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Pot of ham and cabbage, ain't enough to fill mine. That just makes me peckish, I could eat a dozen fine - Me And My Tapeworm, Sylvester Weaver 1927

Author Topic: Ishmon Bracey gospel tunes in 1960s  (Read 1405 times)

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Offline TallahatchieTrot

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Ishmon Bracey gospel tunes in 1960s
« on: March 12, 2007, 10:40:54 PM »
I saw a recent question about Bracey's gospel years and a question about what did he record.  When I found him in 1963, he sang only gospel and no blues for fear of retribution from both God and his wife.  I tried to get him a contract with Piedmont at that time. He finally let me tape two songs only and I send them to Piedmont. It was rejected since they had just found/recorded Robert Wilkins.  That tape was probably lost or junked by Piedmont since they had no interest in Breacey except as a blues commodity.
    The two songs Bracey sang on that short tape were "WHAT YOU GONNA DO WHEN DEATH COMES CREEPIN' IN YOUR ROOM" and "CALVARY, LORD CALVARY, SHO'RE HE DIED FOR YOU AND ME."
      He played my 1950s Kay resonator guitar.   He never would do more than the 2 songs for me and he wanted $500 to do 10 songs. When it was turned down, that was then end of the project. He never allowed me to even make copies of his  2 songs. As I recall, he may not have done more than one-minute of each. He feared they would be issued.
     Finally, I have had two manuscripts rejected by NYC publishers in the last 6 months. I had about 220 pages on my years of blues hunting and then the second half shifts to Robert Johnson and the most complete biography available.  I was hunting RJ's death site/historical information all those years and that was a  theme of the first 10 chapters that included a lengthy chapter on Bracey. 
    Both Hal Leonard that bought Backbeat and put them out of business and St. Martin's Press rejected it. I also pitched the Charlie Patton book by me and Steve Calt to them but  HL also rejected it.     Originally, Shanchie did 3,000 copies in 1989 and it is out of print.
        Hopefully, I can find someone to publish  either or both. But the book music business is very flat right now.
      Finally, on another blues sight, someone mentioned hearing a PBS report in 2005 on  folklorist John Work who worked with Lomax on the Son Sims/Muddy LOC recordings.  They played a song by none other than JOE HOLMES, according to someone who heard it and mentioned it on "Honey Where You Been So Long" websight.
   Did anyone hear it. I can't find it on my computer. Holmes is of course King Solomon Hill that I wrote about. It was a 1941 recording by John Work who was then part of Fisk in Nashville. Where did Work find him is an intriguing question. Hie field notes probably indicate where he found Holmes who constantly traveled and worked street for money.
     I hope my comments answered the questions about Bracey's gospel recordings. There never was an album recorded. Gayle Dean Wardlow in Milton, Florida.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2007, 04:36:02 PM by FrontPage »

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Ishmon Bracey gospel tunes in 1960s
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2007, 12:38:41 AM »
      Finally, on another blues sight, someone mentioned hearing a PBS report in 2005 on  folklorist John Work who worked with Lomax on the Son Sims/Muddy LOC recordings.  They played a song by none other than JOE HOLMES. according to someone who heard it and mentioned it on "Honey Where You Been So Long" websight.
   Did anyone hear it. I can't find it on my computer. Holmes is of course King Solomon Hill that I wrote about. It was a 1941 recording by John Work who was then part of Fisk in Nashville. Where did Work find him is an intriguing question. Hie field notes probably indicate where he found Holmes who constantly traveled and worked street for money.

A Chance Encounter with the Blues by Bruce Nemerov:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5425762

Offline banjochris

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Re: Ishmon Bracey gospel tunes in 1960s
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2007, 01:01:28 AM »
Unfortunately, it's a different Joe Holmes, alas, although he's not bad.
Chris

Offline Johnm

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Re: Ishmon Bracey gospel tunes in 1960s
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2007, 08:45:34 AM »
Thanks for clarifying the nature and number of recordings you did of Ishmon Bracey after finding him, Mr. Wardlow.  Hearing that "some" recordings had been done was tantalizing--one didn't know if it was one or two songs or two album's worth.  Thanks as well for the time and effort you've put into researching this music and the discoveries you have made, and making that information available to the public.  Best of luck in finding a publisher for your manuscripts.
All best,
Johnm   

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Ishmon Bracey gospel tunes in 1960s
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2007, 09:23:20 AM »
The Joe Holmes song available for listening at the NPR website Bunker Hill cites above is very much in the Kind-Hearted Woman vein, with some different bass-line solos. Quite nice actually, but yes, not King Solomon Hill as Chris notes, at least on aural evidence. I'm trying to remember whether John Work's recordings were available on CD, but can't at the moment. I know some were available as mp3s at the American Memory site of the Library of Congress here: http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/ftvhtml/workbio.html. Click on Recordings and you get about 50 songs. This Joe Holmes isn't one of them.

Welcome to the site, Gayle Dean!
« Last Edit: March 13, 2007, 09:35:33 AM by uncle bud »

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