Samstag, 26. Februar 2011

Johnny Cash's "Understand Your Man" (influenced by "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right")

To celebrate what would have been The Man in Black's 79th birthday today, I uploaded several Johnny Cash clips to YouTube -- this one being Johnny Cash's "variant" of Dylan's "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right" (a song Johnny performed at the 1964 Newport Folk Festival).

"Understand Your Man" was first recorded by Johnny Cash during the November 12, 1963 sessions at Columbia Recording Studio, 804 16th Avenue South, Nashville, TN, with Luther Perkins, lead guitar, Norman Blake, guitar, Robert L. "Bob" Johnson, guitar, Marshall Grant, bass, W. S. Holland, drums, William K. "Bill" McElhiney & Karl R. Garvin, trumpets, whereas "Don't Think Twice" was first recorded by Vanguard as part of Johnny's set at the 1964 Newport Folk Festival (July 26, 1964) and subsequently released both by Vanguard and Bear Family Records.

A studio recording of "Don't Think Twice" from a December 18, 1964 recording session was released on "Orange Blossom Special" (1965), along with Dylan's "It Ain't Me, Babe" and "Mama, You Been On My Mind".

Both "Understand Your Man" and "Don't Think Twice" were attempted/recorded (possibly as a medley) during Johnny Cash & Bob Dylan's joint 1969 Nashville sessions, but remain unreleased.

"Understand Your Man" (a song he had not performed "for 25 years") was the last song performed during Johnny Cash's last (documented) performance at the Carter Family Fold, Hiltons, VA, on July 15, 2003 and preserved on an amateur video recording (recorded with the artist's permission):

Lyrics © 1964 by Southwind Music Inc., New York, NY

Don't call my name out your window, I'm leavin',
I won't even turn my head;
Don't send your kinfolks to give me no talkin',
I'll be gone like I said.
You'd say the same old things that you been saying all along,
Lay there in your bed, keep your mouth shut till I'm gone.
Don't give me that old familiar cryin', cussin' moan,
Understand your man.
SPOKEN: Tidy your bad mouth
And understand your man. 

You can give my other suits to the Salvation Army,
And ev'rything else I leave behind;
I ain't takin' nothin' that'll slow down my trav'lin'
While I'm untanglin' my mind.
I ain't gonna repeat what I said anymore
While I'm breathin' air that ain't been breathed before.
I'll be as gone as a wild goose in winter,
Then you'll understand your man.
SPOKEN: Meditate on it,
Understand your man
SPOKEN: You hear me talkin', honey,
Understand your man
SPOKEN: Remember what I told you,
Understand your man.

Any copyrighted items are included here for "nonprofit educational purposes" (one of the criteria of "fair use", Copyright Act of 1976, 17 U.S.C. § 107) only.

Sonntag, 13. Februar 2011

Happy Traum (Email) Interview, 1996

Questions asked and answers received from Happy Traum (HappyT), Feb 22, 1996: 

Dear Happy,
I really liked the opportunity to get your Email address to thank you for an extremely enjoyable concert with you and band at Rudolstadt, Germany, a few years back (1992 or 1993? - time is flying).

I especially liked the Dylanesque version of "Bessie Smith" and my questions to you concern Bob Dylan and I wonder if you could clarify some details as to the following sessions/tapes (any personal recollections that come to mind):

Are Heylin (on p. 85 of his latest book, The Recording Sessions) or Krogsgaard (The Telegraph 53, pp. 116-117) correct about the following songs being recorded during the Sep 24, 1971 session?

  • 5 takes (takes 2-5 complete) of "Only A Hobo"
  • 6 takes (takes 1, 2, 5 & 6 complete) of "You Ain't Goin' Nowhere" (Take 6 being the officially released track; one other take in circulation among collectors)
  • 2 takes (both complete) of "Down In The Flood" (Take 2 being the officially released track); Krogsgaard: either take 1 or 2
  • 4 complete takes of "I Shall Be Released" (Take 4 being the officially released track according to Krogsgaard)
Do you recall any other songs being recorded during that session?
Dear Manfred, glad you liked our performances at Rudolstadt. I can't answer all your questions accurately, as there is much I can't remember from so long ago. However, maybe these will help:
  • 5 takes (takes 2-5 complete) of "Only A Hobo"
I only remember two (or maybe three?) complete takes of this, but none of them were very good in our (Bob's and mine) opinion.
  • 6 takes (takes 1, 2, 5 & 6 complete of "You Ain't Goin' Nowhere" (Take 6 being the officially released track; one other take in circulation among collectors)
There were only two complete takes of this that I remember, and we used the second one.
  • 2 takes (both complete) of "Down In The Flood" (Take 2 being the officially released track)
Sounds right.
  • 4 complete takes of "I Shall Be Released"
I only remember one take of this. There were no other songs recorded that day.
Do you recall the Broadside session of Jan or Feb 1963, where you recorded "Let Me Die In My Footsteps" with Dylan on guitar/backing vocals? 
Were any other songs recorded by Dylan and yourself during that session?
HAPPY TRAUM: There were no other songs recorded by Bob and I during the Broadside sessions.
The (in)famous "Banjo Tape": Where was that tape recorded?  

