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 Robert Winans, co-curator of an upcoming exhibit on the early history of the banjo scheduled to open in April at the Baltimore Museum of Industry. “The banjo is frequently associated with Appalachia, appropriately in some regards,” he says. “But many people still believe, wrongly, that the banjo originated there.”
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 friend recently asked writer/educator Cat Pleska, “How does it feel to be so deeply rooted in your Appalachian community, to know that you belong from the past, and forward?” Pleska, a sixth generation West Virginian, tackles the notion of how to create belonging for oneself in this guest post.
We’ll wrap things up with guest authors Jesse Dukes and Allison Swaim, aka Big Shed Productions. In the 1930s and 1940s, African-Americans in Roanoke, VA were restricted to just a few neighborhoods. One was Gainsboro, just over the tracks from downtown. Among the many businesses started by black entrepreneurs in Gainsboro was “Dreamland,” a swimming pool and dance hall. Dreamland is gone, but Dukes and Swaim spoke to a few Roanoke residents who still remember.
And thanks to the good folks at the Blue Ridge Institute Archives, we’ll be able to enjoy some authentic Appalachian music from Ed Harris in a 1977 recording of Farther Along.
So call your old Plott hound up on the porch, fire up your corncob pipe, and settle in for a dose of Appalachian history.