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David Morton collection, 1928-2003.

October 12, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

Creator: Morton, David, 1945-
Collection number: 20373
View finding aid.

Abstract: In 1991, In 1991, David C. Morton published DeFord Bailey: A Black Star in Early Country Music. Bailey (1899-1982) was a legendary African American harmonica player who performed on WSM’s Grand Ole Opry, a weekly radio show broadcast from Nashville, Tenn. Bailey began his career soon after Nashville’s WDAD radio station came on the air in 1925. He continued to play until 1941, becoming well known for his tune, “Pan American Blues.” The collection contains documentation, sound recordings, and a videotape chiefly relating to Morton’s work with DeFord Bailey. Documentation consists of correspondence concerning Morton’s biography of DeFord Bailey and other matters relating to Bailey; newspaper and magazine clippings referring to Bailey’s contributions to country music; calendars with photographs of Bailey; memorial information; a tributary brochure; a publicity shot; and a poster for the segment on DeFord Bailey and the Grand Ole Opry that aired on 24 November 2000 as part of National Public Radio’s Lost and Found Sound series. Sound recordings include reel-to-reel tapes and audiocassettes from interview sessions between David Morton and DeFord Bailey; they contain conversations and music recordings of Bailey on harmonica, guitar, and banjo. Also included are some recordings of performances by Bailey, recordings of National Pubilc Radio programs related to Bailey, and interviews with other Grand Ole Opry employees. The videotape is a 28-minute production called DeFord Bailey: A Legend Lost that was developed for Nashville Public Television, Inc. There is also a 16mm film with sound of a Deford Bailey performance.

Repository: Southern Folklife Collection

Collection Highlights: . Documentation consists of correspondence concerning Morton’s biography of DeFord Bailey. There are also newspaper and magazine clippings referring to Bailey’s contributions to country music, including a 1974 article that David Morton wrote for Nashville! Magazine (Folders 1-3).

Sound recordings are reel-to-reel tapes from interview sessions between David Morton and DeFord Bailey; they contain conversations and music recordings of Bailey on harmonica, guitar, and banjo. The videotape is a 28-minute production called DeFord Bailey: A Legend Lost that was developed for Nashville Public Television (Videotape VT-20371/1).

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