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Front Porch

Front Porch Where music, dancing, and whiskey flowed, the dual demands of Sunday and Monday mornings seemed far away. "Moonshine," dancing in the home of James Thomas's friend, Shelby "Poppa Jazz" Brown, in 1967, photographed by William R. Ferris, courtesy of the William R. Ferris Collection in the Southern Folklife Collection, Wilson Special Collections Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Southern music is special. Everybody says so. The South is the home of blues, jazz, Cajun, zydeco, bluegrass, country, spirituals, gospel, and rock. A few other musical traditions that originated elsewhere--fife and drum music and shapenote singing come to mind--have flourished in the South after fading in their birthplaces. I'd go so far as to say that no major American popular music form originated outside the South until the recent rise of rap. And rap's debt to other black music makes it a southern grandchild at least. What explains this rich heritage? You'll hear a different explanation from everyone you ask, but all of them include tributes to the extraordinary musical heritage of Africa and the haunted ballad-singing of the British Isles, combined and pressure-cooked in the isolation created by racial oppression and economic backwardness. While other Americans http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Southern Cultures University of North Carolina Press

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright © University of North Carolina Press
ISSN
1534-1488
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Abstract

Where music, dancing, and whiskey flowed, the dual demands of Sunday and Monday mornings seemed far away. "Moonshine," dancing in the home of James Thomas's friend, Shelby "Poppa Jazz" Brown, in 1967, photographed by William R. Ferris, courtesy of the William R. Ferris Collection in the Southern Folklife Collection, Wilson Special Collections Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Southern music is special. Everybody says so. The South is the home of blues, jazz, Cajun, zydeco, bluegrass, country, spirituals, gospel, and rock. A few other musical traditions that originated elsewhere--fife and drum music and shapenote singing come to mind--have flourished in the South after fading in their birthplaces. I'd go so far as to say that no major American popular music form originated outside the South until the recent rise of rap. And rap's debt to other black music makes it a southern grandchild at least. What explains this rich heritage? You'll hear a different explanation from everyone you ask, but all of them include tributes to the extraordinary musical heritage of Africa and the haunted ballad-singing of the British Isles, combined and pressure-cooked in the isolation created by racial oppression and economic backwardness. While other Americans

Journal

Southern CulturesUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Aug 13, 2009

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