We post a new episode of Appalachian History weekly podcast every Sunday. You can start listening right away by clicking the podcast icon over on the left side of your screen. If you’d rather grab the show off itunes for later listening, click here.
We open today’s show with some useful information for hickory chicken hunters heading out into the woods this month. Hickory chickens, by the way, have nothing to do with either hickories or chickens, but are the delicious Appalachian delicacy known elsewhere as morel mushrooms.
Jeff Biggers, author of ‘The United States of Appalachia,’ sits in as a guest writer on our next piece, in which he offers up some keen observations about PBS’ new series on Appalachia that premiered last week.
In Alabama, ‘Yellow Mama’ isn’t a person; it’s the nickname for the state’s electric chair. When it was first built in 1927, the state roads department offered up some extra paint for the project, and with a color like that it didn’t take long for a nickname to appear.
By the end of his long life, philanthropist Dr Charles Holzer had restored and donated to the city of Gallipolis OH a historic tavern where Revolutionary War hero General Lafayette had once stayed. You’ll hear the story of how Dr Holzer and his wife built the region’s first general hospital along the way.
The Treasury Department’s Section of Painting & Sculpture helped give relief to unemployed artists during the Depression by assigning public mural projects in post offices and courthouses. Listen in as the Ft Payne AL postmaster relates how pleased he is to be receiving a mural shortly…though he’s not quite sure what a mural IS.
Finally we’ll wrap things up with an 1891 newspaper article that breathlessly describes the kidnapping of a Wheeling WV girl. Her two abductors arrive at their destination, only to find that their accomplice isn’t there. “It looks like the game is up,” says one of the kidnappers, and suddenly all their plans change.
And, thanks to the good folks at the Internet Archive, we’ll be able to enjoy some authentic Appalachian music from modern day banjo player Tom Joad in a 2000 recording of the traditional tune “Cluck Old Hen.”
So, call your old blue-tick hound up on the porch, fire up your corn-cob pipe, and settle in for a dose of Appalachian History.