BYU Radio


Book Review: "The Plot to Kill Hitler” by Patricia McCormick

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a pastor and staunch pacifist, faces dark times when his beloved country is thrust into war. A devotee of Gandhi, Bonhoeffer believes that peaceful means can end destruction, but as the atrocities are revealed, the only logical path is violence. With their path chosen, Bonhoeffer and his associates conspire to get information about what is happening in Germany out to the world while developing plans to assassinate Hitler. It soon becomes clear that sharing the evidence of hate is having little impact and when several assassination attempts go awry, allowing the enemy to flush them out, Bonhoeffer and his cohorts realize that it is likely they will give their lives for their cause.


McCormick, author of the hard-hitting Sold and Never Fall Down, offers an intense biography of a simple man who acted on his beliefs. The idea that being a hero does not mean success but can come in the form of someone who just takes action, is a powerful overarching theme of this biography. On the surface, it also addresses ethical questions of war and when violence may be necessary that will certainly provide fodder for deeper conversation and contemplation. Organized chronologically with additional information on the timeline and brief historical asides, Bonhoeffer’s story is well contextualized in ways that bring the time and place to life. Peppered with only selected photographs, the text itself is so engaging that readers will be able to easily visualize Bonhoeffer’s life and the deadly dilemmas he faced.


*Contains violence and sensitivities of war and the Holocaust.

Review by Rachel Wadham, Host of WORLDS AWAITING  

The Plot to Kill Hitler: Dietrich Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Spy, Unlikely Hero by Patricia McCormick. Balzer and Bray, 2016.

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At Worlds Awaiting we discuss a wide range of information aimed at supporting adults who want to build literacy skills in their children.   We understand that there is no “one size fits all” approach when it comes to children’s development, so the information we provide is intended to reach a wide audience. The books and other resources we recommend will also naturally cover a wide range of interests and subject matter that addresses a range of maturity, reading, and comprehension levels.  Since no one understands a child’s needs better than their caretakers, we encourage families to critically select the books and resources that meet their own individual needs and standards.


Top of Mind: The Magic Yarn Project

When adult women battling cancer lose their hair, they may start wearing wigs and hats, but when children fighting cancer lose their hair, those options aren’t very appealing…Until now. Holly Christensen, an oncology nurse from Alaska has turned a one-time gift from a friend’s daughter into an international nonprofit organization making colorful yarn wigs for kids with cancer. Imagine a giant yellow braid festooned with flowers (Rapunzel-style), or for boys, a beanie with braided dreadlocks and beads to look like Captain Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean. Volunteers from around the world are churning out hundreds of these yarn wigs to brighten the lives of sick kids.

It’s called The Magic Yarn Project. It’s a project that has helped child cancer patients gain comfort and confidence in their young lives. Normal wigs can be harsh on their tender scalps but the soft yarn used for these princess inspired wigs help keep these children warm and happy.

This amazing project has been able to reach children all across the world, including places like Kenya. It is run solely on volunteer hours. And there are endless ways to get involved. You can donate money, crochet your own wig, attend workshops and much, much more. They get many request from parents for long princess wigs and need all the help they can get.

For more information on this amazing project, listen to our full interview with founder Holly Christensen here.

"Why Picture Books Are Important, And Why They Are for Everyone" by Rick Walton

By Rick Walton

Picture books are often seen as literary baby food, the stuff we feed children until they have the teeth to eat real food.

