Early America

Expand/Collapse Early America


This collection from KET provides examples of early American culture through storytelling, music, and documentary.

Several music segments feature musician Mike Seeger, who is an authority on traditional American music. Another segment features Saxton’s Cornet Band, an ensemble that recreates early brass bands.

Segments on the Hensley Settlement and Dr. Thomas Walker are from the KET program Kentucky Life. The Thomas Walker segment includes interviews with members of the Bell County Historical Society, who discuss the early explorer and his journal documenting the settlement of Kentucky.

  • Hensley Settlement | Early America

    In this video segment from the KET series Kentucky Life, host Bryan Crawford visits the Hensley Settlement in the Cumberland Gap National Historic Park. Park Ranger Matthew Graham guides Crawford on a tour of the Hensley Settlement while discussing the unique history of this pioneer community.

    This resource is part of the Early America collection.

    Find additional arts resources for your classroom at the KET Arts Toolkit website.

    Grades: 6-12
  • Foo Boo Woo Boo John | Early America

    In this clip Mike Seeger, an expert musician and an authority on traditional American music, shows how to play the jaw harp and performs “Foo Boo Woo Boo John,” a traditional folk song that came to America from England.

    This resource is part of the Early America collection.

    Find additional arts resources for your classroom at the KET Arts Toolkit website.

    Grades: K-6
  • Derby Ram | Early America

    Folksinger Mike Seeger performs the English-American song “Derby Ram” for a group of students who sing, stomp, and clap along. Seeger explains, “Exaggeration is the core of this English-American song reputed to be one of George Washington’s favorites. I’ve been singing this version since I was about 12.” The guitar and harmonica are featured instruments.

    This resource is part of the Early America collection.

    Find additional arts resources for your classroom at the KET Arts Toolkit website.

    Grades: K-6
  • Cluck Old Hen/I Had a Rooster | Early America

    Mike Seeger sings two folk songs about animals in traditional Southern style to maintain their distinct flavor. Both feature the banjo, a traditional gourd banjo on “Cluck Old Hen” and today’s steel-string banjo on “I Had a Rooster.” Seeger talks about the gourd banjo’s origins in Africa, discusses how it is made, and compares it to the modern steel banjo.

    This resource is part of the Early America collection.

    Find additional arts resources for your classroom at the KET Arts Toolkit website.

    Grades: K-6
  • Dr. Thomas Walker | Early America

    In this video segment from the KET Kentucky Life series, members of the Bell County Historical Society celebrate Bell County as the "Gateway to the American West" and discuss early explorer Dr. Thomas Walker. By reviewing Walker's journal, historians have been able to document the settlement of Kentucky. The segment includes discussion from David W. Burns, author of Gateway: Dr. Thomas Walker and the Opening of Kentucky. Maps are integrated into the video to document Walker's expeditions and their importance in settling the area west of the Appalachian Mountains.

    This resource is part of the Early America collection.

    Find additional arts resources for your classroom at the KET Arts Toolkit website.

    Grades: 6-12
  • Yankee Doodle Dandy | Early America

    Saxton's Cornet Band, a musical ensemble that recreates the sound and appearance of early brass bands, performs "Yankee Doodle Variations." Before the performance, Nick Lawrence of the group tells the audience that the piece is an example of theme and variations.

    This resource is part of the Early America collection.

    Find additional arts resources for your classroom at the KET Arts Toolkit website.

    Grades: 5-12

Producer: