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SoLost is the original video series by The Oxford American that celebrates getting lost in the American South. SoLost is an off-kilter video journey through the side roads, backrooms, cellars and psyche of the modern South. With subjects prospected by master image-maker and Southern back-roads champ Dave Anderson, we delight in the tastes, sounds and myriad cultural delights of this our glorious landscape. Join us every month as we unveil a new episode of SoLost: artful, online video shorts that explore the complexity and vitality of the American South.

SoLost: The Auricular Raconteur

Christopher King is a discoverer of lost worlds. Musical worlds. Nestled in a small room in a medium-sized home in the expansive hills of Virginia, King has been digging through old barns and cellars looking for 78's for his entire adult life. An obsessives' obsessive, he has accumulated one of the most fascinating collections of once-overlooked music anywhere. For a number of years he has curated highly sophisticated—and celebrated—collections of music themed around some of the most elemental questions humanity has forever faced: love, loss, pain and work. 

From ultra-early blues to unknown European mountain music, King searches so the rest of us don't have to. From his epic debut: "People Take Warning! (Murder Ballads and Disaster Songs, 1917-1934)" to "Five Days Married & Other Laments: Song and Dance from Northern Greece," King, the owner and sole proprietor of Long Gone Sound Productions, has created a catalogue of thematic albums from his collection of the oldest and rarest of old time recorded music. 

From Geeshie Wiley discoveries to the plaintive folks songs of afflicted Albanians, the one constant is the absolute beauty Christopher King unearths again and again. Come explore with us...


Read more about Chris King in our archives: Eddie Dean's profile of the collector from issue 45 and Amanda Petrusich on Amédé Ardoin from issue 79.

SoLost: The Most Beautiful Books

Have you ever bought a brand-new book that cost ten thousand dollars? Probably not—but if you did, there's a reasonable chance it was made by Craig Jensen, one of the world's greatest living bookmakers. Craig operates Booklab II out of San Marcos, Texas, and for thirty-five years he has been making some of the most beautiful books you'll ever see. Collaborating with artists, writers, museums, and designers, Craig has amassed the kind of library that libraries drool over. Come see why . . .

SoLost: Christmas with the Dickson Chicks

After Jewly Hight described the raucous spectacle of Marlene, Carlene, and Darlene performing in a drag gospel show at a downtown Nashville gay bar in the Tennessee Music issue, we at SoLost were moved to go witness this extraordinary group in person. Not least of all because Jewly herself—a.k.a. Cousin Pussyfoot—participates as a clogger and drummer.

The Chicks have a reputation as Nashville's greatest living drag gospel act, yet little video evidence of these spirited performers actually exists. We decided to remedy that. And when we heard there was still time to witness "Gaytivity," their legendary Christmas show . . . well, that was it. We packed our bags and headed for Nashville.

For more, read "Clogging with Cousin Pussyfoot," by Jewly Hight.

SoLost: Rebranding Kentucky (A Guerilla Love Story)

Three short years ago, a boy named Griff responded to a Kentucky Mingle profile and met a boy named Whit. Awash in a sea of popped collars, the two connected at a Rainbow Bus Club meeting in Lexington and quickly bonded over a shared love of their home state. Soon, a dastardly plan was hatched. Who knew this plan would soon occupy a spot in the annals of advertising infamy? Only they did, my friend, and now you get to find out what really went down.

Here, for the first time, find the complete and unvarnished truth of why Kentucky Kicks Ass.

SoLost: Jimmy Rhodes: Magician/Mortician/Politician

Jimmy Rhodes, Jr. is not an ordinary man, not by any stretch. He collects paraphernalia of many varieties— wrestling gear, film props, autographs. He is an accomplished magician. And he just so happens to have (probably) been the youngest mayor in Arkansas history. And he is, well, a mortician. The kind of person who sees dead people for a living.

But in a funny way, these things aren't what make him special. You see, not all of us were raised around a funeral home in a family like his—"Green Acres meets Addams Family," as he describes it—and not all of us possess a gift for making people laugh in the hardest of times. And, of course, not all of us had the benefit of childhood exposure to a hard-drinkin', chewin-tobacco-lovin' donkey, either...

But Jimmy did. So what does it all add up to? Watch and see (and be sure to wait for Jimmy's surprise at the end of the credits).

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