In "Stolen Moments", Heylin quotes Stefan Grossman and attributes the tape to Feb 8, 1963, recorded in the basement of "Gerde's Folk City" (which would make this the first of Dylan's "Basement Tapes" :-). 

Krogsgaard attributes this tape to late Jan 1963 and the home of Gil Turner. Which version is true, as far as you recall?
HAPPY TRAUM: At Gil Turner's apartment in the East Village, NYC, not Gerde's Folk City basement.

[NOTE: Taper Peter K. Siegel contradicts Happy Traum rather convincingly}
Who came up with the different songs ("Lonesome River Edge", "Back Door Blues", "You Can Get Her", "Keep Your Hands Off Her", "Honey Babe", "Stealin'" or "Goin' Back To Rome")? What is the "instrumental" (between "Masters..." and "Keep your Hands...")?
HAPPY TRAUM: These are mostly traditional songs that we were just singing at the time. "Keep Your Hands Off Her" and "Stealing" were in the New World Singers' repertoire, and we recorded them later that year for Atlantic.
Were the Dylan "originals" ("Masters Of War", "Bob Dylan's Dream", "Farewell" and "All Over You") already familiar to you (possibly from Broadside sessions or Witmark & Sons demos)?
Is the circulating tape complete to your knowledge?
HAPPY TRAUM: I assume so -- I really have no idea.HTML bearbeiten
Regards, Happy Traum

Bob Dylan/Happy Traum official collaborations can be found on:

Broadside Ballads, Vol. 1  (FW05301)
(track NOT AVAILABLE for digital download).

The Best of Broadside 1962-1988 (SFW 40130)

Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits Vol. 2

For a Happy Traum album featuring a Bob Dylan composition ("Buckets of Rain"), please check out the expanded CD/DVD edition of American Stranger (originally released in 1977) available from Happy's Homespun Tapes website.

Happy Traum's 1979 album Bright Morning Stars features Dylan's "I Shall Be Released".

The "Banjo Tape" remains officially unreleased....

Related Post:
The 1963 "Banjo Tape" -- convincingly dated by taper Peter K. Siegel to February 08, 1963

 Any copyrighted items are included here for "nonprofit educational purposes" (one of the criteria of "fair use", Copyright Act of 1976, 17 U.S.C. § 107) only.

The 1963 "Banjo Tape" -- convincingly dated by taper Peter K. Siegel to February 08, 1963

Sun Jan 17 10:13:18 1999
From: (Roger Ford)
Subject: Re: stephen grossman gaslights release?

Jeff ( wrote:
Okay, I'm looking for a cassette, apparently released during the 1970's by Stephan Grossman's label (he does the Guitar Workshop video, instructional,etc.) of Dylan performing at the Gaslight Cafe, but NOT what we commonly know of as "the Gaslight Tapes." Apparently, this tape is half Dylan, half Rev.Gary Davis (possibly performing at the same venue?). I really don't know much about this and it sounds very odd to me, but I am told by a third party -- who, incidentally, had been looking for this cassette for some time -- that it does indeed exist. Does anyone know anything about this? Am I a fool for asking?
This actually came out in 1984, and I got a copy purely because I happened to be on Stefan Grossman's mailing list for his taped guitar lessons and so on at the time. The Dylan content is actually what has always been known as the "Banjo Tape", so titled because it had someone, allegedly Happy Traum, playing banjo and singing occasional back-up vocals. The tape had already been circulating for donkeys' years. Previously it was thought to have been recorded at Gil Turner's home in January 1963, but Stefan claimed to have recorded it himself after hours in the basement of Gerde's Folk City on February 8, 1963 - the original basement tape!

The sound quality is slightly better than I've heard from other sources, so it's possible that Grossman does indeed have the original.

The cassette, titled just "Rev. Gary Davis / Bob Dylan", was published under the imprint of Stefan Grossman's Guitar Workshop Inc., in a series of "Limited Edition Cassettes"; this one was stated to be "very limited", and was only on sale for a very short time - presumably Stefan knew he was on dodgy ground selling it. It does have a printed insert card and label, but no picture and no catalogue number. It doesn't even list the songs for the Dylan side, which (according to Krogsgaard et al) are:
Lonesome River Edge (?)
Back Door Blues
Bob Dylan's Dream
You Can Get Her (?)'
All Over You
Masters of War
Keep Your Hands Off Her
Honey Babe
Going Back To Rome (?)
For the record, the Reverend Gary Davis side is stated to have been recorded by Grossman at the Gaslight Cafe on February 4, 1964.

Roger Ford

From: Peter K. Siegel
Ref: Feb 8, 1963
Date: Sat Jan 16, 1999 07:11

Hello Manfred,
Came upon your web site while doing research. Great site!
In "Stolen Moments", Heylin quotes Stefan Grossman and attributes the tape to Feb 8, 1963, recorded in the basement of "Gerde's Folk City" (which would make this the first of Dylan's "Basement Tapes" :-) Krogsgaard attributes this tape to late Jan 1963 and the home of Gil Turner. Which version is true, as far as you recall?
At Gil Turner's apartment in the East Village, NYC, not Gerde's Folk City basement.
I recorded the tape Stefan is talking about on exactly that night and place. Still have it here. Looks like the same songs but I don't know if it is the same tape you have. If it is, you can hear me (18-year-old folklorist) ask him where he learned "All Over You" which I took at the time to be an old "songster" song. He then goes off laughing about how he heard it in the wind, etc.
My recollection though, is that Gil Turner played the banjo. You can also hear an old electric fan that was on a stand in Gerde's basement.
Let me know if this is the tape you have a copy of. Happy is probably right, he knows whereof he speaks. But the Feb 8 tape was recorded in Gerde's by me for sure. I gave Stefan his tape probably the same year. The tape was recorded using a Tandberg tape machine and and EV 644 mike.
I was carrying the equipment because earlier the same night, I had recorded Bill Monroe's first NY show at the NYU auditorium also on 4th Street. That show featured Del McCoury on banjo, Jack Cooke on G/V, and Kenny Baker on fiddle. Good night huh?

