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Country Blues => Weenie Campbell Main Forum => Topic started by: Randy Meadows on January 09, 2013, 05:49:59 PM

Title: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: Randy Meadows on January 09, 2013, 05:49:59 PM
Check out this photo...
Who does that  man sitting down look like?  ...

I have to admit that he favors Charlie Patton.

Notice the Preacher holding the bible.
This was taken in Mississippi 1920s...


(https://weeniecampbell.com/yabbse/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fdb.tt%2FyYrrAwkJ&hash=630bc1964c6614dfc96c5db0556d3654c83283a7)
(https://weeniecampbell.com/yabbse/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fdb.tt%2F9hAS1QQm&hash=366db3c85de49d6e83b5f15facd805fcc694eb8a)
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: harriet on January 09, 2013, 06:56:47 PM
I don't think so, the shape of the head is different, the forehead is shorter and  the features are in a different place on the head to my eye.
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: Randy Meadows on January 09, 2013, 07:23:18 PM
He certainly isn't just happen to be sitting down.  Everyone is staged overall by the photographer.
What would attract such a crowd? .. His suit collars and shirt are the same as Charlie's, his hair is a white mans look, his shoes are hard to tell.
But Ive read and heard many descriptions of him and this looks alot like the usual description.
We only have one photo to compare to so who knows...
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: Rivers on January 09, 2013, 07:56:05 PM
Hi Randy,

Do you have more info, or informed speculation, on the date and location?

It's a pretty unusual shot for sure. Personally I don't think it's Charlie though, the mouth is wrong, and he seems a tad too pale.
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: FlyFast on January 09, 2013, 09:08:12 PM
I agree that there is a resemblance but I don't think it's him.
I do have a theory on the occasion.  The man in question is the only one sitting except the woman sitting on his lap.  They are in the center of the picture, right next to the preacher.  I suspect it is their wedding picture.  Why else would she be sitting in such a familiar way with him, at church, next to the preacher?
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: Norfolk Slim on January 10, 2013, 02:32:46 AM
has the photo been removed?
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: Randy Meadows on January 10, 2013, 04:09:58 AM
(Semmes Chapel)  Benton County, MS near Canaan and Holly Springs...circa 1920s
Wedding sounds logical and wow, thats alot of people for a wedding, if so...
 (they were popular folks) it seems
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: harriet on January 10, 2013, 04:55:34 AM
Wedding was my thought as well, as she's dressed in white. Maybe one of the Preacher's family as there's a group next to the couple that seems prominent? Perhaps the turnout is a shot of the congregation with important people in it ? There seems to be special forward positioning of 3 men who are separated from the crowd on the right and one on the left as well.
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: Mr.OMuck on January 10, 2013, 04:59:51 AM
Wrong ears

Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: uncle bud on January 10, 2013, 05:21:09 AM
Looks like wrong nose to me too. Rather patrician. Could be a time-travelling John Kerry.

I agree it looks like a wedding. I imagine a wedding at the time in a small town like Holly Springs would have been a pretty big draw as an event.
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: Shovel on January 10, 2013, 05:38:42 AM
doesn't look like patton to me at all.
awesome photo, though, do you have it in a larger format?
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: TonyGilroy on January 10, 2013, 06:02:46 AM

My first thought was "no" but then "maybe".

I reckon the guy looks about 25 though and Patton was born in 1891 so that by 1925 he was 34.

I'd love to know the precise date of the photo.
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: uncle bud on January 10, 2013, 06:03:37 AM
Yes, I agree, very cool photo regardless.
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: dj on January 10, 2013, 06:10:26 AM
I'd also ask for a post of the photo in a larger format, if possible (or a link to a larger online version).  It's a great photo with lots of historical info, and it would be fun to be able to go over it in more detail.

Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: Randy Meadows on January 10, 2013, 08:18:56 AM
Here is a large size,
"Semmes Chapel- Michigan City, Ms - circa 1920"

(https://weeniecampbell.com/yabbse/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fdb.tt%2FpPJgHheU&hash=5578bd66599f221518cc7312ce91e815fdd78e57)
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: oversee on January 10, 2013, 11:33:59 AM
Just seen this, the guy seated is tall with a long upper body.
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: Johnm on January 10, 2013, 11:36:48 AM
I agree with oversee, the guy in the picture looks well over a six-footer, and Patton was supposed to be a little guy.
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: gtrworkshp on January 10, 2013, 12:20:01 PM
There are actually two very different photos of Patton. When we were putting together the Calt/Wardlow Patton book at Shanachie we had a problem of which to include on the cover. There is of course the Paramount photo of Patton. But there is another that Steve and Gayle found that looks nothing like the Paramount photo. The dilemma was that when Gayle and Steve were gathering their info for the book they would show both photos to people that knew Patton. Few if any recognized the Paramount photo but all recognized the other photo that had the appearance almost of a Sicilian! After much debate we agreed to use the Paramount photo on the cover and on Page 2 we featured the other photo. Which brings me to the photo in this thread. For those of you who have the Patton book check both photos and in some ways the man sitting on the chair seems like a compromise between both photos! It could easily be Patton. Great God Almighty!
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: harriet on January 10, 2013, 01:28:45 PM
A link to the photo and a previous discussion is here, includes reports on Patton's height. I also noticed that the man in the photo is tall: http://weeniecampbell.com/yabbse/index.php?topic=3084.0 (http://weeniecampbell.com/yabbse/index.php?topic=3084.0)

Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: oversee on January 10, 2013, 01:39:55 PM
Either there were two Pattons, he was abducted by aliens and had his DNA scrambled or the painter had a whole lotta license.
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: harriet on January 10, 2013, 02:27:29 PM
Be funny  :( if neither were him. It raises doubts that people who were shown the one everyone thinks is him didn't recognize him.Misfiled photo or one used because there were no photos of him?
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: Randy Meadows on January 10, 2013, 04:02:12 PM
A few points that I see are:
He is unique in the photo. There is an extremely large crowd, even for a wedding back then. People got married every week, Im sure. If this was a common event, as some of you suggest, You would think we would see more photos like this out there, which is not the case...  The suit is the same style as the studio shot. Same color, design,etc... These guys didn't have a whole wardrobe of suits... They had one or two at best...and he considered this one his best, if it's him...

It is possible that Patton was the "Entertainment" for the wedding and called the Bride to sit on his knee before the photo.... leaving the Groom standing alone on the left...(or right)
The fact that he is sitting, almost like in a saloon, while everyone else seems to be standing, as a congregation, supporting the preacher... (An act of defiance, so to speak) Maybe he wanted to use this shot for a record cover or publicity shot.... He was a musician and a man of many tricks...

If this is mid 1920s or late 1920s, -
take a look at the guy behind the Preacher's left elbow....( directly to the man's left that is sitting). He looks familiar. (Pinstripe suit)

Either way, I love the photo... It's a great piece of history..
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: Randy Meadows on January 10, 2013, 05:43:13 PM
(https://weeniecampbell.com/yabbse/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fdb.tt%2FSy3hHrYD&hash=dc9389b22da631b7515d476f8119a5771e4c2a7c)
(https://weeniecampbell.com/yabbse/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fdb.tt%2FEKvJjegT&hash=96b6789c03273f7df08dc8dd84fa416b33c3591d)
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: Randy Meadows on January 10, 2013, 06:34:11 PM
Re: Wardlow's response about Charlie Patton portrait photo
? Reply #24 on: March 05, 2011, 04:48:00 PM ?QuoteBlues
Fans-Let me tell you the story behind the portrait. I was talking to Hayes McMulland and Willie Moore in Sumner in 1967 and they both said a woman who just died on this plantation has a photo of Patton.  I said let's go down to the house and look at it. When I got there the grandaughter had the portrait and it was in two pieces.
    I said to Hayes that can't be Charlie. He said "that's naturally him Mr Wardlow. He looked just like one of those Mexicans when I knew him.  He always had a mustache too when I played with him."  The grandaughter said her grandmother dated/married  Patton in about 1910 and the photo was taken in Oxford in the hill country and was then made into a portrait.   He would have been about 20 when this relatiionship occurred. He left her and broke her heart and she never married again but kept the portrait til she died.[
 You will notice that the ears look the same and just below the bottom lip to the chin is the same indentation.  I have somewhere on one of the Hayes or Moore tapes one of them declaring it was Patton when has about 20 to 24 years old as I thought no one will believe this is PAtton.  It was retouched from a photo to a portrait and the hair doesn't look kinky as a black man has. But Hayes always said Mr Wardlow if that man hadn't had kinky hair he could have passed for white. Also remember Howlin' Wolf has been quoted as saying Patton looked like a Puerto Rician.
        It would have been foolish for me to try and pass off a photo of some Italian as Patton. What would I have gained from that. Nothing but criticism. I only wanted to show hosw he looked in his very early 20s.  But Hayes and Mooore  both said that Charlie Patton when he was young.
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: Rivers on January 10, 2013, 06:36:10 PM
This has been a very interesting thread, thanks.

There are actually two very different photos of Patton. When we were putting together the Calt/Wardlow Patton book at Shanachie we had a problem of which to include on the cover.

