2011: Year of Alabama Music

With the new year comes a new campaign from Alabama’s tourism department.  This year, it’s the Year of Alabama Music.  Not sure if this was planned to coincide, but the Oxford American‘s annual music issue from last month is dedicated to Alabama.  In fact, NPR did an interview with the magazine’s editor and – this almost never happens – the comments on the interview are mostly very intelligent.

Alabama music should be an easy sell.  We’ve got W.C. Handy, Hank Williams (I & II), Nat King Cole, Tammy Wynette, Percy Sledge, Clarence Carter, Emmylou Harris, Wilson Pickett, the Temptations, Dinah Washington, Erskine Hawkins, the Commodores, the Blind Boys of Alabama, and of course the group Alabama.  The list goes on forever…

Of course, I’m just tickled that they included Sister Gertrude Morgan’s music on the OA cd.

…but I would have *loved* it if they’d found a way to include Howard Finster – so glad someone put this video back up of him performing on Johnny Carson’s show.  Classic, classic Finster:

Anyway, the OA has a page with their favorite 15 contemporary Alabama artists (some with video), and artists they wish they could have included on the cd but couldn’t.  At the state tourism site, there are several music links, including one to the Hank Williams Trail.

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