Recent additions to SFC books

THE WILSON SPECIAL COLLECTIONS LIBRARY TECHNICAL SERVICES DEPARTMENT HAS BEEN CATALOGING A NUMBER OF NEW ADDITIONS TO THE SOUTHERN FOLKLIFE COLLECTION MONOGRAPHS. WE PULLED A FEW OF OUR RECENT FAVORITES TO SHARE WITH YOU GOOD READERS. COME ON BY FOR A VISIT AND GET A CLOSER LOOK.

South from Hell-fer-Sartin004

South from Hell-fer-Sartin: Kentucky Mountain Folk Tales by Leonard W. Roberts. SFC Call no. GR110.K4 R6 1964

The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Country Music 007

The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Country Music by Fred Dellar and Roy ThompsonSFC Call no. ML102.C7 D4 1986

A Texas-Mexican Cancionero, by Americo Paredes. SFC call no. M1668.4.T49

A Texas-Mexican Cancionero, by Americo Paredes. SFC call no. M1668.4 .T49

Your Cheatin' Heart: A Biography of Hank Williams by Chet Flippo, SFC call no. ML420 .W55 F6 1985

Your Cheatin’ Heart: A Biography of Hank Williams by Chet Flippo. SFC call no. ML420 .W55 F6 1985

American Folklore Films & Videotapes: An Index. Published by the Center for Southern Folklore, Memphis Tennessee.  SFC Call no. Z5984.U6 A44 1976

American Folklore Films & Videotapes: An Index. Published by the Center for Southern Folklore, Memphis Tennessee. SFC Call no. Z5984.U6 A44 1976

Das Songbuch by Rolf-Ulrich Kaiser. SFC Call no. ML3545 .K29 1967

Das Songbuch by Rolf-Ulrich Kaiser. SFC Call no. ML3545 .K29 1967

Don't Look Back by D.A. Pennebaker. SFC Call no. ML420.D98 P4

Don’t Look Back by D.A. Pennebaker. SFC Call no. ML420.D98 P4

Our Appalachia : an oral history edited by Laurel Shackelford and Bill Weinberg. SFC Call no. F217.A65 O97 1977

Our Appalachia: an oral history edited by Laurel Shackelford and Bill Weinberg. SFC Call no. F217.A65 O97 1977

 

78 of the week: Jesse Rodgers with Kama’s Moana Hawaiians

78_828_A_San Antonio Blues_Southern Folklife Collection (30001)_UNC Chapel Hill

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Two excellent sides for you by the great Jesse Rodgers (first cousin to Jimmie), from Southern Folklife Collection disc call no. 78-828. A successful musician who appeared on the “border-blaster” radio stations XERA and XERN in the late 20s and early 30s, Rodgers career took off in an unexpected direction after Jimmie’s untimely death in 1933. Always looking to repeat past successes, RCA-Bluebird picked up Jesse in hopes he would continue where Jimmie left off, even setting Jesse up to record with the great steel guitarist Charles Kama and his Moana Hawaiians who had recorded previous sides with Jimmie. These two tracks were recorded 28 Feburary 1936 at the Texas Hotel in San Antonio. Kama’s guitar work is superb and his musical arrangement wonderfully compliments the tune. Listen to the solo in the second clip below and note Kama’s masterful accompaniment to Rodger’s blue yodeling. Fantastic. 

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

78_828_Old Pinto, My Pony, My Pal_Southern Folklife Collection (30001)_UNC Chapel Hill

Photo of the week: The Shanty Boys

I20239_pf0018a: Roger Sprung, Mike Cohen, and Lionel Kilberg, from their monthly CBS broadcast. Photo by Ray Sullivan of Photo-Sound Associates. From the Ron Cohen Collection (20239). Southern Folklife Collection, Wilson Library, UNC Chapel Hill.

The Shanty Boys (Roger Sprung, Mike Cohen, and Lionel Kilberg), from their monthly CBS broadcast. Photo by Ray Sullivan of Photo-Sound Associates. From the Ron Cohen Collection (20239). Southern Folklife Collection, Wilson Library, UNC Chapel Hill.

In the early 1950s, Roger Sprung spent time in Asheville, NC, meeting and learning from banjo greats Bascom Lamar Lunsford and Samantha Bumgarner. He returned to New York and is often credited with introducing bluegrass banjo style to the northern folk revival through his playing in Washington Square park. For more information on Sprung and the Shanty Boys, see Ron Cohen’s excellent book on the folk revival, Rainbow Quest: The Folk Music Revival and American Society, 1940-1970 (Culture, Politics, and Cold War), (University of Massachusetts Press, 2002).

