Today, Austin, Texas, is widely known as the "live music capital of the world" and for its freewheeling "Austin Weird" culture. But in the Roaring Twenties, Austin was also a center of creative activity. Thorne Dreyer's guest, historian and folklorist Richard Zelade, is the author of "Austin in the Jazz Age," a period after World War I that exploded with creative energy and social experimentation. Zelade writes that, "As heady as the Austin music and arts scene is today, it has not equaled the explosion of talent that marked Austin's Jazz Age." He addresses the "vehement rejection of the status quo that typified the era, scandalizing Austin and Texas at large as [the artists] introduced a freewheeling, individualistic attitude that now defines the city."
On the show we discuss the Austin scene in the '20s, even comparing it to the cultural fervent that took place in Austin in the '60s, with both eras also featuring a more liberated role for women and a pushing of sexual boundaries. We also discuss Richard's 2014 book, "Guytown by Gaslight," about a slightly earlier era when Austin's seedy First Ward was home to a thriving red light district, replete with gambling, vice, and colorful characters. A graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, Richard Zelade is a multi-disciplinary historian who has written several books and whose writing has appeared in publications like Texas Monthly, Texas Parks & Wildlife, People, and Southern Living.
Host and Producer of Rag Radio: Thorne Dreyer; Engineer and Co-Producer: Tracey Schulz; Photographer: Roger Baker. Rag Radio (www.theragblog.com/rag-radio/) is produced in the studios of KOOP 91.7-FM, an all-volunteer, cooperatively-run community radio station in Austin, Texas, in association with The Rag Blog (TheRagBlog.com) and the New Journalism Project, a Texas 501(c)(3) nonprofit. The syndicated show is broadcast (and streamed) live Fridays, 2-3 p.m. (Central) on KOOP (www.koop.org/listen-now), and is later rebroadcast and streamed on WFTE-FM in Mt. Cobb and Scranton, PA., on Houston Pacifica's KPFT HD-3 90.1, and by KKRN, 88.5-FM in Round Mountain, CA -- and as a featured podcast at Veterans Today (VeteransToday.com). Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.