On BBC Radio 2 tonight at 22.00 Tuesday 2.6.15, the first of a 2 part documentary. It will be available to listen to on the BBC iplayer shortly after broadcast
To mark the 150th anniversary of the end of the American Civil War, Kris Kristofferson looks back over the music and musical legacy of the Civil War era.
Music played an integral role in the American Civil War. There were huge numbers of musicians in the army; buglers, drummers and brass bands were a common feature in camps and on battlefields, North and South. Many soldiers played instruments in camp, swapping musical styles, songs, and techniques and thousands of new songs were written and published.
The war spawned a body of songs that over the years have enhanced understanding of the mood and sentiments of the men and women - from both the North and South - engaged in that long and costly struggle, which claimed more than half a million lives. The outpouring of new music that focused on the war and its participants formed the very foundation of a nation's music. Songs like Home Sweet Home, Battle Cry of Freedom, Lorena, John Brown's Body, were known across the land.
In episode one and in the company of historians, music experts, songwriters and musicians, Kris explores the history of the conflict through its music and discovers how and why the Civil War generated so many of the songs and musical styles found in American music today.
In episode two, Kris looks at the musical legacy of the Civil War over the past century and its impact on American popular music today. He discovers how the war inspired 20th and 21st century songwriters and artists including Elvis Presley, Lynyrd Skynyrd and The Band.
With music from the worlds of country, rock, jazz, blues and folk and tracks from Bob Dylan, Alison Krauss, Bruce Springsteen, Dolly Parton, The Decemberists, Carolina Chocolate Drops, The Band, Bernice Johnson Reagan and Pete Seeger.
Music of the American Civil War