Dienstag, 7. Dezember 2010

"Country Music" from behind the Iron Curtain....

It sure sounded "Country" (with the canned applause and everything) and must have given GDR citizens a similar feeling as when watching Marlboro commercials on West German TV -- even though hardly anyone could understand the lyrics and despite the fact that in 1985 none of the musicians were likely to "ever play in Texas" and that it was next to impossible in the GDR to be "a thousand miles away from home waitin' for a train"....

I'm told (from a reliable source at WikiLeaks) that a take of "Don't Fence Me In" was attempted, but aborted by the Stasi "observer" in the studio....


Montag, 6. Dezember 2010

John Greenway - Obvious Source of Dylan's Talking Blues (expanded article, originally published in 1996)

Back in 1996, while going through my non-Dylan records, I came across an album, I hadn't listened to for quite a while (maybe because on first listening I had deemed it too "scholarly" and too far removed from the poignancy of Woody's and/or Dylan's talking blues).

Upon consulting the booklet furnished with the album (John Greenway, "Talking Blues," Folkways, released in 1958), I was struck by the many links (too many to be coincidental, IMHO) to talking blues on tapes of early Dylan performances (especially Minnesota Party Tape 1960 and Indian Neck Festival, May 6, 1961) and his own compositions in that genre ("Talkin' New York,"Talking Bear Mountain," " etc.).

I honestly believe that (besides Harry Smith's "Anthology of American Folk Music", also on Folkways) this is one of the major single sources of Dylan's early repertoire and that some of the Guthrie talking blues were learned "second-hand" from this album.

The album contains a total of 15 talking blues, of which 6 are by Guthrie or at least Guthrie-related ("Talking Union" is the old Almanac Singers song and Pete Seeger might have contributed to this one along with others in the group besides Woody):

- "Talking Dust Bowl,"                                               
- "Talking Columbia Blues," 
- "Talking Miner," 
- "Talking Union," 
- "Talking Sailor," 
and (most interesting of all in the Dylan context) "Talking Subway." 

Dylan's Minnesota Party Tape, Fall 1960, features two of these Guthrie songs,
- "Talking Columbia" and "Talking Sailor" (aka "Talking Merchant Marine"),
as well as one non-Guthrie song from the Greenway album,
- "Talking Inflation Blues" (aka "Talking Lobbyist," written by Tom Glazer).

Even the sequence of the songs on Dylan's tape is exactly the same as on the Greenway album.

Between "Talking Sailor" and "Talking Inflation Blues", we find Dylan's earliest self-penned attempt in this genre, "Talking Hugh Brown." 

Other songs from Greenway's album contain lines paraphrased in early Dylan talking blues: 

"eatin' hog eye. Love chittlins." 
(Greenway, "Original Talking Blues")  
"He's eatin' pizza. He's eatin' chitlins'..."
(Dylan, "I Shall Be Free")                          
"There ain't no use of me workin' so much, I got a gal that brings me the mush..."
"There ain't no use of me workin' so hard, I got a gal in the white folks' yard..."
(Greenway, "New Talking Blues")
"Oh, there ain't no use in me workin' so heavy, I got a woman who works on the levee...."   
(Dylan, "I Shall Be Free")

"Women screamin'. Babies yellin'. Me a-hidin'."
(Greenway, "Talking Butcher")

"Women screamin', fists a-flyin', babies cryin', cops a-comin', me a-runnin'" 
(Dylan, "Talkin' Bear Mountain Picnic Massacre Blues")

What really gives this album away as an almost certain source for some of Bob Dylan's early repertoire is "Talking Subway" (Woody Guthrie):

Of the eleven stanzas, according to the liner notes,
"the first four may be found in a small collection of Guthrie's songs, issued in 1947"
("American Folksong," edited by Moses Asch).

"The last seven stanzas were obtained by Dr. Greenway from Guthrie at a later date 
and have never been published or recorded before."

The striking similarities between "Talking Subway" and Bob's "Talkin' New York" are too numerous to list here.

