Music of the Mines, Mills, and Railroads of the Birmingham District
July 23, 2013
In 1999, Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark produced a work titled Spirit of Steel: Music of the Mines, Railroads and Mills of the Birmingham District. The focus of the book centers on the labor-related music of the Birmingham district. Migrants pouring into Birmingham’s industrial district, whether from the cotton fields of the Mississippi Delta or the Appalachian hills, carried with them their unique styles of the music, as well as their unique traditions and culture. Music of the Mines presents the histories, personal recollections from the musicians and their families, and a social contest for the music they made. The presentation not only includes an audio account of this unique labor-related music, but an overview of the individuals and cultures that made all of this possible.