Episode 3 Wayfaring Stranger with Phil Cunningham


Download Subtitles

SRT

ASS


Episode 3

Phil Cunningham explores the musical connections between Scotland, Ulster and America. In the final programme his journey takes him to the Grand Ol' Opry.


Similar Content

Browse content similar to Episode 3. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!

Transcript


LineFromTo

This is the story of a musical migration

0:00:030:00:06

unfolded over many generations, many journeys...

0:00:060:00:09

# I'm on my way to that fair land... #

0:00:100:00:14

..of songs and tunes that crossed oceans and mountains...

0:00:140:00:18

..of wayfarers and wanderers who carried their music with them...

0:00:210:00:25

# I will leave my house and land

0:00:250:00:27

# And I will leave my baby. #

0:00:270:00:30

..from Scotland to Ireland...

0:00:300:00:32

..and onto America's farthest frontiers.

0:00:360:00:38

They would leave their mark on religion, politics,

0:00:430:00:47

education and on a new nation's democracy.

0:00:470:00:49

But I'm here to trace and to celebrate their influence

0:00:500:00:53

on what I would be considered to be one of America's greatest gifts

0:00:530:00:56

to the world -

0:00:560:00:57

the music.

0:00:570:00:58

# If you're travelling in the north country fair

0:01:060:01:13

# Where the winds hit heavy on the borderline

0:01:170:01:22

# Remember me

0:01:280:01:31

# To one who lives there

0:01:310:01:34

# She once was a true love of mine... #

0:01:380:01:46

I love traditional folk music,

0:01:460:01:48

and that song, I've known it since childhood because of my dad

0:01:480:01:52

and Bob Dylan doing it together.

0:01:520:01:54

# Rivers freeze

0:01:590:02:02

# And summer ends... #

0:02:020:02:05

Bob, he has a tradition himself of appropriating old folk songs

0:02:050:02:09

and putting his own spin on them

0:02:090:02:11

in a way that makes them new and accessible to a whole new audience.

0:02:110:02:14

That song clearly borrowed from Scarborough Fair,

0:02:140:02:17

so it goes back into the mists of time.

0:02:170:02:20

# To keep her from

0:02:200:02:23

# The howling winds. #

0:02:230:02:27

That connection is really meaningful to me because, you know,

0:02:280:02:32

my own family, the Cashes, were from Scotland.

0:02:320:02:34

-That's right, yeah.

-From the Kingdom of Fife.

0:02:340:02:37

-Correct. Falkland, to be precise.

-Yes.

0:02:370:02:38

Falkland. Near Falkland.

0:02:380:02:40

That song... In a way it's like time travel,

0:02:420:02:45

you get to visit the song in earlier incarnations and in the present

0:02:450:02:49

and how it's morphing into the future.

0:02:490:02:52

And I almost feel a responsibility to honour these songs

0:02:520:02:58

and love them.

0:02:580:02:59

# I'm wondering if she remembers me at all

0:02:590:03:06

# Many times

0:03:090:03:12

# I've often prayed

0:03:120:03:15

# In the darkness of my night... #

0:03:200:03:25

My father was a musician,

0:03:280:03:30

his grandfather was the choirmaster in a church.

0:03:300:03:33

Do you know, I was in Dublin once and I went into an antique bookstore

0:03:340:03:39

and there was this giant book, about this big,

0:03:390:03:42

heavy, 50-pound book,

0:03:420:03:45

and it said Traditional Irish And Scottish Music.

0:03:450:03:48

So I pulled it off the shelf

0:03:480:03:50

and it fell open to John Cash, a minstrel from 1840.

0:03:500:03:56

No way.

0:03:560:03:58

And it looked like my father. I mean, he looked like a Cash.

0:03:580:04:01

It was... I just got goose bumps down my back

0:04:010:04:04

and it was like someone saying, you know, "Keep it going, lassie.

0:04:040:04:09

"Keep it going."

0:04:090:04:10

# So if you're travelling in the north country fair

0:04:110:04:18

# The winds hit heavy on the borderline. #

0:04:220:04:26

Like so many others,

0:04:260:04:28

the Cash family were part of a great movement of people to the New World.

0:04:280:04:32

These were once American homes, built by pioneers.

0:04:320:04:35

Now they stand in County Tyrone at the Ulster American Folk Park,

0:04:360:04:41

transplanted relics of an epic migration story that began in

0:04:410:04:44

the 17th century.

0:04:440:04:45

Every September,

0:04:480:04:50

thousands of people gather at a festival which celebrates the

0:04:500:04:52

musical legacy of families who left Ulster for a new life in America.

0:04:520:04:57

# Red bird, red bird Stepping on a leaf

0:04:570:05:01

# Red bird, red bird Stepping on a leaf... #

0:05:030:05:08

The Ulster Scots,

0:05:080:05:10

that's really where the traditional bluegrass comes from.

0:05:100:05:13

-APPLAUSE

-Yeah!

0:05:160:05:18

Thank you.

0:05:180:05:20

You hear people in the mountains of West Virginia singing about

0:05:200:05:23

Ireland's green shore.

0:05:230:05:25

They were people who lived, you know, generations two, three,

0:05:250:05:28

in Ulster and then moved

0:05:280:05:30

and kept moving until they settled in the mountains

0:05:300:05:34

and kept the old tunes and songs alive,

0:05:340:05:37

that became what we call bluegrass.

0:05:370:05:40

# Well, I ain't got long to stay here but what little time I've got

0:05:400:05:43

# I want to rest content while I remain... #

0:05:430:05:46

Bluegrass and country, gospel, folk and even rock and roll,

0:05:460:05:50

in their different ways they've all been shaped by the music that

0:05:500:05:52

travelled with the Ulster Scots.

0:05:520:05:54

# The window's folding down and the roof's all caved in

0:05:540:05:58

# Letting in the sunshine and the rain... #

0:05:580:06:01

Known in America as the Scotch-Irish,

0:06:010:06:03

their hymns, songs and tunes became an essential element

0:06:030:06:07

in America's musical story.

0:06:070:06:08

# I'm going to take a trip in that old gospel ship

0:06:090:06:14

# I'm going far beyond the sky... #

0:06:140:06:17

American country music just wouldn't be remotely the same without

0:06:180:06:22

the Scots-Irish tradition, and if you look at bluegrass,

0:06:220:06:25

honky-tonk and everything that was feeding the first generation,

0:06:250:06:29

the Jimmy Rogers, Carter Family, Bill Monroe, Earl Scruggs,

0:06:290:06:33

you can't disagree.

0:06:330:06:35

# Then I shall bathe my weary soul

0:06:410:06:45

# In seas of heavenly rest

0:06:450:06:49

# And not a wave a trouble roll across my peaceful breast. #

0:06:490:06:56

It's one influence of many influences.

0:06:580:07:00

You know, sometimes we can over-claim the Scotch-Irish

0:07:000:07:03

origins of everything.

0:07:030:07:05

And that doesn't really measure up.

0:07:050:07:08

But it's a very strong and, I think, identifiable influence

0:07:080:07:11

and thread through so much of this.

