While the Roots--everyone's favorite late night house band--prepare for the West Coast premiere of Ask Your Mama this August, insatiable Langston Hughes fans should check out this week's cover story:  Franklin Bruno's exploration of the poet's 1957 Broadway musical comedy Simply Heavenly. The production featured a nearly-forgotten gem sung by Brownie McGhee that I can't stop humming.  Listen:

http://static.poetryfoundation.org/o/harriet/2009/06/03-broken-strings.mp3

Bruno's excellent reporting on the production features UFOs, Pete Seeger, Passing Strange, Sonny Terry, The Defender, and a whole lot more.  Check it out here.

Originally Published: June 10th, 2009

Travis Nichols is the author of two books of poetry: Iowa (2010, Letter Machine Editions) and See Me Improving (2010); and he is the author of two novels: Off We Go Into the Wild Blue Yonder (2012) and The More You Ignore Me (2013). He has contributed to The Believer, Paste, The...

  1. June 10, 2009
     Miriam Levine

    A sad, sweet song.

  2. June 14, 2009
     Michael

    The Roots? Mentioned on Harriet? No kidding.\r

    This is perhaps one of the illest posts on Harriet for that fact alone. Feel like I can let my clip on tie down a little.