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April 01, 2010

Give My Poor Heart Ease

Bill Ferris is one of this country's leading folklorists. His new work, Give My Poor Heart Ease, includes a book, a CD and a DVD. It is a collection of original recordings that Bill made in his native Mississippi.

As a boy, Bill began going to church with his family's housekeeper, Mary Gordon. He fell in love with the music and the drama of the church. As a teenager, he hit the road with recording equipment. Soon he was capturing music in lots of different African American communities. Bill soon discovered the blues, and the recordings he made in the 60's and 70's capture the roots of the Mississippi blues. Bill Ferris joins Dick Gordon to tell about his passion for the people and the stories behind the Mississippi blues. This story originally aired on 11/6/09.

  • See video clips of BB King and the men at The Parchman Penitentiary
  • Find out more about the one strand guitar 
  • All archival recordings are from the CD/DVD included in the book
  • All music is from the CD included in the book. Musicians include: Going Down to the Station by 'Sonny Boy' Williams; Going Away Blues and Boogie Chillun by Lovey Williams; Lazarus and Oh, Rosie by Inmates at the Parchman State Penitentiary; There are Days by Southland Hummingbirds; You Shall Be Free by Mary Gordon; Highway 61 Blues and Cairo Blues by James 'Son' Thomas
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