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American Routes Celebrates Ten Years on the Air with CD Release

October 22, 2008 10:45 AM


Kathryn Hobgood

American Routes, the weekly radio program from New Orleans heard on public radio stations nationwide, is celebrating its tenth year anniversary on the air with the release of the CD “American Routes: Songs and Stories from the Road” with Nick Spitzer.

Spitzer, an internationally recognized folklorist and Tulane University faculty member, has served as a documentary, record, film, and festival producer for the Smithsonian Institution and PBS, and as an independent cultural producer for NPR"s All Things Considered. He created the program American Routes in 1998, when it was broadcast on seven stations.

Today, American Routes is produced in collaboration with Tulane and co-produced and distributed by American Public Media. It reaches nearly a million listeners on over 225 outlets across America as well as on XM Satellite Radio, and has been lauded by the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Billboard, ABC"s “Nightline” and “In Search of America” with the late Peter Jennings.

Spitzer says that the folklorist point of view that American Routes takes toward exploring music makes the program distinct. “We try to bring cultural context and history to the well known performer,” says Spitzer. “We also have field documentary features on less known people and places, like a man who created the Antique Radio Museum in St. Louis, or the role of an historically black seaside resort in North Carolina in the creation of "beach music."”

American Routes: Songs and Stories from the Road with Nick Spitzer” is two and a half hours in length. Interviews include Dave Brubeck, Tom Waits, Tito Puente, Rufus Thomas, Nina Simone, Dolly Parton, Jerry Garcia, Feufollet, and the Rebirth Brass Band.

For more information visit http://www.americanroutes.org