Below the Mason-Dixon Line

Songs that highlight the states below the ‘line’ of intransigence. Portions are better known as Dixie, others (like Florida and Texas) appear as appendages or after-market expanses. The music this evening will explore songs of Louisiana from Doug Kershaw, Texas from Asleep at the Wheel, Alabama from Mance Lipscomb, and West Virginia featuring Louis Jordan. There’s a whole lot more including Taj Mahal, Bill Kirchen, The Louvin Brothers and Pokey LaFarge; all on a journey through a collection of states that two surveyors by the name of Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon, in an attempt to resolve a dispute, attached their names to in the late 18th century.

1Artist Title Album Buy
2Jimmie Rodgers Somewhere Down Below The Mason Dixon Line Recordings 1927 – 1933 [Disc 5] Amazon
3Tom Darby & Jimmie Tarlton Down In Florida On A Hog Darby & Tarlton – Disc A (Atlanta 1927-29) Amazon
4Muddy Waters Deep Down In Florida #2 King Bee Amazon
5Claire Lynch My Florida Sunshine Bill Monroe Centennial Celebration: A Classic Bluegrass Tribute Disc 1 Amazon
6The Swe-Danes Georgia Camp Meeting New Discgems From Warner Brothers Amazon
7Dave Van Ronk Georgia Camp Meeting Dave Van Ronk And The Ragtime Jug Stompers Amazon
8Alex Campbell, Ola Belle Reed, Burl Kilby Bringing in the Georgia Mail Ola Belle Reed and Southern Mountain Music on the Mason-Dixon Line Amazon
9Curley Williams & His Georgia Peach Pickers Georgia Boogie Travellin' Boogie Amazon
10Guy Clark Virginia's Real Texas Cookin' Amazon
11The Carter Family Mid The Green Fields Of Virginia The Carter Family 1927 – 1934 [Disc 3] Amazon
12Al Bowlly My Sweet Virginia Just A Bowl Of Cherries Amazon
13Ethel Waters I'm Coming Virginia On Stage And Screen 1925 – 1940 Amazon
14Hazel Dickens West Virginia, My Home Hand-Picked: 25 Years Of Bluegrass On Rounder Records [Disc 1] Amazon
15Louis Jordan Salt Pork, West Virginia The Chronological Louis Jordan 1945-1946 Amazon
16Dr. Horse South Poke West Virginia Harlem Rock N' Blues Amazon
17Mance Lipscomb Alabama Bound Ash Grove 12/6/1964 Amazon
18Evan Marshall The Alabama Jubilee Mandolin Magic Amazon
19The Louvin Brothers Alabama Hand-Picked Amazon
20Neil Young/Stray Gators Alabama Harvest Amazon
21Jimmie Driftwood Arkansas Traveler Americana, Vol. 1 Amazon
22Carolina Cotton Three Miles South Of Cash (In Arkansas) Oxford American 11th Edition Southern Music CD [Disc 2, "Arkansas Masters"] Amazon
23Bill Kirchen Arkansas Diamond (Album) Word To The Wise Amazon
24Taj Mahal Texas Woman Blues The Essential [Disc 1] Amazon
25Asleep at the Wheel Miles and Miles of Texas The Very Best of Asleep at the Wheel Since 1970 Amazon
26Tommy Duncan Texas Moon Texas Moon Amazon
27Tony Rice He Rode All the Way to Texas Night Flyer: The Singer Songwriter Collection Amazon
28Waylon Jennings Luckenbach, Texas (Back to the Basics of Love) The Essential Waylon Jennings [2007] Disc 2 Amazon
29Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown Going Back To Louisiana Doctors Professors Kings & Queens: Box New Orleans Amazon
30Doug Kershaw Louisiana Man Diggy Diggy Lo Amazon
31Pokey LaFarge & the South City Three Mississippi Girl Middle of Everywhere Amazon
32Nina Simone Mississippi Goddam Anthology Disc 1 Amazon
33Paul Whiteman & His Orchestra Mississippi Mud Paper Moon Amazon
34The Andrew Sisters When the Midnight Choo Choo Leaves for Alabama Double Goldies [CD1] Amazon