I would argue, however, that picture books are not baby food. They are not just for young children.
In fact, I would argue that picture books are perhaps the most important literary format that we have.
Here are 10 reasons why I believe this:
1.   They are the first books that children fall in love with, that turn children into lifetime readers. Lifetime readers become lifetime learners. Lifetime learners become lifetime contributors.
2.   Picture book language is often more sophisticated than the first chapter books that children read, and therefore an excellent way for children to learn language. It is here that children, and others, can learn vocabulary, imagery, rhythm, shape, structure, conciseness, emotional power.
3.   The picture book is the most flexible of all literary formats. You can do almost anything in a picture book. This flexibility encourages creativity, in both writer and reader. It broadens the mind, and the imagination. And given today's challenges, we desperately need more creativity, broadened minds. Imagination.
4.   The picture book, with its interaction between text and illustration, with its appeal that the reader analyze that interaction, helps develop visual intelligence. It helps us look for meaning in the visual. And since most of us are surrounded by, and inundated by visual images our whole lives, visual intelligence is an important skill.
5.   Some of the best art being created today is found in picture books. Picture books are a great resource for art education.
6.   The picture book appeals to more learning styles than any other format. It is read out loud for audible learners. It is written and illustrated for visual learners. It often asks you to interact with it physically for kinesthetic learners.
7.    In fact, the picture book, of all formats, is probably the best format for teaching an idea, getting across a point. Because picture books are short, all messages, knowledge, ideas expressed in a picture book must be boiled down to their essence. They must be presented in a way that is impossible to misunderstand. If you want to learn a difficult subject, start with a picture book. If you want to express a powerful message, a picture book is one of the most powerful media for doing so. Many middle, upper grade, and even college instructors have recognized the value of using picture books in their teaching.
8.   The picture book does more than any other literary format for bonding people one with another. As a child sits on a lap and is read to, as a parent, a grandparent, a teacher, a librarian reads to a child, extremely important connections are made, bonds are formed, generations are brought together.
9.   The picture book also has the broadest possible age range of audience. Few four-year-olds will appreciate a novel. But many grandparents enjoy a good picture book. I have read picture books for upwards of an hour to groups including toddlers, teens, parents and grandparents, where all were engaged.
10. The picture book is short, and can fit easily into the nooks and crannies of our lives. Five minutes here, 10 minutes there, plenty of time for a complete literary experience.
 Picture books are poetry, adventure, imagination, language, interaction, precision, and so much more.
 Picture books are not books that children should be encouraged to "graduate" from.
 For picture books have something important to say, to give, to all ages, all generations.
 Picture books are not just books for young children.
They are books for everybody.

At Worlds Awaiting we discuss a wide range of information aimed at supporting adults who want to build literacy skills in their children.   We understand that there is no “one size fits all” approach when it comes to children’s development, so the information we provide is intended to reach a wide audience. The books and other resources we recommend will also naturally cover a wide range of interests and subject matter that addresses a range of maturity, reading, and comprehension levels.  Since no one understands a child’s needs better than their caretakers, we encourage families to critically select the books and resources that meet their own individual needs and standards.

Highway 89: Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams Interview

SKP: Larry thank you for coming here today, Teresa glad to have you.

LC: Thanks for having us.

TW: Glad to be here.

SKP: So we read that that song is about your romance but it also reminds you, Teresa, of your parents’ love. You said that they’ve got a relationship that still has that spark sixty years on. 

TW: Yeah, they fight like cats and dogs but then the big, black storms blow over then we are all rolling on the floor laughing the next minute. You definitely can see the spark in them both of why they ever got together and they are eighty and they are going strong. I should be eighty, I’m telling you. They’re still growing their own garden and canning and harvesting and-

SKP: (laughing) That’s great, that’s great. Well we’re going to dig into your backgrounds a little more, we’ll talk to each of you separately but we had to have you together because this is a duet album. 

LC: Mmhmm

SKP: You have talked about blues, rockabilly, country, gospel, all that stuff comes out of human experience. You wanted to play music that you feel is completely honest. Is there some way that you define that? Or do you just have to hear it and know it?

TW: My father giving me the eye, to step back, drop down and [get] back to just playing emotion and not—don’t put any extra on it.

SKP: Mmhmm, was he a music guy?

TW: Yeah rudimentary, really pure country blues. But at home, you know, mostly at home.

LC: Sounds a little like Jimmy Rodgers when he sings, you know. 

SKP: Oh, nice

LC: Yeah he’s got that thing…

SKP: That old-time

LC: Yeah, yeah.

SKP: In the industry, country, has kind of gone thorough cycles where it’s gotten a little bit slick, a little bit shiny-

LC: Yeah, yeah

TW: It comes and goes, doesn’t it?

SKP: Yeah but it seems like it always comes back to where you’re talking about.

