial recording of blues music by an African-American singer: “Crazy Blues” was composed by Perry Bradford and sold a million copies in its first year.

Minstrel Show  (wikipedia)  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minstrel_show
Rabbit Foot Minstrels
“Minstrel Potpourri”   Edison Minstrels (1899).  https://archive.org/details/EDIS-SRP-0202-22

“Lynching in the US — World War I to II”     (wikipedia)

Performers and songs discussed in class and in Miller’s article:

“Arkansas Blues” sung by Mary Stafford (1921).  LYRICS

“Dinah”       sung by Ethel Waters (1926).

“Dinah”  performed by Louis Armstrong  (1933).

“Down South Blues”  sung by Clara Smith (1924).   LYRICS

“Mississippi Delta Blues” –  Jimmie Rodgers  (1933).    LYRICS.

Bette Davis from the 1938 film Jezebel     “Raise a Ruckus Tonight”

Carolina Chocolate Drops
“Cornbread and Butterbeans”     (2008).      LYRICS.

Fiddlin John Carson (1923)  “The Little Old Log Cabin in the Lane”    LYRICS

Fiddlin John Carson (1923)    “Old Hen Cackled and the Rooster’s Going To Crow”

Fiddlin John Carson’s composition  “Ballad of Little Mary Phagan”  recorded by his daughter Rosa Lee Carson (“Moonshine Kate”) in 1925.  Combines features of the murder ballad with the topical broadside. LYRICS.
Read about Leo Frank and his lynching .

“Soldier’s Joy”   Fiddle band dance tune recorded by Gid Tanner and His Skillet Lickers. Atlanta: 1929. Columbia Records. Tanner, fiddle; Clayton McMichen, fiddle, spoken interjections; Riley Pucket, vocal, guitar; Fate Norris, banjo. “Soldier’s Joy” is a well known fiddle piece with origins in eighteenth-century Britain. This popular north Georgia band, whose name typified the self-parody often favored by hillbilly bands, is played with a tangy, wild abandon. The two fiddlers featured here represented strongly contrasting musical impulses: Tanner was a rural, undisciplined hoedown fiddler, while McMichen was a more controlled and eclectic player with a liking for pop music and jazz. They were backed by Riley Puckett, the blind musician from Alpharetta, whose rapid multiple guitar runs were a distinguishing feature of Skillet Lickers recordings.

Example of a popular “hillbilly”drama recording discussed by Miller:
Charlie Poole and His Allegheny Highlanders Trip to New York Parts 3&4

Listen to the differences: Old time string band compared with bluegrass:
Charlie Poole,    “Don’t Let Your Deal Go Down”  (1925). Old time string band version.
Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs and the Foggy Mountain Boys   “Don’t Let Your Deal Go Down”   Bluegrass version.  (1957).   LYRICS.

October 2     The Mississippi Delta and the Birth of the Blues

Listening quiz on selected songs from Southern Appalachians webpage.  Be able to give the song title , the names of performer(s), and something significant about the song.

Read: David Evans, “The Development of the Blues” (2002) (Course Reserves)

Jacob LawrenceMigration Series  (1940-41)
More about the Migration Series

US Census map of  black population in 1890.
Illinois Central Railroad map.

Vera Hall,   “Another Man Done Gone,” (1940)
LYRICS and commentary about this recording 

Listen to songs on the Mississippi Delta webpage.

In class: scenes from Worth Long and Alan Lomax’s documentary film: The Land Where the Blues Began (1979).

Read: Mikko Saikku, “Bioregional Approach to Southern History: The Yazoo-Mississippi Delta. ”

For reference: Charles Reagan Wilson “Mississippi Delta.”

October 4  Authenticity and the Blues

Read: Filene, Chapter 2, “Creating the Cult of Authenticity,” (Course Reserves).

Lead Belly
  “Mr. Tom Hughes Town” (1934) (1934. Second version, after leaving prison).  See Filene, pp. 66-69. 
Lead Belly’s Last Sessions   (1948)   http://search.alexanderstreet.com.proxy.library.emory.edu/glmu/view/work/73313    Play Track  58:  “Tom Hughes Town” or “Fannin Street”  LYRICS 
Track 77: “Rock Island Line” 
“Rock Island Line”   Lonnie Dongan (1961) 
Track 80:  “Goodnight Irene”
The Weavers:   “Goodnight Irene.” (1950)

Sample: Afro-American Work Songs in a Texas Prison. (1966)

For reference: Dockery Plantation.  Visit: Poor Monkey’s, one of the last Delta juke joints.
“Sharecropping in the United States”     “Convict Lease System”     “Incarceration in the United States”
Composers’ Collective,     Workers’ Songbook 1934-35  (2018). See Filene, p. 69.
Alan Lomax: Recording the World (9:24 min).

