AWAKENING

I wrote and recorded Awakening back in the early 1990s. In 2014 Eddie and I were invited to perform at the annual National Council for Geographic Education convention (NCGE) held at the Peabody hotel in Memphis, TN. We found Carol Highsmith’s photos of America at the Library of Congress website and projected them as a back drop to our closing song for the night This Land is Your Land. It worked GREAT and was well received by a room full of geography teachers.

A few years later Eddie mentioned that he thought these pictures (in the same order) might work to my Awakening tune. I did a quick edit to make the pictures and tune sync up and forgot about it (literally). While looking for things to post here on our site, Eddie mentioned this movie. I searched around and found it and was struck by the power of Ms. Highsmith’s images. I placed the credits on the movie and posted it here for the first time, January 14, 2021.

     Frank Thomas

    In A Nutshell - The Birth of This Movie 

    • We Created Angels on the Backroads (See Link Above) 
    • NPR Interviewed us for our last location recording (Listen Below) 
    • During this interview we expressed our hope to take this blues history to schools and beyond. 
    • It became a one-man, multimedia musical tour with over 100 performances in the UK and Mississippi Delta. 
    • Our final performance was June 17, 2007 in Oxford, Mississippi at the University of Mississippi Geographic Alliance. 
    • 7 years later, an attendee of that final showing recommended we perform for the NCGE Opening Banquet. 
    • We used Ms. Carol Highsmith's photos during the closing song and later synced them to Awakening
    • Added credits and posted here for you on January 15, 2021. 

    See more of Carol Highsmith's AMERICA at her website.

    LISTEN TO NPR INTERVIEW

    LISTEN TO NPR INTERVIEW

    A crew from National Public Radio's Weekend Edition Sunday and the show's host, Liane Hansen, were on hand when Eddie and I recorded the last tune for our Angels on the Backroads project. That was in New Orleans on August 15, 2001. At the end of taping, Liane asked us to reflect on our journey. Our hope was to share some of what we had seen and heard, some of what we'd studied and learned.  We got that opportunity and performed a multimedia concert from the fall of 2004 through the spring of 2007.  We took it to schools throughout the Mississippi Delta and  on three tours to the United Kingdom where the historic love for this music is as rich as Delta soil. 

    Frank Thomas