Paper and Pen—Open Page

UPDATE: I know that scrolling to the newest comments is a bit of a pain.   But reversing the order (so newest appear on top) makes hash out of replies.  I have broken the thread into sub-pages, so you won’t have to scroll too far.  I have also enabled ‘nesting’, for replies to comments right under them.  We’ll see how that works.

Note that you can always comment on Home Page posts, when relevant.  Just click on the headline, or the Comment link at the bottom of the post. /CL 27Feb15

This page, or series of pages, will be essentially an Open Thread, for Hillbilly at Harvard friends and neighbors.  Here’s a place for you to comment, suggest, request, opine, recollect, or just discuss the show and the music.

Why a new page?  The free WordPress does not allow the user to create posts on any pages except the Home Page (or equivalent).   So an Open Thread on the Home Page will eventually get pushed down by newer posts.  But I can allow comments on a new page (like the Country Calendar page).  With a lot of participation, it could get over-long, but then I can create a new Open Page (as I’ll call them), and keep the old one(s) for archival purposes.

Will this work?  It should, but we’ll see.  Comments will be of course be moderated, and seriously off-topic comments will be snipped, as will insults and vulgarity, though I don’t expect any here.

Have fun!  /CL 13Oct13

303 Responses to Paper and Pen—Open Page

  1. Ed oulton says:

    Just listened to your October 6 2018 prerecorded show. Great show! Thank you! Long time listener 40+ yrs love Carter and Ralph those old time gospel songs are the best. Ps in Florida now love the web cast!

  2. juanignacio says:

    For some reason this one came to mind – requesting: The Red Sox Song by John Lincoln Wright.

  3. says:

    Did I miss the HAH Inane Tradition of Terry Allen’s Truckload of Art before The Game today…. thought it would close the show, did you play it earlier?
    Maybe this YouTube link will have to suffice for those whose day is not complete without it

    • Oops indeed! Would you believe I totally forgot! Too much else going on in my aging head, I guess. I omitted one of our essential ‘inane traditions’ (as Sinc called them)—horrors!

      Well, listeners can follow your link (which you put instead of your name in the first comment). And I’ll have to make up for it next week.

      Thanks. Should have reminded me yesterday. /CL

  4. Listening in from my sister’s place in Phoenix AZ today – nice to hear close out with Truckload of Art, now my fall season is complete and the Met season can begin… (and all the best to David Elliot.) Looking forward to the Christmas show. -RRS.

  5. Peter Ward says:

    Peter Hi-Fi Ward & Electric Blues — playing blues, swing and classic country — have a CD release party at The Lilypad in Inman Square, Cambridge, Tuesday, Feb. 12, from 7:30 to 10. $10 cover charge includes a free copy of the CD. Lilypad, 1353 Cambridge St., Cambridge, across from the S&S. (Hi Cousin Lynn. Long time listener. You have aired songs from my CD, “Goodbye Liza Jane: Hello Western Swing” featuring Herb Remington, who recently passed away.

    • Howdy Peter— Good to hear from you. Have to pull out the ‘Liza Jane’ CD. Dr Janie found a copy on the shelf here at home and was listening to it the other day. Sounded great.

      You can post the release party announcement on the Country Calendar page, too (use the Reply field there). /CL

  6. Hi, Lynn, Happy new year.

    Last-minute announcement. Maybe you can announce this on your show: Ruth Rappaport and Ben Wetherbee will be playing a set of hard-driving old-time music at The Cantab Lounge in Cambridge on Tuesday, January 8, at 8:30 p.m. Ben Truboff and Dan Klingsberg will join them. Cantab Lounge is at 738 Mass. Ave. in Central Square. Stay after the set to hear the Andy Cambria and the Cambrian Explosion. THANKS from Ruth!

  7. Ralph Tufo says:

    Hi Lynn,
    The Squeezebox Stompers will be performing for the Americana Sundays Series on March 3rd at Thunder Road in Somerville. The music runs from 7:30-10:00PM. Door charge is $5.
    [snipped: personal question]

  8. Steve Ellis says:

    I enjoy your show, though in truth I’m not a big country/western fan (the lyrics sometimes?), Today I thought you had a particularly good play list .I don’t know why it appealed to me more, but it did. Maybe the lack of church music today pleased this old agnostic. 🙂
    Thanks for having this show, I look forward to it on Saturday mornings even when you play that church stuff. Ha-ha.