 October 9 — Fall Break — no class

October 11    Regional Styles and Blues Routes

Read: Filene, Chapter 3,  “Mastering the Cult of Authenticity,” (Course Reserves).
Quiz on Filene Chapters 2 & 3. 

The Great Migration. Map of the Blues Migration.

Continue listening to songs on the Mississippi Delta webpage.
Listen to songs on the following webpages: “Texas Blues and Gospel Blues,”    “Piedmont Blues,”       “Chicago Blues.” Can you distinguish differences between Delta, Piedmont, and Chicago styles?

Robert Pete Williams,    “This Wild Old Life”      (1994)
Elmore James        “Dust My Broom  (1951)

Son House,   “Death Letter”   (1967).   LYRICS

Cassandra Wilson“Death Letter”   New Moon Daughter (Blue Note Records, 1995). LYRICS.

White Stripes,   “Death Letter”  (2000).

 October 16    Revising the Blues Narrative

Read: Susan McClary,”Thinking Blues” (2000).  (Course Reserves)
Quiz on major points of McClary’s chapter.

Mamie Smith —-Crazy Blues.” LYRICS. This 1920 record is the first commercial recording of blues music by an African-American singer: “Crazy Blues” was composed by Perry Bradford and sold a million copies in its first year.

Bessie Smith‘s recording of  “St. Louis Blues” (Written by W. C. Handy). Smith (voc); Louis Armstrong (cornet); Fred Longshaw (reed organ). Recorded 1925.

Bessie Smith,  “Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out” (1928).

Bessie Smith, “Thinking Blues,” (1928). LYRICS. Read the discussion of this song in McClary’s essay.

Ma Rainey
— “Deep Moaning Blues” (1928). LYRICS

Memphis MinnieBlack Rat Swing (1942) LYRICS
Memphis Minnie — “Me and My Chauffeur Blues”   (1941)

“Cross Road Blues”   Robert Johnson, vocal and guitar. 1936. Source: Robert Johnson: King of the Delta Blues Singers (Columbia, 1998). LYRICS.
“Crossroads”    Cream featuring Eric Clapton. 1968.

Skip James — Hard Time Killin’ Floor Blues”     (originally recorded 1931).

Lucinda Williams — “Hard Time Killin’ Floor Blues” (2011)

Janis Joplin     “Little Girl Blue”  (1969?)

For reference: Brits and Blues:

Rock & Roll – An Unruly History (1995 PBS documentary)
Rock Crossroads Pt 1 A

Pt 1 B (Rolling Stones beginnings, Yardbirds, Clapton on the blues, Eric Burdon leads up to “House of the Rising Sun”)

Roscoe Holcomb’s version of “House of the Rising Sun”

Burdon, “House of the Rising Sun” 1964
LYRICS           Animals bio

Blues inflected:

Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys   performing his song  “Heartbroken, In Disrepair”  (2009).  LYRICS
Bettye LaVette“Things Have Changed”   (2018).  Written by Bob Dylan.  LYRICS

Gary Clark, Jr.   “Bright Lights”  (2010)
Gary Clark, Jr. “This Land” (2019).  LYRICS.   Read about this song.

Alabama Shakes—  “Hold On” (2012)  LYRICS


October 18   Midterm Exam  

Material to be covered includes the assigned readings, a selected list of songs in bold green font drawn from the listening assignments, as well material from the class lectures.  The midterm will consist of music listening identifications (give song title, artist, and significance), as well as short-answer and fill-in-the-blank questions.

October 23   The Old Wave: Ethnic Roots and Routes from Tin Pan Alley to Broadway 

Read:  Klezmer   and   Tin Pan Alley

 Read and listen to the “Klezmer” materials at Ethic Roots and Routes page.

In class: Excerpts from “Jumpin’ Night in the Garden of Eden”  and  “Broadway Musicals: A Jewish Legacy”

“Sher (A minor)”    Steven Greenman, first violin; Alicia Svigals, second violin; Walter Zev Feldman, cimbal or hammer dulcimer. (2000) This old dance tune was published in Brooklyn in 1916 in Hebrew Wedding Melodies.

