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November 13, 2009

Beijing Blues


Lots of people these days are trying to make East-West partnerships. Alan Paul found himself an unlikely ambassador for American Blues, in China. His band there, Woodie Alan, became so successful they were named the Beijing Band of the Year. Rock star in China is a role Alan never imagined he'd play in life. 

Alan was obsessed with The Allman Brothers as a kid. He learned to play the guitar and made a living as a music writer. But he'd never performed much himself. Then he moved to China, met a Chinese Blues musician, and started a band. Alan talks with Dick Gordon about gaining the confidence to get up on stage, and how he developed a new connection with American roots music - and with his pride in being an American - while playing the blues in China.



During the Great Depression, Mary Immel lived in a small desert town in northern Arizona. In the center of her town was a railroad station with a restaurant called La Posada. With a penny in hand, five-year-old Mary would walk over to the station on a hot summer afternoon, towards the gumball machine, but get lost in the cool beauty of the building’s hacienda and its magnificent green gardens. She returned, years later, to see what had become of the secret garden of her childhood. This story originally aired on February 11, 2009.

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