0:07:110:07:14

# I was just a lad

0:07:140:07:18

# Merely 22

0:07:180:07:21

# Neither good nor bad

0:07:220:07:27

# Just a kid like you

0:07:270:07:29

# And now I'm lost

0:07:310:07:36

# Too late to pray

0:07:360:07:38

# Lord, I've paid the cost

0:07:400:07:44

# On the lost highway. #

0:07:440:07:48

Music like this has become part of a global industry,

0:07:480:07:51

instantly accessible whenever and wherever we want it.

0:07:510:07:55

MUSIC: Singin' The Blues by Bix Beiderbecke

0:07:550:08:00

In the early 20th century when the modern music industry was in

0:08:010:08:04

its infancy, America was becoming the most industrialised

0:08:040:08:08

nation in the world.

0:08:080:08:10

For the first time, more people lived in cities than in the country.

0:08:120:08:16

But even in those fast-moving times,

0:08:160:08:18

many still clung to the music of the past.

0:08:180:08:21

People flocked to old-time fiddle competitions...

0:08:250:08:28

..epic battles between the finest in the country.

0:08:300:08:32

Events like these had been associated with the Scotch-Irish

0:08:340:08:37

ever since America's very first fiddle contest,

0:08:370:08:39

held to mark St Andrew's Day in 1736.

0:08:390:08:42

I think we often get a longing to look back at our history

0:08:470:08:50

and that was the time when the industrialisation was

0:08:500:08:53

taking over America and people looked back to those fiddle tunes

0:08:530:08:58

as an example of a more pastoral kind of life,

0:08:580:09:02

a simpler kind of life.

0:09:020:09:03

MUSIC: Arkansas Traveller

0:09:030:09:06

This old tune was a favourite at the fiddle conventions.

0:09:060:09:09

No-one played it better than the Scotch-Irish champion

0:09:090:09:12

and Confederate veteran Henry Clay Gilliland.

0:09:120:09:15

His music was a link back to pioneer days.

0:09:170:09:20

Growing up in the Texas frontier,

0:09:390:09:40

Henry taught himself to play the old tunes on his mother's broken

0:09:400:09:44

fiddle with strings he had to make from his horse's hair.

0:09:440:09:47

Now, that same determination

0:09:470:09:48

helped him to become one of the most famous fiddlers in the west.

0:09:480:09:51

Along with a younger fiddler,

0:09:570:09:58

Eck Robertson, Henry Gilliland made history...

0:09:580:10:01

..the first commercial recording ever released by a country musician.

0:10:030:10:07

Those very early recordings are kind of the early Bible of this music.

0:10:180:10:22

They were great. I mean, you're hearing all this...

0:10:240:10:26

-HE HISSES

-..scratchy recording and just

0:10:260:10:28

listening to them play and you realise you've probably never heard

0:10:280:10:31

anybody play that good again.

0:10:310:10:33

Henry was never going to become a recording star because

0:10:360:10:38

he only ever made that one record, but it did mark a moment in history.

0:10:380:10:42

The musical legacy of America's frontier past had entered

0:10:420:10:45

a new era of recorded music.

0:10:450:10:47

MUSIC: Black Bottom Stomp by Jelly Roll Morton

0:10:470:10:51

In the roaring '20s,

0:10:570:10:58

America was dancing to the rhythms of the Jazz age.

0:10:580:11:01

-# Hot feet

-Hot feet, Charleston's doing 'em

0:11:010:11:03

-# Hot feet

-Shot feet, Black Bottom ruined 'em

0:11:030:11:05

# Hot Pete Hear 'em yell

0:11:050:11:07

# Oh, what, so hot heat. #

0:11:070:11:09

New York City was the centre of an expanding music industry

0:11:100:11:13

hungry for new business.

0:11:130:11:14

As people left the impoverished south for the industrial north,

0:11:170:11:21

record companies saw there was money in nostalgia,

0:11:210:11:23

in music that was an echo of the world they'd left behind.

0:11:230:11:26

# Glory, glory Hallelujah

0:11:260:11:31

# Glory, glory... #

0:11:310:11:33

Part of that was people coming into the cities working

0:11:330:11:35

and the industrialisation of the world and they were longing

0:11:350:11:39

for that more rustic life that they probably grew up with,

0:11:390:11:43

so they really loved to hear that old music.

0:11:430:11:45

It brought the home back to them.

0:11:450:11:46

Maybe some people were burned out on jazz

0:11:500:11:52

and I think a lot of rural southerners

0:11:520:11:54

wanted to hear music that sounded like them,

0:11:540:11:58

that the people who sang it and talked on it

0:11:580:12:00

sang and talked like they did,

0:12:000:12:02

that it gave value to their culture.

0:12:020:12:06

# A hand that is lent to a soul almost spent... #

0:12:060:12:11

As well as the traditional repertoire, singers found

0:12:110:12:13

inspiration in the newspapers for songs of death and disaster -

0:12:130:12:17

train wrecks and shootings, bad men and murdered woman -

0:12:170:12:21

and the record-buying public just couldn't get enough of it.

0:12:210:12:24

# The people on the ship were a long way from home... #

0:12:240:12:29

These disaster songs were like news bulletins - urgent and shocking.

0:12:300:12:35

# Death came riding by

0:12:350:12:37

# 1,600 had to die

0:12:370:12:40

# It was sad when the great ship went down. #

0:12:400:12:43

And they sold in huge numbers.

0:12:430:12:46

They were fast becoming the modern equivalent

0:12:460:12:48

of the broadsheet ballads of the Old World.

0:12:480:12:50

But the most popular songs prove that people hadn't changed

0:12:500:12:53

that much at all in the New World.

0:12:530:12:56

It seems that they were still drawn to the darker side of life.

0:12:560:12:58

A dreadful crime, a woman's body in a deep, dark river.

0:13:030:13:08

In the late '20s, America was thrilled and chilled by

0:13:080:13:11

a murder ballad recorded by a Virginia millworker.

0:13:110:13:14

The tragic tale of Rose Connelly had a long history in Appalachia.

0:13:150:13:20

But that song, like the ancestors of many of the Americans

0:13:200:13:22

that loved and sang it over the years, had crossed oceans

0:13:220:13:26

and mountains before it got anywhere near the recording studio.

0:13:260:13:29

# Down in the Willow Garden

0:13:390:13:44

# Where me and my true love did meet

0:13:440:13:47

# It was there we went a-courting

0:13:480:13:53

# My love fell off to sleep

0:13:530:13:56

# I had a bottle of Burgundy wine

0:13:570:14:02

# And my true love, she did not know

0:14:020:14:06

# It was there I'd murdered that dear little girl

0:14:060:14:12

# Down on the banks below... #

0:14:120:14:16

Long before it was heard in America,

0:14:160:14:18

a version of the story of poor, murdered Rose Connelly was

0:14:180:14:20

first collected in Ulster, in the port town of Coleraine.

0:14:200:14:25

# I drew my sabre through her

0:14:250:14:30

# It was a bloody knife

0:14:300:14:34

# I threw her into the river

0:14:340:14:39

# It was an awful sight

0:14:390:14:44

# My father often told me

0:14:440:14:49

# That money would set me free

0:14:490:14:53

# If I'd but murder that dear little girl

0:14:530:14:58

# Whose name was Rose Connelly... #

0:14:580:15:01

This well-travelled song is another reminder of how music

0:15:040:15:07

has always moved with people.