LC: Yeah, there’s always an appetite for that, you know? As big as these genres may get, because that expansion has to do with accessing the lowest common denominator in the listening audience and that’s bells and whistles, you know? That’s just human nature but also human nature--

TW: They’re making a lot of money off it now. A lot of money off the bells and whistles.

LC: Yeah, but also human nature is this desire to feel and to participate in honest, emotional expression and-- 

TW: That’ll never go out of style.

LC: Yeah

SKP: Oh no, because it reaches inside of us.  

LC: That has nothing to do with trying to make a hit record or trying to make money off of what you are doing, it just has to do with, you’re hearing this from me because I have to get it out y’know-- 

SKP: Because I’m thinking if you guys had been after money; you would have done an album together a long time ago.

LC: (laughing) Well…

SKP: Just because I know people love hearing you together but what was it that really kind of…You had your own careers before you got together and then you kept touring separately. So what was the thing that finally made you say, “Yeah, let’s try this”? 

TW: Just, when we both finished some kind of long-term projects, Levon [Helm] called Larry up about a month after he finished with Bob Dylan-

LC: Bob Dylan, yeah.

TW: And I was just finishing up my original Carter Family project. Then his daughter Amy called me up to join them, they were starting to work on [the album] “Dirt Farmer” and to work on the [Midnight] Rambles. And we weren’t really living together for fifteen years, we were just dating it felt like because ships passing in the night really--

SKP: Yeah

TW: That experience threw us together and were suddenly living, eating, sleeping, working together all day, every day. So we went from one experience, a totally different flip of the coin and working with Levon is kind of, what? Well, we were doing Under My Grandmother’s Tree down with the locals when we would go home, down in Tennessee. Levon needed us to step up more. In his show, everybody in the band would step up and do their own songs, he liked that ensemble-feel. So we were bringing some of the stuff we’d worked on before into that and then people started shaming us because we didn’t have a recording. 

LC: (laughing) They’d say, “I want the CD, I want the CD.” 

SKP: (laughing) Well, someone said, “Why don’t you have a CD?” Maybe this was you, but he said, “My brother has a CD, my cat has a CD, everyone can make a CD now.” I don’t know which one of you said that.

TW: (laughing) It’s true, they were shaming us.

LC: (laughing) Yeah, Teresa did.

SKP: I wanted to ask you one more question because I am talking about keeping it real and you know, this kind of music reflects every human emotion from happy to dealing with some really hard things. You both have had the loss of people very close to you. I am wondering, Larry you’ve lost a brother and a mother too and of course you’ve lost friends to cancer. And I wonder how that feels when something like that happens and, you go on stage always, except I think you don’t feel like the same person, something has changed. 

TW: Of course. 

LC: Yeah.

TW: When you lose somebody, people say well, “Time does help,” but you always live with that hole in your heart and in your life and you just learn to live around it. 

SKP: Well I wonder if somebody who wasn’t doing music emotionally would get up and wonder, “Why am I even up here, what am I singing about?” but I figure with what you’re doing, you can just get up and feel that more.

LC: It’s so cliché and I hesitate to even say it, but it’s an undeniable truth. Music is the most healing thing you can do. You can wrap yourself up in it, you know? So many people have said that to me and I’ve experienced it time and time again. When we sang at my mothers’ memorial service, Teresa and I did, it was the most cathartic thing I could have done to get through that grieving. And right after I lost my father I was on tour with Bob Dylan and we had to go to Japan right after we buried him. I had this big hole in my heart but getting on stage every night was the sanctuary. You can channel that emotion, that grief your feeling, and get it out through your guitar or your voice or instrument or whatever. And it doesn’t necessarily have to be sounds of grief, it’s sounds of joy but it is something that’s coming from you when you’re putting it out there.

TW: It is, it’s a place of refuge and I’m just going to hit this for a second. I am a real, we both are, advocates for music in the schools. I know in my home county in Tennessee, the public schools don’t have music and it’s such a place of refuge for kids and it will go with you your whole life, that place, if you can play an instrument or some facet of music, not if you do anything with it professionally but it is another resource--

LC: It’s such a release, yeah.

TW: And a resource for you in times of trouble to go and filter those emotions through an instrument. It was for me growing up and I think maybe if we could save a few, maybe they could filter it through music instead of guns and all this stuff that’s going on, you know?