Therefore, I just want to concentrate on images found in the last seven (never before published) stanzas, which crop up in similar form in Dylan's song:

"Talking Subway:"
"Well, I got me a job in this man's town..."(5th stanza)     
"Talkin' New York:"
"Well, I got a harmonica job..."(5th stanza)
"...I finally got a job in New York Town."(6th stanza)

"Talking Subway:"
"Well, I joined the union to win my rights..."(7th stanza)
"You got to join the union, got to pay your dues..."(11th stanza)  
"Talkin' New York:"
"Even joined the union and paid m' dues."(6th stanza)

In addition to these rather blatant "borrowings" from "Talking Subway",
"Talkin' New York" even contains imagery derived from other songs on Greenway's album.

"But they got a lot of forks 'n' knives, and they gotta cut somethin',"
echoes lines from "Talking Butcher":
"'Cause he wants to cut me with that butcher knife. He got fire in his eyes. Boy! He wants to cut."

Greenway's album even seems to have influenced Dylan as late as 1965:
Just compare these lines from "New Talking Blues" (originally recorded by Chris Bouchillon in 1928) to the well-known chorus of Dylan's "Tombstone Blues:"

"Mama's in the pantry fixin' up the yeast,
Sister's in the kitchen preparin' for the feast..." 

Frankly, I consider it rather "sloppy" research by Todd Harvey, who cites my 1996 article (on p. 103 of his The Formative Dylan), but fails to correctly identify Tom Glazer's "Talking Inflation Blues", referring to it by its rather common (albeit wrong) title in Dylan collectors' circles as "Talking Lobbyist" and "origin unknown" -- all it would have taken him to come up with the CORRECT TITLE would have been consulting the liner notes to the Greenway album (which were quoted by me).

In the light of "scholarship of such magnitude", I am certainly not offended, when Todd Harvey (farther down on the same page) dismisses my 1996 findings, seemingly altogether, by claiming:

"In order for Greenway to be the basis of 'Talkin' New York', however, we must agree that Dylan was influenced by one or more of the seven 'lost' verses...." (ibid.).

I truly think that I have proven JUST THAT (with several examples) - additionally, the paraphrasing of imagery from "Talking Butcher" for another line of "Talkin' New York", the exact sequence of three songs from Greenway's album in one of Dylan's earliest recorded performances, and the obviously persisting influence of songs from this album up to 1965, makes Todd Harvey's dismissal of my findings rather absurd and illogical -- he obviously did not even consult the source (liner notes) I quoted, but feels compelled to come up with a rather vague "theory" of his own (in order to not having to commit himself one way or another) :

"Many contemporary folk revivalists such as Pete Seeger regularly performed talking blues..." (p. 104)

And furthermore, I cannot understand how his highly pretentious (but frequently sloppily researched) book became "2002 ARSC Finalist, Best Research in Recorded Folk"....

Some recordings by "The Talking Comedian of the South" Chris Bouchillon
(arranged chronologically by date of release, NOT by date of recording): 

Atlanta, GA, November 04, 1926     
01 Talking Blues 
02 Hannah                                          

Atlanta, GA, April 05, 1927
03 Born in Hard Luck
04 Medicine Show 
05 My Fat Girl
06 Let It Alone

Atlanta, GA, March 26, 1927
07 Waltz Me Round Again Willie
08 You Look Awful Good To Me

Atlanta, GA, April 16, 1928
09 New Talking Blues
10 Old Blind Heck
11 I've Been Married Three Times
12 My Wife's Wedding
13 Oyster Stew

Atlanta, GA, October 29, 1928
14 Adam & Eve, Part 1
15 Adam & Eve, Part 2

Atlanta, GA, October 30, 1928
16 Ambitious Father
17 Oh Miss Lizzie
18 Girls Of Today

(Discographical info from http://www.78discography.com/COL15000D.htm

JOHN GREENWAY - "TALKING BLUES" (1958) - excerpts only (to illustrate this post)
Please support Smithsonian Folkways by purchasing the album or considerably higher quality downloads.