Hey thanks for posting gw, and welcome to wc.com

Just ever so slightly off topic, apologies Randy, but I have a question. Do you happen to know whether the Wardlow-Calt Patton book will ever come back into print? I loaned my dogeared copy out a few years ago to a guitar playing acquaintance and never saw it, or him, again. It's one of the more entertaining and thought-provoking books in the genre I think.
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: Rivers on January 10, 2013, 06:45:12 PM
Thanks for the composite there. Patton, or the pictures that we generally accept as being him, probably, has a very high forehead. I'm not seeing that in the wedding shot. Also iin the classic shots he has a side parting, the wedding guy seems to have a center parting. I've been known to sport both at various times so doesn't prove anything.
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: judge on January 10, 2013, 09:16:30 PM
This post was interesting enough for me to join.  First impression was it looked very much like Patton and for me that still holds true.  A few comments: That seems to be a common suit coat style of the day. Bowtie may be more unique to him. The paramount ad sitting picture is presumed taken by Patton in advance knowing he was to be recording for Laibly. In that sitting picture, the coat/wardrobe could be borrowed and the hair could have been styled by the photographer in a 'bluesy' look; and hair recedes.
He looks tall. The crowd looks short, but he is guessed at 5'7 and looks 5'11.  Memories are funny like that, though.  The woman doesn't look comfortable on his lap. Regarding sitting, it appears to be so he is not standing
right behind the preachers hand. If i were a photographer, i would position as such, on an acclaimed's lap. And who else's lap would a new wife be allowed to sit on?  Features all look right on to me.  I think too often we misunderstand how dramatic looks and Voice change in short order when under such indulgence.  Lastly, is that Tape over the laces(missing) of his shoes in the Paramount full body shot? Great Post!
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: jrn on January 10, 2013, 11:33:22 PM
I'm pretty sure one of those horses in the back is the famous Mr. Ed.
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: TonyGilroy on January 11, 2013, 12:56:29 AM

If he's there as the entertainment rather than the bridegroom you'd expect to see the guitar.
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: uncle bud on January 11, 2013, 04:14:59 AM
I don't see Mr. Ed's stripe. One could be Francis the Talking Mule though, going by the ears.

I would add that given all we know about men's feelings towards blues singers and their women, what chance is there a groom would let his bride sit on the lap of one at his wedding? Not to mention what preacher would pose in such a photo. So if this was Patton, it would pretty much have to be his wedding. The seated man is tall though, as others have pointed out. I would be very surprised if this ever proved to be Patton.
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: dj on January 11, 2013, 05:29:42 AM
I doubt it's a wedding.  the grouping of people is all wrong for that type of picture, and you'd think the bride would have some kind of flowers if this was indeed a wedding with such a large, well-dressed gathering.  And it's not a mass baptism, because nobody's in baptismal dress.  My guess is a dedication/rededication of the chapel.  The building doesn't look new, so if my guess is correct either it was a chapel the congregation had been using and it was recently repaired and painted (so a rededication) or it was a chapel previously used by another (probably white) congregation which had recently found new and better quarters and the current black congregation is moving in and dedicating the chapel for their use.  I think indications of this interpretation are the overflow size and very proper dress of the congregation, the man on the chapel steps holding his hat out in front of the building as if to say "look at this", the prominence of the church Bible in the center of the picture, and the man to the preacher's left holding another book (probably the register of baptisms, marriages, and deaths in the congregation.

On the other hand, there's the three very old men standing in front of the congregation to the right of the picture.  They could just be the church elders given a position of prominence, but the fact that they're out in front and the preacher is looking at them might indicate that the gathering was in honor of them in some way.

Chances are miniscule that there's anyone known to us in that picture.  But it's a beautiful picture of an event that obviously had some large significance in the lives of the people pictured.  It's worth seeing even if the guy in question is John Doe who ran a store in town.  I'm glad to have been able to see it.  thanks for posting it.   

Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: CF on January 11, 2013, 05:55:50 AM
Does not look like Patton. Wishful thinking methinks.
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: Randy Meadows on January 11, 2013, 11:08:14 AM
I think it has enough merit to be above wishful thinking.
It seems full of questions that may put some dots together...
It deserves to be considered.

Ive studied descriptions about him directly from the pros and this certainly fits most descriptions of him...
The CD makers seek to thin his face out with every cartoon rendering they make...

Seeing that the portrait drew more positive likenesses that the studio pic...

Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: Randy Meadows on January 11, 2013, 11:17:58 AM
If you look at the big photo,
Notice the space between the man sitting and the man in the pinstripe suit on the ground...
Behind the preacher's leg seems to be the curve of an instrument, like a guitar between them...
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: Stuart on January 11, 2013, 11:53:23 AM
Thanks for posting the photo, Randy. There are similarities between the fellow in the photo and the well known photo of Charley, to be sure, but I wouldn't bet the family jewels on it being the same person--there's just too much uncertainty and other possibilities--and differences.

He could have been sitting for various reasons--so his face wasn't obscured by the Good Book, or perhaps because he was tall and although the photographer wanted him up front, he didn't want him blocking the people behind him. Or perhaps he was simply unable to stand (having lost the use of his legs due to Polio, etc.) and was placed in front, seated on a chair. The woman's clothing doesn't seem different by that worn by others in the crowd. Perhaps they were honored guests or visitors at the assembly.

It would be great to know the complete story behind the photo, but I sincerely doubt that will ever happen.
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: misterjones on January 11, 2013, 12:26:05 PM
The picture is too fuzzy to conclude it is Patton.  By the same token, I don't see how one can look at the picture and say it definitely is not Patton.  I don't see the guitar, but the man's Caucasian features and the bowtie really stand out.  I vote for "it could be Patton".
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: Randy Meadows on January 11, 2013, 12:49:20 PM
If you follow the stripes on the left leg down, you see the left leg...
But it seems to be a shape in front of his right leg, propped towards the center slightly...
If you notice, there is not a person between them.... only this space shown..

I believe that they took more than one photo (various poses_) with the preacher scooted over, etc...
This one copy just happened to survive....I think there are more of this scene...
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: dj on January 11, 2013, 01:56:44 PM
Quote
and the bowtie...

I see at least two other men with bowties in the picture, both over to the far right.  Must be Patton's father and brother.   :P

Seriously, we have one picture of Charlie Patton wearing a bow tie.  We have no idea if he ever wore a bow tie at any other time in his life.  The bow tie means nothing.  I'm sure everyone reading this would love to have another picture of Charlie Patton.   But looked at dispassionately, there is probably less than 1 chance in 1000 that Charlie Patton is anywhere in this picture, and we will almost certainly never be able to be certain if he is or isn't there.

Randy, if I'm looking at what you're looking at by the preacher's elbow, it looks to me to be part of a pew/bench/lectern.       
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: JohnLeePimp on January 11, 2013, 02:03:29 PM
Wow that's some cool stuff Randy,

Now I'm no Columbo but I think that this guy looks rather like Patton - not that it's definitely him, it probably isn't - but looking at pictures of black people from the era (which is something of a pastime for me) I can tell you that few have that kind of look... it's distinctive, that guy's face stands out from the others' in the picture

But then some people say his eyebrows are too thin and his neck length deosn't match... so who the hell knows
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: onewent on January 11, 2013, 02:32:33 PM
Randy, if you in fact can confirm the chapel, county, town and the time period, why not search the relevant records, like the church records, county records, newspapers and so on?  I don't have an opinion on the Patton connection, but the photo sure seems to record a special event.  Two facts that jump out are that two men are holding 'books' of some type, but you can only assume one is a bible, and the man holding it is a preacher.  But the man to the viewers right holding a 'book', the 'book' looks a lot like a ledger used to record business transactions, or weddings, funerals etc in a church.  Our church has dozens of these.  So, this tid bit lends some support to the idea of a wedding or the move into a new church for this group, more likely the latter.  Interesting photo regardless of the Patton connection.  Tom
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: bnemerov on January 11, 2013, 02:57:17 PM
What Tom (onewent) says makes sense. If you want to know, go.

I went to Ozark Alabama 50 years after a singing event recorded and photographed by professor John Work and showed the photos to some old folks there who had no trouble identifying most of the singers.

Granted, this time-lag is longer, but there's a good chance that relatives of the pictured folks know who's who in Randy's picture---and it's just possible some of the kids in the picture are still alive.

Speculation is easy; Research am hard.
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: Randy Meadows on January 11, 2013, 04:23:00 PM
(https://weeniecampbell.com/yabbse/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fdb.tt%2FcowIaDw3&hash=9ab2d2631c63f3534d8c4a0600895d70ad52eda8)

He doesn't seem that tall to me at all.
The woman on his lap is short. His foot to knee length is barely any longer than hers..

Preacher is taller than him by a few inches easy.
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: Rivers on January 11, 2013, 06:55:20 PM
I find the shot pretty interesting at face value, and I'm sure I'm not the only one who has noticed this little observable fact.

He's by far the whitest individual in the shot, is placed front and center, and there's a pretty black gal sitting on his knee.

And this was taken in the deep South, in the first half of the last century.  :)

Plus I don't think it's a chapel, there's no religious iconography visible on the building. More likely a country village hall.
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: onewent on January 12, 2013, 06:49:33 AM
I was thinking that it would be difficult to 'prove' that it's a church, but if you look in post #14 photo, the window left of the door, bottom left pane, there appears to be a cross.  Also, if it's a country village hall, where's the village?  One would expect more structures in the background/periphery.  Also, it's a pretty large structure.  If I had to venture a guess, I'd say it's a black congregation moving into a new-to-them church, hence the 'preacher' with the 'bible' and 'elder' with the church 'ledger'.  But that does not explain why Charlie Patton is sitting there with a woman on his lap.   >:D 
I believe, that if the origin of the photo is known,  some leg work in various archives of the area could prove fruitful.  Tom
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: Rivers on January 12, 2013, 07:04:25 AM
Ah yes, I see the cross in the window, thanks. Environs are not unusual for a hall, for example there are a lot of them dotted around Texas that stand apart, well away from houses.
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: Randy Meadows on January 12, 2013, 07:14:38 AM
I zoomed in and the cross seems to be in line with a rip or tear in the photo.

Notice the big lady in white looking out of the right window...
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: Johnm on January 12, 2013, 07:19:35 AM
There's little point in conjecturing about whether Charlie Patton is in the photo until it is established where the photograph was taken.  It could have been taken in Florida or Iowa or any number of other places that would make Patton's presence implausible or impossible.  It seems the first order of business is to ascertain where the picture was taken.
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: Randy Meadows on January 12, 2013, 07:27:41 AM
I know where and about when it was taken. And I believe I know who took it...