78 rpm disc of the week: The Willie Webb Singers

78_7964001

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Another choice platter for you readers and listeners today. Really excited to put on this disc in the studio yesterday, call no. 78-7964. Side A is great (see below) but side B, “He’s the One,” featuring soloist Ozella Weber, is fantastic. The Willie Webb Singers were a post-war mixed gospel group out of Chicago, much like the Roberta Martin Singers with whom Willie Webb got his start (see Horace Clarence Boyer’s The Golden Age of Gospel for more information). Please do enjoy.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

78_7964002

78 rpm disc of the week: Red Kirk “The Voice of the Country”

78_9938_1

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Great pair of pure country tearjerkers from Southern Folklife Collection 78 rpm disc call no. 78-9938. I discovered these numbers thanks to a recent request and gladly spent some time in the studio while the great Red Kirk, known as “The Voice of the Country,” and the phenomenal steel guitar of Jerry Byrd played offered the soundtrack to my morning blues. Recorded in Cincinnati with Jerry Byrd’s String Dusters–Louis Innis on rhythm, Zeke Turner on lead guitar, Red Turner on bass, and Tommy Jackson on fiddle–all great session players that also performed the Midwestern Hayride on WLW. Side two, “It’s Raining in my Heart” is even better.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

78_9938_2

Zygote, 1970

Zygote_v1_n7_1970_Southern Folklife CollectionIt was a pleasure to dig into the Southern Folklife Collection‘s two issues of Zygote, an excellent alternative rag out of New York in the early 1970s. I also enjoyed imagining which member of the John Edwards Memorial Foundation originally collected the magazine for the periodical collection. These two issues feature some quality investigative journalism and radical political commentary mixed with record and film reviews, music features, pop-culture criticism, and a psychedelic visual style. The Southern Folklife Collection has but two issues from 1970, this one vol. 1, no. 7, from October 30, and vol. 1, no. 8 from November. If you subscribed for two years you could have picked up the latest Mother Earth LP and the soundtrack to The Strawberry Statement. Plus, Tina Turner and Wayne Cochran (scroll down to the bottom).

Right on.

Zygote_v1_n7_1970_Southern Folklife CollectionZygote_v1_n7_1970_Southern Folklife CollectionZygote_v1_n7_1970_Southern Folklife CollectionZygote_v1_n7_1970_Southern Folklife Collection

The films of Toshi Seeger

DVD_332_Southern Folklife CollectionWhile best known for her film Afro-American Work Songs in a Texas Prison, made along with her husband Pete, son Daniel, and folklorist Bruce Jackson, Toshi Seeger was an accomplished photographer and documentarian whose filmography reaches far beyond the Ellis Unit at the Huntsville prison. Rounder Records, along with Stefan Grossman’s Vestapol Productions, released a remarkable compilation of films by the Toshi and the Seeger family well before the documentary mentioned above was made.  Toshi and Pete describe these films as “home movies,” but they are a far cry from shaky video of Christmas morning. These films are available for viewing at the Southern Folklife Collection, call no. DVD_332, and are highly recommended.

Obituaries written in honor of Toshi Seeger, who died this week at the age of 91, describe her as being the “perfect compliment to Pete,” describing him as the visionary and her as the “grounded” member of their marriage. These films, however, demonstrate playfulness as well as a clarity of creative vision and attention to detail. Her camerawork captures the intensity of performance and communicates the wonder she must have felt in those moments of filming. From an interview made by Todd Harvey and Peggy Seeger in 2006 for the Library of Congress, Toshi shares the following memories (see more on Folkstreams here:

“Toshi Seeger: Most people, if they are filming have a storyboard or script or something. They know what is happening. I had no idea at any time. The boatsingers film footage we made in Ghana [1964], I saw that happening and I said, “let’s stop and get that.” But in the Texas prison I had no idea what was going to happen. We set up the cameras and began filming. At the point that we set the cameras up I saw that they were going to do work songs, so any of the framing is on the spur of the moment, done just as we saw it.

PS: And at the end of the day of filming, the guard, who was on a horse and who was often talking to a friend, wasn’t even watching us…

TS: Well you were talking to him and I was with all the prisoners with double-edged axes. I thought it was very humorous. I shot the film, with the guard on the horse looking away paying no attention to me. These men were telling me their life stories—why they were in there, about their children and wives, and so forth…”

To see the entire film Afro-American Work Songs in a Texas Prison, as well as Singing Fishermen of Ghana, visit Folkstreams.net.