Dobriden (G minor) Steven Greenman, first violin; Alicia Svigals, second violin; Walter Zev Feldman, cimbal or hammer dulcimer. (2000) This piece, which dates from the mid nineteenth century, was used either on the morning of a wedding or after the wedding to honor the members of the bride’s family or the bride and groom themselves. Dobridens were display pieces created by talented klezmorim that used a 3/4 rhythmic structure with a peculiar rhythmic formula at the close of phrases.

Klezmatics,   “Man in a Hat,” (2005)

Budapest Klezmer Band   (2013)

In class, view: “Taraf de Haidouks,” scene from Latcho Drom (1993).

The Roma

Yiddish Theatre.  12:39   
Read about:
Boris Thomashefvsky
Bessie Thomashevsky

Black Music and Jewish Music.  1:25

Gershwin “Swanee” (1919)

Gershwin Rhapsody in Blue 1924

Clarinet opening for “Rhapsody in Blue” (1945) Orchestra led by Oscar Levant.

Read about “Rhapsody in Blue.”  George Gershwin
Playing the glissando

Irving Berlin.  2:31

Cole Porter.  3:01

“A Sunday Smile” performed by Beirut   (2007)

Gogol Bordello,    “Start Wearing Purple”  (2006)  Written by Ukranian-born political refugee Eugene Hütz

Frankie Yankovic           “Beer Barrel Polka”

From Lebanon to the sound of surf music:
“Miserlou” (1927)
“Miserlou”   by Dick Dale (1963)   Read about “Miserlou”
Wipeout”  theSufaris (1963).
For reference:
John Jeremiah Sullivan, “Folk Like Us: Rhiannon Giddens and the evolving legacy of black string-band music” (2019)  (Emory e-Reserves)
“There Is No Other,”
Rhiannon Giddens and Francesco Turrisi (2019)
Silkroad Ensemble

October 25   The Beginnings of Jazz and the Life of  Louis Armstrong

Read a short diatribe against jazz from the 1921 Ladies Home Journal. Anne Shaw, “Does Jazz Put the Sin in Syncopation?” (Course Reserves)

Read the following three chapters from Lawrence Bergreen’s biography Louis Armstrong.  (Course Reserves):
Chapter 4, “Coal Cart Blues”; Chapter 5, “Hotter than That”; and Chapter 6, “Lazy River.”

Recommended: Louis Armstrong Centennial Show on American Routes Radio devoted to Armstrong and his influences. Follow the show on the Playlist.

Louis Armstrong,    “West End Blues”    (1928). Read about this song written by Joe Oliver.

Armstrong, “Mack the Knife”  (1959) Read about this song, written by Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht.  1959 version by  Bobby Darin.   1960 version by Ella Fitzgerald.

Kara Walker   New Orleans sculpture and calliope         (2018)
Kara Walker, “Fons Americanus

In class: excerpts from film documentary Jazz (2000) that follow Armstrong’s emergence as one of the most original, influential, and widely known musicians of the twentieth century. Louis Armstrong and Jazz   Available with your Emory ID and Password at the following link: Jazz series.

Louis Armstrong thread:
Episode 1: begin at 37:37 and go to 47:08
Episode 2: begin at 12:01 and go to 22:30
Episode 2: begin at 47:55 and go to 59:10
Episode 4: begin at 14:21 and go to 31:20
Episode 9: begin at 39:50 and go to 50:44

October 30     South by Southwest: Creolization

Read: Patrick B. Mullen, pages 170-192 of his chapter “Come Back to Texas: From ‘Bogalusa Boogie’ to ‘Soy Chicano.’  (2018) (Course e-reserves) .

In class: documentary film on the Savoy family of Eunice, Louisiana, Cajun musicians. [YouTube}
and excerpts from  Chulas Fronteras (1976) 

Listen to songs at “South Louisiana” —   Read: Cajun and Zydeco       (Wikipedia)

Quiz on Mullen’s essay and on identifying the following four songs.

“Acadian One Step.”    Early Cajun recording. Joe Falcon, accordian; Cleoma Breaux Falcon, guitar; Ophy Breaux, fiddle; unknown, triangle. Recorded in Atlanta, 1929.  Joe Falcon (1900-1965) and his wife Cleoma Breaux (d. 1941) made the first Cajun music record (“Allons a Lafayette”) for Columbia in 1928. Falcon and Breaux’s recordings were extremely popular in Louisiana and opened up the Cajun record market. Cleoma was the vocalist on their recordings. Falcon played accordion for dances and cajun fais do-dos in his home area.