Before I even posted it here, I was in contact with relatives of the photo from the area.
They are talking to the old folks about it now... to try to gain any info on it...

Ill let everyone know if I can gain more info...
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: Stumblin on January 12, 2013, 07:59:20 AM
It's certainly an interesting photo, Randy. Thanks for starting this discussion.
The larger scale photo has Semmes Chapel, Michigan in its file name, is there any known Patton/Michigan connection?
I'm inclined, along with earlier contributors to this thread, to think that the chap in the photo is too tall to be Charlie Patton, but at this point I remain agnostic.
Please let us know your research findings as soon as poss.
Cheers.
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: Randy Meadows on January 12, 2013, 08:08:18 AM
According to Wiki:
Michigan City is a community in Benton County, Mississippi. It is located along Mississippi Highway 7 in north central Benton County, just south of the Tennessee state line, approximately three miles north of U. S. Route 72. Michigan City has a post office, with the ZIP code of 38647.[1]. The nearly abandoned Mississippi Central Railroad, which is used only rarely for freight traffic, runs through the city. Michigan City is bounded by Grand Junction, Tennessee, to the north, Lamar, to the south, Hopewell, to the east, and Early Grove to the west.

Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: Prof Scratchy on January 12, 2013, 08:51:53 AM
There's a Sims Chapel Road in Michigan City (actually in the surrounding countryside) which you can view on Google Earth. Still has a chapel on it.
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: Cleoma on January 12, 2013, 09:04:52 AM
This is a fascinating thread, whether or not it's really Charley Patton!
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: Slack on January 12, 2013, 09:28:42 AM
There's a Sims Chapel Road in Michigan City (actually in the surrounding countryside) which you can view on Google Earth. Still has a chapel on it.

If that is the same Chapel -- it looks like they've added on.  :D 

Too bad Google has not gotten around to the Street Views for rural Mississippi!
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: Randy Meadows on January 12, 2013, 09:57:33 AM
Speaking of tall!...
Look at the man with his hand on the pole.... left side
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: Mr.OMuck on January 12, 2013, 10:02:35 AM
How about this scenario; the man is white, the woman on his lap a beloved servant and this is the dedication of a Church that he has put up the money for, after being asked for a contribution by said beloved servant. I blew up his face to 3000dpi which unfortunately is way too large to post, but his hair appears to be light, his features Caucasian. I should add that the tradition of "Donor" pictures
goes back to pre renaissance times.
The big question here would have to be the likelihood of a white man being photographed with a black woman on his knee. On the one hand one would imagine that it would violate local conventions, on the other hand there is an implicit paternalistic-ownership aspect to the situation that might be seen as the benevolent benefactor singling out the reason for his generosity and setting her apart for praise within the community?
Or its an integrated wedding. Maybe he's the white Bishop of this particular denomination with one of his "children" on his knee?
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: Randy Meadows on January 12, 2013, 10:15:48 AM
Ill Post the most accurate that I have below:
This is an exact scan. I haven't done any actions ie lightened, darkened, cropped, etc...

(https://weeniecampbell.com/yabbse/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fdb.tt%2FapM6hBcH&hash=9cc3d97b7bea97597cbf20f6be55a9386aa9ea00)

Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: Mr.OMuck on January 12, 2013, 10:26:37 AM
In any of the scenarios I've described, there surely would have been some mention in the local press which probably also accounts for this photo. Visiting Bishop, Big White Church donor,
both would be newsworthy in a small town paper or even a largish regional paper.
 
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: Slack on January 12, 2013, 10:56:03 AM
I think it's a big assumption to say he is white, mixed race is more likely - which for all practical purposes would be considered black.  Not to suggest Patton again  :P , but his features suggest , and not uncommon in that part of the country - part Indian, part black.  Or maybe a "high yeller".
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: harriet on January 12, 2013, 11:02:41 AM
Would a bible from that period have "Holy Bible" on it?

 I also noticed the man sitting looks lighter but I thought it was the forhead angle and muscles above his brows hitting the sun that produced that effect as his hand seems somewhat consistent in color with those around him.
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: Mr.OMuck on January 12, 2013, 12:00:35 PM
The EARS have it! I traced the right ears in the famous paramount Patton photo and on the seated man in the group picture. Here are the results.
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: onewent on January 12, 2013, 04:04:33 PM
Quote
I zoomed in and the cross seems to be in line with a rip or tear in the photo.

Upon closer inspection, in your latest scan, the cross seems to rest on a shield with another (cross?) symbol on it running on the diagonal.  Coat of Arms/symbol for a church denomination in the area where you believe the event/photo took place? 

Quote
There's a Sims Chapel Road in Michigan City (actually in the surrounding countryside) which you can view on Google Earth. Still has a chapel on it.

And it's the only structure on the road (it's a short road), and if you remove the addition on the one side, the shape of the structure is a lot like the shape of the bldg in the photo. 

Interesting...
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: Randy Meadows on January 12, 2013, 11:08:16 PM
That seems to be roofing tin over the bottom part of the window with a small cross cut out of it, possibly to see out of..
The right side window also has a slat of tin to be lowered to covere the botton, but I don't see a cross on that one.
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: Randy Meadows on January 14, 2013, 11:24:04 AM
The preacher resembles Rev. JM Gates.
He would pose for this kind of photo.
But Gates was in Chicago aroud 1926-1928
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: dj on January 14, 2013, 11:28:52 AM
The hairline isn't Gates' at all.
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: wreid75 on January 14, 2013, 01:51:55 PM
Wouldn't be out of order for Gates to make it down from up north.  Preachers traveled as much as bluesmen.  Is it him, lets look at the various pics we have.
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: wreid75 on January 14, 2013, 01:53:13 PM
Hairline isn't exactly spot on in any of the above, and well, many of us know that hairlines change O0
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: Randy Meadows on January 14, 2013, 02:41:56 PM
Gates is credited with introducing the gospel music of former blues artist Thomas A. Dorsey into the black gospel market via his crusades. His funeral drew the largest crowd of any memorial service in the city (Atlanta)  before Martin Luther King, Jr.


Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: misterjones on January 14, 2013, 02:53:10 PM
I think I see John Wilkes Booth all the way in the back (behind the grassy knoll).
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: Randy Meadows on January 15, 2013, 04:00:18 AM
Well.... In fairness, there are alot of people in this photo...
They gotta be somebody...
It may just be a small church of folks that never left the area and were never known...

But I doubt it..
Don't throw out the baby with the bathwater....
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: TonyGilroy on January 15, 2013, 04:33:49 AM

Randy,

I raised this point earlier but what about the date of this photo and Patton's age. In 1925 he'd have been 34 and this guy looks much younger to me.
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: Randy Meadows on January 15, 2013, 04:59:37 AM
The wording on the photo title is (circa 1920)
It just seems to me to be mid to late 1920s judging by the attire...
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: dj on January 15, 2013, 05:09:14 AM
Quote
It may just be a small church of folks that never left the area and were never known...

Bingo.  Got it in one.

Quote
But I doubt it...

I don't know why I'm still arguing about this, but here goes:

Look, there are thousands of churches in the United States, and virtually every one of them has had one or more pictures of the congregation gathered together standing in front of the church.  These pictures are filled with folks that were never famous, never known to the world outside their family and community.  Without any documentary evidence, this is another one of those pictures.  It may have been taken on the occasion of  the congregation's moving to a new building.  It may have been the 60th anniversary of emancipation and the congregation is honoring it's three members who were born in slavery.  It may have just been that an enterprising photographer offered to take the picture and sell it to members of the congregation at 10 cents a pop.  But you have to start from the assumption that this is just a bunch of local people whom the world at large has never heard of. 

Saying this doesn't diminish the significance of the photograph at all.  It's a wonderful picture, and a window which allows us to look into the past, even if we don't necessarily know the significance of everything and everyone in the photo.  It may be the Reverend J. M. Gates holding what we assume is a Bible, with Thomas A. Dorsey standing on the chapel steps, Charlie Patton sitting with Louise Johnson on his lap, Son House and Willie Brown standing beside him, a young Robert Johnson standing in the front row, and Geechie Wiley looking out the chapel window, but if it is, it really isn't more historically significant than if it's just a bunch of "folks that never left the area".  In a sense, you're deprecating the unknown folks by assuming that they have no worth unless they're someone who's known to history.

They're people.  It was some kind of important occasion for them.  That's all we know, and that's enough.

Unless some documentary evidence appears to give us any more information about this photograph, I'm done talking about it.     
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: CF on January 15, 2013, 06:30:06 AM
But you have to start from the assumption that this is just a bunch of local people whom the world at large has never heard of. 

Saying this doesn't diminish the significance of the photograph at all.  It's a wonderful picture, and a window which allows us to look into the past, even if we don't necessarily know the significance of everything and everyone in the photo.  It may be the Reverend J. M. Gates holding what we assume is a Bible, with Thomas A. Dorsey standing on the chapel steps, Charlie Patton sitting with Louise Johnson on his lap, Son House and Willie Brown standing beside him, a young Robert Johnson standing in the front row, and Geechie Wiley looking out the chapel window, but if it is, it really isn't more historically significant than if it's just a bunch of "folks that never left the area".  In a sense, you're deprecating the unknown folks by assuming that they have no worth unless they're someone who's known to history.

They're people.  It was some kind of important occasion for them.  That's all we know, and that's enough.

Unless some documentary evidence appears to give us any more information about this photograph, I'm done talking about it.     

