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We knows nothing much about the blues... we called it blues, we called it breakdowns, we called it blues and some people say it's square dances... We didn't know what it was; the achin'-hearted blues is slow, breakdowns is fast - Percy Thomas, who played in the Son Simms Four with Muddy Waters, interviewed by Paul Oliver, from Blues Off The Record

Author Topic: New 1963 Mississippi John Hurt recordings  (Read 6390 times)

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Offline eagle rockin daddy

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Re: New 1963 Mississippi John Hurt recordings
« Reply #45 on: November 08, 2011, 04:05:32 AM »
In Bob Tilling's book, Rev. Davis is quoted as saying that when they asked for tobacco at the store they asked for Mr. Prince Albert.

On his last CD, Dave Van Ronk recalls talking with John Hurt about Hoskins, and how things ended badly and Mr. Hurt said that if it wasn't for Hoskins, he (MJH) would still be picking cotton.

Thanks to all for giving us this incredible piece of history.

Mike (not Mr.)

Offline Lyle Lofgren

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Re: New 1963 Mississippi John Hurt recordings
« Reply #46 on: November 08, 2011, 04:54:49 AM »

The encounter must have been strange on both sides and the impression I get is of Hoskins trying (too?) hard and Hurt being as uncommunicative as he could get away with without upsetting Hoskins.

Not surprising, considering that Hurt thought Hoskins was probably an FBI agent. The other night, we saw a documentary, "Cointelpro: The FBI's War on Black America." Evidently, Hurt was right to be circumspect.

Lyle

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: New 1963 Mississippi John Hurt recordings
« Reply #47 on: November 08, 2011, 04:57:05 AM »
In Bob Tilling's book, Rev. Davis is quoted as saying that when they asked for tobacco at the store they asked for Mr. Prince Albert.
In 1947 Sib, Natchez and Leroy (John Lee Williamson, Broonzy and Memphis Slim) have a laugh about this very topic on the 1957 Blues In The Mississippi Night LP. I think this may have been reprinted in Lomax's Land Where The Blues Began.

Offline Mr.OMuck

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Re: New 1963 Mississippi John Hurt recordings
« Reply #48 on: November 08, 2011, 12:55:06 PM »
South, North, East, West, I never got the thing of calling these older men by their first names. Calling REVEREND Davis, Gary? That was so jarring, so wrong sounding to my ear. Did these kids actually consider themselves his equal? Just bad manners anyway you cut it, across racial boundaries or not. Respect for age is one of the bedrocks of civilization and now that I'm nearing the big 60 I promise to kick the living shit out of any piss ant who doesn't address me as Mr. or Sir! Kicking the shit outta piss ants another bedrock of civilization! ;)
My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music.
Vladimir Nabokov (1899 - 1977)

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Offline eagle rockin daddy

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Re: New 1963 Mississippi John Hurt recordings
« Reply #49 on: November 08, 2011, 09:19:15 PM »
ok, Mister Sir Mr. O'Muck!

Mike


Offline Richard

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Re: New 1963 Mississippi John Hurt recordings
« Reply #50 on: November 09, 2011, 04:42:44 AM »
Young Muck, as your elder you'd better call me Mister then.
(That's enough of that. Ed)

Offline Mr.OMuck

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Re: New 1963 Mississippi John Hurt recordings
« Reply #51 on: November 09, 2011, 06:35:16 AM »
OK Mr Richard sir!
My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music.
Vladimir Nabokov (1899 - 1977)

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Offline Chezztone

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Re: New 1963 Mississippi John Hurt recordings
« Reply #52 on: November 09, 2011, 02:08:14 PM »
Bruce -- Thanks for clearing up the capo question. My interpretation was incorrect; the one in the CD notes apparently is correct, that Hurt chose to place the capo there to help him sing through his cold.
TonyGilroy -- Thanks for confirming that you had similar feelings to mine (uncomfortable) upon listening to the CD.
Others who responded -- Thanks for discussing this difficult subject. I lived for many years in the Deep South and hung out with (and played with and sometimes interviewed) musicians and others of all social strata, so I am not speaking as a naive outsider when I say the relationship between the two men on this CD makes me uncomfortable. Regardless of whether Hurt was asked (or willing) to call his young visitor by his first name, the visitor still could have called his host "Mr. Hurt." I still believe that would have made a world of difference in the whole interaction and in the music.
Oh, and a correction: someone referred to Alan Lomax's interview with Willie McTell provoking similar discomfort in listeners. Actually it is JOHN Lomax who did that interview with McTell.
Cheers, SC

Offline Rivers

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Re: New 1963 Mississippi John Hurt recordings
« Reply #53 on: November 09, 2011, 08:21:52 PM »
Just another perspective that might be worth considering. 1963 was pretty early to be disrespecting our elders, but what do I know, I was only 11 at the time and 2000 miles to the east. It was routine by the time I was 17, there was a revolution going on. Long live the revolution.

Add to that the complexities of racial interaction (which thankfully I'm mostly free from) and you might conclude it was pretty ballsy of the interviewer to not play those.. I hesitate to say the word... games.

I guess it comes down to asking how far can you go with breaking down useless social conventions before it becomes counter productive?

As I say, just another angle.

 


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