Jolie Blonde.” Hackberry Ramblers, recorded in New Orleans, 1936. Luderin Darbone, fiddle; Lennis Sonnier, guitar and vocal; Wayne Perry, fiddle; Julius “Papa Cairo” Lamperez, guitar. The most popular Cajun band of the mid-1930s, the Hackberry Ramblers, led by fiddler Luderin Darbone from Evangeline, were a progressive group that incorporated influences from mainstream country music, western swing, and blues. “Jolie Blonde,” often referred to as the Cajun national anthem was the Ramblers most popular recording. In 1946, Harry Choates  became the first Cajun performer to have an impact on commercial country music with his hit recording of the song as “Jole Blon.” Source: Le Gran Mamou, Vol. I. (Country Music Foundation, 1990).

“Zydeco Sont Pas Salé“    Clifton Chenier, piano accordion and vocal.  (ca 1992)  Chenier did not invent zydeco, but he defined it with every performance. The expression, “les haricots son pas salés” (the snap beans ain’t salty), is apparently a reference to hard times and the music and dance that helped people deal with them. Source: Cajun Music and Zydeco, Rounder Records, 1992.

“La Danse De Mardi Gras.” Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys. Since the late 1980s, Riley and his group have earned a reputation as one of the premier bands playing the traditional Cajun repertoire, bringing the old songs to enthusiastic audiences in dancehalls and on stages around the world, and more recently writing original material that carries the tradition forward. Their interpretation of the minor-key “La Danse de Mardi Gras,” one of the oldest Cajun songs, shows how powerful and plaintive this music can be. Source: Louisiana Spice: 25 Years of Louisiana Music on Rounder Records, 1995.

November 1    From HIllbilly to Country Music

Read: Richard Peterson, Chap. 10: “Honky Tonk Firmament” (1997) (Course Reserves) and Bob Dylan’s 2015 MusiCares speech.


Stanley Brothers“Rank Strangers”  (1960)  LYRICS

Bob WillsSteel Guitar Rag (1936)

Ernest Tubb — “Walking the Floor Over You” (1941).     1961 video version.

Hank WilliamsHonky Tonkin’  (1948)

Floyd Tillman   “Slippin’ Around”   (1949)

Jimmy Wakely and Margaret Whiting — “Slipping Around” (1949) A pop cover version.

Hank Thompson      “The Wild Side of Life”  (1952)

Kitty WellsIt Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels  (originally recorded 1952)

Wanda Jackson,   “Pick Me Up on Your Way Down” (1958) LYRICS

Johnny Cash —  Big River,” (1958)    —   “Ring of Fire” (1963)

George Jones“She Thinks I Still Care” (1958)

Carl and Pearl Butler,   “Don’t Let Me Cross Over”  (1962)

Patsy Cline“Crazy”    (1962)

George Jones and Melba Montgomery, “We Must Have Been Out of Our Minds” (1963)

Loretta Lynn,  “Don’t Come Home a’ Drinkin’”  (1967)

Loretta Lynn, Coal Miner’s Daughter (1969). LYRICS

Merle Haggard, Hungry Eyes (1969)  LYRICS

George Strait,   “Amarillo by Morning” (1983)

Steve Earle,  “Copperhead Road” (1988). LYRICS

Brooks and Dunn,   “Neon Moon” (1992).   2018 version of “Neon Moon” by  Cigarettes After Sex

[Dixie] ChicksGoodbye Earl”  (2000).  LYRICS

Johnny Cash,   “Hurt”  (2003)  LYRICS   Read about the song and the Cash video

Miranda Lambert,     “The House That Built Me” (2010)

Margo Price“A Little Pain”   (2018)  LYRICS

Jelly Roll,   “Son of a Sinner”     (2022)  Read about.    LYRICS.
Jelly Roll, “Save Me” (2020). LYRICS


November 6   Memphis and the Emergence of Rock ‘n Roll:

Read: George Lipsitz, “Ain’t Nobody Here But Us Chickens: The Class Origins of Rock and Roll.” (Course Reserves).
On YouTube, sample the songs Lipsitz discusses.

Quiz on Lipsitz essay. And be able to identify the following songs and performers:

Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup “That’s All Right”   (1946)

Elvis Presley,   “That’s All Right”   (1954)

Louis Jordan,   “Ain’t Nobody Here but Us Chickens”   (1947)

Jackie Brenston with His Delta Cats,  “Rocket 88”  (1951)

“Hound Dog”  (1952) Big Mama Thornton  (1952)

“Hound Dog” 
  Elvis Presley, 1956.  Lyrics.

