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

488 Responses to Paper and Pen—Open Page

  1. Cindy says:

    What a fantastic show today Cousin Lynn! I enjoyed it so much. It was almost like old times hearing John Lincoln Wright and the Sour Mash Boys and Girls and Larry Flint in studio with you and Ole Sync!! Thanks for this trip down memory lane. It really made me smile and looking forward to your return to the studio!!

  2. Clinton _Street_Matters says:

    Yes, it was terrific! So much energy. Also — coming up from laundry, came in on the end of a woman covering Roy Orbison. Help me out ?

    Best to you, C. l.

  3. That was Lacy J. Dalton. It’s on YouTube:

    I didn’t know ‘Dream Baby’ was written by Cindy Walker.

    Thanks! /CL

  4. Cindy says:

    Another great show Cousin Lynn! Thank you for keeping Hillbilly at Harvard going during these trying times! We all hope to have you back in studio broadcasting live soon!

  5. André Wilson says:

    Your archive show today got me wondering whether you guys made a practice of always taping your shows. Or just ones that you thought would be of particular interest, like when you interviewed people. (Maybe you’ve already answered this question?)

    I started listening to HoH sometime around 1976 I think, when I was in high school. A friend’s mother listened to it. Marilyn was from Indiana (still is!) and loved the older music especially. I was hooked instantly. I particularly loved songs that had a kind of overly stretched metaphoric catchline, like “My tears have washed I love you from the blackboard of my heart” or “Waitin’ in your welfare line, gimme a handout.”
    Or a twist like “I cry once a day, every day… all day long”
    I also liked some of the more “outrageous” numbers that got played, like Linda bon Fruehof’s “the pavement princess” (I think that is what she called herself and the title of the song, but I haven’t heard it in years…)

    In any case, for a number of years off and on I would tape the HoH shows on cassette tape, using the audio out lines on the stereo right into the tape deck. I confess that I tried to edit out the DJ voices while recording in order to fit more songs on the tapes. I still have those tapes.

    Sadly I’ve got several hours of time difference from the East Coast, so I rarely catch the beginning of the show anymore. Might just have to hook the tape deck up to a timer and start recording again!

    • Howdy André—

      I attempted to record HAH when I was in town, first on my Uher portable tape recorder (at 1 7/8 ips), in the late ’70s, then later in the ’80s on a a Revox tape recorder (at quarter-track 3 3/4 ips), then in the ’90s on a DAT recorder, and more recently on my computer, using Audio Hijack. Not all shows were recorded; missed some, and the FM signal was often too weak (eventually I got a roof antenna to improve it). In the early ’80s I recorded only the 2-hour Down Home Show, as Old Sinc was recording HAH at home. Sinc’s tapes disappeared after he died.

      I have cassettes from a listener who recorded the show on cassette in the ’90s, and some of those might be of decent quality. Anyway, I’ve just started to digitize the late ’80s tapes (.5 mil Radio Shack tape on 10.5″ reels); so far haven’t broken any tapes. I just got some thin rubber drive bands for my Uher, so maybe I can listen to those tapes and see whether any are airable. I remember listening to them in 1980 on the roof of our (then) ranch house, while I was nailing new shingles.

      So there’s lots of old shows that, given time, I could make available. When and if I get back in the studio live, they might make good filler for weeks I’m away. But time is always the problem.

      I regularly advise listeners on the West Coast (and elsewhere) that they can record HAH (and anything else) on their computers. See my post here:

      Thanks for your note. /CL

  6. M Rhinehart says:

    I’m am ecstatic that you are able to continue the show in the way that you have been able to since Harvard shut you out. I am wondering if once everything returns to normal and you are back in the studio if the show will go back to the (mostly) 4 hours? I am not loving that last-hour show that is occupying that space now.

    • Howdy M— I’ve been told that HAH will remain at three hours for the summer, and so probably indefinitely. C’est la vie, say the young folks, who might not get the reference. /CL

  7. Sarah Belfort says:

    Hi Cousin Lynn, I’ve been listening to the show for 20+ years (i.e., since my mid-20s). In the early days of the pandemic, it was immensely reassuring to have Hillbilly at Harvard as a constant in my life, and since you stopped being allowed in the studio I’ve missed your live shows more than I can express. I hope you are able to come back soon! And stay safe.

