Literature & Music

Literature & Music

Library on Martinique. Photo: Tonya Fitzpatrick

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.”

St. Augustine

Learning about the places that shaped and inspired writers and musicians can add deeper understanding to a work of literature or a song.  Because of the significance these works have in our lives, traveling to explore the life of a famous writer or see the creative communities that produced music that defined a generation can touch and enrich travelers in profound ways.

Explore the historical and cultural impact on literature and music as you travel the globe.  Literature and music go hand in hand, the beautiful verses when played with tunes bring out the most enjoyable renditions.

  • Kendol Bacchus shares the Gift of Music from St. Vincent

    Pianist Kendol Bacchus originally from the island of St. Vincent, is currently riding out the COVID-19 pandemic in Florida. He had a concert tour planned when he arrived in the U.S. two months ago and is now hunkering down until he can resume his performances.

  • On this date in the year 1611, the King James Version of the Bible was first published. The year 2011 thus represents 400 years of the KJV's influence on the English language. The King's Printer, Robert Barker, began the project in 1604 at the command of King who faced the Puritan faction within the Church of England. In 1604, James authorized that a new translation of the Bible into English be started. It was finished in 1611, just 85 years after the first translation of the New Testament into English appeared (Tyndale, 1526). The Authorized Version quickly became the standard for English-speaking Protestants. Its flowing language and prose rhythm has had a profound influence on the literature of the past 400 years. James gave the translators instructions intended to ensure that the new version would conform to the ecclesiology, and reflect the episcopal structure, of the Church of England and its belief in [...]

  • President John Adams signed into law an act establishing the Library of Congress on April 24, 1800. The same act transferred of the seat of government of the United States from Philadelphia to the District of Columbia. The law made available the sum of $5,000 "for the purchase of such books as may be necessary for the use of Congress ..., and for fitting up a suitable apartment for containing them ..." The vast majority of the books obtained for the original collection were published in and ordered from London, consisting of fewer than 800 volumes and two dozen maps. The original library was housed in the new Capitol until August 1814, when invading British troops set fire to the capitol building during the burning of Washington, destroying the contents of the 3,000 volume library. Within a month, Adams' successor and third U.S. Thomas Jefferson offered his personal library as a replacement. Jefferson’s library [...]

  • I don’t need to keep my voice down to use this library. I don’t need a library card, and I don’t even need to go inside. Actually, I can’t go inside, because the building, elevated to eye-level by a sturdy post, is only about 18 inches wide— big enough to hold two dozen picture books and a handful of novels. This is a Little Free Library, a traveling bookworm’s dream come true.

  • On today’s World Footprints radio show we will showcase some remarkable young women who are doing extraordinary things. World Footprints was invited to attend the GirlUp Leadership Summit in Washington, DC.  GirlUp is an innovative campaign of the United Nations Foundation that gives American girls the opportunity to become global leaders and channel their energy and compassion to raise awareness and funds for United Nations programs that help some of the world’s hardest-to-reach adolescent girls. We are pleased to share highlights from this first GirlUp Leadership Summit which included remarks from actress Monique Coleman from High School Musical; Sarah Hurwitz, Speechwriter for President Obama; and moments between GirlUp teen advisors and young girls from the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa. Also, we are delighted to introduce a dynamic teenager who is making waves on the air with her weekly radio show—Pavlina’s Kids Place.  Pavlina Osta shares interviews with [...]

  • New Orleans has been the backdrop of many dark chapters in American history, but perhaps none so shocking as the slave rebellion of 1811.  We will explore the history of America's largest slave revolt with author Daniel Rasmussen who organized his research in his book, American Uprising:  The Untold Story About America's Largest Slave Revolt. The New Orleans African-American Museum of Art, Culture and History, located in Faubourg Treme, is helping to keep the stories of America's oldest and continuous black community alive.  Established in 2000, former executive director John Hankins tells us that the Museum has held the mission "to preserve, interpret and promote" the African American cultural heritage of New Orleans, with a particular empasis on the Treme community. Mardi Gras Indian costume.  Photo by Tonya Fitzpatrick. Le Musee de F.P.C. is a beautiful house museum that honors the legacy of New Orleans' Free People of Color. History [...]

  • Step into the words and paintings of award-winning writers and artists as we celebrate black history in literary color. Award-winning artist Michele Wood’s work reflects a deep sense of history and place. As a painter, illustrator, designer and writer, she has gained wide recognition and has earned multiple awards including the prestigious American Book Award for her first book, Going Back Home.  Michelle is also a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award recipient from the American Library Association.  Michele’s artistry continues to explode in her other works, I See the Rhythm and I See the Rhythm of Gospel. Black History. Fond memories of swimming with “Uncle Martin” is how a small Paula Young-Shelton recalls many days with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  As the daughter of former United Nations Ambassador and former Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young, Paula offers a human side to the icons of the civil rights movement through her [...]

