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Chapter 7: Joe Hill

19th and early 20th century blues, folk & gospel

The first American music embodied all the contradictions of a new country, born from the darkness of the slave plantations and death itself (Berzilla Wallin’s breathtaking rendition of “Conversation With Death”), but also the thrill of the frontier and the ecstasy of pilgrimage. Aretha Franklin’s “Amazing Grace” is maybe the finest vocal performance ever put to tape. Sorry to peak before Chapter 10.
1. Berzilla Wallin

Conversation With Death

2. Aretha Franklin

Amazing Grace

3. The McIntosh County Shouters

Blow, Gabriel

4. Doc Watson

John Henry

5. Ralph Stanley

I'll Fly Away

6. The Iron Mountain String Band

The Louisville Burglar

7. Paul Robeson

Joe Hill

8. C.B. & ten others with axes


9. 2nd South Carolina String Band

Camptown Races

10. James Taylor

Oh, Susannah