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Birth of a Nation

Episode 1 of 3

Documentary series on American folk music. In the 1920s, the likes of the Carter Family, Jimmie Rodgers and Blind Lemon Jefferson ushered in a golden age of folk.

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.

1 hour

Last on

Sat 21 May 2011 00:15

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Music Played

Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes

  • Steve Earle

    Satellite Radio

  • The Byrds

    Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There is a Season)

  • Charlie Poole & The North Carolina Ramblers

    White House Blues

  • Mamie Smith

    It's Right Here for You

  • Mamie Smith

    Crazy Blues

  • Theodore Bikel

    Dodi Li

  • Caruso

    Apri la tua finestra

  • Hoyt Ming & his Pep-Steppers

    Indian War Whoop

  • Uncle Eck Robertson and Family

    Brilliancy Medley

  • Fiddlin' John Carson

    The Little Old Log Cabin in the Lane

  • Fiddlin' John Carson

    I'm Going to Take the Train to Charlotte

  • Ernest and Hattie Stoneman - The Mountaineers Courtship

  • Ernest V. Stoneman's Trio

    The Spanish Merchant's Daughter

  • Ernest Stoneman

    Watermellon Smilin' on the Vine

  • The Stoneman Sisiters

    The Titanic

  • William & Versey Smith

    When that Great Ship Went Down

  • Wade Mainer

    White House Blues

  • Uncle Dave Macon

    Buddy Won't You Roll Down the Line

  • Tom Paley

    From Earth to Heaven

  • Bently Boys

    Down on Penny's Farm

  • Blind Lemon Jefferson

    See That My Grave is Kept Clean

  • Blind Lemon Jefferson

    Prison Cell Blues

  • Blind Lemon Jefferson

    Christmas Eve Blues

  • Blind Lemon Jefferson

    Mosquito Moan

  • David “Honeyboy” Edwards

    Stagolee

  • David “Honeyboy” Edwards

    Roamin' and Ramblin' Blues

  • Mississippi John Hurt

    Stockwell

  • DeFord Bailey

    Ice Water Blues

  • Charley Patton

    A Spoonful Blues

  • The Skillet Lickers

    Pretty Little Widow

  • The Skillet Lickers

    Hell Broke Loose In Georgia

  • Lead Belly

    Where Did You Sleep Last Night?

  • Doc Watson

    In the Pines

  • Charlie Poole & The North Carolina Ramblers

    Shootin' Creek

  • Charlie Poole & The North Carolina Ramblers

    Don't Let Your Deal Go Down Blues

  • Charlie Poole & The North Carolina Ramblers

    Take A Drink On Me

  • Charlie Poole & The North Carolina Ramblers

    You Ain't Talking to Me

  • Charioteers

    Flying Clouds

  • Mississippi John Hurt

    Wade In The Water

  • Mississippi John Hurt

    Frankie

  • Mississippi John Hurt

    Pay Day

  • Henry Thomas

    My Creole Bell

  • Henry Thomas

    Railroadin' Some

  • Dock Boggs

    Fishing Blues

  • Dock Boggs

    Country Blues

  • The Carter Family

    Single Girl, Married Girl

  • The Carter Family

    Bury Me Under the Weeping Willow

  • The Carter Family

    Will the Circle be Unbroken?

  • Jimmie Rodgers

    Whippin' that Old TB

  • Blind Lemon Jefferson

    Rising High Water Blues

  • Blind Alfred Reed

    How Can a Poor man Stand Such Times and Live

  • Charley Patton

    Prayer of Death

  • Blind Lemon Jefferson

    See That My Grave is Kept Clean

  • Mississippi John Hurt

    I Shall Not be Moved

  • The Carter Family

    No Depression In Heaven

  • Woody Guthrie

    Blowin' Down this Road

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