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A July 4th Popular-Song Celebration, On Afterglow

On Afterglow this week, a festive and reflective tribute to Independence Day with music from Duke Ellington, Nat King Cole, Peggy Lee, Paul Desmond and more.

Ring in the Fourth of July weekend with some festive and reflective popular-song patriotism from

  • Nat King Cole
  • Paul Robeson
  • Frank Sinatra
  • and Paul Desmond

on Afterglow, the other weekly program that I host at WFIU. Robeson performs “Ballad for Americans,” the epic Earl Robinson song that had such a broad appeal that it was adopted by both American Communists and the 1940 Republican presidential convention, while Cole’s recording, “We Are Americans, Too,” was an early popular-culture manifesto for black pride and civil rights. Duke Ellington checks in with versions of both “The Star-Spangled Banner” and that standard favorite of July 4th “Picnic With the Pops” celebrations, Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue.”

There’s more on this Afterglow program: Born On the Fourth of July.

A safe and happy Fourth of July to all, and best wishes for the rest of the summer.

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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Afterglow is WFIU's weekly program of jazz and American popular song hosted by David Brent Johnson.

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