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When Woody Guthrie was singing hillbilly songs on a little Los Angeles radio station in the late 1930s he used to mail out a small mimeographed songbook to listeners who wanted the words to his songs. On the bottom of one page appeared the following: This song is Copyrighted in U.S., under Seal of Copyright #154085, for a period of 28 years, and anybody caught singin' it without our permission, will be mighty good friends of our'n, cause we don't give a dern. Publish it. Write it. Sing it. Swing to it. Yodel it. We wrote it, that's all we wanted to do - Pete Seeger, on Woody, June 67

Author Topic: Tarter & Gay  (Read 2937 times)

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Offline Stefan Wirz

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Tarter & Gay
« on: January 02, 2008, 03:24:31 AM »
Tarter & Gay discography online !

And - by the way: 'Tarter', 'Tartar' or even 'Tatar' - what was that man's real name (even Kip Lornell uses the first two spellings in his book, the third can be found on the South Virginia Museum's website) ?!?

Stefan

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Tarter & Gay
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2008, 11:21:43 PM »
I asked Kip Lornell about the spelling and he responds thus

"I'm not 100% certain but I would go with Tartar because I "think" that the Library of Virginia folks have the most current information.  Therefore I am copying Gregg Kimball from the Library of Virginia for more up-to-date information."

Greg replies to me:

"It's clearly Tarter on his death certificate, his  grave marker, and the 1920 census. FYI, he has a military  grave marker for service during WWI. I've got a pretty good file on him if other questions  arise."

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Tarter & Gay
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2008, 09:54:50 AM »
Stefan and all.

Gregg Kimball has emailed me the following:

Stephen Tarter's  correct death date is March 19, 1935, in Gate City, Scott Co., VA.  The death certificate gives his birth date as Feb. 5, 1887 in Scott Co., VA.  His birth record reads Jan. 5 or 6, 1887 (it's hard to read), in Scott Co., VA, but it's clearly the same person?the  parents are the same as on the death certificate.  So we can say definitely that he was born in 1887, Scott Co., VA. Another interesting tidbit from the death certificate: it  states that he failed an "industrial  examination" at a mine in Wise County due to a "weak heart."

Offline banjochris

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Re: Tarter & Gay
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2012, 05:56:18 PM »
Here's a treat from the Bear Family "Bristol Sessions" box set -- I got it for Christmas. Tarter on the left, Gay on the right.


Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Tarter & Gay
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2012, 05:00:56 AM »
At the Blues & Rhythm website archive section there's a lengthy appraisal of the box set as a downloadable PDF for anybody interested (State Line Dancing With The Stars: Bristol's Got Talent - by Chris Smith)
« Last Edit: January 04, 2012, 05:01:58 AM by Bunker Hill »

Offline dj

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Re: Tarter & Gay
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2012, 06:51:24 AM »
And, for anyone who hasn't visited Stephan's Tarter and Gay discography, in the upper right and left hand corners of that page there are links to pdfs of two articles on the duo by Kip Lornell taken from early issues of Living Blues.  One of them is based on an interview with Harry Gay.  They're both well worth reading and make one wish that the duo had had a chance to record much more extensively. 

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Tarter & Gay
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2012, 07:12:21 AM »
Thanks for pointing out those articles, dj. (link: http://www.wirz.de/music/tartgfrm.htm) I agree, well worth a couple minutes of reading time. I didn't know that that much was known about Tarter and Gay, and I was surprised Lornell was interviewing Harry Gay.

And an extra tantalizing aspect of the above very cool photo (thanks chris!) is the mandolin held by Tarter. One of the Lornell pieces quotes Lesley Riddle as saying if Tarter could find someone to play guitar with him he would often grab his mandolin. Would have loved to hear some of that.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2012, 07:15:58 AM by uncle bud »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Tarter & Gay
« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2012, 09:27:27 AM »
Thanks for that photo, Chris.  It makes me think that Tarter & Gay may have been more like the Two Poor Boys than I originally thought, working variously as a two guitar/mandolin and guitar/other sort of duo.
All best,
Johnm

Offline Cleoma

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Re: Tarter & Gay
« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2012, 09:53:06 AM »
And Steve Tarter played fiddle too - and his dad played the fiddle.  Well, it's great that we got to hear these guys even a little bit but I would have LOVED to hear him play mandolin or fiddle!!  I'm imagining that his fiddling might have sounded a little bit like Lonnie Johnson's.  Or Howard Armstrong's.
Happy new year to all you Weenies!

Offline banjochris

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Re: Tarter & Gay
« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2012, 10:06:26 AM »
And, for anyone who hasn't visited Stephan's Tarter and Gay discography, in the upper right and left hand corners of that page there are links to pdfs of two articles on the duo by Kip Lornell taken from early issues of Living Blues.  One of them is based on an interview with Harry Gay.  They're both well worth reading and make one wish that the duo had had a chance to record much more extensively.

That's how I knew for sure which one was which!

Offline Gregg Kimball

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Re: Tarter & Gay
« Reply #10 on: December 23, 2012, 06:40:07 PM »
Here's a treat from the Bear Family "Bristol Sessions" box set -- I got it for Christmas. Tarter on the left, Gay on the right.

Hello all.  I have a copy of this image and spoke with a Tarter relative about it.  Steve Tarter is indeed the man on the left, but the man on the right is his cousin Carson Anderson. Just thought I would clarify that.

Gregg Kimball

Offline banjochris

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Re: Tarter & Gay
« Reply #11 on: December 23, 2012, 07:32:02 PM »
Thanks for letting us know. At least we have pictures of each one! I don't suppose the family has any other pics?