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The Return of the Bitter Southerner

For those of you who don’t know, The Bitter Southerner Podcast is a collaboration with GPB and The Bitter Southerner Magazine. It’s hosted by the magazine’s editor, Chuck Reece. On each episode, we explore Southern culture and the South’s contributions to American life, painting a very different — and truer — picture of our region. 

 

Host Chuck Reece in the studio at GPB

On the first season, we met refugees adjusting to life in Georgia, a Nashville songwriter who uses music to help veterans heal from the scars of war, and a North Carolina folklorist on a half a century mission to document the sounds of the South.  We even released a bonus episode from our live event that featured the creators and stars of the Adult Swim show, Squidbillies.

On our Season 1 episode about Southern booze, Atlanta-based mixologist and cocktail historian Tiffanie Barriere talks about how African Americans influenced Southern cocktails.

Season 1 scratched the surface of the South. In Season 2, we’re going deeper to other corners of the region.

Our first episode explores the complicated relationship people have with the Southern drawl.

We begin with a story from Bitter Southerner contributor Dartinia Hull. She remembers being a black girl living in South Carolina, and her mom worrying that her skin color would set her back— and that her accented speech would just make the burden heavier. So, her mother tape recorded her voice to try to get her to lose the drawl. “I really do wish that I still had that accent,” Dartinia says on the podcast. “I miss it.”

Then, host Chuck Reece talks with three comedians known as the liberal rednecks of the comedy circuit: Trae Crowder, Drew Morgan, Corey Ryan Forrester. These boys have been surprising America with the words that come out of their mouths. So, we wanted to know what they have learned along the way.

Comedians Corey Ryan Forrester, Trae Crowder and Drew Morgan travel America as the Well Red Comedy Tour. They join us for our show on the Southern accent.

We then hear from two Bitter Southerner Podcast listeners about their own experiences facing misconceptions over their Southern accents. One lives in the Midwest and the other on the West Coast. Rapper Killer Mike then comments on the importance of embracing your Southern roots. Finally, we end with a commentary by filmmaker Lolis Eric Elie (The Man in the High Castle, Treme, Greenleaf), who shares his own experiences growing up in New Orleans and facing ridicule over the way he talked.

We’ll have 9 episodes covering everything from the complicated relationship people have with the Southern drawl, the story of towns across the South flooded by Tennessee Valley Authority dams, the South’s obsession with cakes at funerals, and the lesser known history inside every pod of okra. We’ll even visit a few Waffle Houses. 

Host Chuck Reece listens to a performance by Georgia musician Jontavious Willis for our upcoming episode on keeping the blues alive.

We hope you enjoy the podcast. New episodes come out every other Friday. You can subscribe wherever you get your podcasts, or at GPB.org/Podcasts.

Sean Powers is Georgia Public Broadcasting's first director of podcasting. He joined GPB in 2014 as a producer/reporter with On Second Thought, and remained with the program until 2018. For his last four months on the show, he served as acting... more