Episode four of the Folklife Today Podcast is ready for listening! Find it at this page on the Library’s website, or on iTunes, or with your usual podcatcher. Or, hear it in the player below!
Our latest podcast episode, “Kumbaya: Stories of an African American Spiritual,” presents some of the background to this classic old song, along with many field recordings of spirituals. In this blog post, I’ll present the full versions of most of the songs and a lot of other background links. There is other audio in the podcast, such as an interview with Joe Hickerson, a clip of The Folksmiths (courtesy of Smithsonian Folkways) and a singalong with Grammy-winners Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer, which is exclusive to the podcast.
The episode was based on a 2018 post at this very blog. The blog version has a lot of interesting photos and visual documents in it, which we can’t present in a podcast, so it complements the podcast very well. You can find that blog post at this link!
That 2018 blog post was itself based on a 2010 article in Folklife Center News, which you can download here.
Early in the podcast, we refer to a New York Times article, in which John Eligon interviewed me and quoted from the 2010 article. You can find that here, on the New York Times site.
The podcast includes the 1926 cylinder recording of “Kumbaya” by Henry Wylie, which is available at this link.
It features two different versions of “Come by Here” by Bessie Jones, which you can find at the Association for Cultural Equity site at these links:
It includes an excerpt from our concert of the McIntosh County Shouters, which is available at this link.
We took a snippet of Pete Seeger’s speech from a webcast of a singalong from 2007, which is at this link.