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American Rambler with Colin Woodward

Based in Richmond, Virginia, American Rambler discusses history, music, film, politics, and pop culture. The show is hosted by Colin Woodward, a Damn Yankee, historian, writer, and archivist. He is the author of Marching Masters: Slavery, Race, and the Confederate Army during the Civil War. He is writing a book on Johnny Cash. You can reach Colin at his Twitter, WordPress, and Facebook page.
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Now displaying: April, 2018
Apr 30, 2018

Musician Stave Bassett has a new, funky album out called Tres Leches, named after a dessert at Richmond's Kuba Kuba restaurant. Steve's from Richmond, but his long career has taken him from the River City to Nashville, Muscle Shoals, New York City, and Chicago. Steve is perhaps best known for his song "Sweet Virginia Breeze," which he co-wrote with Robbin Thompson in 1978. A few years ago, it became the official popular song of Virginia.

Steve talks with Colin about how he started as a drummer before moving on to keyboards, his early career in North Carolina, and how "Sweet Virginia Breeze" happened. It's part one of two hour talk about the music life.       

Apr 24, 2018

Adam Bulger is a Jersey guy who's always had a humorous take on American lit, music, and politics. Colin and Adam survived (more or less) Trinity College, where they wrote for the alternative campus paper The Other Voice. Now they're catching up after 20 years of school, work, kids, and travel. They pretty much pick up where they left off, discussing politics, music, and what's it's like to dedicate a life to writing. Adam, who works for the website BTRtoday in New York City, talks about the story behind Freddy Kruger, noir fiction, and what it was like to interview Hunter S. Thompson and David Cross. Hopefully, their next talk won't take 20 years!

Apr 15, 2018

Colin reads from his recent paper, published in the Arkansas Times of Little Rock, about Tom Murton and the Arkansas prison scandal of 1968. Murton was a prison reformer from California, who dug up three skeletons on the grounds of Cummins farm fifty years ago. The scandal rocked Arkansas, embarrassed Governor Winthrop Rockefeller, and made news around the world. Murton's story, which became the basis for the film Brubaker, involved everyone from Dick Cavett to Johnny Cash.

The article begins at around the 6 minute mark. Enjoy!

Apr 5, 2018

Given his schedule lately, which has taken him from Virginia to Louisiana to California, you might think there's more than one Ed Ayers running around. As president of the Organization of American Historians, president emeritus at the University of Richmond (where he is also Tucker-Boatwright Professor of the Humanities), and author of a recent prize winning book on the Civil War, Dr. Ayers stays busy.

Ed talks with Colin about growing up in Tennessee, his graduate studies at Yale, and a life spent studying the South--from its prison system to the Civil War and beyond. His latest book, The Thin Light of Freedom: The Civil War and Emancipation in the Heart of America won the Lincoln Prize for 2018. It's Ed Ayers's second appearance on the podcast, and this time it's for a full hour.    

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