Ruth Brown,   Mama, He Treats Your Daughter Mean”  (1955)

Elvis Presley,    “Heartbreak Hotel” (1956)

Jerry Lee Lewis ,   “Whole Lot of Shakin’ Going On”    (1957)

Link Wray “Rumble”  (1958)

In class excerpt from documentary Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World” 
https://emory.kanopy.com/video/rumble   (2017)

AND Listen to songs on “Memphis” website.

November 8    Rock and Youth Culture in the 1960s and ’70s

Read: George Lipsitz, “Who’ll Stop the Rain” (1994). (Course Reserves).
On YouTube, listen to songs mentioned by Lipsitz.

Percy Faith,   “Theme from A Summer Place  (1960)

Four Freshmen,   “Their Hearts Were Full of Spring” (1960)

Beach Boys,  “Their Hearts Were Full of Spring”  (1962?) Lyrics

 Ronettes,   “Be My Baby” (1963)

Beach Boys,  “Don’t Worry Baby”  (1964)  Lyrics

Bob Dylan“Masters of War”  (1963)  Lyrics

Martha and the Vandellas,     “Dancing in the Streets”  (1964)

Aretha Franklin,   “Respect”  (1967) LYRICS

Creedence Clearwater Revival,   “Fortunate Son”  (1969)   Lyrics

Neil Young,    “Ohio” (1970)  Lyrics.  Read about.

Janis joplin     “Little Girl Blue”  (1969?)

Carly Simon,   “That’s the Way I Always Heard It Should Be”   (1971)

Joni Mitchell,    “Hejira”  (1976)  LYRICS

James Brown“The Big Payback”  (1973)

November 13    Origins of Hip Hop

Read:  Tricia Rose,   “All Aboard the Night Train,” (1994).  (Course reserves)

Quiz upon Rose’s chapter. The social and cultural context out of which the musical form “rap” emerged.

Deep background in African American oral traditions, toasts, boasting talk.  From the documentary, The Land Where the Blues Began, locate “The Signifying Monkey”
Begin video at approx. 54:30

Hip Hop history. VH1. Part 1 (“And You Don’t Stop)

Part 2

“Rapper’s Delight,”  Sugar Hill Gang, (1979)

The Message Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, 1982. — LYRICS.

Roxanne’s Revenge” — Roxanne Shante, 1984.– LYRICS
“Roxanne Finally Gets Her Revenge”  New York Times, March 20, 2018.

“Who Protects Us from You?”   1989.  Boogie Down Productions, KRS-One.     LYRICS.

“Ladies First”   — Queen Latifah, 1989.  LYRICS.

“Illegal Search”    LL Cool J  1990  LYRICS

“911 is a Joke”   Public Enemy,  1990.  LYRICS

Fight the Power   Public Enemy, 1990.  LYRICS

Recommended: Art Crimes: City Walls: United States
Rapping (Wikipedia)

November 15   Uneasy Listening: Badlands, Alt Tracks, and Dirty Boulevards

Read: David P. Szatmary, “The Generation X Blues.” (2010).  (Course Reserves)

Listen to Szatmary’s examples on YouTube, Spotify, etc.

Patti Smith,  “Gloria”   (1975)   LYRICS

Bruce Springsteen,   “Badlands” (1978)   LYRICS

Ramones,   “I Wanna Be Sedated”  (1978)  LYRICS

Talking Heads,  “Life During Wartime”  (1979)

X,   “We’re Desperate”  (1981)  LYRICS

Black Flag“Rise Above”   (1981)  LYRICS

Bruce Springsteen,  “Born in the USA,”  (1984)
Acoustic Version        LYRICS

The Replacements,     “Bastards of Young”     (1985)  LYRICS

R.E.M.,  “Driver 8”   (1985)  LYRICS

R.E.M.  “Fall on Me”  (1986)  LYRICS

Peter Gabriel,  “Big Time,”  (1986)  LYRICS

Los Lobos.  One Time, One Night.” (1987) Lyrics.

Tracy Chapman“Fast Car”    (1988)  LYRICS
Luke Combs,
   “Fast Car”  (2023)

Lou Reed,    “Busload of Faith”       (1989)  LYRICS

Indigo Girls, “Closer to Fine” (1989)  LYRICS

Metallica,       “One”    (1989)  LYRICS      Read about the song.

