A Points South essay from the North Carolina Music Issue. Shortly after publishing the biography John Coltrane: His Life and Music, Lewis Porter received a letter from a man who identified himself as a Coltrane. Only not, presumably, one related… by Benjamin Hedin | Nov, 2018

A Points South essay from the North Carolina Music issue. My hometown is just over an hour from Myrtle Beach, and so it was not unusual for people to make the pilgrimage to the Pad or the Spanish Galleon or… by Jill McCorkle | Nov, 2018

A Points South essay from the North Carolina Music Issue.  Even with all the influences on his style and songs—Fred Miller, Blind Boy Fuller, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Sonny Terry, and Brownie McGhee, to name some—Henry had a large… by Tom Rankin | Nov, 2018

A Points South essay from our North Carolina Music Issue.  After twenty-four years of educational experimentation and financial struggle, Black Mountain College closed in 1956. Today it is remembered primarily for its tremendous impact on the visual arts. Among the… by John Thomason | Nov, 2018

A feature essay from the North Carolina Music Issue.  I wanted to start with the wild weeds and the creaking wood on the front porch, walking up to Nina Simone’s childhood home in Tryon, North Carolina. I wanted to start… by Tiana Clark | Nov, 2018

A feature essay from the North Carolina Music Issue.  Rapsody now dons the mantle for a long tradition of black women, particularly those from the South, forcing Americans to look in the mirror of our professed ideals and to face… by L. Lamar Wilson | Nov, 2018

A poem from the North Carolina Music Issue. When it snows, the entire post shuts down like there is no war going on. Perhaps the higher-ups decide to let those left behind, for the moment, savor the chance to shape snowmen with their children or lie… by Zachary Lunn | Nov, 2018

Track 15 – “Holy Ghost, Unchain My Name” by Elizabeth Cotten Mentor to Alice Gerrard, beacon to all of us North Carolina folkie wannabes, revered by those of us with any musical knowledge, and—music’s highest compliment—sung by many of us who… by Tift Merritt | Nov, 2018

Notes on the songs from our 20th Southern Music Issue Sampler featuring North Carolina. The profiles, eulogies, and essays herein boast of remarkable achievements of North Carolina’s musicians across eras and genres: from unassailable legends (High Point’s John Coltrane, Tryon’s… by Oxford American | Nov, 2018

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Texas Love Letter LP

Texas Love Letter LP (0)

Introducing the Oxford American's first ever vinyl LP, a Texas Love Letter compilation to compliment our Texas Music Issue & CD. Conceived and composed by the staff of the Oxford American with help from our friend, Texas songwriting legend Ray Wylie Hubbard, the LP is available as a limited-edition gift for a donor premium of $240 (to be delivered in January 2015).

Your donation to the Oxford American Literary Project, a 501c(3) non-profit organization, is tax-deductible. All proceeds from this special project will go toward producing more of the Oxford American magazine's great writing and music you love.

This special donor gift is not for sale and is limited to 400 hand-numbered copies.

TEXAS LOVE LETTER LP

Side A

1. “House of Blue Lights" by Ella Mae Morse
2. "Dirty Work At The Crossroads" by Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown
3. “Grand Candy Young Sweet” by Fever Tree
4. “Me And My Destiny” by Doug Sahm
5. “Corazon Viajero” by Tish Hinojosa
6. “Harm's Swift Way” (Demo) by Townes Van Zandt

Side B

1. “Amarillo Highway” by Terry Allen
2. “Let Her Dance” by Bobby Fuller Four
3. “The Messenger” by Ray Wylie Hubbard
4. “Satin Sheets” by Willis Alan Ramsey
5. “Gospel” by Charlie Sexton


In eleven masterful songs, the Oxford American’s Texas Love Letter LP showcases the high-caliber songcraft of the state of Texas—some of which has never been available in any form. Most notably, we are proud to debut Townes Van Zandt’s final recording, “Harm's Swift Way.” The song has been covered by Robert Plant and a few others over the years, but the original demo version has never been officially released until now. Thanks to the generosity of Van Zandt’s family and because of Townes’s appreciation of the Oxford American magazine in the last years of his life, we are honored to debut this hauntingly beautiful masterpiece.

Other highlights: A song from Willis Alan Ramsey’s long out-of-print self-titled 1972 album, a Texas cult classic; a new stripped-down arrangement of “Gospel,” recorded live by Charlie Sexton in October 2014, exclusively for this album; and, on the back sleeve of the LP, a love letter to Texas songwriting penned by our friend Ray Wylie Hubbard.

Besides delivering a quarterly magazine of stellar writing, photography, and art with a unique Southern perspective, the Oxford American is dedicated to promoting literacy and exploring Southern culture through various other creative endeavors. We exist by way of the generous support of our readers, donors, advertisers and partners and we have more projects in store like this one, but we need your support.

Donate today to reserve your copy and receive the Oxford American’s first vinyl LP release.

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TUESDAY, NOV. 27, 2018

Help us make #GivingTuesday a success! Donate to our new Women Artists Fund to make a difference. 

Without you, there’s no us. You can make a difference


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Support the nonprofit Oxford American by donating today! Your generosity helps ensure that we continue to publish unexpected stories and unique perspectives of the South from the region’s leading and emerging voices. Independent media like the OA is more important today than ever. 

Join the Oxford American as we explore the South’s complexity and vitality through excellent writing, music, and visual art.

YOUR CONTRIBUTIONS HELP US TO:

  • Empower the creative people shaping our culture today
  • Contribute to the artistic legacy of the South
  • Publish outstanding nonfiction, fiction, and poetry
  • Create the annual music issue and accompanying CD
  • Present live multi-discipline cultural and educational events, like concerts, panels, and masterclasses

The Oxford American is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, making your contribution tax-deductible. 

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Donate $100 or more and you will automatically become a member of the Oxford American Society!


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