0:15:070:15:11

They were moody, deep stories about human nature.

0:15:110:15:16

That storytelling tradition certainly continued

0:15:160:15:18

in modern country music -

0:15:180:15:19

I mean, all the way through, from old-time music to,

0:15:190:15:22

you know, '30s, '40s, '50s, to modern country music.

0:15:220:15:25

The storytelling is very important,

0:15:250:15:27

and it probably goes way back to our enjoyment of those ballads.

0:15:270:15:31

BANJO PLAYS

0:15:320:15:34

All over the South, in cotton mills like this one,

0:15:510:15:54

something extraordinary grew and flourished

0:15:540:15:56

in the dust and lint of the mill floor.

0:15:560:15:59

A demand for cotton, created by the First World War,

0:16:000:16:03

sparked a great wave of migration.

0:16:030:16:05

In urgent need of workers, the mills sent recruiters to isolated

0:16:100:16:14

Scotch-Irish communities with the promise of a new American dream.

0:16:140:16:17

The people who moved from the mountains would have shared

0:16:190:16:22

that same sense of community, of being rural, self-sufficient,

0:16:220:16:26

religious people for the most part, as well, too.

0:16:260:16:30

They brought their culture with them, you know?

0:16:350:16:38

All they changed was their mailing address.

0:16:380:16:41

When they moved here from the hill country,

0:16:450:16:47

you had probably more fiddlers and banjo-pickers per square foot

0:16:470:16:51

than in most places,

0:16:510:16:53

and the mills concentrated these musicians in a particular area.

0:16:530:16:57

You ended up with a lot of musicians -

0:16:570:17:00

-MILLbilly musicians, they were.

-HE LAUGHS

0:17:000:17:03

It meant that they were learning new tunes.

0:17:100:17:12

They were swapping tunes.

0:17:120:17:14

They were learning new licks and this kind of thing.

0:17:140:17:16

A lot of the tunes had been handed down,

0:17:240:17:27

and bounced back and forth and subtly changed,

0:17:270:17:30

but it gave everybody kind of a common tongue -

0:17:300:17:34

tunes that go back 200 or 300 years to the Scots-Irish tradition.

0:17:340:17:40

# Go, my little love And go with me

0:17:400:17:42

# I'm goin' away in the morn

0:17:420:17:45

# I'm goin' away to leave you, love

0:17:450:17:46

# By the sounds of the dinner horn... #

0:17:460:17:49

Mountain musicians were also exposed to new genres of music,

0:17:530:17:56

when touring vaudeville shows from the North

0:17:560:17:58

came to entertain the workers,

0:17:580:18:00

and they soon began to weave these new styles and ideas with

0:18:000:18:03

the traditional music of the past.

0:18:030:18:06

A new sound started to emerge in the 1920s, and it was

0:18:060:18:09

the freewheeling, boisterous sound of string band music.

0:18:090:18:12

One of the finest bands of the era came out of a North Carolina

0:18:120:18:15

cotton mill, led by the original country outlaw, Charlie Poole.

0:18:150:18:18

# May I sleep in your barn tonight, Mister?

0:18:270:18:30

# It's cold lying out on the ground

0:18:300:18:34

# And the cold north wind is whistling

0:18:340:18:38

# And I have no place to lie down... #

0:18:380:18:41

A rambler, a drinker and a fighter, Charlie Poole could barely

0:18:410:18:45

write his own name, but he left his mark on a generation of musicians.

0:18:450:18:49

This is Going Down The Road Feelin' Bad -

0:18:490:18:51

the Lonesome Road Blues.

0:18:510:18:53

Every summer, within sight of the mill where

0:18:580:19:00

he worked from the age of nine, this festival celebrates his legacy

0:19:000:19:04

and the musical culture of his community.

0:19:040:19:06

# I got those old lonesome road blues

0:19:060:19:10

# Lord, I got those lonesome road blues

0:19:100:19:14

# I got those old lonesome road blues...

0:19:140:19:17

Never too fond of hard work, in June 1925, Charlie and his band

0:19:170:19:22

quit their jobs in the mill and came to draw their final pay.

0:19:220:19:25

I talked to one of the mill workers, and he said they sat down

0:19:260:19:29

at the end of the looms,

0:19:290:19:30

and he said they played Don't Let Your Deal Go Down,

0:19:300:19:33

and he said, Charlie said,

0:19:330:19:34

"We're going to New York to make records. Goodbye. We're gone."

0:19:340:19:38

No contact, no experience, no manager,

0:19:380:19:41

but by September they had a recording contract.

0:19:410:19:44

RECORD PLAYER CLICKS

0:19:440:19:46

Charlie Poole became one of Columbia Records' biggest stars,

0:19:460:19:49

and his complex, innovative style changed the story of American music.

0:19:490:19:53

MUSIC: Don't Let Your Deal Go Down by Charlie Poole

0:19:530:19:56

He made new tunes sound old, and he made old tunes sound new.

0:19:580:20:02

# Now, I've been all around this whole wide world... #

0:20:060:20:09

Vaudeville banjo players were playing minstrel music,

0:20:090:20:13

which was a Northern, stereotyped interpretation

0:20:130:20:16

of what Southern music was.

0:20:160:20:17

# Looks like home to me... #

0:20:170:20:19

So he's taking this Northern conception of what Southernness is,

0:20:210:20:26

and he's turning that into his own Southern brand of music,

0:20:260:20:30

which made him really distinct.

0:20:300:20:31

# Done most everything

0:20:310:20:34

# I've played cards with the King and Queen... #

0:20:340:20:36

So it's this complex, messy thing, where it's not pop,

0:20:360:20:39

it's not traditional, but it's both.

0:20:390:20:41

# Oh, don't let your deal go down

0:20:410:20:45

# Don't let your deal go down

0:20:450:20:48

# Don't let your deal go down

0:20:480:20:51

# Before my last gold dollar is gone... #

0:20:510:20:55

He added the ingredients and stirred them all together

0:20:550:21:01

that would eventually give birth to bluegrass music,

0:21:010:21:04

and when you listen to Bill Monroe,

0:21:040:21:06

and Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs, you think,

0:21:060:21:08

"Well, what kind of music did they listen to when they were youngsters?

0:21:080:21:12

"When they were teenage boys, what did they hear?"

0:21:120:21:15

They heard Charlie Poole's music.

0:21:150:21:17

RECORD PLAYER CLICKS

0:21:200:21:22

Another band escaped the cotton mills in the mid-'20s.

0:21:220:21:25

They had a raucous, treble sound and they became the first

0:21:250:21:28

supergroup in country music's history.

0:21:280:21:30

Well, folks, here we are again, the Skillet Lickers,

0:21:330:21:35

red-hot and raring to go.

0:21:350:21:37

We're going to play another little tune this morning.

0:21:370:21:39

I want you to grab that gal and shake up to the early morn.

0:21:390:21:42

Don't you let them dance on your new carpet.

0:21:420:21:44

You make them roll it up.

0:21:440:21:46

MUSIC: Soldier's Joy by The Skillet Lickers

0:21:460:21:48

They had a rough and rowdy sound.

