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Playlist: John Henry and Friends Thumbnail

Playlist: John Henry and Friends

“Guitar Drag” is its own ballad of racial injustice. As a companion to the essay, Marcus offers this playlist, his choice of the versions of the song “John Henry” that stand out among the others.
Department: MUSIC
ISSUE 86: Guitar Drag Thumbnail

ISSUE 86: Guitar Drag

In John Henry Days, and in history, this event can be seen—heard—as an unsinging of “John Henry,” with the black man stripped of his hammer, chained to the steam drill, and pulled through the tunnel like a coal car. It’s an argument that any lynching of a black American is an unsinging of “John Henry.”
Department: MUSIC
ISSUE 69: Doctor Love's Secrets Thumbnail

ISSUE 69: Doctor Love's Secrets

I met Doc the day I moved into the building on Dauphine in June of 2006. He walked up wearing a bodysuit of the type that surfers wear. He was wet, and he had obviously been swimming or bathing, I introduced myself as a new tenant. In his huge baritone voice, he said, "Philip Turner, otherwise known as Doctor Love. Nice to meet you.”
Department: MUSIC
The Lost Music Town of Tennessee Thumbnail

The Lost Music Town of Tennessee

Nashville and Memphis lay legitimate claim as Tennessee’s music cities, but we have forgotten that at one time Chattanooga was a destination for some of the best music in the South. And Ninth Street, or the Big Nine, was where you went to find it.
Department: MUSIC
INTERVIEW: Inside the Chase Thumbnail

INTERVIEW: Inside the Chase

In her newest book, Do Not Sell at Any Price, OA contributor Amanda Petrusich takes a look at one of the quirkiest subcultures in the States: the niche of the 78rpm record collector.
Department: Interviews
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