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Hambone Willie Newbern wasn't as well thought of in the area as maybe he should have been... when Yank's mother heard he'd traded the pig for a mandolin she said 'Well, that's OK son, this winter, when we're all eating meat, you can eat that mandolin' - Yank Rachell, as told by Steve James, Port Townsend 97

Author Topic: Mystery Blues Photo  (Read 6341 times)

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Offline Stuart

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Offline Stefan Wirz

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Re: Mystery Blues Photo
« Reply #46 on: July 17, 2010, 09:19:45 AM »
... and how about Otis 'Elevator' Gilmore ...


Offline Stuart

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Re: Mystery Blues Photo
« Reply #47 on: July 17, 2010, 09:40:34 AM »
I remember Otis. I vaguely recall that  his career was never the same after the bust for pushing uppers and downers.

Offline Mr.OMuck

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Re: Mystery Blues Photo
« Reply #48 on: July 17, 2010, 02:18:34 PM »
You forgot to carry the concentric circular indentation mark closest to the hole through the title Stefan. Good try though. ;)
My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music.
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Offline Stefan Wirz

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Re: Mystery Blues Photo
« Reply #49 on: July 18, 2010, 04:07:43 AM »
You forgot to carry the concentric circular indentation mark closest to the hole through the title Stefan. Good try though. ;)
... since I don't have the intention to sell this record to anyone, it was less a question of "forgetting" but one of how much of my lifetime I'd have to spend doing so ... :D

Offline GaRedMud

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Re: Mystery Blues Photo
« Reply #50 on: July 19, 2010, 08:05:27 PM »


Great to see the Mystery Bluesman Photo being discussed here. When I bought the photo, I thought the sitting man looked like a very young Honeyboy Edwards. I had my guesses about the standing man, but when Jeff mentioned Hacksaw, he looked to be pretty darn close to me. Messing around with the opacity on my photo in Photoshop and a known Hacksaw photo, I came up with the above montage. The top right is old Hacksaw over young one and the bottom is young over old Hacksaw. The only alteration was changing the head angle of each photo. The eyes line up perfect, the mouth, jaw cheeks, just about everything is dead-on considering there is over a thirty year age difference. I found the bridge of the nose between the eyes and the crease in his right cheek uncanny. My money is on Hacksaw, facial features/dimensions just don't match up that easy. Now, the big question, if it is Hacksaw, is that his brother? I have only been able to find one death certificate reference for a Maylon Harney and that was in Arkansas in 1928. I am going to spend the 10 bucks and send off for that death certificate. If it shows he was stabbed/murdered as maylon allegedly was, then I imagine it was Hacksaws brother. The next question is, was this photo taken in 1937 or was it taken earlier and then reprinted for Hacksaw or a relative in 1937 thus getting the stamp on the back. I've worked in a number of archival photography labs over the years and this is possible. An old reprint from the original negative could have a stamp on the back from the lab that did it. Of course this may be all wrong and I should just crawl back in my hole with my odd collection of photographs. It doesn't matter really, I'm hanging it next to my Charley Patton Smashing His Guitar at a Fish Fry Photo and my Blind Lemon Jefferson Playing The Drums with the Robert Johnson Square Dance Band snapshot. One last thing I noticed and it is just an observation nothing more, but I did see that in a couple of known photos of Hacksaw he had his collar turned up. Was that a Hacksaw thing?-coincidence?
« Last Edit: July 19, 2010, 09:05:16 PM by GaRedMud »

Offline banjochris

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Re: Mystery Blues Photo
« Reply #51 on: July 19, 2010, 09:37:40 PM »
Seeing the detail of just the standing singer's face, is it just me or does he have a cleft lip?

Offline blueshome

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Re: Mystery Blues Photo
« Reply #52 on: July 20, 2010, 01:31:55 AM »
The guitars in the photo would date from mid-30's so confirming the date of the photo.

Offline onewent

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Re: Mystery Blues Photo
« Reply #53 on: July 20, 2010, 06:25:53 AM »
Agree with Phil..guitars date to mid/late 30's, so the photo stamp is likely time of photo, too.  I believe the guitar in the hands of the man standing is a Kalamazoo KG11 (Gibson-made); it has a unique, truncated body shape, and the one with the seated gent is possibly a Harmony, or other low-end factory guitar with painted-on binding, and solid head stocks were just emerging on mass produced instruments around this time.

I have no clue as to identity of the two guitarists, but, examining and comparing details of the standing man and the Hacksaw photo, I see a totally different chin structure between the two, plus a 'divot' (for lack of better word) in the lower right part of the chin of the gent standing, which does not appear in the Hacksaw photo.  Plus, what Chris said about the 'cleft' upper lip, too.  So, in my humble estimation, the gent standing is not Hacksaw Harney. 

Very interesting stuff..Regards, Tom

Offline GaRedMud

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Re: Mystery Blues Photo
« Reply #54 on: July 20, 2010, 07:45:04 AM »
I still would consider the age difference and also the older photo he is smiling big with teeth as opposed to the old Hacksaw's slight smile. I still can't tell if the standing man has a mustache or what. About the guitars, I showed the pic to George Gruhn, he thought they might be a Regal brand, but was unsure. Another collector of these guitars (Google Bluesbox Collection) thought they were a brand of Kay. I thought the top was a Kalamazoo. I blew it up very large and you can see some sort of emblem under the logo-an oriole? Did all Kalamazoo's back then have pickguard's? There is a good bit of wear on the pickguard area of both guitars...maybe they played till the pickguard's fell off, I hate it when that happens.
Living Blues Magazine might be getting a copy to Honeyboy , we'll see what he says.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2010, 08:34:27 AM by GaRedMud »

Offline onewent

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Re: Mystery Blues Photo
« Reply #55 on: July 20, 2010, 09:05:47 AM »
GaRedMud:  I agree with you, the standing man guitar is more than likely a Gibson-made piece, either Kalamazoo, Carson J. Robeson or other 'branded' Gibsons.  I don't know of any other guitar that had the little bell-like shape of a Kalamazoo KG11, with the truncated upper bout.  Some of these, the Carson J., lacked a pick guard.  Although the guitar shows wear, I don't think the pick guard was 'played off', it never had one.  Besides, the pg's on Gibsons of that era were under the finish/sunburst, and if removed, would leave a huge scar on the top.  The KG11 was basically a new design beginning ca 1933, so this would be a new-ish guitar for the gent standing.  The white script logo likely said 'Carson J. Robeson.  The Gibson Orioles were blond instruments.  But the point is, the guitars date the photo accurately; the id of the two gents, well that's another argument  ..  ;)
Here's a Carson J. I used to own..they're ladder braced guitars, and would have a sound consistent, to some extent, with that of Stellas of the era.


[attachment deleted by admin]
« Last Edit: July 20, 2010, 09:08:53 AM by onewent »

Offline lindy

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Re: Mystery Blues Photo
« Reply #56 on: July 20, 2010, 10:03:36 AM »

Compared to the very rich and detailed post that onewent just gave, I'm going to make the very lightweight observation that the guitars I've seen in pictures of Hacksaw have white trims on the faces and white around the soundholes, which might mean nothing, or an indication of simple stylistic favoritism over the years. My impression of a lot of the old timers is that they did not pay as much attention to the technical aspects of the guitars they purchased as we weenie-types do today, so the fact that a guitar had white trim in those spots may have been sufficient reason for a musician to buy it.

Yes, I'm leaning toward the Hacksaw camp on the photo question. I'm also feeling giddy at the thought of having 93 (94?)-year-old Honeyboy Edwards as an eyewitness who may be able to give a positive ID on the guys in the picture because he was there! Gotta love that!

On a related note, while looking at Stefan's discography page for Hacksaw I noticed two LPs that I'm not familiar with: The Memphis Blues Again, Vols. 1 and 2, on the Echo or Adelphi label, I imagine the second is a reissue. A lot of names I do not recognize. Any feedback on those LPs?

Lindy

Offline onewent

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Re: Mystery Blues Photo
« Reply #57 on: July 20, 2010, 10:18:37 AM »
Oh, and then there's also Zeke's photo of a 'possible' RJ and Johnny Shines  >:D
That was fun, too.  Tom
« Last Edit: July 20, 2010, 10:20:05 AM by onewent »

Offline Mr.OMuck

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Re: Mystery Blues Photo
« Reply #58 on: July 20, 2010, 12:58:51 PM »
The standing fellow does appear to have a cleft lip and the photo of Richard Harney shows a faint scar in that area.
Usually ears & earlobes are a key to identity but its hard to discern the shape of Harney's earlobes in the newer photo. Nevertheless, the nose seems a match as does the chin the high cheekbones and the shape of the mouth and lips, correcting for the cleft and or mustache. I'm going with Richard Harney as the identity of the standing figure.
My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music.
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Offline GaRedMud

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Re: Mystery Blues Photo
« Reply #59 on: March 23, 2011, 11:14:10 AM »
Yes I know this post is old and am not sure if it is bad forum etiquette  to bring it up, just thought a few of you would be interested to know David Honeyboy Edwards was recorded talking about this and another older photo. This was arranged via Living Blues Magazine and Edwards manager. I would attach the audio here, but don't know how.It is interesting hearing him talk about the photo, might put it in a Youtube vid at least.

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