March 28th, 2001

April Fool's with Harry Shearer

 

Tomfoolery and trickery for April Fool's! We examine several hoaxes in the history of American music including the strange story of faux blues man Otis 'Elevator' Gilmore. We'll also investigate the market of finger traps and hand-buzzers from an old-timer in the joke shop business. Comedian Harry Shearer drops in for visit with tales of his role in an Abbot and Costello movie, his days with the band Spinal Tap, and his current role as voice master for The Simpsons. Plus music from Spike Jones, Eric Dolphy, Jonathan Richman and Aretha Frankin.

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March 21st, 2001

American Routes Goes to the Movies

 

Get your popcorn and tell the guy next to you to pipe down, as we feature soundtracks and songs from great films. Cine noir to spaghetti western, King Creole to Pulp Fiction - music makes the movie. We'll talk with director Jim Jarmusch about the soundtracks to Mystery Train, Down By Law and Ghost Dog - and producer T Bone Burnette lets us behind the scenes of O Brother, Where Art Thou. Shhh... down in front please!

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March 14th, 2001

St. Patrick in America

 

At last some good luck with the Irish! For St. Patrick's Day, we'll explore Celtic influences in American music and vice versa. With music from Bing Crosby, Rufus Harley, Natalie MacMaster, Van Morrison and Louis Armstrong. Fiona Ritchie of Thistle & Shamrock makes a cameo appearance as do Tiny Grimes and the Rockin' Highlanders.

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March 7th, 2001

What's in a Name?

 

Songs are often about or dedicated to someone. We dig into some of the great name songs in American music from "Lil' Liza Jane" to "John Henry" and "Walt Whitman's Niece." Also some styles like zydeco nouveau and gunfighter ballads are for calling out names of Creole kings and outlaw heros. Forgive our host if he plays a few namesake songs, as long as he plays yours, too.

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