Now this is some sound reasoning DJ, well stated & argued.
It's a wonderful picture & we're lucky to have it but the knee-jerk impulse to see what is actually a pretty small community of musical/historical figures in every single period photo discovered or discussed is very tiring. Also slightly racist & poor academic reasoning.
Once again, a wonderful image & let's enjoy it for that alone until more information allows us to perceive Patton Where's Waldos.
Keep up the good discovery work Randy, it's fascinating stuff for sure.
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: Mr.OMuck on January 15, 2013, 07:23:40 AM
Quote
Look, there are thousands of churches in the United States, and virtually every one of them has had one or more pictures of the congregation gathered together standing in front of the church.  These pictures are filled with folks that were never famous, never known to the world outside their family and community.  Without any documentary evidence, this is another one of those pictures.  It may have been taken on the occasion of  the congregation's moving to a new building.  It may have been the 60th anniversary of emancipation and the congregation is honoring it's three members who were born in slavery.  It may have just been that an enterprising photographer offered to take the picture and sell it to members of the congregation at 10 cents a pop.  But you have to start from the assumption that this is just a bunch of local people whom the world at large has never heard of. 

Saying this doesn't diminish the significance of the photograph at all.  It's a wonderful picture, and a window which allows us to look into the past, even if we don't necessarily know the significance of everything and everyone in the photo.  It may be the Reverend J. M. Gates holding what we assume is a Bible, with Thomas A. Dorsey standing on the chapel steps, Charlie Patton sitting with Louise Johnson on his lap, Son House and Willie Brown standing beside him, a young Robert Johnson standing in the front row, and Geechie Wiley looking out the chapel window, but if it is, it really isn't more historically significant than if it's just a bunch of "folks that never left the area".  In a sense, you're deprecating the unknown folks by assuming that they have no worth unless they're someone who's known to history.


Love it!

Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: Stumblin on January 15, 2013, 07:53:32 AM
Once again, a wonderful image & let's enjoy it for that alone until more information allows us to perceive Patton Where's Waldos.
Keep up the good discovery work Randy, it's fascinating stuff for sure.
I wonder why it's "Where's Waldo" in the US, but "Where's Wally" in the UK. Presumably it has to do with the relative frequency of the names within each cultural area. I have never met anyone called Waldo, although I've heard of Ralph Waldo Emerson. However, in what feels like quite a long time on Earth in the UK, I have only ever met one person called Wally and that was a nickname unrelated to his real name.

Closer to the original topic, I don't recall ever having seen a photo of Rev. Gates before, his appearance changed quite a lot between photos, eh?
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: wreid75 on January 15, 2013, 08:10:00 AM
"Now this is some sound reasoning DJ, well stated & argued.
It's a wonderful picture & we're lucky to have it but the knee-jerk impulse to see what is actually a pretty small community of musical/historical figures in every single period photo discovered or discussed is very tiring. Also slightly racist & poor academic reasoning. "

I understand the spirit in which the quote was intended but there are several people I know that are hesitant to post what they find when digging because of the instant condemnation that has fallen upon some of the newer group of researchers like Randy and Jason Rewald.  Even having someone hint at being racist is enough to keep me from posting stuff like Randy has, since even online reputations matter to all of us.  I have seen some "I'll be damned" photos the past several years out of Mississippi and North Carolina that have yet to see the light of day and likely never will.  Nice that Randy and others have the stones to put it out there and accept the criticism.
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: CF on January 15, 2013, 09:12:10 AM
Not calling anyone racist in particular but my opinion is that if every historical picture of a black man reminds so many amateur historians of the faces of the limited historical bluesmen that they are aware of then they may be guilty of thinking that all bluesmen look alike, no?

BTW, no one is condemning anyone for bringing these wonderful images to light but if the pre-war blues aficionado community can't uphold its own standard of how to discuss & understand these photos then we'd be guilty of naivety that we profess not to have in other areas of interest in the pre-war blues field.

For me, the discovery that the supposed film footage of Robert Johnson in the 1990s (?) was in fact NOT Robert Johnson was a lesson. That dude looked very similar to the RJ we know from the two famous photos, much more than any other subsequent image purported to be Johnson (& that, for me, includes the Vanity Fair Johnson photo bull). Alas, a movie poster in the background, from the early '40s, solved that mystery. We have to be very skeptical that any images we discover in the 21st century could represent the very small percentage of African American performers from the pre-war era we are aware of. I'm not saying we shouldn't speculate & we should certainly be open to finding new images of our heroes . . . I guess I just see certain people as having good judgement & others more prone to endless conjecture & debate when the evidence is not strong enough to follow those fancies.

To me, this photo contains no image of a guy who looks like our beloved Patton. I have no other reason for this then he just doesn't look him to me. Too tall, too 'white' perhaps, too unlikely.

Obviously, I have major 'Is this a photo of Johnson/Patton/Jefferson' overkill from years of seeing so many supposed historical images passed off as rare examples of our blues heroes posing for their picture, I'm probably not the best person to discuss this topic  :P

I would say though, that like the lyric deciphering that has been so successful here at WC, a consensus amongst educated & interested parties is the best way to judge the authenticity of related material.   
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: jrn on January 15, 2013, 10:06:09 AM
I would have to imagine that chasing long shots are a big part of what historians do. :)

Thanks for sharing the picture Randy! I find pictures from that era very fascinating. I live between Quitman and Meridian, Ms. If I can ever be of any help, please let me know.

Jason :)
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: Gumbo on January 15, 2013, 11:12:38 AM
Not calling anyone racist in particular but my opinion is that if every historical picture of a black man reminds so many amateur historians of the faces of the limited historical bluesmen that they are aware of then they may be guilty of thinking that all bluesmen look alike, no?

I'd have to say No, to this theory, cheapfeet.

I think it would be more a case of looking for similarity rather than unconsciously seeing it. It is informed theorising. The sitting man is enough like a known Patton photo to make me wonder, the preacher is enough like Gates to make me understand the similarity once it is pointed out.

Is it likely? No. Is it conclusive? No. Is it worth sharing and postulating? Yes. Definitely.
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: Johnm on January 15, 2013, 11:25:55 AM
Hi all,
At the risk of seeming blunt, nothing will be moved forward in terms of knowing conclusively who and what are captured in that photograph by staring at it on our computer monitors at the Weenie site and conjecturing wistfully about recording stars who might have been there.  Feet on the ground are what is needed, as Bruce pointed out a while ago.  Thanks in advance to anyone who wants to take on that research grunt work, knowing that nothing may come of it.  And if something does come of it, what satisfaction for the person whose work has yielded some real knowledge.  I'm with dj, too, the knowledge is no less valuable if it turns out that nobody famous was in the picture.  There were known to each other in their community.  It's a piece of their lives.
All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: Randy Meadows on January 15, 2013, 01:00:35 PM
DJ, It seems like you want Blues History to stay exactly the same. No matter what it takes.
If Patton had signed the photo in blood, holding a newspaper and a guitar., you guys would say "Hmmm , it must be a different Patton".

For me, I'm not trying to please anyone. I do my research for myself. I do find joy in sharing it with folks that are interested about it... But for some reason, ya'll don't want anything new to be "discovered"...
With an attitiude like that... ("Im done talking about it."-)--I'm surprised you believe the world is round...

I'm not selling this to ya my friend... Its free...  My hard work and research of over 30 years Im sharing my results.. I dont expect anything from ya...
Ive been on the ground in the MS delta for years in courthouses and MDAH and for you to act like I just throw crap out there like I don't know what Im talking about bugs me... Because I do...

But thats okay... I do it for me first and foremost..
I'm sorry if what I find doesn't meet up with your expectations... I have friends who like what Im doing,

And Thank You to those who at least give it a chance and are willing to discuss things...
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: Cleoma on January 15, 2013, 01:19:06 PM
I appreciate getting to look at this photo and share speculation -- whether it's actually Charley Patton or not doesn't really matter that much to me, although of course it would be thrilling if it somehow could be proved to be him.  That photo tells a story -- actually, any number of stories -- and as such I believe it's of value, it's a bit of a window into a faraway place and time.  THANK YOU Randy.
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: yogi on January 15, 2013, 01:53:20 PM
I appreciate you, your work and your findings a lot!
 Yogi
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: Randy Meadows on January 15, 2013, 01:56:54 PM
Thank You for saying that...
 :)
It's all good...
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: dj on January 15, 2013, 03:14:25 PM
Randy,

First, I'd like to quote what I said back on page 3 of this thread:

Quote
...it's a beautiful picture of an event that obviously had some large significance in the lives of the people pictured.  It's worth seeing even if the guy in question is John Doe who ran a store in town.  I'm glad to have been able to see it.  Thanks for posting it.

Second, I guess I didn't express myself too clearly.  What I meant when I said "I'm done talking about it." is that, absent some kind of evidence, I'm not going to speculate on who is or is not in the photograph.  I don't mind talking for hours about details we can see in the photo, or in how one might go about chasing down more info about it and the circumstances surrounding its taking.

I certainly don't "want Blues History to stay exactly the same".  I was trained as a historian before switching careers, and have done a lot of research on subjects as diverse as how the Civil War affected the county I live in, major league baseball, and the history of the hamlet I call home.  One of my best friends is a principal researcher for retrosheet.org, an organization that's trying to provide an accurate online box score and, where possible, play-by-play account of every major league baseball game ever played.  He spends hours summing up the stats from box scores, team seasons, and league seasons and chasing down and, where possible, correcting them.  I love it that there are people out there correcting stuff that we thought we knew for a fact.  I try to do it myself when I give annual walking tours of my hamlet.

But my training, both as a historian and as an engineer, makes me keep coming back to the question of "What do we know to be true and how do we know it?"  And my understanding of human psychology makes me understand that we want to attach significance to what we see - which is why people dig up a whole lot of supposed pictures of Robert Johnson and very few of Bill Gaither or Honey Hill.   ;)  The census records, city directory listings, and death certificates you've uncovered are facts from the lives of musicians I'm interested in, and I applaud your digging them up and sharing them with us. 

But the photograph we've been discussing in this thread, as far as I know, has as yet very few facts associated with it, just an approximate date and a possible location. remember how you started the conversation:

Quote
Check out this photo...
Who does that  man sitting down look like?  ...
I have to admit that he favors Charlie Patton.

