Book/CD set. Takes as its starting point thirteen iconic performances captured on Library of Congress field recordings between 1934 and 1942, in locations reaching from Southern Appalachia to the Mississippi Delta and onto the Great Plains. Through decades of research Wade tracked down surviving performers and their families, fellow musicians, and community members. Weaving together loving and expert profiles of these performers with the histories of these songs and tunes, Stephen brings to life largely unheralded individuals: farm laborers, state prisoners, school children, cowboys, housewives, miners - whose music has become part of the wider American musical soundscape. By exploring how these singers and instrumentalists exerted their own creativity on inherited forms, "amplifying tradition's gifts," Stephen shows how a single artist can make a difference within a democracy. Hardcover. 504 pp.