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Mississippi Moments Podcast

Since 1971, the Center for Oral History and Cultural Heritage has been preserving the memories of Mississippians from all walks of life. Our collection of over 4,000 interviews and counting has proven an invaluable resource for teachers, writers, researchers, and museums. While our collection has a recognized strength in the history of the civil rights movement and veterans' histories, the Center has collected broadly. The topics covered within the collection encompass the breadth of the state’s history.   Mississippi Moments began in early 2005 as a weekly series of radio spots broadcast statewide on Mississippi Public Broadcasting with funding provided by the Mississippi Humanities Council. Each episode features stories gleaned from hours of research, edited for time and clarity and narrated by Mississippi broadcast veteran, Bill Ellison. These stories range in topic and tone, but war stories and the struggle for civil rights receive the most attention. MSMO is not a History series. History frequently comes along for the ride, but Story drives the narrative. In 2009, the Mississippi Moments Podcast was launched as a way to make past and future episodes available online and searchable by subject. The podcast format allows us to greatly expand on the broadcast version and bonus content is a given. So give us a listen. With over 600 episodes available and new ones added each month, you are certain to find some amazing, moving stories about the diverse and colorful people who call Mississippi home.
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Now displaying: Category: Humanities in Mississippi
Jun 17, 2019

Dr. Dollye Robinson grew up in a musical family, two blocks from what is now Jackson State University. In this episode, she recalls how being surrounded by music inspired her to become a band director. While attending Lanier High School, Robinson would often rehearse with the Jackson College band. She remembers how that experience landed her a music scholarship after graduation.

As a music major at Jackson College in the 1940s, Robinson joined the Duke Otis Orchestra. She describes the challenges of being a female, first-trumpet player in an all-male dance band.

After Robinson graduated from Jackson College, she became an assistant band director at a high school in Brookhaven. She explains how being teased by alumni from other colleges, over the meager size of the Jackson College band, led her to return to her alma mater to help recruit new members.

In 1952, Robinson became the Assistant Band Director and Instructor of Music at JSU. She left long enough to earn two master’s degrees and a Ph.D. from Northwestern University and has served JSU as the head of the Department of Music, Chair of the Division of Fine Arts, Associate Dean of the School of Liberal Arts and Dean of the College of Liberal Arts.

Mississippi Moments is written and produced by Ross Walton, with narration by Bill Ellison.

PHOTO: jacksonstate.wordpress.com

Jan 21, 2019

Henry Walton of Mendenhall, Mississippi, grew up in Waycross, Georgia, the son of a high school principal. He was seven years old when his father took him to see a performance by Birch the Magician and it inspired him to take up magic as a hobby.

In this episode, Walton discusses that experience and the Gilbert Mysto Magic Sets he later received for Christmas. He began collecting books on magic, learning card and coin tricks to fool his friends and family. Walton also recalls how a high school variety show gave him the chance to debut as a magician before a large audience.

After WWII, Walton traveled the South, installing telephone office equipment for Western Electric. While stationed in Tampa, he met a man well-known by magicians for building quality magic apparatus. He remembers how Warren Hamilton offered to build him an entire magic show and sponsored his membership in the International Brotherhood of Magicians.

After moving to Mississippi and getting married, Walton decided to take up magic, again, as a hobby. When Birch the Magician came to Jackson to perform, Walton took his wife to see his childhood inspiration. It was there he met Jackson magician, Gene Grant, and the two men became friends. He recalls how they formed a Mississippi chapter of the International Brotherhood of Magicians (local chapters are called “rings” after the famous linking rings trick). Soon, “Ring 98” was attracting members from across the state to their monthly meetings where they performed for each other and the public at special events.

PHOTO: Walton performs at Jackson Mall, 1974.

Jan 16, 2017
MSM 510 Shelby Foote - Foote on Faulkner, Fact from Fiction

In 1938, two aspiring young writers, Greenville native Shelby Foote and his best friend Walker Percy, drove to Oxford in search of legendary author William Faulkner.  Percy refused to get out of the car, but Foote walked up to the front door of Rowan Oak, knocked and introduced himself.  Thus began a friendship that would last until Faulkner’s death in 1962.

In this episode, Foote describes Oxford’s native son as a gracious and interesting host and yet a deeply unhappy man who struggled with drinking and depression. Someone who was a deep thinker and yet preferred the company of the common man over the intellectual – a hunting story over a critical analysis of his work.  

Foote concludes by sharing what, in his opinion, makes Faulkner such an exceptional writer and relates a humorous story about one of his famous binges.

Oct 10, 2016
MSM 500 Imogene Borganelli - The Mississippi Humanities Council

Imogene Borganelli of Greenville graduated from Ole’ Miss with dreams of becoming a medical technician. “My father had been a superintendent and my mother had been a teacher and I said, I did not intend to teach school. I didn’t want to starve to death.”  It was the chance to coach girls’ basketball at Shaw High School in 1950 that lead her to become a teacher, anyway.  In this episode, she remembers when her team beat the team of her friend – coaching legend Margaret Wade.

The Mississippi Humanities Council was founded in 1972 with a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Borganelli details the first Scholar-In-Residence Program. Borganelli served on the Mississippi Humanities Council for six years. She looks back with pride on her time with the Council and reflects on its importance to the state.

Podcast Extra - Dr. Cora Norman was the founding Executive Director of the Humanities Council and served on it for 24 years. Borganelli describes her friend as the epitome of the what is good about the Humanities.

Feb 7, 2014
MS Mo 384 James Child - New Stage Theatre

In 1964, a group of young professionals in Jackson began thinking about forming their own theatre company.  James Child discusses the decision to open the New Stage Theatre.

Child also recalls the challenge of finding a place to stage their productions with practically no money to spend and shares his memories of the opening night of New Stage Theatre’s first production: Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolfe on January 25th, 1966. 

 

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