If you'd said, "I have this photograph labelled '(Semmes Chapel)  Benton County, MS near Canaan and Holly Springs...circa 1920' and I found the chapel, which still stands, and I talked to the current minister, who showed me a copy of the photograph that they have in the attic labelled 'July 14, 1919' and they still have the church register from that period and there's an entry for July 14 1919 which says "Melinda Smith of this congregation married to Charles Patton, musician of Holly Springs by visiting Rev. J. M. Gates'", I'd say "Wow, we might just have us another picture of Charlie Patton, and Rev. Gates to boot.  Excellent!" 

But absent any corroborating evidence, all we have is a picture of Semmes Chapel, on some unknown occasion around 1920.  Everything else is just wishful thinking. 

So thanks for all you do, I really appreciate both the doing of it and your sharing it here.  If you can prove that there's anyone with any relation to musical history in the photo, I'll be among those sincerely congratulating you.  But until there's something definite to be known, I'll continue to remain agnostic about the identities of everyone in the picture.             
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: Shovel on January 16, 2013, 08:24:37 AM
Also slightly racist.

had no idea the race card was in this particular deck.  >:D
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: CF on January 16, 2013, 08:41:44 AM
Just a pet theory gents & not aimed at any soul in particular. Carry on. 
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: Randy Meadows on January 16, 2013, 04:26:53 PM
Does anyone have pictures of the New Jerusalem Methodist Baptist Church in Holly Springs< Ms?
just to compare the structure?

According to Terry Barkley, Living Blues Magazine #209, Oct 2010 Vol 41- Issue 5 Pgs 72-75 ...
" People believed that Charley Patton "attended and performed at the  New Jerusalem Methodist Baptist Church, Robinson Plantation,  in Holly Springs, Ms"
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: beljum on January 16, 2013, 04:28:02 PM

Thanks for posting. This is a good way to generate ideas and leads. I think he looks a lot like the Patton paesano photo.

That sure does look like Gates (compare to previous post gates4.jpg). One thing for sure, if I was a professional musician back then and Gates came to town, I?d certainly brush up on my spirituals and cash in. I may even bring my wife to sing a few numbers. Maybe even a duet with Skippy.

Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: jostber on January 17, 2013, 10:07:32 AM
If this was a wedding it was very good attendance. Must been a respected man in the community at least.

Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: misterjones on January 17, 2013, 07:00:04 PM
Charley Patton's wedding . . . presided over by Gates?  Well, if you gotta dream, dream big.  (I think if that were the case, I'd want a framed copy on my wall.)
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: wreid75 on January 17, 2013, 08:38:04 PM
"Must been a respected man in the community at least. "
must have been a respected in the black community that was either white (with the largest set of stones) to be that casual with a black woman in public, or he was mixed and and just one of the gang.  He is easily the most pale thing in the picture
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: maddoggirl on January 20, 2013, 09:43:22 AM
As far as the New Jerusalem MB Church, it's still there: ( https://maps.google.co.uk/maps?ie=UTF-8&q=new+jerusalem+mb+church+davidson+road&fb=1&gl=uk&hq=new+jerusalem+mb+church+davidson+road&cid=0,0,2706080425743042635&ei=hCD8UJTSBMjM0AWUp4H4DA&ved=0CIABEPwSMAI (https://maps.google.co.uk/maps?ie=UTF-8&q=new+jerusalem+mb+church+davidson+road&fb=1&gl=uk&hq=new+jerusalem+mb+church+davidson+road&cid=0,0,2706080425743042635&ei=hCD8UJTSBMjM0AWUp4H4DA&ved=0CIABEPwSMAI) ) although in an expanded form to what it was probably like in the 1920s. Using Google Streetview you can see it from a distance, but you can't make out much.

Could it be possible that the name was misspelt slightly? There is a Sim's Chapel on Sim's Chapel Rd, Benton County MS ( https://maps.google.co.uk/maps?q=sim+chapel+benton+ms&ie=UTF-8&ei=yR_8ULiuFsyT0QWo04DgDA&ved=0CAsQ_AUoAA  (https://maps.google.co.uk/maps?q=sim+chapel+benton+ms&ie=UTF-8&ei=yR_8ULiuFsyT0QWo04DgDA&ved=0CAsQ_AUoAA)). Unfortunately relatively little of this region has been added to Google Streetview, and I haven't managed to dig up any photos, so it's impossible to compare the sites/buildings. Of course, I am fully aware that the "Semmes Chapel" of the photo may no longer exist or have changed it's name several times since then. This site : http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gsr&GScid=2195335  (http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gsr&GScid=2195335) lists some graves there and, while one obviously doesn't like to make assumptions, the details suggest it is a black church (the names of the deceased and their families, plus details such as one elderly lady having worked as a domestic worker, as well as the fact that the area is majority black)

To be honest, originally I thought the likelihood of the man in the picture being Charlie Patton was almost preposterously small, but now... well, we know he visited the New Jerusalem MB, and this Sim's Chapel is only 35 miles down the line. We are in Patton's neck of the woods  - towns mentioned in his songs such as Marion and Hernando are within 50 miles of this place.
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: Rivers on January 20, 2013, 07:43:29 PM
Studying the blow-up tonight, which I find endlessly interesting, I made some observations not yet articulated, I might have missed them though:

I made a very rough count left to right and quit about halfway, estimate around 200 women, men and kids total in that shot.  3 mules and a wagon.
Likely many more inside, you can see silhouettes of people inside.
All or most of the guys have their hats off, the ladies do not as is customary.
There's a guy to the right of the building's door who seems to be fooling with his hat with his left hand and and toasting with his right, could be holding up a bottle, hard to tell from here.
There are four gentlemen to the preacher's left who are distinctly stepped forward a couple of paces from the throng.
Likewise there's a lone gentleman to his right who is similarly stepped forward.

Assuming it was a wedding for a moment. If she was standing to his left before sitting down on his right knee, which would be natural enough, the four guys would be, traditionally, the bride's party. Equally likely the groom's though. Usually, but not always, the bride is on the left, groom on right. This 'rule' is broken at weddings every day so I don't give it much credence.

The building has two windows on the door end and four on the right side, likely the same on the other side from the bits you can see. You can also see one window at the far end, so probably symmetrical window layout.

The picture seems to be significantly overexposed to the left, low to the horizon, and the mules are in a shady grove. Assuming that was caused by the sun, and not an accident in the darkroom developing tank, by my back-of-a-cig-packet calculations if it was taken in the early morning that would indicate the building is aligned roughly north - south with the photographer's point of view facing southeast-ish (depending on time of year but you get the idea). If it was taken in the late afternoon it would indicate roughly east - west, with the point-of view facing west. Ish.

Looks kind of misty, looking out past the mules and at the generally diffuse nature of the light, with no noticeable hard shadows being cast by the folks in front. Photography has come a long way since then so probably very hard to prove either way. I don't know the area but if it's like everywhere else mist is more likely in the morning, the sun burns it off. I'm not saying it's misty though, it just appears to be misty.
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: slideaway on January 20, 2013, 09:32:08 PM
I find it interesting the number of children present and indeed front and centre in sunday best .. is there an equivalent of confirmation for the members of baptist or methodist church of times? also the gentlemen with hat at back is holding what seems to be a rolled up piece of paper, almost in a celebratory way?, as do a few people including children here and there .. are some holding hankerchiefs? would indicate summer? .. thanks for posting a photo with tantalising possibility!
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: yogi on January 21, 2013, 12:56:29 AM
The little girl in a white dress, fourth person to yhe left of the man sitting down, is she white?

Edit: The man just to the right of and slightly behind of the man with the book, is he wearing a ribbon over his left shoulder?
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: Randy Meadows on January 21, 2013, 03:45:37 PM
She is as I would imagine Rosetta to be as a child.
When was Rosetta Patton born?,

Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: Rivers on January 21, 2013, 05:15:11 PM
1918 or thereabouts, according to some very quick googling. I have no idea of the reliability of this but if she was 84 in 2001.... scroll down to the last paragraph. http://www.bluesaccess.com/No_46/access.html (http://www.bluesaccess.com/No_46/access.html)
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: Randy Meadows on January 21, 2013, 07:18:17 PM
(https://weeniecampbell.com/yabbse/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fdb.tt%2Fx8vUlTbd&hash=464079a18216968d46a0c951f84dbbc084abffee)
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: Randy Meadows on January 22, 2013, 04:55:08 AM
Just noticed that the young man on right standing forward and young man on left standing forward are dressed alike. They look like a team.. or twins
.
Could be security or maybe Preachers in training.
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: yogi on January 22, 2013, 05:56:01 AM
A couple of paces to the right from the man with the book i another man with a book. What kind of books that size would be present in a small community? The Bible? Census? Educational?
Who would carry a ribbon like the guy in the centre and what would it represent? Church? State? Municipality?
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: TonyGilroy on January 22, 2013, 06:34:09 AM
Just noticed that the young man on right standing forward and young man on left standing forward are dressed alike. They look like a team.. or twins
.
Could be security or maybe Preachers in training.


F*** me it's the Pruitts !!!!
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: dj on January 22, 2013, 07:29:50 AM
Quote
The man just to the right of and slightly behind of the man with the book, is he wearing a ribbon over his left shoulder?

I think that's the lapel of the man's suit and just below it the side of a chair or bench.

Quote
A couple of paces to the right from the man with the book is another man with a book.

Speculation earlier in the thread is that was a church register of births, deaths, and marriages in the congregation.  That's just speculation, though.
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: misterjones on January 23, 2013, 09:19:27 AM
Perhaps this has been addressed, but . . .

The man to the right (our right) of the presumed preacher (holding the big book) is holding a book  and his hat.  He appears to be showing the book to the camera.  It appears to have writing on it (in white letters).  Perhaps you can try playing with lights and contrast to make the letters a bit clearer.
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: Rivers on January 23, 2013, 12:03:29 PM
misterjones, on many broswers, including chrome, ie and firefox, you can blow stuff up by pressing control + on your keyboard. I just did that, took it up to 300%. Looks to me like something was written on it, maybe in ink actually on the print, and it's been removed.
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: jpeters609 on January 23, 2013, 01:37:45 PM
Is it just me, or is it starting to feel like Antonioni's "Blow Up" in here?
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: misterjones on January 23, 2013, 01:52:48 PM
Great movie.  I have it on DVD.

