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Afterglow Jazz and American Popular Song

Born On the Fourth of July

This week on Afterglow it's Independence Day. Break out the hot dogs, your favorite movies, and a cold drink of your choice.

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Bing Crosby and Louis Armstrong album cover

Photo: Album Cover

This week on Afterglow, duets from Bing Crosby and Louis Armstrong (whose birthday was long thought to fall on the same day as our national holiday) are featured.

Break out the hot dogs, your favorite movies, and a cold drink of your choice–it’s Independence Day this week on Afterglow.

We’ll celebrate with music from a recently-reissued album of duets from Bing Crosby and Louis Armstrong (whose birthday was long thought to fall on the same day as our national holiday) and patriotic popular song from Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, Paul Robeson, Peggy Lee, Margaret Whiting, and many more.

Read about the 1947 Freedom Train, which carried more than 100 historic documents of freedom to all 48 states in America, and the Irving Berlin song that it inspired (featured in our show).

Music Heard On This Episode

Rhapsody in Blue
Duke Ellington — Will Big Bands Ever Come Back? (Collectables, 2005)
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album cover
Rhapsody in Blue
Duke Ellington — Will Big Bands Ever Come Back? (Collectables, 2005)
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album cover
The Star Spangled Banner
Duke Ellington — Live at Carnegie Hall December 1943 (Storyville, 2002)
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album cover
Muskrat Ramble
Louis Armstrong and Bing Crosby — Bing and Satchmo (DRG, 2009)
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Way Down Yonder in New Orleans
Louis Armstrong and Bing Crosby — Bing and Satchmo (DRG, 2009)
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album cover
The Freedom Train
Peggy Lee/Johnny Mercer/Margaret Whiting — Complete Recordings 1941-47 With Benny Goodman (Sony, 1999)
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God Bless America
Margaret Whiting/Pied Pipers — Puttin' On the Ritz: Capitol Sings Irving Berlin (EMI, 1992)
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We Are Americans, Too
Nat King Cole — Voices of Change, Then and Now (Capitol, 2009)
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America
Paul Desmond — Bridge Over Troubled Water (Verve, 2008)
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You're a Grand Old Flag
Uri Caine — The Sidewalks of New York (Winter and Winter, 1999)

Notes: Midpoint music bed.

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album cover
Let's Sing Like a Dixieland Band
Louis Armstrong and Bing Crosby — Bing and Satchmo (DRG, 2009)
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album cover
The Real Ambassador
Louis Armstrong/Lambert, Hendricks and Ross/Dave Brubeck — Vocal Encounters (Sony, 2001)
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Ballad for Americans
Paul Robeson — Ballad for Americans (Vanguard, 1993)
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The House I Live In
Frank Sinatra — Portrait of Sinatra: Columbia Classics (Sony, 1997)
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America the Beautiful
Ray Charles — Anthology (Rhino/WEA, 1990)
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David Brent Johnson

Born in Indianapolis, Indiana, David Brent Johnson moved to Bloomington in 1991. He is an alumnus of Indiana University, and began working with WFIU in 2002. Currently, David serves as jazz producer and systems coordinator at the station. His interests include literature, history, music, writing, and movies.

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  • Mark Richardson

    It’s interesting you’d use the title of “Born On the Fourth of July” and not use Tom Paxton’s song of that name, except that it isn’t of the same musical genre’ as what this show features. It also fits into more of a ‘protest’ catagorization, as it concerns a wounded veteran’s thoughts of his predicament. Interested parties can access the words here: http://www.mydfz.com/Paxton/lyrics/botfoj.htm I’ll be listening for inspiration, but mindful of the alternatives.

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Night Lights is WFIU's weekly program of classic jazz hosted by David Brent Johnson.

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