Arthur Miller - The Accidental Music Collector

In 1941 Arthur Miller, penniless, got a job with the Library of Congress.

He was sent south to record accents and arrived in Wilmington, North Carolina, a few weeks before Pearl Harbour.

There was strife in the former slave port and Miller was amazed to hear people making music out of their experience and struggle - a railwayman singing raw blues and striking women turning spirituals into protest songs.

So he recorded several songs and interviews.

Christopher Bigsby, an authority on Miller, discovered this material and, at his house in Connecticut, hears Arthur Miller tell the story of how, quite by chance, the playwright became a music collector, and the songs he recorded a lifetime ago.

Episodes

First
Broadcast
RepeatedComments
2005022220110103 (BBC7)

In 1941 Arthur Miller, penniless, got a job with the Library of Congress.

He was sent south to record accents and arrived in Wilmington, North Carolina, a few weeks before Pearl Harbour.

There was strife in the former slave port and Miller was amazed to hear people making music out of their experience and struggle - a railwayman singing raw blues and striking women turning spirituals into protest songs.

So he recorded several songs and interviews.

Christopher Bigsby, an authority on Miller, discovered this material and, at his house in Connecticut, hears Arthur Miller tell the story of how, quite by chance, the playwright became a music collector, and the songs he recorded a lifetime ago.