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Americana

5 Stories

In small town Oklahoma, high school football runs a close second to the Bible in popularity and team spirit. Here is a story I did (as a sidebar to the State Fair I was covering) about one game between two rival small town football teams. For a New Yorker like me, this is almost as exotic as it gets!

Little League is Americana itself, and I was shocked and privileged to be a part of it all as my son’s coach in Washington DC in the late 1990s. I produced this profile of one game for the Voice of America. In it, I had to explain the game of baseball to our foreign listeners, keep it personal, and report on the game itself – the closest I may ever get to being a sportscaster.* The Marlins won, by the way…

* See also my story about a high school football game between Jenks and Broken Arrow, in rural Oklahoma.

Hollywood cowboys got nothin’ on the real thing. I travelled to Montana to explore the real Old West, and spent some time on the vast Skyline Ranch with Art and Vicki Robinson as they worked their horses in the back country.

A look at the beautiful and diverse spiritual musical traditions of Hawaii, from chanting to slack-key guitar to unaccompanied a capella singing. Interviews and music recorded at the Folklife Festival in Washington DC for the late and much lamented Radio Smithsonian.

Meet David Isay, a humane and immensely talented radio documentary maker and oral historian who has probably won every broadcasting award out there. Isay has dedicated his career to celebrating the lives of everyday Americans by recording their stories, and chronicling the experiences of underdogs and colorful characters, many of them living outside the American cultural mainstream. We meet him, and sample some of them, in this profile.

See also “Listening is an Act of Love” and “Storycorps” stories also in this blog.

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