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Category: Podcasts

A woman in Día de Muertos makeup

La Llorona on the Folklife Today Podcast

Posted by: Stephen Winick

Halloween and Día de Muertos are almost here! So, believe it or not, Season 4, Episode 1 of the Folklife Today Podcast, our 2021 Halloween and Día de Muertos episode, is ready for listening! It features interviews about the Weeping Woman, La Llorona, a spirit from Latin American folklore, plus related songs and stories. The people interviewed are Juan Díes, leader of the Sones de Mexico Ensemble, Camille Acosta, who wrote her masters thesis on La Llorona before interning at AFC, and Allina Migoni, AFC's Latinx subject specialist. This blog contains links to download the podcast, background on our guests, and links to full audio of the songs.

A man playing a guitar and singing to a close crowd of a dozen or so men and women

Music from Homegrown 21 on the Folklife Today Podcast

Posted by: Stephen Winick

Summer is over, and autumn is here. That means the Homegrown 2021 concert series is also drawing to a close. We put a selection of songs from the series on the Folklife Today podcast, with commentary from me, John Fenn, series producer Thea Austen, and AFC interns Kennedi Johnson and Camille Acosta.  That way, if you haven't had a chance to watch the videos, you can download and listen wherever you like to hear your podcasts. As usual, there are links to the podcast itself, plus links to relevant blog posts, videos, and audio selections in this post.

A man playing a guitar and singing to a close crowd of a dozen or so men and women

More Summer Songs on the Folklife Today Podcast

Posted by: Stephen Winick

This post gives background to our latest episode of the Folklife Today podcast. This episode continues our look at songs about summer, from the amorous adventures of young lovers to the backbreaking work done by convicts in the sun. Hosts John Fenn and Stephen Winick, along with guest Jennifer Cutting, present their favorite summer songs. Songs include the English “Sweet Primroses;” the Trinidadian “One Fine Summer’s Morning” and “June Come, You No Marry;” the Tuvan “In Summer Pastures;” the African American work song “Worked All Summer Long;” and the Basque “When the Sun Shines Everywhere, How Good the Shade is!”

A man playing a guitar and singing to a close crowd of a dozen or so men and women

Summer Songs on the Folklife Today Podcast

Posted by: Stephen Winick

Season 3, Episode 9 of the Folklife Today Podcast is ready for listening! Find it on the Library’s website, or on Stitcher, iTunes, or your usual podcatcher. In this episode John Fenn and I, along with guests Nicole Saylor and Jennifer Cutting, look at songs on summer themes. The podcast includes Appalachian, African American, French Canadian, Finnish, Tuvan, and Irish songs. As usual, I present links to relevant blog posts, videos, and audio selections in this post.

A man playing a guitar and singing to a close crowd of a dozen or so men and women

August Online Symposium Will Feature Folklore Podcasters and Social Media Leaders

Posted by: Stephen Winick

The American Folklife Center is pleased to announce Traditional Folklore in a Digital World, a two-part symposium on August 17 and 24 examining some of the ways folklore is spread, discussed, and transformed in the digital environment. The symposium will bring together leading podcasters and influential figures in social media who are helping define what folklore is in the 21st century. It will consist of two Zoom-based panels, one on podcasts and the other on social media. Each panel brings together four compelling leaders in online folklore, who will present a brief rundown of what they do, and then take questions from the audience. AFC staff, including me, will be there to moderate and direct the questions. The podcast panel features the hosts of Lore, Crimelore, The Folklore Podcast, and Jack Dappa Blues and the African American Folklorist. The Social Media panel features folks from Folklore Thursday, Folk Horror Revival, and the Carterhaugh School of Folklore and the Fantastic. We hope you'll join us for a fascinating discussion. Both panels are free and open to the public, but registration is required.  (Don't worry, the links to register are in this post!) 

A man playing a guitar and singing to a close crowd of a dozen or so men and women

Langston Hughes on the Folklife Today Podcast

Posted by: Stephen Winick

Season 3, Episode 8 of the Folklife Today Podcast is ready for listening! Find it at the link from this post to the Library’s website, or on Stitcher, iTunes, or your usual podcatcher. In this episode  John Fenn and I, along with guests Langston Collin Wilkins and Sophie Abramowitz, look at Langston Hughes as a “Hidden Folklorist.” As usual, I'll present links to the relevant blog posts and audio selections in this post!

A man playing a guitar and singing to a close crowd of a dozen or so men and women

Hidden Folklorists and Hidden Spirituals on the Folklife Today Podcast

Posted by: Stephen Winick

Our latest podcast looks at three “Hidden Folklorists” from Louisiana with special guest Joshua Clegg Caffery from the Center for Louisiana Studies at the University of Louisiana Lafayette. The Hidden Folklorists are Becky Elzy and Aberta Bradford, two spiritual singers who had been born in slavery, but who years later sang over a hundred spirituals for collectors; and E.A. McIlhenny, the head of the Tabasco Sauce company, who first collected their spirituals into a book. We recount details of how a microfilm of unique, unpublished manuscript spirituals by Bradford and Elzy came to be part of the American Folklife Center archive, and how Bradford and Elzy came to be recorded on audio discs for the Library of Congress by Alan Lomax in 1934, with the resulting recordings also coming to the AFC Archive. It’s an amusing story in which the 19-year-old Alan Lomax is forced to leave his father, the seasoned collector John A. Lomax “by the side of the road” and drive 40 miles with the 73 year old Bradford to try to find the 82 year old Elzy so they can sing together for the Library’s recording machine. The episode also presents several of their spirituals, and ends with the very moving recording of two women who had been born in slavery singing “Free at last, free at last, thank God almighty, got free at last!”

A man playing a guitar and singing to a close crowd of a dozen or so men and women

The Green Book and African American Travel with Candacy Taylor on the Folklife Today Podcast

Posted by: Stephen Winick

Season 3, Episode 4 of the Folklife Today Podcast is ready for listening! In this episode, John Fenn and I interview Candacy Taylor, whose latest project is documenting sites associated with the Negro Motorist Green Book, a travel guide for African Americans during the Jim Crow era. Taylor discusses the dangers inherent in travel for Black people during an era where racial discrimination was legal and open racism was common. She fills us in on the origins of the Green Book. We discuss sites such as Dooky Chase’s restaurant in New Orleans, where owner Leah Chase slapped the hand of President Barack Obama for adding hot sauce to her famous gumbo, and where she fed a young Michael Jackson her signature sweet potato pie. We also discuss the historic Hampton House, a Jewish-owned hotel in Miami, where a young boxer named Cassius Clay met Malcolm X and changed his name to Muhammad Ali, and where Martin Luther King, Jr. practiced his most famous speech.