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Say Brother; Roots Music; Larry Johnson and Jack Jackson perform "John Henry"

Part of Say Brother.

03/07/1974

Larry Johnson is a New-York-City-based blues singer and acoustic guitarist; John Jackson a Virginia-based rural blues singer, who, like Leadbelly, accompanies himself on guitar. Together they perform "John Henry" in the studio. The program overall focuses on three performers of "roots" (or blues) music, a community-based, Black art form originating in the United States. Host Topper Carew conducts a group interview with three blues musicians: Victoria Spivey (a New-York-City-based urban blues vocalist in the tradition of Bessie Smith), Larry Johnson (a New-York-City-based blues singer and acoustic guitarist), and John Jackson (a Virginia-based rural blues singer, who, like Leadbelly, accompanies himself on guitar). Program includes musical performances by each musician, including "Black Snake Blues" (Spivey), "Charlie Stone" (Johnson), "Key to the Highway" (Johnson), and "John Henry" (Jackson and Johnson). Interview segments revolve around the questions of how the musicians started playing, who their influences are, and African American musical traditions. Produced by Topper Carew. Directed by Conrad White.


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Series
Say Brother
Program
Roots Music
Program Number

318

Title

Larry Johnson and Jack Jackson perform "John Henry"

Series Description

Say Brother is WGBH's longest running public affairs television program by, for and about African Americans, and is now known as Basic Black. Since its inception in 1968, Say Brother has featured the voices of both locally and nationally known African American artists, athletes, performers, politicians, professionals, and writers including: Muhammad Ali, Maya Angelou, Thomas Atkins, Amiri Baraka, Doris Bunte, Julian Bond, Stokely Carmichael, Louis Farrakhan, Nikki Giovanni, Odetta Gordon, Henry Hampton, Benjamin Hooks, Jesse Jackson, Hubie Jones, Mel King, Eartha Kitt, Elma Lewis, Haki Madhubuti, Wallace D. Muhammad, Charles Ogletree, Babatunde Olatunji, Byron Rushing, Owusu Sadaukai, and Sonia Sanchez. Series release date: 7/15/1968

Program Description

Program focuses on three performers of "roots" (or blues) music, a community-based, Black art form originating in the United States. Host Topper Carew conducts a group interview with three blues musicians: Victoria Spivey (a New-York-City-based urban blues vocalist in the tradition of Bessie Smith), Larry Johnson (a New-York-City-based blues singer and acoustic guitarist), and John Jackson (a Virginia-based rural blues singer, who, like Leadbelly, accompanies himself on guitar). Program includes musical performances by each musician, including "Black Snake Blues" (Spivey), "Charlie Stone" (Johnson), "Key to the Highway" (Johnson), and "John Henry" (Jackson and Johnson). Interview segments revolve around the questions of how the musicians started playing, who their influences are, and African American musical traditions.

Asset Type

Clip

Media Type

Video

Subjects
Music--Performance
Blues (Music)
Blues musicians
African American musicians
African American singers
Spivey, Victoria
Jackson, John, 1924-2002
Johnson, Larry, 1938-
Genres
Magazine
Topics
Race and Ethnicity
Creators
Carew, Topper (Producer)
White, Conrad (Director)
Barrow-Murray, Barbara (Associate Producer)
Contributors
Carew, Topper (Host)
Johnson, Henry (Filmmaker)
Cross, June (Assistant To The Producer)
Davis, Tony (Assistant To The Producer)
Publication Information
WGBH Educational Foundation
Citation
Chicago: “Say Brother; Roots Music; Larry Johnson and Jack Jackson perform "John Henry",” 03/07/1974, WGBH Media Library & Archives, accessed December 6, 2016, http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_41BE3586AA204083A3B2EB2528919373.
MLA: “Say Brother; Roots Music; Larry Johnson and Jack Jackson perform "John Henry".” 03/07/1974. WGBH Media Library & Archives. Web. December 6, 2016. <http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_41BE3586AA204083A3B2EB2528919373>.
APA: Say Brother; Roots Music; Larry Johnson and Jack Jackson perform "John Henry". Boston, MA: WGBH Media Library & Archives. Retrieved from http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_41BE3586AA204083A3B2EB2528919373
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