Highlight denotes Black author or source | Highly recommended ︎


Railroad songs, bluegrass, zydeco, and more.
Origins: Early 20th century.


  • Been Here And Gone by Frederick Ramsey Jr., 1960.

  • DeFord Bailey: A Black Star in Early Country Music by Charles Wolfe and David C. Morton, 1991.

  • African Banjo Echoes In Appalachia by Cecelia Conway, 1995.

  • The Kingdom of Zydeco by Michael Tisserand, 1998.

  • Cajun and Creole Music Makers: Musiciens Cadiens et Créoles by Barry Ancelet, 1999.

  • Zydeco by Ben Sandmel, Rick Olivier, 1999.

  • My Country, Too: The Other Black Music by Pamela E. Foster, 2000.

  • Texas Zydeco by Roger Wood, James Fraher, 2006.

  • The Birth of the Banjo: Joel Walker Sweeney and Early Minstrelsy by Bob Carlin, 2007.

  • One Generation at a Time: Biography of a Cajun and Creole Music Festival by Barry Ancelet, 2007.

  • Cajun and Zydeco Dance Music in Northern California: Modern Pleasures in a Postmodern World by Mark F. DeWitt, 2008.

  • Sacred Steel: Inside an African American Steel Guitar Tradition by Robert L. Stone, 2010.

  • Hidden in the Mix: The African American Presence in Country Music by Diane Pecknold, 2013.

  • African American Folksong and American Cultural Politics: The Lawrence Gellert Story by Bruce M. Conforth, 2013.

  • The Gandy Dancers: And Work Songs from the American Railroad by Vanita Oelschlager, 2015 (Children’s Book).

  • Country Soul: Making Music and Making Race in the American South by Charles L. Hughes, 2015.

  • The Banjo: America's African Instrument by Laurent Dubois, 2016. ︎

  • Ghosts of Good Times: Louisiana Dance Halls, Past and Present by Herman Fuselier, Philip Gould, 2016.

  • Libba: The Magnificent Musical Life of Elizabeth Cotten by Laura Veirs & Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, 2018 (Children’s Book).

  • The Compton Cowboys: The New Generation of Cowboys in America's Urban Heartland by Walter Thompson-Hernandez, April 2020. ︎


  • Gandy Dancers, dir. Barry Dornfeld and Maggie Holtzberg-Call, 1994. 30 mins. Free stream via Folkstreams. 

  • Give Me The Banjo, dir. Marc Fields, 2011. 1h 30m. Available to stream on Vudu for free.


  • Yeehaw” in NYTime’s Still Processing with Jenna Wortham & Wesley Morris, September 2019. 40 mins.


  • “Lil Hardin: That’s How I Got to Memphis,” by Alice Randall (in Woman Walk the Line: How the Women in Country Music Changed Our Lives, ed. by Holly Gleason), 2017.