Categories: Arts and Culture

Louisville Writer Explores The Unexpected Black Roots Of ‘Happy Birthday To You’

On Tuesday, the quarterly literary magazine “The Oxford American” released its annual southern music issue — an edition that features only Kentucky music.

Courtesy Oxford American

Southern Music Issue & CD featuring KENTUCKY



In collaboration with the magazine, I spoke with local writer Michael Jones about his essay “A Peculiar Composition,” which details the unexpected black roots of “Happy Birthday to You.”

You can listen to the audio essay in the player above. More about the southern music issue can be found here.

Ashlie Stevens

Ashlie Stevens is WFPL's Arts & Culture Reporter. Her main interests include art, food and drink, and urban preservation. Among other publications, her work has been featured in print or on the web at The Atlantic, National Geographic, Slate, Salon, The Guardian, Hyperallergic, Louisville Magazine and Eater.

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