collapse

* Member Info

 
 
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

* Like Us on Facebook

* Support Weenie!

Shop on Amazon using these search boxes and Weenie earns a small commission:
USA
Search Now:
In Association with Amazon

United Kingdom
Search Now:
In Association with Amazon

Canada
Search Now:
In Association with Amazon

* Weenie's CD!

SENTENCE BLIND MUSICIAN FOR ASSAULT - Columbia, S. C., July 17. - (A. N. P.): Simmie Dooley, blind musician, has been sentenced to serve two months in the State penitentiary having been found guilty of a charge of assault and battery. Dooley's chief instrument is a guitar which he plays so well that while being brought to jail he earned nearly ten dollars from people along the way - Norfolk Journal and Guide, July 19, 1924

Author Topic: Rube Lacy Obituary 1975  (Read 2541 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Bunker Hill

  • Member
  • Posts: 2832
Rube Lacy Obituary 1975
« on: November 14, 2010, 06:37:57 AM »
I've spotted on Eric's Blues Date that Rube Lacy passed this day 1969. The first news of his death came from David Evans six years later. He submitted a short obituary to Blues Unlimited and Living Blues. As you'll read, even relatives of his weren't too sure of just when he passed.

Obituary
Rubin Lacy
(Blues Unlimited 114, July/August 1975, p. 23)

It is my sad task to announce the death of Rev. Rubin Lacy. The news was received after I tried to contact him about the release of two spirituals by him and his congregation on the album Sorrow Come Pass Me Around (Advent 2805). A relative of his phoned my wife that he had passed away two or three years ago in Bakersfield, California. At about the same time I received the additional sad news that another fine performer on the album, Robert Johnson, died in February, 1974, in Cleveland, Mississippi. Johnson had learned some of his music from Charley Patton and had known Roebuck Staples in the Delta. He was a local blues performer before turning to spiritual music in his later years. Johnson's autobiography is printed in George Mitchell's Blow My Blues Away.

Rubin Lacy was born in Pelahatchie, Miss., on January 2, 1901. As a youngster he learned guitar and mandolin, largely from a local musician named George 'Crow Jane' Hendrix. In the 1920s he moved to Jackson and became one of the main figures in the blues scene there, playing with such other notables as Ishmon Bracey, Tommy Johnson, Charlie McCoy, Walter Vincent, and the white singer Jimmy Rodgers. Lacy's music had a great influence on the styles of Bracey and McCoy. In 1927 he moved briefly to Yazoo City and then drifted up through the Delta, settling in the area around Itta Bena and Greenwood. There he met Ralph Lembo, a furniture store owner and record talent scout, who arranged to have him recorded. He recorded four blues for Columbia in Memphis, December 9, 1927, but they remained unissued. In March, 1928, Lacy and Lembo traveled to Chicago where Lacy recorded his only two issued blues, 'Mississippi Jail House Groan' and 'Ham Hound Crave' (Paramount 12629), both accompanied by his own guitar. They rank as two of the finest examples ever recorded of early Mississippi folk blues. Lacy continued to play blues in the Delta for several years, often performing with Charley Patton and other prominent local players. He was an early influence on Son House, who remembers him well, and especially Tommy McClennan, who was just starting out in blues at the time around Greenwood. Lacy is also remembered well by David Edwards.

As the result of a near fatal accident in 1932, Lacy heeded a call to preach that lie had earlier ignored. He gave up the blues and became a minister in the Missionary Baptist Church, starting first in Jackson and Byram and then moving back to Greenwood. After preaching in Arkansas and Missouri for a while, he came to California in the 1950s. He began in Los Angeles but moved more and more out into the Mojave Desert, settling first at Palmdale and later at Ridgecrest, a town that grew up around a military base not far from Death Valley. Here he minis?tered to the spiritual needs of a small black community, most of them migrants from the Deep South, like himself. It was in Ridgecrest that I met him in 1966 after following a lead that originated with Ishmon Bracey in Jackson, who had also become a preacher. In several sessions Rev. Lacy recorded for me, John Fahey, and the late Alan Wilson a great deal of information about his blues career and preaching along with many fine versions of spiritual songs. He also let us record several of his church services and introduced us to members of his congregation who knew many more songs. Throughout these sessions Rev. Lacy and his wife were most gracious and generous hosts. Around the end of that year his wife of some thirty years and the mother of their six children died, and Lacy moved to Bakersfield, where he continued as a guest preacher in various churches. I last saw and recorded him in 1967, in which year he remarried. Also during that year he collaborated closely with Bruce Rosenberg and became the chief subject in his study, The Art of the American Folk Preacher, a pioneering study of the style of composing folk sermons.

