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FW: [AlabamaFolklife] Alabama Song Book

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  • Amos J Wright
    fyi...ajwright@uab.edu ... From: Joyce Cauthen [mailto:joycecauthen@charter.net] Sent: Friday, October 01, 2004 10:03 AM To: Alabamafolklife@yahoogroups.com
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 1, 2004
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      fyi...ajwright@...

      -----Original Message-----
      From: Joyce Cauthen [mailto:joycecauthen@...]
      Sent: Friday, October 01, 2004 10:03 AM
      To: Alabamafolklife@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [AlabamaFolklife] Alabama Song Book


      A wonderful new book of folk music of Alabama is out--based on the Byron
      Arnold collection which AFA has been working with. Below is a
      description:
      ALABAMA SONGBOOK RECAPTURES STATE'S MUSICAL HERITAGE
      Page 2



      Each section of AN ALABAMA SONGBOOK is further subdivided by the types
      of
      songs they include. Ballads typically tell some sort of story, and many
      of
      them are well-known. Versions of many of these songs have been found
      throughout the United States and England, and they range from songs
      about
      crimes and criminals (such as "Little Mary Phagan" and "Stagalee") to
      tales
      of tragic lovers ("Barbara Allen" and "Billy Came Over the Main White
      Ocean"). Because he was one of the earliest to collect songs in
      Alabama,
      Arnold discovered many variants and versions that are known to exist no
      place else.

      Folk songs, which make up the largest portion of the book, offer the
      widest
      variety of musical experiences. Some of the selections here include
      Civil
      War songs such as "Old Abe's Elected." Sung to the tune of "Yankee
      Doodle,"
      the singer describes his certainty that any effort to change the
      southern
      way of life will be soundly and easily defeated. "The Soldier's Fare,"
      from
      only a few years later, paints a much different picture. This section
      also
      contains railroad work songs, children's play songs, lullabies, and
      songs
      for grown-ups featuring risqué characters. Marital relations are spoofed
      in
      "I Wish I Were Single Again," and "Boil Them Cabbage Down" is but one of
      the
      well-known dance tunes kept alive by people singing to each other.

      One of the most difficult aspects of the book was deciding which songs
      to
      include. In making his choices, Halli first sought to keep all the rare
      and
      local pieces collected by Arnold. After that, "I have proceeded on the
      basis
      of variety and interest, seeking the largest number of different types
      of
      folksong and the best examples of those types."

      Advance praise for the book has been strong. Charles Wolfe,
      internationally-known country and folk music scholar describes it as "a
      major contribution to folk music scholarship and to our knowledge of
      southern culture." Harper Lee, author of To Kill a Mockingbird, calls AN
      ALABAMA SONGBOOK "a wonder." After pointing out the joy of singing along
      while reading, she sums up the project by proclaiming, "In a monumental
      undertaking, Byron Arnold collected these songs; with perfect pitch as
      editor, Robert Halli has made them ours forever."

      AN ALABAMA SONGBOOK is available at major bookstores throughout the
      state,
      online, or directly from the publisher.

      # # #





      For additional information, contact: Dennis Lloyd .
      dlloyd@... . direct line: 205-348-9534





      An Alabama Songbook

      328 pages . 7 x 10 . 216 songs

      ISBN 0-8173-1306-0 . $49.95 hardcover

      Publication Date: September 12, 2004




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