The Maddox Bros. & Rose were America’s Most Colorful Hillbilly Band. In the 1930s, 40s & 50s, the four brothers and sister/singer Rose paraded thru America in their colorful Cadillacs and cowboy outfits. “Their costumes make Liberace look like a plucked chicken,” said Tennisee Ernie Ford.
Born to sharecroppers in Boaz, Alabama, they rode the rails and hitch hiked to California in 1933, where they formed the band. Their sound was both old-timey and western swing; their rhythms helped plant the roots of rockabilly. Ginna Allison’s sound-portrait features interviews with Rose Maddox, Tennesse Ernie Ford, Cliffie Stone, and her co-prodcuer on this piece, TJ Meekins of KVMR-Nevada City CA. (Images: Maddox Bros. & Rose: Myspace, Rockin’ County Style)
A preacher’s son, met in a North Carolina thrift shop, comes over the house to play guitar, and talk Jesus, G chords, and Gilligan’s Island. Carmen’s grandmother would not approve. Produced by Jay Allison for This American Life (PRX).
Offbeat retreats and obscure tours thru the heart of Americana:
“Losing It at Universal Studios” (4:37) Mark Allen
Temporarily insanity during a tour of Universal Studios in southern California. So many cool things to see, to do, to tour. The writer is overwhelmed by the magnificence of it all, and pretty much loses his mind. Based an Mark Allen’s web essay “I Suffered Stendhal Syndrome At Universal Studios Hollywood!.”
Boonville is a small community in Northwest California, founded in 1862, a few hundred feet in elevation, with few hundred residents. And… the town has it’s own language, Boontling. We go sharkin’ and harpin’ thru Boonville with Charles C. Adams, author of Boontling: An American Lingo.
“David Lynch goes into clean neighborhoods and finds the germs and bugs beneath; I go into dirty neighborhoods and find the life.” That’s how filmmaker Tony Buba describes his twelve documentaries about his hometown of Braddock, Pennsylvania. Buba is the son of Italian immigrants, part of the wave of Europeans who came to America in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries to work in the steel mills of Braddock and other towns around Pittsburgh. Now the steel industry is almost dead, and Braddock is the prototypical post-industrial “‘rust belt” town, a town where a person either lives by his or her wits or lives in poverty. Buba tours through the streets of Braddock, past the old Croatian and Slovak social clubs and through streets, now empty, that once bristled with activity.
The producer, at age 2, sings “Silent Night” with her Dad. A woman homesteader remembers brutal North Dakota winters in the 1920s. Blues legend Brownie McGhee describes homemade Christmas presents. Adi Gevins’ father reveals that all New York Santas gain entry through the fire escape. And an Oroville grandfather uses a snow machine to make his plastic Christmas tree even more realistic. Produced for the series A Gathering of Days, with support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and KQED-San Francisco. Thanks to Adi Gevins, psychiatrist Ray Posie, John Langstaff: creator of Christmas Revels, and the late Peter Allison for the family recordings.
Based on a conversation with Edna Wofford about ESP, dreams and intuition. From the 2003 CD, Mayor of the Tennessee River. Artist David Greenberger of Duplex Planet has been collecting the thoughts, memories and stories from elderly Americans for more than a quarter century.
From birth, a young Native American has been bleeding from his chest. The government keeps him locked in a cell, refusing to heed his uncle’s warnings. A 3D ZBS adaptation of Cherokee writer Craig Strete’s short story from The Bleeding Man and Other Science Fiction Stories.
La Llorona — the weeping woman — is the Mexican equivalent of the bogeyman. The man she loved rejected her, in madness she drowned her children, then herself. Now she roams the night wailing “Aaay, Mis Hijos;” a scary story that keeps children from wandering at night: “La Llorona will get you.”
“I Want to Bite Your Hand” (2:03 excerpt) Gene Moss (MP3J mashup)
Gene Moss’s 1964 Beatles parody mixed w/ SFX by MP3J. Full vers at Mashuptown, “I Want to Bite Your Hand”” (2:50 mp3):