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"Sweet Singer of the Swamplands Here to Do a Few Tunes between Homicides" - January 3, 1935, headline in the New York Herald Tribune announcing the arrival of Leadbelly

Author Topic: Zora Hurston  (Read 2109 times)

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Offline bmore

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Zora Hurston
« on: April 10, 2008, 03:42:32 PM »
I watched a interesting show on PBS on Zora Hurston the author, though not really about the blues, it had some interesting film shots of juke joints, dancing to the music, and field holler's. Showed some clips of her on tour with Lomax, nice cut of him recording leadbelly... Interesting lady, one that took life as she would. I thought its worth a look if it shows in your area.

Brian
bmore

Offline CF

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Re: Zora Hurston
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2008, 03:44:39 PM »
Saw this too bmore . . . a brilliant lady. Very good documentary.  'American Masters' is damn fine TV viewing.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2008, 06:43:28 PM by cheapfeet »
Stand By If You Wanna Hear It Again . . .

Offline Mr.OMuck

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Re: Zora Hurston
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2008, 08:13:10 PM »
The best book on tape I've ever heard, in terms of performance is Hurston's "Their Eyes Were Watching God."
read spectacularly by the great Ruby Dee. The story also has some incredibly haunting imagery especially the flood scene. Highly recommended. I caught the tail end of the PBS bio it seemed quite good. Interesting un-compromised life.
My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music.
Vladimir Nabokov (1899 - 1977)

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Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Zora Hurston
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2008, 11:19:38 PM »
Robert Hemenway wrote an excellent biography in 1977 (Illinois UP) and has a "cautionary tale" forward by Alice Walker. I feel sure she has been discussed at length here before in relation to Gabriel Brown.

LATER EDIT: Yup tagged under both Zora Neale Hurston and Gabriel Brown. Check it out.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2008, 11:38:23 AM by Bunker Hill »

Offline Rivers

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Re: Zora Hurston
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2008, 12:08:11 AM »
Bunker you have an amazing memory. To save a few clicks here's the tag link: http://weeniecampbell.com/yabbse/index.php?amp;Itemid=60&topic=2610.0

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Zora Hurston
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2008, 10:31:11 AM »
Bunker you have an amazing memory. To save a few clicks here's the tag link: http://weeniecampbell.com/yabbse/index.php?amp;Itemid=60&topic=2610.0
In that discussion is the following:
As Bunker Hill stated at the start of his post, the text above concerning Polk County FL "jooks" and Gabriel Brown was part of a longer piece that was a tribute to Zora Neale Hurston, a fascinating woman who is too little known today.  Hurston was a black woman, born in a "Negro town" in Florida, who eventually attended Morgan College and Howard University and graduated from Barnard College in New York City.  She wrote several novels, an autobiography, and edited collections of black folk tales.  She discovered and recorded Gabriel Brown while on a research trip with Alan Lomax in Florida in 1935.

Bunker Hill kindly shared a scan of the complete essay quoted above with me.  If Hurston's descriptive writing has at all piqued your interest, the essay is well annotated, pointing to the sources of the Hurston quotes for further reading.  I'm sure BH would be glad to make his scan available to interested readers who send him a personal message.
I have that scan and sixteen months on the offer still stands, just send me a PM with an email address to which I can attach a file.

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Zora Hurston
« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2010, 07:26:51 AM »
This American Masters documentary, called Jump at the Sun, came round again on PBS in my area and I caught it this time. As others have said, it is definitely worth seeking out and has some archival footage that will be of interest to some Weenies. On the website there is some silent footage shot by Hurston of ring games and also a religious band. There was sound in the documentary for Hurston's filmwork as far as I recall, including some footage of some African American men playing banjo, and another shoot of that band, with sound. (That website also has re-enactment material, a documentary technique I have mixed feelings about, but it is used sparingly in the final cut. In case the clips scare anyone off!)
« Last Edit: March 09, 2010, 07:28:55 AM by uncle bud »

Offline Stuart

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Re: Zora Hurston
« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2010, 08:21:15 AM »
I'll second Andrew's recommendation. You can also suggest that your local library purchase a copy for it's holdings:

http://newsreel.org/nav/title.asp?tc=CN0221

Another PBS program worth keeping an eye out for is "Harlem in Montmartre":

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/gperf/episodes/harlem-in-montmartre/preview-of-harlem-in-montmartre/827/

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Zora Hurston
« Reply #8 on: March 09, 2010, 11:16:19 AM »
Thanks for the tip, Stuart. I missed that one the first time round too.

I should note that Don Vappie did the original score for the Zora Neale Hurston documentary.

 


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