 

Friday Yodeling

78_12828

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Some days, there’s just no other option but to yodel. Today is one of those days. Pardon the brief hiatus here at Field Trip South, but we’re working on big plans in the Southern Folklife Collection. Stay tuned to Field Trip South for future announcements. But until then, feel free to yodel along. Above is a fine mix by the great George P. Watson, from 78-12828. Even better to my ears is this fine Romeo release of Frankie Wallace and His Guitar scatting through “My Hulu Girl” in 1926, from 78-12017.78_12017

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

But I had to save the best for last, the remarkable voice and piano stylings of Roy Evans. Put this one on repeat, “The New St. Louis Blues” from 78-11488. Welcome to the weekend. 

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

78_11488

 

SFC Spotlight: Jack Bernhardt Papers

http://www.lib.unc.edu/mss/inv/b/Bernhardt,Jack.htmlWhen Southern Folklife Collection curator, Steve Weiss, suggested we highlight the Jack Bernhardt Papers (20061) on Field Trip South I happily offered to write the post. I’m not proud to say that conversation was over two months ago. Every time I began to research the collection, I fell down one rabbit hole after another. Should the focus be on the in-depth fieldwork and oral histories with regional gospel bluegrass band Jimmy and Tammy Sullivan?  Or Bernhardt’s excellent documentation of old-time music, with a list of recordings that include performances and interviews with some of Appalachia’s most remarkable musicians and folklorists recorded in the 1980s: Alice Gerrard, Andy Cahan, Matokie Slaughter, Ernest East, Cece Conway, Rafe Brady, Alan Jabbour, Tommy Thompson, Bill Hicks, Nimrod Workman and more. Bernhardt collected hours of interviews and recorded hours of vibrant musical performances, including many informal jam sessions, taking the listener directly into the living room of North Carolina’s legendary musicians like Tommy Jarrell and Bertie Dickens. Each of these recordings deserves consideration, and we welcome you to visit Wilson Library to listen, however it’s Bernhardt’s collection of interviews largely made in his role as critic of contemporary country music that I have been most drawn to.

An addition of 131 tapes in July 2012 to the Bernhardt collection provide a unique perspective on the landscape of country and bluegrass music in the decades straddling the turn of the century. From 1986 to 2011, Bernhardt interviewed variety of contemporary country musicians and composers. Artists include Trace Adkins, Sam Bush, Guy Clark, Susanna Clark, Vassar Clements, J.D. Crowe, Jerry Douglas, Vince Gill, John Hartford, Alan Jackson, Naomi Judd, Alison Krauss, Doyle Lawson, Charlie Louvin, Patty Loveless, Loretta Lynn, Jimmy Martin, Kathy Mattea, Martina McBride, Del McCoury, Reba McEntire, Ricky Scaggs, Earl Scruggs, the Steep Canyon Rangers, Rhonda Vincent, and Gretchen Wilson. With the assistance of SFC research assistant Laura McPherson, we have picked out a few of our favorites and over the next few days we’ll share highlights here on Field Trip South.

We’ll start with The First Lady of Country Music, the legendary Loretta Lynn.  Bernhardt’s interview of Lynn, call number FS-12132, was conducted on 20 April 2001. Bernhardt is a warm conversationalist, however he is also a pointed and professional interviewer, asking pointed and probing questions touching on the broad scope of Lynn’s life and career.  The pair kick off the interview with a frank discussion about politics and reflections on the beginnings of the Iraq War, sounding like two old friends meeting over coffee before switching over to music. Bernhardt and LynnListen as Lynn surveys American country music, frustrated with the industry push to either “go back to sitting on heybales” or going all out pop:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Later, Lynn’s ever-present charm and humble appreciation is on full display when describing one of her most memorable moments receiving an achievement award in Washington D. C. in the late 1980s.  Ed Asner was the MC. 

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Bernhardt’s questions inspire Lynn to reflect on the her early recording career, touching on the sexism and chauvinism of the Nashville scene and Lynn’s opposition to it from the start:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

We’ll leave you with a great soundbite of Lynn talking about her role as a pioneer artist, paving the way for women in country music. Recounting an interview her daughter gave where the younger Lynn exclaimed “Momma didn’t open the doors, she kicked them down!”

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Check back in with Field Trip South for more from the Jack Bernhardt Papers including interviews with John Hartford, Townes van Zandt, and Gordon Stoker from the Jordanaires.