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'Going Back to T-Town: The Ernie Fields Territory Big Band' with Carmen Fields, Part 1

In Black America
A photograph of a photo of Carmen Fields and her father, Ernie Fields, at a dinner table and smiling for the camera.
Courtesy of Carmen Fields
Carmen Fields and her father, Ernie Fields.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. presents part one of a two-part discussion with Carmen Fields, Emmy Award–winning broadcast news journalist and author of Going Back To T-Town: The Ernie Fields Territory Big Band.

As a child growing up in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Fields heard her father tell stories about life on the road touring with his 17-piece orchestra in the 1920s, '30s and '40s. In the mid-1980s she decided to record those memories from her father.

Fields talks about the talented musicians her father played with, how he became a big band leader, how he maintained his optimism even while he faced entrenched racial prejudice and threats of violence, and the legacy he left.

John L. Hanson is the producer and host of the nationally syndicated radio series In Black America. It’s heard on home station KUT at 10 p.m. Tuesdays and 6:30 a.m. Sundays — and weekly on close to 20 stations across the country. The weekly podcast of IBA, the only nationally broadcast Black-oriented public affairs radio program, is one of KUT’s most popular podcasts.
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