Saturday, December 29, 2012

Richard Lee Young with the Alabama Roots Music Society

Richard Lee Young with  the Alabama Roots Music Society talks to Steve Grauberger about the various musical artists presented by the Society. (more)

Sounds of the Seasons

This program features musical artists in Alabama who have performed for the Alabama State Council on the Arts in past Sounds of the Seasons programs presented at the State Capitol. The Mariachi Garibaldi, soprano Bessie Sheldon,  The Tribe of Judah gospel singers and instrumentalist Bobby Horton are presented this week for your listening pleasure. (more)

Alabama author Rick Bragg

This program, is a rebroadcast that originally aired in 2009. It features Alabama State Council on the Arts Executive Director Al Head interviewing renowned Alabama author Rick Bragg about his upbringing in Alabama and his writing career. They discuss Bragg's books, All Over But the Shoutin', Ava's Man, The Prince of Frogtown, and his newest book The Most They Ever Had which is a group of essays built around stories of mill workers at the now defunct Union Yarn Mill in Jacksonville Alabama. (more)

Musician and bandleader Scott Ward

Musician and bandleader Scott Ward talks with Deborah Boykin about the musicians who have influenced him, beginning with members of his family and extending to include David Hood, Spooner Oldham and other Muscle Shoals writers and muscians.  His first CD, Muscle Shoals Down Through Decatur  is a tribute to songwriters from that area. He also talks about his most recent CD project, A Heaping Helping. This recording, which features contributions from Christine Ohlman, Bekka Bramlett, Jay Gonzalez, and the Decoys, among others.(more)

Poet Dr. Virginia Gilbert

This is a rebroadcast of  Anne Kimzey, literary arts program manager with the Alabama State Council on the Arts, interviewing poet Dr. Virginia Gilbert of Madison about her work and her time serving in the Peace Corps in Korea. Gilbert received a Literary Arts Fellowship award from the State Arts Council in 2010 and has recently retired from the English faculty of Alabama A & M University.(more)

Ralph “Soul” Jackson

Ralph “Soul” Jackson is a singer and song writer whose career began when he was still in high school in Phenix City. He talks with Deborah Boykin about his first recording session at FAME studios in Muscle Shoals, where he got his nickname from producer Rick Hall and teamed up with legendary keyboard player Spooner Oldham.  Jackson also discusses his songwriting technique and performance style, as well as his recent CD.(more)

Poet Sonia Sanchez

This is a rebroadcast of  Alabama Writer's Forum Director Jeanie Thompson interviewing poet, playwright, educator and activist Sonia Sanchez.  Sanchez talks about her belief in the power of poetry to help people survive their circumstances, including alienation and incarceration. She also speaks about her early life in Alabama, her father Wilson L. Driver, a 1980 Inductee in the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame, and her formative experiences with the Black Arts Movement and the development of Black Studies programs around the country. (more)

Decoy Carver Jason Russell

This week Anne Kimzey, folklorist with the Alabama State Council on the Arts, interviews Jason Russell of Gadsden an award-winning maker of traditional hunting decoys.  Mr. Russell is  teaching his craft to student Kevin Asbury through the support of the Alabama Folk Arts Apprenticeship Program.   Mr. Russell and Mr. Asbury talk about their interest in duck hunting and take listeners through the process of making realistic and functional decoys.(more)

Seven shape gosple music

This program is a repeat of Community Arts Program Manager Deb Boykin interviewing Steve Grauberger about the folklife CD project Traditional Musics of Alabama Volume 5 New Book Gospel Shapenote Singing produced by the Alabama Center for Traditional Culture and the Alabama Folklife Association.  (To read extended liner notes about this tradition click here.)  (more)

Thomas Birch

Executive Director Al Head interviews Thomas L. Birch, former National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA) legislative counsel, recipient of NASAA's 2012 President's Award for Outstanding Advocacy. From 1981 to 2012, Birch served as NASAA's legislative counsel, representing the interests of state arts agencies on Capitol Hill. For the past 10 years, Birch chaired the Cultural Advocacy Group's national coalition of arts and humanities allies carrying a unified message to Congress about the value of the arts in federal policy.(more)

William Ferris

This program is a rebroadcast of a 2006 program of Joey Brackner interviewing folklorist William Ferris of the University of North Carolina about southern culture and his experiences as director of the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at Ole Miss. (more)

Bob Friedman

This week Anne Kimzey, folklorist with the Alabama State Council on the Arts, interviews Bob Friedman, bass singer for  The Pillars gospel quartet of Birmingham.  During the program Friedman discusses his musical roots in New York City, the political activism that brought him to Alabama, his work with WJLD radio and his interest in African American gospel quartet singing.  Friedman and the Pillars participate in the Alabama Folk Arts Apprenticeship program, teaching their traditional a capella singing style to a younger generation. (more)

John O'neal

This is a repeat of a 2011 program of Alabama State Arts Council Director Al Head interviewing John O'Neal, actor, playwright, founder and now retired artistic director of Junebug Productions based in New Orleans. As a civil rights activist beginning in the early 1960s he co-founded the Free Southern Theater. He is probably best know for his widely toured character Junebug Jabbo Jones, a mythic figure who symbolizes the wisdom of common people.  O’Neal has written eighteen plays, a musical comedy,  poetry and several essays.  He is a winner of a Ford Foundation’s Leadership for a Changing World award (2005), the Award of Merit from the Association of Performing Arts Presenters (2010) and the United States Artists Award. (more)