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Author Topic: Possible Bluesman sighting in York Beach Maine  (Read 2417 times)

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Offline Shovel

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Re: Possible Bluesman sighting in York Beach Maine
« Reply #15 on: February 26, 2016, 01:22:40 PM »
Wouldn't be surprising if the picture was in one of those books, Mr OM. And it might jog a memory or two if you described him as a one man band as he seems to have a harmonica on a rack.

But what really has me wondering are the trappings he has on the guitar under his right arm. You can see the neck heel pretty clearly but then there seems to be a contraption far more elaborate that a capo over the part of the fretboard close to the body. Also there are some sort of gizmos attached to the head of the guitar, which you can see the shadow of on the ground. Very bizarre.

Wax

Yes, on the head of the guitar to me it looks almost like a bowed ribbon and/or jingle bells or some other kind of percussive effect, but who knows.

Offline P D Grant

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Re: Possible Bluesman sighting in York Beach Maine
« Reply #16 on: February 26, 2016, 03:38:56 PM »
On a similar note, Time magazine published some images a couple of days ago that were taken in Harlem in 1938.  One of them features a musician with a Dobro. Wondered if anyone recognised him? You can find the article here (image 6) - http://time.com/4206723/photos-harlem-street-life-1930s/

Offline Mr.OMuck

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Re: Possible Bluesman sighting in York Beach Maine
« Reply #17 on: February 26, 2016, 05:10:13 PM »
These Damned Robert Johnsons just keep poppin up everywhere! :P
Well if you consider that Harlem was the Black capital of America in 1938 and beyond, and that many record companies did their recording here, take your pick! The locals were Josh White, Leadbelly, Sonny and Browny and Gary Davis by 1940. There's also Alec Seward..... Deduct 10 or 15 years from this picture and its possible....
My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music.
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Offline Mr.OMuck

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Re: Possible Bluesman sighting in York Beach Maine
« Reply #18 on: February 26, 2016, 05:16:11 PM »
Looks like a kazoo and a short fife in a rack, a guitar mounted rack. I used to have one of them..
« Last Edit: February 26, 2016, 05:17:21 PM by Mr.OMuck »
My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music.
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Offline Randy Meadows

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Re: Possible Bluesman sighting in York Beach Maine
« Reply #19 on: February 27, 2016, 09:55:40 AM »
I haven't seen this before but it is impressive.
The man is not just a farmer with a guitar; he is well prepared for entertaining and traveling. Seems to be successful and confident.
Hopefully your letter will give us more clues.
The end of the guitar possibly has the equivalent of a cowbell or percussion dimension attached. He is a one man band apparently and multi talented.
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Offline waxwing

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Re: Possible Bluesman sighting in York Beach Maine
« Reply #20 on: February 27, 2016, 07:36:13 PM »
It looks to me like three-in-a-row slot head tuners with a capo at about the third fret and a large object tied to the headstock.

Looking again, I see what I thought was a more elaborate contraption seems to be a shadow under a fold of his sleeve. But you're right, just a capo, altho looking at the shadow, yes, I can see the three tuning heads from one side, but quite a bit of neck and then the capo's shadow must be covered by his arm's shadow. Maybe more like the 5th fret. Could be a bow on the headstock, even in the shadow, but could be some odd bell, too.

Wax
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Offline harriet

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Re: Possible Bluesman sighting in York Beach Maine
« Reply #21 on: February 29, 2016, 06:26:03 PM »
Here's a black and white conversion hopefully which makes the details clearer, and I also applied a filter which adjusts the shadows, highlights, Phil would know what I mean - you can see the harmonica rack and it looks like a bell on the end of the guitar contraption he has under his arm - I think its a real photo -don't think its photoshopped -maybe not a good scan of it though.

On the other one Phil posted with the dobro - that's a pretty small instrument - looks the size of a small parlor stella in relation to him.