Peter K. Siegel, Henry Street Folklore, Brooklyn, NY

On Sun, 17 Jan 1999 15:41:35 +0000, Ben Taylor wrote:

As confirmation, here is the dialogue which took place after the song "All Over You":
Dylan finishes the song: "... 'cause babe I'll do it all over you".
Dylan: Huh?
Someone: Oh, you missed the best part.
Dylan: I forgot, man, you know it? I forgot the other verse. You like that one?
Someone: [?]
Dylan: [laughs]
Someone: Where'd you hear that?
Dylan: Where'd I hear that? Haha, I don't know, man. I mighta heard it in the sky. Haha, I don't know, I heard it on the street. I heard it all over.. in the puddles, in the snowfalls, oh God, in bed...

Addendum by Peter K. Siegel
Re: Feb 8, 1963
Date: Sun Jan 17, 1999 20:41

Simultaneously I heard from Sandy Gant. Here is a copy of part of my reply to him:

"My recollection is that Bob saw I had a tape recorder and asked to make a tape. As I told Manfred, I thought Gil played the banjo, but it is within the realm of possibility that I am wrong about that. About the date, place, and person doing the taping, there is no doubt."
For several years I have pretty much made a policy of not giving out tapes, because of a number of incidents where I lived to regret it. I... am still concerned about putting better quality tapes out in the world without the artist's permission. This has just been how I have been doing it...."

Parts of Peter K. Siegel's recording of Bill Monroe from the same night are officially released on an excellent Smithsonian-Folkways box-set -- a (complete?) tape is in circulation among collectors.

Friends of Old Time Music

Various Artists SFW40160 (2006)

Partial Discography of Albums Produced by Peter K. Siegel

Doc Watson at Gerdes Folk City, by Doc Watson (Sugar Hill)

Friends of Old Time Music (Boxed Set), by Clarence Ashley, Horton Barker, Annie Bird, Dock Boggs, Gaither Carlton, Maybelle Carter, Jesse Fuller, The Georgia Sea Island Singers, The Greenbriar Boys, Roscoe Holcomb, Mississippi John Hurt, Fred McDowell, Sam McGee, Bill Monroe and His Blue Grass Boys, The New Lost City Ramblers, McKinley Peebles, Fiddlin' Arthur Smith, Hobart Smith, Joseph Spence, The Stanley Brothers, Stanley Thompson, Doc Watson, Ed Young (Smithsonian Folkways)

Twelve Tunes for Two Banjos by Peter K. Siegel and Eli Smith (Banjeau)
Pioneering Women of Bluegrass
, by Hazel Dickens and Alice Gerard (Smithsonian Folkways)

The Spring of '65, by Joseph Spence and the Pinder Family (Rounder)

Ambush on All Sides, by Jade Bridge (Rounder/Henry Street)

As Quick as Fire: The Art of the Norwegian Hardanger Fiddle, by Knut Buen (Rounder/Henry Street)

Somos Boricuas, by Los Pleneros de la 21 (Rounder/Henry Street)

Tides and Sand: The Art of the Chinese Hammered Dulcimer, by Sisi Chen (Rounder/Henry Street)

Neil Young Live at the Fillmore East (as recording engineer), by Neil Young and Crazy Horse (Reprise)

Roy Buchanan, by Roy Buchanan (Polygram)

Second Album, by Roy Buchanan (Polygram)

We the People, by Ellen McIlwaine (Polygram)

Aquashow, by Elliott Murphy (Polygram)

Folk Fiddling from Sweden, by Björn Ståbi & Ole Hjorth (Nonesuch)

A Bell Ringing in the Empty Sky, by Gorô Yamaguchi (Nonesuch)

The Real Bahamas, Volume I (Co-produced with Jody Stecher), by Joseph Spence, Frederick McQueen, Pinder Family, others (Nonesuch)

The Real Bahamas, Volume II (Co-produced with Jody Stecher), by Joseph Spence, Frederick McQueen, Pinder Family, others (Nonesuch)

Sarangi: The Voice of a Hundred Colors, by Ram Narayan (Nonesuch)

Vidwan: Songs of the Carnatic Tradition, by Ramnad Krishnan (Nonesuch)

Woodsmoke and Oranges, by Paul Siebel (Elektra)

Have a Marijuana, by David Peel and the Lower East Side (Elektra)

The American Revolution, by David Peel and the Lower East Side (Elektra)

Morning Again, by Tom Paxton (Elektra)

The Things I Notice Now, by Tom Paxton (Elektra)

Related post:
Happy Traum (Email) Interview, 1996

Any copyrighted items are included here for "nonprofit educational purposes" (one of the criteria of "fair use", Copyright Act of 1976, 17 U.S.C. § 107) only.

