This week we visit with two masters of Southern soul. Multi-instrumentalist Booker T. Jones, along with his group the MGs, helped to create the legendary Stax sound. We talk with Booker T. about growing up in Memphis and his work with Southern rock band, the Drive-By Truckers. Soul singer Jimmy Hughes got his start at another landmark of Southern music, FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. Hughes shares stories about his classic hits “Steal Away” and “Why Not Tonight,” as well as his move from gospel to soul and back again.
For this special American Routes program, we follow the lives of two giants of jazz: Thelonious Monk and John Coltrane. From their humble North Carolina beginnings to their triumphs on the world stage, we’ll trace their individual and inspired paths to creativity. And we’ll visit with the musicians who played with the greats, including McCoy Tyner and Pharoah Sanders, and the next generation, TS Monk and Ravi Coltrane.
American Routes follows the journeys made by folklorist Alan Lomax as he documented the diversity of the traditional music of America, in the face of what he felt was the increased threat by popular “monoculture.” We’ll look into Lomax’s work as a sound recordist, cultural theorist, radio host and above all, shaper of 20th century pop culture through his discoveries.
It’s an exploration of the funk universe on American Routes. New York City’s pioneer of Afro-Latin Soul, Joe Bataan, tells us about his boogaloo beginnings, melding latin beats with soulful sounds and his move toward “salsoul” and rap. And a conversation with Stanton Moore and Ben Ellman from New Orleans’ Galactic about their love of all things funky from the Crescent City and beyond.