173 posts tagged with americana.
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Oleo Lord

To the congregation of the Solid RockChurch, he's known as the King of Kings. But others who have witnessed his glory have other names for him: MC 62ft Jesus, Touchdown Jesus, and perhaps most famously, as immortalized by Heywood Banks, Big Butter Jesus. And he's been a very busy boy. [more inside]
posted by LeeJay on Mar 29, 2008 - 27 comments

Blood Bitters 'n' Swamp Root

Time, Tide, and Tonics: The Patent Medicine Almanac in America. "Almanacs have been a part of American life since its very beginning. One of the first books printed in English America was an almanac [pdf]. By the mid-18th century the almanac had become, after the Bible, the book most likely to be found in ordinary homes. Produced annually, almanacs provided practical information and entertainment."
posted by katillathehun on Mar 25, 2008 - 6 comments

Dreams and Songs of the Noble Old

Dreams and Songs of the Noble Old, a film by Alan Lomax, takes a loving look at the talents and wisdom of elderly musicians, singers, and story-tellers from southern American folk traditions. All the musicians featured in the film have soul and musical energy to spare: great, great performances and engaging reminiscences make this film a real treat. Please see the [more inside] for a collection of links to several of the outstanding performers featured in the film. [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite on Mar 25, 2008 - 15 comments

Now it's dark.

Lost America is a purdy website featuring night photography of ghost towns, urban exploration, decommissioned military facilities, airplane graveyards, and other roadside abandonments of the American west.
posted by dhammond on Mar 2, 2008 - 22 comments

Jonathan Richman - Now Is Better Than Before

Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers - I'm A Little Dinosaur
Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers - New England
Jonathan Richman - Now Is Better Than Before
Spring is in the air today and here are a few slices of vintage Jonathan just because... [more inside]
posted by y2karl on Mar 2, 2008 - 45 comments

Robert Petway - Catfish Blues

And here we have a couple of YouTube productions, screensaverish animations of photos and lyrics to the original recordings: Robert Petway - Catfish Blues and Tommy McClennan - It's Hard To Be Lonesome. This is mostly about Petway and Catfish Blues but you can't mention Petway without mentioning McClennan, as they ran together in their time and as both did versions of Catfish, a song canonical in Delta Blues, recorded and performed by nearly everyone--Muddy Waters - Rolling Stone, for example. Petway just happens to be the first person to record Catfish, and quite possibly the person who wrote it and certainly. to my mind, at least, the person who nailed it... in the uptempo version at the very least. [more inside]
posted by y2karl on Feb 28, 2008 - 8 comments

Vintage american decor and more

Mid-century American decor's holy trinity of materials were steel, linoleum and plastic., all of which are on display in these galleries from Plan59, which also brings us cars, trucks, food and more. (Including a blog).
posted by dersins on Nov 29, 2007 - 11 comments

Big city lights guide my way into the night

The American Sign Museum is dedicated to collecting, preserving, and documenting historic and vintage signs from the American landscape.
posted by fandango_matt on Nov 29, 2007 - 13 comments

Vintage Musical Americana featuring The Max Hunter Folk Song Collection

Here is Naomia Wise from The Max Hunter Folksong Collection. Folk songs, more or less, sung by real folks, collected in Arkansas by Max Hunter between 1956 and 1976. On a related tip, here is Historic Music--recorded popular music from the 1920s, with a large selection devoted to music from the First World War. And here, from Manufacturing Memory: American Popular Music in the 1930's, are the Popular Music Jukebox 1930-1934 and the Popular Music Jukebox 1935-1939 to complete this day's vintage musical Americana experience.
The Max Hunter songs are in RealAudio. Realplayer haters can use Real Alternative aka Media Player Classic.
posted by y2karl on Nov 27, 2007 - 9 comments

Vintage propaganda and more from Weirdo Video

Please enjoy vintage video propaganda:
Don't Be A Sucker
The Enemy Agent & You
Your Job in Germany
So They Tell Me and
Propaganda Techniques
[more inside]
posted by carsonb on Nov 20, 2007 - 19 comments

Black breastfeeding. From the 'stuff you don't think about' dept.

"I am on a near-daily treasure hunt of sorts. I scour our American past to help understand modern breastfeeding..." The Black Breastfeeding Blog, with photographs and history.
posted by kmennie on Nov 12, 2007 - 43 comments

Honking Duck - Listen to Old Time Music from 78s

Hill Billie Blues by Uncle Dave Macon and his Fruit Jar Drinkers is under 1924 at Honking Duck. You could search that by title as well. Or you can look up by Artist as in Al Hopkins & His Buckle Busters.
Need I mention all are in RealAudio ? Hate Realplayer ? Well, as noted before, fight the power and use Real Alternative aka Media Player Classic instead. It's not exactly my favorite style of interface but they certainly do afford a large selection.
posted by y2karl on Nov 5, 2007 - 6 comments

Down with the old folks at... MySpace.

