The Ring and The Shout

This Hip Deep episode presents the stunning radio premiere of “Oh, David,” the traditional song of the annual Easter Rock in Winnsboro, Louisiana. The Easter Rock is in fact a surviving ringshout—the oldest known form of African American music—but it’s about 600 miles west of the ringshout’s heartland in Georgia. It’s located across the Mississippi River from Vicksburg in the Louisiana Delta, where they don’t call it a “ringshout,” but a “rock.” And it totally rocks. Producer Ned Sublette attends the Easter Rock ceremony and talks with Dr. Joyce Marie Jackson, a scholar and Louisiana native, who has been working with the Rockers for almost 20 years and confirms their tradition as a direct musical link to slavery days. In Athens, Georgia, Sublette visits Art Rosenbaum, producer of recordings by Georgia’s McIntosh County Shouters, and more.