0:21:540:21:56

I mean, it was like, "The party's on and we are already drunk.

0:21:560:22:00

"Come on in!" You know?

0:22:000:22:01

The Skillet Lickers were very much outlaw country.

0:22:020:22:05

They're doing songs about making moonshine

0:22:090:22:11

and doing runs across state lines.

0:22:110:22:14

They're thumbing their nose at the establishment.

0:22:140:22:17

# Chicken in a bread tray Scratching that dough

0:22:170:22:20

# Granny, will your dog bite? No, child, no

0:22:200:22:22

# Lay it in the centre Just get a chair

0:22:220:22:24

# Holding you Don't let her in... #

0:22:240:22:26

It's very much that kind of anti-establishment tradition,

0:22:260:22:30

which is also a big part of the American experience, too.

0:22:300:22:34

# I'm gonna get a drink Don't you want to go?

0:22:340:22:36

# I'm gonna get a drink Don't you wanna go?

0:22:360:22:38

# I'm going to get a drink Don't you wanna go?

0:22:380:22:40

# Roll on, soldier's joy

0:22:400:22:42

# 25 cents for the morphine 15 cents for the beer

0:22:420:22:46

# 25 cents for the morphine

0:22:460:22:47

# It gonna take me away from here... #

0:22:470:22:50

In the late '20s, this was rock and roll -

0:22:510:22:54

drugs, alcohol, and a tune that came over from Scotland many years ago.

0:22:540:22:58

This song was a smash hit during the Prohibition era.

0:22:580:23:01

The Skillet Lickers were a sensation,

0:23:010:23:03

and the driving force behind them was fiddler Clayton McMichen.

0:23:030:23:07

This Scotch-Irish virtuoso energised traditional music and brought

0:23:110:23:15

old songs like this one to new audiences across America.

0:23:150:23:18

# Well, light's in the parlour

0:23:260:23:28

# Fire's in the grate

0:23:280:23:29

# Clock's on the mantel Says it's getting late

0:23:290:23:31

# Curtains on the window snowy white

0:23:310:23:33

# The parlour's pleasant on a Sunday night

0:23:330:23:35

# Ida Red Ida Red

0:23:350:23:37

# I'm a plumb fool about Ida Red

0:23:370:23:39

# Ida Red Ida Red

0:23:390:23:41

# I'm a plumb fool about Ida Red... #

0:23:410:23:44

Hell yeah!

0:23:440:23:45

# Lamp's on the table Picture's on the wall

0:23:590:24:00

# That's a pretty sofa and that's not all

0:24:000:24:02

# I'm not mistaken I'm sure I'm right

0:24:020:24:04

# There's somebody else in the parlour tonight

0:24:040:24:07

# Ida Red Ida Red

0:24:070:24:09

# I'm a plumb fool about Ida Red

0:24:090:24:11

# Ida Red Ida Red

0:24:110:24:13

# I'm a plumb fool about Ida Red... #

0:24:130:24:15

Part of McMichen's live set from the mid-'20s on,

0:24:200:24:24

this song became a western swing classic,

0:24:240:24:27

and the inspiration for one of rock and roll's first hits,

0:24:270:24:30

when, thanks to Chuck Berry, Ida Red was reborn as Maybellene.

0:24:300:24:35

# Lamp's on the table Picture's on the wall

0:24:440:24:46

# That's a pretty sofa and that's not all

0:24:460:24:48

# I'm not mistaken I'm sure I'm right

0:24:480:24:50

# There's somebody else in the parlour tonight

0:24:500:24:52

# Ida Red Ida Red

0:24:520:24:54

# I'm a plumb fool about Ida Red

0:24:540:24:56

# Ida Red Ida Red

0:24:560:24:58

# I'm a plumb fool about Ida Red

0:24:580:25:00

# Ida Red... #

0:25:000:25:01

Oh, that's all!

0:25:110:25:14

For many living under Prohibition,

0:25:200:25:23

lively music like this was a welcome relief,

0:25:230:25:26

but, for others, these hot tunes smacked of sin.

0:25:260:25:29

# There's a dark and a troubled side of life

0:25:340:25:38

# There is a bright and a sunny side too

0:25:380:25:43

# Though we meet with the darkness and strife

0:25:430:25:47

# This sunny side we also may view... #

0:25:470:25:51

There was a growing audience for religious music

0:25:510:25:53

with its roots in rural communities.

0:25:530:25:55

# When the storms of life are raging

0:25:550:25:59

# Stand by me By me... #

0:25:590:26:02

The old Southern style of shape-note singing was evolving into

0:26:020:26:05

a more polished and dynamic gospel sound.

0:26:050:26:08

The McCravy Brothers, whose people came from County Antrim,

0:26:130:26:16

were radio stars who also recorded popular religious music.

0:26:160:26:20

# If the world from you withhold

0:26:200:26:23

# Of its silver and its gold

0:26:230:26:25

# And you have to get along on meagre fare... #

0:26:250:26:29

Working people found comfort and strength in

0:26:290:26:31

their simple, emotional songs -

0:26:310:26:33

music that helped make sense of a rapidly changing world.

0:26:330:26:37

# Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there. #

0:26:370:26:42

# Leave it there

0:26:420:26:45

# Oh, leave it there

0:26:450:26:47

# Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there

0:26:480:26:53

# If you trust and never doubt

0:26:540:26:57

# He will surely lift you out

0:26:570:27:00

# Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there

0:27:000:27:05

# If your body suffers pain

0:27:060:27:09

# And your health you can't regain

0:27:090:27:13

# And your soul is almost sinking in despair

0:27:130:27:17

# Jesus knows the pain you feel

0:27:180:27:21

# He can save and he can heal

0:27:210:27:24

# Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there

0:27:240:27:30

# Oh, leave it there

0:27:300:27:33

# Oh, leave it there

0:27:330:27:35

# Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there

0:27:360:27:42

# If you trust and never doubt

0:27:420:27:46

# He will surely lift you out

0:27:460:27:49

# Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there. #

0:27:490:27:53

For a generation of musicians,

0:27:560:27:57

the recording industry was an escape from poverty.

0:27:570:28:01

Drawing on the repertoire of traditional songs,

0:28:010:28:03

tunes and old-time religion, many had made small fortunes.

0:28:030:28:07

Making music had become a career.

0:28:090:28:12

I've always wondered what it's like for any artist who

0:28:120:28:16

has that moment where they realise,

0:28:160:28:18

"Wow. People are buying my music and I've got money coming in.

0:28:180:28:22

"I didn't know that there was a career to be had here,

0:28:220:28:24

"but, hey, I'll go with it.

0:28:240:28:26

"What are my other prospects?

0:28:260:28:27

"Ploughing behind a mule the rest of my life or digging in a coal mine?"

0:28:270:28:31

# Who'll rock the cradle? Who'll sing the song?

0:28:340:28:37

# Who will rock the cradle when I'm gone?

0:28:370:28:40

# Who will rock the cradle when I'm gone?

0:28:400:28:43

# I'll rock the cradle I'll sing the song

0:28:430:28:47

# I'll rock the cradle when you're gone... #

0:28:470:28:50

For Dock Boggs, his banjo was his ticket out of

0:28:500:28:53

the Virginia coal mine where he'd worked from the age of 12.

