A new essay on the Wooster Group’s “The B-Side: ‘Negro Folklore from Texas State Prisons,’ a Record Album Interpretation.” Thank you to Eric Berryman, Kate Valk, Bruce Jackson, Social Text, and the Black Sound and the Archive Working Group at Whitney Humanities Center.

“THE B-SIDE is based on the 1965 LP ‘Negro Folklore from Texas State Prisons,’ which features work songs, blues, spirituals, preaching, and toasts from inmates in Texas’ then-segregated agricultural prison farms. The album was brought to The Wooster Group by performer Eric Berryman after he saw the Group’s previous record album interpretation EARLY SHAKER SPIRITUALS. In THE B-SIDE, Berryman plays the album and transmits the material live, by channeling, via an in-ear receiver, the voices of the men on the record. Accompanying him are Jasper McGruder and Philip Moore. Berryman also provides context from the book Wake Up Dead Man: Hard Labor and Southern Blues by Bruce Jackson, the folklorist who recorded the album at the prison in 1964 and is now a SUNY Distinguished Professor at the University at Buffalo.” http://www.thewoostergroup.org


Elektra, 1965