ROBERT A. ZIMMERMAN - four "talking blues" (Minnesota Party Tape, 1960)
These recordings were done with the artist's permission and prior to his recording contract. 

Any (possibly still) copyrighted items are posted here for "nonprofit educational purposes" (one of the criteria of "fair use", Copyright Act of 1976, 17 U.S.C. § 107).
Original content (c) Manfred Helfert 1996 & 2010.

Freitag, 3. Dezember 2010

"Western Ranch Party" streaming from NL....

At 123video.nl:

More interesting streams from the NL -- The Old American Barn Dance

At 123video.nl:

1992 "Bobfest" (Bob Dylan's 30th Anniversary Concert) online as streams from NL

I was just alerted that the 1992 "Bobfest" (Bob Dylan's 30th Anniversary Concert) is online as streams from NL.Given the fact that Dylan content is "closed down" left and right all over the net, this might be your last chance to watch this extraordinary tribute concert. The third segment includes footage from the rehearsals for that event.

I have embedded links to the streams -- none of the material is hosted on this site!

Donnerstag, 2. Dezember 2010

Sam McGee, 1928 to 1946 Recordings (with Uncle Dave Macon, Kirk McGee) (28 tracks)

Chicago, IL, July 25, 1928 (22 MB zipped MONO mp3):
01 Uncle Dave Macon - From Earth to Heaven                                                     
02 Uncle Dave Macon - The Coon That Had the Razor                                              
03 Uncle Dave Macon & Sam McGee - Buddy Won't You Roll Down the Line                           
04 Uncle Dave Macon - Worthy of Estimation                                                     
05 Uncle Dave Macon & Sam McGee - I'm the Child to Fight                                       
06 Uncle Dave Macon - Over the Road I'm Bound to Go                                            
07 Sam McGee - Easy Rider                                                                      
08 Sam McGee - Chevrolet Car                                                                   
09 Sam McGee - As Willie And Mary Strolled By The Seashore                                     
10 Sam McGee - The Ship Without A Sail                                                         
11 Uncle Dave Macon - The New Ford Car                                                         

Chicago, IL, July 26, 1928 (5.93 zipped MONO mp3):
01 Uncle Dave Macon - The Gal That Got Stuck on Eberything She Said                            
02 Uncle Dave Macon & Sam McGee - Comin' Round the Mountain                                    
03 Uncle Dave Macon - Governor Al Smith                                                        
Jackson, MS, December 17, 1930 (12 MB zipped MONO mp3):
01 Uncle Dave Macon - Tennessee Red Fox Chase                                                  
02 Uncle Dave Macon - The Wreck of the Tennessee Gravy Train3                                   
03 Uncle Dave Macon - Oh Baby, You Done Me Wrong                                             
04 Uncle Dave Macon - She's Got the Money Too                                                  
05 Uncle Dave Macon - Oh Lovin' Babe - OMITTED                                                         
06 Uncle Dave Macon - Mysteries of the World                                                   
07 Uncle Dave Macon 
- Come on Buddie, Don't You Want to Go - OMITTED                                   
08 Uncle Dave Macon - Go On, Nora Lee - OMITTED                                                         
09 Uncle Dave Macon - Was You There When They Took My Lord Away            

Richmond, IN, August 14, 1934 (6.42 MB zipped MONO mp3):
01 Uncle Dave Macon & McGee Brothers - Thank God for Everything                                
02 Uncle Dave Macon & McGee Brothers - When the Train Comes Along                             
03 McGee Brothers - Brown's Ferry Blues                                                          

Richmond, IN, August 15, 1934 (6.16 zipped MONO mp3):
01 Sam McGee - Railroad Blues                                                                  
Uncle Dave Macon - Texas Tornado - OMITTED
02 Uncle Dave Macon & McGee Brothers - Don't Get Weary Children                                
03 Uncle Dave Macon & McGee Brothers - He's Up With the Angels Now           

Grand Ole Opry, Nashville, TN, c. 1946 (3.56 zipped MONO mp3):
01 Uncle Dave Macon - Death of John Henry (Steel Driving Man)                                  
02 Uncle Dave Macon - From Jerusalem to Jericho                             

DOWNLOAD ALL 28 TRACKS (56 MB zipped MONO mp3)

BECAUSE OF THEIR COPYRIGHTED STATUS (first release in 1960s or later).

Montag, 29. November 2010

The (Original) Carter Family - 1935 ARC Recordings (40 tracks)

New York, NY, May 05, 1935 (5.74 zipped MONO mp3)

01 Carter Family, The - Glory to the Lamb                                                      
02 Carter Family, The - Behind Those Stone Walls                                               
03 Carter Family, The - Sinking in the Lonesome Sea       

New York, NY, May 06, 1935 (8.93 zipped MONO mp3)
01 Carter Family, The - He Took a White Rose from Her Hair.                              
02 Carter Family, The - Can the Circle Be Unbroken (Bye and Bye)                              
03 Carter Family, The - Let's Be Lovers Again                                             
04 Carter Family, The - Your Mother Still Prays (For You, Jack)                                
05 Carter Family, The - Kissing Is a Crime      

New York, NY, May 07, 1935 (20 MB zipped MONO mp3)
01 Carter Family, The - Don't Forget Me Little Darling                                       
02 Carter Family, The - Sad and Lonesome Day                                                   
03 Carter Family, The - By the Touch of Her Hand                                               
04 Carter Family, The - East Virginia Blues No. 2                                              
05 Carter Family, The - My Old Virginia Home                                                
06 Carter Family, The - My Virginia Rose Is Blooming                                          
07 Carter Family, The - My Texas Girl                                                       
08 Carter Family, The - No Other's Bride I'll Be                                             
09 Carter Family, The - Gathering Flowers from the Hillside                                 
10 Carter Family, The - Gospel Ship                                                      
11 Carter Family, The - The Little Black Train                                         

New York, NY, May 08, 1935 (13 MB zipped MONO mp3)
01 Carter Family, The - Keep on the Sunny Side                                               
02 Carter Family, The - River of Jordan                                                        
03 Carter Family, The - Lonesome Valley                                                     
04 Carter Family, The - God Gave Noah the Rainbow Sign                                      
05 Carter Family, The - Single Girl, Married Girl                                              
06 Carter Family, The - The Fate of Dewey Lee                                                  
07 Carter Family, The - Wildwood Flower                                                      

New York, NY, May 09, 1935 (11 MB zipped MONO mp3)
01 Carter Family, The - Sea of Galilee                                                       
02 Carter Family, The - Don't Forget This Song                                               
03 Carter Family, The - My Clinch Mountain Home                                               
04 Carter Family, The - The Storms Are on the Ocean                                           
05 Carter Family, The - Will You Miss Me When I'm Gone                                         
06 Carter Family, The - Broken Hearted Lover                                               

New York, NY, May 10, 1935 (15 MB zipped MONO mp3)
01 Carter Family, The - Little Darlin' Pal of Mine                                             
02 Carter Family, The - The Homestead on the Farm                                            
03 Carter Family, The - Cannon Ball Blues                                                   
04 Carter Family, The - Meet Me by the Moonlight Alone                                       
05 Carter Family, The - On the Rock Where Moses Stood                                          
06 Carter Family, The - Lulu Walls                                                        
07 Carter Family, The - I'm Thinking Tonight of My Blue Eyes                                   
08 Carter Family, The - Worried Man Blues    

ALL TRACKS (75 MB zipped MONO mp3)                                   

1947 Woody Guthrie Radio -- Hootenanny (March 10, 1947)

The complete March 10, 1947 broadcast as heard on CBS radio, with Pete Seeger, Sonny Terry, Woody Guthrie, Eddie Smith, Brownie McGhee, Hally Wood, Sidney Bechet, Pops Foster, Cisco Houston and The Coleman Brothers. Host: John Faulk, written and produced by Alan Lomax (33:40)

01 INTRO & Raise a Ruckus Tonight    
02 JOHN FAULK                                         
03 Ida Red                                                 
04 Feel So Good (Ballin' The Jack)          
05 10,000 Miles                                         
06 Summertime                                         
07 Hard Ain't It Hard                                
09 Talking Blues                                       
10 Rock My Soul                                       
11 John Henry
12 OUTRO & Raise a Ruckus Tonight