The Hangman’s Rope

Songs about one of the most controversial of mankind’s attempt to balance the scales: the death penalty. Studies point to the fact that at least one in 25 people sentenced to the death penalty in the U.S. are innocent and yet the death penalty is legal in 32 states. In China, corporate fraud can be punishable by death…if it were the case here, our government would probably be on the straight and narrow. But I digress. The music this week will explore the long walk to eternity through the eyes of the condemned; the knowledge of the eventuality of the executioner’s song is clarity. And we’ve got country from a whole host of obscure characters, some blues and boogie, along with just a little bit of folk and bluegrass. A hundred years of the hangman’s rope in reflection.

1Artist Title Album Buy
2Johnny Cash I Hung My Head American IV: Man Comes Around Amazon
3Gurf Morlix Theyre Hangin Me Tonight The Executioner's Last Songs, Volume 3 Amazon
4Johnny Bond At Dawn I Die The Hangman's Blues: Prison Songs In Country Music (1956-1972) Amazon
5Marty Robbins The Hanging Tree All-Time Greatest Hits Amazon
6Peter, Paul & Mary Hangman See What Tomorrow Brings Amazon
7Marty Stuart Hangman Ghost Train: The Studio B Sessions Amazon
8Ralston Bowles and May Erlewine-Bernard Hangman Dear Jean: Artists Celebrate Jean Ritchie Amazon
9Cowboy Copas Hangman Boogie Hillbilly Boogie Box [Disc 4] Amazon
10The Pine Valley Cosmonauts & Puerto Muerto The Hangman's Song The Executioner's Last Songs, Vol. 1 Amazon
11Al Dean Hangman The Hangman's Blues: Prison Songs In Country Music (1956-1972) Amazon
12Leadbelly Gallows Pole Too Late, Too Late – Vol. 12 – 1917-48 Amazon
13Furry Lewis Judge Harsh Blues Furry Lewis 1927 – 1929 Amazon
14Brownie McGhee Hangman's Blues The Folkways Years (1945-1959) Amazon
15Blind Lemon Jefferson Hangman's Blues Complete Recordings Vol. 3 Amazon
16Blind Lemon Jefferson Electric Chair Blues Images Presents 1920's Blues Classics, Vol. 13 Amazon
17Lonesome Johnny Death Row The Hangman's Blues: Prison Songs In Country Music (1956-1972) Amazon
18Jimmy Minor Death Row The Hangman's Blues: Prison Songs In Country Music (1956-1972) Amazon
19Porter Wagoner (I Heard That) Lonesome Whistle The Hangman's Blues: Prison Songs In Country Music (1956-1972) Amazon
20Dave Alvin Sonora's Death Row West of the West Amazon
21Lee Hazelwood The Girl On Death Row Twisted Tales From The Vinyl Wastelands Volume 2 Amazon
22Johnny Cash The Mercy Seat American III: Solitary Man Amazon
23Bessie Smith Send Me To The Lectric Chair Empress Of The Blues Volume 2: 1926-1933 (CD A, 1926-1928) Amazon
24Booker T. & the MG's Hang 'Em High The Very Best of Booker T. & the MG's Amazon
25Hoyle Miller Twelve Years On Death Row The Hangman's Blues: Prison Songs In Country Music (1956-1972) Amazon
26Steve Earle Walking Down Death Row If I Had A Song: The Songs Of Pete Seeger, Vol. 2 Amazon
27The Blue Sky Boys Story Of The Knoxville Girl Absolutely Bluegrass Amazon
28Bob Dylan Seven Curses The Bootleg Series, Vols. 1-3 : Rare And Unreleased, 1961-1991 [Disc 2] Amazon
29Joan Baez Geordie The First 10 Years Amazon
30The Pine Valley Cosmonauts & Dean Schlabowske Gary Gilmore's Eyes The Executioner's Last Songs, Vol. 1 Amazon