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I don't know much, but what I know, I _really_ know - Alice Stuart, Port Townsend 99

Author Topic: Wardlow tapes about Willie Brown and Charley Patton  (Read 1730 times)

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Offline wreid75

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Wardlow tapes about Willie Brown and Charley Patton
« on: October 21, 2013, 05:02:25 AM »
Has anyone ever cleaned up the below recording of Gayle Dean Wardlow interviewing Henry Austin about Willie Brown, Charley Patton, and William Big Foot Harris.  These two recordings are very difficult to hear what they are saying.  Does anyone have any detailed insight to what is being said?

http://musicman.mtsu.edu/broadsides/Wardlow/pdfs/cpm_94048_tta182o_010101_pres_HenryAustin.pdf
no. 5 Time 8:16--Talks about William Harris and how Charley Patton and Willie Brown were the best musicians Austin ever saw
no. 7 Time 18:42--Remembers playing with Charlie Patton and Willie Brown

Offline TallahatchieTrot

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Re: Wardlow tapes about Willie Brown and Charley Patton
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2013, 12:38:21 AM »
I will go back in a few days and see If I can decipher what Austin told me. I was using a portable taper with batteries and when they got weak--no way to know when--the machine did not record well and not at all sometimes. The mike was also inferior and did not record well at times. People would talk with me when I had a portable taper and some did not have electricity in 1967.
  Austin was only one of two persons who ever saw Harris in person. Hayes McMullan also saw him at a dance/frolic a Swan Lake as did Austin.
Also Mattie Delaney spent time playing in both Tchula and at Swan Lake before she ran away to Memphis.
  I will go back by Friday Weird 75 and see how much I can translate for you and other weenies. then I can post some information or quotes as I understand them. I do not know how to raise the volume. MTSU's best engineer tried when they copied the original tapes back in the 1990s. gayle dean wardlow

Offline wreid75

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Re: Wardlow tapes about Willie Brown and Charley Patton
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2013, 04:53:44 AM »
Awesome!  I really appreciate it.  1960s technology had its limitations.  I can't tell you enough how much I appreciate having the ability to go online and being able to listen and study from your recordings.  I guess I understand why other researchers are reluctant to allow their information to be freely available to this small community of enthusiasts but your generosity to do so isn't taken for granted.  Hopefully in time other recorded libraries from New England to Tennessee to Texas and beyond from your contemporaries will be available for us all.  Thank you again.

Offline Hamhound

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Re: Wardlow tapes about Willie Brown and Charley Patton
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2013, 05:50:35 AM »
+1 in being Extremely Interested in cleaner audio - or transcriptions - of this material from Henry Austin.   
Vital history.

Offline jostber

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Re: Wardlow tapes about Willie Brown and Charley Patton
« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2013, 03:52:51 PM »
Would be very interesting to hear more on this. Any updates on this Gayle?


Offline TallahatchieTrot

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Re: Wardlow tapes about Willie Brown and Charley Patton
« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2013, 08:52:13 PM »
I must sadly admit I have been overwhelmed and have had a small but minor stroke that has slowed me down. ASAP when I catch up, I will listen to the Austin tapes and try to decipher what I hear he was trying to say about Patton/Brown/ William HArris and Mattie Delaney. Thanks for understanding. If someone would post what they hear on the interview I will try and follow that and tell you what I hear him saying. That would make it a little easier for me. Can you Weird 75 do that and send me your transcription of the interview at songwriterdellta@yahoo.com.
Also I have said it before. DO NOT buy a Patton book off Amazon. Ed Komara is reworking the manuscript so it can be republished within a year we hope. I own the book totally not Steve Calt's estate, so it will be published again as Ed is working on revising the organization and adding new facts since 1988 when it was originally published. gdw

