Issue 107: 21st Annual Southern Music Issue & CD – South Carolina

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The Oxford American presents its 21st annual Southern Music Issue, featuring more than twenty-five stories and poems exploring the history and legacy of South Carolina music. Among the many notable contributors to this year’s Southern Music Issue are National Book Award–winning poet Nikky Finney; fiction writers Thomas Pierce and George Singleton; musicians Marshall Chapman and Melvin Gibbs; and essayists John Jeremiah Sullivan and Zandria F. Robinson.

The issue comes with a 24-song sampler showcasing South Carolina music across era and genre, ranging from a 1937 field recording of the gospel choir the Plantation Echoes to Gullah-Geechee revivalists Ranky Tanky’s 2019 single “Freedom.” In signature Oxford American style, the compilation includes beloved artists such as Reverend Gary Davis, Linda Martell, Shovels & Rope, and Iron & Wine, alongside obscure recordings, including early hip-hop from Charleston and a 1970s prison band. Accompanying the sampler in the issue are detailed liner notes and essays on the songs by Blain Roberts and Ethan J. Kytle, Katie Moulton, Benjamin Hedin, and others.

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