We've all heard 'Sixteen Tons' and gleaned small bits from PBS documentaries and sound bite histories of the miners struggles, But these gospels and bituminous blues, drawn from the extensive and exhaustive field recordings collected by the late folklorist George Corson, present the Great Depression-era West Virginia coal miners in the stark light of their daily lives.
Though many of these songs are performed by African-American miners, a marginalized group in the history of mining, the color of one's skin didn't matter. The silicosis, or miner's asthma, doomed you. Hopefully the union saved you. This is the story of a country being formed, of a history being made.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Website design by David N. Pyles