I have been collecting folk recordings, mostly by artists from the United States and the British Isles, for about 40 years. This blog is intended to share a few of these recordings (all believed to be Public Domain under EU law where this blog originates) and make them available online for research and scholarship in accordance with the Copyright Act of 1976, 17 U.S.C. § 107. Also included are links to other interesting blogs, websites, and freely available folk audio and video.
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....
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).
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):
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")
What really gives this album away as an almost certain source for some of Bob Dylan's early repertoire is "Talking Subway"
Of the eleven stanzas, according to the liner notes,
first four may be found in a small collection of Guthrie's songs, issued
("American Folksong," edited by Moses Asch).
BUT: "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
"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)
"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."
album even seems to have influenced Dylan as late as 1965:
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 itrather "sloppy" research by Todd Harvey, who cites my 1996 article (on p. 103 of hisThe 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) dismissesmy 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):
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.
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!
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
TRACKS MARKED AS "OMITTED" COULD NOT BE INCLUDED BECAUSE OF THEIR COPYRIGHTED STATUS (first release in 1960s or later). THEY CAN BE FOUND ON THE EXCELLENT UNCLE DAVE MACON BOX-SET BY BEAR FAMILY RECORDS.
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
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
07 Hard Ain't It Hard
08 JOHN FAULK & WOODY GUTHRIE
09 Talking Blues
10 Rock My Soul
11 John Henry
12 OUTRO & Raise a Ruckus Tonight
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).
01 INTRO (FORECAST) 02 INTRO (BACK WHERE I COME FROM)
03 INTRO; Buffalo Gals; INTRO OF HOST 04 CLIFTON FADIMAN 05 It Ain't Gonna Rain No More 06 When You Hear Them Cuckoos Hollerin' 07 The Erie Canal 08 WOODY GUTHRIE & LEN DOYLE 09 CLIFTON FADIMAN & LEN DOYLE 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
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)
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."
"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."
LISTEN PART 1 (RealMedia) (31:07) PART 2 (RealMedia) (14:56)
DOWNLOAD PART 1 (96 kbps mp3, 21.8 MB) (31:07) PART 2 (96 kbps mp3, 10.5 MB)(14:56)
DOWNLOAD "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):