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February 27, 2023
9:00 AM - 10:00 AM
Free and open to the public.
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RPL Podcast: Come Gather 'Round Good People, Episode 5: Composing the Ballad of Otto Wood

Monday, February 27, 2023

The name Otto Wood once struck fear into the hearts of Rowan County citizens and those throughout the piedmont region. Wood was an infamous, free-wheeling criminal with the ability to escape from any prison and had the gift of self-promotion. His multi-year crime spree ended on Innes Street in December of 1930. Soon after, at least three songs about his exploits and demise were recorded and released on 78rpm records. However, the very first ode to Wood was printed in the Greensboro News just two weeks after his death. Titled The Ballad of Otto Wood and written by someone with the initials O.J., the poem ends with a postscript asking for any banjo players to bestow musical life into the composition. Episode 5 aims to take up O.J.’s challenge. Visit the RPL Soundcloud channel at to follow the channel and stream previous episodes. Family. Children. Teens. Adults.

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