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Charlie hated work like God hates sin. He just natural-born hated it. It didn't look right to him - Charlie Patton, remembered by Son House

Author Topic: 5000 words about Blind Willie Johnson  (Read 1015 times)

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Offline JasO

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5000 words about Blind Willie Johnson
« on: October 30, 2011, 11:31:21 AM »
I?ve just completed an in-depth article on the life and music of Blind Willie Johnson, tapping into ? and in some cases untangling ? every source I could find. These include Johnson?s death certificate and draft card, quotes from his wives Willie B. Harris and Angeline Johnson and his 1930s travelling companion Blind Willie McTell, the original research published in the 1950s all the way through Michael Corcoran?s recent investigative work, and insights from Ry Cooder and Johnny Winter and some members of the Weenie Campbell community.

I?ve also folded-in some interesting information from a pre-World War I brochure from Marlin, Texas, where he grew up, and the Depression-era WPA study of Beaumont, where he spent his final years. And, of course, observations drawn from listening to all of his 78s. I wish I?d known of some of this material when I wrote the liners for Mojo/Columbia?s Blind Willie Johnson: Dark Was the Night CD!

Anyway, if you?re interested, here?s the link: http://jasobrecht.com/blind-willie-johnson-life-music/
« Last Edit: October 30, 2011, 11:49:48 AM by JasO »

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: 5000 words about Blind Willie Johnson
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2011, 12:01:08 PM »
Anyway, if you?re interested, here?s the link
Interested? Interested? Is the Pope catholic?

I've just finished it. You've brilliantly brought together all known disparate pieces of the BWJ jigsaw into one cohesive, informative whole. Keep on keeping on.

Offline blueshome

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Re: 5000 words about Blind Willie Johnson
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2011, 04:46:01 PM »
Very informative and a great summary.

Pity his statements on the guitar playing/tuning miss the mark so often.

Offline BluesCindy

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Re: 5000 words about Blind Willie Johnson
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2011, 05:07:54 PM »
It is indeed informative and a okay summary. Especially some good work on the cities where Johnson played. But I still think that the recent work by Shane Ford is the best work I've seen so far on Johnson. This would have been a great article if it had been written a few years ago but with the new research, I'm not sure how you can write on Johnson without it.


Offline Prof Scratchy

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Re: 5000 words about Blind Willie Johnson
« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2011, 10:02:33 AM »
Quote
Pity his statements on the guitar playing/tuning miss the mark so often/quote]

If you go to the bottom of the article  there's a comments box. Maybe you could suggest corrections, Phil?

Offline blueshome

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Re: 5000 words about Blind Willie Johnson
« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2011, 10:59:37 AM »
Most of the work was done by Mr.Miller and is on Weeniepedia, I'll post a link.

Offline misterjones

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Re: 5000 words about Blind Willie Johnson
« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2011, 11:14:06 AM »
Before I read the above sources, what's the verdict regarding his secular sides, which he supposedly recorded under the name Blind Texas Marlin (if I'm remembering correctly)?

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: 5000 words about Blind Willie Johnson
« Reply #7 on: October 31, 2011, 11:58:29 AM »
Before I read the above sources, what's the verdict regarding his secular sides, which he supposedly recorded under the name Blind Texas Marlin (if I'm remembering correctly)?
You are remembering correctly. To quote the note that follows the Marlin entry in B&GR4 (1997):

They may be non-religious titles by Blind Willie Johnson, who is known to have been born in Marlin Texas. Matrices 147568 to 147571 are religious titles by Johnson

The 1969 B&GR contained an entry for Marlin but song titles then were unknown. This entry notes that Adjacent matrix numbers are by Blind Willie Johnson and Washington Phillips, which indeed they are (Wednesday 5, December 1928).

Not that this gets us anywhere...... :(

What light does Shane Ward through on this?
« Last Edit: October 31, 2011, 12:00:15 PM by Bunker Hill »

 


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