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Now isn't that nice? - Skip James, in hospital, to Fahey and Barth after they show him a discography listing his known records

Author Topic: We should have heard more from them  (Read 13055 times)

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Offline Johnm

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We should have heard more from them
« on: February 17, 2004, 08:26:51 PM »
Hi all,
Andrew's comment in the Mississippi Sheiks thread that he wasn't aware that Walter Vinscon lived into the '70s got me thinking about an interesting topic:  Who were some of the Country Blues players who lived into the '60s, '70s, or later, who either through choice or lack of opportunities ended up not getting the recognition they should have gotten at that time?  Certainly Walter Vinscon would qualify.  Also I would think Li'l Son Jackson, Jesse "Babyface" Thomas, Kokomo Arnold, who was rediscovered but would not play, Blind Connie Williams in Philadelphia and Pete Franklin in Indianapolis would fit the category too.  I remember reading rumors that Robert Petway was still alive and living on the North Side of Chicago in the mid-'70s.  I suppose it might be thought a depressing topic, but it's interesting, too.  Why did some players achieve some real recognition while others were forgotten or neglected?  Any other names?
All best,
John

Offline GhostRider

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Re: We should have heard more from them
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2004, 08:32:33 AM »
Hi:

Interesting topic.

One interesting example (at least to me) was Lonnie Johnson. Athough he lived and played into the late 60's, he never recieved the recognition he deserved as the 1920's "King of the Fretboard". Although he probably had more to teach guitarists than any of the rediscoveries of the 60's (with the exception of Gary Davis), as far as I know he was never interviewed about his guitar-playing or attracted hoards of aspiring students.

The lack of interest may have been (as pointed out by Grossman) that his style of blues was out of fashion at the time, neither the folkie style of John Hurt nor the Delta sounds of Skip James or Booker White. And when rediscovered he was playing in a style much different than in his heyday and on a dreaded ...electric guitar (gasp).

Still, I consider it the greatest ommision of the "rediscovery era" that Lonnie was not able to illuminate his guitar tips or enjoy the popularity he so richly deserved, before his death in Toronto.

Alex
« Last Edit: February 18, 2004, 08:37:40 AM by pyrochlore »

Offline Johnm

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Re: We should have heard more from them
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2004, 09:00:29 AM »
Hi all,
Good pick of Lonnie Johnson, Alex.  I would think he definitely falls into this category.  I do not have any of his post-rediscovery albums that came out on Prestige, but I heard a couple over at Orville Johnson's, and one thing that impressed me was the verve with which he sang the Standards he did, like "What A Difference A Day Made"--it was in direct contrast to the sometimes bland singing on his old blues records.  Incidentally, virtually all of his '60s stuff is available on CD from www.fantasyjazz.com
A couple of other people I thought of after I posted last night:  Richard "Hacksaw" Harney, a Mississippi guy, very sophisticated and a tremendous player, seldom or never sang.  Eugene Powell, also known as Sonny Boy Nelson, and in terms of performance, Pink Anderson.  I know people made pilgrimages to see him, but I don't know of him ever playing festivals or coffee houses up around where I grew up, near Philadelphia.
Now for a computer ignoramus question.  How do you make a link in a message?  I'd like to make a link to fantasy above, and I've never known how to do that.  Thanks--I have the feeling an extremely high percentage of the posters here know the answer to this one.
All best,
John 

Offline uncle bud

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Re: We should have heard more from them
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2004, 09:23:23 AM »
John, there already seems to be a link. You're a hacker now and don't even know it...

Hacksaw Harney - Now here's a guy who should have been recorded more and better known. Outstanding in my opinion. His CD on Adelphi is a must have. People can check out http://www.adelphirecords.com/blues/9909.html for more info and should definitely check out the film footage available online of him playing at http://www.adelphirecords.com/video/Hacksaw.html. Paul Geremia spoke about him with great enthusiasm and disbelief that he was not better known.

Offline Slack

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Re: We should have heard more from them
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2004, 09:49:05 AM »
It is an interesting topic - not sure I agree with Grossman, it is hard to imagine Lonnie Johnson being out of style or no one appreciating his fabulous guitar at the time.? Anyway,

on to computer tutor:
Quote
Now for a computer ignoramus question.? How do you make a link in a message?? I'd like to make a link to fantasy above, and I've never known how to do that.

If you'll look at your message www.fantasyjazz.com is a link.? The forum software will scan your message when posted and look for a "www" (and other parameters) and convert the address to a link.

Now, if you want to get fancy and turn a word, like "Fantasy", into a link you'll have to use a Bulletin Board Code tag (that is what all those buttons above the smilies are, short cuts to save typing the code tags).? Here is how the link would look when typing in your message:

Code: [Select]
Hey, check out [url=http://www.fantasyjazz.com]Fantasy[/url] for Lonnie Johnson's 60's stuff.
Which will look like this after the messages is posted:

Hey, check out Fantasy for Lonnie Johnson's 60's stuff.

If you want the word Fantasy in bold?
Code: [Select]
Hey, check out [url=http://www.fantasyjazz.com][b]Fantasy[/b][/url] for Lonnie Johnson's 60's stuff.
...will give this

Hey, check out Fantasy for Lonnie Johnson's 60's stuff.

So a tag has two parts, one that defines the beginning of a fomat (or url) and one that defines the end... so the "/b" in brackets means to stop using bold.