  • Today we’ll go on some remarkable adventures and we’ll review the history of friendship between the United States and Japan. Mary Anne Potts has worked in the adventure travel editorial space for more than eleven years. She started on the editorial staff of National Geographic Adventure magazine in 2001 and has moved up the ranks from there.  She has run the magazine’s website and also launched its social media presence. Mary Anne continues to run Adventure as a standalone digital brand for National Geographic and includes her National Geographic Adventure blog which Outdoor Magazine recognized as No. 3 within its Top 10 List of Adventure blogs. Richard Wiese has been called the modern day Indiana Jones.  He is a world-class explorer and host of ABC’s new program, Born to Explore.  As an explorer and field scientist Richard has traveled to all seven continents.  From tagging jaguars in the Yucatan jungles [...]

  • In one of her last interviews, the late Dr. Maya Angelou spent time with us to share her early life, lessons learned along her adult journey and golden nuggets of wisdom. Artist Michele Wood is a Coretta Scott King award-winning illustrator who joins us to explore American history through Gospel music.  Michelle brings history to life with colorful images in her book, "I See the Rhythm of Gospel". Ellis Marsalis, Jr., is the partriarch of a musical family that includes internationally acclaimed musicians Branford and Wynton Marsalis.  As an accomplished pianist, Ellis has been a major influencer in jazz.  His work as an educator has helped foster the careers of countless musicians including Harry Connick, Jr., Terence Blanchard and Nicholas Payton.  Ellis is also helping to preserve America's jazz heritage. Known as the Queen of Afro Beat, revolutionary artist Sandra Izsadore discusses her evolution as a child of the civil [...]

  • Photo:  Tonya Fitzpatrick For over a century Detroit, Michigan has hosted an auto show.  The show's start in 1907 had a regional focus and continued that way for several decades.  Then, in the 1980s a London cabby asked a board member why Detroit's show didn't include international auto manufacturers.  That started the wheels turning (no pun) and in 1987 the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) made it's debut.  Bob Shuman, Chairman of NAIAS, joins World Footprints to talk about the latest innovations in automobile design and what visitors can expect to see. Then we head north on I-96 to Lansing, Michigan's state capital to meet a son of the city who left after school to pursue a musical career.  John Fluker is an award-winning pianist, composer, vocalist and arranger who has a string of credits backing such R&B notables as Gladys Knight, Dionne Warwick, Oleta Adams, Mavis Staples, David Hasselhoff, Boys 2 Men, Queen [...]

  •   World Footprints broadcast center at the Hard Rock Cafe in New Orleans.  From left to right:  Mark Romig, Kelly Schulz, Tonya Fitzpatrick, Ian Fitzpatrick, Ed Cole.  (c) World Footprints Media In the second hour of our French Quarter Festival 2012 broadcast we will keep the good times rolling, Mark Romig, President of New Orleans Tourism and Marketing Corp (and a member of the famous Romig family) along with Zack Rosenburg, a Washington, DC transplant and very first CNN Hero. Zack will discuss the St. Bernard Project (SBP), a non-profit organization that aims to rebuild one of the most devastated parishes hit by Hurricane Katrina. SBP is also working in others areas around the United States that are in need. Finally, we will travel outside of New Orleans to Houma, Louisiana and hear what that city has to offer. We'll also talk about the FestiGals event, the ultimate girlfriend getaway. [...]

  • World Footprints Radio continues with its special broadcast from New Orleans during French Quarter Festival 2010. Stevie McKee will talk about the 7th Ward and Faubourg Treme, an historic neighborhood recently made famous by HBO. Then we’ll be rockin’ with the “Mick Jagger of the Marsh” and Rockin’ Dopsie, Jr. Plus Patty Gay from the New Orleans Preservation Resource Center and jazz great Jeremy Davenport. Jeremy Davenport is a vital part of the New Orleans music scene. With his original lyrics and music, Jeremy infuses his unique style and mood of storytelling creating not only a modern edge, but also the distinct feeling of a lifestyle reminiscent of a time when Jazz was at its peak of popularity. He is known for his vocal and trumpet playing skills, as well as being a born entertainer.  French Quarter Festival is a free, annual music festival held in early April, located in the historic French Quarter of New [...]