A Place Like Mississippi

Online and on air: Ralph Eubanks takes us on a literary road trip from Ward's Gulf Coast to Faulkner's hills

September 11, 2021 at 7 pm (CT) Mississippi Public Broadcasting; 9 pm (CT) Alabama Public Radio; 3 pm (ET) University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Thursdays 6 pm (CT) University of Mississippi; Fridays 9 am (CT) WYXR Memphis Community Radio

Thursday, Sept 9- Saturday, Sept. 11 –  We’re delighted to welcome author (and frequent visitor and friend) Ralph Eubanks and his evocative new memoir A Place Like Mississippi: A Journey Through a Real and Imagined Literary LandscapeWe’ll talk to Ralph about landscape and literature and why Eudora Welty favored a certain Jitney Jungle store.

Our musical guests will be rocker Linda Gail Lewis (sister of Jerry Lee) and the incomparable gospel harmonies of The Como Mamas

Hosts: Jim Dees and our house band, the Yalobushwhackers

Air times:

Saturday, Sept. 11– 7pm (CT) Mississippi Public Broadcasting

9pm (CT) Alabama Public Radio

3pm (ET) University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Thursdays 6pm (CT) WUMS – University of Mississippi

Fridays 9am (CT) WYXR Memphis Community Radio

Featuring

Author

Ralph Eubanks

Ralph Eubanks’ latest book A Place Like Mississippi: A Journey Through a Real and Imagined Literary Landscape (Timber Press) From Faulkner and Welty to Wright and Ward. The book is a literary road trip through Mississippi starting on the Gulf Coast with Jesmyn Ward up through Eubanks’ own Piney Woods with Michael Farris Smith. Willie Morris’ Yazoo Delta and Eudora’s Belhaven lead to Lewis Nordan’s Itta Bena, the poets of Parchman penitentiary and Faulkner’s Oxford among many others.

Ralph Eubanks is author of Ever Is a Long Time and The House at the End of the Road. He has also contributed articles and reviews to the Chicago TribunePreservationThe Hedgehog ReviewThe American ScholarTime, The Wall Street JournalWIREDThe New Yorker, and NPR.

Eubanks is a recipient of a 2007 Guggenheim Fellowship and has been a fellow at the New America Foundation. Eubanks lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife and three children, and is currently visiting professor of Southern Studies at the University of Mississippi in Oxford.

A Place Like Mississippi is further proof that while Mississippi is 50th in many things, when it comes to riveting, textured, literary art, we one of one, as is the genius of Ralph Eubanks.” —Kiese Laymon, author of Heavy: An American Memoir.

Music

Linda Gail Lewis

Born in Louisiana and currently based in Austin, TX, Linda Gail Lewis is a songwriter and piano player and the little sister of one of the founders of rock and roll, Jerry Lee Lewis. Linda Gail grew up with such a passion for music she became a professional musician at age fifteen. Before the Covid pandemic, she toured the world sharing her high-octane live show with music fans around the world.

Her releases include her latest (and very timely) single, Oh Pandemic, and the albums Hard Rockin’ Woman, Early Recordings 1963-1973 and Rockin’ in England 1996.

The Como Mamas

The Como Mamas are gospel singers from the small town of Como Mississippi. The group is Ester Mae Smith and her cousins, the sisters, Angela Taylor, and Della Daniels. Their releases, all on Daptone Records, feature their soul-stirring praise music on the albums Get An Understanding and Move Upstairs and the singles, Out of the Wilderness, Well, Well, Don’t You Worry About Me and their latest, Hold On To God’s Unchanging Hand and You Got To Move.

Ethnomusicologist Fredara Hadley celebrated the “imperfectly harmonic” relationship between the Como Mamas’ voices. And it is in this perfect imperfection, this slippage, this coming together of three individual voices each singing the song and not just the notes, that a vector of energy is created. This energy is what moves people. This is the energy that “gets you through.”

Photo of Como Mamas by Zach Smith Photography