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Author Topic: W.C. Handy at the Library of Congress, 1938  (Read 911 times)

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Offline Pan

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W.C. Handy at the Library of Congress, 1938
« on: June 13, 2013, 09:38:07 AM »
Hi all

I came by this interview of W.C. Handy, made for the library of congress in 1938 by Alan Lomax. Apart from speaking, Handy plays guitar and sings quite a few tunes too. I found them somewhat interesting, compared to his instrumental march band arrangements, that I had only previously heard.

http://www.nodepression.com/profiles/blogs/w-c-handy-interview-library-of-congress-w-alan-lomax

Cheers

Pan
« Last Edit: June 13, 2013, 09:47:24 AM by Pan »

Offline jrn

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Re: W.C. Handy at the Library of Congress, 1938
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2013, 10:36:00 AM »
Thanks for posting Pan! I really enjoyed it.
Quitman, Mississippi

Offline jphauser

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Re: W.C. Handy at the Library of Congress, 1938
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2013, 06:31:55 PM »
Great! Some really interesting storytelling and history from Handy.

And if you've really only heard instrumental versions of Handy's songs, I recommend you listen to the album Louis Armstrong plays W.C. Handy which is available from Amazon.com for only 4.99 (US dollars). 

Here is a video with some songs from the CD


Offline Pan

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Re: W.C. Handy at the Library of Congress, 1938
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2013, 04:20:32 PM »
Thanks for the link jphauser. Satchmo is always worth a listen.

According to the B&G, Handy sang on two commercial recordings as well, with his orchestra.

One was "Loveless Love", from Tuesday, 26 December 1939, which you can hear here:

http://archive.org/details/W.C.Handy-LovelessLove

The other one was, "Way Down South Where The Blues Begin", from the same sassion, but I couldn't find that one online.

Finally, here's her daughter, singing "Loveless Love" in 1922, with Handy's Memphis Blues Band:

~ Loveless Love~ W C Handy sung by Katherine Handy 1922

Cheers

Pan


Offline jphauser

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Re: W.C. Handy at the Library of Congress, 1938
« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2013, 07:28:04 PM »
According to the B&G, Handy sang on two commercial recordings as well, with his orchestra.

Thanks Pan.  What is the B&G? (I have a feeling I might be embarassing myself with this question.)

I enjoyed the additional recordings of "Loveless Love" from W.C. Handy and his daughter.   I love the opening line "Love is like a hydrant."

According to Francis Davis's book The History of the Blues, Handy recorded an LP of his music in 1953 when he was almost 80 years old and completely blind.  It was titled Blues Revisited: A Unique Series of Authentic Performances by the Legendary W.C. Handy and was on the Heritage label.  Davis describes it as offering "utterly charming interpretations of "Memphis Blues," "St. Louis Blues,"  and others of his most famous songs, accompanying himself on guitar and trumpet on a few of them."  The liner notes to the Louis Armstrong Plays W.C. Handy album describes Heritage's Handy album as a recording of Handy in conversation and performance.   It goes on to say that the "recording has remained unknown except to a handful of collectors."  It would be great if some label would re-issue it.


Offline Pan

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Re: W.C. Handy at the Library of Congress, 1938
« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2013, 11:18:25 PM »
What is the B&G?
Sorry, I was being lazy. By the B&G I meant "Blues & Gospel Records 1890-1943, 4th edition, compiled by Robert M.W. Dixon, John Godrich, and Howard Rye".
Obviously the book isn't aware of the 50's recording, so thanks again for the additional information.

Cheers

Pan

Edited to correct: "1890-1943" instead of "1980-1943"  :P
« Last Edit: June 17, 2013, 05:28:18 AM by Pan »

Offline jphauser

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Re: W.C. Handy at the Library of Congress, 1938
« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2013, 06:49:42 AM »
What is the B&G?
By the B&G I meant "Blues & Gospel Records 1890-1943, 4th edition, compiled by Robert M.W. Dixon, John Godrich, and Howard Rye".

Thanks a bunch!   I've been researching "John Henry" and have been trying to put together a comprehensive list of recordings, especially by African-Americans.  The B&G will be a big help.  A local university's library has a copy of it. 

 


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