Monday 26 May 2008: Charles Entrekin/remembering Oakley Hall & U Utah Phillips
On 26 May I talked with poet and novelist Charles Entrekin, who recently moved from Nevada County to the Bay Area, about his new novel Red Mountain: Birmingham, Alabama, 1965 (El Leon Literary Arts). He will read from the novel at the Off-Center Stage of the Center for the Arts in Grass Valley at 4 PM on Sunday 8 June.

I then remembered Nevada City novelist Oakley Hall, who died on 12 May. I talked with his daughter, novelist and playwright Sands Hall and played an excerpt from a conversation between Oakley Hall and Michael Chabon, recorded at UC Berkeley on 24 January 2008. There is a YouTube recording of the entire conversation available here.

I finally remembered Nevada City singer, storyteller and anarchist activist U Utah Phillips, who died on 23 May. I read a poem from his 1988 collection The Old Guy (Brownell Library Press) and played Rosalie Sorrels' rendition of his song If I Could Be the Rain, from her 1967 LP of the same name (Folk-Legacy). I consider this the best American song since World War II and Sorrels' performance (with Mitch Greenhill on guitar) as close to perfect as possible. She later recorded a jazzier version of the song on her 1995 CD Borderline Heart (Green Linnet). Though this is the only version available on iTunes or Rhapsody, it is an abomination which you should avoid like Lake Wildwood.

To hear this program, click here.

posted by Eric Tomb and others 4:00 PM

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