Produced by

Can't Keep From Crying: Blues Reflects On The Death Of JFK

Friday, November 22, 2013

The album 'Can't Keep From Crying' was recorded in the weeks after the assassination of President Kennedy. The album "Can't Keep From Crying" was recorded in the weeks after the assassination of President Kennedy.

Fifty years ago -- on the day President John F. Kennedy was assassinated -- guitarist John Lee Granderson was driving from Chicago to Tennessee when his car broke down. For the next two days, he repaired his car and composed a song, "A Man For the Nation."

That story is recounted in the liner notes to Can’t Keep From Crying: Topical Blues on the Death of President Kennedy, an album project inspired by Granderson, and released on Testament Records.

In honor of the the 50th anniversary of JFK's death, Soundcheck listens back to selections from the album, which contains eleven songs recorded by folk and blues artists in Chicago in the weeks following that infamous day in Dallas.

The blues historian Pete Welding produced the album and called these 11 songs “topical blues.” Welding wrote in the liner notes, “They are by nature short-lived, celebrating as they do transitory events. A topical song usually lasts only as long as the event it celebrates is remembered.” The irony here, of course, is that this event would never be forgotten.

Leave a Comment

Register for your own account so you can vote on comments, save your favorites, and more. Learn more.
Please stay on topic, be civil, and be brief.
Email addresses are never displayed, but they are required to confirm your comments. Names are displayed with all comments. We reserve the right to edit any comments posted on this site. Please read the Comment Guidelines before posting. By leaving a comment, you agree to New York Public Radio's Privacy Policy and Terms Of Use.