I already tried the CTRL + and it doesn't help much.  I was thinking more along the lines of changing brightness, contrast, sharpness, etc.  I will try it on Photoshop, but I have the feeling that it will raise more questions than it will possibly answer.

Personally, I think the photo is just a wedding picture taken in the rural south about 80 years ago that includes no one famous and we are all driving ourselves crazy trying to prove the impossible-to-prove.
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: Mr.OMuck on January 23, 2013, 02:01:50 PM
Well excuse me for demurring but I actually spent a good deal of time on trying to get a clear image of the seated man's right ear which I provided a tracing of below. I also provided a tracing of Patton's ear from his Paramount photo. You can now scroll down and reference the image. It proves fairly conclusively that the seated man is NOT PATTON. Ear shape is an established means of determining identity no less accurate than fingerprints. Its as though I hadn't posted it at all. Is anybody here actually interested in real evidence or just in flogging a dead horse?
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: Stumblin on January 23, 2013, 02:32:41 PM
Mr. O'Muck, were my ancient computer capable of such subtle and complex operations, I would gladly render your ear sketches into some new-fangled digital overlay format in conjunction with the appropriate photographs. Unfortunately, I can't do it. Hopefully, someone else will.
Having said that, I think I ought, respectfully, to submit, by way of anecdotal testimony, that I have been unable to avoid noticing, to my lasting chagrin, the changing shapes of my own ears over the last two decades.
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: Mr.OMuck on January 23, 2013, 02:43:28 PM
Size of ears yes, shape no.
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: uncle bud on January 23, 2013, 03:01:29 PM
The ears have it!
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: Stumblin on January 23, 2013, 03:11:57 PM
It only remains for me to say that were you to be made an earl and subsequently to be awarded an OBE, you would be an earlobe.
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: Rivers on January 23, 2013, 03:54:03 PM
At this point I for one am not trying to prove anything. For me it's all about getting as much information out of the picture as possible.

Speculation doesn't prove anything, but pointing out observable facts may lead to other findings and/or be a basis for more research.

The print itself would make a fine jigsaw puzzle.

I thought you were joking about the ears, btw. Somebody go ahead and produce an animated GIF with the ears overlayed, flashing on and off...  :P
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: dj on January 23, 2013, 03:59:14 PM
Quote
Size of ears yes, shape no.

And hairiness.  At the risk of telling you all much more than you want to know, it does seem that all the hair that's left the top of my head over the years has taken up residence in my ears.   

Quote
Is anybody here actually interested in real evidence or just in flogging a dead horse?

I think you know where I stand on that, O'Muck.

Now where'd I put that horse?   :P
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: misterjones on January 23, 2013, 05:50:03 PM
I will try it on Photoshop, but I have the feeling that it will raise more questions than it will possibly answer.

Amazingly, it reads:  "The seated guy to my right is Charley Patton."

Saw that one coming up the Mississippi River, I suspect.

Actually, the top word could be "Sacred".  I have no guess about the bottom word.
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: bnemerov on January 23, 2013, 08:33:58 PM
"Is anybody here interested in real evidence......?" [amen, Mr. O'Muck]

Repeating my post of way too many pages ago: Randy, why don't you go to the village and show the picture to someone who KNOWS what and who are portrayed in the image?



best,
bruce
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: Randy Meadows on January 24, 2013, 01:13:19 AM
Can ya'll sign your name to your posts?

So I can read some of ya'lls work... and provide feedback..
Everyone seems so perfect here I just wanna see for myself...
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: Slack on January 24, 2013, 06:38:53 AM
Randy,

Folks do not have to sign their names to their posts, although some do.  For you to demand that they do, sounds threatening - which we don't do around here. 

If you make unsubstantiated claims, folks will without a doubt, question them.  If you start getting defensive about your unsubstantiated claims, then you are taking yourself way too seriously.  Which of course is not what we do around here either.  You might review what we're about:

http://weeniecampbell.com/yabbse/index.php?page=page4243 (http://weeniecampbell.com/yabbse/index.php?page=page4243)

Thanks.
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: misterjones on January 24, 2013, 09:13:53 AM
Repeating my post of way too many pages ago: Randy, why don't you go to the village and show the picture to someone who KNOWS what and who are portrayed in the image?

I guess my imperfection is that I have not fully read (let alone analyzed) all of the posts here.  If it is known where the photo was taken and someone has access to that location, it indeed would seem that now is the time for a little legwork.  I think that would be kind of fun.  Who knows what additional photos might turn up.  Hell, tell me and I'll go there.
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: Randy Meadows on January 24, 2013, 10:16:37 AM
I just wanted to know the source of the critic 
Thats fair.. 
But slack, If I was a betting man Id bet that you have never even set foot in mississippi.
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: Slack on January 24, 2013, 10:34:28 AM
Quote
I just wanted to know the source of the critic 
Thats fair..

Well, the poster you were referring to has his name in a link as part of his posting signature.  Judging from your "Robert Johnson" post and your lack of observation on the above, I'd suggest that you read more and post less.

What's fair Randy is that everyone gets to decide whether they want to use their real names or not. It's not something you decide.

Quote
But slack, If I was a betting man Id bet that you have never even set foot in mississippi.

I'm not sure what this has to do with anything - I suppose you are now challenging my "country blues authenticity" or some such silly thing - but you lose again.  FYI, I've toured the state Mississippi for a week, which I chronicled for readers on our old yahoo website.

You are challenging the wrong guy Randy - and we will continue to challenge your unsubstantiated posts  - guaranteed.



 
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: Stumblin on January 24, 2013, 10:38:32 AM
But slack, If I was a betting man Id bet that you have never even set foot in mississippi.
In all fairness, I don't think that's really the point. From your profile, Randy, it looks as though you're already in Mississippi, why not take a little road trip and see what more you can discover about this fascinating photograph?
Heck, I'm probably not qualified to comment here, I've never even set foot in the United States.

PS. Posted simultaneously with Slack's post above, delete if appropriate, I won't mind.
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: Rivers on January 24, 2013, 10:44:06 AM
So Randy, tell us, from where did you obtain the photograph, and where is it now?

I guess I'm curious to know what else you have that you have not told us.

By this I mean cold hard facts, not speculation that so-and-so just happens to look like somebody famous in a print you obtained from who knows where.
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: CF on January 24, 2013, 10:46:53 AM
Randy, to put it as politely as I can, & I've said as much to you on other boards, your talent seems to be in the digging up of this great historical material  . . . & decidedly not in commenting on it. Slack's right, you need to read more & learn more before you say more.
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: Slack on January 24, 2013, 10:56:40 AM
A number of people have suggested that Randy provide some comment, a source, a visit, to at least READ the page next to the photo he posts from a book - ANYTHING to back up the photos he posts.  No comment from Randy.

I'm beginning to think Randy is a troll, trolling for some kind of blues guy adulation based on nothing more than simply living in Mississippi.

Looks like that is not working to well here.
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: bnemerov on January 24, 2013, 10:59:28 AM
Rivers,
the same photo is on Ancestry.com
I think this research--the census and death records, etc.--mostly comes from subscribing to this genealogy site.
While this can be helpful in confirming dates, places, etc., it's not a substitute for primary research.
A good example of the vagaries of these records is the death certificate of George Jefferson, where the information was given by the landlady of the house outside of which George Jefferson's body was found.
The only compelling fact on the document that leads one to believe this is Lemmon Jefferson's D.C. is the notation that the body was shipped to Texas.
Research is tricky stuff. As lawyers and journalists well know, confirmation from multiple sources is essential.....and even then....
best,
bruce
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: wreid75 on January 24, 2013, 11:04:38 AM
I totally know why there are so many blues enthusiasts and researchers that are sitting on a lot of information and research.  No one likes having their hard work ripped apart.  Like wise many people feel like they are being taken on a wild goose chase if iron clad indisputable facts are not present.  Being in a hen house it is just a fact of life that sometimes the feathers get ruffled.  Now I know for a fact that Randy is likely putting in more hours of feet on the ground research in Mississippi of anyone.  He has been killing it lately and trust me if he saw a blues man behind every photograph we would be reading a LOT of posts. 

Copernicus and Newton had their lives put in real danger for wild and unsubstantiated claims that would take a while to become mainstream.  We are at the point in blues research where it is becoming harder and harder to get the stone cold facts that will silence all critics.  Several of the original group of blues researchers have butted head to the point that books have been written taking shots and naming names while others tried to sue the other into oblivion.  Others couldn't even be in the same room with each other for an extended periods   Newton and Copernicus were shouted down at one time and even forced to denounce their own unsubstantiated claims but in the end the other enthusiasts saw things their way.  Hopefully that will happen with Randy.  How sad would it be if all the mysteries in prewar blues stayed that way.
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: wreid75 on January 24, 2013, 11:08:11 AM
I know that tempers are getting the best of us but to call him out as a  troll is not right.  That is the furthest from what is reality.  Hell his work with Wardlow is enough to prove that.  The post referenced on another page was not reaching for anything other than clarification if you read it through.  He got the clarification he wanted, even if it was rudely delivered, and he moved on.  There was nothing left to post.
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: CF on January 24, 2013, 11:16:38 AM
Who in God's name is sitting on research because they're afraid of being yelled at by a bunch of guys on a blues forum??
Seriously? Who? I think maybe they've seen other questionable theories shot down by those with better historical method & so they suddenly go, 'Jeez, maybe this picture of a black guy with a guitar is NOT my favourite blues singer.' No shit Sherlock.
So asking people to treat this material with respect & knowledge & familiarity is somehow a great offense?
UNBELIEVABLE!
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: Stuart on January 24, 2013, 11:21:54 AM
He got the clarification he wanted, even if it was rudely delivered...

