Sunday, January 25, 2009

Folk America

BBC4's latest excursion into the history of popular music kicked off with some fascinating archive film and recordings of some of the earliest American folk and blues performers. Among the blues singers featured were Dave Honey Boy Edwards - just about the last survivor of the originals - Henry Thomas, whose intense railroad songs and music style harked back to the late 19th century, Blind Lemon Jefferson (who died in 1929), and Charlie Patton (1932) and Mississippi John Hurt. Much of the programme centred on early white folk musicians, of whom Dock Boggs stood out as something quite out of the ordinary, and the origins of country music, with the Carter Family and Jimmie Rodgers, the singing brakeman. At least two of the interviewees were over 100, including the last man alive to have played with Rodgers. Parts two and three will be shown in coming weeks and look well worth watching.
Here's a contribution from Dave Carroll, who toasts a couple of those musicians who have passed on since the New Year:

And still they keep on coming - or in this case going. Firstly two stars from gospel; group names The Swan Silvertones and The Singing Stars (can't say that I have heard of the latter). Finally a man best known to many for being in the Ray Charles band and being on so many Atlantic recordings. I don't have any of his jazz stuff (unless it as a sideman and I can't think of anything off the top of my head). But I suppose it would be fair to say he was a pretty accomplished musician. I think the death-dates are correct.
Rev. Claude Jeter (6 January 2009)
Tommy Ellison (3 January 2009)
David 'Fathead' Newman (20 January 2009)
Thanks Dave.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home