Labor Day Weekend. The Toils and Triumphs of Woody Guthrie, in the words of his friends, family and fellow travelers. And “Working on a Building” with New Orleans’ building craftsmen: The Black Men of Labor. Includes music for your picnics and parties from Sarah Vaughn, Fats Domino and the Grateful Dead.
Visit with Arkansas rockabilly hero Sleepy LaBeef, the human jukebox. Sleepy knows several thousand of songs by heart, but he still loves the Southern gospel numbers of his youth. And we’ll talk with gospel singer and scholar Horace Boyer about the roots of the music.
We’ll travel to Memphis, Tennessee. Guests include the Reverend Al Green, Rufus and Carla Thomas, Jerry Lee Lewis and Sun Records producer Sam Phillips. We’ll also cruise the town in a borrowed Caddy, and hang out at Wild Bill’s Juke Joint.
Gifted singer Emmylou Harris takes a new trip down old country roads as the self-searching “Red Dirl Girl.” We speak with her about growing up between South and North, her days on the road with Gram Parsons, and her atmospheric music today. Also, the purposefully unrooted band Yo La Tengo of Hoboken, New Jersey tracks their 15 years of luminous music and improvisatory life.
August 4, 2001 marks the 100th birthday of New Orleans’ trumpet player and singer and America’s most important jazz musician—Louis Armstrong. In celebration of Satchmo’s century mark, we speak with members of his All-Stars band, Joe Muranyi (clarinet) and Arvell Shaw (bass). On the ground in New Orleans young trumpeters Nicholas Payton and Kermit Ruffins offer their perspectives on “Pops’” influence today. Also, a look at how the Marsalis family is honoring Satchmo this weekend, and music from Armstrong collaborators King Oliver, Jimmie Rodgers, Bing Crosby and Billie Holiday.