Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Tony Tost's America | Episode 8 | "Come Back Woody Guthrie"




Welcome to Tony Tost's America. My name is Tony Tost, and this is my America:

"California (I'm Comin')," Little Richard
"Old Dog Blue," Jim Jackson
"Gospel Snakes," Lonnie Glosson

Jim Jones speaks at Jonestown

"Mother's Last Word to Her Son," Washington Phillips
"Who's Gonna Be Your Man," Ella Jenkins

Rev. J.M. Gates discusses the reason for the season
Rev. Jimmy Swaggart analyzes the issue of motherhood

"Delia's Gone," Johnny Cash
"St. James Infirmary," Bobby 'Blue' Bland
"Blue Moon Baby," Dave 'Diddle' Day
"I'm Gonna Join the Army," Silas Hogan

Stokely Carmichael talks about the learning curve of the white community

"Color Song (I Lost My Love)," Jean Shepard
"The Mercenary Song," Steve Earle
"Desperadoes Waiting for a Train," Guy Clark
"Casino," Marty Stuart

Alice Notley gauges and assuages

"Senor (Tales of Yankee Power)," Willie Nelson & Calexico
"Jesus Was Our Savior and Cotton Was Our King," Billy Joe Shaver
"Searching for a Soldier's Grave," Kitty Wells

Eugene V. Debs dreams a little dream

"Christmastime in Washington," Steve Earle
"Dialogue" & "Cut the Thievin' Hands Off the IRS," Ajay Lowery
"Pig at Home in a Pen," The Stanley Brothers
"Harlan County," Jim Ford

Johnny Cash picks up a hitchhiker

"Going to Memphis," Johnny Cash
"Are You Washed in the Blood?" Jim & Jesse

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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Tony Tost's America | Episode 7 | "Today Thou Shalt Be With Me in Paradise"





Welcome to Tony Tost's America. My name is Tony Tost, and this is my America:

"My Rifle, My Pony and Me," Dean Martin & Ricky Nelson
"My Life," Iris DeMent
"Julia Miller," Richard Buckner
"The Merry Golden Tree," Jean Ritchie

Johnny Cash contemplates upon the plow, the spirit, & like labors

"The Royal Palm," Abner Jay
"Black Eye Blues," Ma Rainey
"Bloodshot Eyes," Wynonie Harris
"Big Boss Man," Elvis Presley
"Sheldon Church Yard," Larry John Wilson

Charlton Heston briefly ascends so to map a battlefield

"Jailbait," Andre Williams
"Mrs. Leroy Brown," Loretta Lynn
"Poor But Ambitious," Wilmoth Houdini

Amiri Baraka speaks, verily, to the fire that surrounds him

"Sobbin' Woman Blues," Elizabeth Johnson
"Lonely Tombs," The Stanley Brothers
"Release Me," Charlie Feathers
"Song Man," Tanya Tucker
"Old Kentucky Home," Johnny Cash
"When Your House Is Not a Home," Patsy Cline
"The Ballad of Susan Smith," Lee Ann Brown
"Too Long at the Fair," Bonnie Raitt
"This Little Girl of Mine," Ray Charles
"Woody," The Miller Sisters

Linh Dinh wipes his chin and addresses a hungry nation

"Book of Daniel," David Koresh
"Ride Billy Ride," Bob Dylan

Thank you for visiting Tony Tost's America.

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Sunday, September 13, 2009

Tony Tost's America | Episode 6| "Does the mystery deepen?"


Welcome to Tony Tost's America. My name is Tony Tost, and this is my America.

Set 1

"Parchman Farm Blues," Bobbie Gentry
"Another Man Done Gone," Johnny Cash with Anita Carter
"No Time to Cry," Merle Haggard
"Mammy's Boogie," Les Paul and Mary Ford
"Highplains Jamboree," Terry Allen

Tony Tost takes a ride across a mythic geography, from one ear to the other.

Set 2

"El Paso City," Marty Robbins
"Friday Night Blues," John Conlee
"Rose Colored Glasses," JD Crowe & the New South (vocals: Keith Whitley)
"Saw Mill Man," Cast King

George C. Scott addresses and provokes a weary, war loving nation.

Set 3

"Dark as a Dungeon," Merle Travis
"Albert Erving," Porter Wagoner
"Train of Love," Bob Dylan
"Mr. Bojangles," George Burns

Tony Tost: "Say goodnight, America." America: "Goodnight, America."

Set 4

"Queen of the Coast," Laura Cantrell
"The Hyphen," John Wayne
"Werewolf," Cat Power
"Why Do You Bob Your Hair, Girls?," Blind Alfred Reed
"Strange Things Are Happening Every Day," Sister Rosetta Tharpe

Tony Tost takes a detour into brotherly love (nothing sounds better than blood on blood).

