Download 78 Blues: Folksongs and Phonographs in the American South by John Minton PDF

By John Minton

Whilst list males first traveled from Chicago or invited musicians to studios in long island, those marketers had no perception how their expertise could switch the dynamics of what constituted a musical functionality. seventy eight Blues: Folksongs and Phonographs within the American South covers a revolution in artist functionality and viewers notion via shut exam of hundreds of thousands of key "hillbilly" and "race" files published among the Nineteen Twenties and international struggle II.

In the postwar interval, local lines recorded on pioneering seventy eight r.p.m. discs exploded into city blues and R&B, honky-tonk and western swing, gospel, soul, and rock 'n' roll. those old-time files guard the paintings of a few of America's maximum musical geniuses similar to Jimmie Rodgers, Robert Johnson, Charlie Poole, and Blind Lemon Jefferson. also they are the most important mile markers during American well known song and the expansion of the trendy recording industry.

When those files first circulated, the very idea of recorded tune was once nonetheless a novelty. All track have been created stay and tied to specific, intimate events. How have been listeners to appreciate an impersonal know-how just like the phonograph checklist as a musical occasion? How may perhaps they reconcile firsthand interactions and standard customs with technological strategies and mass media? The documents themselves, numerous hundred of that are explored totally during this e-book, provide solutions in rankings of spoken commentaries and skits, in track lyrics and monologues, or different extra refined capacity.

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Extra resources for 78 Blues: Folksongs and Phonographs in the American South (American Made Music Series)

Sample text

But curiously, many friends who loved Led Zeppelin, the Stones, Cream, or the Allmans hated his records. And I now think it was not just the musical differences, or the dodgy sound of old 78s, but something more fundamental about the records themselves as self-contained experiences. We knew how to listen to Allman Brothers records. 12 Robert Johnson’s records were clearly meant for 2 0 | L e a r n i n g t o Listen other ears. Even then, I knew enough of Southern culture and history to realize they drew breath from a vast black rural underclass and a vanished way of life.

4 So a folk tradition usually embodies an entire range of performance, stretching from mere reports, through differing degrees of total involvement, to self-reflective irony or self-conscious parody. Certainly this was the case with Southern folksong. While these distinctions were sometimes overlooked or ignored by early collectors, their presence is unmistakable. And sometimes they were duly noted. The Ozark “Bald Knobber Song,” for example, describes a vigilante gang operating in Taney County, Missouri, in the 1880s.

The performances themselves, like the performers, are quintessentially familiar. Their meanings, while perhaps implicit for natives and obscure for 2 2 | L e a r n i n g t o Listen others, express the community’s most fundamental values and beliefs. 16 Such, anyway, is the ideal folksong community depicted by Cecil Sharp (1859–1924) and codified by his successors. Yet Sharp himself recognized the gap between his limited experience in the Appalachians and his generalizations about the area’s folk culture.

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