Winner 1999

The Mississippi:  River of Song

Produced for Smithsonian Productions by Ostroushko Productions

An extremely novel approach to the radio presentation of song, this expansive radio series—as expansive as the Mississippi River itself—captures the spirit and soul of American music along the great river. The driving forces of the series for Smithsonian Productions include producer Marge Ostroushko, with executive producer Wesley Horner, director John Junkerman, writer Brian Newhouse and editor Todd Huslander. Through literally hundreds of live performances and conversations with more than 40 musicians, the series presents the richness and vitality of the music that flourishes in the heart of the nation. In seven parts, the series takes the listener through a musical journey—from pow-wow grounds at the Mississippi’s headwaters in northern Minnesota to the blues clubs of St. Louis, from the rockabilly roadhouses in Arkansas to crawfish boils of the bayous, from the bluegrass festivals of the farm belt to the bandstands of New Orleans. Host Ani DiFranco gently guides the listener through this fascinating musical journey, which was heard, appropriately, across the country thanks to distribution by Public Radio International. For presenting a musical journey as wide and impressive as the river itself, a Peabody to The Mississippi: River of Song.