Set 5

"Bury Me on the Lonesome Prairie," The Delmore Brothers
"The Dying Boy's Prayer," The Blue Sky Boys
"I Wish It Had Been a Dream," The Louvin Brothers
"East Virginia Blues," The Stanley Brothers
"I Wonder if I Care as Much," The Everly Brothers

Download episode six here.

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Sunday, August 16, 2009


video exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, TN
photo by TT

Thursday, July 30, 2009

From Arkansas Times . .

Arkansas Times' Editor's Choice

Best radio shows not on the radio:

“Tony Tost's America” (tonytostsamerica.blogspot.com) comes from Tony Tost, a Walt Whitman Award-winning poet and former Arkansan, who's writing a book about Johnny Cash while in grad school at Duke. His approach is a sort of postmodern take on Greil Marcus' “old, weird America.” Which is to say, his purview is Americana — blues, country, folk, jazz — that takes a sharp left turn from the norm. You'll hear the likes of Slim Galliard, jazz king of gibberish, clucking, profanely, like a rooster or gospel singer Sister Wynona Carr offering a pastiche of “Dragnet” for Jesus. If that wasn't enough, occasionally, in a measured radio voice, Tost offers epigrams that tie everything together. Tune in.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Tony Tost's America | Episode 4 | "The Soul Saving Station"

Welcome to Tony Tost's America. My name is Tony Tost, and this is my America:


Set 1


Big Maybelle, “Ocean of Tears”

Billie Jo Spears, “Get Behind Me Satan and Push”

Leonard Cohen, “Don’t Go Home With Your Hard On”

Carl Story, “You Don’t Love God (If You Don’t Love Your Neighbor)”


(Tony Tost is authorized by the soul saving station to perform such duties consistent with his special advisory position)


Set 2


Johnny Burnette Trio, “The Train Kept A-Rollin’”

Jerry Lee Lewis, “Honey Hush”

Billy Lee Riley, “Saturday Night Fish Fry”

The Blenders, “Don’t Fuck Around With Love”


(Tony Tost explains: America leads a life of allegory; its works are comments upon it)


Set 3


Sister Wynona Carr, “Dragnet for Jesus”

Skeets McDonald, “The Tattooed Lady”

John Anderson, “Tokyo, Oklahoma”

The Rio Rockers, “Mexicali Baby”

Little Walter & Baby Face Leroy, “Rollin’ & Tumblin’ (Part 1)


(Charles Manson discusses doors, perfection, and conditioning.)


Set 4


John Phillips, “She’s Just 14”

Tanya Tucker, “Blood Red and Going Down”
David Allan Coe, “Death Row”

Bob Dylan, “Man Gave Names to All the Animals”

Slim Gaillard, “Fuck Off (The Dirty Rooster)”


(By the touch of America's wand, divine troublemakers are transformed into porcine stone figurines)


Set 5


Memphis Minnie, “Ma Rainey”

Robert Gordon, “It’s In the Bottle”

Sisters of Saint Francis, “In Heaven There Is No Beer”

Sonic Recycling Program, “I’m Fucked Up, I’ve Got Problems, and I’m Dangerous”

Charles Manson, “Arkansas”


(At the nethermost core of Tony Tost, and at the underside of his America, lay novelty, terror, and the transcendence of good taste)


Set 6


Robert Mitchum, “The Ballad of Thunder Road”

The Blue Sky Boys, “I Wish I Had Never Seen Sunshine”

Judy Lynn, “The Calm Before the Storm”

Scott Walker, “The Lady Came From Baltimore”


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Thursday, July 2, 2009

Tony Tost's America | Episode 3 | "I Want Your Head to Hang On My Wall Tonight"


My name is Tony Tost, and this is my America.


Set 1

Union Avenue, “Ace of Spades”
Wanda Jackson, “Hot Dog! That Made Him Mad”
Hasil Adkins, “No More Hot Dogs”
Bobbie Gentry, “Sermon”

(Tony Tost plays Dionysus to America’s Apollo)

Set 2

Elvis Presley, “An American Trilogy”
U.S. Senator Robert Byrd, “Rye Whiskey”
Charlie Rich, “Don’t Put No Headstone on My Grave”
John Fahey, “On the Sunny Side of the Ocean”

(Like a politician at a touch table, Tony Tost is delighted to feel America again)

Set 3

John Anderson, “Wild and Blue”
Dolly Parton, “The Mystery of the Mystery”
Washington Phillips, “I Had a Good Mother and Father”
Conway Twitty & Loretta Lynn, “You’re the Reason Our Kids Are Ugly”

(Our immersive digital environment demands new responses from America; what does it mean to be Tony Tost in the Internet age?)

Set 4:

Pee Wee King, “Plantation Boogie”
Maddox Brothers & Rose, “That’ll Learn Ya Durn Ya”
Jean Shepard, “Twice the Lovin’ (In Half the Time)”
George Jones, “I’m Gonna Burn Your Playhouse Down”
Johnny Cash, “Folgers Commercial”
Guy Clark, “Instant Coffee Blues”

(Tony Tost uses his own subjectivity to make this podcast a container that America may pour itself into; he cares little for the outcome)

Set 5:

Anita Carter, “As the Sparrow Goes”
Norman Blake, “The Minstrel Boy to the War has Gone/Ash Grove”
Bonnie “Blue” Billy, “Little Boy Blue”
Laura Cantrell, “The Whiskey Makes You Sweeter”

(Tony Tost embraces his guilty nation)

Set 6:

Iris DeMent, “Sweet Is the Melody”
Michael Jackson, “Billie Jean” (vocal demo)

Thank you for visiting Tony Tost's America.






















Datta. Dayadhvam. Damyata.

Sha'mon sha'mon sha'mon.


Download the podcast HERE, or listen below:

Monday, June 22, 2009

Tony Tost's America | Episode 2


My name is Tony Tost, and this is my America:



Set 1

Love’s Endless War, Don Williams
Waitin’ in Your Welfare Line, Buck Owens & His Buckaroos
George and the North Woods, Dave Dudley
Dark Moon, Loretta Lynn
In the Hills of Shiloh, Bobby Bare

(Tony Tost travels all night so to measure just one of America's wounds)

Set 2

Down on the Banks of the Ohio, the Blue Sky Boys
She’s Making Whoopee in Hell Tonight, Lonnie Johnson
The (New) Call of the Freaks, Luis Russell & His Orchestra
Cocksucker Blues, the Rolling Stones
Uncle Dave’s Beloved Solo, Uncle Dave Macon

(Tony Tost gazes at the subliminal fireworks)

Set 3

Long Black Limousine, Connie Smith
Cocaine Carolina, Johnny Cash
Ten Years of This, Gary Stewart
Snakes Crawl at Night, Charley Pride
Would You Lay With Me (In a Field of Stone), Tanya Tucker

(Tony Tost reads an excerpt from a book about Johnny Cash)

Set 4

Sermon, Jerry Lee Lewis
Angel of Death, Hank Williams
How Far Am I From Canaan, Sam Cooke & the Soul Stirrers
Lovesick Blues, Emmett Miller
Blue Yodel #9, Jimmie Rodgers

(Tony Tost wonders: O America, where is thy sting?)

Set 5

Jesus Gave Me Water, Blind Boys of Mississippi
Cocaine Habit Blues, Memphis Jug Band
Feel Like Going Home, Charlie Rich
Night Train to Memphis, Jerry Lee Lewis


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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Tony Tost's America | Episode 1














Welcome to Tony Tost’s America.


My name is Tony Tost, and this is my America:

Set 1:

Alligator Wine, Screamin’ Jay Hawkins
Quiet Whiskey, Wynonie Harris
Drinkin’ Wine Spo-Dee-o-Dee, Jerry Lee Lewis
Lead Me On, Paul “Wine” Jones

(Tony Tost composes comments at the point of utterance, trusting)

Set 2:

Brown Eyed Handsome Man, Chuck Berry
Merle’s Farewell to Elvis, Merle Haggard
Jesus Walked That Lonesome Valley, Million Dollar Quartet
Will the Circle Be Unbroken, The Staple Singers
Tiger Man, Rufus Thomas
Run Johnny Run, Jimmie Driftwood

(Tony Tost verbally encourages America, urges fellowship)

Set 3:

A Soldier of the Cross, Zion Travelers
I’m Lonesome, Ernie Chaffin
Do Lord Remember Me, Evangelist Sister Rosetta Winn
Hobo Flats, Mel Brown
Don’t Turn Your Heater Down, Steve Cropper, Pops Staples, & Albert King

(Tony Tost admonishes America to come and take its losses like a lamb)

Set 4:

A Apolitical Blues, Little Feat
Devil in a Sleeping Bag, Willie Nelson
I’ve Lived So Fast and Hard, Porter Wagoner
Ramblin’ Man, Del Shannon
Mansion on the Hill, Vernon Oxford
TV Mama, Frantics Four

(Tony Tost wishes America luck and loyalty and long goodbyes)

Set 5:

Ain’t No Tellin’, Mississippi John Hurt
Moonshine Blues, Bob Dylan
When Will This Ever End, Don Gibson and Los Indios Tabajaras
One More Time, Billy Lee Riley
Man We Had a Party, Wanda Jackson

Thank you for visiting Tony Tost’s America.

Download America HERE.

Or listen here: