Emily Bingham on the reckoning of 'My Old Kentucky Home'

As the horses take their place in the upcoming Kentucky Derby, thousands of people around the country will join in singing “Our Old Kentucky Home,” the state song of Kentucky and one that also has its roots in minstrel shows. The song was written by Stephen Foster a couple of decades before the Civil War. Foster is sometimes called the father of American popular music. And this song along with others that he wrote became a global sensation. Today it’s usually associated with the Derby, America’s longest running sporting event. 

On this episode of the Reckon Interview, we hear from Emily Bingham who grew up just a few miles from the iconic Churchill Downs. In her new book, “My Old Kentucky Home: The Astonishing Life and Reckoning of an Iconic American Song,” she charts a surprising and fascinating history. This song has evolved and adapted over the course of nearly 200 years, changing to better fit the culture mores of the time.
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