SKP: Amen, well let’s let you work out a little more of what every you need to personally work through and we’re going to hear a song right now. 

-----song break

SKP: Larry is a three-time Grammy award winning producer, lifetime achievement award recipient from the Americana music association. You’ve also been complimented as one of the most likable people on the planet.

LC: (laughing) Yeah, well.

SKP: Now I have to say, because we do a little research when we know you’re coming in--

LC: (laughing) Yeah, I guess you do

SKP: We have never, ever found someone that so many people said, “Oh he’s really good to work with.” It’s like, everybody managed to work that in here. They complimented your talent, your work ethic and just your likability. You should give lessons. You could do that. 

LC: (laughing) Yeah, that’s real nice to hear. Thank you, thank you.

SKP: So we read from a cousin of yours, he says, “I still see my grandmother Margaret looking me in the eye and pointing her finger with fiery Scottish pride, telling me about what made her most proud of her nephew…” (that was you)“…that never took a lesson.” Now you play so many instruments: pedal steel, banjo, fiddle, violin, mandolin, guitar. You really never took a lesson?

LC: No, well that’s not entirely true, I did. When I was first learning the fiddle I spent about six weeks with this classical violinist trying to get bow technique so there was a little bit of that there. And then when I was first learning guitar I had learned a lot on my own too. But there was a day camp near where I grew up in New York and a wonderful woman there named Paula, I’m sorry her last name is escaping me now, but we’d sit and play folk songs on her little guitar class there you know. So you could call that lessons. It’s not a hundred-percent true but there were-

SKP: You probably had to throw your violin technique out the window anyway to do fiddle.

LC: Yeah, yeah. That’s exactly true!

SKP: (laughs) 

LC: But at least I learned how to hold the bow you know. 

SKP: So did you just learn by watching people? By listening to records? What?

LC: Yeah well I mean when I was first learning it was - you take a record and hopefully you have a record player that goes down to sixteen on the turn table.

SKP: (laughs)

LC: I would cut the speed in half and keep playing it over and over again and keep dropping that needle on the passage you wanted to learn.

SKP: Because that would that would be an octave different.

LC: Right, exactly. 

SKP: So you could still be in tune. Oh that’s great! What a great technique.

LC: Yeah, I mean that and then watching everybody and asking questions and books. You know I spent days at the Daniel Public Library in New York. You could borrow records – because I couldn’t really afford to buy a lot of them, you know. And I would just pour through them and wear them out and bring them back, you know, in the month I had to borrow them.

SKP: (laughing) With the grooves totally worn. Well, I have to ask, the Beatles--

LC: Yeah

SKP: Wouldn’t be an obvious influence, but that was a big deal.

LC: Yeah. I always say I’m of that generation you know--there’s 20 million people maybe that saw that show on February 9th, 1964. My experience, as it was for many others, was this was--well in retrospect, I didn’t even see it at the time but it was equivalent to the big bang, you know?

SKP: Uh huh

LC: Where there was this huge explosion that opened this whole universe of music to my ears. That had been there all along but watching those guys do what they did at that point in my life, it was speaking to me in a way that no other music had before. It put me on this path where I needed to find out--like I remember looking at one of their records and there was this song written by Chuck Berry and I’m thinking, “Well, who is Chuck Berry”? So I went and found out who Chuck Berry was. That opened a whole other bunch of doors, you know?

SKP: (laughs)

LC: Then you find out about B.B King and that opens a whole other bunch of doors. Then you find out about the old blues guys you know Robert Johnson and Son House and all these other people way back and then they do a song by Buck Owens—“Well, who’s Buck Owens?: And that opens this whole world of country music. 

SKP: Bakersfield…

LC: Yeah, right, exactly. And I had already absorbed - my mother’s record collection was ridiculous and when I was a kid there were records by Hank Williams and Jimmy Rodgers and the Carter Family. Then I’m hearing Buck Owens and there’s a direct line from that back to those people and it’s just this whole universe of music that expanded after but that I was open to explore because of that catalytic event. 

SKP: So that made a big difference to you, how did your parents feel about that?

LC: They were nothing but supportive.