Each of the following MySpace Music pages features bios and/or photos and/or videos and/or miscellaneous related materials and/or up to four songs by each of the following Old Time, Traditional, Appalachian folk (and related) artists: Lowe Stokes, Clarence Ashley, Charlie Poole, Gid Tanner and the Skillet Lickers, Roanoke Jug Band, Roscoe Holcomb, Hobart Smith, The Weems String Band, Burnet & Rutherford, Bascom Lamar Lunsford, John Masters, Dock Boggs, Tampa Joe & Macon Ed, William Stepp, Buddy Thomas, Buell Kazee, Isidore Soucy, John Salyer, Cousin Emmy, Luther Strong, Elizabeth Cotten, Fred Cockerham, G.B. Grayson, Melvin Wine, Lewis Brothers, Uncle Dave Macon, George Lee Hawkins and Wilmer Watts. And here's some general Old Time (etc.) pages, featuring various artists: Dust To Digital, Traditional Music of Beech Mountain and North Carolina Folklife Institute. [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite on Oct 24, 2007 - 17 comments

Folktunes.org - The Folktunes Archive for teaching and learning.

Viola Lee Blues by Cannon's Jug Stompers
The House Carpenter - Clarence Ashley
Old Dan Tucker - Judge Sturdy's Orchestra
Minglewood Blues - Cannon's Jug Stompers
Coo Coo Bird - Clarence Ashley
Sally Gooden - Eck Robertson on fiddle
The Worried Blues - Samantha Bumgarner
Dark Holler - Clarence Ashley
Cocaine Habit Blues - The Memphis Jug Band
All are from Folktunes.org, a list of annotated links to mp3s at the Internet Archive with lyrics and history on each page. It's like a functional annotated academic SomeOfTheCoolest78sAttheInternetArchiveFilter .
posted by y2karl on Oct 22, 2007 - 14 comments

John Fahey - Fare Forward Voyagers

John Fahey - Fare Forward Voyagers
John Fahey - Dance Of The Inhabitants Of The Palace Of King Phillip XIV
Clips from a 2 hour performance at the Euphoria Tavern in Portland, Oregon from 1976. Among the cognoscenti at FaheyGuitarPlayers, the consensus is that these clips display Fahey in rare form on a very good night.
Apart from Fahey, Bohemia Visual Music aka Mike Nastra, the contributor of these clips, provides an interesting assortment of way too hip YouTubery offerings including, among others, Spike Jones, Dimandas Galas, Gene Krupa, Tuxedo Moon, Sun Ra, Pere Ubu and the Holy Modal Rounders.
posted by y2karl on Oct 16, 2007 - 9 comments

The Little House In Ballard

Edith Macefield is stubborn. Man, is she stubborn. That's what her mother told her when she was a little girl back in the 1920s. It's a characteristic that has followed her all her life. Now that unrelenting stubbornness has won the 86-year-old woman admirers throughout Ballard. Macefield refused to sell her little old house where she has lived since 1966 to developers, forcing them to build an entire five-story project, which includes a grocery store, fitness club and parking garage, around her. She was offered $1 million to leave. She turned it down flat.
Old Ballard's new hero
Newsfilter, local interest filter, too, but, oh, man, it lifts the spirits. Her's is the last house on the block, the one in which she grew up, the one her mother died in. She is going to be surrounded by five storys of shopping mall but she isn't moving. It's like The Little House come to life. And bonus points: Mike's Chili Parlor, the other hold out on the same block, is the bomb. So you get two Old Lost Seattle treasures in one post.
posted by y2karl on Oct 15, 2007 - 81 comments

...And Ruby Falls

See Rock City. See Seven States.
posted by Miko on Aug 8, 2007 - 27 comments

The slow death of an American institution

Grange Halls are common landmarks in America's rural communities. But what is a "Grange"? The Order of Patrons of Husbandry is a fraternal agricultural organization, but it's not just a social group for farmers; Grange lobbying fought railroad monopolies and led to Rural Free Delivery, the Farm Credit System, and other "progressive legislation that will benefit U.S. agriculture, rural America, and the nation in general". But after 140 years, the Grange is fading away.
posted by litlnemo on Jul 30, 2007 - 30 comments

You want the Old Skool? You can't handle the Old Skool! You don't even have a clue what the Old Skool is! *chops down door* Here's ...Johnny!!!