    • Steve Kilbride says:

      Ever heard “Atheists Ain’t Got No Songs” by Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers? You’d love that one!

      • Steve Ellis says:

        You’re right, I loved it. Though as an agnostic I prefer “Let The Mystery Be” by Iris Dement. Ha-ha.
        Btw, having turned 73 this week, I’m not sure “I Feel That Old Age Creeping On” was encouraging, LOL. I guess it’s a sign of my age that I understood all the automobile references in the lyrics. Better “Let An Old Race Horse Run” by Del McCoury, it’s more encouraging.
        Keep up the good work.

  9. Jeff says:

    I love listening to the program on the radio on Saturday mornings. Cousin Lynn does a great job. It’s a highlight of my weekend, but I’m often left wanting more. Where I can find previous playlists or recorded programs I can stream? It would be great to be able to listen “on demand.” Thanks for the help.

    • Howdy Jeff— Hillbilly at Harvard has always been, and remains for now, ‘appointment listening’. That’s the way radio (and TV) were until the invention of home recording, and more recently the Internet and streaming. I’d like to make HAH shows permanently available on an archive of podcasts, but there are music-copyright issues that make it difficult. It may be possible to have WHRB shows (not just HAH) available for listening online for a couple of weeks after broadcast, as some other stations do. I have asked The Powers That Be to look into it, but WHRB is a student-run station with a limited budget and many other priorities, so I am not holding my breath.

      In the meantime, remember that you can always record the show! Just click on that link for my post on recording, which is still relevant. You can record directly off the air, as I do, or off the Internet, using the programs I describe in that post. Then you can play the show any time you want. I especially recommend recording for our western listeners, who otherwise have to get up early. /CL

  10. Liz says:

    “When the pickaninnies pick the cotton” eh?
    I will not try to figure out why anyone would play those
    Lyrics on the radio in this day and age.
    Hank Snow, “peach picking time in Georgia” from your
    July 6, 2019 show

  11. Pingback: Pickin’ on Ninnies | Hillbilly at Harvard

  12. George Hicks says:

    To Whom It may concern

    Once again, Lynn Joiner has lost our listenership because he just
    can’t seem to keep his personal political views out of an otherwise
    entertaining program. This morning (7/13 @ ~9:45-ish) he went on a
    rant about a group banned from a performance venue in Illinois because
    the band’s logo includes a Confederate flag.

    “Insanity reigns,” he concluded.

    Beyond the completely inappropriate insertion of politics and current
    affairs into a retro music program, there is something deeply wrong
    here – the man doesn’t even have anything interesting to add to the

    If he really cares about this issue, I’d strongly suggest “Cousin
    Lynn” actually sit down and have a conversation with some of his
    fellow citizens and get their views on the Confederate flag and what
    it represents to them. I guarantee he will be surprised by the
    responses from some of his “hillbilly” friends (for whom it no doubt
    represents a lost idyll of white supremacy,) as well as those of a
    different shade of skin color (for whom it represents a continuation
    and glorification of American systemic racial discrimination and

    It’s really hard to believe that this man actually had the privilege
    of a Harvard education, since any semblance of critical thinking seems
    to be lacking in his intellectual makeup. I don’t wish to silence the
    man for his benighted and anachronistic views, but i sure as hell
    don’t have to listen to them any more. As I said, this isn’t the
    first time…

    Meanwhile, we’ll be enjoying the programming on WMBR on Saturday mornings.
    Thanks for your consideration
    — Geo.

    • I won’t respond to Mr Hicks’s personal insults. But for the record, I did not go “on a rant,” as I don’t do rants on HAH (unless my complaints about ‘bro-country’ radio qualify). A listener called to ask that I play the band Confederate Railroad, as they had been banned from the Illinois State Fair, not because of their music, but because their logo has a Confederate flag flying from a 19th-century locomotive. I did call this ban ‘insanity’, because it is, and then I played a CR song.

      BTW, HAH is not “a retro music program.” We have always tried to represent the history of country music, but also to play contemporary music that is both, as Ol’ Sinc used to say, “good and country.”

