Week 10. “Writing History with Lightning”: Birth of a Nation and Silent Film

Week 10. Radio

Required Reading 

Required Listening  

*Radio Drama: Welles, Orson, War of the Worlds (1938).

 

 

Actor-director Orson Welles, 1939.
Actor-director Orson Welles, 1939.

 

Required Listening for Thursday 

This is a Carter Family playlist with both audio recordings and film clips spanning their eighty year history in American folk, gospel, and country music. I encourage you to play around and see how many songs you recognize.

This is a radio recording of the Grand Ole Opry radio show featuring artists like Hank Williams. There is a significant amount of Grand Ole Opry footage from the television show available online that I would encourage you to browse. The show uses an interesting combination of minstrel songs, folk classics, new pop songs, and variety show comedy breaks.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SR2gR6SZC2M

Sister Rosetta Tharpe, the queen of the gospel circuit, was one of the first musicians to integrate electric guitar into the genre.

Maybelle Carter (1909-1978) was an original member of the performing Carter Family. After the breakup of that group in 1943, she formed a new act, known as Mother Maybelle and the Carter Sisters, with daughters Helen (1927-1998) shown here on accordian, June and Anita. Maybelle was an influential presence, particularly as the originator of a style of guitar playing emulated by Leadbelly, Woodie Guthrie, and many other musicians. Smithsonian.
Maybelle Carter (1909-1978) was an original member of the performing Carter Family. After the breakup of that group in 1943, she formed a new act, known as Mother Maybelle and the Carter Sisters, with daughters Helen (1927-1998) shown here on accordian, June and Anita. Maybelle was an influential presence, particularly as the originator of a style of guitar playing emulated by Leadbelly, Woodie Guthrie, and many other musicians. Smithsonian.

 

Johnny Cash, Sun Records.
Johnny Cash, Sun Records.
Hank Williams Promotional Card, MGM
Hank Williams Promotional Card, MGM
Phonograph record. Sister Rosettta Tharpe. [Cover page]: "Gospel Hymns. Sister Rosetta Tharpe. Decca Records". Image of Sister Rosetta Tharpe playing acoustic guitar in front of a colorful gothic arch stained glass window. USC Gospel Music Collection.
Phonograph record. Sister Rosettta Tharpe. [Cover page]: “Gospel Hymns. Sister Rosetta Tharpe. Decca Records”. Image of Sister Rosetta Tharpe playing acoustic guitar in front of a colorful gothic arch stained glass window. USC Gospel Music Collection.
Sister Rosetta Tharpe.
Sister Rosetta Tharpe.

 

 

Additional Recommended Listening

For radio history, check out “Calling All Cars”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Rhae Lynn Barnes is an Assistant Professor of American Cultural History at Princeton University (2018-) and President-Elect of the Andrew W. Mellon Society of Fellows in Critical Bibliography. She is the co-founder and C.E.O. of U.S. History Scene and Executive Advisor to the documentary series "Reconstruction: America After the Civil War" (PBS, 2019).

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