Here is Uncle John Scruggs singing and playing Little Log Cabin Round the Lane in RealAudio Dial Up and DSL format. The dancing is great and I do like the walk-on kitten part, myself.

That's from the Center For Southern African-American Music Video Link Page. Their audio link page is a wonder, too with individual artists galore. But, for the real deal, check out the Various Artist compilation album pages. Those may be 20 second of so mp3 clips but, still, those Yazoo, Document and Folkways albums are the bomb and there you get a taste of what they offer. And anywhere you can hear, for example, even a few bars of Blind Alfred Reed's How Can A Poor Man Stand Such Times And Live ? or Estil C. Ball and Lacey Richardson's Trials, Troubles, Tribulations rules in my world.
posted by y2karl on Jun 29, 2007 - 9 comments

Ride The Hound

Ride the hound. Greyhound Lines has always been the travel choice for Americas' poor. Visit the Greyhound Museum. Hear some stories. Take the Greyhound trivia challenge.
posted by Xurando on Jun 16, 2007 - 26 comments

Beautiful Losers

Karen Dalton - It Hurts Me, Too
Tim Buckley - Sally Go 'Round The Roses
Tim Hardin - If I Were A Carpenter
See also
The Other Side Of Greenwich Village 60's Folk Scene - Part 1
and Part 2  
more within
posted by y2karl on May 4, 2007 - 47 comments

Norman Rockwell reconsidered

Innocence is constructed by disavowing things that are right in front of your face. Richard Halpern, professor of English at Johns Hopkins University, published a different take on Norman Rockwell's art in Norman Rockwell: The Underside of Innocence. He looks below the idyllic surface of nostalgic Americana and sees unwitting voyeurism and blurred boundaries "between asexual friendship and Eros". Naturally, many Rockwell fans don't want to hear this about their beloved painter of innocence: an article about this book in the Boston Globe drew quite a few scathing comments. (BugMeNot logins for the Boston Globe website)
posted by Quietgal on Apr 15, 2007 - 105 comments

The Kansas City Sheet Music Collection

The Kansas City Sheet Music Collection is an enormous catalog of zoomable, high-rez scans of old sheet music. See how the popular music of years past was marketed with Black and Native American imagery as well as exotica. There are lovely and fanciful calligraphic designs, songs of World War 1 and, uh, vegetables. There's even a little ditty by Mark Twain. Plus some undeniable truths and the age-old question.
posted by flapjax at midnite on Apr 13, 2007 - 8 comments

Fifteen would be too much

Fourteen Places to Eat - photos from rural America
posted by Bighappyfunhouse on Apr 11, 2007 - 17 comments

Use Crisco. It's digestible!

Click trough Household Magazine, from 1951 Brought to you from the world of The Swank Pad
posted by edgeways on Apr 11, 2007 - 15 comments

The High Plains Heavy Metal Iron Master

posted by jason's_planet on Mar 27, 2007 - 15 comments

Neither snow nor rain nor too-hot sand

Florida's Barefoot Mailmen traveled 68-mile routes between Palm Beach and Miami in the late 1800s. Walking 40 miles (barefoot) and rowing 28 miles over the course of three days each way, these letter carriers brought efficiency to a postal route that previously required that "a letter from Palm Beach to Miami begin its trip at the lighthouse community of Jupiter, 22 miles north, then by an Indian River steamboat to the rail head at Titusville. By train it continued to New York's port and from there by steamer to Havana. From Cuba, a trading schooner took the letter to Miami. It took a voyage of 3,000 miles and a period of six weeks to two months for a letter to arrive in Miami." Ed Hamilton, who disappeared in the course of duty (and whose mysterious death may have been engineered by moving his rowboat out of reach in alligator-infested waters), is honored with a bronze statue in Hillsboro Beach.
posted by occhiblu on Mar 14, 2007 - 6 comments

American music

All old things become new again. Traditional American music, such as Del McCoury and Doc Watson being explored and reinvented by new artists. Gillian Welch and Old Crow Medicine Show , Chatham County Line- Route 23 , and The Be Good Tanyas - The Littlest Birds. Just to name a few. [all youtube]
posted by nola on Mar 10, 2007 - 16 comments

'To an Eastern man this city is full of surprises. '

Ghost Cowboy :: True Tales of Adventure in the American West
posted by anastasiav on Feb 3, 2007 - 10 comments