SKP: That’s good because some people saw that and thought it was scandalous. I mean, their hair was like four inches long.

LC: Yeah, exactly.

SKP: (laughs)

LC: Well the thing is my parents were sort of on the fringe of that 1940’s bohemian movement in New York, you know the poets and the artists and all that. They were from, you know, she had every record that Woodie Guthrie cut and the Weavers and people like that--

SKP: They were cool with it.

LC: Yeah they were artistically inclined themselves and they were more- they saw that I had an interest in something that was going to keep me off the street and they were all for it.

SKP: So, one more question before we head back to more singing. Hank Williams had, when he died, in his car some lyrics that were not done.

LC: Yeah

SKP: You got to work on finishing one of those songs, “You’ll Never Again Be Mine,” what did that feel like, getting those, being asked to work on those?

LC: I can’t even describe it. First of all, there’s a song that says: written by Hank Williams, Levon Helm and Larry Campbell. I mean, okay.

SKP: (laughs)

LC: (laughing) Okay, mission accomplished in my life, you know? 

SKP: I was going to ask that, both of you have been there for so many events that if you talked about it, people would say, “You were there, you did that?” It sounds like it’s still important to you, it’s not passé. 

LC: Oh not nearly, no. I feel incredibly lucky to have had that opportunity. Teresa does that song now. She does it. Levon recording, Teresa sings it and does a beautiful job with it. So we’re trying to keep that one alive. 

SKP: Good, well we’re going to hear another one: “Sampson and Delilah” here. The song that we just were talking about, “You’ll Never Again Be Mine” with Levon Helm is part of an album called, “The Lost Notebooks of Hank Williams.” You can check that out. Since Larry stopped touring with Bob Dylan’s band, he still made guest appearances with Elvis Costello I mean, Lou Harris, Phil Lesh, Rozanne Cash, Little Feet, the list goes on and on. 

---Break for music performance----

SKP: Teresa Williams, you heard her. She’s a powerhouse country, blues, gospel and honky tonk singer. She hails, as one reviewer wrote from, “a speck on the map in West Tennessee near Tipton County, known as Peckerwood Point, up the road from Lizard Lick and not more than a mile from Blue Goose."

TW: That’s right.

SKP: Those are such great names, those are such great names. Tell us just a little bit about the hometown you grew up in.

TW: Well it was Henderson County and we were kind of between the towns of Lexington and Henderson. It’s just cotton country. When I was growing up we were cotton farmers. All the generations back had been cotton farmers.

SKP: And they had their own land.

TW: Yeah, which distinguished us from the share croppers, a lot of share cropping. But we--

SKP: But the work was just as hard whether you owned it or not.

TW: Well you know, I guess they got that land when the government took it from first nation probably, you know. I don’t know specifically but the gravestones go that far back.

SKP: Wow

TW: You were mentioning earlier, of my great-grandmother, whom I knew, her husband passed away before her last child was born and left her with three children and one on the way. She pushed on with the plow and the mule while she was expecting and managed to keep her farm. They said, in her years of dementia, she would fret and say, “Oh I hope I can keep my farm, I hope I don’t lose my farm.” So it’s quite a story for me.

SKP: Yeah, what a powerful impression.

TW: Yeah.

SKP: Wow. Well you’re from some strong ladies.

TW: (laughing) Yeah, definitely. They let the men think they’re in charge.

SKP: (laughing) There’s a skill to that.

TW: (laughing) There’s a skill to that!

SKP: Okay now the very first chapter of Harry Potter is, “The Boy Who Lived.” But you were known as, “The Girl Who Sang.”

TW: Yeah, I kind of was.

SKP: Everybody called you that.

TW: Yeah.

SKP: So do you remember when you first started, or did you just always?

TW: It’s like breathing, I just took it for granted I’m ashamed to say. My parents both sang and they had me singing at church when I was four years old, that was my first public appearance. (laughing) They had to stand me up on a thing to be seen. I realized really early that that special bond between what you’re delivering, hopefully honestly, and the audience. It was like my calling, it really was. 

SKP: So that was strange because, for the folks around there, from what I’ve seen and some interviews we read, if you had started to think, “Well maybe I want to make it big,” people would tend to sort of push you down and not let you get bigger than your britches. What do you think?

