Mississippi Moments Podcast

Mississippi Moments, a weekly radio program airing on Mississippi Public Broadcasting, is a partnership between the University of Southern Mississippi Center for Oral History and Cultural Heritage, the Mississippi Humanities Council, and MPB.

The Podcasts

This month marks the ten year anniversary for Mississippi Moments and it coincides with new schedule and format changes.  Since its debute, MSMO has been 4 1/2 minutes in length and aired on MPB Think Radio each Tuesday and Thursday at 12:30 pm. Because of changes to the amount of local break time set aside by NPR at the bottom of the noon hour, MPB asked us to change to a 90 second format Monday through Friday, so shorter program aired more often.

Our solution to this new challenge had been to produce three related episodes per week, each containing one audio clip, instead of one episode containing three clips. The three episodes are played in rotation Mon-Fri and are also combined to make one podcast episode that is virtually identical to the old format.

To streamline the process, we at the Center for Oral History have taken over the final production of the episodes from MPB. The advantage being that we can now add bonus clips to the podcast.  In the past, the 4 1/2 minute format meant that some of the best material wound up "on the cutting room floor" as they say.  Listeners are now instructed by Bill Ellison at the end of each broadcast episode to visit MississippiMoments.org "to hear more."  It also allows us to post the podcast episode the same week that the broadcast episodes air - so no more having to wait for weeks to listen to the podcast of an episode that caught your attention!

We are excited about the new changes and we hope that you, our loyal listeners are excited as well.  We can promise you that the best is yet to come because we have barely scratched the surface of this amazing collection! Thank you.

Category:general -- posted at: 3:39 PM

Mardi Gras has been celebrated in Biloxi since 1883.  In this episode, Jerry O’Keefe remembers the excitement of attending the parades as a boy in the 1930s. Later, as a young father in the 1940s, O’Keefe shared his love of Mardi Gras with his children. 

After being elected Mayor of Biloxi in 1972, O’Keefe realized the city’s Mardi Gras fundraising system needed to be overhauled.  He explains how that was accomplished and why Mardi Gras remains so important to the city's identity.


Direct download: MSM_429.mp3
Category:Gulf Coast history -- posted at: 4:07 PM

During WWII, most African-American Soldiers served in support units away from the front lines. All that changed during the War in the Pacific where because of the close proxmity of the conflict, black soldiers found themselves fighting shoulder to shoulder with their white counterparts.  In this episode, Lee Spearman of Bay Springs remembers the only objective was to stay alive.  

Journalist Ernie Pyle reported from the frontlines in Europe and the Pacific during WWII.  Spearman was there when Pyle was hit by enemy fire.


Direct download: MSM_428.mp3
Category:Military History -- posted at: 5:45 PM

Rowan Clark of Bude was 16 years old when he got his first job in 1924. In this episode, he recalls being a water boy and delivering ice for the local icehouse. Like so many others left unemployed by the Great Depression, Clark rode the rails looking for work.  He describes his journey across the country chasing rumors of job opportunities.

Clark was finally offered a job washing cars in New Orleans…at service station that was actually a front for rum runners!

Direct download: MSM_426.mp3
Category:Mississippi History -- posted at: 6:03 PM

For Randy Yates, the Neshoba County Fair was a family tradition. In this episode, he explains why the fair was so important to his grandparents. One of the most vivid memories for Yates was the endless variety of food the fair had to offer.

According to Yates, no one worked harder to prepare for the Neshoba County Fair than his grandfather.  He remembers it being a year-long labor of love.

Direct download: MSM_425.mp3
Category:Mississippi History -- posted at: 6:00 PM

Jackson has always enjoyed a wide selection of choices when it comes to dining out. In this episode, Randy Yates discusses the important role Greek restaurateurs played in Jackson’s culinary history. Yates began working for Primos Northgate restaurant as a college student.  He remembers the large crowds and the places the staff would go between shifts.

After Primos, Yates took a job working at Scrooge’s.  He credits owner Bill Latham and Don Primos for teaching him some important job skills. 

Today, Randy Yates is co-owner of the Ajax Diner, on the Square, in Oxford.

Direct download: MSM_424.mp3
Category:foodways -- posted at: 5:55 PM

The Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi was established in 1977.  Its mission was to investigate, document, interpret and teach about the American South. In this episode, Ann Abadie recalls the Center’s first public event. Abadie also discusses the Center’s most ambitious project: The Encyclopedia of Southern Culture.  She explains how one section of that publication inspired them to form the Southern Foodways Alliance.

No study of Southern Culture would be complete without the Blues. Abadie remembers how Bill Ferris, the Center’s first director, brought Living Blues Magazine from Chicago to Oxford.

Direct download: MSM_423.mp3
Category:The American South -- posted at: 5:52 PM

Jim Anderson became the director of the First Regional Library, a five-county-library system based in Hernando, back in 1972. In this episode, he discusses the history of Mississippi’s oldest regional library.

According to Anderson, the level of cooperation that exists between the state’s public, academic and special libraries is the result of programs sponsored by the Mississippi Library Commission. He looks back fondly on his thirty-six years with the First Regional Library.  It’s a choice he recommends to young people searching for a fun and interesting career path.


Direct download: MSM_422.mp3
Category:Mississippi History -- posted at: 8:53 PM

One of the star attractions of the New Orleans World’s Fair in 1984 was the space shuttle Enterprise.  In this episode, Christine Harvey, a photographer at the Stennis Space Center, recalls documenting the shuttle’s journey from Mobile Bay to the Port of New Orleans.

Harvey’s job was to ride a tugboat out to Algiers Point and photograph the arrival of the shuttle.  It was an assignment that left her a little…queasy.

For Harvey, the arrival of the Enterprise was an emotional moment and one that she’ll never forget. 

Direct download: MSM_421.mp3
Category:Aerospace History -- posted at: 3:42 PM

Growing up in Dixie Springs, Paul Ott Carruth had two great passions: the Great Outdoors and making music. So it came as a shock when in 1967, Carruth learned that hardwood trees around the Leaf River were being intentionally poisoned. At the time, Carruth was gaining recognition as a singer on a Hattiesburg TV show.  He decided to combine his love of music and his love of nature to save those trees.

In this episode, Ott discusses how this decision led to a life devoted to protecting Mississippi's natural resources through songwriting. He also talks about his long association with the State Game and Fish Commission.

Paul Ott Carruth’s weekly radio and TV show Listen to the Eagle continues to celebrate and promote The Great Mississippi Outdoors.

Direct download: MSM_420.mp3
Category:Conservation -- posted at: 4:06 PM