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Author Topic: Lawrence Gellert Recordings  (Read 4229 times)

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Mari

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Lawrence Gellert Recordings
« on: September 30, 2006, 09:24:32 PM »
Hello to all- My great uncle was Lawrence (Lou) Gellert, collector of early chain gang/prison songs, songs of protest and early blues recordings, made throughout the south in the late 20's and 30's. I know that a few people on this site had been discussing his recordings. I am looking for help in compiling some information about him for my family. I am interested in aritcles, recordings and anything in print about him. A friend has already furnished me with copies of "Negro Songs of Protest" and "Nobody Knows My Name" with copies of liner notes and the booklet that came with the one of the albums. I am looking for additional recordings including "Cap'n You So Mean". I am aware that many of these recordings are housed at Indiana University. Just hoping someone out there may have more than I already have been able to find. Thanks so much...

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Lawrence Gellert Recordings
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2006, 11:34:30 PM »
Have you seen this?

http://www.wirz.de/music/gellefrm.htm

Gellert's chapter "Negro Songs of Protest: North and South Carolina and Georgia" in Nancy Cunard's mammoth volume Negro Anthology (Wisehart, 1934) is worth tracking down. Frederrck Unger reprinted the book in 1970 and I guess there have been reprints since. The 1970 edition (12x9 inches, 465pps) has the chapter on pages 226-237.



Mari

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Re: Lawrence Gellert Recordings
« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2006, 09:04:23 AM »
I have seen the Stefan Wirz site, though he states he does not share his collection. Is what Nancy Cunnard put in her book a copy of the booklet "Negro Songs of Protest", or is this her own writing about my uncle? Thanks for the help.

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Lawrence Gellert Recordings
« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2006, 09:05:23 AM »
Hi Mari - Welcome to WeenieCampbell. I'm assuming you've seen this thread about your great-uncle's recordings, but if not, here you go: http://weeniecampbell.com/yabbse/index.php?amp;Itemid=83&topic=1934.0

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Lawrence Gellert Recordings
« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2006, 09:19:46 AM »
Can't recall if it's mentioned in the thread cited above, but Bruce Bastin has a section on Gellert in Red River Blues, pp. 64-67.

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Lawrence Gellert Recordings
« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2006, 10:35:30 AM »
Is what Nancy Cunnard put in her book a copy of the booklet "Negro Songs of Protest", or is this her own writing about my uncle? Thanks for the help.
The credit in the Unger edition is to "New Masses" Nov. 1930, June 1931 and May 1932. This I take to be a periodical the address of which was given as 31 East 27th St. NYC. So I guess possibly a three part serialisation of the booklet.

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Lawrence Gellert Recordings
« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2006, 08:02:28 AM »
An additional note. Samuel Charters' book "Walking a Blues Road: a Blues Reader 1956-2004" has a chapter devoted to Lawrence Gellert, pp. 131-142, written in 2004. I haven't got to that part yet but a quick scan indicates you will want to look this up, Mari.

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Lawrence Gellert Recordings
« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2006, 12:31:43 AM »
An additional note. Samuel Charters' book "Walking a Blues Road: a Blues Reader 1956-2004" has a chapter devoted to Lawrence Gellert, pp. 131-142, written in 2004. I haven't got to that part yet but a quick scan indicates you will want to look this up, Mari.
Yes you will. It quite interesting in that he recounts how he and his wife came across a "slim, staple bound songbook from the Depression years" which inside had the book plate of Eleanor Roosevelt and signed to her by LG. Charters chooses a few songs to analyse and tells of Israel Young's friendship with Gellert. Young recalled, amongst other matters, that LG was "living in a bookstrewn apartment on Sullivan". Sounds like somewhere I'd be comfortable! :)

Charter's also makes reference to Robert Cantwell's When We Were Good: The Folk Revival (Harvard UP, 1996) which says very little beyond that of acknowledging LG's historical position in the scheme of things as both editor of The New Masses and compiler of NSoP.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2006, 12:36:44 AM by Bunker Hill »

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Lawrence Gellert Recordings
« Reply #8 on: October 26, 2006, 11:38:27 AM »
The items one finds when looking for something totally unrelated; in this case my hunt for the Mack McCormick interview also turned up the American Quarterly Vol. 57 no.1 2005 in which on pages 179-206 is "Reds, Whites, and the Blues: Lawrence Gellert, 'Negro Songs of Protest' and the Left-Wing Folk-Song Revival of the 1930s and 1940s written by Steven Garabedian. It appears the author studied for a Ph.D at the University of Minnesota and wrote a thesis entitled, "Reds, Whites, and the Blues: Blues Music, White Scholarship, and American Cultural Politics"!

Not recordings I realise, but have you come across either of these, Mari?

 


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