TW: Yeah, don’t get above your raisin--

SKP: Too big.

TW: There’s actually a book with that title, which I own. I haven’t read it quite yet. Yeah, don’t get above your raisin. That’s kind of a common saying and, “Who does she think she is?” kind of stuff. But they would secretly be really rooting for you; but it was so much that I would be ashamed to admit to anybody that I did want to pursue it because it seemed to grandeous of a pursuit for somebody like me. Meanwhile, it wasn’t registering with me that people like Tina Turner grew up just within an hour of me. The Tennessee Plowboy, Eddy Arnold grew up thirty-minutes from me. Rockabilly started within forty-minutes of me. Elvis was from a cotton-picking family down in Tupelo, we had relatives down there.

SKP: So who could say, “people from around here don’t do this”? 

TW: Yeah, exactly. It just didn’t register, you know, at that age. I just didn’t know. And if you wrote your own song, I wouldn’t have considered that, I thought that would have been called a made-up song. (laughing) that wouldn’t have been a real song. 

SKP: (laughs) 

TW: I don’t know, hopefully I was real young when I had that notion.

SKP: Tell me about seeing Tina Turner and what you thought. 

TW: When I saw her on TV?

SKP: Yep, first time.

TW: I was just – because well we had on the radio, we had a lot of country and my daddy played a lot of country and country blues and my mother was practicing classical and trying to learn piano on her own with a home music course. She would teach me –she would learn ahead in the course and then teach me and my brother after that. She didn’t really like country but she liked stuff like Connie Francis. 

SKP: Mmmhmm

TW: So, Patty Page, that kind of--

SKP: “Lipstick on Your Collar” and some of those, yeah

TW: “Little Miss Brenda Lee” But for me, I am totally losing my train of thought here--

SKP: Just seeing Tina on TV.

TW: Yeah, seeing Tina - but we had top 40 coming out of Memphis and at night we could get WLS out of Chicago, for some reason at night we could somehow get it--

SKP: Must be the AM.

TW: They would have a lot of new kind of alt-artists at that time. So I got some stuff like that, and we did get to watch a little television- we didn’t get to watch a lot, and that’s when I saw Tina. And I would see Gladys Knight on the Dick Clark show and stuff like that (laughing)

SKP: (laughs)

TW: But we were at church on Sunday nights so we didn’t get to see the Ed Sullivan Show. Except I was home with the measles when The Beatles [were on]. My parents and my grandparents were not on the bohemian fringe, they were very conservative and you know, conformists sort of. My grandmother called me in and said, “Come see these long-haired boys.” That’s how I got to see the Beatles.

SKP: (laughing) Thanks to the measles!

TW: Tina Turner, I was just like, “Yeah, wow!” But I think she was a little scary for a lot of the parents. It still just showed a different level of expressing yourself, just a whole other level.

SKP: Yeah, yeah.

TW: And my brother and I would listen to the black churches on Sunday morning. We’d be sitting in the car waiting for my parents and we’d turn the radio dial over to the black preachers and the black churches and we would just be like, “Yeah!” And daddy would come in [and say], “Turn that off!” (laughs)

SKP: So you mentioned, singing in church as a little girl but do you sing some of the revivals, those kind of things as you get older?

TW: Well, the revivals were a big deal at the Brush Arbor meetings and all the churches had revivals. My mother would go to where she grew up and take us to that revival and then where her father grew up and take us to those revivals and where her mother grew up. They would just throw their heads back and sing. It was before air conditioning and the windows would be open and the church would be packed.

SKP: Yeah.

TW: We didn’t have all the entertainment that we have now, so it was an event, it was a real event. The homecoming days and decoration days – I don’t know if you guys know about that, but those were big events. They would have all-day singing and dinner on the ground after church--

SKP: Wow!

TW: And picnics, literally on the ground.

SKP: Mmhmm 

TW: Those were major southern events for us, and a lot of music. They had music schools where a person came around and taught. I actually had one myself. We didn’t have music at school but you got a lot at church

SKP: Nice.

TW: Yeah.