0:28:530:28:56

His family, whose ancestors had come over from Ireland in the 1750s,

0:28:570:29:01

was steeped in music.

0:29:010:29:02

# Done all I can do I've said all I can say

0:29:020:29:05

# I will send you to your mama next payday... #

0:29:050:29:10

But Dock grew up with the blues,

0:29:100:29:12

and he fused both traditions to create his own haunting sound.

0:29:120:29:16

# Oh, I've got no honey baby now

0:29:170:29:20

# Got no sugar baby now

0:29:200:29:24

The eight recordings he made in New York

0:29:240:29:26

still resonate with musicians today.

0:29:260:29:29

In 1929, Columbia Records' scouts headed for the moonshine capital

0:29:320:29:36

of Tennessee, Johnson City.

0:29:360:29:39

TRAIN HORN HONKS

0:29:390:29:41

They recorded a Scotch-Irish entertainer with songs that

0:29:430:29:46

reached back centuries.

0:29:460:29:48

His real name was Clarence Earl McCurry,

0:29:480:29:50

but history remembers him as Tom Ashley.

0:29:500:29:53

Tom Ashley had been a medicine show performer.

0:29:530:29:56

He loved music and he was going to play music, come hell or high water.

0:29:560:30:01

A medicine show just travelled around the mountains

0:30:010:30:03

selling medicine, and that's how he made his living.

0:30:030:30:05

That was a pretty tough way to go.

0:30:050:30:07

# There are a house

0:30:090:30:12

# In New Orleans

0:30:120:30:15

# They call the rising sun... #

0:30:150:30:20

Tom Ashley honed his craft on the road, before taking the musical

0:30:200:30:23

heritage of his family and his community into the recording studio.

0:30:230:30:27

# Well, I can't come in

0:30:280:30:31

# Or I can't sit down

0:30:310:30:33

# For I haven't but a moment's time... #

0:30:350:30:39

One song from those Johnston City sessions had very deep roots,

0:30:390:30:43

going all the way back to 13th-century England and Scotland.

0:30:430:30:47

This is a tune called The Coo Coo that I learned from my friend

0:30:470:30:49

Doc Watson, who learned it from Clarence Tom Ashley.

0:30:490:30:52

In the old British song, the cuckoo welcomes spring -

0:30:530:30:56

in Appalachia, he's an adulterer, a gambler,

0:30:560:30:59

and his song is a warning.

0:30:590:31:00

# Well, I've played cards up in England

0:31:020:31:06

# I've played cards down in Spain

0:31:060:31:10

# I'll bet you 5

0:31:100:31:14

# I'll beat you at this game

0:31:140:31:18

# Oh, the cuckoo She's a purty bird

0:31:180:31:22

# And she warbles as she flies

0:31:220:31:26

# And she never hollers "cuckoo"

0:31:260:31:30

# Till the fourth day of July

0:31:300:31:34

# There's just one thing

0:31:440:31:46

# That's been a puzzle

0:31:460:31:48

# Since the day that time began

0:31:480:31:52

# Man's love for his woman

0:31:520:31:56

# And her sweet love for him

0:31:560:32:00

# Oh, the cuckoo

0:32:000:32:02

# She's a purty bird

0:32:020:32:04

# And she warbles as she flies

0:32:040:32:09

# And she never hollers "cuckoo"

0:32:090:32:13

# Till the fourth day of July... #

0:32:130:32:16

Tom Ashley recorded it on October 23, 1929.

0:32:180:32:22

The following day was Black Thursday -

0:32:220:32:25

the stock market crashed and America entered the Great Depression.

0:32:250:32:28

Record sales collapsed.

0:32:310:32:34

Even popular old-time singers like Jimmie Rodgers

0:32:340:32:37

and the Carter Family saw their sales plummet.

0:32:370:32:40

Charlie Poole had to go back to work in the cotton mill.

0:32:410:32:44

He made a little over 5 a week,

0:32:440:32:47

and you figure, five years earlier in New York,

0:32:470:32:50

he would be paid 300 for singing two songs,

0:32:500:32:53

you know, so hard times were back again.

0:32:530:32:56

# For here the hearts of men are failing

0:32:580:33:05

# For these are latter days, we know

0:33:050:33:10

# The Great Depression now is spreading

0:33:100:33:16

# God's word declared it would be so... #

0:33:160:33:23

As the recession hit hard, there was no money to spare for records.

0:33:230:33:27

Clayton McMichen was playing in furniture stores.

0:33:280:33:32

Tom Ashley ended up hauling lumber.

0:33:320:33:35

Dock Boggs pawned his banjo and went back down the mine.

0:33:350:33:40

After a 13-week bender,

0:33:400:33:42

Charlie Poole drank himself to death on bad moonshine.

0:33:420:33:46

# I'm going where there's no depression

0:33:460:33:52

# To the lovely land that's free from care

0:33:520:33:58

# I'll leave this world of toil and trouble

0:33:580:34:04

# My home's in heaven

0:34:040:34:07

# I'm going there. #

0:34:070:34:09

The recording boom was over,

0:34:130:34:17

but the folk music of the South had found a new home -

0:34:170:34:20

on the radio.

0:34:200:34:21

It's going to be Cripple Creek. Let's go, boys.

0:34:230:34:26

FIDDLE AND BANJO PLAY FAST

0:34:260:34:28

Music once confined to traditional rural communities

0:34:300:34:34

now reached a huge new audience.

0:34:340:34:36

FEEDBACK HUMS

0:34:380:34:40

This is the solemn old judge, George D Hay,

0:34:400:34:44

of radio station WSM,

0:34:440:34:46

the home of the Grand Ole Opry down in Nashville, Tennessee.

0:34:460:34:49

APPLAUSE

0:34:490:34:51

Broadcasting to two-thirds of the country by the 1930s,

0:34:560:34:59

the heart of America's Saturday night was WSM's Grand Ole Opry.

0:34:590:35:04

It's Grand Ole Opry time!

0:35:040:35:06

# Holler at all your grand-grandmothers... #

0:35:060:35:09

CHEERING, WHISTLING AND APPLAUSE

0:35:090:35:11

# Who's got the fine twin banjos?

0:35:110:35:13

# Hey, can you fiddle any more? #

0:35:130:35:16

The music was our entertainment.

0:35:160:35:18

We had a radio and we listened to the Grand Ole Opry on the weekends.

0:35:180:35:21

# Everyone's going to have some fun at the Grand Ole Opry tonight. #

0:35:210:35:26

The Ryman Auditorium, in my mind, as a child, I thought it was the...

0:35:260:35:31

It had to be the biggest building in the world.

0:35:310:35:34

Well, here comes many pearls - the Duke of Paducah, Eddy Arnold,

0:35:340:35:37

-and a lot more...

-It was the Grand Ole Opry.

0:35:370:35:39

This has been country music's spiritual home

0:35:390:35:41

since the early 1940s.

0:35:410:35:44

It's strangely appropriate,

0:35:440:35:45

given that it started its life as a gospel tabernacle.

0:35:450:35:48

-Yes, it's the Grand Ole Opry...