Hah! Just goes to show how things are misperceived! Actually, it was tongue-in-cheek delivered. I had the info simply because I had read it long ago in a book that I have on my shelf, something that I hope would have been subtly implied by the page numbers, publisher's info and ISBN .
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: wreid75 on January 24, 2013, 11:28:29 AM
"So asking people to treat this material with respect & knowledge & familiarity is somehow a great offense?"

I guess treating others with dignity and respect even when disputes arise is no longer the norm.  This is why more people browse forums than post.  And yes there are those sitting on research and some of them are very well respected in the pre war community.  The prewar community is small as we all know and a large number of us belong to forums like this.  Why go to the trouble to publish time consuming papers if you are going to be torn to shreds the first time there isn't a peer review quality source?  I get it and I know why, to them it just isn't worth it.
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: CF on January 24, 2013, 11:32:29 AM
They should always publish their findings, they should do solid work & if they venture into the academic arena of exegesis or commentary they have to be big boys & girls & be upheld to a standard. Is this not a basic tenant of scholarship?
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: CF on January 24, 2013, 11:34:19 AM
BTW, where was Randy's respectful tone earlier when he addressed Slack wreid? THAT's how this started.
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: wreid75 on January 24, 2013, 11:37:03 AM
well I guess your right on the publishing of work but some cats I know are old now and would just as soon put it online and directly to the fans of this music.  watching this board and others like it and the tone and hostility that though not common is not rare, to quite a few is not worth the hassle.  sadly several will rather let their work die with them than subject themselves to this kind of hostility.  sad but true.  right or wrong it is what it is.
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: wreid75 on January 24, 2013, 11:39:03 AM
"BTW, where was Randy's respectful tone earlier when he addressed Slack wreid? THAT's how this started. "

We all have to choose between two doctrine's "eye for an eye" or "two wrongs don't make a right"
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: uncle bud on January 24, 2013, 11:40:46 AM
Randy presented an interesting photo, people had lots of fun speculating about it, but if real research is to continue on the photo (rather than the random opinions of a bunch of people on the internet) then Bruce, who signed his name, is exactly right - contact with the people in the town who may have had family or friends or colleagues there who could shed real light on the event and the people in attendance is what is required.

We're not talking about something going on here that is on the level of the wars between the old school blues researchers. Just that this thing has been taken as far as it's going to go with online discussion and more actual legwork is required to find out the truth. And we're certainly not talking Copernicus or Newton - this is not a new way of seeing the world, just a photo that needs to be ID'd with very basic and standard legwork (that is time-consuming, difficult and often not fruitful). C'mon.

If the intent is ultimately to publish, then the demands that the research be based on facts and not speculation are going to be a lot more stringent than those found in this thread. I would hope researchers who would like to publish understand that.
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: misterjones on January 24, 2013, 11:51:56 AM
I know where and about when it was taken. And I believe I know who took it...

Before I even posted it here, I was in contact with relatives of the photo from the area.
They are talking to the old folks about it now... to try to gain any info on it...

Ill let everyone know if I can gain more info...

You are being a bit cagey about the source of the photo, which I think is fine if you want to closely guard your research so that someone doesn't get the jump on your find.  At least one other person at this site has acted in a similar manner.  But, as I said, I find this entirely understandable.  But it is a bit frustrating to talk about the photo in such a vacuum and focus simply on (at this point) uninformative (or marginally informative) visual speculations.  Perhaps it would be better if a hold is put on the inquiry until you feel as though you can give us a bit more information apart from the photo itself.
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: wreid75 on January 24, 2013, 11:55:35 AM
or we could all (all sides here!) just play nice :)  Voicing skepticism does not need to be done harshly nor does is need to be accepted defensively.  Boards are for discussion. 
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: Stuart on January 24, 2013, 11:58:04 AM
They should always publish their findings, they should do solid work & if they venture into the academic arena of exegesis or commentary they have to be big boys & girls & be upheld to a standard. Is this not a basic tenant of scholarship?

There is also the process of getting your work to where you are comfortable with it and feel that it is ready for publication. This usually means getting tough and honest crit from your friends and colleagues. As the old saying goes, your harshest critics are your best friends.

Richard Feynman was famous for saying, "The easiest person to fool  is yourself."  I'll follow with the commonplace, "So don't believe everything you think." Feynman also said that we start by guessing. And then we move to hypothesis testing.

Randy posted the photo for feedback, which he has received. He can critically evaluate the feedback and proceed on as he considers appropriate.
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: wreid75 on January 24, 2013, 12:24:50 PM
A few years ago I found a physician (almost 100 yrs old) who worked for a specific hospital in the 1930s.  Previous research showed that a particular blues singer was at that hospital while this physician was there.  The particular musician only received the medical attention due to his veteran status.  Now he didn't remember the musician but he did work on the hallway where the African Americans were staying.  He explained in great detail the difference in treatment that the black patients received compared to the white patients.  He spoke about all kinds of things that really shed light onto the lives of sick African Americans in the South.  At the end of the meeting he said that he didn't want his name attached to anything he said.  I contacted Dr. Evans and asked him if it would be well received if I couldn't site my source.  He said yes that that is not that unusual but other people told me that the information would be raked over the coals and disregarded by too large an audience to make it worth my time and to try to get him to go on the record.  I would rather kill the article I was writing than harass an old man so I killed it.
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: Johnm on January 24, 2013, 12:31:04 PM
Hi all,
Posting research publicly (and especially research in progress) is like posting musical performances publicly--you have to be prepared to take your lumps along with positive comments.  To the extent that there has been criticism of the research it has not been intemperate or impolite--rather, it has been reality based, which is to say that it centers around the simple fact that it is premature to make guesses about who might or might not be in the picture before it has even been established when and where the photograph was taken.  Until that information is nailed down, all the conjecture pertaining to different people being in the picture is pointless, and gains us nothing in the way of real knowledge, just a little titillation depending on how credulous you are.  This conjecture about historically recognizable persons in the photo has gone on long enough.  There's nothing more to say along those lines until a verified place and date have been established for the photo.  And this, incidentally, is where the real research comes in:  there's a big difference between simply finding an interesting photo and tracking down where it was taken, the day it was taken, the occasion the photo commemorated and who was in attendance, etc.  That is WORK.
If there is concern about work being questioned, the best way to avoid having work questioned is to anticipate the questions and to have established the answers before the work is made public.  As long as there are unanswered questions that speak to issues of authenticity of information, people who are really interested in the subject will be asking them, you can be sure of that--and it's not because they're mean or impolite.  It's because they want to know the truth and understand what it takes to get at the truth.
All best,
Johnm
   
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: Slack on January 24, 2013, 12:39:05 PM
Thanks Johnm, very well put. 

We are indeed interested in research done and released in a professional manner. Research released prematurely based on conjecture and in titillation, not so much.  It is, as you point out, ultimately a waste of everyone's time.
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: turn_coat on January 24, 2013, 01:20:59 PM
It'd be really great if this is Patton in the photo.  Some research is going to have to be done to prove or disprove the claim.  I can a see semblance of Patton in the man in question.
I was immediately on the skeptical side of this speculation simply because Patton wasn't the sort of person to be going to church.
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: Stuart on January 24, 2013, 01:26:46 PM
I contacted Dr. Evans and asked him if it would be well received if I couldn't site my source.  He said yes that that is not that unusual but other people told me that the information would be raked over the coals and disregarded by too large an audience to make it worth my time and to try to get him to go on the record...

You should have followed David's advice, noting in your article that the source wished to remain anonymous and that you were ethically bound to respect his wishes. You could have had an impartial third party be present at the interview with your informant. S/he could then attest to the veracity of your source in the event that your were accused of fabricating sources and/or information.

Henry Louis (Skip) Gates, Jr. has a similar account of the medical treatment he received as a child that left him with a limp. Thus, your source's account would not be taken as singular.

A faint heart never won a fair maiden.
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: Randy Meadows on January 24, 2013, 01:32:50 PM
Ya'll can think what ya want about the photo and my research.......
I appreciate those who understand...
To the others, not so much... I'm not trying to ruin old reputations, just trying to get as much new and more concise MS Delta Blues info out to the world as I can.... while I can...
That does involve critics and opposing views.... Im fine with that.

But don't think every time ya'll type something that thunder strikes and the world comes to attention...

I do what I do and I think the good outweighs the bad.
Being from Mississippi and In Mississippi makes all the difference in the world when it comes to MS Delta Blues research...

If you wanna say stuff but not let anyone look at your stuff, well that reflects more on you....
So, with that said... I'm not gonna defend every little thing here...

Like I said ... I do what I do...gonna keep on doing it too.... to the BEST of my ability.
As honestly and objective as possible.....
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: yogi on January 24, 2013, 01:35:00 PM
 It is, as you point out, ultimately a waste of everyone's time.
[/quote]

Of course research must be tested and critisised but that's not the point. The point is that some of the paricipants in this discussion tries to stop the conversation.
 Yogi
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: Slack on January 24, 2013, 01:45:10 PM
Quote
Of course research must be tested and critisised but that's not the point. The point is that some of the paricipants in this discussion tries to stop the conversation.

The point is we haven't gotten to the "research" part yet.  We've got a posted photo, which is available on ancestry.com, and a pure guess that it might be Patton.  That's it.

This forum comes by it's skepticism honestly.  A number of us have been running a public internet forum for over 10 years.  I can assure you, we are nobody's fools.
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: yogi on January 24, 2013, 02:05:03 PM
Yes, I agree with you, Slack but shouldn't this thread be alowed to continue regardless of how serious or valid it is?
 Yogi
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: Slack on January 24, 2013, 02:10:32 PM
Quote
Yes, I agree with you, Slack but shouldn't this thread be alowed to continue regardless of how serious or valid it is?

