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Mercer Ellington has stated that Juan Tizol conceived the melody to "Caravan" in 1936 as a result of his days studying music in Puerto Rico, where they couldn't afford much sheet music so the teacher would turn the music upside down after they had learned to play it right-side up. This "inversion" technique led to a modal sound throughout Tizol's work - wikipedia entry for "modal jazz"

Author Topic: Blind Lemon's grave site  (Read 1543 times)

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Offline Rivers

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Re: Blind Lemon's grave site
« Reply #15 on: January 17, 2013, 05:17:47 AM »
Now That's what I'm talkin' about. Thank you Randy.

Online jpeters609

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Re: Blind Lemon's grave site
« Reply #16 on: January 17, 2013, 07:11:13 AM »
I recall first seeing Jefferson's death certificate in the Frog Blues and Jazz Annual, No. 1, from a few years ago. The Frog Annuals have been discussed elsewhere and are well worth a purchase and a perusing, but they can also be frustratingly vague. In this issue there appeared a short, unattributed article called "The Death of Blind Lemon," which offered little more of real substance than a reproduction of Blind Lemon Jefferson's death certificate. The article also mentioned that Jefferson had married a woman named Roberta Ransom in Dallas, but where that information came from is not mentioned. There is also an old black-and-white photo of a grave being dug, surrounded by a fairly large crowd of African Americans, but there is no caption to the photo. One is led to infer that it is Jefferson's burial, but it may simply be an evocative image of an African American funeral meant to evoke Jefferson's burial. There is no explanation (and thus the frustration). Such unsubstantiated photos can wreak all kinds of havoc in the circles of blues scholarship, as we have witnessed here and there on this very site.
Jeff

Offline dj

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Re: Blind Lemon's grave site
« Reply #17 on: January 17, 2013, 07:27:01 AM »
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There is also an old black-and-white photo of a grave being dug, surrounded by a fairly large crowd of African Americans, but there is no caption to the photo. One is led to infer that it is Jefferson's burial, but it may simply be an evocative image of an African American funeral meant to evoke Jefferson's burial.

It's definitely NOT Jefferson's funeral.  That occurred on or about January 1, and by all accounts the weather was unusually cold.  In the Frog Annual photo, people are lightly dressed and there are leaves on the trees.  You're right, an accurate caption of the picture would have prevented confusion and misinterpretation.

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Blind Lemon's grave site
« Reply #18 on: January 17, 2013, 07:38:16 AM »
The article also mentioned that Jefferson had married a woman named Roberta Ransom in Dallas, but where that information came from is not mentioned.
In 1958 Sam Charters spent a longtime in Wortham (and other known Jefferson locations) interviewing remaining Jefferson relatives and acquaintances. This was published in chapter 4 of his book The Country Blues and, for a decade, was the primary source for Jefferson knowledge. On page 30 (1959 edition) Sam was told of a 'Roberta'  whom Jefferson married in 1922 or 23, they had a son.

But to more contemporary times, when I first met Paul Swinton in 1973 he had already began researching the life and times of BLJ and, as far as I know, he's still at it. One day he may get to publish his findings.  ;)

Offline misterjones

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Re: Blind Lemon's grave site
« Reply #19 on: January 17, 2013, 06:56:25 PM »
OK, ball in your court, can you post some proof of that? Best of luck driving a ditch digger through the Blind Lemon Memorial Cemetery gate to prove your thesis!

I think there might be a way to investigate without random digging.  I recall reading an account or two of his funeral and I think it was mentioned that the coffin was was of high quality.  Perhaps higher quality means more detectible metal.  I'm certainly no expert, but there might be ways to narrow down the search.  Of course, one would start where the approximate marker is.

Offline Rivers

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Re: Blind Lemon's grave site
« Reply #20 on: January 18, 2013, 05:08:41 PM »
I received this from Mick Knight, you may find it interesting. He and Fi made a field trip to Wortham, as you will read:

Quote
I was on Weenie and reading the conversation about Lemmon's gravesite.
My understanding about the confusion as to where he is buried was caused by the moving of the entrance to the cemetery. It was originally on the side where the grave is and he was buried just inside the old gate to the left. That was how they determined where to place the marker ...I don't remember there being other gravestones or markers around his in 89'... i have photos taken by Fi. This may not help.......Also nobody we talked to ever said anything about his given name being George!!!  and neither did Robert Ussel and he surely knew many people who were well acquainted with Lemmon (Bates) Jefferson...Oh well, there is my 2p worth.

Offline RB

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Re: Blind Lemon's grave site
« Reply #21 on: January 19, 2013, 11:40:52 AM »
I was there--at the Wortham cemetery--in early September (or perhaps very late August) 1971.  I wrote about this in 1995.  Though I've read throughout the years that Jefferson's grave had some kind of Texas state  historical marker placed on it earlier than that date I can tell you with not perfect but with pretty sure accuracy that none was there at the time I went.

I believe we did see graves marked Jefferson (and I thought one was his mother's) but there was none marked for him that I could find (and it's a small cemetery).

The writng up I did of this in 1995 was for a memoir, and I suspect would not be of much interest to many here.  It does include some details about a second visit that day, to the church grave yard that Huddie Ledbetter was buried in.  At that point there was no monument for him, either,m at least that I could find.  I did share this memoir once with Sean Killeen, now dead himself, who edited the newsletter on Ledbetter.

Offline Randy Meadows

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Re: Blind Lemon's grave site
« Reply #22 on: January 30, 2013, 05:11:35 PM »
A little more information about the Texas State Marker initiation.
Express San Antonio, Tx- Oct 1, 1967

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