Due to the contractual nature of the Fresh Air Archive, segments must be at least 6 months old to be considered part of the archive. To listen to segments that aired within the last 6 months, please click the blue off-site button to visit the Fresh Air page on NPR.org.
British singer and songwriter Billie Brag brings his guitar to the studio to play and sing some songs and talks about the Skiffle movement, the British adaptation of American blues and folk music that became popular in the 1950s and influenced the Beatles, Pete Townsend, Van Morrison and other British rockers.
He's been awarded the 2005 Pianist of the Year award by the Jazz Journalist's Association, and he also received the first ever 2005 Playboy Magazine Jazz Artist of the Year. His new album is called Same Mother, which reflects the 30-year-old musician's current interest in the blues.
In 1950, a red-haired Alabama boy who'd learned about radio and electronics in the U.S. Army opened a recording studio to document the blues and country music he loved. A new box set compiles the beginnings of Sam Philipps'
Before he became the guitarist for ZZ Top, Billy Gibbons was in a band called the Moving Sidewalks that just missed its shot at stardom. The album the Moving Sidewalks never released in the late 1960s was released in late 2012 and is very much a period piece, albeit a very well-made one.
A new 12-disc compilation traces the history of electric blues from its inauspicious start through its heyday in the 1950s and '60s. Critic Ed Ward says Plug It In! Turn It Up! does "a great job of illuminating one particular aspect of the blues."