Paul Theroux's America

Paul Theroux's writing is, at it's best, a long, dreamy meditation on a place, it's people, and the time he spent among them. His latest piece, an op-ed in the New York Times about America in 2007, is no exception.
posted by nevercalm on Jan 3, 2007 - 99 comments

John Fahey at Rockpalast - Hamburg Uni, Hamburg, West Germany - 1978-03-17and otherwise on YouTube

John Fahey in concert: Beverly (aka Indian Pacific Railroad Blues) Poor Boy (Which is a variation on Booker White's Poor Boy Long Way from Home)
posted by y2karl on Oct 22, 2006 - 19 comments

History of pets in America

Kitty litter was invented in 1946. Birds were the first pets to have their own full lines of products. Canned dog food first appeared in the 1910s. Lots of interesting stuff [wav] at the University of South Carolina's Pets in America site.
posted by mediareport on Oct 9, 2006 - 18 comments

Old Glass Bottles, or YAMO (Yet Another Magnificant Obsession)

Historic Glass Bottles. Bill Lindsey of the BLM created a tremendous resource to assist you in identifying and dating most utilitarian glass bottles and jars produced in the United States and Canada between the early 1800s and 1950s. Check out information on glassmaking, bottle dating, and bottle types. Of particular interest to me are the pages on liquor, wine, and beer bottles.
posted by monju_bosatsu on Oct 7, 2006 - 14 comments

folkstreams.net - A National Preserve of Documentary Films about American Roots Cultures

Folkstreams.net has two goals. One is to build a national preserve of hard-to-find documentary films about American folk or roots cultures. The other is to give them renewed life by streaming them on the internet. The films were produced by independent filmmakers in a golden age that began in the 1960s and was made possible by the development first of portable cameras and then capacity for synch sound. Their films focus on the culture, struggles, and arts of unnoticed Americans from many different regions and communities. The filmmakers were driven more by sheer engagement with the people and their traditions than by commercial hopes. Their films have unusual subjects, odd lengths, and talkers who do not speak "broadcast English." Although they won prizes at film festivals, were used in college classes, and occasionally were shown on PBS, they found few outlets in venues like theaters, video shops or commercial television. But they have permanent value...
folkstreams.net Currently streaming are the films The Land Where the Blues Began , Cajun Country , Jazz Parades: Feet Don't Fail Me Now , Talking Feet: Solo Southern Dance: Buck, Flatfoot and Tap , Ray Lum: Mule Trader and Pizza Pizza Daddy-O , among many others.
posted by y2karl on Oct 6, 2006 - 14 comments

The black and white world of photojournalist Arthur Grace

Arthur Grace has a distinguished career as a photojournalist who works in black and white. Although not limited to U.S. work, he excels in Americana. His portfolios are fun to surf - here's a sampling that I liked: window washer, the Hatt family of Maine, Cheer Squad, and Prisoner, Adelaide Jail. Oh, and whatever you do - don't miss the Show Dogs, heh. [more]
posted by madamjujujive on Aug 13, 2006 - 9 comments

i was standing by the window

Made most popular to many Americans as the closing song for the Grand Ole Opry programs, Will The Circle Be Unbroken was written in 1907 by Ada Habershon, an intensely religious young woman and acquaintance of Dwight Moody and Ira David Sankey. The music was "composed" by Charles Gabriel, a popular songwriter and composer of the era who is often solely credited with the song, but while he may have put the notes down on paper, the tune itself already existed as the African-American spiritual Glory Glory / Since I Laid My Burden Down. [lots more inside]
posted by luriete on May 26, 2006 - 18 comments

take THAT Montgomery Ward!

The Zobo! Spanish-American Chess Men! Where can you find these amazing products, including Sanitary Belt Pads the Toilet Mask, or a handy goat harness, at amazing, rockbottom prices? The Sears, Roebuck Catalog, of course. Everything you could need for the modern American family! They did houses (1, 2) even. Starting in 1888 and mostly selling watches, this venerable institution of consumerism spent its first 10 years rapidly growing and adding products, lasting for over 100 years before finally folding in 1993. The catalog still stands as a detailed historical document of what the average American would buy to get through life. They make a fun collector's item, too (1902 available on CD-ROM as well). [ This post inspired by the 1902 Sears, Roebuck Catalog blog. ]
posted by tweak on May 26, 2006 - 11 comments

"Ten Favorite Offbeat Musicals"

"Ten Favorite Offbeat Musicals" by Jonathan Rosenbaum
posted by matteo on Apr 4, 2006 - 30 comments

