Pan American Blues

Lost and Found Sound: Radio Stories from Nashville

DeFord Bailey, the "Harmonica Wizard," in 1926.

hide captionDeFord Bailey, the "Harmonica Wizard," in 1926.

David Morton and the DeFord Bailey estate
A formal looking DeFord Bailey posing with his foot on a Coca-Cola crate circa 1930s.

hide captionDeFord Bailey posing with his foot on a Coca-Cola crate circa 1930s.

David Morton

One of the first letters sent to Lost and Found Sound came from a listener who told us that no series about the sounds of the 20th century would be complete without the sound of the Pan American Train passing the WSM Radio tower in Nashville. The 10,000 watt station broadcast the sound live each day at 5:08pm - Nashvillians and listeners from all across the South and Midwest set their clocks by the sound.

In searching out this sound, we were led to the remarkable story of Harmonica Wizard DeFord Bailey, the first black to perform and tour with WSM's Grand Ole Opry, whose signature song, Pan American Blues, inspired the naming of the show. DeFord's story, along with the story of WSM and its legendary Grand Ole Opry make up this program

Produced by The Kitchen Sisters (Nikki Silva and Davia Nelson) with Laura Folger. Mixed by Jim McKee at Earwax Productions, San Francisco

Special Thanks To: The Country Music Foundation; Alan Stoker, Bob Pinson and Ronnie Pugh; DeFord Bailey Jr., Dezoral Bailey and Christine Bailey; David Morton, Author of Deford Bailey; Charles Wolfe; Chris Strachwitz; Sam Phillips, Sun Records; James Talley; Peter Guralnick; Nick Spitzer, American Roots; Jim Sherraden and The Gill Sisters, Jenny, Delaney & Casey; Amy Davis, Southern Folklife Collection, UNC Chapel Hill; Tom Diamant and Marc Hargraveso, Down Home Records; WSM Radio, Kyle Cantrell and staff; Jeff Davis and Mike Elder, WSL Radio; Scott Smith and Rob Gordon, WPLN Radio; Jan McKee, Library of Congress; Mike Seeger and Jeff Place, Folkways, Smithsonian; Tamara Drexler Robinson, Nashville Film Commission; Ben Williams; Frances Nelson; Tim Folger; Ed Broderr; Bryan Turner; Silas Newsome; Rick Clark, Leda Hartman; Debbie May, Nashville Public Library; Stephanie Orphen, Chicago Museum of Broadcasting and Communications; Zoetrope; Amy Standen, Grace Kee, Noah Miller and Erica Bridgeman.

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