You’ve got to give these United States this: they’ve put out a lot of great music.
Episode 163: Okay, America! Our only-ever July Fourth special. I recommend starting with this one today.
Episode 64: The Lost Child Summer Barbecue Special. Your July Fourth barbecue soundtrack.
Episode 319: Country Music Politics. Protest & patriotism. War & the White House. Race, gender, sexuality, & class. Hippies, rednecks, & a Methodist. A look into the politics of country music proves much more nuanced than the stereotypes suggest.
Episode 230: Singing Governors & Fiddling Senators. If you’re looking for the politics of country music, try Episode 319, above; if you’re looking for the country music of politics, try this hour of (non-partisan, apolitical) tunes performed by a host of senators, congresspeople, and governors — plus your favorite presidential musical moments.
Episode 305: Hello, Stranger. Immigrants, refugees, orphans, pilgrims, & strangers. Huddled masses, yearning to be free. “Hello, stranger, put your loving hand in mine.”
Episode 268: All You Fascists Bound to Lose. “Shall we perish unjust, or live equal as a nation?” Songs of love & protest, fighting the fascists at home & abroad.
Episode 247: This Cold War With You. Atomic anxiety. Communist plots. Small-town paranoia. Mushroom clouds. Flying saucers. Fallout shelters. Russians. The Lost Child’s Cold War episode is a bizarre audio snapshot of another time — and is still a lot more timely than we’d like.
Episode 72: Freedom Songs. From the mass meetings and the marches, the music of the Civil Rights Movement.
Episode 44: Keep Moving: Music for Martin Luther King. An hour of powerful historic tributes to the slain American hero.
Episode 236: Election Corridos, & Blues for John Glenn. Broadcast in 2016, this show featured (among other odds & ends), Mexican corridos about the year’s U. S. presidential election, plus a set of songs in remembrance of American icon John Glenn.
Episode 216: We’re In The Same Boat, Brother. Finally, a joyful reminder of the shared humanity that knows nothing of nations and flags. “It’s one world, one sky, the same for you and I.”
There are even more shows at my Mixcloud site (70+ hours’ worth and growing), and you can stream them there anytime. Let me know your favorites and/or thoughts in the comments below. Y’all have a great day today, and remember we’re in this thing together.
P. S. What I’ll be listening to today is what I listen to every year on this day: Brewer and Shipley’s Tarkio, one of my all-time favorite dollar-bin rescues and my go-to July Fourth soundtrack. I recommend it for a good afternoon of long-haired Easy Rider-style, open road patriotism, circa ’69-’70.