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I dreamed last night I was far from harm, woke up and found my man in a sissy's arms. My man's got a sissy, his name is "Miss Kate". He shook that thing like jelly on a plate - Ma Rainey, Sissy Blues

Author Topic: Personnel query re: Document Field Recordings, Vol. 6, Texas  (Read 1028 times)

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Offline Stuart

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Re: Personnel query re: Document Field Recordings, Vol. 6, Texas
« Reply #15 on: July 16, 2019, 05:41:30 PM »
Thank you for posting the scan of the notes, Jeff. It is helpful.

John:

After looking over the writing on the sleeves, I have more questions than answers, which isn't difficult, since I have no answers. Here are links to the sleeves:

https://www.loc.gov/item/lomaxbib000722

https://www.loc.gov/item/lomaxbib000723

n.b. The handwritten title of the song, "My Pore Mother Keeps A-prayin' for Me," is "My Old Mother Keeps On Prayin,'" on the sleeve. However "poor" is what is sung. I could find no indication that "pore" was an accepted variant spelling of "poor," so why was it spelled that way in the title?


The Lomaxs' had field notes that have been transcribed:

https://www.loc.gov/item/lomaxbib000855/

https://www.loc.gov/resource/afc1939001.afc1939001_fn0001/?st=gallery

https://cdn.loc.gov/service/afc/afc1939001/afc1939001_fn0001/afc1939001_fn0001.pdf

http://www.loc.gov/teachers/classroommaterials/connections/southern-mosaic/history.html

I'd be interested to know if the original handwritten notes are extant. They might contain additional information that the Lomaxs did not include in the typed version.

And there are other songs with Wallace Chains and Sylvester Jones:

https://www.loc.gov/item/lomaxbib000065/

https://www.loc.gov/item/lomaxbib000067/

https://www.loc.gov/item/lomaxbib000071/

https://www.loc.gov/item/lomaxbib000072/


Edit the above as you see fit.

Stuart

Offline Johnm

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Re: Personnel query re: Document Field Recordings, Vol. 6, Texas
« Reply #16 on: July 16, 2019, 06:52:33 PM »
Thanks for doing all of that legwork, Stuart.  I'm going to let it all stand so that interested parties can pursue the different leads and information.  I'm not a big fan of "pore" either--the only thing that I can think of that would justify its use would be if one of the artists involved wrote the title down that way.  I hope your searching was not too time-consuming.
All best,
Johnm

Offline Stuart

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Re: Personnel query re: Document Field Recordings, Vol. 6, Texas
« Reply #17 on: July 17, 2019, 08:49:36 AM »
Hi John:

Like you, I also think there's still some uncertainty re: who played and who sang on the three songs. I looked at Lomax's notes for April 23 and there doesn't seem to be anything that is conclusive. Maybe we should let it be, "prob. Sylvester Jones guitar," for the time being and let it go at that for now. "Subject to revision," in case additional info surfaces in the future.

Some additional biographical information about Chains and Jones might answer a few questions I have. What were they in for? If and when they were released, what were their lives like? What did they do musically?

As you often remark, the important thing is that their music survives. The guitarist certainly was exceptional. It's a shame we don't have more.

When time permits, I'm going to go through the Lomaxs' field notes an try to match them up with recordings at the LoC. I'm sure there are a few pleasant surprises in there.

My Best,

Stuart

Offline Rivers

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Re: Personnel query re: Document Field Recordings, Vol. 6, Texas
« Reply #18 on: July 17, 2019, 04:14:14 PM »
I'm not a big fan of "pore" either--the only thing that I can think of that would justify its use would be if one of the artists involved wrote the title down that way.

Somebody couldn't spell somewhere in the chain. Nothing has changed, just take a look at the internet today. I clutch my head in anguish on a daily basis. Trump's twitter feed, for example, though someone is obviously editing it lately, fewer howlers.

Offline Stuart

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Re: Personnel query re: Document Field Recordings, Vol. 6, Texas
« Reply #19 on: July 17, 2019, 05:36:21 PM »
My guess is that it was a simple mistake that went or was deliberately left uncorrected. Poor, pore and pour are homophones in modern American English (stating the obvious). Spelling errors are part of cultural history, so maybe the decision was made to retain the erroneous spelling in order to be faithful to the original. Beats the hell out of me.

Offline Rivers

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Re: Personnel query re: Document Field Recordings, Vol. 6, Texas
« Reply #20 on: July 18, 2019, 04:30:55 PM »
Just another "we'll probably never know" moment in the history of country blues. I would have preferred the LoC had corrected it immediately, personally, for several reasons. Maybe the LoC couldn't spell either! :P
« Last Edit: July 18, 2019, 04:36:49 PM by Rivers »

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