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The Front Porch What is the "real" South? Is there any such thing? Rival images jostle each other in popular imagery: the tallcolumned Big House and the dog-trot cabin, the lynch mob and the civil rights march, the drag strip and the debutante ball. All these images are part of the South, but tossing the opposites into a mixture doesn't settle the question of how they are related. Our authors in this issue don't settle that matter for keeps, but they all come to grips with it and share a piece of their answers. Charles Reagan Wilson starts us off by putting some people away. Is there a Southern Way of Death? What are the common themes that run through the public funerals of celebrated southerners, ranging from leaders of the Confederacy to Martin Luther King Jr. and Elvis Presley? Turning the question around, do changing styles of last rites tell us something about new ways of being southern? Wilson's stories from the final obsequies of the South's late and great give us an introductory answer. And stump your friends with this one, folks: What did the funerals of Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis, and William Faulkner all have in common , besides the obvious? Read and find out. The mountain South is often left out of popular imagery, but David Moltke-Hansen shares a relatively unknown collection of mountain photographs from early in the century that offers a vast display of visual information about the southern high country. T. R. Phelps was a photographer of Washington and Russell Counties, Virginia, whose archive now rests at Emory and Henry College. If country music defines southern culture for some people, it's not because others didn't struggle to make it otherwise. Pamela Grundy shows how earnest devotees of European high culture struggled to put classical music on the radio in the New South city of Charlotte in the early days of broadcasting—and didn't quite make it. Charlotte's first radio station, WBT, was born as a home for Brahms and Beethoven, only to be re-created as a popular outlet for the Briarhoppers and other musical ancestors of Johnny Cash and Tammy Wynette. Why didn't the purveyors of the hifalutin stay on top of the music scene? Tune in and find out. 2 Southern Cultures Loggers, farmers, housewives, and skylarking youngsters look back at us from these photographs, challenging preconceived notions of mountain life and offering an exciting look at yet another "New South." From the world of "high" culture, Jack Roper re-creates a little-known chapter in the life of North Carolina playwright Paul Green. A major figure in the Southern Literary Renaissance of the 1930s, Green put the region's folk culture on stage and created the genre of "outdoor drama" in well-known productions like The Lost Colony and Unto These Hills. Before that, however, Paul Green and his wife, Elizabeth, worked hard to recruit and publish the South's finest poetry and short fiction in their short-lived "little magazine," the Reviewer. Roper shows how their efforts gave a forum to southern feminists at a time when H. L. Mencken had dismissed the South as "the Sahara of the Bozart." Speaking of Green, we are reprinting an old letter of his to introduce a new regular feature entitled "Not Forgotten." The letter recounts an ugly incident of racial violence that Green witnessed as a child and later shared with his friend and correspondent Ward Morehouse. The recollection affected Green so powerfully that it later inspired his Pulitzer-prize winning play, In Abraham's Bosom. It seems to us that some of the most incisive commentary on southern cultures is not brand new, but lies in older writings that bear repeating. Since memory is an essential aspect of all cultures in the South, "Not Forgotten" will be our place to recollect some special, older writings about the South, along with worthy reminiscences from contemporary authors. Chewing over issues of cultural unity and diversity is part of our special interest in Southern Cultures, a new quarterly about the American South. This is our second issue, though we are calling it...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-1488
Print ISSN
1068-8218
Pages
pp. 1-2
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-04
Open Access
No
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