      Others who care to respond here may do so, but I will delete personal insults to either Mr Hicks or to me. /CL

  13. Rod Holland says:

    For what it’s worth, I heard no rant, just a comment on something that happened to a band that incorporated “Confederate” in their name and the Confederate battle flag in their logo: they got bounced from a festival, for apparently reflexive reasons. This is the “insanity” Lynn referred to. There are a lot of people on short fuses these days; I don’t think Lynn is one of them. Listening to this music, and curating a program of its 90+ years of recorded history, requires a long sense of the NOW, and Lynn may be forgiven, I think, for not adhering to the latest revisionist credo.


  14. Sarah R Newcomb says:

    Well. I grew up (I’m 81) in Virginia, where the public schools I went to were pro Confederate (my Fairfax high school team: Rebels). Wouldn’t want a band to wave a confederate flag or a swastika, either. I love the music, not that flag, which is really horrible for descendants of slaves.
    Cousin Lynn:
    My husband Jim McDade grew up in Shreveport, a year or two behind Faron Young, same high school. Jim (died two years ago) loved and laughed at a parody (performed by country stars) of a country band at a high school (as I recall it). You played it a couple of times, I think at least once because we requested it before Jim died. Dang if I can remember the actual musicians. Hilarious.
    I have listened with pleasure for the last 19 years, and sure would enjoy hearing that funny take again.
    Sarah Newcomb
    P.S. maybe you could play the Kossoy sisters version of Little Birdie – from c. 1958. The one they played in OH BROTHER WHERE ART THOU. Mighty fine.

    • Howdy Sarah–

      According to the listener’s account (which I have not verified) the band Confederate Railroad, which was popular in the ’90s, was banned from the state fair simply because their logo contains the Confederate flag. Unlikely that they would have been waving a flag at anyone. I grew up in Maryland, not long after you, and our schools were segregated—but no longer, and it’s not an issue. Times have changed, though some would like to perpetuate the idea they haven’t.

      I am sorry to hear about the loss of your husband. I remember the request for Lester ‘Roadhog’ Moran and the Cadillac Cowboys, on WEAK Radio at the Johnny Mac Brown High School (I think it was)—I’m assuming that was you and Jim. Good fun; they were of course really The Statler Brothers. Have to play them again.

      Thanks for your comment, and thanks for listening all these years. /CL

      • George Hicks says:

        LJ: “According to the listener’s account (which I have not verified) the band Confederate Railroad, which was popular in the ’90s, was banned from the state fair simply because their logo contains the Confederate flag…”

        So, Mr. Joiner, that was the impetus for your on-air huff – an unverified anecdote.

        LJ: “Unlikely that they would have been waving a flag at anyone.”

        In for a penny, in for a pound: more unbridled speculation on your part. In fact, bands that actually have logos generally like to display them, in advertisements for their gigs,, on a banner or projection on the upstage scrim, tour bus, on their mechandise: t-shirts, hoodies, CDs, LPs, etc. So, if an operator of a private music venue, or the state of Illinois, for that matter, (following due process, of course,) were to decide that the display of the Confederate flag is inappropriate, (which it is,) and if the band were to have it on their logo all over the place…sorry.

        LJ: “I grew up in Maryland, not long after you, and our schools were segregated—but no longer, and it’s not an issue.”

        By the way, my in-laws are from Baltimore – they would beg to differ. Just for a start, Mr. Joiner, does the phrase “de facto segregation” mean anything to you? OK, they didn’t cover that at Harvard? How about “white flight”? Anyone…anyone…Bueller?

        “Times have changed, though some would like to perpetuate the idea they haven’t.”

        Ah, the allure of the ambiguous!

        Did you perhaps mean “some” to include country bands with unfortunate tendencies to fetishize the Civil War? Their audience perhaps, who proudly display the Stars-n-Bars, saying, we’re not racist, we’re proud of our heritage. Or does “some” mean “them”? “Those people” who just can’t seem to get over what happened over the last four hundred years. Don’t they realize it’s not an issue any more? Hallelujah! Cue up Ray Stevens’ “Everything is Beautiful”!

