Exploring American Folk Music: Songs from the Audiobook

While recording the audiobook version of Kip Lornell’s Exploring American Folk Music during the summer of 2014, I found it helpful to listen to the artists and songs that the author cites in the book, some of which were unfamiliar to me. The book frequently reproduces particular lyric phrases and even entire songs, so I needed to hear the recordings themselves to duplicate, as best I could, the meter and inflections of the original artists.

It occurred to me that hearing this music would be just as valuable to listeners of the audiobook. Thus, this Apple Music playlist, which includes many of the musicians and songs discussed in the text, as well as most of the “Musical Examples” included at the end of each chapter — about 100 songs in all, comprising five and a half hours of music.

For Spotify users, links to individual songs follow, organized by chapter and roughly in the order they are cited in the audiobook. Note: Individual songs tend to come and go from Apple Music and Spotify, depending on licensing status, so not every song may be available.


— Michael Rene Zuzel


Chapter One: Start Here!

Wade Ward and Glen Smith – Sally Goodin’
Uncle Dave Macon – Carve That Possum

Chapter Two: Mass Media

Fiddlin John Carson – The Little Old Log Cabin In The Lane
Ernest Stoneman – The Titanic

Chapter Four: Anglo-American Secular Folk Music

Bill Monroe & His Blue Grass Boys – Orange Blossom Special
Bill Monroe & His Blue Grass Boys – Blue Moon of Kentucky
Al Dexter & His Troopers – Pistol Packin’ Mama
Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys – I’m Sittin’ on Top of the World
Jean Ritchie – The House Carpenter
Harry Jackson – When the Work’s All Done This Fall
Red Allen – Dig a Hole in the Meadow (Darling Corey)

Chapter Five: Anglo-American Sacred Music

George and Gerry Armstrong – Simple Gifts
Stamps Quartet – Give The World A Smile
Ernest Stoneman – Going Down the Valley
Selah Jubilee Singers – I’ll Fly Away
Old Harp Singers of Eastern Tennessee – Wonderous Love
The A.L. Phipps Family – Away Over in the Promised Land

Chapter Six: African American Religious Folk Music

The Golden Gate Quartet – In That Great Getting up Morning
Roberta Martin – By And By
Blind Willie Johnson – Sweeter As The Years Roll By
Tampa Red – Somebody’s Been Using That Thing
Arizona Dranes – Bye And Bye We’re Going To See The King
Blind Willie Johnson – Dark Was the Night – Cold Was the Ground
Rev. J.M. Gates – Death’s Black Train Is Coming
Golden Gate Quartet – Ride On Moses
Dock Reed – Jesus Goin’ to Make Up My Dyin’ Bed
The Moving Star Hall Singers – Talking ‘Bout a Good Time
The Chambers Brothers – Rough and Rocky Road / I’ll Fly Away

Chapter Seven: African American Secular Folk Music

Joe and Odell Thompson – Georgia Buck
Sid Hemphill – The Devil’s Dream
Ragtime Piano Classics – Rose Leaf Rag
The Two Poor Boys – Joe Evans & Arthur McClain – John Henry Blues
Richard “Rabbit” Brown – Mystery Of The Dunbar’s Child
Ma Rainey – Stack O’Lee Blues
Andrew Jenkins – Frank Du Pree
Lil Johnson – Stavin’ Chain (That Rockin’ Swing)
Prisoners at the Ramsey and Retrieve State Farms, Texas – Chopping in the New Ground
Lead Belly – Rock Island Line
Big Joe Williams – Night Cap Blues

Chapter Eight: Ethnic and Native American Traditions

Dave Tarras – Gypsy
The Six Nations Women Singers – Mother Earth
Gabby Pahinui – Hi’ ilawe
Joseph Falcon – Allons A Lafayette
Clifton Chenier – Hello Rosa Lee
Bernie Oiumet – La Bonn’ Femme Robert (Old Lady Robert)
Ti-Blanc Richard – Le reel de Sherbrooke
Klezmer Plus – Ot Azoy
Washo – Peyote Song
Chippewa pow-wow drum group in Onigum, Leech Lake Reservation – Outdoor Pow Wow
Hoakalei Kamau’u – A Ko’olau au ‘ike i ka ua
Hackberry Ramblers – Jolie Blonde
Karl and the Country Dutchmen – Minnesota Polka

Chapter Nine: The Hispanic American Diaspora

Santiago Jimenez – Mi Compadre Y Yo
Ramon Ayala – Corrido de Gregorio Cortez
Lydia Mendoza – Mal Hombre
Mariachi Vargas De Tecalitlan – El son de la negra
Charles Aguilar, Jerry Hopkins-Velarde, and Eddie GuitierrezMatachines Dance Tunes
Southern Scratch – Gopher’s Cumbia
Sexteto Habanero – Coralia
Ecos de Borinquen – Jíbaro hasta el hueso (Jíbaro to the Bone)
Los Pleneros de la 21 – La Plena de Paquito Cerniera (The Plena of Paquito Cerniera)
Santiago Jimenez, Jr. – Ay Te Dejo en San Antonio

Chapter Ten: The Folk Revivals

Eric Von Schmidt – Turtle Beach
The Almanac Singers – Which Side Are You On
The Weavers – Tzena, Tzena, Tzena
The Kingston Trio – Tom Dooley
Dave Van Ronk – Hang Me, Oh Hang Me
Bob Dylan – Blowin’ in the Wind
Skip James – Hard Time Killing Floor Blues
Eric Clapton – Me And The Devil Blues
The New Lost City Ramblers – No Depression in Heaven
Highwoods String Band – Who Broke the Lock
The Soggy Bottom Boys – I Am A Man Of Constant Sorrow
Woody Guthrie – Do Re Me
The Harvesters – This Land is My Land
Edward “Sandy” Ives – The Shanty Boys
Fiddlin’ Al McCanless – Tell it to Me

Chapter Eleven: The Folk Roots of Contemporary Popular Music

James Brown – Cold Sweat – Live (1968/ Dallas Memorial Auditorium)
Howlin’ Wolf – Spoonful
Robert Johnson – Come On In My Kitchen
Golden Gate Jubilee Quartet – Golden Gate Gospel Train
The B-52’s – Rock Lobster
Sleepy John Estes – Floating Bridge
Bo Weevil Jackson – Devil and My Brown
Big Mama Thornton – Hound Dog
Little Richard – Ooh! My Soul
Elvis Presley – That’s All Right
Billy Lee Riley – Flying Saucers Rock and Roll
Malcolm Yelvington – Drinkin’ Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee
Fats Domino – Walking To New Orleans
Aerosmith – Big Ten Inch Record
Otis Redding – I’ve Been Loving You Too Long
The Sugarhill Gang – Rapper’s Delight
The Huck-A-Bucks – Get Down
Uncle Tupelo – No Depression
Sonny Terry – Locomotive Blues

Chapter Twelve: Urban Folk Music

Muddy Waters – Mannish Boy
Thomas A. Dorsey – If I Could Hear My Mother Pray Again
Mahalia Jackson – Take My Hand, Precious Lord
Adolph Hofner – Better Quit It Now
Texas Tornados – (Hey Baby) Que Paso
Esteban “Steve” Jordan – Hazme Caso
Hill Billies / Al Hopkins & Buckle Busters – Old Dan Tucker
Jimmie Rodgers – Dear Old Sunny South by the Sea
The Stoneman Family – Wreck of the Old ’97
The Country Gentlemen – Handsome Molly