Song of America on WUOT

Tuesdays from 8-9 p.m.

Song of America explores the history of American culture through the eyes of our poets and the ears of our composers. Developed and hosted by baritone Thomas Hampson, the series treats American classic song - poetry set to music by American composers - as a vibrant diary of the American experience. Each program focuses on a particular topic that sheds light on a larger theme in American history, and includes approximately 40 minutes of songs drawn from archival and modern recordings, plus stories and insights from Mr. Hampson about the people and events that inspired those songs. Some programs also include lively interviews with experts from various fields. 

Dec. 17, 2013 (last program in the series):

Langston Hughes and the Harlem Renaissance Langston Hughes, one of America's great poets, gave jubilant voice to the lives of African Americans. His poetry has inspired settings by dozens of composers; we hear some of that music and learn about the world that inspired him.
 Interviewee: Donna Akiba Harper Sullivan, professor of English, Spelman College
 Margaret Bonds: The Negro Speaks of Rivers
    (Thomas Hampson, baritone; Vlad Iftinca, piano) recital, July 2013
Ricky Ian Gordon: My People
    (Harolyn Blackwell, soprano; Warren Jones, piano) RCA 09026-61944-2
Langston Hughes: I, Too
    (Langston Hughes reads the poem) Smithsonian Folkways SFW47001
Margaret Bonds: I, Too
    (Kevin Maynor, bass; Eric Olsen, piano) The Black Art Song Fleur de Son
Erik Santos: Bound No'th Blues
   (Darryl Taylor, tenor; Patricia Terry-Ross, harp; Erik Santos, piano and snaps) Naxos 8.559136
Langston Hughes: Minstrel Man
   (Paul Robeson reads the poem) EMI Classics 509992155 8627; CD 5
Margaret Bonds: Minstrel Man
   (Kevin Maynor, bass; Eric Olsen, piano) The Black Art Song Fleur de Son
Jean Berger: Lonely People
   (Thomas Hampson, baritone; Malcolm Martineau, piano) Orfeo d'Or C707062; CD 2
William Grant Still: A Black Pierrot
   (Darryl Taylor, tenor; Maria Corley, piano) Naxos 8.559136
Howard Swanson: Joy
   (Darryl Taylor, tenor; Maria Corley, piano) Naxos 8.559136.
Henry T. Burleigh: Lovely Dark and Lonely One
   (Regina McConnell, soprano; Michael Cordovana, piano) CRC 2252
John Stone: Daybreak in Alabama
   (Amy Bartram, soprano; John Stone, piano) Daybreak in Alabama: A Langston Hughes Song Cycle (no CD info)
John Musto: Litany
   (Paul Sperry, tenor; Irma Vallecillo, piano) Albany Records TROY 081
Hermann Reutter: Drum
   (Thomas Hampson, baritone; Malcolm Martineau, piano) Orfeo d'Or C707062; CD 2
Elie Siegmeister: Peace
   (Esther Hinds, soprano; Alan Mandel, piano) CRI 814
Ricky Ian Gordon: Dream Variations
   (Audra McDonald, soprano; ensemble conducted by Eric Stern) Nonesuch 79626

NOTE: Once a month on selected Tuesdays, the start time for this program will move to 10 p.m. to accommodate a recorded performance by the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra