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It struck me how a man could get such harmony from six wires and a piece of wood - Larry Johnson, Port Townsend 98

Author Topic: Biographical Queries  (Read 3326 times)

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Offline Johnm

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Biographical Queries
« on: December 05, 2013, 08:44:56 AM »
Hi all,
I was wondering if anyone knew where Walter Beasley was from?  I know Sylvester Weaver was from Louisville, but is it known that Beasley was from there, too?  Also, I wondered if anyone knew where Lonnie Coleman was from?
All best,
Johnm

Offline dj

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Re: Biographical Queries
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2013, 04:33:11 AM »
I searched my CD notes and my library last night and couldn't find any information on either Beasley or Coleman, John.  Neither one appears in the index of the LeBlanc/Eagle book, which suggests that nothing much is known about either man.  Or that the index is incomplete and inaccurate.  Or both.   

Offline Johnm

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Re: Biographical Queries
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2013, 12:27:34 PM »
Thanks for that information, dj.  I had an idea that they both might qualify for the "unknown" point of origin in Weeniepedia.
All best,
Johnm

Offline Johnm

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Re: Biographical Queries
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2014, 08:40:21 PM »
Hi all,
I've been listening to a bunch of the Tefteller calendar CDs and one of them has two tracks sung by Jenny Pope.  The guitarist backing here sounds like it might be someone Indianapolis-based, a bit like Scrapper Blackwell, even more like Pete Franklin, but I think it is too early for it to be him.  Jenny Pope's singing sounds an awful lot like Mattie Delaney, a very intense head-tone.  I was wondering if someone with a copy of D,G & R had information on her session, her accompanist and where she was from.
All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: April 25, 2014, 05:23:58 AM by Johnm »

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Biographical Queries
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2014, 09:19:52 PM »
HI John - D, G & R/ B&GR has only unknown accompanists. Ditto Memphis Blues Vol 4 on Document. Neither confirm who Jenny Pope is.

B&GR has a note that she might be Jenny Clayton, who sang three songs with the Memphis Jug Band: I Packed My Suitcase, Started to the Train; State of Tennessee Blues; and Bob Lee Junior Blues.

This is certainly plausible to me, as both singers have serious head tone, although the notes to the Document disc strongly disagree that it's Clayton. I don't see the basis for the objection myself.

One thing is pretty clear to me though. The accompaniment is surely by someone involved with the Memphis Jug Band, either Will Shade or possibly Charlie Burse (even more likely?). The guitar parts to both her tunes are very strongly reminiscent of Spider's Nest Blues (sung by Hattie Hart). The Jenny Pope songs were recorded in Memphis, and Mr Postman Blues has very Memphis Jug Band-like jug.

Here's Spider's Nest Blues, in case you don't have it. Burse is on this record.

« Last Edit: April 24, 2014, 09:25:15 PM by uncle bud »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Biographical Queries
« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2014, 10:03:05 PM »
Thanks very much for the information and the track, uncle bud.  It is certainly the same guitarist as played on the Jenny Pope cuts.  Did Charlie Burse ever play six-string guitar?  I thought he was strictly a tenor guitar player.  Will Shade seems a good candidate.
All best,
Johnm

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Biographical Queries
« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2014, 05:30:19 AM »
Yeah, I don't know whether Burse ever played anything else, and B&GR doesn't differentiate between guitar and tenor guitar unfortunately, listing him simply as guitar.  Will Shade was pretty inventive in his guitar parts in a non-flashy way. I should revisit some postwar recordings to see if anything has a similar sound. I coulda sworn I've heard this accompaniment used again in another context but can't place it right now. I can see why you would say Indianapolis, and that was another reason I wondered about Burse, simply because it is a bit of a different sound than I would expect from Shade, and I know less about Burse.

Offline Johnm

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Re: Biographical Queries
« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2014, 09:37:39 AM »
Hi all,
I was wondering if there is any biographical information on Seth Richard?  Does anyone know where he came from, or short of that, where he was recorded?  Thanks for any information on him.
All best,
Johnm

Offline Pan

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Re: Biographical Queries
« Reply #8 on: May 30, 2014, 10:05:42 AM »
Hi all,
I was wondering if there is any biographical information on Seth Richard?  Does anyone know where he came from, or short of that, where he was recorded?  Thanks for any information on him.
All best,
Johnm

Hi John

According to Dixon, Godrich & Rye, Richard's two recorded songs, "Lonely Seth Blues" and "Skoodeldum Doo", were recorded in New York on Tuesday, 15 May 1928.

D.G. & R also assume that the Richard is "Skoodle Dum Doo", in the duo Skoodle Dum Doo And Sheffield, who recorded 4 songs, probably in Newark, N.J.,  c. late 1943; "Tampa Blues", "Gas Ration Blues", Broome Street Blues" and "West Kinney Street Blues". They are not saying on what this assumption is based.

Hope this helps.

Pan
« Last Edit: May 30, 2014, 10:08:09 AM by Pan »

Offline ScottN

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Re: Biographical Queries
« Reply #9 on: May 30, 2014, 11:13:53 AM »
An Internet search turned up a thread at the Blindman forum. A post 1/14/10 has liner notes by Gerard Herzhaft to the Document CD Rare Country Blues Vol 1 1928 - 1937

"In 1928 on the East Coast, Seth recorded a small hit for Columbia, Skoodle Dum Doo. The two titles selected here were recorded in New York or across the Hudson in Newark for a tiny label. Little is known of Seth Richard nor of Sheffield who accompanied him on guitar and harmonica. According to Bruce Bastin, the were originally from Florida."

Our own Oddenda posts on that thread 1/15/10 and notes that the connection is probably because (singer) Skoodle Dum Doo's composer credit listed on two of the four sides is "S. Richard." He believes the partners full name is "John" Sheffield.

There is other speculation on the thread of Virginia origins and The Florida link may be from one of the song's being Tampa Blues although Bastin may have had different reasons for believing Florida.

On Weenie, a search for Seth Richard leads to some additional liner notes in the 12 String players not from Georgia thread in reply #29 by DJ on 10/4/06.

 
Thanks,
           Scott
« Last Edit: May 30, 2014, 11:18:22 AM by ScottN »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Biographical Queries
« Reply #10 on: May 30, 2014, 01:46:33 PM »
Thanks Pan and Scott for the information on Seth Richard.  It sounds like there is no conclusive information regarding where he was from, with some different theories being floated but nothing certain determined.  Thanks for tracking down the information that is out there.
All best,
Johnm

Offline ScottN

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Re: Biographical Queries
« Reply #11 on: May 30, 2014, 02:22:21 PM »
Hi John,

Bastin's Red River Blues (pages 298 and 322) actually makes the case for Seth Richard being from Bedford County, Virginia based on interviews with locals there and the narrow geographical common knowledge of the song Tampa Blues in that area of Virginia back to the 1930s (vs the recording in 1943).

Thanks,
              Scott

Offline dj

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Re: Biographical Queries
« Reply #12 on: May 31, 2014, 06:59:27 AM »
Eagle and LeBlanc have the following on Seth Richard:

"Seth Richard (v/g/kazoo) (North Carolina, probably Halifax County, 1905 - after 1944)  Seth recorded "Skoodle Um Doo" for Columbia (1928).  It was apparently his theme song, because he adopted it as a nom de disque.  Seth was in Enfield [North Carolina, just south of the Virginia border] in 1930.  Seth recorded as "Skoodle Um Doo and Sheffield" for Regis/Manor (1943).  "Tampa Blues" seems to relate to Brown Pollard's similar song from Amherst County, Virginia (1930s), Known mainly in South Central Virginia.  Seth's Manor titles both celebrate streets in Newark, New Jersey."

So putting all the information cited in this thread together, it seems that Richard was probably born in North Carolina, spent the bulk of his life along the NC/Virginia border, and may have moved to Newark New Jersey late in life.


Edited to correct typo in Richard's name.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2014, 09:02:45 AM by dj »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Biographical Queries
« Reply #13 on: May 31, 2014, 08:21:00 AM »
Thanks for the additional information on Seth Richard (Richart?), Scott and dj.
All best,
Johnm

Offline dj

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Re: Biographical Queries
« Reply #14 on: May 31, 2014, 09:04:19 AM »
Quote
Thanks for the additional information on Seth Richard (Richart?)

It's Richard.  I've fixed the typo. 

 


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