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Music on the Porch: Laney Jones and the Spirits, Thurs, Oct 8 at 5:30 pm

Laney Jones and the Lively Spirits pic

Raised on an exotic animal farm in rural Mount Dora, Florida, Laney Jones sings tales of love and adventure with a voice that has been described as “a mix of lemon, molasses, gin and gunpowder.” Backed by Matthew Tonner (guitar), Tre Hester (bass, backup vocals) and JJ Jones (drums), Laney ranges from banjo to ukelele to guitar and harmonica. The band, which has opened for Lady Antebellum, Tim McGraw, and Rascal Flatts, is releasing a new album this fall. You can listen to sample tracks on ReverbNation, Bandcamp, or Laney’s website.Will-n-Pops

This show is free and open to the public. Come hungry, because our friends from Will & Pop’s will be serving up their signature burgers and melts! Bring a picnic blanket and stay for a while.

Hutchins Lecture by Tracy K’Meyer, Thurs, Oct 22 at 4:30 pm

???????????????????????????????“The promise and failure,” “the rise and retreat,” the “failed social experiment”—these are terms used by scholars and pundits to characterize the lost battle for school desegregation in the South and across the nation.  But, drawing on nearly 100 oral history interviews, Tracy K’Meyer uncovers an alternative story of black and white allies fighting for and defending the integration of the Louisville and Jefferson County public schools as part of a broader struggle for racial equality.  By attending to the way local people remember both what went wrong in desegregation and the resulting damage especially to black students, and also what went right and the benefits to individuals and the community, K’Meyer argues, we can better understand contemporary debates over racial equality and diversity in the schools.

KMeyer cover imageK’Meyer is Professor of History and Chair of the Department of History at the University of Louisville, where she also serves as Co-Director of the Oral History Center.  Her research focuses on the history of modern U.S. social movements, most recently on the struggles for equality in education and housing.  She is currently working on a book on the American Friends Service Committee. K’Meyer’s lecture, titled “Remembering School Desegregation: Oral History and the Long Struggle for Equality in Education in Louisville, KY, 1954-2015,” will be held in the University Room in Hyde Hall.

This event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.

Tell About the South: Evan Faulkenbury, Tues, Oct 27 at 12:30 pm

Evan Faulkenbury photoThe money to pay for the Civil Rights Movement had to come from somewhere. In this talk, Evan Faulkenbury will tell the story of the Voter Education Project (VEP) and how philanthropic foundations paid for and influenced the course of the movement during the 1960s. The VEP solicited grants from foundations, then dispersed the money to hundreds of grassroots voter registration campaigns across the eleven states of the Old Confederacy. With these grants, ranging from $200 to $20,000, local civil rights movements sprang up across the South, coalescing into the broader African American freedom struggle. The VEP was the behind-the-scenes engine of the Civil Rights Movement, empowering local activists to register people, to challenge Jim Crow at the polls, and to revolutionize southern and national politics.

Please join us at the Center for a lunchtime discussion with Faulkenbury, a PhD candidate in History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Field Scholar with the Southern Oral History Program. This event is free and open to the public, and light refreshments will be served. Please RSVP to Patrick Horn at

Evan Faulkenbury Image

Hutchins Lecture by Charles L. Hughes, Thurs, Nov 5 at 4:30 pm

Country Soul“I Got What I Got The Hard Way”: Memphis, Muscle Shoals, and the Racial Politics of Southern Music

The music of the South has long been a central metaphor for the region’s tumultuous racial history. Genres like country and soul remain symbols for the real and perceived borders between black and white, while the long history of interracial collaboration in southern music offers a defiant counter-narrative to the South’s troubled history. In this alternative story, there are few more celebrated moments than the integrated recording studios of Memphis and Muscle Shoals in the 1960s and 1970s. To this day, studios like Stax or FAME are held up as sites of Civil Rights-era progress or even utopias where skin color didn’t matter. This narrative of racial harmony has become central to both scholarly and popular understandings of the South’s cultural and political history. But, as historian Charles L. Hughes will discuss, this mythology obscures a more complex story of racial collaboration and conflict. In this lecture, drawn from his acclaimed book Country Soul: Making Music and Making Race in the American South, Hughes will discuss the ways that this mythology has distorted our understanding of the music, its makers, and the contexts from which it emerged. This lecture will be held in the Hitchcock Room at the Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History.hughes_charles

Dr. Charles L. Hughes is the Director of the Memphis Center at Rhodes College. Country Soul was published by the University of North Carolina Press in 2015. He has spoken and published widely on race, music and the South. This event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.

Southern Cultures Music Issue Launch, Fri, Nov 6 at 5:30 pm

21-3CoverOur Music Issue is back, featuring Johnny Cash’s last interview, Emmylou Harris as the widow of Nashville, Muscle Shoals and the rise of FAME Recording Studios, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Dutch band Normaal, huapango arribeno musicians and the making of a “Mexican South,” the remaking of Beale Street, a newly discovered ballad of Ella May Wiggins, the community of New Orleans musicians, and more — including a collection of new southern music.


Join us for the issue launch with Anna & Elizabeth, who are included our new compilation. As NPR’s Bob Boilen says of the duo, “They came to NPR and brought many of us to tears with some of the most yearning harmonies I’ve heard at the Tiny Desk. These songs are given few embellishments — sometimes a fiddle is added to a single voice, sometimes a banjo or guitar chimes in — but always the power is in the sparseness. If you’ve never thought your tastes would lean to mountain music, take a deep breath and soak it all in.”

This event is free and open to the public. Copies of the new music issue will be available for purchase.