        If it’s the former, I’d agree. We certainly don’t need Confederate monuments, holidays and battle flags in our faces to have a full and complete understanding of the war against slavery – for that is what it was, not the “war for state’s rights,” or the “war of northern aggression,” or any other euphemism you may have had in your textbooks in Maryland, as I had in Indiana. Just as we don’t need to have songs about “pickaninnies” played to us on the radio to have a full and complete appreciation of American folk music, or its commercial counterpart.

      • So my ‘rant’ is now a ‘huff’. Well, that’s some progress.

        The listener’s account was, as I suspected, true. See this AP story, “Confederate Railroad: Band’s name derailed Illinois state fair show”:

        Country rock band Confederate Railroad has been barred from performing at an Illinois state fair because of its use of the Confederate flag, setting off a firestorm by southern Illinois fans who believe they’re under Chicago liberals’ thumb of political correctness.

        The band was scheduled to appear Aug. 27 at the DuQuoin State Fair , but Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s administration canceled the appearance last week.

        “This administration’s guiding principle is that the state of Illinois will not use state resources to promote symbols of racism,” Pritzker spokeswoman Emily Bittner said. “Symbols of hate cannot and will not represent the values of the Land of Lincoln.”

        The logo for the Grammy-nominated band, known for acoustic ballads such as “Jesus and Mama” as well as its raucous anthem, “Trashy Women,” features a steam engine from which waves dual Confederate Navy Jacks, whose stars and bars are the most widely recognized symbol of the Confederacy.

        The banner has been attacked in recent years as a racist emblem of slavery and segregation. Supporters say it represents history and southern heritage. . .

        I cannot get the header with logo from the band’s website to print in this comment. Click on this link: Confederate Railroad. Readers can decide for themselves if they find it offensive or not.

        I do not think that any of the musicians and others who “fetishize” the Old South have any love for slavery, nor have I ever encountered any who displayed bigoted attitudes toward black people (or anyone else). Beyond this, I am not going to go further here to discuss the issues of recent social history you raise (“de facto segregation,” “white flight,” etc.), which would take us far afield from the point of this site. I might at some point address them on my more topical blog,
        Walking Creek World. /CL

      • George Hicks: I have received another lengthy response from you, but I am not approving nor responding to it, as I think it is clear that more back-and-forth is not going to get us any closer in our views, and the issues go way beyond the scope of this little blog.

        FYI, my opinions are my own and do not represent those of WHRB nor any other institution. WHRB (its Trustees and management) have generously allowed me to continue the hoary tradition of Hillbilly at Harvard, which has always reflected the personalities of its hosts, and I am grateful for that. My comments inter alia are usually on the music; this just happened to strike me as an outrage to a decent country band, and likely contrary to the wishes of most people who attend this fair. See HERE for the band’s own statement on the matter. /CL

  15. Sarah Newcomb says:

    Yes. Cadillac Cowboys, exactly. Wonderful. So much fun.
    Thanks for the pleasure you have given us for years. We did manage to meet you at some [tell them you heard about it on Hillbilly at Harvard] performance, and then finally the 2017 Joe Val, definitely an effort for my on hospice husband, for whom your music was everything. He died listening to Tom T Hall.

    • Thanks for your kind thoughts on this somewhat contentious day. My memory of Joe Val in 2017 is too hazy to remember now. I hope we can meet again. Your mention of Tom T. left me wondering what song your husband would have liked. There are so many good ones. Perhaps, “I Miss a Lot of Trains”? /CL

  16. Rod Holland says:

    Watch the mail at the station for a CD by the Kevin Prater Band, addressed to your attention. More fun than reading manifestos. Enjoy.


    • Many thanks, Rod! Coming to my rescue with music!

      A listener called during the show last Saturday to say that she had gone to see the Kevin Prater band at the Cantab (on my recommendation), and said they were great. I look forward to hearing their CD. Kevin worked with James King, so I’m pretty sure he was in the WHRB studio with James, at least once. /CL

  17. Jack Vaughan says:

    Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn at Cary Hall, Lexington –

    I had the answer to the contest question*, my fingers did the walking, Central connected me, and lo but my spousal unit and I were on our way to a concert featuring Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn in Lexington (July 28). Thank you WHRB Hillbilly at Harvard. I thought I should share a perspective on the proceedings.

