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Very nice profile. brings back a lot of memories for me. Matokie Slaughter was my grandmother and I even remember the picture being taken. Spent most of my childhood with her and even learn how to play the banjo by her. Would be happy to answer any questions that anyone would like to know plus I have all of her musical instruments.
Hi there, I have just come across your post featuring a photo of the Crazy Tennesseans.
Frank “Red” Jones, the man on the far right, is my grandfather. Was curious if there were more photos in the collection of him with this group. For the record, the woman, Tiny, was not my grandfather’s wife. 😀
Thanks in advance for your help.
My father recorded at Diamond records for Lillian as she wanted to produce a singer more like elvis. Wallys sound was much like that of Elvis and she wanted to get him out there. Im looking for any photos related to Trumpet records. Can anyone share?
The best place to look for Trumpet Records materials would be at the Ole Miss special collections. Here’s the link: http://www.olemiss.edu/depts/general_library/archives/finding_aids/MUM00136.html
who is the author of the picture “Stevens Minstrels”? I would like to use it in
a book and need more informations…
Thanks and Greetings
Hello Mr. Schroeder. That image was on loan from UNC professor Phillip F. Gura. Professor Gura also wrote the 199 book, America’s Instrument: The Banjo in the Ninteenth Century. I am uncertain who the photographer is. This is the caption of the image:
“Stevens’ Minstrels (late 19th-early 20th century). Carbon print. Probably Homesteaders or loggers (note cleared hill, behind). White fiddler and African American banjo player. Oddly, no women in the image, though young children are present. From the collection of Philip Gura.”
Aaron, your March 23, 2012 picture of Mike Seeger and Elizabeth Cotten is reversed – Seeger was right handed and Cotton left handed. Sorry if you already spotted this, but I’ve only just seen the picture, Bill
Thank you Bill,
I’ve done that before with other images.
Thanks for the good eye!
I come at you with a different kind of question – I was Ed Kahn´s best friend at Oberlin College (1955), I remember him plucking the banjo, also playing the stock market, if there anyone out there who could tell me about his life, and his decease, I would be much obliged – from Portugal, John H. Wolf
Dear Mr. Wolf,
Thank you for your comment. Unfortunately I never had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Kahn personally, I have the privilege of regularly researching in his collection of work. Details about Ed’s career can be seen in the finding aid for the Ed Kahn Collection (20360) here
That’s probably the best place to start. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with other questions.
My wife graduated from Oberlin in 2000 and we look forward to heading there in a couple of months for her 15th reunion.
Have a great day,
ED KAHN 1938 – 2O02
After a lengthy struggle with cancer, folklorist Edward A. Kahn died on March 24, 2002 at his home in Pinole, California. Born on July 5, 1938, Ed grew up in Indianapolis, Indiana, and from an early age he was struck by the beauty and mystery of traditional country music broadcast from the Grand Ole Opry and Chicago’s WJJD. Entering Oberlin College, he eagerly plunged into the local folk scene, and then transferred to UCLA in 1957 to study folklore under Wayland Hand. Following graduation he continued in the UCLA graduate program, while teaching a variety of folklore classes. His dissertation, “The Carter Family: A Reflection of Changes in Society,” a pioneering study, was finished in 1970. In the meantime, he helped organize the John Edwards Memorial Foundation (JEMF) at UCLA in 1962, along with D.K. Wilgus, Fred Hoeptner, Eugene Earle, and Archie Green, a significant research collection for the study of hillbilly music (now at the University of North Carolina). While serving on the JEMF Board, he and Norm Cohen began co-editing the JEMF Newsletter in 1964, which developed into the glossy Quarterly in 1969. He was a prolific record reviewer for Western Folklore (1963-1970), and joined with Jerry McCabe in 1958 to open McCabe and Kahn Music. Ed handled book and record sales while Jerry sold the instruments; for a time Ed had record outlets at the Ash Grove and Troubadour.
Ed was also a zealous field collector, starting with his recording of banjo player Pete Steele in 1957, resulting in the Folkways record Pete Steele: Banjo Tunes And Songs, with Ed’s detailed notes. He accompanied Archie Green on a significant southern field trip in 1961. During that decade he wrote the liner notes for a range of recordings, including the Blue Sky Boys (Capital), the reissue of Smoky Mountain Ballads (RCA), plus others where his name did not appear. In 1967, however, he took a research trip to Nepal; he returned in a year and moved to San Francisco, where he entered an ashram for a brief period, then moved to Willits, California.
Ed happily returned to folk music in the late 1980s and participated in the Richard Reuss Memorial Folk Music Conference at Indiana University in 1991; his presentation was published in the conference proceedings, “Wasn’t That A Time!” (Scarecrow Press, 1995). He also returned to writing liner notes, particularly for the Bear Family Darby And Tarlton box set and Arhoolie’s two volumes of The Carter Family On Border Radio. Most recently, he joined me as co-editor of the Scarecrow Press “American Folk Music and Musicians” series, for which he had proposed a book of selections from the JEMF Quarterly, and assisted in the publication of Guthrie Meade’s Country Music Sources: A Biblio-Discography Of Commercially Recorded Traditional Music (University of North Carolina Press, 2002). Along with writing for computer magazines and his work as a financial planner, Ed’s music writing continues to prove its importance to the field. An essay of his was just selected for the forthcoming Alan Lomax: Selected Writings, 1934-1980 (Routledge). A man of so many talents, his contributions to the scholarly study of American traditional music will be a lasting monument to his too-short life.
Ed married twice, and is survived by Margaret “Peggy” Moore, one daughter, Lily, from his first marriage, and two step-children, William and Autumn.
–Ronald D. Cohen
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