    • Howdy Sarah– Thanks for hanging in during the past year. I hope you’ve been able to listen to the Archival shows I’ve been doing for the last couple of months. Back in the ’80s and ’90s the show was a lot of fun, with Old Sinc and many guests, I don’t think I’ll be allowed back in the studio before mid-September, but who knows? Keep listening! /CL

  8. Cindy says:

    Another great archived show Cousin Lynn! What a treat to hear Lincoln in the studio again! I went to see him perform many times at the Sportsmen’s Lounge and Indian Ranch! And it was really great to hear Johnny White sing Coast of Maine again! Use to go see him perform at the Blue Star Lounge in Saugus a lot back in the day! Thanks for all the great music and memories!

    • Howdy Cindy– Back then I had little kids and a day job, and didn’t get out much. But glad you did. Amazing how many more country events there were back then. Glad you’re enjoying the Archival shows, too. Worth continuing? /CL

      • Roderick J Holland says:

        Absolutely worth continuing! Please do!


      • Ken says:

        I agree!

      • Cindy says:

        Good morning Cousin Lynn – Yes, it is certainly worth continuing the archived shows. But we are all anxious to have you back in the studio also!! Stay safe and stay “hillbilly”. We will be listening every weekend and awaiting your return. Enjoy the rest of your summer and THANK YOU!

  9. Michael says:

    I enjoy HB@H and even the archived programs but miss the prerecorded weekly programs and cannot wait for the return of live shows!
    Why did the show go from 4 hours to 3, especially over the summer with no opera or football?

  10. Cindy says:

    I am so sad to hear that you won’t be returning to the studio Cousin Lynn. But I have to agree with your reason for not returning. I would not want to keep a mask on to do the show either. This is all just plan foolishness. We will miss you but I support your decision!! I am fully vaccinated but am refusing any boosters and I will not frequent places that put in mask requirements, except for the necessary places like doctor’s offices, grocery stores, pharmacies, etc. But to have to wear a mask for hours on end somewhere you don’t have to go, I just won’t visit those establishments period! They lose my business! Keep the country spinning, whatever way you decide to do it and we will be listening and supporting you still. Have a great Labor Day Weekend!

  11. JEAN ONEIL says:

    Thank you Cousin Lynn! Love the archival shows. Keep ‘em coming.

    Jean O’Neil (Paris, France)

  12. Susan says:

    Hi Cousin Lynn-

    Longtime listener, first-time writer! I’m enjoying the throwback programs. At the same time, I feel very wistful as I listen. I’m so glad these are in the archives to play back for us. Weird question, but is there any way these days to purchase a recording of John Lincoln Wright’s Shakespeare Sonnet?

    • Howdy Susan— Glad you’re enjoying the Archival programs (“throwback”—yeah, maybe). I’ll get back to you on ‘Sonnet 73’. Lincoln’s brother Rob and his son were planning to get the album October Days onto Spotify, but I don’t know if it’s happened yet. /CL

  13. John M Retterer says:

    Cousin Lynn,
    The archival show today (Oct 16, 2021) included a promotion of a show my wife and I actually attended: Bluegrass Heaven at the DeCordova Museum in 1990, with Bill Monroe, Seldom Seen, Doc Watson, and David Bromberg, which is remarkable because since the children came, we’ve been to few shows since then. This brought back vivid memories: the tingling gooseflesh that Doc Watson’s playing evoked, the garish Hawaiian shirt that David Bromberg wore. Alas, several of the performers are in Bluegrass Heaven now. On your show it was good to hear Cousin Sync (sp?) voice again.
    Speaking of the children, my oldest son and girlfriend are a performing duo in the Chicago area. Their genre is hard rock, but they are avid listeners to a variety of music styles, and one of their pandemic activities has been posting top-ten lists of music in various genres. They’ve just posted their “Country, Folk, and Bluegrass” list, and you may be amused to hear their under-30 take on the music we love:
    As a long-time listener, I wish you well!

    • Howdy John— I’m happy that all the plugs (and ticket contests) for ‘Bluegrass Heaven’ stirred up some memories. That’s why I’m leaving in most of the Country Calendar items in the Archival programs. Well, also because they make the shows more immediate, if that’s the word for decades-old material. And, to be honest, editing them out seamlessly would be way too much work.

