The Mary Queen of Vietnam Community Development Corp. was established in 2006 to assist area Vietnamese-Americans after Hurricane Katrina. Known as the CDC, they were called on once again to assist the Gulf Coast Vietnamese fishing community after the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.
Here is our gift to you, our loyal listeners: 30 minutes of our annual Roots Reunion Show recorded live Saturday, December 3rd at the historic Saenger Theater in downtown Hattiesburg. The show features traditional music from Mississippi and the surrounding area. This month's show included bluegrass byour house band, The Patchwork String Band, the traditional music of Doug and Rhonda Webb, Irish folk singer Jim Flanagan, Jazz by Heather and the Monkey King, and more bluegrass by Delta Reign. You can get a CD of the entire show FREE with your paid membership to the Center for Oral History and Cultural Heritage by going to http://www.usm.edu/oral-history/become-member .
Historic Mobile Street in downtown Hattiesburg was for many years the hottest strip for live music outside of Bourbon Street in New Orleans. It was on Mobile Street in 1947 a young guitarist named Tommie Pruitt began a career that has lasted 64 years and counting.
Pruitt recalls learning to play on a homemade guitar and how his father earned money as a street musician.
Taken from an interview provided by the Mississippi Arts Commission's Folklife Archive.
In the early sixties, NASA decided to construct a rocket engine test facility in
Lee Paul of Bay St. Louis was part of a team of engineers sent to test how the noise would affect the surrounding area. He recalls the massive horn they used and the community’s reaction to the tests. Paul also recounts how area wildlife inspired the names of some of the roads.
As a boy in Nesbit, Kenny Brown had a hard time learning to play the guitar. That changed when blues legend, Mississippi Joe Callicott, moved next door.
Years later, Brown befriended another blues legend, R.L. Burnside. Brown recalls playing with Burnside and his first trip to a juke joint.
Brown also demonstrates the difference between the Hill Country blues of
In 1894, a group of African American men from the Bay St Louis area formed the One Hundred Members Benevolent Debating Association. In 1922, the Association constructed a meeting hall as place to conduct fundraising events. Known as the Hundred Men Hall, it became a regular stop for many of the greatest musical acts of the day.
Walter Biggins and Anna Kline are newly weds from
As a boy, Hattiesburg resident, Jimmy Swan dreamed of performing on the Grand Ole Opry. He tells the story of how he ran away from home at the age of 13 and a young man he met named Hank Williams.
Randy Yates of Oxford is co-owner of the Ajax Diner on the Square. He recalls growing up in Jackson and the restaurants that influenced his decision to go into food service. He also details the foods offered at the Ajax Diner and why he feels it's important to have a wide variety.
Elsie McWilliams of Meridian loved to write plays for her church's you group, but had never tried to write a song. That changed after she received a phone call from her famous brother-in-law, country singer, Jimmie Rodgers
When Monica Williams flad her home city of New Orleans, after Hurricane Katrina, she decided to make Jackson her new home. Soon, Williams became the cafeteria chef for Saint Therese Catholic School. She discusses adapting her traditional New Orleans dishes to meet the nutritional needs of the children.
After not playing guitar for many years, John Arnold was inspired to by the re-release of Jimmie Rodgers' catalog in the mid-sixties. He began performing Rodgers' music across the state for fairs and other events.
For Greek Americans, traditional foods provide an important link to culture and family. Kris Gianakos recalls a recent family reunion and the role that food played at the gathering. He also details how Greek foods are combined with traditional American foods during the holidays.
As the son of an army officer, Julian Brunt of
Retired Lt. General Russell Honoré lead the recovery operation in his home state of
Born in 1900, LeGrand “Doc” Capers witnessed many changes to his home town of
Capers also describes a visit to the Vicksburg Cotton Exchange.
Sarah Carter of
Carter recalls the decision to remain at home during the flood as boats became the only means of transportation.
Following WWII, advances in modern farming methods meant fewer jobs for rural Mississippians. In response, the Tupelo Community Development Foundation was formed to bring industrial jobs to
Before the advent of the self-service filling station in the 1970s, there was the full-service gas station. Here, uniformed attendants pumped gas, checked your car’s fluids, and even washed the windshield.
James and Ruby Wentworth of Meadville operated such a station during the 1940s. She recalls the demands of being a working wife and mother.
In 1955, director Elia Kazan came to
During WWII, Japanese-Americans were forced to live in “relocation” camps by the government. Despite this harsh treatment, many of them served with distinction in the armed forces. Herbert Sasaki recalls coming to
In December of 1941, with war in the Pacific looming, a series of Naval Construction Battalions were established. Known as Seabees, they were responsible for building the bridges, airstrips, roads and buildings needed by our troops. Dr. Patrick Gill of Macon, Mississippi explains how he became a Seabee. He remembers the hot and difficult conditions of the Philippines.
Like many blues musicians, Willie Jordan of Rose Hill, was taught how to play by family members. Jordan discusses the impact music has had on his life and the universal truths contained within the blues.
Blues Musician, Melvin Stacks of Picayune, recalls growing up poor and talks about his early influences. He also discusses his vocal techniques and the importance of warming up.
Broadcasting pioneer, Jobie Martin, was discouraged from playing sports as a child by his mother. He recounts the remarkable story of how he began playing football for Jackson State University (then Jackson College) at the age of 40--a feat that earned him a place in the JSU Sports Hall of Fame!