Asheville, North Carolina’s history as a music center goes back to the 1920s and string-band troubadours like Lesley Riddle and Bascom Lamar Lunsford, and country-music pioneer Jimmie Rodgers. But there’s always been a lot more to this town than acoustic music and scenic mountain views. From the experimental Black Mountain College that drew a range of minds as diverse as German artist Josef Albers, composer John Cage, and Albert Einstein, Asheville was also the spiritual home for electronic-music pioneer Bob Moog, who invented the Moog synthesizer first popularized by experimental bands like Kraftwerk to giant disco hits like Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love.”
It’s also a town where busking culture ensures that music flows from every street corner, and it’s the adopted hometown of many modern musicians in a multitude of genres, including Pokey LaFarge, who spent his early career busking in Asheville, and Moses Sumney, a musician who’s sonic palette is so broad, it’s all but unclassifiable.
In this premiere episode of Carolina Calling, we wonder and explore what elements of this place of creative retreat have drawn individualist artists for over a century? Perhaps it’s the fact that whatever your style, Asheville is a place that allows creativity to grow and thrive.
Subscribe to Carolina Calling on any and all podcast platforms to follow along as we journey across the Old North State, visiting towns like Shelby, Greensboro, Durham, Wilmington, and more.
Music featured in this episode:
Bascom Lamar Lunsford – “Dry Bones”
Jimmie Rodgers – “My Carolina Sunshine Girl”
Kraftwerk – “Autobahn”
Donna Summer – “I Feel Love”
Pokey LaFarge – “End Of My Rope”
Moses Sumney – “Virile”
Andrew Marlin – “Erie Fiddler (Carolina Calling Theme)”
Moses Sumney – “Me In 20 Years”
Steep Canyon Rangers – “Honey on My Tongue”
Béla Bartók – “Romanian Folk Dances”
New Order – “Blue Monday”
Quindar – “Twin-Pole Sunshade for Rusty Schweickart”
Pokey LaFarge – “Fine To Me”
Bobby Hicks Feat. Del McCoury – “We’re Steppin’ Out”
Squirrel Nut Zippers – “Put A Lid On It”
Jimmie Rodgers – “Daddy and Home”
Lesley Riddle – “John Henry”
Steep Canyon Rangers – “Graveyard Fields”
BGS is proud to produce Carolina Calling in partnership with Come Hear NC, a campaign from the North Carolina Department of Natural & Cultural Resources designed to celebrate North Carolinians’ contribution to the canon of American music.