SouthBound

The South… What is it? Movies, books, songs, myths and legends have tried to explain this part of the United States. SouthBound, a podcast series from WFAE, talks to people who were born and raised in the South. Hosted by journalist Tommy Tomlinson, SouthBound features conversations with notable Southerners from all walks of life – from artists and athletes to preachers and politicians.

New episodes will come out every other week on Wednesday. Subscribe:
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Who would you like to hear on the SouthBound podcast? Submit your favorite Southerner below and the question you would love for them to answer. Who knows... you might just hear them on a future episode.

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Courtesy of Wild Turkey

The South is responsible for the three greatest beverages in human history: sweet tea, Coca-Cola, and most of all, bourbon. And nobody alive has been involved with more bourbon than a man named Jimmy Russell.

SouthBound Radio Hour: Vol. 14

Jul 18, 2018

This week's SouthBound Radio Hour is a nod to our latest guest, novelist Tayari Jones, and her best-selling book "An American Marriage." Some of the tracks are mentioned or alluded to in the book; others are an attempt to match the mood.

Tayari Jones

Tayari Jones was waiting for her fourth novel to be published when she got the phone call that, in this day and age, most every writer dreams of — a call from Oprah Winfrey to let Jones know that her book, "An American Marriage," would be the next selection in Oprah's Book Club. 

SouthBound Radio Hour: Vol. 13

Jul 4, 2018

This week's SouthBound Radio Hour is dedicated to our latest guest, Nashville singer Erin Rae. We start with her new album "Putting On Airs," and top off the playlist with some of the influences she talks about on the podcast.

Erin Rae is a singer out of Nashville who you’re going to be hearing a lot more about. She signed a record deal with Single Lock Records, the label co-founded by John Paul White, formerly of the Civil Wars. Erin Rae’s songs remind me of those Civil Wars songs – her music is quiet and intimate, trying to make sense of conflicted feelings. 

SouthBound Radio Hour: Vol. 12

Jun 20, 2018
Courtesy of the artist

This week's SouthBound Radio Hour is a tribute to our latest guest, basketball legend Bobby Jones. It features some music from his time with the Philadelphia 76ers, a little gospel, a nod to his Olympics experience, and a few North Carolina-centric tracks at the end.

Bobby Jones driving on Larry Bird in a Philadelphia-Boston game in the '80s.
Courtesy of The 76ers

Bobby Jones built a basketball career on his ability to guard other players, to the point where Nike created a marketing campaign calling him the Secretary of Defense. He was an All-Star five times in his 12-year pro career and won an NBA title in 1983 as a member of a great Philadelphia 76ers team that included Moses Malone and Dr. J, Julius Erving. 

Courtesy of the Artist

Kathy Izard -- our latest guest on the SouthBound podcast -- chose the first six songs on this week's Radio Hour in honor of her work with Charlotte's homeless. I filled out the playlist with some of my home-related picks. Enjoy at your home ... and maybe think about those who don't have one.

Kathy Izard

Have you ever heard that little voice telling you to do something more with your life? Kathy Izard heard that voice, and unlike many of us, she decided to listen.

Courtesy of the Artist

For Vol. 10, we've built a megamix of all the SouthBound Radio Hours so far -- more than eight hours of (mostly) Southern music for your enjoyment. As Ron Popeil would say, "Set it and forget it!"

Magnolia Pictures

If you somehow had a giant photo album of the last 40 years of fashion history, as you scrolled you would see one face over and over again, a head taller than most everybody else. That’s Andre Leon Talley.

Courtesy of the artist

Laura Vinroot Poole, featured on the latest episode of SouthBound, handpicked the songs for this SouthBound Radio Hour -- some Southern, some not. But there's definitely some fashion in here.

Laura Vinroot Poole

If you know much about fashion, you probably know the name Laura Vinroot Poole. The fashion business definitely knows about her – she’s a common presence in the houses of designers all over the world. She owns three boutiques in Charlotte, and her flagship store, Capitol, has now been around for 20 years. But Laura Vinroot Poole didn’t plan on going into fashion. The path of her life has surprised her, the same way it surprised her family and friends. It all came from one strong desire – to get back home.