-FEEDBACK SCREECHES

0:35:480:35:51

..the same programme with the same people that you've been listening to

0:35:510:35:54

for the past 14 years,

0:35:540:35:56

only now, we're on a network of stations that reaches all the way

0:35:560:35:59

from the Mexican border to the mountains of Virginia.

0:35:590:36:02

All of those people in the Deep South

0:36:020:36:04

in the '30s, '40s and '50s,

0:36:040:36:07

the radio was their only connection to the outside world,

0:36:070:36:11

and, you know, at the end of a tremendously hard day's work

0:36:110:36:15

in the cotton fields, to gather around the radio,

0:36:150:36:17

and listen to these disembodied voices that carried

0:36:170:36:21

three chords and the truth...

0:36:210:36:22

FAST FIDDLE MUSIC

0:36:220:36:25

Those 50,000 watts can resonate down through the ages, you know,

0:36:250:36:29

and connect us all.

0:36:290:36:31

# Bile them cabbage down Bake those hot cakes brown

0:36:310:36:33

# The only song that I can sing Bile them cabbage down... #

0:36:330:36:36

The Scotch-Irish, with their fiddles and banjos,

0:36:380:36:40

and the old, sad songs and hymns that they loved to sing,

0:36:400:36:43

were at the very heart of it.

0:36:430:36:44

Opry stalwarts the McGee Brothers worked this stage for over 40 years.

0:36:470:36:52

# My wife died on Friday I'm sad that she was buried

0:36:520:36:55

# Sunday was recording day

0:36:550:36:57

# On Monday I got married... #

0:36:570:36:59

Let's give a great big Tennessee welcome to Moon Mullican.

0:36:590:37:03

WHISTLING AND APPLAUSE

0:37:030:37:04

Hillbilly boogie-woogie man Moon Mullican,

0:37:040:37:07

who learned to play on a church organ,

0:37:070:37:09

rocked the Ryman before rock and roll was ever heard of.

0:37:090:37:12

BOOGIE-WOOGIE PIANO PLAYS

0:37:120:37:14

But the king of them all was the son of a Baptist preacher,

0:37:220:37:26

a Smoky Mountain fiddler who became the most powerful

0:37:260:37:29

music publisher in Nashville.

0:37:290:37:30

And now here's the star of our show,

0:37:300:37:32

the pride of Tennessee's Smoky Mountains, Roy Acuff!

0:37:320:37:35

CHEERING

0:37:350:37:36

During the war years, Roy Acuff was more popular than Sinatra.

0:37:360:37:40

He helped transform a fledgling country music industry into

0:37:400:37:43

an American institution.

0:37:430:37:45

# I received the letter you wrote, dear

0:37:470:37:49

# In which you said you'd wait for me

0:37:490:37:51

# I'm asking you to please not wait, dear

0:37:510:37:54

# It would only ruin your life I see... #

0:37:540:37:56

From that very stage, via the magic of radio,

0:37:570:38:00

the Opry stars sang of Saturday-night sinners

0:38:000:38:02

and Sunday-morning redemption.

0:38:020:38:04

# Wherever I go... #

0:38:040:38:07

CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

0:38:070:38:09

The Opry's mix of folk music, broad comedy and old-time religion

0:38:100:38:15

appealed to millions of Americans.

0:38:150:38:17

The listeners would feel really close to them,

0:38:170:38:19

almost as if they were neighbours or part of the family.

0:38:190:38:21

PHIL PLAYS ACCORDION

0:38:210:38:23

You'd hear Bill Monroe and Flatt and Scruggs,

0:38:320:38:35

but then you'd hear the Stanley Brothers,

0:38:350:38:37

and you'd hear Patsy Cline, or you'd hear George Jones.

0:38:370:38:40

And the first time I got to play on that stage, I think I was 15,

0:38:430:38:47

and I played there with Ralph Stanley,

0:38:470:38:48

and, man, talk about a dream come true.

0:38:480:38:51

That was just an amazing, amazing thing.

0:38:510:38:53

World War II changed America's fortunes.

0:39:010:39:04

The Great Depression was forgotten,

0:39:040:39:08

and American confidence and energy found expression

0:39:080:39:11

in new musical genres.

0:39:110:39:12

MUSIC: Bluegrass Breakdown by Bill Monroe

0:39:120:39:15

Bluegrass is such an exciting moment. It's kind of...

0:39:230:39:26

It goes along with winning World War II, and the atom bomb,

0:39:260:39:30

and the new America that was...

0:39:300:39:33

that just burst out of that pivot point of the end of World War II.

0:39:330:39:38

Mountain music, hymns and harmonies, blues and jazz -

0:39:440:39:48

hillbilly musician Bill Monroe mixed them all into a passionate,

0:39:480:39:52

hard-driving sound that felt completely new in the 1940s.

0:39:520:39:56

He was also listening to big band swing and popular music,

0:40:000:40:06

and seemed to have a sound in his head that his various bands

0:40:060:40:10

didn't quite catch on to until he hires Earl Scruggs on banjo

0:40:100:40:14

and Lester Flatt on guitar.

0:40:140:40:16

And they create a five-man band that debuts in December of 1945

0:40:250:40:29

at the Grand Ole Opry,

0:40:290:40:31

and, with Bill Monroe's high, lonesome singing style,

0:40:310:40:35

it all came together and they made this music

0:40:350:40:38

that had a kind of locomotion.

0:40:380:40:40

It wasn't rock and roll, but it had a rock-and-roll sort of feeling.

0:40:430:40:47

# Oh, my brother take this warning

0:40:540:40:58

# Don't let old Satan hold your hand

0:41:000:41:05

# You'd be lost in sin forever

0:41:080:41:13

# You'd never reach the promised land

0:41:140:41:19

# The old crossroads now is waiting

0:41:220:41:29

# Which one are you going to take?

0:41:290:41:34

# One leads down to destruction

0:41:360:41:41

# The other to the pearly gate... #

0:41:430:41:49

I think you can hear God's presence in it,

0:42:130:42:17

without having to go to church.

0:42:170:42:19

You know, I think a lot of people, erm,

0:42:190:42:22

maybe have given up on church or they don't want to go to church,

0:42:220:42:25

or they went when they was a kid and they didn't like it,

0:42:250:42:27

and they don't want to go back, but God is so in these songs.

0:42:270:42:31

# Jesus our saviour will protect you

0:42:310:42:38

# He'll guide you by the old country road... #

0:42:380:42:44

Whether you embraced it rejected it,

0:42:450:42:47

religion was a central part of Southern culture.

0:42:470:42:51

For so many musicians, black and white, church was where you

0:42:510:42:55

learned to sing and learned what it took to make a good song.

0:42:550:42:59

# One leads down to destruction

0:42:590:43:06

# The other to the pearly gate. #

0:43:060:43:14

So many of these people grew up in rural churches.

0:43:200:43:23

There is a sound that comes from people who have

0:43:230:43:29

not necessarily been trained musically,

0:43:290:43:32

but who have sung in those small, mission hall, rural church settings,

0:43:320:43:38

and it's different.

0:43:380:43:39

It's just... It's different from mainline churches.

0:43:390:43:42

It's different from the churches with the big spires on them.

0:43:420:43:44

It's just different, and some of those singers, they just...

0:43:440:43:48

You can hear it - they mean it.

