In the fall of 1970, having just been discharged from the United States Air Force, I began studying at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana. As a freshman, I was required to take Rhetoric 101, a basic English/writing class. In October, we received an assignment to do a project on alienation. This was my project. It was originally recorded on ¼" reel-to-reel tape, which I digitized into an mp3 file in March of 2003. (I was pretty amazed that, after 33 years, the ¼" reel-to-reel tape still maintained some semblance of its original quality.) As I listen now, I realize that some of the musical selections seem to stretch out too long; but then again, the assignment needed to be 15 to 20 minutes in length! (Total running time is 20:49.) Here it is.

The artists on this compilation, all recorded off of old, scratchy 33⅓ rpm records, are:

Eric Von Schmidt   Down on Me
Woody Guthrie (interviewed by Alan Lomax)   Worried Man Blues
Brownie McGhee and Sonny Terry   Long Gone
John Hammond   Crossroads
Dave Van Ronk   Come Back Baby

The quote from Harold Courlander at the end of the tape is from his book Negro Folk Music, U.S.A., published by Columbia University Press, New York, 1963.

Rick Shabsin
March 14, 2003