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The last thing that the blues needs is another smart-ass white boy with an attitude - Brownie McGhee

Author Topic: Folklorists/Ethnomusicologists & Their "Discoveries" (In Short)  (Read 2342 times)

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Offline doctorpep

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Folklorists/Ethnomusicologists & Their "Discoveries" (In Short)
« on: December 13, 2009, 07:26:30 AM »
I was wondering if we could make an abbreviated list of (mostly) white folklorists and/or ethnomusicologists and their "discoveries". For instance:

Harry Oster->Robert Pete Williams
Alan Lomax->Mississippi Fred McDowell (and a million others)

This is strictly for the purposes of allowing us to appreciate not just the black Blues musicians, but also the men who took trips down south to find these wonderful musicians during the 1950s, '60s and '70s. Although I've listened to this music for 10 years now, I have a hard time remembering who "discovered"/"rediscovered" who. Other names out there are Pete Lowery (spelling?), Pete Welding, Dick Waterman, Larry Cohn, Peter Guralnick, etc.

I hope that I am posting this in the right place. It's totally up to all of you (and Johnm, of course) how long this list should be.
"There ain't no Heaven, ain't no burning Hell. Where I go when I die, can't nobody tell."

http://www.hardluckchild.blogspot.com/

Offline RevGeo

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Re: Folklorists/Ethnomusicologists & Their "Discoveries" (In Short)
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2009, 08:04:23 AM »
Happy holidays everybody. It's been a while since I've posted.

How about John Fahey>Skip James?
Never stop playing if a fight breaks out, unless you have to shoot somebody....Chuck West

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Folklorists/Ethnomusicologists & Their "Discoveries" (In Short)
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2009, 10:58:53 AM »
Can this really not have been a topic in the past here? I can't find one! I am sure I seen such somewhere on an internet discussion group. Much as I hate "reinventing the wheel" perhaps it would be an interesting exercise for Weenies to compile such a list. Bob Groom's 1971 Studio Vista paperback The Blues Revival his chapter entitled "Going Down South: the Field Trips" catalogues the 50s/60s rediscoveries and by whom.

Offline doctorpep

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Re: Folklorists/Ethnomusicologists & Their "Discoveries" (In Short)
« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2009, 10:12:08 PM »
Thanks for the info., Bunker Hill. Yes, I am sure there must be a similar post somewhere in Internet land, but I don't know about on Weenie.

Did Fahey find Skip James? I thought that at least two men (maybe three) found James in Tunica in 1964.
"There ain't no Heaven, ain't no burning Hell. Where I go when I die, can't nobody tell."

http://www.hardluckchild.blogspot.com/

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Folklorists/Ethnomusicologists & Their "Discoveries" (In Short)
« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2009, 11:51:47 PM »
Did Fahey find Skip James? I thought that at least two men (maybe three) found James in Tunica in 1964.
Fahey and Bill Barth who were directed to a barbershop in Dundee, the owner then sent them to the "shack" where James and his wife lived. This was reported to Blues Unlimited at the time and is all in the Stephen Calt biography (Da Capo 1994) which I'm reliably informed has recently been republished
« Last Edit: December 13, 2009, 11:53:24 PM by Bunker Hill »

Offline oddenda

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Re: Folklorists/Ethnomusicologists & Their "Discoveries" (In Short)
« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2009, 04:45:41 PM »
Don't forget Sam Charters, or Dick Spottswood, Kip Lornell, George Mitchell, Danny McLean, Jim Pettigrew, Tim Duffy, or Bruce Bastin... or ME!

Offline btasoundsradio

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Re: Folklorists/Ethnomusicologists & Their "Discoveries" (In Short)
« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2009, 03:43:03 AM »
Tom Hoskins found john hurt
Dick Spottswood found Robert Wilkins, Frank Hovington and others.
Fahey not only found Booker White, but rode freight trains and went fishing with him. He found Ishmon Bracey in the phone book and bought the info on the location of Skip James from him for 30 dollars I believe. One of the funniest stories written about this is in his book "How Bluegrass Music Destroyed My Life"
George Mitchell found RL Burnside and a ton others, he was also the first to record Furry Lewis and Will Shade in the early 60's.
Gayle Dean Wardlow found and interviewed Booker Miller, Ishmon Bracey, Joe Callicott, HC Speir and others. He missed Joe Reynolds by a month or something. Must read "Chasin' That Devil Music".

« Last Edit: December 15, 2009, 03:45:42 AM by powerlinehorizon »
Charlie is the Father, Son is the Son, Willie is the Holy Ghost

Offline doctorpep

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Re: Folklorists/Ethnomusicologists & Their "Discoveries" (In Short)
« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2009, 07:03:56 AM »
Powerline, I thought that Furry's "Shake 'Em On Down" cd dates back to 1959. Let me clarify. The disc is made up of two LPs, the first one dating from 1959, not the 1960s. Perhaps you were approximating the year that Furry was "re-discovered"?
"There ain't no Heaven, ain't no burning Hell. Where I go when I die, can't nobody tell."

http://www.hardluckchild.blogspot.com/

Offline oddenda

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Re: Folklorists/Ethnomusicologists & Their "Discoveries" (In Short)
« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2009, 04:56:59 PM »
Jim Pettigrew - Cecil Barfield, a.o.
Danny McLean - "Guitar Shorty" (John Henry Fortescue), Elester Anderson, a.o.
Bastin - Frank Hovington, plus a myriad mentioned in his books/articles
Charters - Furry, Lightnin' Hopkins, Gus cannon, "Son Brimmer", Memphis Willie Borum, Baby Tate, Pink Anderson, J.D. Short, a.o.
and... little ole ME!

Peter B.

Offline doctorpep

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Re: Folklorists/Ethnomusicologists & Their "Discoveries" (In Short)
« Reply #9 on: December 17, 2009, 06:28:49 AM »
Okay, so Charters found Furry in 1959. That's what I thought.

Thanks for the information, everyone!
"There ain't no Heaven, ain't no burning Hell. Where I go when I die, can't nobody tell."

http://www.hardluckchild.blogspot.com/

Offline Stumblin

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Re: Folklorists/Ethnomusicologists & Their "Discoveries" (In Short)
« Reply #10 on: December 29, 2009, 08:34:55 AM »
I wonder how far back this process goes.
The earliest such "discovery" I can think of is John & Alan Lomax finding Leadbelly.
P.S. Hi, I'm new here, some of you might have seen some of my posts over on the Big Road Blues forum.

 


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