    Abigail began things saying “I hope you like banjos.” The audience did. I do too – but more so after this show for sure. Blues is my main thing – A guy who really rocked my boat back in the day was John Fahey. And Bela’s approach to his instrument, to explore the sound, sometimes to the point of abstraction, unafeared to traipse through the gardens of other genres, was kind of like old John. I didnt see John at his best – but I did see Bela in July in Lexington and he seemed a virtuoso of the highest order this night. He shore can play the banjo, actually many varieties of said.

    I am not a purist, but I like that cold lonesome sound. I’d say Bella and Abigail’s has got it. It is music that is somewhat experimental and somewhat rooted – ventursome, in a good way. Abigail has a young person’s sense of vocal and lyric, so, kind of new to me, but honoring ancestors certainly. She kept it reel by doing a clog dance, and more. She threw some Chinese poetry (Song of the Traveling Daughter) in there, to good effect. Basically, this sense of the banjo as an instrument of the whole world came across vividly. They put on a show, no Miles Davis turning his back to audience here. And I’d say the audience along with me and my gal had a great time.

    Abigail plays claw style – Bela plays Earl Scruggs style. They had some fun with this “incompatibility.” That’s what happens when two worlds collide – yuk yuk! Actually the instrumental interplay was trance inducing (which is equivalent of a good credit rating in my house). Mystic banjos of strangely alluring turnings. Nuff said. Songs included I’ve Been Working on the Railroad All the Live-Long Day); Little Birdie, Come All you Coal Miners, Blooming Rose, Delibes’s Pizzicati.

    *The answer to the contest question? Incredibly, “Ernest Tubb.” So write it down folks cause next it will be your turn. Obviously, it was only luck, not skill, that won these tickets this day for this old dog. Thanks again to WHRB Hillbilly at Harvard for making a dreamy night happen. Jack Vaughan, Mission Hillbilly, co-author of Sunnyland Blues, and High School Usher’s Club President (1968).

    • Thanks for the great review, Jack!

      I feared that any listener who knew ET would be underwhelmed by the adventuresome musical antics of envelope-pushers like Fleck and Washburn, but you’ve proved me wrong. And given me a lesson: never underestimate your audience. Really glad you enjoyed the show, too. /CL

  18. Ed Oulton says:

    Just wanted to say! I was playing golf with a Canadian fellow and he asked me if I ever heard of Slim Dusty. Seems he was a Australian Treasure. I looked him up on YouTube. He is very good! He sings duets with his wife and daughter. Reminds me of grandpa and Ramona. Any hillbilly at Harvard fan would like his stuff he was a treasure!,

    • Steve Bartlett says:

      Slim Dusty’s big American hit was “A Pub With No Beer,” released in the US around 1958. It is a fun novelty song that I still have on my song list.
      It was covered some years later by Tom T Hall, but Slim’s is definitive.

      His voice is similar to Montana Slim (Wilf Carter) and Yodeling Slim Clark. A friend of Slim Clark’s who I was visiting in Wheeling told me that she had played a record for Slim and he asked her where she had bought his record. She told him, “You had to give it to me. I never buy any of your records.” “Well, I never gave it to you.” They looked, and it was a Wilf Carter record.

      Even Clark could not tell the difference.

      Steve Bartlett

    • We have a couple of Slim Dusty albums in the HAH library. I’ll try to remember to pull one out next week and play it. /CL

  19. Diane Keenan says:

    Hi Cousin Lynn, another great program today, Saturday, September 14, 2019. I agree with you basically about Ken Burns’ “Country Music” but as you said, there’s only so much you can put into a film, even 8 hours long. I was wondering if you have seen a documentary that’s been on PBS the last couple of weeks called, “Big Family: The Story of Bluegrass Music.” This is billed as a comprehensive history of bluegrass. I thought it was so good and authentic. Still it’ll be good to see and hear Ken Burns’ documentary. Thanks for making my day, as usual, on Saturday. Best wishes, Diane from Peabody.

    • Apparently the series is actually 16.5 hours long, in eight episodes. I’ll try to reserve judgment, but if the two-CD package I got today from Sony is any guide, I’ll not be pleased: no Hank Snow, and only George’s latest hit! Well, we’ll see. . . Thanks for your input, Diane. /CL

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