(21 MB MONO mp3)
(tracked as above, 21 MB zipped MONO mp3)

Sonntag, 28. November 2010

More Woody Guthrie Radio, 1940

FORECAST #10, "Back Where I Come From",
featuring The Golden Gate Quartet, Woody Guthrie, Len Doyle, Burl Ives, Josh White, Willie Johnson. Host: Clifton Fadiman, written by Alan Lomax & Nicholas Ray.
Broadcast Date: August 19, 1940 (29:41).

03 INTRO; Buffalo Gals; INTRO OF HOST
05 It Ain't Gonna Rain No More
06 When You Hear Them Cuckoos Hollerin'
07 The Erie Canal
10 So Long, It's Been Good To Know You
11 The Foggy Dew
12 CLIFTON FADIMAN                                 
13 God Gave Noah The Rainbow Sign     
14 CLIFTON FADIMAN                                 
15 So Long, It's Been Good To Know You 
16 OUTRO   

DOWNLOAD SHOW AS 16 FILES (tracked as above, 19 MB zipped MONO mp3)      

Fruit Jar Drinkers, Dixie Sacred Singers, Uncle Dave Macon -- Sam McGee's 1927 Recordings (48 tracks)

New York, NY, May 07, 1927 
(14 MB zipped MONO mp3)
01 Uncle Dave Macon & His Fruit Jar Drinkers
- Tell Her to Come Back Home                      
02 Uncle Dave Macon & His Fruit Jar Drinkers
- Hold That Woodpile Down                         
03 Uncle Dave Macon & His Fruit Jar Drinkers
- Carve That Possum                               
04 Uncle Dave Macon & His Fruit Jar Drinkers
- Hop High Ladies, The Cake's All Dough         
05 Uncle Dave Macon & His Fruit Jar Drinkers
- Sail Away Ladies                               
06 Uncle Dave Macon & His Fruit Jar Drinkers
- Bake That Chicken Pie                           
07 Uncle Dave Macon & His Fruit Jar Drinkers
- Rock About My Sara Jane                         

New York, NY, May 09, 1927 (22 MB zipped MONO mp3)
01 Uncle Dave Macon & His Fruit Jar Drinkers - I'm A-Goin' Away in the Morn                    
02 Uncle Dave Macon & His Fruit Jar Drinkers - Sleepy Lou                                      
03 Uncle Dave Macon & His Fruit Jar Drinkers
- The Gray Cat on the Tennessee Farm              
04 Uncle Dave Macon & His Fruit Jar Drinkers - Walk, Tom Wilson, Walk                          
05 Uncle Dave Macon & His Fruit Jar Drinkers - I's Gwine Back to Dixie                         
06 Uncle Dave Macon & His Fruit Jar Drinkers - Take Me Home, Poor Julia                        
07 Uncle Dave Macon & His Fruit Jar Drinkers - Go Along Mule                                   
08 Uncle Dave Macon & His Fruit Jar Drinkers - Tom and Jerry                                   
09 Uncle Dave Macon & His Fruit Jar Drinkers - Rabbit in the Pea Patch                         
10 Uncle Dave Macon & His Fruit Jar Drinkers - Jordan Is a Hard Road to Travel                 
11 Uncle Dave Macon & His Fruit Jar Drinkers - Pickaninny Lullaby Song    