Theme from “Twin Peaks”  (1990)    Angelo Badalamenti    
Badalamenti describing how he wrote “Laura Palmer’s Theme”

Nirvana,   “Heart-Shaped Box”  (1993)  LYRICS      Read about.

Soundgarden,   “Fell on Black Days” (1993) (this video version from 2010)

Everclear,  “Father of Mine”  (1997)  LYRICS

Read: Riot Girl scene

Sleater-Kinney,   “Jumpers”   (2005)  LYRICS

Recommended reading:
Grace Elizabeth Hale, “An Unlikely Utopia: Athens, Georgia, in Reagan’s America” (2020)


November 20    Protest Songs and Social Justice

Read “Protest Songs in the United States” (Wikipedia)

Woody Guthrie       “Pretty Boy Floyd (1930s)    Biographical sketch of Floyd.

“Gregorio Cortez”     Listen: As sung by Raymon Ayala     LYRICS

“Mal Hombre”     Lydia Mendoza (1934)   LYRICS

Billie Holiday   Strange Fruit (1939).  LYRICS.   Read about  “Strange Fruit”
(Excerpt from the video documentary)

“Tennessee”  written and performed by Atlanta’s Arrested Development (1992).   LYRICS.
Read about this song.

“Eyes on the Prize,”   Mavis Staples.

Scenes from Episode 4 of Eyes on the Prize

John Coltrane    “Alabama”   (1963)  Written in response to the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing on September 15, 1963, an attack by the Ku Klux Klan in Birmingham, Alabama, that killed four African-American girls.

Another song in reaction to the Birmingham church bombing: Nina Simone performs “Mississippi Goddam.”    (1964)

Bob Dylan,      “Blowin’ in the Wind”  (1963) and “When the Ship Comes In” (1964)  Read about.  LYRICS. 

Excerpt from Bob Dylan’s memoir    Chronicles (2004)

Nina Simone.     “Pirate Jenny”     (1992)      LYRICS.      Read about the song.

Kendrick Lamar.    “Alright”   (2015)  LYRICS

Gary Clark, Jr.   “This Land” (2019).  Read about this song.
Woody Guthrie, “This Land Is Your Land”. Read about this song.

November 22 Thanksgiving Holiday — no class

November 27   Hip Hop Geographies

Browse: Kelefa Sanneh, “Hip Hop,”  chapter in his book Major Labels (2021).   (Course Reserves)

“Tennessee”  written and performed by Atlanta’s Arrested Development (1992).   LYRICS.
Read about this song.

OutKast, “Southernplaylisticadillacmuzik” (1994).  LYRICS.    Read about OutKast’s debut album.

“Dirty South”   Goodie Mob (1995)  LYRICS

Listen to Terri Gross interview with Jay-Z, and discussion of Decoded.

Word,” a review of Jay-Z’s Decoded by Kelefa Sanneh, from The New Yorker, Dec 6, 2010.
Jay-Z,   “Hard Knock Life”   (1999)

Recommended reading: Matt Miller,   “Dirty Decade: Rap Music and the US South”     (2008)

Jay-Z and Ne-Yo, “Remembering Katrina: Minority Report” (2010)  LYRICS.   Read About Hurricane Katrina.

Migos,   “Bando” (2013)
Kendrick Lamar.    “Alright”   (2015)  LYRICS  Read about

Atlanta’s Ever-Shifting Hip-Hop Scene, NY Times, July 2015.  (Emory Libraries offers access to the FREE digital version of The New York Times to students, faculty, and staff. Create your account: emorylib.info/NYTimes )

Killer Mike, “Motherless” (2023)

Jay-Z  video biography
“Sociologist Tricia Rose on Hip Hop as a Global Profit Powerhouse” (2023)
Holly Hobbs, “‘I Used That Katrina Water To Master My Flow’: Rap Performance, Disaster, and Recovery in New Orleans”  (2015)

November 29 and December 4    All Over the Maps:  Singing Ourselves

Write and print out: 250-300 words about a song that has been meaningful to you. Be sure to discuss performer(s), genre, and relevant social and cultural contexts. (Be prepared to present your commentary in class.)

Bring your laptops to class. We will also do reviewing for the final exam and course evaluations.

Final Exam.   Monday, December 11.  3:00 -5:30 p.m. 

Although somewhat longer, the format for the final exam will be same as for the midterm and will cover the material from assigned reading, lectures, and listening  (selected songs in bold green font) since October 18. The exam will consist of music listening identifications (give song title, artist, and significance), as well as short-answer and fill-in-the-blank questions.