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Music producer John Hammond and jazz critic for Down Beat magazine John McDonough discuss: Hammond's career; the artists he worked with; the artists he was the first to sign; social reform; and more. The following musical excerpts are played: "7 Come 11"; "Sauce"; "Talking Union"; "Blowing In the Wind"; "Today I Sing The Blues"; and "Live Embers".
Jean Ritchie discusses her life, music, experiences, and career. She also discusses folk music. Includes songs performed by Jean Ritchie including "Shady Grove", "None But One", "Sweet Sound in the Wind", "Riddle Song" (sung with Oscar Brand), "See That Rainbow Shine", "Black Waters" (sung with Janis Ian), "Now is the Love of the Day", "Little Lonesome Dove", "Barbry Allen", "Brightest and Best", and "Now Is The Cool of the Day".
Discussing the book "The New Grove Dictionary of American Music". They talk about American music and musicians of all kinds and from different periods. Includes Charles Ive's song "At the River" sung by Cleo Laine in the middle of the program.
Studs Terkel interviews Mary Lou Williams and her manager, Father Peter O'Brien. They discuss music, musicians, and instruments. Some clips of piano music playing at the end.
Studs Terkel listens in on Evanston Township High Schools', soul choral group, "The Spirit of Soul" as they rehearse for an upcoming concert. Musical director, Avon Gillespie, describes how the vocal improvisation of "The Spirit of Soul" singers brings an on the spot sense of joy. This reflection of African Heritage through song closes the gap between Africa and American shores and teaches Black people that their heritage is real, alive, and strong!
Big Bill Broonzy discusses the blues with Studs. Big Bill talks about getting ready for a European tour, his young life and his life as a musician. Big Bill Broonzy performs in studio: "Ride alberta, ride," "Going Down the road feeling bad," "House rent stomp," "The glory of love," "Plow hand," "I feel so good," and "Make my getaway."
Interviewing Willie Dixon and Memphis Slim at Aux Trois Mailletz while Studs was in France.
Talking about jazz with Charles Delaunay at the Hotel Pas de Callais in Paris.
Langston Hughes, John Sellers, James Cotton, and Otis Spann discuss their origins and blues music. The interview focuses heavily on Langston Hughes and how deeply he is influenced by the blues. Hughes also discusses his upcoming book "An African Treasury" at length.
Studs Terkel interviews blues singer song-writer Janis Joplin. This program discusses the following: Joplin's song "Turtle Blues"; Joplin's idols Bessie Smith and Lead Belly; Joplin's style of singing; Joplin's song writing; the blues; Joplin's interpretation of "Summertime"; and various renditions of the jazz song "Summertime". The following musical excerpts were presented: "Turtle Blues"; "Summertime" (interpreted by Janis Joplin); "Summertime" (interpreted by Mahalia Jackson); "Summertime" (interpreted by Billie Holiday); "Ball and Chain"; "Piece of My Heart"; and "Billie's Blues".
Brownie McGhee and Sonny Terry discuss blues music, their backgrounds, and their nearly twenty year collaboration. The duo perform several songs during the interview, including: 00:03:32-00:07:32 "Cornbread, Peas, and Black Molasses" 00:08:50-00:11:50 "Climbing on Top of the Hill" 00:12:35-00:14:30 "Uncle Bud" 00:17:39-00:20:49 unknown song 00:25:16-00:28:15 "That's How I Feel" 00:29:23-00:32:02 unknown song
Shel Silverstein discusses his books and children's literature, and art. Shel Silverstein discusses his contemporaries, art, and life experiences.
Discussing the book "Manchild in the Promised Land" with Claude Brown. Brown also discusses growing up in Harlem, New York as an African American man. Includes a clip of a man speaking from the county jail. Includes a song sung by Mahalia Jackson. Includes a clip of children singing.
Big Bill Broonzy discusses the blues and growing up in Arkansas with parents who were former slaves. He talks about the family dynamic and sings: "Willie Mae", "Crawdad song", "Going down this road feeling bad" and "John Henry".