New York, NY, May 10, 1927 (28 MB zipped MONO mp3)
01 Dixie Sacred Singers - Are You Washed in the Blood of the Lamb                              
02 Dixie Sacred Singers - The Maple on the Hill                                             
03 Dixie Sacred Singers - Poor Old Dad                                                         
04 Dixie Sacred Singers - Walking in the Sunlight                                              
05 Dixie Sacred Singers - Bear Me Away on Your Snowy Wings                                     
06 Uncle Dave Macon - The Mockingbird Song Medley                                              
07 Dixie Sacred Singers - Shall We Gather at the River                                         
08 Dixie Sacred Singers - In the Sweet By and By                                               
09 Uncle Dave Macon - In the Shade of the Old Apple Tree                                       
10 Uncle Dave Macon - Molly Married a Travelling Man                                           
11 Uncle Dave Macon - When Reuben Comes to Town                                                
12 Uncle Dave Macon - Got No Silver nor Gold Blues                                            
13 Uncle Dave Macon - Heartaching Blues                                                        
14 Uncle Dave Macon - Roe Rire Poor Gal                                                       

New York, NY, May 11, 1927 (32 MB zipped MONO mp3)
01 McGee Brothers & Todd - Old Master's Runaway                                                
02 McGee Brothers & Todd - Charming Bill                                                       
03 McGee Brothers - A Flower From My Angel Mother's Grave                                      
04 McGee Brothers - C-H-I-C-K-E-N Spells Chicken                                               
05 McGee Brothers - Salty Dog Blues                                                            
06 McGee Brothers - Salt Lake City Blues                                                       
07 McGee Brothers & Todd - Rufus Blossom3                                                       
08 McGee Brothers - Ragged Jim                                                                 
09 McGee Brothers - Someone Else May Be There While I'm Gone                                   
10 McGee Brothers - Hannah Won't You Open The Door                                            
11 McGee Brothers - My Family Has Been A Crooked Set                                           
12 McGee Brothers - The Tramp                                                                  
13 Uncle Dave Macon & McGee Brothers - You've Been a Friend to Me                              
14 Uncle Dave Macon & Sam McGee - Backwater Blues                                              
15 Uncle Dave Macon - More Like Your Dad Every Day                                             
16 Uncle Dave Macon - I'll Never Go There Any More (The Bowery)             

ALL 48 TRACKS (97 MB zipped MONO mp3)      

- liner notes

Flat-Top Pickin' Sam McGee

Kirk McGee -- Tennessee Recordings

Sam & Kirk McGee and The Crook Brothers -- Opry Old Timers
(at Allen's Archive of Early & Old Country Music)  

Kirk McGee - Mister Kirk (ibid.)

Kirk McGee on the Guest Star label (ibid.)

Donnerstag, 25. November 2010

Woody Guthrie and the Bonneville Power Administration (Video & Audio links)

Finally found a copy of the film "The Columbia" by the U.S. Department of the Interior/Bonneville Power Administration Woody Guthrie was hired to provide songs for at archive.org.

"Historic look at the Columbia River and its development. Woody Guthrie was hired by BPA in 1941 to write the songs for this movie, but its production was delayed by World War II. Produced in 1949 in black and white, this film contains rare footage of Grand Coulee Dam construction, Indian fishing at Celilo Falls and the 1948 Vanport flood."

Here's some background:

from Talking History website:

"In early May of 1941, Woody Guthrie was employed  by the U.S. Department of the Interior's Bonneville Power Administration  (BPA) on the Columbia River. 
The BPA hired him to write songs  celebrating the work of the Administration in building dams producing  and making available to millions cheap electricity. Guthrie wrote 26 songs during the month that followed, including such classics as  Pastures of Plenty and Roll on Columbia

Michael O'Rourke produced this radio documentary for Oregon Public Broadcasting. In 2000, a documentary  film on the same subject was produced by the University of Oregon's  Knight Library Media Services and the School of Journalism and  Communication. 
For information on the film (and additional information  on Guthrie's Columbia River songs, see: http://libweb.uoregon.edu/ec/wguthrie/index.html." 

PART 1 (RealMedia) (31:07)
PART 2 (RealMedia) (14:56)

PART 1 (96 kbps mp3, 
21.8 MB) (31:07)
PART 2 (96 kbps mp3, 
10.5 MB) (14:56)

"THE COLUMBIA" (Divx, multi-part zip-file -- you'll need ALL PARTS and a program like WinZip, WinRar, or 7Zip to extract/combine video file):

PART 1 (95 MB)
PART 2 (95 MB)
PART 3 (70 MB)