Archive for November 2006

Songs of the Sephardic Jewish Women of Morocco

Saturday, November 25th, 2006


This week Down Home host Henrietta Yurchenco draws from material collected during her 1954 field work among Sephardic Jewish women in Tetuan and Tangier, Morocco. The songs they sang into her microphone have been popular since at least the 15th century, before the reconquest of Spain and the Inquisition, when the Moors and Jews were driven out.

Songs of the Sephardic Jewish Women of Morocco

For more information on this subject see Henrietta’s own website. – You will find a free web edition of her book on the subject “In Their Own Voices” and English translations of all the song lyrics! They’re fascinating.

Interview with Baba Israel and Steven Ben Israel

Saturday, November 18th, 2006

Talking about radical art, guerilla street theater, beat style poetry and hip-hop.

This week Eli and Dave Weissman (Down Home’s producer) talk with actor/poet Steven Ben Israel and his son Baba Israel, a beatboxer, hip-hop poet and educator. We get their relative perspectives on coming up as artists in New York City, Steven in the 50′s and 60′s and Baba in the 90′s and how they brought together Beat generation styles and hip-hop. Steven is a part of The Living Theater, an avant garde theater company and Baba has his own production company, Open Thought Productions.

Interview with Baba Israel and Steven Ben Israel
“Guerilla theater is when a group of people do a piece, the cops come and the cops beat up the audience.”

“What can you do in the street that the people aren’t gonna go, “ah get a way from me”? -that’s the first thing. You have a guy walking down the street singing and people say get away from me. Cause it’s a very fragile reality out there.”

“…You may just join the army because you have a fear going way back … to go out there and break out of this working class box, either the army or the factory. And the main thing with the Living Theater and its history was to address that fear. The main thing in this society is fear, to address that fear by understanding that the fear of life is heavier than the fear of death…” -Steven Ben Israel

On this show we hear Lord Buckley’s “The Nazz” as well as several live performances from Steven and Baba. (The Nazz is a hip Louis Armstrong as Jesus character that heals people).

During the course of the show Steven and Baba give a lot of recommendations on counter-cultural stuff. See below:
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Interview with Joe Hickerson

Saturday, November 11th, 2006

Eli & Henrietta talk with Joe Hickerson, folk singer as well as librarian and director of the Archive of Folk Culture at the Library of Congress from 1963-1998.

Joe gives us a history of the Library of Congress’ folk song related activities, plays some recorded examples as well as selections from his 1963 LOC recordings of Mississippi John Hurt. He also recounts the history of “Where Have All the Flowers Gone” which Pete Seeger was inspired to begin after reading an obscure Russian novel and which Joe wrote the last 2 verses for, thus completing the well loved song we know today.

Interview with Joe Hickerson

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Peace & Fair Elections

Saturday, November 4th, 2006

Henrietta and Eli play a bunch of music relating directly to social and political issues.

Peace & Fair Elections