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John Prine discusses songwriting and growing up in Southern Illinois. They briefly discuss coal mining in Appalachia, specifically Blackey Kentucky. Includes interview with Joe Begley a coal miner from Blackey, Kentucky (Title: 333, File ID: 399). John Prine plays the following songs: "Paradise", "Donald and Lydia", "The Angel From Montgomery", "Old Folks", "Billy The Bum", "Old Coal Miners Blues", "Everybody Needs Somebody They Can Talk To".
Rebroadcast of a program with John Jacob Niles discussing his music and career; his music is played throughout the program including songs "Go'Way From My Window" and "Black Is the Color (Of My True Love's Hair)."
The opening song is a rebroadcast from a previous recording with Studs Terkel. John Prine talks about his family history in Paradise, Kentucky and when he was born and raised in Maywood, Illinois (Chicago Greater Area). Prine is known for humorous lyrics about love, life, and current events, as well as serious songs with social commentary, or which recollect melancholy tales from his life. All the songs are played in the studio from his albums "John Prine" and "Diamonds in the Rough"
Presenting "Hard Times: An Oral History of the Great Depression" Chapter 1: A Fairy Tale. Montage of young voices that talk about their parents' stories of surviving the Depression. The March: Jimmy Sheridan explains the origins of the Bonus March and what life was like on the rails. The Song: Edgar Yipsel (Yip) Harburg talks about writing "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime" while a version by the Weavers plays. Born Losers: Ed Paulsen discusses traveling the country to find work, march riots in San Francisco, and the relief felt as WPA projects and money began to lift burdens.
E.Y. (Yip) Harburg and Studs Terkel read from the book "At This Point in Rhyme". E.Y. Harburg also discusses his thoughts on humanity, how to properly write a song, and the importance of light verse and humor as a basis for everything he creates. Excerpts of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" by Judy Garland, "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime" by the Weavers, and a Broadway recording of "How Are Things in Glocca Morra" are played in the original airing but have been removed from this version for copyright reasons.
E.Y. (Yip) Harburg explains how songwriting needs to use and elevate street language to be successful, why he likes rainbows, and what creators of art and music owe the world. He also reads from his book "Rhymes for the Irreverent". Music is played from Finian's Rainbow: "When the Idle Poor Become the Idle Rich" and "How Are Things in Glocca Morra?", original Broadway cast recording. Part 2. Music has been removed from this recording for copyright reasons.
E.Y. (Yip) Harburg talks about the challenges in writing songs for characters, specifically Og in "Finian's Rainbow". He also discusses the craftsmanship of lyric writing and reads from his book "Rhymes for the Irreverent". Music is heard throughout: "When I'm Not Near the Girl I Love" performed by David Wayne and "The Eagle and Me", performed by Dooley Wilson. Part 1 Music has been removed from this recording for copyright reasons.
Studs interviews Harry Chapin about his music and career. They discuss Chapin’s style of writing songs. Chapin describes some of his songs such as “Cats In the Cradle,” “Sniper,” “WOLD,” and “Mr. Tanner.” He stresses that his songs tell stories and often are influenced by real-life events. For example, “30,000 Bananas Pounds of Bananas” came from a trip he took on a Greyhound bus through Pennsylvania where there was a truck accident.
Studs interviews Bobby Short, an African American composer, vocalist, and pianist. Short describes his performances and interpretations of songs by Ira Gershwin, Cole Porter, Noel Coward, and George Gershwin. Studs reads a letter written to short from Coward requesting that Short sing his songs. Studs and Bobby discuss composer and singer styles. The musical pieces are removed from this edited version of the original recording.