Best way to learn is to play around a bit.? You can keep previewing or modifying your own message until you get what you like.? (See the Test Board.)

cheers,
slack
« Last Edit: April 11, 2005, 11:35:15 PM by Johnm »

Offline Slack

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Re: We should have heard more from them
« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2004, 09:57:39 AM »
...and always remember to test your links so you won't do something dumb like I just did --- being in a hurry I left off "jazz" in the links and fantasy alone takes you to some porn site!  sheesh  :-[

cheers,
slack

Offline frankie

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Re: We should have heard more from them
« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2004, 12:09:15 PM »
What about Carl Martin?  I've been listening to Crow Jane Blues on Testament, which was recorded between 1965 and 1966, and Martin's playing on guitar, mandolin and fiddle seems pretty snappy to me.  Maybe a little slower than his prewar sides, but with plenty of bounce.  Too bad he wasn't recorded a little more thoroughly.

I agree about Pink Anderson - didn't he suffer a stroke at some point that limited his ability to play?  From reading the liner notes to the New Mississippi Sheiks LP (posted on Stefan Wirz's excellent site), it appears that a stroke may also have curtailed Walter Vincson musical activities.  A real shame...

Offline uncle bud

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Re: We should have heard more from them
« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2004, 12:41:17 PM »
fantasy alone takes you to some porn site!

I'll add it to the Links section...

Offline Slack

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Re: We should have heard more from them
« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2004, 12:45:35 PM »
fantasy alone takes you to some porn site!

I'll add it to the Links section...


Thanks Uncle Bud, I knew I could count on you to keep that links section absolutely up to date.

Offline Slack

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Re: We should have heard more from them
« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2004, 12:48:14 PM »
Quote
What about Carl Martin?? I've been listening to Crow Jane Blues on Testament, which was recorded between 1965 and 1966, and Martin's playing on guitar, mandolin and fiddle seems pretty snappy to me.? Maybe a little slower than his prewar sides, but with plenty of bounce.? Too bad he wasn't recorded a little more thoroughly.

And in this same vein - Joe Callicott.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2005, 11:37:10 PM by Johnm »

Offline GhostRider

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Re: We should have heard more from them
« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2004, 01:30:29 PM »
Howdy:

Religion (or rather religious conversion) was the factor that did not allow two great players of the 20's and 30's to record blues in the folk revival years, Ishmon Bracey and Robert Wilkins.

Alex

Offline Johnm

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Re: We should have heard more from them
« Reply #11 on: February 18, 2004, 04:58:19 PM »
Hi all,
I have a copy of the record Rev. Wilkins recorded right after his rediscovery on Piedmont. The version I have was put out by Origin Jazz which bought the rights for a while.? I believe Andy Cohen owns it now and intends to release it on his label in CD format. It is really good stuff, tremendous singing, as you would expect from Wilkins, and great "heavy" time. He does a version of "Just A Closer Walk With Thee" that is different than any other I've heard. I think Gene Rosenthal of Adelphi also recorded him and put out a CD that is in the same series as that Hacksaw Harney CD (which I need, thanks for the link, Andrew).
Does anybody know a dependable place to find Testament CDs?? I am very interested in the Carl Martin one, and I don't think I've ever seen it.
As long as I'm bouncing around, I thought of a couple of younger guys: Doug Quattlebaum, who did an album on Prestige, "Mr. Softee", and the great Robert Curtis Smith, who also had one album on Prestige. Paul Oliver told Michael Roach he had recorded a whole album's worth of stuff by Robert Curtis, but no one was interested in putting it out. I'll try and check on that this summer, when I'm in England.
All best,
John
« Last Edit: October 03, 2020, 06:55:21 AM by Johnm »

Offline frankie

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Re: We should have heard more from them
« Reply #12 on: February 18, 2004, 05:12:42 PM »
Does anybody know a dependable place to find Testament CDs?? I am very interested in the Carl Martin one, and I don't think I've ever seen it.

I got mine used at a local place (the Princeton Record Exchange).? I just checked at Roots and Rhythm and they have it listed for $9.98 in their Bargain Bin!
« Last Edit: April 11, 2005, 11:38:50 PM by Johnm »

Offline frankie

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Re: We should have heard more from them
« Reply #13 on: February 18, 2004, 05:23:39 PM »
Looks like there are a number of other Testament titles at Roots and Rhythm... and one more CD that includes Carl Martin - The Chicago String Band.

Offline lindy

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Re: We should have heard more from them
« Reply #14 on: February 18, 2004, 06:02:31 PM »
Does anybody know a dependable place to find Testament CDs?  I am very interested in the Carl Martin one, and I don't think I've ever seen it.

John,

Under Weenie Campbell Main Forum / links, there's a page called "Record Companies" that has about 20 links.  Just click on the Hightone Records logo and see what they have -- they currently handle Testament.  They were really helpful to me when I was trying to locate a copy of the out-of-print Blind Connie Williams CD a few months back.

I've also had consistent luck with DownHome, the record/CD store in El Cerrito, California.  If they don't have something, they have a really good network for tracking things down.  Their specialty is the Arhoolie catalog, but they're good at finding stuff on all labels.

The Record Companies page also has a link to Prestige.  I have spent more hours checking out their on-line catalog than I care to admit, not only for CB, but for their excellent jazz offerings. 

My current interest is in tracking down copies of Shirely Griffith's two LPs; I've been looking all over for many months with no luck at all.  If anyone has any leads for me to follow, please get in touch.

Lindy

 


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