"From Where I Stand: The Black Experience in Country Music" sees light of day
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"From Where I Stand: The Black Experience in Country Music" sees light of day

Thursday, May 2, 2024 – More than 25 years since its original release of "From Where I Stand: The Black Experience in Country Music," chronicling Black country music, will see the light of day again with a bonus disc from current artists on May 31.

"From Where I Stand" also returns as an educational initiative, including free online experience and a concert celebration under the auspices of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in collaboration with Warner Music Nashville.

The set will be released on Friday, May 31, accompanied by a free-to-access online experience via the museum's website.

The original set's creation was inspired and urged by Black country recording artist Cleve Francis, a cardiologist who released three albums via Capitol Nashville in the '90s, and American Baptist College executive Nelson Wilson, who saw a disturbing gap in music history. "It's a part of our history that's been hidden from us," Francis told the Washington Post upon the set's release.

The museum and Warner Music Nashville collaborated to expand, redesign and update the box set. The new collection encompasses 82 tracks, with a fourth disc titled "Reclaiming the Heritage" that presents a fresh wave of Black artists in country and Americana who emerged through 2020. New essays by recording artists Rhiannon Giddens and Rissi Palmer join the original essays by distinguished music scholars and journalists.

Giddens states in her essay, "The most beautiful thing to me about the Black country renaissance is that its stars, who are finally starting to get the recognition they deserve, are truly using country music the way that, to me, it was born to be used. Their music reflects and highlights a cultural viewpoint that has been traditionally suppressed, shows the best of the American narrative, and, in the end, tells the important stories of now, for the generations of tomorrow."

The CD set is packaged in a hard-bound booklet and illustrated with traditional quilt designs created years ago by the women of the Gee's Bend community of Alabama, with cover type by visual artist and designer David Jon Walker. Each era of music is represented with a quilt from roughly the same time period as the music. The set is now available for preorder on the museum's website.

Beginning May 31, all the music in the box set can be heard on the museum's website via From Where I Stand: The Online Experience. The online experience is a free, educational resource containing all the incisive essays, archival photographs and video and historical track notes for each selection. Supplemental resources from the museum's archive and resources for educators also will be available.

The online experience will also include music that was unable to be licensed for the physical box set release, including Beyoncé and the Chicks' collaboration on "Daddy Lessons," Lil Nas X's "Old Town Road" and Al Green's version of "For the Good Times."

On Tuesday evening, June 18, a variety of artists represented in the box set will celebrate the release of the project in a one-time-only concert in the museum's CMA Theater. From Where I Stand: The Concert Celebration, presented by Amazon and Riverview Foundation, will be led by co-producers Rissi Palmer and Shannon Sanders. Artists performing in the concert include Blanco Brown, Cowboy Troy, Tony Jackson, Hubby Jenkins, Miko Marks, Wendy Moten, Rissi Palmer, Darius Rucker, The War And Treaty and Barrence Whitfield.

Beginning May 31, tickets to the free concert can be reserved on the museum's website, based on availability. The concert will be filmed and released on the museum's website this fall.

The track list is:

Disc 1 – The Stringband Era
1. DeFord Bailey - "Pan American Blues"
2. DeFord Bailey - "Muscle Shoals Blues"
3. Taylor's Kentucky Boys - "Gray Eagle"
4. Georgia Yellow Hammers - "G Rag"
5. Andrew & Jim Baxter - "K. C. Railroad Blues"
6. The Dallas String Band - "Dallas Rag"
7. James Cole String Band - "Bill Cheatem"
8. Peg Leg Howell & Eddie Anthony - "Turkey Buzzard Blues"
9. Charlie McCoy & Bo Chatmon - "Corrine Corrina"
10. Mississippi Sheiks - "Sitting on Top of the World"
11. Mississippi Sheiks - "Yodeling Fiddling Blues"
12. Memphis Sheiks - "He's in the Jailhouse Now"
13. Mississippi Mud Steppers - "Morning Glory Waltz"
14. Lead Belly - "The Midnight Special"
15. Lead Belly - "Rock Island Line"
16. Nathan Frazier & Frank Patterson - "Eighth of January"
17. Murph Gribble, John Lusk & Albert York - "Apple Blossom"
18. DeFord Bailey - "Fox Chase"