Rubin Lacy will probably be best remembered by readers for his single blues record, a pitifully small fragment of what must have been an imposing repertoire and a legacy that does not adequately reflect his vast influence on the Mississippi blues tradition, Indeed, Lacy was proud of his blues career and never tried to cover it up despite his long affiliation with the church. He believed that the blues contained a great deal of value and truth. Yet he saw religion as a higher calling and would undoubtedly have wanted to be remembered best for making many people get happy in the church rather than on the dance floor. He was very interested in the preservation and perpetuation of the older spirituals and hymns as well as the traditional preaching style and gave generously of his time and knowledge on behalf of these causes. One of his greatest wishes was to make a religious record to match his earlier blues record.

Circumstances did not enable me to release any of his pieces earlier, and now sadly he is not with us to appreciate his first issued religious recordings. But he was aware that he had made a major contribution to the study of blues history, preaching, and religious folksong and that his career had been an important one in the fields of both blues and religious work. A bibliography of writings pertaining to Rubin Lacy is appended below. He left much additional unpublished material on his own life, the Mississippi blues scene, spirituals, preaching, and religious work, which I hope to be able to make available in print and on records in order to increase the valuable legacy of this extraordinary man and friend. David Evans


Bibliography
Evans, David. 'Rubin Lacy A Discographical Note,' Blues Unlimited, XXXII (Apr., 1966), 6 7. Evans, David. 'Rubin Lacy,' in Nothing But The Blues, ed. Mike Leadbitter. London: Hanover Books, 1971. 239 245.
Evans, David. Tommy Johnson. London: Studio Vista, 1971. 36 44.
Rosenberg, Bruce A. The Art of the American Folk Preacher. NY: Oxford University Press, 1970.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2010, 10:54:27 AM by Johnm »

Offline uncle bud

  • Administrator
  • Member
  • Posts: 8314
  • Rank amateur
Re: Rube Lacy Obituary 1975
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2010, 07:50:05 AM »
Thanks for that, BH. Very interesting to read about Lacy, surely among the top batch of performers to not be recorded nearly enough. Did Evans indeed release any later religious recordings? I knew recordings had been made but can't recall whether any were issued.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2010, 10:55:10 AM by Johnm »

Offline Bunker Hill

  • Member
  • Posts: 2832
Re: Rube Lacy Obituary 1975
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2010, 08:39:54 AM »
I'm a bit out of touch on such matters but on a 1970s Advent LP there's the unaccompanied Talk About A Child That Do Love Jesus recorded at Ridgecrest, Ca. 15th February 1966 which probably had made it to CD by now.
      
« Last Edit: November 16, 2010, 10:55:31 AM by Johnm »

Offline jostber

  • Member
  • Posts: 612
Re: Rube Lacy Obituary 1975
« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2010, 08:12:47 AM »
Thanks for this great article. I did not know that Rube Lacey had recorded anything more than the sole blues record from 1928. Would have been great to hear some of his later recordings. In the Wirz discography there is only one recording listed from the 60's.

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





« Last Edit: November 16, 2010, 12:03:14 PM by jostber »

Offline Johnm

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 10359
    • johnmillerguitar.com
Re: Rube Lacy Obituary 1975
« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2010, 10:56:49 AM »
Got it, Bunker Hill.  Thanks for posting the obituary, very fascinating.
All best,
Johnm

Offline Bunker Hill

  • Member
  • Posts: 2832
Re: Rube Lacy Obituary 1975
« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2010, 11:02:55 AM »
Thanks Johnm. Sady his entry in Robert Ford's Blues Bibliography is meagre compared to some, mostly dictionary entries and the like:

RUBIN LACY
BL4.   Arnaudon, Jean-Claude. ?Rubin Lacy.?, in Dictionnaire du Blues, p. 153 (E101).

BL5.   Bogaert, Karel. ?Lacy, Reubin.?, in Blues Lexicon, p. 219 (Item E110).

BL6.   Evans, David. ?Black Musicians Remember Jimmie Rodgers.? Old Time Music no. 7 (Winter 1972/73): 12-15.