SKP: So from that environment and then the place to go, if it wasn’t Nashville, it was New York. But nobody was happy about you headed there were they?

TW: Well that was – I never dreamed of going to New York, I didn’t really understand or know about Broadway I don’t think. Or, you know the stuff most kids would say about the--but an advisor in high school knew what I wanted to do and because I wanted to do acting as well I took the music for granted. I was going to go to school to study acting, and she said, “You’ll have to go to Chicago or New York” and I said, “Well I don’t want to go there.” She said, “Well, you kind of have to,” and I got my brain around that.

SKP: (laughs)

TW: Yeah daddy said, “I’d rather be caught dead than caught in New York City,” but then they came around. You know, they wanted to support their daughter. 

SKP: I bet, I bet. Well let’s hear some more music. We’re going to hear one that Larry wrote. This is called, “Did You Love Me At All,” it’s a mournful ballad that Buddy Miller said sounds like it could have been sung on the Grand Ole Opry, like the Louvin Brothers, has that kind of timeless melody. Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams. 

---Break for performance---

SKP: “Did You Love Me At All,” great song by Larry Campbell. Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams in-studio six today at BYU Broadcasting. Coming to you live. They’re doing the singing, they’re playing the guitars and they’re doing all of the talking too. We’re making you talk a little bit. You can check them [out] online, at to find out touring and other information. Their album together, self-titled, is sort of a catalog, one-person set of everything they’ve learned from years of playing 20th century roots music. Sounds nice.

LC: That’s cool.

SKP: So I have to ask you one more sort of New York country question, Larry. Back in the kind of post-urban, cowboy era, you remembered in one interview, popular country fashion of the day was both beauty and horror” (laughs). 

LC: (laughing) That’s right, that’s good, yes.

SKP: What was that fashion?

LC: Well, you know, so country music became fashion in New York in that era from the late seventies into the early eighties. The horror of it was that it was so ubiquitous and commercialized, you know? The wrong people were wearing cowboy hats for all the wrong reasons.

SKP: (laughs)

TW: (laughs)

LC: That was a little hard to take, but the beauty of it was that it awakened a lot of the right people to the value of real country music, you know. It inspired a lot of people--a lot of musically inclined people-- to dig deeper than this façade of that fashion and really get an appreciation for where this music started and came from and why it is what it is. Another part of the beauty side as far as I’m concerned was there was a lot of work for a guy like me (laughs). 

SKP: (laughing) 

LC: During that era, you know, in the studios and live and some movies too, you know.

SKP: Yeah.

LC: I was playing in a band that was in a Peter Bogdanovich movie called, “They All Laughed”. That was made at the height of the fashion. This couple goes to a bar and of course there’s this country band there, because that’s what was happening in New York at the time-- 

TW: And you were in the country band.

SKP: Nice.

LC: Yeah I was in the country band.

SKP: Playing yourself, as a country musician.

LC: Yeah I guess, yeah.

TW: (laughs)

SKP: Teresa is that interesting to you, that so much music that came from that area, kind of in the south, just how it captured everybody’s hearts? Throughout the US, but even worldwide.

TW: Well it’s going so strong right now, I mean the country music festivals, they will have a regular festival and then a week later up around us, they have the country festival and it is massive. I think this is the only reason Larry married me (laughs)

SKP: (laughs)

LC: (laughs)

TW: Because I’m probably the real McCoy. All of these people that he named off, you know, were from the area that I grew up and I think that’s the only reason he married--

LC: (laughing) let’s just call it a big part of the attraction. 

SKP: Okay, you had to marry into the authenticity .

TW: Yeah, yeah. 

SKP: So you can say, “well my mother in-law is from such and such place.” 

TW: (laughs)

SKP: So now touring together, because you’ve done so much though the years, lots of really living on the road, not just a little outing here and there but really living for months and months, even years at a time. But now doing it together.

LC: It’s great, it’s great

TW: It is, it is great

LC: Just standing there doing that song just now – we’ve done it a hundred thousand times together. I still get the same thrill out of hearing her sing it, singing it with her and performing this together, you know. It’s so satisfying on so many levels, it’s just impossible to describe. 

SKP: That’s nice, that’s nice.

TW: We kind of do the best when we’re working together I think.

