Along the Mississippi: Cotton Fields and Blues (2010)
We are treated to the hidden gems of the river by “Riverman,” also known as John Ruskey, the best known canoe maker of the area. We are taken to the hidden beauty spots of the great current as the spirit of Huckleberry Finn is recaptured by a campfire under an endless ceiling of stars during a night spent on a sand bank.
Aven Whittington is hoping for a harvest of enough cotton to make a million pairs of jeans. Known as the “Gold of the Mississippi,” cotton is also a focal point of America’s darker past. We hear about the racist murder of Emett Till, the trial for which is said to have caused the momentum for the Civil Rights Movement across the US.
No music expresses the joys and sorrows of this land better than the Blues. Jerry Fair, a professional blues musician, explains, with a twinkle in his eye, that the leap from the melodies and text of the church choir to what became known as “The Devils Music,” was not all too great for the blues musicians of Louisiana.