BL7.   Evans, David. ?The Rev. Rubin Lacy.? Blues Unlimited no. 40 (Jan 1967): 3-4; Blues Unlimited no. 41 (Feb 1967): 8-9; Blues Unlimited no. 42 (Mar/Apr 1967): 5-6; Blues Unlimited no. 43 (May 1967): 13-14; Blues Unlimited no. 44 (Jun/Jul 1967): 7. Reprinted in Nothing But the Blues, ed. M. Leadbitter, pp. 239-245 (Item A1241).

BL8.   Evans, David. ?Rubin Lacy: A Discographical Note.? Blues Unlimited no. 32 (Apr 1966): 6-7.

BL9.   Harris, Sheldon. ?Lacy, Rev Rubin ?Rube?.?, in Blues Who?s Who. 5th ed., pp. 315-316 (E146).

BL10.   Larkin, Colin (ed). ?Lacey, Rubin, Rev.?, in The Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music, pp. 1415-1416 (E165). Reprinted in The Guinness Who?s Who of Blues. 2nd ed., p. 227 (E166). Reprinted in The Virgin Encyclopedia of the Blues, p. 218 (E169).

BL11.   Monge, Luigi. ?Lacey, Rubin ?Rube?.?, in Encyclopedia of the Blues. Vol. 2: K-Z, ed. E. Komara, p. 581 (Item E162).

BL12.   Rosenberg, Bruce A. The Art of the American Folk Preacher. New York: Oxford University Press, 1970.

BL13.   Santelli, Robert. ?Lacy, Rubin.?, in The Big Book of Blues, p. 245 (Item E202).

Obituaries:
BL14.   Evans, David. ?Rubin Lacy.? Living Blues no. 21 (May/Jun 1975): 6, 55. Also published in Blues Unlimited no. 114 (Jul/Aug 1975): 23.

« Last Edit: November 16, 2010, 11:04:09 AM by Bunker Hill »

Offline jostber

  • Member
  • Posts: 612
Re: Rube Lacy Obituary 1975
« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2010, 12:12:30 PM »
Anyone knows what this site is? Seems like there is a lot of David Evans' field recordings here, and there is a whole album with Rubin Lacey as well:

http://www.deltahaze.com/Mimosa_Records_Productions_Catalog_DavidEvans.html

GOSPEL

Rev. Rubin Lacy - Old Hallelujahs
Description: Down-home gospel singing and preaching by a legend of the Country Blues
recorded in Ridgecrest, California, 1966 by Evans& John Fahey
Material: 21 tracks (feat. guitar accomp. on 1 trk each by John Fahey, Alan Wilson and David Evans), notes by David Evans, photos



Offline Bunker Hill

  • Member
  • Posts: 2832
Re: Rube Lacy Obituary 1975
« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2010, 01:13:28 PM »
Anyone knows what this site is? Seems like there is a lot of David Evans' field recordings here, and there is a whole album with Rubin Lacey as well:
Yes, David sold all his recordings to Steve LaVere some years ago. In theory the Lacy material could be licensed for release, I'm guessing that once Delta Haze have been paid, those of modest means wouldn't have enough money left to produce the end product. :'( 

Offline uncle bud

  • Administrator
  • Member
  • Posts: 8314
  • Rank amateur
Re: Rube Lacy Obituary 1975
« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2010, 01:25:11 PM »
Yes, David sold all his recordings to Steve LaVere some years ago.

All I can say to that is, ****.

Offline jostber

  • Member
  • Posts: 612
Re: Rube Lacy Obituary 1975
« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2018, 02:44:22 PM »
Anyone heard more if these recordings are available in any way? Should be some gold there.

http://www.deltahaze.com/MimosaCatalogue.html

Offline jharris

  • Member
  • Posts: 120
    • Big Road Blues
Re: Rube Lacy Obituary 1975
« Reply #10 on: March 24, 2018, 04:21:06 AM »
Anyone heard more if these recordings are available in any way? Should be some gold there.

http://www.deltahaze.com/MimosaCatalogue.html

I would love to hear some of those recordings, particularly the David Evans stuff. With Steve LaVere's death I wonder what will happen to it all? Apparently his wife has no interest and his son is unsure what to do with it all. The only interest was in LaVere's 78's which have been auctioned off.

Tags: Rube Lacy Obituary