The Blues on "All Things Considered" this evening.

Wed Nov 23 07:14:03 EST 2011

My friend Joe Richman of "Radio Diaries" sent me this this morning...

Friends of Radio Diaries,
We want to let you know about our latest documentary. It's kind of strange and beautiful. And it may be the first story in history to segue from Bach to ZZ Top.

Please tune in to NPR's All Things Considered today (11/23/11) at 4:30 PM Eastern. Or listen at our (brand new!) website:

Thanks for listening.
Joe Richman, Radio Diaries


November 23, 1936, was a good day for recorded music. Two men - an ocean apart - each sat before a microphone and began to play. One was a cello prodigy who had performed for the Queen of Spain;  the other played guitar and was a regular in the juke joints of the Mississippi Delta. And 75 years ago, Pablo Casals and Robert Johnson each made recordings that would change music history.

Produced by Joe Richman and Samara Freemark of Radio Diaries with editors Deborah George and Ben Shapiro.
Thanks to author Paul Elie (who led us to this idea), musician Scott Ainslie, and Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top. Also thanks to Brendan Baker who put together the Robert Johnson-Pablo Casals mash-up that ends our story. You can hear the entire song, as well as the original 1936 recordings of Robert Johnson and Pablo Casals at our website.

Lastly, we wanted to take a moment to remember and celebrate the long and wonderful musical careers of blues guitarist Honeyboy Edward and cellist Bernard Greenhouse. Both men died this year, not long after we interviewed them for this story.

P.W. Fenton
Hudson, FL
2003 KBA winner

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