Courtesy of the Artist

Most of the artists on this playlist were suggested by Webb Hubbell, native of Arkansas and the guest on the most recent episode of SouthBound. (Jimmy Buffett is on here because of his organist and producer Michael Utley, a classmate of Hubbell's at the University of Arkansas.)

Nick de la Canal / WFAE

Webb Hubbell was a political prodigy. When he was just 29, he became mayor of Little Rock. A few years later, he was chief justice of the Arkansas Supreme Court. And a few years after that, he was heading to Washington to serve under his friend, President Bill Clinton. But his fast rise was followed by a hard fall.

Courtesy of the Artist

In honor of this week's SouthBound guest Dale Earnhardt Jr., here's a batch of songs by Southern artists about driving and cars.

Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Courtesy of Dale Earnhardt Jr.

In all my years of doing interviews, I’ve met very few people who are as open and honest about themselves as this week's SouthBound guest, Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Courtesy of the Artist

In honor of SouthBound guest Kimmery Martin, a Kentucky native, here's a batch of songs by Kentucky artists -- and some others that reference the Bluegrass State. Plus a little Juice Newton at the end in honor of Kimmery's novel, "The Queen of Hearts."

Kimmery Martin's first novel, "The Queen of Hearts," has got love, death, humor, secrets, hot doctor sex, and a medical procedure performed with a fork. Does that sound like something you might be interested in reading?

ABC Sports

If you're a sports fan of a certain age, you probably know Andrea Kirby's voice. From her roots in Alabama, she became a pioneering woman in sports broadcasting, reporting from around the globe on ABC's "Wide World of Sports" in the '70s. From there, she changed jobs to become a media coach for athletes and coaches, becoming known in some circles as "the athlete whisperer." In this episode of SouthBound, she tells stories from both sides of the camera.

Clemson University Library / Flickr

February is Black History Month, and today, we look back at some of our favorite moments from past interviews that examine the culture and history of African-American life in the American South.

Courtesy of the Artist

In connection with the latest SouthBound episode -- an interview with Josh Burford, Southern LGBTQ historian -- we present a collection of music from LGBTQ artists from the South. 

I had a lot of fun -- and learned a lot -- making this one. For a deep historical dive on LGBTQ music of all kinds, make sure to check out JD Doyle's work at http://www.queermusicheritage.com.

Joshua Burford / Facebook

So how do you document history if a lot of that history has been hidden from the outside world? That’s the challenge and the life’s work of Josh Burford, who has set out to tell the LGBTQ history of the South.

SouthBound Radio Hour: Vol. 3

Jan 3, 2018
NRBQ

In honor of food/spirits writer Kathleen Purvis, our most recent guest on SouthBound, here are songs by Southern artists about two of life's great pleasures. We could have made this one 10 hours long:

Courtesy of Kathleen Purvis

Kathleen Purvis has spent the last 30 years eating, sipping, thinking about and writing about Southern food and drink. She has been the food writer at the Charlotte Observer since 1989 and has won a slew of regional and national awards for her stories. She has written three books – her latest book, “Distilling the South: A Guide to Southern Craft Liquors,” will be published in May by UNC Press.

Courtesy of Kathleen Purvis

When it comes to writing about Southern food, women have traditionally dominated. But there’s been a shift – so much so that it had turned into a men’s club, argues author and Charlotte Observer food writer Kathleen Purvis. She wrote about it in a piece last year for The Bitter Southerner – and talks about it on the latest episode of the WFAE podcast, SouthBound. Here’s a preview of her conversation with host Tommy Tomlinson.

SouthBound Radio Hour: Vol. 2

Dec 20, 2017
Jess Hodge

On last week's SouthBound, guest Dolph Ramseur talked about the songs and artists that defined his life, not to mention his career as a music manager and record label owner. Here's a playlist to go along with our podcast conversation:

Courtesy of Dolph Ramseur

On this episode of SouthBound we talk with Dolph Ramseur, who grew up on a dirt road in Concord, North Carolina, trying to keep from having to work in the cotton mills that used to employ so many southerners, including many in his own family.

Courtesy of the Artist

Last week's guest on SouthBound, John T. Edge, went to the University of Georgia in the early '80s. So did I. Here's some music that was floating around Athens back then -- from local bands and from around the South.

Jason Thrasher

On this episode of SouthBound we talk to John T. Edge, who has thought more, and more deeply, about Southern food than maybe anyone else in the world. 

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