Harriet

« Last Edit: February 29, 2016, 06:28:11 PM by harriet »

Offline Mr.OMuck

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Re: Possible Bluesman sighting in York Beach Maine
« Reply #22 on: March 01, 2016, 03:22:27 AM »
Good idea Harriet! Its much more clearly a six string slot head with a capo. The shape of the leftmost object on the headstock looks very much like a rose. The shadow shows the rightmost shape to be an object consistent in shape with a cowbell.
My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music.
Vladimir Nabokov (1899 - 1977)

http://www.youtube.com/user/MuckOVision

Offline Mr.OMuck

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Re: Possible Bluesman sighting in York Beach Maine
« Reply #23 on: March 01, 2016, 03:25:10 AM »
What do you think of the possible Alec Seward ID Harriet? The nose is pretty close no?
My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music.
Vladimir Nabokov (1899 - 1977)

http://www.youtube.com/user/MuckOVision

Offline harriet

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Re: Possible Bluesman sighting in York Beach Maine
« Reply #24 on: March 01, 2016, 03:59:52 AM »
Hi Mr O'Muck, I'm afraid I am probably the wrong person to ask. I looked at some photos online of Alec Seward and I really can't tell, being as the figure in the photo is wearing a hat and the face is tilted up.

Bruce Conforth has an excellent video on facial points that were checked on the RJ fraud that make sense to me to make the leap between passing resemblance and true identification, so I feel more comfortable using that as a guideline with respect for, I guess you would call it, both the identity of the person in the photo and the existing verified photos of Alec Seward.

Offline onewent

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Re: Possible Bluesman sighting in York Beach Maine
« Reply #25 on: March 01, 2016, 06:53:45 AM »
Sooo, what's he holding in his left hand? >:D  Tom   ...to clarify, the Maine unknown.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2016, 09:47:57 AM by onewent »

Offline harriet

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Re: Possible Bluesman sighting in York Beach Maine
« Reply #26 on: March 01, 2016, 07:19:53 AM »
IMHO that  might be a hole in the photo  - its more in line color value wise with the paper than anything in the photo, and it doesn't seem to have dimension or cast a shadow, but I could be wrong. Harriet

Online Johnm

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Re: Possible Bluesman sighting in York Beach Maine
« Reply #27 on: March 01, 2016, 08:00:09 AM »
For what it is worth, there are no recordings on which Alec Seward played harmonica on a rack or otherwise.  The rack could also have been used for a kazoo, of course.  I'm not sure the assumption should be made that this person played Blues.

Offline onewent

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Re: Possible Bluesman sighting in York Beach Maine
« Reply #28 on: March 01, 2016, 09:56:08 AM »
BTW, the Maine unknown photo, the bell-shaped thingy is actually (or likely, at least) the tassel end of his 'sash' cord strap.  I have dozens of these harvested from old guitar cases and were ubiquitous in those days.  Tom

Offline Mr.OMuck

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Re: Possible Bluesman sighting in York Beach Maine
« Reply #29 on: March 02, 2016, 07:59:05 AM »
Follow up from York Maine. Sorry for the formatting which I can't seem to undo. Dancing Bears?
[/size]
[/size]Dear Mr. Allen,
[/size]
[/size]I have shared your question and image with a couple of York?s older ?town historians?, but none of them were familiar with either the gentleman or even the photograph. They do remember numerous itinerant ?hobos, gypsies, & Indians as well as black workers in our area? (Virginia Spiller, former archivist); however they simply passed through the town, never staying long. The town?s newspaper, The Courant, often noted the arrival of entertainment or people selling wares (?Indians selling baskets? or ?man with dancing bear?), but individual names were not cited.
[/size]
[/size]We do not have a copy of this image in our files. With your permission, I would like to create a copy of the image you sent me and place it into our software management program (PastPerfect). In PastPerfect the image would be tagged with subjects like ?Black Musicians?, ?York Beach?, ?Entertainment?, ?African American Music?, etc. A researcher looking for any of these subjects could pull the image up; someone may have seen the same man in another image at a different time and place. I could include your email contact in the file so that if anyone looking through our collections comes upon it and can add to the provenance you would be notified. If you happen to know the original source of the image, that would be helpful. I can code the image so that reproductions are controlled (and prohibited, if necessary).
[/size]
[/size]Thank you for sharing a piece of York?s history with us. Hopefully sharing the image with local researchers will shed some light on your mystery man?s identity.
[/size]
[/size]Cynthia A. Young-Gomes
[/size]Curator
[/size]Museums of Old York
« Last Edit: March 02, 2016, 08:02:54 AM by Mr.OMuck »
My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music.
Vladimir Nabokov (1899 - 1977)

http://www.youtube.com/user/MuckOVision

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