First broadcast September 2, 2011

Labor Day & In Memoriam: Liz Meyer and Honeyboy Edwards

10 p.m. to Midnight Host: Steve Winters

I offered classic songs of labor for this Labor Day weekend as well as two sets in remembrance of bluegrass singer-songwriter Liz Meyer who lost her quarter century battle with cancer on Aug. 26 and bluesman David “Honeyboy” Edwards, the last surviving link to the initial generation of Delta blues singers, who died Aug. 29 at age 95.

Liz Meyer was born in Washington, D.C. in 1952 but lived in the Netherlands since 1985, where she became a leading beacon on the European bluegrass scene and a prime mover behind the annual European World of Bluegrass festival and recordings. She excelled as a record producer and songwriter whose songs have been recorded by artists such as Emmylou Harris, Del McCoury, Laurie Lewis and Tom Rozum, Kate MacKenzie and Red Wine.

As the New York Times aptly put it, “Honeyboy” Edwards’ career “spanned nearly the entire recorded history of the blues, from its early years in the Mississippi Delta to its migration to the nightclubs of Chicago and its emergence as an international phenomenon.” For eight decades, Edwards performed with or knew virtually every major blues figure from the iconic Robert Johnson to contemporaries such as Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf. He was named a National Heritage Fellow by the National Endowment for the Arts in 2002, was honored last year with a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and in 2008 won a Grammy for best traditional blues album. He was elected to the Blues Hall of Fame in 1996.

  • Artist, "Title", Album, Label

  • Mark Grobner & Ken Kolodner, “Frenchie’s Reel”, Sunrise, Independent

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  • Florence Reece, “Which Side Are You On?”, Classic Labor Songs, Smithsonian Folkways

  • Almanac Singers, “Which Side Are You On?”, Classic Labor Songs, Smithsonian Folkways

  • Pete Seeger, “Banks of Marble”, “Union Maid”, If I Had A Hammer, Smithsonian Folkways

  • Bobbie McGee, “Bread And Roses”, Classic Labor Songs, Smithsonian Folkways

  • Christy Moore, “Ordinary Man”, The Christy Moore Collection: 81-90, East-West Records

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  • John McCutcheon, “Joe Hill”, Live At Wolf Trap, Rounder

  • Si Kahn, “Aragon Mill”, In My Heart, Philo

  • Si Kahn, “Blue Ribbon For The Boys At The Bar”, New Wood, Philo

  • John McCutcheon, “West Virginia Mining Disaster/Which Side Are You On?”, Barefoot Boy With Boots On, Front Hall Records

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  • Liz Meyer, “The Storm”, The Storm, Strictly Country

  • Kate MacKenzie, “Blue Lonesome Wind”, Age Of Innocence, Red House

  • Liz Meyer, “Gone”, Womanly Arts, Strictly Country

  • Laurie Lewis & Tom Rozum, “Bad Seed”, Guest House, HighTone

  • Liz Meyer, “Running Out Of Time”, The Storm, Strictly Country

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  • Honeyboy Edwards, “Sweet Home Chicago/Dust My Broom”, “I Feel So Good Today”, Mississippi Delta Bluesman, Smithsonian Folkways

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  • Utah Phillips, “The Preacher And The Slave”, Classic Labor Songs, Smithsonian Folkways

  • Tom Juravich, “Immigrants Like Me”, “Altar Of The Bottom Line”, Altar Of The Bottom Line, Finnegan

  • Mark Grobner & Ken Kolodner, “The Cradle Song/Johnny Cope”, Sunrise, Independent