Rattlesnakes, rattlesnacks

Sweetwater Texas Rattlesnake Roundup! An annual tradition since 1958, people from miles around come to look at the thousands of collected rattlesnakes, join in the hunting, watch them get milked, killed, and skinned, and then eat them. Check out Chris Hamilton's engaging b&w photo essay.
posted by donovan on Mar 11, 2006 - 41 comments

And a smile can hide all the pain

The Original Rhinestone Cowboy. "I was laying on my bedside just as lonesome as I could be. I was by myself and so lonesome the tears just come in my eyes. I was so lonesome I prayed and said: 'Lord, give me something to make me happy' Now, you won't believe this, but the Lord told me to make an outfit. I went downtown and bought me a suit and became Rhinestone, and I ain't had one moment of lonesomeness since."
posted by Sticherbeast on Mar 10, 2006 - 3 comments

... Follow Ronald McDonald through the land of apple pie trees ...

The Freaky Universe of McDonald's Advertising
posted by anastasiav on Feb 21, 2006 - 31 comments

Drunken Angel

Blaze Foley, Drunken Angel. An iconoclastic country singer and songwriter who was shot dead in 1989, Blaze Foley is probably best known as the subject of Lucinda Williams' song 'Drunken Angel' and the author of 'If I Could Only Fly' which was covered by both Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard. He also wrote the anti-Reagan 'Oval Room' which was unusually leftist for early-1980's Nashville. A documentary is in the works. Here's some video of Foley singing with Townes Van Zandt, himself once a cult figure but now considered somewhat last week.
posted by liam on Jan 26, 2006 - 8 comments

The one room school house project

The one room school house project - stories, photos, and documents.
posted by Wolfdog on Dec 10, 2005 - 2 comments

The Lost Museum

On July 13, 1865, one of the most celebrated institutions in the United States, the American Museum, burned to the ground. But thanks to the wonders of technology, it has been rebuilt—sort of—on a Website called The Lost Museum... As it was managed by Phineas T. Barnum, the original American Museum was located in lower Manhattan and presented an ever-growing collection of wonders across five floors, ranging from "cosmoramas" and wax figures, to aquariums and live-animal specimens, to "moral representations" in the Lecture Room.
Via the incomparable Common-place's Finding Barnum on the Internet.
posted by y2karl on Oct 6, 2005 - 8 comments

The Milken Archive of American Jewish Music

The Milken Archive of American Jewish Music
posted by matteo on Sep 12, 2005 - 12 comments

William Eggleston in the Real World

"I am at war with the obvious", photographer William Eggleston once said, explaining his attraction to a ceiling lightbulb engulfed in a shock of red or an old Gulf gasoline sign sprouting like a giant weed against a rural skyline. Attempting to understand that battle, filmmaker Michael Almereyda trailed the photographer in action and in repose over a period of five years. The resulting film is "William Eggleston in the Real World". More inside.,
posted by matteo on Sep 1, 2005 - 14 comments

God Bless Americana.

God Bless Americana. This 4th of July, celebrate the true America with Charles Phoenix, who's been collecting found slides of other Americans' vacations from the 50s and 60s.
posted by herc on Jul 4, 2005 - 4 comments

'What we don't talk about enough is Ohio's unique and remarkable quality of life'

Artistic Tanks, Strange Theme Buildings, Unusual Water Towers, Giant Objects, and more!
posted by anastasiav on Jun 24, 2005 - 7 comments

In the pines, in the pines....

The John Quincy Wolf Folklore Collection from the University of Arkansas. "John Quincy Wolf began collecting Ozark ballads while an undergraduate at Arkansas (now Lyon) college. His first serious professional interest in Ozark folksongs dates from his attendance at the Old Settler's folk music festival at Blanchard Springs in 1941. He and his wife Bess began to seek out folksingers in the White River and surrounding areas, often placing advertisements in local newspapers for people who knew 'old songs'. Wolf recorded hundreds of Ozark folksingers between 1952 and 1963, including Almeda Riddle, Neal Morris, Oscar and Ollie Gilbert, and Jimmy Driftwood. [...] The Wolf Folksong Collection at Lyon College contains hundreds of recordings." Site contains the field recordings of Ozark Folksongs, as well as sections for Memphis Blues, Sacred Harp Singing, and more. The folk song recordings are indexed by song title and singer. Music files play in Windows Media or Real.
posted by jokeefe on Jun 7, 2005 - 10 comments

Lomax Archive

The Alan Lomax Database is a free multimedia catalog of the audio and video recordings and photographs made by Alan Lomax from 1946 to 1994.
posted by liam on Apr 25, 2005 - 8 comments

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