Everybody's still posting, nobody's locked it! 
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: jrn on January 24, 2013, 02:59:40 PM
Randy posted the photo. We all enjoyed speculating. Now the real work begins. Most here seem to agree on this. Why can't we assume that this was his intent all along? I get the impression he was just wanting opinions on wether or not we thought it could be Patton, or if the photo was historically significant, BEFORE he proceeded. That sounds reasonable enough to me. Just a thought.   Jason
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: Slack on January 24, 2013, 03:20:12 PM
You are right of course Jason, we all have enjoyed and still enjoy speculating. It is an interesting photo for sure.  But there is a point at which it becomes tiresome, in my mind at least.  When the speculation morphs from Charlie Patton, to Pattons guitar appearing behind him, To Rev JM Gates as the preacher and then daughter Rosetta Patton... and then we have "Robert Johnson" photo in another thread....

...it really brings up some questions... and after 10 pages, a little meat would be nice with the stone soup, no?
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: Stuart on January 24, 2013, 03:44:11 PM
One thing that crossed my mind is that there may have been more than one copy of the photo produced from the negative and that additional copies may still be extant, possibly in the possession of descendants of people in the photo. It's also possible that if the photo is of a special event, people may have annotated the back of the photo or have made separate notes. I'm a big fan of local history and the people who do it. If you can zero in on the location, it's possible that someone in the area might be able to provide some leads. I don't know what the state of local historical societies and archives are in the region, but you might check to see if there's anything that's worth pursuing.
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: dj on January 24, 2013, 04:44:51 PM
Quote
I don't know what the state of local historical societies and archives are in the region, but you might check to see if there's anything that's worth pursuing.

Not every community has an active historical society, but every town has a library.  Call the library, tell them about the picture, with as much detail as to subject and location as you can, and ask them who might be a good person to talk to about it, and ask for contact info, if possible.  If the person who was suggested can't help you, they'll give you one or more leads to other people you can follow up on.  You'll get to the right person eventually.
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: jrn on January 24, 2013, 05:19:11 PM
You are right of course Jason, we all have enjoyed and still enjoy speculating. It is an interesting photo for sure.  But there is a point at which it becomes tiresome, in my mind at least.  When the speculation morphs from Charlie Patton, to Pattons guitar appearing behind him, To Rev JM Gates as the preacher and then daughter Rosetta Patton... and then we have "Robert Johnson" photo in another thread....

...it really brings up some questions... and after 10 pages, a little meat would be nice with the stone soup, no?


Haha! Yeah I totally agree Slack.

The part that bothers me though, is the thought that nobody seems to be interested in finding out if that horse in the back is indeed the famous Mr. Ed!

J/k....just trying to lighten the mood a little. Jason
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: Rivers on January 24, 2013, 05:44:45 PM
I don't think so. I traced the ears from the famous Mr Ed publicity shot and the one in the photo, no way is it Mr Ed. I thought for a while it might have been Rowdy Yates' horse from Rawhide, no luck there either.
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: Gumbo on January 24, 2013, 06:41:06 PM
this reminds me of learning to juggle - there comes a point where you either have to laugh or else ... drop the balls ...
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: wreid75 on January 24, 2013, 08:01:54 PM
If the thread has become tiresome to a few of you why are you still posting instead of just ignoring it?  Just remember the question about the Robert Johnson from the other page was answered with the answer Randy was looking for.  He didn't think that there was a secret photo in Big Road Blues that we all just missed.  He was just wanting info, which he got.  Nothing more nothing less.  Thats how I read it. :D
Title: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: Bill Roggensack on January 24, 2013, 08:02:10 PM
O'Muck has it by an ear!
Randy - if it's relevant and helps, you can rest assured that Slack has indeed beat his feet in the Mississippi mud.


Sent from Mr. Page's iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: Randy Meadows on January 24, 2013, 08:13:28 PM
Yeah , he said he spent a week tour of Mississippi...

"Times is haaaaard, Eugene.."
Long Island Blues Man....
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: cih on January 24, 2013, 10:55:07 PM
message edited
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: CF on January 25, 2013, 02:39:29 AM
Yeah , he said he spent a week tour of Mississippi...

"Times is haaaaard, Eugene.."
Long Island Blues Man....

Right. This guy just keeps going.
This is trolling.

Because living in MS means you are more qualified to be a researcher, Randy.
Going over this thread & rereading the points you've made & your theorizing is a case study in amateurism. 
Putting a camera in the great Gayle Dean Wardlow's face does not a competent researcher make.   
If Weenie becomes a place where this sort of hack hangs out, I'm outta here.
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: yogi on January 25, 2013, 02:56:29 AM
Mr Cheap
It is correct that Randy did make use of an old and dirty semantic trick when he tried to discredit the messenger rather than the message but you're no better yourself. I remember a while back when you did exactly the same. As far as I can remember nobody called you a troll then.

 Yogi
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: TonyGilroy on January 25, 2013, 03:02:55 AM

I think most of us are pleased to have seen the photograph and intrigued by all sorts of possibilities inherent in it.

I certainly want to know more but living near Oxford, England rather than Oxford, Mississippi I'm dependent on the efforts of others.

I'd rather that research was out there but without attitude by either the researcher or the readers.
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: CF on January 25, 2013, 03:08:54 AM
My criticism of an aesthetic choice in performance on a board I've been frequenting for about 7 years is not the same as what's going on here & is not trolling yogi. If it is deemed the same by the board moderators, I will happily retire.
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: yogi on January 25, 2013, 03:43:08 AM
Cheap
I don't want anyone to retire and I am not calling you a troll. Neither do I consider Randy a troll. I just want those who are interested in speculating around this photograph to be allowed to do so without others interfering and claming that the discussion, for various reasons, ought to end.
For the moment there's probably not a lot more to say about the photo and I hope Randy got the feedback he wanted from us but if anyone wishes to continue speculating that shouldn't be problem for any of us.
I've sent you a pm where I try to answer your question.

Peace, anyone?
 Yogi
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: Randy Meadows on January 25, 2013, 04:56:20 AM
I'm good....

I got called about 10 names and dragged through the mud for trying to share what we ALL agree is an interesting photo...

Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: Stumblin on January 25, 2013, 05:01:56 AM
I have always enjoyed the Weenie discussion boards and one of the main contributing factors to that enjoyment has been the absence of obvious ill-feeling towards each other.
I hope that the former, rancour-free, status quo will be restored very soon.
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: dj on January 25, 2013, 05:22:57 AM
Quote
I got called about 10 names and dragged through the mud for trying to share what we ALL agree is an interesting photo...

Randy, I would hate to think that this is your view of the discussion that's taken place in this thread.  The discussion was very civil when it was just about the photo and the initial speculation about the man seated in the center of the front row.  It took a turn for the worse upon repeated speculation, unfounded on any facts, that other people in the photo were also famous musicians or children of musicians.  Any heated discussion, in my opinion, has not been about sharing a photo, but rather about research methods and the proper way and time for a) sharing research, and b) presenting pure speculation.  It's a valid and, to me at least, interesting discussion that's teetered on being uncivil at times, and I'm sorry for that.   

Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: wreid75 on January 25, 2013, 05:37:21 AM
"research methods and the proper way and time for a) sharing research, and b) presenting pure speculation"

Isn't a message board the perfect place to present pure speculation?  There are not many of us in the world that gives a rats rear end about this music and even fewer that are interested in the lives of the people who made it.  If a few of us lived closer together then we could have a real front porch conversation with a fine cigar and a pint of ale.  Sadly most of us are separated by hundred and thousands of miles and this site along with a few others has become our front porch.  Hardcore research with spot on sources has its place in peer review journals, lexis nexis, books, newspapers, and periodicals.    Message boards are a great place for what if's but such playful banter can sometimes naw at the nerves of those a little less playful.  Believe it or not this board has inspired more than one person I know of to make a trip along the Mississippi and Yazoo river to see what they can dig up, and for those about to BLUES, I salute you.
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: Randy Meadows on January 25, 2013, 06:11:24 AM
DJ,
Well said...
I'm all for re-grouping...

I have no animosity to any of you, even my man Slack...  he touched a nerve and so did I towards him but I think we all Love the Blues.... That's why we are here.... And that makes us all "Brothers" in a way...

I agree to be much more vigilant from this moment forward with the way I share information.
We can progress the Blues History slowly and progressively, while keeping true to the spirit...

That's all I can give...
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: uncle bud on January 25, 2013, 06:17:11 AM
OK folks, on that note from Randy, it seems like the perfect time to drop the meta-discussion here. Randy has said he is in the process of contacting people in the area to see what they know about the photo, which is the appropriate way to proceed, now it's time to wait for more actual information. When he hears back from those people and if he decides to share their response here, plainly and openly, then reality-based discussion can continue somewhat more intelligently.
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: CF on January 25, 2013, 06:23:48 AM
Uncle Bud: Coolest Head In the West  8)

Good luck Randy, I sincerely hope you turn up some more fascinating information about this photo & all of the other ephemera you discover.
Title: Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
Post by: Stuart on January 25, 2013, 08:05:14 AM
Isn't a message board the perfect place to present pure speculation?

In an ideal world, yes. But we don't live in an ideal world. While it's a place for all of us to meet and share info, ideas, opinions, etc.--there are still problems with the written word not fully conveying the language it represents--and ambiguity can always lead to misunderstandings that would never happen in person. Plus, there's always the intangible factor of individual personality--one that never ceases to amaze me.

Best of luck with your ongoing research regarding the photo, Randy. Assuming that the photo has a Mississippi origin,  people at the University of Mississippi might be of assistance. State universities are often repositories for materials and information relating to state history. Hopefully, you'll find what you're looking for--and much more. And if at some point you feel that you've exhausted all leads and have run into a dead end, you might consider turning it over to The History Detectives' crew. It's the kind of project that Tukufu Zuberi would love. Keep us posted.
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