LC: Yeah

SKP: That’s great. If I had a hat now I would take it off and put it over my heart (laughs).

LC: (laughs)

TW: (laughs)

SKP: It worked out pretty well that you sound good together too, that was not a bad part of the deal. 

TW: Well the day we met we were playing together, that’s how we met. All the stuff you were saying about the country in New York, I didn’t think anybody in New York--that’s how prejudice I was--could be inside the music. They might play it, but to be inside it, and he was. I didn’t really see him. The first time we were playing together I was so nervous about what I was doing. I had the mic and I was singing and I realized this guy on the pedal steel was saving my life. He was the real deal and it was going to be okay and I just remember thinking, “How? Why? Pedal steel and you’re from East 64th street?” 

LC: Mmmhmm

SKP: (laughs)

TW: So he’s kind of told you how and why but I was grateful. 

SKP: I want to ask about the Midnight Rambles before we head to the next thing. This is Woodstock, New York. We aren’t talking about the famous festival but we’re talking about a bar there. We mentioned Levon Helm was a musical compadre--

LC: Icon, yeah

SKP: But really became kind of family to you.

LC: Oh yeah

SKP: So what were the midnight rambles and what were these concert series that you played in and performed together in?

LC: Well, if you watch the Last Walz, this is where the first record of Levon publicly talking about this notion of the Midnight Ramble, which is, you know, when he was a kid they’d have these tent shows, entertainment shows come in and then all the family would go home and after eight o’clock until midnight they’d have the, what do you call, “Hoochie Coochie Show.” The music and the blues bands would come and play and it would get a little wilder for the adults and that was called the Midnight Ramble with these tent shows. So Levon always had in the back of his head that he wanted to stay in Woodstock and have the people come to him and set up his own version of the Midnight Ramble which was, you know, without the Hoochie Coochie girls--

TW: Midnight rambles were very family-oriented. Kids would be sleeping on pallets at his feet. True. And the dog.

SKP: (laughs)

LC: It blossomed into this utopian, as Teresa calls it, music experience where everybody came to play music for the right reason, which is just for the joy of playing music. The audience came for the right reason because they wanted to hear some good music. It became--there was no separation between the band and the audience, we were all in this together. It was an event. Many people compared it to going to church where you are just, all having this common experience that lifts you up. It just lifts you up and--

TW: It really reminded me of the revivals when I was growing up because the windows would be flung open and there would be a lot of people milling outside, but the inside was totally packed and steamy. Yeah, it was a great experience for the audience and the musicians. 

SKP: Well, this last song we get to hear. This could be at a meeting like that. Tell me about this song. This is another one from Reverend Gary Davis.

TW: Yeah, Larry produced a record with a gospel singer Jorma Kaukonen that used to play with Sister Rosetta Tharpe and it was a record of Reverend Gary Davis’ songs. We’d play with Mcalkin and Jack Cassidy and Larry was going out there to do a concert with Maire and to teach out there and she became ill and Jorma asked me if I would pinch hit and I immediately said yes because its Jorma. Then I realized what I had gotten myself into. They’re expecting an elderly, revered, black gospel singer and they’re getting a chirpy little white girl. 

SKP: (laughs)

TW: (laughing) But you know I started digging in to Reverend Gary and it was not that different. It was the black version of the white churches I grew up with. It was really the same. The only difference was the color. Very, very, very similar so I was not as freaked out. I was just like, “Oh I know this,” and went down into that. I love it, I truly love it. If I need inspiration, I’ll go back and listen to Reverend Gary’s sermons and CDs, yeah.

SKP: This seems like a nice one to end with. I’m so glad you’re going to do this one. I’ll have you head over to the mics. This is, “Keep Your Lamp Burning and Trimmed”. This is a gospel blues song built upon the parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins in the New Testament. Coming to you live on Highway 89

---Break for performance---

SKP: (laughing) Oh yes, “Keep Your Lamp Trimmed and Burning”. That’s Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams live, right now in-studio. More information about all of their concerts, their albums online at We cannot thank you enough, this has been so great. We’d love to have more hours to hear you and more hours of story, but we’re just going to be grateful we got what we got. Thank You. 

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