Authentic South: A Storytelling Podcast On Southern Culture

Authentic South is a sound-rich, storytelling podcast that explores Southern culture through food, art, music, the land, big personalities and interesting characters. These are long form radio stories accessible on demand. Subscribe on iTunes.

Tanner Latham is a travel writer and multimedia storyteller based in Atlanta. After growing up in a small town in Alabama, Tanner spent over 10 years traveling throughout and reporting about the South as a Travel Editor for Southern Living magazine. He was also on staff as the multimedia reporter at WFAE from 2011 to 2012 .

Kelley Libby

For years, at historic plantation sites across the South, the focus was on the big house and not on the slave cabins. But cabins like that are now being resurrected by a program called Slave Dwelling Project on the grounds of Montpelier, James and Dolley Madison's home in Virginia. 

Chef Vivian Howard

Jul 11, 2014
Tanner Latham

Vivian Howard is the chef at Chef and the Farmer in the small Eastern North Carolina town of Kinston. She also "co-stars" with her husband Ben Knight on their Peabody Award-winning PBS show “A Chef’s Life.”

Tanner Latham

To Eat A Pig, Pt. 2

Jun 6, 2014
Charlene Dy

In To Eat A Pig, Pt. 1, we met Sean Kelley, a writer who set out to raise a couple of pigs for the purpose of butchering them himself. He was so adamant about that mission that he even named the pigs Lunch and Dinner. This episode picks up at the point where Dinner had grown to over 300 pounds, and Sean was finally ready to slaughter her.

To Eat A Pig, Pt. 1

May 23, 2014
Tanner Latham

Sean Kelley is a journalist, and in this show, he begins telling us the sometimes comic/sometimes tragic story about raising a couple of pigs so that he could slaughter, butcher and eat them just learn about that entire process firsthand.

"We know everything about pork and beef and poultry. We know nothing about pigs and cows and chickens," he says. 
 

Tanner Latham

Chef Hugh Acheson is one of the most celebrated and influential chefs in the country.

The Newest New South

Mar 7, 2014
Tanner Latham

“Folks started talking about the New South after the Civil War," says Tom Hanchett, staff historian at the Levine Museum of the New South in Charlotte. "Where we are now is the newest of the New Souths, the Newcomer South.” Tom speaks about the ever-evolving South, especially as it relates to food, from a booth in El Pulgarcito, a Honduran-Salvadoran-Mexican restaurant on the east side of the city.

Special music in this episode courtesy of Charlotte-based band UltimaNota.   

Tanner Latham

Cynthia Graubart attained culinary celebrity status last year when she won a James Beard Award for the cookbook she co-wrote with famed Southern author Nathalie Dupree. It’s called Mastering the Art of Southern Cooking, and it is amazing. It took four years to write, and it weighs six and a half pounds. It’s got 750 recipes and another 650 variations on the standards. It is becoming itself a standard--a bible--for any Southern cook.

William Ferris / From THE STORIED SOUTH: VOICES OF WRITERS AND ARTISTS by William Ferris.

Eudora Welty was one of the South’s most beloved writers, and her fiction is still a study in detail and dialogue and wit. Her settings were often Southern, but her themes were universal. Eudora won multiple awards in her lifetime, including a Pulitzer in 1973 for her novel The Optimist’s Daughter. She passed away in 2001.

The audio you hear of Eudora in this episode is part of folklorist Bill Ferris' recent book The Storied South, which is a collection of interviews with iconic writers, musicians, historians, photographers and artists. 

I first featured Bill in Episode 10, and we talked extensively about his 40-year career and how the South has perfected the art of storytelling. 

In this episode, Bill returns to tell us about his close friendship with the famous Southern writer. 

Sarah Cumming

Contributor Kelley Libby visits a shape note sing event in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Sometimes this style of singing is referred to as Sacred Harp. That’s because there’s an old tune book called The Sacred Harp, and most shape note singers use it, especially in the deep South.

Tanner Latham

Bestselling novelist Cassandra King talks about her new book Moonrise as well as her writing relationship with her husband, famous author Pat Conroy. 

"Being married to another writer was just like dropping a little fat kid into a candy store."   

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Preeminent Southern folklorist Bill Ferris has spent the last 40 years documenting the South in print, photography and film. His latest book, The Storied South, is a collection of interviews with some of the South's (and country's) iconic writers and artists, including Alice Walker, Alex Haley, Robert Penn Warren and Eudora Welty. We discuss the book, the importance of story and how Bill defines the South. 

Miss Biscuit

Aug 9, 2013
Tanner Latham

One of the highlights of Knoxville’s International Biscuit Festival  is the Mr. & Miss Biscuit Pageant. This episode profiles Liz Barr, the reigning Miss Biscuit 2013. Her win was surely secured after she performed an interpretive dance to an original love song...about a biscuit.

The pageant's talent competition was serious. One guy ate a spoonful of flour. There was a woman who carved a butter sculpture to resemble the Sunsphere, one of the city’s iconic landmarks.

Tanner Latham

Birmingham, Alabama, singer-songwriter Josh Vasa of the band Sanyasi talks about his Indian heritage, writing, and the value of cheesy lyrics.

Indian Pass Raw Bar

Jun 21, 2013
Tanner Latham

The Indian Pass Raw Bar is the anchor of the community in the Florida panhandle. It sits on County Road 30A, just southeast of Port St. Joe and west of Apalachicola. It’s an institution in this part of the world and has been here since owner Jimmy McNeill's grandparents opened it in 1929. People come for the oysters and the unusual 'honor system' code, but they also come for Jimmy, the unofficial mayor of Indian Pass.  

This episode features the song "372" by Pressed And.

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