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Radio Bristol Book Club
About the Show
Tune in to WBCM Radio Bristol as our Book Club explores Richard Polenberg’s Hear My Sad Story: The True Tales That Inspired Stagolee, John Henry, and Other Traditional American Folk Songs.
Date: Thursday, November 18, 2021
Time: Noon – 1:00 p.m. EDT
Location: Tune in to WBCM Radio Bristol
Readers from Birthplace of Country Music Museum and the Bristol Public Library are coming together to explore books inspired by our region with the Radio Bristol Book Club, a monthly program that airs on WBCM Radio Bristol.
Hosted by Bristol Public Library Executive Director Tonia Kestner and Birthplace of Country Music Museum Head Curator Dr. René Rodgers, the Radio Bristol Book Club airs weekly every 4th Thursday at noon.
Anyone can join the Radio Bristol Book Club simply by reading along and tuning in! Look for this month’s selection at your local library and read prior to show. Be sure and join the conversation by emailing your questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Radio Bristol Book Club Comments” and we may address them on the air!
Book discussions will dig deep into the feelings and questions raised by each selection, highlight more about the authors, and celebrate the joys of being a bookworm! The discussion is often followed by an interview with the author or others related to the book’s content.
Listeners may tune in to Radio Bristol at 100.1 FM in the Bristol area, online at ListenRadioBristol.org, or download the free Radio Bristol mobile app.
About the Book:
In 2015, Bob Dylan said, “I learned lyrics and how to write them from listening to folk songs. And I played them, and I met other people that played them, back when nobody was doing it. Sang nothing but these folk songs, and they gave me the code for everything that’s fair game, that everything belongs to everyone.”
In Hear My Sad Story, Richard Polenberg describes the historical events that led to the writing of many famous American folk songs that served as touchstones for generations of American musicians, lyricists, and folklorists.
Those events, which took place from the early nineteenth to the mid-twentieth centuries, often involved tragic occurrences: murders, sometimes resulting from love affairs gone wrong; desperate acts borne out of poverty and unbearable working conditions; and calamities such as railroad crashes, shipwrecks, and natural disasters. All of Polenberg’s account of the songs in the book are grounded in historical fact and illuminate the social history of the times. Reading these tales of sorrow, misfortune, and regret puts us in touch with the dark but terribly familiar side of American history.
About the Author:
Richard Polenberg, historian of modern America, died on November 26, 2020, in Ithaca, New York. He served as the Goldwin Smith Professor of American History and the Marie Underhill Noll Professor of History Emeritus at Cornell University, where he taught from 1966 to 2011. A pillar of the Jewish community in Ithaca, he also served three times as president of Temple Beth-El. Read more.