Tommy Carlisle, the son of country-blues singer Cliff Carlisle, modelling his cowboy costume, mid-1930s.
Today Sony Legacy will be releasing a new Dolly Parton box set, appropriately entitled “Dolly”. The four-CD, 99-track set is the first cross-label, career spanning Dolly Parton retrospective.
The Southern Folklife Collection was proud to provide Sony with remote access to the first two songs presented on this compilation, “Puppy Love” and “Girl Left Alone”, recorded in 1959 for Eddie Shuler’s Goldband Records by then thirteen-year-old Dolly Parton.
Listen to “Puppy Love”, from the original master tape (#FT-7670 in the Goldband Records Collection): Puppy Love
Clarence Ashley of Mountain City, Tennessee, ca. 1960.
On October 22, 1934, the notorious bank robber Charles Arthur “Pretty Boy” Floyd was gunned down by the FBI on farmland outside of East Liverpool, Ohio. Floyd’s decade long career of daring bank robberies and prison escapes had made him both J. Edgar Hoover’s “Public Enemy No. 1” and a genuine folk hero, especially amongst his fellow Oklahomans, hard hit by the Depression and with little sympathy for the banks.
One of those fellow Oklahomans was of course Woody Guthrie, who helped burnish Floyd’s posthumous reputation with his 1939 recording “Pretty Boy Floyd”, casting the outlaw as a modern-day Robin Hood. The song would be further popularized through covers by Joan Baez, Pete Seeger, and the Byrds.
Woody Guthrie – Pretty Boy Floyd
(Clip from SFC CD-827)
While Guthrie’s song is certainly the most well known “Pretty Boy Floyd”, the first may have been the “Pretty Boy Floyd” written by Bob Miller and recorded by Ray Whitley on October 27, 1934, less than a week after Floyd was killed. As you can hear from the clip below, it puts the focus less on the outlaw’s humanitarian pursuits and more on his cross country string of homicides.
Ray Whitley – Pretty Boy Floyd
(Clip from SFC 78-9780)
Thelonious Monk, photographed by Robert Bolton at the Atlanta Jazz Festival, May 1966. From the Robert Bolton Collection.
Before the widespread availability of recordings and record players, music publishers relied on visual representations to inform and entice consumers to buy sheet music of popular songs. The illustrator had to convey both the subject matter and the mood of a song, essentially capturing the sound of music in a single painting or drawing.
From October 12 to January 4, the Southern Folklife Collection will be hosting the exhibit Seeing Sound: Sheet Music Illustration From 1890 To 1940, featuring sheet music illustrations from the Eugene Earle Collection. The exhibit will be held on the 4th floor of the Wilson Library and is free and open to the public (9:00 AM – 5:00 PM Mon.-Fri., 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM on Sat.).
The SFC will welcome folklorist and musician Mick Moloney this Thursday, October 8, in Wilson Library’s Pleasants Family Assembly Room, for a multimedia musical presentation on the connections between Jewish and Irish musicians and lyricists in Tin Pan Alley.
Mick Moloney has recorded and produced over forty albums of traditional music, and is the author of Far From the Shamrock Shore: The Story of Irish American Immigration Through Song. He currently teaches in the Irish Studies Program at New York University.
His most recent album, If It Wasn’t for the Irish and the Jews, was released September 15 on Compass Records.
The event is free and open to the public. Please join us!
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Reception at 5:00 pm, program at 6:00 pm
Pleasants Family Assembly Room (2nd Floor, Wilson Library, UNC Chapel Hill)
We are co-sponsoring this event with UNC-Chapel Hill’s Center for the Study of the American South, American Studies Dept., Carolina Center for Jewish Studies, and the Friends of the Library.