Tuesday, March 28 – Depression Folk

My guest this week on Bibliocracy Radio (noon on KPFK 90.7 FM) is Professor Ronald D. Cohen.  He is the go-to expert, booster and celebrant of American folk music and its political and cultural meaning to the history of our country.  He’s made an academic career and personal passion of teaching others about the phenomenon of the folk revival, the folk scare, the folk revolution, profiling familiar figures and reminding us of the roles of lesser-known but key players.  History professor Ronald D. Cohen is the author of many books chronicling the subject, including Rainbow Quest: The Folk Music Revival and American Society 1940-1970 and Golden Threads: An Illustrated History of Folk Music in the United States.  He has also co-produced essential folk CD collections for Bear Family Records and Folkways. Cohen’s most recent history explores a defining period, examining the fusing of radical politics and traditional song in the context of political radicalism and labor justice struggles, the fight for civil rights and the WPA as against reaction and commerce.  It’s titled Depression Folk: Grassroots Music and Left-Wing Politics in 1930s America.  As a folk fan and lefty myself, I was pleased to be both reminded of important themes and delighted to learn new details of a favorite story, with songs and photographs and, of course, a terrific playlist.  Thanks for listening to community-supported anti-corporate alternative media.  Play loud!