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These things that have come down orally over the centuries had to be the cream of the crop, or they'd have died out a long time ago - Almeda Riddle, quoted in The Southern Journey of Alan Lomax - Words, Photographs and Music, by Tom Piazza, LoC 2013

Author Topic: Gus Gibson  (Read 787 times)

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Offline Pan

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Gus Gibson
« on: June 20, 2013, 05:56:42 PM »
Hi All

Searching for the music of Gus Gibson, I noticed that he doesn't seem to have an entry here, so I thought of making one.

Not much seems to be known of him, except that his real name was Dolphus Gibson (sometimes mistakenly dubbed "Guss Giberson"), that he was maybe (?) born on January 1st, 1900, and his only recorded songs come from noncommercial recordings associated with the Fort Valley State College Folk Festivals in 1941 and -43.

Here are his three recorded songs; first "Railroad Song":



"Where You Been So Long?" with Sydney Stripling on banjo (and vocals?) (this song is, for some reason, not mentioned on Blues and Gospel Records' 4th edition):

Gus Gibson / Sydney Stripling - Where You Been So Long? (1941)

and finally, "Milk Cow Blues", from 1943. Apparently the Library of Congress field notes claimed that the guitar here is played by a Will Chastian (?), but Gibson denied this):



Here is Stefan's illustrated discography of Gibson, with some photos from 1975 (what a pity he wasn't recorded again; he looks healthy enough, and is holding a guitar). Some information can be found on the record sleeves-

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

Bruce Bastin's writings on Gibson, from his "Red River Blues", can be read on the LoC pages devoted to the Festival:

http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/ftvhtml/ftvrrb3.html

Apparently during the 1951 festival, no recordings were made? Oh well, our loss.

http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/ftvhtml/ftvrrb5.html

To quote Stefan: "Additional information appreciated !!!" :)

Cheers

Pan



« Last Edit: June 20, 2013, 06:05:18 PM by Pan »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Gus Gibson
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2013, 06:32:21 PM »
Thanks for the introduction to the music of Gus Gibson, Pan.  It does sound as though there were two guitarists playing on the version of "Milk Cow Blues", so maybe Gibson was playing the slide part again and Chastain played the conventionally fretted part.
All best,
Johnm

Offline Pan

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Re: Gus Gibson
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2013, 06:39:32 PM »
Thanks for the introduction to the music of Gus Gibson, Pan.  It does sound as though there were two guitarists playing on the version of "Milk Cow Blues", so maybe Gibson was playing the slide part again and Chastain played the conventionally fretted part.
All best,
Johnm

Thanks for lending your expert ear to this, John. Perhaps the LoC files claimed that only Chastain played the guitar on the track, so obviously Gibson would object? Go figure.

Cheers

Pan

Offline Stefan Wirz

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Re: Gus Gibson
« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2013, 01:29:41 AM »
... where's the "like this threat" button? ;)

Gus Gibson August 1974; source: Blues Unlimited 112 (1975), p. 14; photographer: Pete Lowry


Offline oddenda

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Re: Gus Gibson
« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2013, 03:30:45 AM »
Stefan -

          Thank you for the proper photo credit. There are a couple of Gus' tunes on the Flyright LP of material recorded at the Fort Valley Normal School (now Fort Valley State College). When I  photographed him (and Bastin and I interviewed him), he had stopped playing some years back and was no longer interested in playing. A lovely person, though. The whole Fort Valley festival phenomenon was quite unique in the history of "Negro colleges". Read Bastin's book or the pieces on line from the LofC. Recordings were not done at all festivals, sadly.

Peter B.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2013, 04:10:33 AM by oddenda »

 


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