The Chords That Bind: Traditions in Southern Music (1986)

Excerpt from The Cover Story:

I go through life humming to myself. On a clear day, you can hear me before you can see me. Even when by sheer mental effort I succeed in sealing my lips, if you look deep into my eyes you can see the notes silently making their way along the staff.

Where did all this music come from? What is a nice Jewish boy doing singing in a place like this?

When I was growing up — not here in the South, but in the Deep North — our family sang together. On the Sabbath and on holidays, we would stay at the dinner table long after the food and dishes had been cleared and we would sing. Because musical instruments were not allowed onthe Sabbath, we sang without instrumentation — but not without accompaniment. From my grandfather, Gabriel Kahn, I learned the fine points of creating a rhythm section, using only two basic variations (closed fist and open palm) of the basic hand-on-table technique. From my parents, Rosalind and Benjamin Kahn, I learned — once my sister and I had the basic tunes down well enough not to be distracted — the rudiments of high and low harmony, made up as you go along.

15 THE CHORDS THAT BIND Traditional Music in the South, introduction by Si Kahn
17 FOOTPRINTS: JOHN HANDCOX - SONGWRITER "There Is Mean Things Happening in This Land," by Marjorie Miller with an introduction by Pete Seeger.
23 FOLK VISIONS AND VOICES How Anne Romaine and Bernice Reagon brought politics and Southern music together, by Patricia Hall
29 MINE OWN Appalachian mountain music from 1890-1935, by Bascom Lamar Lundsford with an introduction by Loyal Jones
38 PHOTO ESSAY From his travels in North and Central America, photos by Russell Honicker
42 YOU DON'T KNOW MARTA A lyrical short story, by Carmen Taffolla
44 FOOD FESTIVALS Eating your way around the South, by Alice Geffen and Carole Berglie
50 COLD GAP A poem, by Larry Wilson
51 VANQUISHED BUT NOT CONVINCED Worker militancy and vigilante violence in Tampa, by Robert Ingalls
3 READERS CORNER Another World by Harold A. Mayo
4 SOUTHERN NEWS ROUNDUP Blacks in Southern Legislatures,
Alabama steel workers lose buy-out bid, Klan murder suspected,
and more
11 FACING SOUTH Ancient Wisdom, by Ilene J. Cornwell
12 VOICES OF OUR NEIGHBORS Interview with Nicaraguan Minister of Education Eduardo Baez, by E.J. Smith
14 RESOURCES Banjo Music, Waging Peace, Fundraising Demystified
37 NEW SONGS OF THE SOUTH "Not In My Name," by Joe Pfister
59 BOOK REVIEW Blacks in Appalachia; Books on the South
64 VOICES OF THE PAST 1868: The Cry for Freedom, edited by Lee W Formwalt

Volume and Number: 
VOL. 14 NO. 1

Since 1973 Southern Exposure has gained critical praise for its thorough investigations, unsentimental portraits of Southern life, and public interest reporting.