We post a new episode of Appalachian History weekly podcast every Sunday. Check us out on the Stitcher network, available on mobile phones, in-car dashboards and tablets worldwide. Just click below to start listening:
We open today’s show with guest author Mark R. Cheathem. Dr. Cheathem is an associate professor of history at Cumberland University. His recently published book, Andrew Jackson, Southerner (LSU Press), provides a new perspective on the seventh president and his identification with the South.
We’ll pause in between things to catch up on a Calendar of Events in the region this week, with special attention paid to events that emphasize heritage and local color.
“A town once meant as many things as there were people in it,” says Steubenville, OH native George A. Mosel in a 1964 coming of age memoir. “Adding them all up, the thoughts of those things are like saving string, all the accumulated sounds, sights and smells you picked up along the way, piece by piece, bit by bit, some bright and smooth, some you wanted to save and some you’d just as soon forget, but all irrevocably tied together in an untidy growing ball and stored away in the back of your mind.”
In 1933 the U.S. government decided that a significant amount of land in Eastern Tennessee should be vacated by its residents and turned into one of America’s great National Parks. Playwright and author Lisa Soland was inspired to write a play on the Walker sisters, which began when she learned of these five women and their persistence to remain in their home in spite of the fact that everyone around them was leaving theirs. Soland shares with us how this new play is evolving, and her vision of how it will unfold.
We’ll wrap things up with an excerpt from an oral history from Euell Sumner, who was born in 1938 in Cane Creek, KY. “Back when the older generation, which is deceased now, they had a June meeting every year,” he tells us, “and they congregated at the graveyard and had big meals and everybody brought a dish and . . . and that’s where that . . . I can relate back to that is . . . is a lot of the history that I’m telling you about because, you know, I had heard people talk about there.”
And, thanks to the good folks at the Internet Archive we’ll be able to enjoy some authentic Appalachian music from The Blue Ridge Highballers in a 1926 recording of Under the Double Eagle.
So, call your old Plott hound up on the porch, fire up your corncob pipe, and settle in for a dose of Appalachian History.