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.

Recent Posts

These Workers Love The Kentucky State Fair As Much As You Do

These farmers, knitters and brewers have been to the Kentucky State Fair many times before, but it can be just…

August 17, 2018 5:54 pm

Potential New Write-In Rules Could Impact Kentucky Elections

Attorney General Andy Beshear issued an opinion Thursday saying it was OK for poll workers to post lists of certified…

August 17, 2018 1:46 pm

Less Than A Week After Route 23 Change, TARC Scrambles For A Fix

TARC's bus route changes several days ago messed with people’s ability to get to work, home or school. Now, the…

August 17, 2018 12:28 pm

What Should Replace The Castleman Statue? We Want To Hear From You

The controversial Castleman statue is being taken down. What would you like to see on that Cherokee Triangle pedestal instead?

August 17, 2018 6:00 am

Longtime Resident Says New Initiative Could Put Russell On Right Track

Russell: A Place of Promise aims to support economic growth in the Russell neighborhood through residents' suggestions.

August 16, 2018 5:23 pm

Louisville Police Officer Gets $300K In Whistleblower Lawsuit

News outlets report jurors returned the verdict Wednesday for Raymond "Jimmy" Harper, who sued the Louisville Metro Police Department.

August 16, 2018 1:38 pm