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The chocolate tape was sliding off the reels and across the silver recording heads, while the needles on the two meters jumped to the beat on the face of the big Ampex. This was 1959 and I finally had German mics and a Cadillac of a recorder and was doing stereo - the first stereo field recordings made in the South. You should hear the recordings - for me a life's dream realized - Alan Lomax, The Land Where the Blues Began

Author Topic: Possible footage of Fiddlin John Carson from 1919  (Read 542 times)

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Offline TenBrook

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Possible footage of Fiddlin John Carson from 1919
« on: May 08, 2019, 10:15:35 AM »
Hi all,
I was alerted to the below footage today which seems to show Fiddlin John Carson (and many unknown others) fiddling for a film crew outside of a Fiddlers Convention in 1919. John Carson (presumably), in a long coat, makes his main appearance at around the one minute and six second mark.

https://mirc.sc.edu/islandora/object/usc%3A16312

Offline banjochris

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Re: Possible footage of Fiddlin John Carson from 1919
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2019, 10:25:40 AM »
It certainly looks a lot like him. There's a closer shot of him playing behind the folks in the next shot, which I added here. It'd be great to know where that footage was shot. Amazing footage whoever is in it!
Chris

Offline TenBrook

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Re: Possible footage of Fiddlin John Carson from 1919
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2019, 11:41:23 AM »
Chris,
I was alerted to the footage on Instagram by the user 'historyofcountrymusic' who speculates that the footage could be from the Atlanta Fiddlers convention held that year but admits that we don't know for sure. He is fairly certain it is John Carson in the footage and I tend to agree though it would be nice to see an identified photo of him from around that same year/in a similar hat. I think most photos we have of him are from a few years later after he started recording and was wearing a slightly different style of hat.

Lew

Offline banjochris

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Re: Possible footage of Fiddlin John Carson from 1919
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2019, 02:51:00 PM »
I saw that Instagram post about an hour after I saw your post here. Here's a photo of John that is labeled 1914. I would assume he had several hats!

Offline Suzy T

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Re: Possible footage of Fiddlin John Carson from 1919
« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2019, 10:48:59 PM »
I'm trying to figure out what tune(s) they are playing.  It is definitely in G.  Kinda looks like something Sally Goodin-ish or maybe Betty Baker-ish.

Offline TenBrook

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Re: Possible footage of Fiddlin John Carson from 1919
« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2019, 07:15:59 AM »
Thanks for that earlier photo Chris. And it's true he was a man of many hats!

And thanks for trying to suss out the song Suzy, I am definitely not equipped with the skills to do that. Would be wonderful to know for sure what song it is and would, of course, be even better if there were sound to accompany the film.

Offline banjochris

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Re: Possible footage of Fiddlin John Carson from 1919
« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2019, 04:02:54 PM »
I'm trying to figure out what tune(s) they are playing.  It is definitely in G.  Kinda looks like something Sally Goodin-ish or maybe Betty Baker-ish.

I agree, something not too note-y.

Offline TheShovel

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Re: Possible footage of Fiddlin John Carson from 1919
« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2019, 01:03:43 PM »
What a video!
I'm thinking the older feller bouncing around while playing at 0:52 is Uncle Jimmie Thompson, Columbia recording star and 1st performer on the Grand Ole Opry.
He was a veteran of these contests and toured around as a pro entertainer.  Wouldn't be a shock for him to be extra 'entertaining', with that in mind.  He was a pro.
Another question: Georgia convention  and no Gid?!?
-Shovel

Edit:  Screenshot of bouncy feller, as well as a studio photo of UJT from 1926 I think, attached for reference
« Last Edit: August 23, 2019, 01:29:25 PM by TheShovel »

Offline TonyGilroy

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Re: Possible footage of Fiddlin John Carson from 1919
« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2019, 01:14:05 AM »
There is film of Gid Tanner from the 50s on You Tube.



Offline Lastfirstface

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Re: Possible footage of Fiddlin John Carson from 1919
« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2019, 05:52:18 PM »
Polk Brockman, who told Ralph Peer to record Fiddlin' John, said that he saw John Carson in a silent newsreel from a fiddlers convention in Virginia. Probably a different reel altogether, but this footage made me think of it.

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