Birth of a Nation

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Episode 1 of 3

Duration: 1 hour

Three-part documentary series on American folk music, tracing its history from the recording boom of the 1920s to the folk revival of the 1960s.

The opening part looks at how, in the 1920s, record companies scoured the American south for talent to sell. This was a golden age of American music, as the likes of the Carter Family, Jimmie Rodgers, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Charlie Poole, Dock Boggs and Mississippi John Hurt burst onto record, eager to have a share in the new industry and the money it made, only to lapse into obscurity when the depression hit at the start of the 30s.

Contributors include Judy Collins, Steve Earle, Tom Paxton and Pete Seeger, surviving relations of 1920s greats such as Mississippi John Hurt, the Carter Family and Uncle Dave Macon, plus three actual survivors of the era - guitarist Slim Bryant, banjoist Wade Mainer and Delta bluesman 'Honeyboy' Edwards.

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