Issue 103, Winter 2018
North Carolina Music Issue
The Oxford American presents its 20th annual Southern Music Issue, featuring more than twenty-five stories exploring the history and legacy of North Carolina music. Among the many notable contributors to this year’s Southern Music Issue are novelists Jonathan Lethem, Jill McCorkle, and Wiley Cash, and the beloved North Carolina musicians Rhiannon Giddens and Tift Merritt. Tryon-native Nina Simone, one of the most important artists of the twentieth century, graces the cover in a portrait by Jim Blanchard; Simone is the subject of a feature essay about artistic influence and identity, written by poet Tiana Clark.
The issue comes with a 28-song sampler of recordings by North Carolinians sourced across nearly a century. The compilation highlights music from NC legends like Simone, Thelonious Monk and John Coltrane, Earl Scruggs and Doc Watson, James Taylor, and Elizabeth Cotten, plus a wide-ranging host of others. Accompanying the sampler are detailed liner notes and essays on the songs by Ron Rash, Laura Ballance, Randall Kenan, and others.
Notes on the songs, including:
Rhiannon Giddens on Joe & Odell Thompson
Michael Parker on Ruby Johnson
Mark Powell on Malcolm Holcombe
Tift Merritt on Elizabeth Cotten
Wiley Cash on Ella May Wiggins
David Joy on the Honeycutters
Harmony Holiday on June Tyson
Art by Jim Blanchard, Sandlin Gaither, Juan Logan, Minnie Evans, David Holt, Gai Terrell, Marthanna Yater, Scott Hazard, Hatty Ruth Miller, Christian Marclay, Jeremy M. Lange, Tom Rankin, Rosalia Torres-Weiner, Joseph Fiore, Lindsay Metivier, Romare Bearden, Richard E. Aaron, Angela Franks Wells, Amy Sherald, Fahamu Pecou, Deborah Roberts, Tom Martin, Chris Charles