Offline TallahatchieTrot

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Re:William Harris from Henry Austin
« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2013, 09:22:59 PM »
Austin remembered some of Harris's songs--like Bullfrog and Hot Time Blues.
I just listened to Austin on Wiliam harris. Here is what I hear. He met him at a juke in Swan Lake. Saw him there about 3 times. They nicknamed him Big Foot William cause of his big feet. Hayes McMullan from nearby Sumner/Brazil community in Tallahatchie County met him at Swan Lake also and also called him Big Foot William.
Austin said Harris told him personally he was from Port Gibson on the Mississippi River below Vicksburg.
Austin says Harris was traveling in the Delta by himself and Austin also played the same night at the Swan Lake juke. He also saw Patton and Brown together at Swan Lake--Thought Brown was better guitar player than Patton.
  Asked what happened to Harris?. No one knew. He had been back to swan Lake about 5 years ago--Austin had gone back there. They told him Harris  had left/ been gone from there for many years. No one knew where Harris left for or went to.
Note H. C. Speir told me he thought he found Harris for Gennett and sent him to Birminghan. Speir said he found him at a Sunday picnic near Carpenter, MS, down below Jackson on the way to PORT GIBSON. So that makes sense what Austin recalled. Austin played guitar but only in natural tuning and not in Spanish.
  He drank a lot as did Harris and others who played at the Swan Lake juke house on Saturday nights. It was AFTER 27 High Water that Austin says he met Harris.  That's what I hear. I will listen to the Mattie Delaney portion next week. I hope this clarifies some of what Austin said and was telling me. Only Austin and McMullan ever saw Harris play live in the Delta and both called him BIG FOOT WILLIAM. No one knew his last name. They both saw him at Swan Lake in lower Tallahatchie County. I hope this helps  WC followers. gayle dean wardlow

Offline TallahatchieTrot

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Re: Wardlow tapes about Willie Brown and Charley Patton
« Reply #7 on: December 03, 2013, 09:27:28 PM »
WC followers. I just posted what I heard on Austin tape a few minutes ago but on wrong blog. I added it to the Mattie Delaney blog. So go there for information on William Harris from Henry Austin.
Will listen to Delaney comments next week and post what I hear Austin and MS Berry said about Mattie. gdw

Offline jostber

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Re: Wardlow tapes about Willie Brown and Charley Patton
« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2013, 01:26:50 AM »
I must sadly admit I have been overwhelmed and have had a small but minor stroke that has slowed me down. ASAP when I catch up, I will listen to the Austin tapes and try to decipher what I hear he was trying to say about Patton/Brown/ William HArris and Mattie Delaney. Thanks for understanding. If someone would post what they hear on the interview I will try and follow that and tell you what I hear him saying. That would make it a little easier for me. Can you Weird 75 do that and send me your transcription of the interview at songwriterdellta@yahoo.com.
Also I have said it before. DO NOT buy a Patton book off Amazon. Ed Komara is reworking the manuscript so it can be republished within a year we hope. I own the book totally not Steve Calt's estate, so it will be published again as Ed is working on revising the organization and adding new facts since 1988 when it was originally published. gdw

Sorry to hear that you have been ill, hoping for a good recovery. Thanks for your great work in this research. Looking forward to the updated Patton book!


Offline jostber

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Re: Wardlow tapes about Willie Brown and Charley Patton
« Reply #9 on: December 13, 2013, 02:34:24 AM »
Any news on the Delaney comments? :)


Offline TallahatchieTrot

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Re: Wardlow tapes about Willie Brown and Charley Patton
« Reply #10 on: December 18, 2013, 04:25:39 AM »
Randy and I still face the same road block. He traced a woman named  Doyle to Memphis who died aroun1973. But the state of Tennessee will not issue a death certificate to anyone but a surviving family member. If that document  list her father as Bob Doyle---as Lilly Berry said her father was named, then it is the right Mattie. Ms Berry said her real name was Mattie Doyle and she ran away to Memphis around the High Water  time or shortly there after and he went looking for her but could not find her. She was already playing the guitar when Berry met her. She said she was a cousin to Mattie Doyle.
So there is no WAY to definitely prove this Doyle is the right one without that dc and we cannot find a way for the state to issue us one. gdw

Offline jostber

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Re: Wardlow tapes about Willie Brown and Charley Patton
« Reply #11 on: December 25, 2013, 12:23:32 PM »
Thanks, Gayle. Hope this can be solved.


Offline Stuart

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Re: Wardlow tapes about Willie Brown and Charley Patton
« Reply #12 on: December 25, 2013, 01:32:32 PM »
...But the state of Tennessee will not issue a death certificate to anyone but a surviving family member...

Makes sense, given that it is a legal document. --But will they let you look at it in their archives and in the presence of a supervisor so you can take notes,  etc.? Given all of the historical research  that requires some sort of evidence and/or verification, I would think that this might be a possibility.

 


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