0:43:480:43:50

MUSIC: Honky Tonk Blues by Hank Williams

0:43:500:43:53

# Well, I went to a dance and I wore out my shoes

0:43:530:43:57

# Woke up this morning wishing I could lose

0:43:570:44:00

# Them jumping honky-tonk blues

0:44:000:44:04

# Yeah, the honky-tonk blues

0:44:040:44:09

# Good Lord, I've got 'em

0:44:090:44:11

# I've got the honky-tonk blues... #

0:44:110:44:16

That same intensity crossed over from church to country.

0:44:160:44:20

A new generation of songwriters and performers carried the lessons

0:44:220:44:25

learned in gospel halls and rural churches into songs

0:44:250:44:29

that celebrated life, with all its passions.

0:44:290:44:31

Hank Williams, the honky-tonk hero that wrote that song,

0:44:330:44:35

knew all about seeking redemption on a Sunday morning

0:44:350:44:38

after the sins of Saturday night.

0:44:380:44:40

# Well, I stopped into every place in town

0:44:400:44:44

# This city life has really got me down

0:44:440:44:47

# I've got the honky-tonk blues

0:44:470:44:51

# Yeah, the honky-tonk blues... #

0:44:510:44:54

His personal struggle with alcoholism and heartbreak

0:44:540:44:57

inspired some of the best-loved songs of the 20th century.

0:44:570:45:00

MUSIC: Your Cheatin' Heart by Hank Williams

0:45:000:45:03

# When tears come down... #

0:45:030:45:06

There's a tension between the party and the fun

0:45:060:45:09

and the Saturday night thing,

0:45:090:45:11

and then there's the waking up on Sunday morning,

0:45:110:45:13

and the regret, and the sense of shame and sinfulness

0:45:130:45:18

and, "Oh, my goodness, that's what I'm actually like." You know?

0:45:180:45:22

And the music captures that.

0:45:220:45:23

# Your cheatin' heart

0:45:250:45:29

# Will tell on you... #

0:45:290:45:32

It speaks right to the core of the human experience.

0:45:320:45:36

There's the push-pull of romance, and cheating and heartbreak,

0:45:360:45:40

and too much partying, and trying to find redemption,

0:45:400:45:45

and right there in that tension point, you've got country music.

0:45:450:45:48

When he died in 1953, Hank Williams' funeral service was broadcast

0:45:500:45:55

on the radio that had helped make him a star.

0:45:550:45:57

All over the South, people listened as country music's finest

0:45:570:46:01

came to sing him goodbye.

0:46:010:46:03

One of Hank's own compositions, I Saw The Light,

0:46:030:46:10

will be brought to us by Roy Acuff.

0:46:100:46:12

Thank you, Reverend, very much.

0:46:140:46:16

May we do this as Hank would want it done.

0:46:160:46:19

I'd like to try it.

0:46:190:46:21

Will you boys take it away?

0:46:210:46:22

# I saw the light I saw the light

0:46:290:46:33

# No more darkness No more night

0:46:330:46:38

# Now I'm so happy No sorrow in sight

0:46:380:46:43

# Praise the Lord

0:46:430:46:45

# I saw the light... #

0:46:450:46:48

Roy Acuff was Hank's hero,

0:46:480:46:51

the Grand Ole Opry's king of country.

0:46:510:46:53

Singing alongside him was Bill Monroe, the father of bluegrass.

0:46:530:46:57

All three had grown up with the same old-time religion

0:46:570:47:00

and the same songs and fiddle tunes first brought to the Appalachians

0:47:000:47:03

by their Scotch-Irish ancestors.

0:47:030:47:05

# I saw the light. #

0:47:050:47:08

Their stamp on American music is permanent,

0:47:090:47:12

and their legacy celebrated in Nashville's Hall of Fame.

0:47:120:47:16

# Oh, can the circle be unbroken?

0:47:160:47:19

# By and by, Lord

0:47:190:47:22

# By and by... #

0:47:220:47:25

Throughout country music's history, its stars have sought authenticity

0:47:250:47:28

from its Southern, working-class past.

0:47:280:47:31

# In the sky, Lord In the sky... #

0:47:310:47:34

Now a global industry,

0:47:340:47:36

country has come a long way from its hillbilly heroes...

0:47:360:47:39

DRUMS PLAY FAINTLY

0:47:390:47:41

..yet its finest songwriters have found inspiration

0:47:410:47:44

in that same heritage,

0:47:440:47:46

part of a tradition that's travelled across oceans and time.

0:47:460:47:50

# Shall we gather at the river?

0:47:560:48:01

# Where bright angel feet have trod?

0:48:010:48:05

# With its crystal tide forever

0:48:050:48:09

# Flowing by the throne of God? #

0:48:090:48:12

There was an imprint made by a whole body of hymns

0:48:120:48:15

that were written in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

0:48:150:48:18

# The beautiful, the beautiful river... #

0:48:180:48:21

When somebody gives me a Carter Family box set,

0:48:210:48:22

and, "Oh, my goodness, like, a third of this is in the hymn book

0:48:220:48:25

"that I grew up with."

0:48:250:48:26

# That flows by the throne of God

0:48:260:48:29

# On the margin of the river

0:48:340:48:38

# Washing up its silver spray... #

0:48:380:48:42

Iconic hymns like this one are part of a stream of gospel music

0:48:420:48:46

that's flowed between Scotland, Northern Ireland and America

0:48:460:48:49

since the 19th century -

0:48:490:48:52

a shared tradition in which Scotch-Irish composers

0:48:520:48:55

were a creative force.

0:48:550:48:57

There is a common culture - an unbroken circle, if you like -

0:48:570:49:02

of early country gospel music, which is as much part of my

0:49:020:49:07

cultural inheritance as it is for somebody who lives in Virginia.

0:49:070:49:12

# Ere we reach the shining river

0:49:120:49:16

# Lay we every burden down

0:49:160:49:20

# Grace our spirits will deliver

0:49:200:49:24

# And provide a robe and crown... #

0:49:240:49:29

From the very beginning of the 20th century,

0:49:290:49:31

gospel records made by America's earliest country stars

0:49:310:49:34

travelled back across the ocean,

0:49:340:49:36

and they found eager listeners in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

0:49:360:49:39

# Gather with the saints at the river

0:49:390:49:41

# That flows by the throne of God. #

0:49:410:49:45

BIRD CHIRPS

0:49:480:49:50

In 1952, an Appalachian singer made that same journey.

0:49:530:49:57

Honoured now as the mother of American folk music,

0:49:590:50:01

her name was Jean Ritchie.

0:50:010:50:03

She travelled to Scotland and Ireland from her home in Kentucky

0:50:030:50:06

to try and find the source of her family's songs.

0:50:060:50:09

# Well met, well met My own true love

0:50:090:50:14

# Well met, well met Said he

0:50:140:50:18

# I've come from far across the sea

0:50:180:50:23

# And it's all for the sake of thee... #

0:50:230:50:27

My name is Jean Ritchie.

0:50:270:50:29

I come from mountain country.

0:50:290:50:32

We were always known as a singing family,

0:50:320:50:36

and we always kept the old way of living,

0:50:360:50:38

singing the old songs handed down from generation to generation.