Disc 2 – Soul Country
1. Wynonie Harris - "Bloodshot Eyes"
2. The Orioles - "Crying in the Chapel"
3. Big Al Downing - "Down on the Farm"
4. Ivory Joe Hunter - "City Lights"
5. Ray Charles - "I'm Movin' On"
6. Ray Charles - "I Can't Stop Loving You"
7. Bobby Hebb - "Night Train to Memphis"
8. Solomon Burke - "Just Out of Reach"
9. Fats Domino - "You Win Again"
10. Esther Phillips - "Release Me"
11. Joe Hinton - "Funny How Time Slips Away"
12. Arthur Alexander - "Detroit City"

13. The Supremes - "It Makes No Difference Now"
14. Bobby Hebb - "A Satisfied Mind"
15. The Staple Singers - "Will the Circle Be Unbroken"
16. Joe Tex - "Half a Mind"
17. Etta James - "Almost Persuaded"
18. Joe Simon - "The Chokin' Kind"
19. Ivory Joe Hunter - "He'll Never Love You" 20. Dorothy Moore - "Misty Blue"

Disc 3 – Forward with Pride
1. Charley Pride - "The Snakes Crawl at Night"
2. Charley Pride - "Is Anybody Goin' to San Antone"
3. Charley Pride - "Kiss an Angel Good Mornin'"
4. Linda Martell - "Color Him Father"
5. Otis Williams & the Midnight Cowboys - "How I Got to Memphis"
6. La Melle Prince - "The Man That Made a Woman Out of Me"
7. Stoney Edwards - "She's My Rock"
8. Stoney Edwards - "Hank and Lefty Raised My Country Soul"
9. Stoney Edwards - "Pickin' Wildflowers"
10. O. B. McClinton - "Don't Let the Green Grass Fool You"
11. Jo Ann Sweeney - "I'll Take It"
12. The Pointer Sisters - "Fairytale"
13. Ruby Falls - "Show Me Where"
14. Lenora Ross - "Lonely Together"
15. Big Al Downing - "Touch Me (I'll Be Your Fool Once More)"
16. Professor Longhair - "Jambalaya (On the Bayou)"
17. Dobie Gray - "From Where I Stand"
18. Cleve Francis - "Love Light"
19. Aaron Neville - "The Grand Tour"
20. Barrence Whitfield - "Irma Jackson"
21. Ted Hawkins - "There Stands the Glass"
22. Herb Jeffries - "I'm a Happy Cowboy"

Disc 4 – Reclaiming the Heritage
1. Carolina Chocolate Drops - "Ruby, Are You Mad at Your Man?"
2. Rhiannon Giddens - "At the Purchaser's Option"
3. Darius Rucker - "Wagon Wheel"
4. Darius Rucker - "Don't Think I Don't Think About It"
5. Valerie June - "Workin' Woman Blues"
6. Our Native Daughters - "Black Myself"
7. Mavis Staples - "Touch My Heart"
8. Tony Jackson - "I Didn't Wake Up This Morning"
9. Rissi Palmer - "Country Girl"
10. Miko Marks - "It Feels Good"
11. Kane Brown - "Heaven"
12. Kane Brown - "Worldwide Beautiful"
13. Yola - "Ride Out in the Country"
14. Allison Russell - "Nightflyer"
15. Wendy Moten - "'Til I Get It Right"
16. Cowboy Troy - "I Play Chicken with the Train"
17. Blanco Brown - "The Git Up"
18. BRELAND - "Cross Country"
19. Brittney Spencer - "Bigger Than the Song"
20. Mickey Guyton - "Black Like Me"
21. Keb' Mo' - "Loving Arms"
22. The War and Treaty - "A Lesson in Leavin'"

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