      Thanks for your note. I’ll get to the kids later. /CL

  14. Ron says:

    Lynn I like the archived programs but I think it’s time for you to just put on a mask and get back in the studio. Around here people just wear masks routinely No big deal. We just want you LIVE.

  15. Allen Navratil says:

    Maybe running against the trend BUT: I’ve been listening for–not decades but many years, and I actually prefer your solo format. Just enough between-song patter ( I do love that you announce each song, since I’m mostly listening in the vehicle without recourse to an online playlist) and I figure there’s more music per hour than there was with more people on the mic in the old days. I hope you can be back in the chair some time soon.
    (In general I feel the passing of the old guard at HRB is a massive loss of quality–but then isn’t it just like an old fogey to think so?)

  16. Ralph B. Seymour says:

    Jamey Johnson @Appalachian Wireless Arena (Full Show), Pikeville KY, June 27, 2021

  17. Cindy says:

    Cousin Lynn – What happened to Hillbilly at Harvard this morning? All I’m getting is the Blues Hangover instead of Hillbilly at Harvard. So disappointed as I was looking forward to the show. Hope you are well.

  18. Ralph B. Seymour says:

    Oh, I get it now. You can’t do the show from Harvard because of their ridiculous mask mandate. I wouldn’t do it either.

    Maybe the best thing is to let Harvard go. Things done changed. Make your own website and studio . I’m assuming that you own the archive of recordings.

    • Ralph, I have considered ‘net-casting Archival and maybe new shows from here. It would require an investment in equipment and web space, which is possible; just look at all the self-proclaimed ‘pundits’ flooding the ‘net with podcasts. The problem for music shows is paying artist and publisher royalties. They aren’t huge if you have only a small audience (maybe a couple hundred), but the accounting is burdensome. A radio station like WHRB has blanket licenses which make it much easier.

      There may be wrinkles I haven’t thought of, so I’m open to suggestions. /CL

      • Ralph B. Seymour says:

        I didn’t say it would be easy; and I’m no expert on the details that you cite. But I think it is necessary. Spotify figured it out. And I can guarantee you this: From now on, we are going to have to get used to doing things independently. If I were in your position vis a vis Harvard, I wouldn’t think twice. I would ditch Harvard. Harvard will miss you a lot more than you will miss Harvard.

        And I would start out with a small website,, and podcast, and grow it. You have a huge advantage in that you already have a following– and the archive. I don’t know of anyone doing what you do, although there are some purely commercial types like Bobby Bones who I think podcasts his youth oriented show. Wouldn’t the record labels be interested in more exposure for their artists?

        I’m sure you can figure it out and I look forward it.

  19. Howdy Ralph— I appreciate your interest and support. Just to be clear, I have no association with Harvard University as such (aside from being an alumnus). My radio association has been with WHRB for many decades. WHRB is a separate, non-profit corporation. However, occupying space provided by Harvard, and using Harvard undergraduates as volunteer staff, WHRB must follow Harvard rules on facilities access and use. Harvard’s regrettable decisions on the dempanic (as I call it) exiled me from the building after 22Aug20, and led to my decision not to return to the studio last month.

    Spotify as I understand it, has independent licensing arrangements with the copyright holders of the recordings it makes available, probably similar to Apple Music, Pandora, etc. Radio stations must obey very specific rules about Internet music streaming. Independent website hosts are not covered by the station’s licenses for copyrighted music, so if I wanted to make HAH Archival shows available on my own, I would have to essentially account for every song on every show that is accessed by listeners. The bookkeeping requirements would be horrendous. The same would be true if I were to do a live ‘radio show’ podcast, playing records.

    It’s different, I think, for performers who podcast performances of their own music—presumably, they own the copyrights. So if I wanted to pick up the guitar and sing my own (or public-domain) songs on the Internet, I could do so. But I guarantee you would not want to listen! /CL

  20. Ralph B. Seymour says:

    OK, then. Start your own non profit radio station. That’s not impossible. And you will have complete control!

    • Maybe, in another life. . . As my mother used to say, “You ain’t no spring chicken any more.”

      My wife has a more helpful suggestion: “Tell him to start a new radio station, and you’ll go to work for him.” /CL

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