0:50:380:50:42

# And it's all for the sake of thee... #

0:50:420:50:46

Jean sought out Scottish and Irish singers, collecting a wealth

0:50:480:50:51

of music, but she also shared her own treasure trove of songs.

0:50:510:50:55

# The next place ere I met my love

0:50:550:50:58

# It was at a wake... #

0:50:580:50:59

'She had a lot of songs that turned up in the Ulster song tradition

0:50:590:51:04

'and the Scottish song tradition, you know?'

0:51:040:51:06

# Scorn and disdain

0:51:060:51:07

# And the bonny wee lass's answer was to no' come again... #

0:51:070:51:10

We were in this circle of singers,

0:51:100:51:14

swapping songs and versions of songs.

0:51:140:51:16

Maybe somebody would sing a song,

0:51:160:51:18

and somebody would sing an Ulster version,

0:51:180:51:19

and somebody would sing a Scottish version,

0:51:190:51:21

and somebody would sing an Appalachian version,

0:51:210:51:23

and you had all these different variants of the one song turning up.

0:51:230:51:27

# And the bonny wee lass's answer was to no' come again. #

0:51:270:51:31

# Down in some lone valley

0:51:320:51:36

# In a lonesome place... #

0:51:360:51:40

She collected many, many songs in the British Isles and Ireland,

0:51:400:51:43

which she then took back over with her again.

0:51:430:51:46

She herself was her very own carrying stream,

0:51:470:51:50

through her family and back again, in her sharing of songs.

0:51:500:51:54

# And I'll dream of pretty Saro

0:51:540:51:58

# Wherever I go... #

0:51:580:52:01

HE PLAYS Pretty Saro

0:52:020:52:04

This song was lost to the tradition of the British Isles

0:52:080:52:11

in the 18th century, but it was preserved in Appalachia.

0:52:110:52:15

It's just one of many songs returned to us

0:52:150:52:17

by that great mountain singer,

0:52:170:52:20

who carried her family's music home.

0:52:200:52:21

# Down in some lone valley

0:52:230:52:29

# In a lonesome place

0:52:290:52:34

# Where the wild birds do whistle

0:52:340:52:39

# And their notes do increase

0:52:390:52:44

# Farewell, pretty Saro

0:52:440:52:50

# I bid you adieu

0:52:500:52:54

# And I'll dream of pretty Saro

0:52:540:53:00

# Wherever I go

0:53:000:53:05

# My love, she won't have me

0:53:070:53:13

# So I understand

0:53:130:53:18

# She wants a freeholder

0:53:180:53:23

# Who owns a house on land

0:53:230:53:28

# I cannot maintain her

0:53:280:53:33

# With riches and gold

0:53:330:53:38

# Nor by all the fine things

0:53:380:53:44

# That a big house can hold... #

0:53:440:53:50

Jean Ritchie described folk music as

0:53:520:53:54

"a river that never stopped flowing",

0:53:540:53:56

and the songs that she sang and celebrated

0:53:560:53:58

inspired generations to connect with the music of the past.

0:53:580:54:01

# The country I come from is called the Midwest

0:54:030:54:10

# I was taught and brought up there

0:54:100:54:14

# The laws to abide

0:54:140:54:17

# And that the land that I live in

0:54:170:54:21

# Has God on its side... #

0:54:210:54:24

Jean Ritchie was at the forefront of the folk revival

0:54:240:54:27

that began in the '50s.

0:54:270:54:28

On both sides of the Atlantic,

0:54:280:54:30

people reconnected with near-forgotten musical traditions.

0:54:300:54:34

There was quite an epiphany.

0:54:340:54:35

In fact, we all loved Americana music

0:54:350:54:37

because of the instrumental sound of it -

0:54:370:54:39

the banjos, the mandolins, the guitars -

0:54:390:54:41

and that loop actually brought us back to the songs,

0:54:410:54:47

and when we heard that generation of traditional singers

0:54:470:54:50

performing them, it was a very short hop to us

0:54:500:54:52

putting the guitar line behind it, or the banjo line behind it,

0:54:520:54:56

and grafting American instrumentalism

0:54:560:55:00

on to our own tradition.

0:55:000:55:01

My generation played its part too -

0:55:040:55:06

we connected with the past and changed the tradition

0:55:060:55:09

to tell our own musical stories.

0:55:090:55:10

Perthshire's Ross Ainslie and Tyrone-born Jarlath Henderson

0:55:140:55:17

are part of the next wave.

0:55:170:55:19

Finding their own connections between Scotland and Ireland's

0:55:190:55:22

different traditions, they're taking the music into a new century.

0:55:220:55:25

Well, there's no doubt that this is an evolving, living tradition.

0:55:360:55:40

You know, and just like people have done for hundreds of years

0:55:400:55:42

in the past, or composing...

0:55:420:55:45

based on what their surroundings are, you know,

0:55:450:55:47

and what influences them, you know?

0:55:470:55:49

-We're not stuck in a box.

-Mm-hmm.

0:55:490:55:50

There's such a, like, vast ocean of these amazing tunes.

0:55:500:55:55

You know, it's like...

0:55:550:55:56

You've got to start off with the traditional

0:55:560:55:59

and then try and maybe do your own thing with it after.

0:55:590:56:03

The deeper you go, the more you find common ground.

0:56:030:56:05

Like, you're not...

0:56:220:56:23

In order to plot your course, you have to know where you started.

0:56:230:56:26

-Yeah, definitely.

-That's true.

-Yeah.

-It's that line from...

0:56:260:56:29

What was it? Alice in Wonderland?

0:56:290:56:31

"You're not lost if you know where you've been."

0:56:310:56:34

So, yeah.

0:56:340:56:35

I started this series with an American anthem,

0:57:020:57:05

a hymn about life's journey, born out of our shared folk tradition.

0:57:050:57:08

HE PLAYS Wayfaring Stranger

0:57:080:57:10

That song, Wayfaring Stranger,

0:57:150:57:18

captures the spirit of a restless people, and the musical traditions

0:57:180:57:22

they carried with them when they travelled so far from home.

0:57:220:57:24

An echo from the past, their legacy endures, part of that great carrying

0:57:270:57:33

stream of music that flows between Scotland, Ireland and America.

0:57:330:57:38

The music never really stands still, and it never has.

0:57:420:57:45

That's because it travels with people.

0:57:450:57:47

Sometimes I'm not sure where my road's going to take me,

0:57:470:57:49

but there's one thing that I do know,

0:57:490:57:51

and it's as true today as it's ever been.

0:57:510:57:53

Wherever your journey takes you,

0:57:530:57:54

if you're carrying your music with you,

0:57:540:57:56

you're never a stranger for long.

0:57:560:57:58

# I am a poor wayfaring stranger

0:58:050:58:12

# Travelling through this world alone

0:58:120:58:18

# There is no sickness, toil or danger

0:58:180:58:24

# In that fair land to which I go... #

0:58:240:58:29

Music and history combine as renowned Scottish performer Phil Cunningham explores age-old musical connections between Scotland, Ulster and America. Featuring a wealth of music, sacred and secular, in this final programme in the series are country and bluegrass legends Rosanne Cash and Ricky Skaggs, as Phil's journey takes him to the Grand Ol' Opry and the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, Tennessee.