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listen hear! Song Of The Day: Rhiannon Giddens "The Ballad Of Sally Anne"

Album Artwork
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Oh Boy Records

Rhiannon Giddens shares her powerful rendition of "The Ballad Of Sally Anne"

On April 12, Oh Boy Records will release, My Black Country: The Songs of Alice Randall, an 11-track collaborative album that celebrates the Black female experience in Country and Folk music. The new project includes contributions from Rhiannon Giddens, Valerie June, Leyla McCalla, Allison Russell, Sunny War, Adia Victoria and more.

Alice Randall is nationally known as author of The Wind Done Gone, her 2001 reinterpretation of Gone With the Wind, that focuses on Black perspectives. Prior to her debut novel, Randall wrote numerous songs, (including Trisha Yearwood’s #1 hit, "XXXs and OOOs") that were recorded by mainstream country artists who are all white. Randall has been one of the few Black female writers on Nashville’s Music Row.

“Because all the singers of my songs had been white, because country has white-washed Black lives out of country space, most of my audience assumed the stars of my songs were all white." Randall wrote in a release.

The second preview from the upcoming project is Rhiannon Giddens’ powerful reinterpretation of “The Ballad Of Sally Anne.” The song first appeared on Mark O’Connor’s 1991 album The New Nashville Cats. The track delves into the harrowing reality of lynching in the American South,

“After looking at the lyrics of this modern ballad, I did the folk thing,” Giddens shared. “Brought it into my time, space, emotions—so it morphed, swirled, & suddenly Sally Anne came through my banjo. Grateful to be part of Alice Randall’s black girl magic reclamation.”

WFPK’s listen hear! Song of the Day spotlights a song we love - weekdays at 11:10.

John is the mid-morning host on WFPK. Email John at jtimmons@lpm.org