Assignment 4: Liner Notes
Listen to the voices!
--Sly Stewart, “Dance to the Music”

Imagine that you are a Library of Congress curator assigned to package a CD of songs from the "Now What a Time" website.  To do this, you must complete two tasks, and I add the option of a third:
1) Choose seven to ten songs from the on-line archive to put on the CD: you might choose songs that share a common theme, or you might collect songs that demonstrate something about blues or gospel music.  In fact, you’re allowed to use any criteria you want; the only thing you’re not allowed to do is make random choices.

2) Write liner notes (i.e. an essay) that will be printed in the booklet that accompanies the CD:  your liner notes should explain the significance of the music and enhance the listener’s experience of it.  I recommend that you begin with a very brief (2 sentences) explanation of the Fort Valley State music festival, but there are innumerable ways to proceed from there.  For example,  you might analyze the lyrics, discuss the form of the music, or describe the emotions that the songs evoke.  Obviously, if the songs share a common theme, you should discuss it in your liner notes.  Don’t feel pressured to write an equal amount for each song; however, you should at least mention each song. Length: 500-750 words.

3) Optional:  To complete the "package," choose an image to put on the cover of the CD booklet: the image should represent the music and catch the attention of prospective buyers.  Use any web search method you wish, but here are three suggestions:
  • To search in American Memory, go to the "Collection Finder" page, find "Original Format" on the right side, and under that choose "Photos and Prints" and use the search engine there.
  • To go outside the LIbrary of Congress, I especially recommend that you use Google’s image finder to search the net (choose "images" from the top menu). 
Remember that your target audience consists of CD consumers, not crusty old—or young—English professors.  Don’t be afraid to give your liner notes a little verbal bounce.  

Post your liner notes on the discussion board and attach the image.
I have a little red rooster, too lazy to crow for day
I have a little red rooster, too lazy to crow for day
Keep everything in the barnyard, upset in every way
--Willie Dixon, “Little Red Rooster”