Black History Month on Radio Heartland

The Current: Black History Month 1500 x 750
Black History Month on The Current. (MPR graphic)

Observe Black History Month with Radio Heartland. Each weekday in the 9 a.m. (Central) hour, host Mike Pengra will highlight a musical icon who helped shape the sound of American music.

You can listen to Radio Heartland in the Twin Cities at 91.1 FM HD2. You can also stream Radio Heartland worldwide by using The Current's free smartphone app, by telling your smart speaker to play Radio Heartland, or by streaming here.

WEEK 1
Monday, Feb. 1 - Aretha Franklin
Tuesday, Feb. 2 - Taj Mahal
Wednesday, Feb. 3 - The War and Treaty
Thursday, Feb. 4 - Allen Toussaint
Friday, Feb. 5 - Mahalia Jackson

WEEK 2
Monday, Feb. 8 - Ray Charles
Tuesday, Feb. 9 - Rhiannon Giddens
Wednesday, Feb. 10 - Leadbelly
Thursday, Feb. 11 - Billie Holiday
Friday, Feb. 12 - Jake Blount

WEEK 3
Monday, Feb. 15 - Nina Simone
Tuesday, Feb. 16 - Nat King Cole
Wednesday, Feb. 17 - Mississippi John Hurt
Thursday, Feb. 18 - Elizabeth Cotten
Friday, Feb. 19 - Blind Boys of Alabama

WEEK 4
Monday, Feb. 22 - Robert Johnson
Tuesday, Feb. 23 - Mavis Staples
Wednesday, Feb. 24 - The Fairfield Four
Thursday, Feb. 25 - Etta James
Friday, Feb. 26 - Fats Domino

19 Photos

  • Aretha Franklin performing in recent years
    Aretha Franklin performs onstage at Radio City Music Hall on April 19, 2017 in New York City. (Noam Galai/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival)
  • Taj Mahal
    Taj Mahal performs at Madison Square Garden on Sunday, May 3, 2009, in New York. (Evan Agostini/ASSOCIATED PRESS)
  • The War and Treaty 2020 press photo
    The War and Treaty released their latest album, 'Hearts Town,' on Sept. 25, 2020. (courtesy Rounder Records)
  • Allen Toussaint
    Allen Toussaint photographed at the Saenger Theatre on May 3, 2014, in New Orleans. (Skip Bolen/Getty Images for Blackbird Productions)
  • Mahalia Jackson
    Gospel singer Mahalia Jackson during a visit to London, September 16, 1969. (Roger Jackson/Central Press/Getty Images)
  • Ray Charles performing circa 1980s
    American singer, pianist and songwriter Ray Charles performs in concert, 1980s. (Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
  • Rhiannon Giddens (web crop)
    Rhiannon Giddens (Michael Weintrob Photography)
  • Billie Holiday performs in New York, Feb. 1947
    Billie Holiday performing at the Downbeat Club in New York, Feb. 1947. (William P. Gottlieb Collection / U.S. Library of Congress)
  • Banjoist and fiddler Jake Blount
    Jake Blount, a 24-year-old banjoist and fiddler, is one of the people in the traditional music community working to educate others on the genre's Black roots. (Michelle Lotker)
  • Nina Simone onstage at the Newport Jazz Festival in 1968.
    Nina Simone onstage at the Newport Jazz Festival in 1968. (David Redfern/Redferns/Getty Images)
  • Nat King Cole Apollo Theater
    Nat King Cole plays with his jazz orchestra on the stage of The Apollo Theater, in Harlem, N.Y. in the 1950s. (Eric Schwab/AFP/Getty Images)
  • The Best of Mississippi John Hurt
    The Best of Mississippi John Hurt (Vanguard Records)
  • Elizabeth Cotten
    Elizabeth Cotten (1893 - 1987) was an innovative blues and folk musician, singer and songwriter. (courtesy Smithsonian Folkways)
  • Members of the Blind Boys of Alabama perform in Studio M.
    Members of the Blind Boys of Alabama perform in the Radio Heartland studio. (Evan Frost | MPR News)
  • Blues musician Robert Johnson
    One of the two known photos of Robert Johnson. This portrait was taken by the Hooks Bros. Photography Company in Memphis, Tenn., circa 1935. (Courtesy of the Delta Haze Corporation/NPR)
  • Mavis Staples
    Mavis Staples (American Public Media)
  • The Fairfield Four
    The Fairfield Four (American Public Media)
  • Etta James
    Etta James circa 1960 in Chicago. (Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images, via NPR)
  • Fats Domino poses for a portrait in 2007.
    Fats Domino poses for a portrait in 2007. (PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)