Freitag, 11. Februar 2011

Bob Dylan Content in Broadside magazine (new original post, February 2011)

Spent all day today browsing through the back issues of Broadside magazine -- what a treasure trove for anyone interested in the early Bob Dylan and his contemporaries like Peter LaFarge, Phil Ochs, Tom Paxton, Eric Andersen, Len Chandler, or Buffy Sainte-Marie....

I'm sure that it will keep me busy for weeks, not the least because the pdf files created from faded mimeo-
graphed or typewritten copies of the magazine, especially those of the earliest issues, are "kinda hard to to read" at times -- the website claims that "All issues from # 1-186 are now available free on this site," which is not quite true (I noticed issues #68 and #69 missing).

A good way to start is with the Index pages:

"There are several indexes to Nos. 1-145 that were created in the 1980s and there are two indexes to 146-186 that were created especially for this website."

A list of songs by Bob Dylan published in Broadside 
(from Index to Songs in Issues 1-144, by Author), 
all titles provided as published/indexed:

Issue #001:
Talking John Birch

Issue #003:
I Will Not Go Down under the Ground

Issue #006: 
Blowin' in the Wind                                                                 

Issues #011-012:
Ain't Gonna Grieve

Issue #016:
Emmett Till, Ballad of

Issue #017:
Oxford Town
Paths of Victory

Issue #20:
It's All Right, Babe                                                         
Masters of War
Playboys & Playgirls

Issue #021:
Rise & Fall of Hollis Brown

Issue #022:
John Brown

Issue #023:
Train A-Travelin'

Issue #024:
Fare Thee Well

Issue #031:                                              
Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall

Issue #033:
He's Only a Pawn in Their Game

Issue #039:
Times They Are A-Changin'

Issue #043:
Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll

Issue #056:
It's All Right Ma, It's Life and Life Only

Issue #116:
George Jackson

Issue #128
Idiot Wind

Issue #141:
Changing of the Guards

In addition to the above songs, Broadside also published Dylan's poems

"For Dave Glover" (Issue #035),
-- for sis and gordon an all broads of good sizes"
(Issue #038).

Other Dylan-related items include:

A "response" to 
"It's All Right, Babe" 
(Don't Think Twice, It's All Right):

-- "It's Not Alright With Me!"
(Eleanor Wallace, 1963)
(Issue #041)
and a "politicised" version 
by Len H. Chandler
"Ain't No Use to Sit and Wonder Why, Chuck" (1964)
(Issue #051)

as well as numerous Dylan-related articles
(check "Index to Articles in Issues 1-144 by Title & Author").

For additional info (or background music while browsing the Broadside website), check out 

(Program #8)

Broadside Magazine Archive 01 

Broadside Magazine Archive 02
Broadside Magazine Archive 03
Broadside Magazine Archive 04
Broadside Magazine Archive 05
Broadside Magazine Archive 06
Broadside Albums Folkways Liner Notes
Broadside CDs Smithsonian-Folkways Liner Notes

"Blind Boy Grunt" appeared on 

Broadside Ballads, Vol. 1  (FW05301)

(not all tracks available for digital download)

 Broadside Ballads, Vol. 6: Broadside ReunionFW05315)

(not all tracks available for digital download)

and is included on the excellent compilation

The Best of Broadside 1962-1988 (SFW 40130).

Any copyrighted items are included here for "nonprofit educational purposes" (one of the criteria of "fair use", Copyright Act of 1976, 17 U.S.C. § 107).
Original content (c) Manfred Helfert 2011.

Donnerstag, 10. Februar 2011

The Death of Emmett Till - Historical & Discographical Background of two unrelated songs by the same title (1996/2011)

Expanded edition of an original article 

first published in, Apr 1996, 

reprinted in "Dignity," No. 7, Nov-Dec 1996, pp. 11-14;
Original Content © Manfred Helfert, 1996-2011.

On August, 20, 1955, Emmett Till (14 years of age), along with his cousin Curtis Jones (17 years of age) boarded a southbound train in Chicago, Illinois, to visit relatives (Curtis Jones' grandfather and Emmett Till's granduncle, Mose Wright) in Money, Mississippi, a tiny town located in the Delta. Prior to his journey, Emmett's mother, Mamie Till Bradley, had cautioned him to "mind his manners" with white people.
She told her boy not to fool with white people down there: "If you have to get on your knees and bow when a white person goes past, do it willingly."
Juan Williams, Eyes On The Prize, New York, NY, 1988, p. 41.
Just little over a year ago, on May 17, 1954, the Supreme Court had ordered all schools desegregated. On May 31, 1955, the Supreme Court reaffirmed its 1954 decision, calling for "deliberate speed" in the desegregation of all school in the country, resulting in the organization of White Citizens' Councils by angered Southern whites to counteract the court order.

The Jackson "Daily News" openly declared in an editorial, "YES, WE DEFY THE LAW." Throughout the summer of 1955, coinciding with the blacks' growing political boldness in the wake of the Supreme Court's ruling, there had been an alarming increase in the number of violent acts and even murders committed by whites against blacks.

While staying with Moses Wright, Curtis Jones' grandfather (a preacher), Emmett Till and his cousin drove Wright's '41 Ford into Money to buy candy at Bryant's Grocery and Meat Market. Emmett made friends with some local boys his age hanging around the store and showed them a picture of a white girl, claiming that the girl in the picture was his "sweetheart."

One of the local boys then dared Emmett Till to speak to the white woman (Carolyn Bryant) in the store. According to Curtis Jones, Emmett went back inside the store and bought more candy, saying "Bye, baby" to the white woman as he left. Curtis Jones, Emmett Till and the other boys jumped in their car as Carolyn Bryant came out the swinging screen doors and sped out of town.

News of the incident quickly spread among the local black youth and Emmett and Curtis were warned to leave town before the woman's husband found out. But a week passed without the threatened retribution.

Then, in the "wee hours of the morning" of August 28, 1955, Mose Wright was awakened by a knock on his door. Upon opening, two white men (later identified as J. W. Milam and his half-brother Roy Bryant) asked him for the "nigger here from Chicago", the boy "that did all the talking." Emmett Till then was abducted at gunpoint. Mrs. Wright, trying to come up for his defense, was struck in the head with the side of a shotgun.

Four days later, Emmett's mutilated body, with a seventy-five-pound cotton gin fan tied around his neck with barbed wire, was found at the bottom of the Tallahatchie river.
Up until his [Emmett Till's] death, I had heard of Negroes found floating in a river or dead somewhere with their bodies riddled with bullets. But I didn't know the mystery behind these killings then. I remember once when I was only seven I heard Mama and one of my aunts talking about some Negro who had been beaten to death. "Just like them low-down skunks killed him they will do the same to us," Mama had said. When I asked her who killed the man and why, she said, "An evil spirit killed him. You gotta be a good girl or it will kill you too." So since I was seven, I had lived in fear of that "Evil Spirit." It took me eight years to learn what that spirit was.

Anne Moody, Coming of Age in Mississippi, New York, NY, 1968, p. 121.

March 1968... "Life" Magazine showed a full-page photo of long-haired Bobbie Gentry walking across the Tallahatchie Bridge, which figured in her song, "Ode to Billie Joe." And some of us did a double take. The location is Money, Mississippi -- a mile or two from where Emmett Till's body was found! Last year, there was a joke among black Americans. They knew what was thrown off that bridge.

Pete Seeger, The Incompleat Folksinger, New York, NY, 1972, p. 307.

Emmett Till had been stripped naked, beaten, and finally shot through the head with a .45 caliber automatic. Upon seeing his mutilated body (identifiable only by a ring on one finger) prior to the funeral, Emmett's mother decided "that the family's privacy was less important than revealing this atrocity to the world." A photograph of Emmett's body in an open casket was published in "Jet" magazine.
The sight of Emmett Till's mutilated body not only shocked blacks, it drew white attention as well. Even whites normally indifferent to racial problems were appalled at this particular brutal murder of a child... the Till case became a pan-racial, nationwide issue. Newsreel and TV cameras swarmed around the Delta.

Jennie Brown, Medgar Evers: Activist, Los Angeles, CA, 1994, p.109.

In her autobiography, Anne Moody remembers some of the reactions (by Blacks and by white Southerners) following the Till murder:
Reactions by young Blacks:
I was coming from school the evening I heard about Emmet (sic) Till's death. There was a whole group of us, girls and boys, walking down the road headed home... However, the six boys in front of us weren't talking very loud... they were just walking and talking among themselves. All of a sudden they began to shout at each other... "That boy wasn't but fourteen years old and they killed him. Now what kin a fourteen-year-old boy do with a white woman?..." "That boy was from Chicago... He probably didn't even think of the bitch as white." ...I walked up to one of the boys. "Eddie, what boy was killed?" "Moody, where've you been?" he asked me. "Everybody talking about that fourteen-year-old boy who was killed... by some white men..."

Moody, pp. 121-122.

Reactions by older Blacks:
But I wanted to ask Mama about Emmett Till... "Mama, did you hear about that fourteen-year-old Negro boy who was killed a little over a week ago by some white men?"
"Where did you hear that?" she said angrily.
"...I heard Eddie them talking about it this evening coming from school."
"Eddie them better watch how they go around here talking. These white folks git a hold of it they gonna be in trouble," she said.
"What are they gonna be in trouble about, Mama? People got a right to talk, ain't they?"
"You go on to work before you is to late. And don't you let on like you know nothing about that boy being killed before Miss Burke them. Just do your work like you don't know nothing," she said. "That boy's a lot better off in heaven than he is here," she continued...

ibid., p. 123.

Reactions by white Southerners:
Anne Moody, who at that time is employed as a domestic servant by "one of the meanest white women in town" (ibid., p. 121) continues:
On my way to Mrs. Burke's that evening, Mama's words kept running through my mind... "Why is Mama acting so scared?" I thought... "Why must I pretend I don't know? Why are these people killing Negroes? What did Emmett Till do besides whistle at that woman?"

ibid., pp. 123-124.

...Mrs. Burke entered the kitchen. "Essie, did you hear about that fourteen-year-old boy who was killed...?" she asked me...
"No, I didn't hear that," I answered, almost choking on the food.
"Do you know why he was killed? ...He was killed because he got out of his place with a white woman. A boy from Mississippi would have known better than that. This boy was from Chicago. Negroes up North have no respect for people. They think they can get away with anything. He just came to Mississippi and put a whole lot of notions in the boys' heads here and stirred up a lot of trouble," she said passionately.
"How old are you, Essie?" she asked me after a pause.
"Fourteen. I will soon be fifteen, though," I said.
"See, that boy was just fourteen too. It's a shame he had to die so soon."

ibid., p. 125.

Anne Moody concludes:
I went home shaking like a leaf on a tree. For the first time out of all her trying, Mrs. Burke had made me feel like rotten garbage. Many times she had tried to instill fear within me and subdue me and had given up. But when she talked about Emmett Till there was something in her voice that sent chills and fear all over me. Before Emmett Till's murder, I had known the fear of hunger, hell, and the Devil. But now there was a new fear known to me -- the fear of being killed just because I was black. This was the worst of my fears.

ibid., p. 125.

I was fifteen years old when I began to hate people. I hated the white men who murdered Emmett Till and I hated all the other whites who were responsible for the countless murders... But I also hated Negroes. I hated them for not standing up and doing something about the murders. In fact, I think I had a stronger resentment toward Negroes for letting the whites kill them than toward the whites.

ibid., p. 129.

Following clues from a white reporter from Jacksonville, Florida, that a gin fan (because of the unique set of grooves it left in a cotton gin) could be matched to a specific machine, the fan tied to Emmett Till's body was traced to J. W. Milam's barn. J. W. Milam and his half-brother, Roy Bryant, were arrested for murder and tried in a segregated courtroom in Sumner by an all-white jury.
"Blacks were not allowed to stand in the halls or sit anywhere in the court..." (Brown, p. 112.)

Mose Wright, eyewitness to Emmett Till's abduction, despite the danger to himself, took the stand. When the prosecutor (referring to this sixty-four-year-old man as "Uncle Mose") asked Mr. Wright if he could see any man involved in Emmett Till's abduction in the courtroom, Mose Wright "looked around, pointed right at J. W. Milam, and said 'Dar he!'" (ibid.).
But despite his identification, the evidence of the gin fan, and eyewitness reports, the jury acquitted Milam and Bryant after only one hour of deliberation.

Brown, p. 113.

Two months after the trial, Alabama native William Bradford Huie (author of "They Slew the Dreamer" and other books on the Civil Rights movement), got the slayers of Emmett Till to confess -- in detail -- to the crime.

Not only did Milam and Bradley admit to abducting Emmett Till from his granduncle's house, Milam also stated that he shot Emmett in the head. Both claimed that they had not intended to kill him, but when Emmett (out of fear?) said that he had a white girlfriend in Chicago, "Milam and Bradley knew what they had to do. Milam said, '[White women are] what we got to fight to protect." (Brown, p. 114.)

Although Huie's interview was published in the January 1956 issue of "Look" magazine, due to the Constitution's prohibition on double jeopardy, Milam and Bradley, despite their confession, could not be legally prosecuted anymore. "But ironically, Milam and Bryant were ostracized for 'disgracing' their community for their well-publicized act." (ibid.)

Jennie Brown concludes:

The Emmett Till case was a turning point not only for Mississippi but for the nation as well. The cloak of darkness... was now lifted on the ugliest manifestations of Mississippi racism. White men would continue to get away with the murder of blacks -- but not without protest from both blacks and whites. Hodding Carter, the editor of the white newspaper "Delta Democrat Times"...: "Mississippi gave a sorry demonstration of an inadequate legal system... that presented an attitude of so little concern that even the people most convinced that two half-brothers were guilty of murdering a young Negro boy... had to admit that the case was not proved."

Brown, pp. 114-115.

In comparing the Till murder to another case tried in Sumner, in which a black gas-station attendant, Clinton Melton, had "been shot in broad daylight by a white customer who had complained that Melton didn't put enough gas in his car" (Brown, p. 115.) -- again, despite eyewitness testimony, this white man was also acquitted (by an all-white jury?) --, Carter stated that these cases "served to cement the opinion of the world... that no matter how strong the evidence nor how flagrant the apparent crime, a white man cannot be convicted in Mississippi for killing a Negro." (ibid.)

Discographical Background of the two unrelated "The Death of Emmett Till" songs:

Bilbrew, A. C.
“The Death of Emmett Till—Part 1 and Part 2.”   

Dootone Records 382.  Performed by the Ramparts 
[featuring Benjamin Sherman "Scatman" Crothers]. 
Published by Dootsie Williams Incorporated, B.M.I. 1955.   
Lyrics published in California Eagle, 29 December 1955.
Song retelling what happened to Till, whose “name will be a legend we all know.” When Till agrees that Carolyn Bryant is good looking, saying “Wheee! You’re right,” that “remark cost him his life.” The two white men at trial “grinned and smoked and chewed / As the fearful witnesses all did testify.” In the end, however, it was to no avail, and we “won’t see little Emmett any more.”
Source: Emmett Till in Literary Memory and Imagination

Also covered by Joan Baez on
Pete Stanley and the Cambridge Folk Music Years
Fire at Club 47 (
as "Emmet Till" [sic]

This is most likely 
an unauthorised recording 
distributed on CD-R 
by Pete Stanley through

Recorded during one of Joan's live performances at Club 47,
47 Mt. Auburn Street, Cambridge, MA, in 1960, this is nevertheless an important historical document of the Boston/Cambridge folk scene.

Joan Baez In Concert, Part 2 (bonus track on 2002 CD Reissue, Vanguard 79599-2)

Recorded live Knoxville, TN, 1963, Arthur Lewis (author of liner-notes), to avoid possible confusion with the identically-named Bob Dylan song, added the following info:

Another mysterious 'bonus' track is 'The Death of Emmett Till," but not the version composed by Bob Dylan in February 1962 [sic] as a memorial to the Negro murder victim of 1955, which Bob sang at a CORE (Congress of Racial Equality) rally at City College of New York. Bob's Broadside ballad was unknown to Joan. The version of the Emmett Till story she sings here was composed by  Ms. A. C. Bilbrew, distinguished Los Angeles community leader, the first African-American to host a radio show....
Bilbrew's "Emmett Till" was originally recorded by The Ramparts on the LA doo-wop label, Dootone
Dylan, Bob. “The Death of Emmett Till” [a.k.a. “The Ballad of Emmett Till”]. 
First performed 26 January 1962. 
Recorded 2 July 1962. 
Lyrics in Writings and Drawings, 19. New York, Knopf, 1973.
Recounting the details of the lynching and the trial, the song is notable for its activism and its errors. Dylan not only claims that Milam and Bryant confessed to the crime before the trial started, but he also asserts that “on the jury there were men who helped the brothers commit this awful crime.” The song ends with a call to action, for if “we gave all we could give / We could make this great land of ours a greater place to live.”

Source: Emmett Till in Literary Memory and Imagination

Copyright History:

By publication in Broadside #16 
(Mid-November 1962):
as "Ballad of Emmet Till" [sic], by Bob Dylan,
with the notice "©1962 by author" (p. 3)
(reprinted in liner-notes for   
Broadside Ballads, Vol. 6: Broadside Reunion
Folkways Records FR 53151, late 1972)

In the 1964 songbook Broadside: Songs Of Our Times  From The Pages Of Broadside Magazine, Volume 1,  Len H. Chandler is credited with the tune, with the notice "©1962 by authors"

M. Witmark & Sons three-year agreement (July 12, 1962):
assigning/transferring the copyrights of "all musical compositions" created during the term of the contract.

First recording most likely on January 13, 1962 for Cynthia Gooding's WBAI radio show "Folksinger's Choice" (crediting the tune to Len Chandler), eight days after signing a contract with Duchess Music (terms of contract unavailable).

Other 1962 performances/recordings: 

McKenzie Tape (January 29, 1962, possibly December 4, 1961)
The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan outtake (April 24, 1962)
WBAI "Broadside Show" (May 1962) (Len Chandler is mentioned again)
Finjan Club, Montreal, Canada, July 2, 1962
Witmark Demo, December 1962  
for copyrighting "©M. Witmark & Sons", February 15, 1963.
Copyright © 1963, 1968 by Warner Bros. Inc.; 
renewed 1991, 1996 by Special Rider Music

All copyright data for Dylan's song compiled from 
Tim Dunn, The Bob Dylan Copyright Files 1962-2007, Bloomington, IN, 2008

Any copyrighted items are included here for "nonprofit educational purposes" (one of the criteria of "fair use", Copyright Act of 1976, 17 U.S.C. § 107) only.

Talkin' Bear Mountain Picnic Massacre Blues (alternate lyrics, McKenzie manuscripts, Summer 1961)

Noel Stookey gave me the idea for the "Bear Mountain Song" I wrote it overnight but I wasn't there. Never sing it the same way twice because I never wrote it down.
Folklore Center flier, Oct-Nov 1961.

...on June 19, 1961, Stookey sat in the Gaslight reading the New York Herald Tribune, which contained an article about a Father's Day boat cruise up the Hudson River to Bear Mountain that had gone awry due to counterfeit tickets and overcrowding. 
Stookey showed the story to a recent acquaintance, a 20-year-old singer named Bobby Dylan who had arrived in New York from Minnesota the previous winter. "I remember handing him an article on the Bear Mountain thing," Stookey said, "and he brought a song back the next day. Astounding." The song was "Talkin' Bear Mountain Picnic Disaster Blues," which Dylan wrote in the style of his idol, Woody Guthrie. Dylan was not at that point known as a songwriter, which made the composition all the more surprising. 
William Ruhlman, Peter, Paul and Mary -- The Early Years, 
Goldmine Online, 1996 (no longer retrievable).

The song had its origins in the pages of the New York Herald Tribune of June 19 [1961]. Dylan was sitting in the Gaslight with Noel Stookey who was just about to become Paul of Peter, Paul and Mary.
"Want to hear something funny?" Stookey asked.
A Harlem social club had chartered the Hudson Belle, for a Father's Day cruise up the Hudson to Bear Mountain. As the picnickers were crowding the pier... rumors (later confirmed) spread that about a thousand counterfeit tickets had been sold around town and that those families with fake tickets would not be permitted aboard. The boat docked a couple of hours late and there was a mad scramble to get aboard and a good deal of panic and fighting on all three decks. The cruise was called off and about a dozen people were taken to a hospital for treatment of their injuries. Dylan sat... with the story before him and quickly wrote his own version.

Anthony Scaduto, Bob Dylan, London 1973, pp. 80-81.

"McKenzie manuscripts," Summer 1961

First transcribed by Chris C. in "Isis", No. 45, Oct-Nov 1992.

Substantially different alternate lyrics (believed to be uncopyrighted)
to published version © 1962, 1965 by Duchess Music Corporation; renewed 1990, 1993 by MCA

I saw it advertised one day,
That the Bear Mountain Picnic was out this way.
Come along and take a trip,
We'll transport you there on a ship.

Bring the wife and kids, fun for all.

I ran down and got a ticket,
To this here Bear Mt. Picnic.
Little did I realise,
That I was in for a pleasant surprise.

Took the wife and kids down to the pier,
To see 6 thousand people there.
They all had tickets for the trip,
Oh its a pretty big ship.

Besides the more the merrier.

We all got in and what do you think,
The big boat started to sink.
More people kept piling on,
That old ship was a going down.

This ain't no way to start a picnic.

I lost sight of my kids and wife,
Never saw so many people in my life.
That ol boat sinking down in the water
6 thousand people fighting each other -- dogs barking etc.

Maybe we just better call off the picnic.

I was shoved down stumbled around,
All I could hear was a screaming sound.
From then on I don't remember no more,
I got knocked out & woke up on the shore.

As I got up and looked around,
There were people splattered about the ground.
Some were on land, some were afloat
Then I took one look at the boat.

Looked like the ghosts had come.

Feeling like I climbed out of my casket,
I grabbed hold of my picnic basket.
With my wife I started walking home,
Wishing I never got up that morn.

To hell with picnics.

So if you have a picnic that's up to you,
I don't care what you do.
But don't tell me I don't want to hear it,
Cause I lost all my picnic spirit.

Picnic in my bathroom.

Now it don't seem to me so very funny,
What some people will do for money.
There's a new gimmick everyday,
To take somebody's money away.

I think we oughta send all them people on a boat, send 'em up to Bear Mt.

Any copyrighted items are included here for "nonprofit educational purposes" (one of the criteria of "fair use", Copyright Act of 1976, 17 U.S.C. § 107) only.


John Greenway - Obvious Source of Dylan's Talking Blues (expanded article, originally published in 1996)

Dienstag, 8. Februar 2011

Charlie Daniels Interview by Manfred Helfert, January 1991

© Manfred Helfert, 1991; first published in, Feb 1996. 



On Apr 19, 1990, Charlie Daniels and Band played a USO concert at the Rheingold-Halle in Mainz, Germany. At that time, I worked as an interpreter for the local U.S. Military Police who were tasked with providing security for this concert.
I figured that this was the chance to approach Charlie Daniels about his involvement with Bob Dylan from "Nashville Skyline" to "New Morning."

What interested me most was the alleged Dylan/Harrison session, of which tapes had just got into circulation (off the 'Gelston' Columbia Reference acetate II; "Song to Woody" through "One Too Many Mornings").

Unfortunately, Charlie Daniels was pressed for time and had to leave immediately after a very enjoyable concert. I was, however, able to present him with a tape of the acetate songs along with my questions and xeroxed copies from Krogsgaard's 'Master of the Tracks' pertaining to the sessions in question.

What follows is an edited version of Charlie's letter which I received on Jan 28, 1991 (edited in the sense that in most cases I have combined the original questions with his answers).

Dear Manfred,
please forgive me for taking so long to answer your very interesting letter.

Now on to your questions, I will answer them as truthfully and as candidly as I can.
As you're aware, it has been quite a number of years, so we will see how well my memory serves me.
Let me say that as to dates, even the exact year in which something was recorded, I can't say for certain. I am not very good with those sort of things.

Yes, my first Bob Dylan session were [sic] on "Nashville Skyline."
The musicians were as you assumed Charlie McCoy, Kenneth Buttrey, Pete Drake (who were on "John Wesley Harding"), Norman Blake, Bob Wilson and myself...
The list of songs on Nashville Skyline are [sic] correct.
The only song that I didn't play on was "Girl From the North Country" with Johnny Cash.

Were you, like Norman Blake, who played on several Johnny Cash albums, a regular Columbia Records sideman by then?

Although I played quite a number of Columbia sessions, I was not a regular side man for them.

Of the songs on "Nashville Skyline," Dylan stated in a 1969 interview:
"They are the songs I've been writing over the past year. Some are songs that I've sung and never written down and just turn up again. I can't remember where they come from."
Were the songs already written or did he make them up while in the studio?

Dylan did change some of the songs somewhat, and wrote most of "Tonight I'll Be Staying Here With You" after we started the session. But he seemed to have come to Nashville very well prepared.

Your next session with Dylan must have been the May 1, 1969 taping of the Johnny Cash Show at the Ryman Auditorium, which (according to my information) was taped twice.
"Living the Blues" was allegedly even recorded a third time. What was the reason for that?

I don't remember anything about "Living the Blues." I did, however, play the Johnny Cash Show with Dylan.

In May 1969, the sessions for what was to become "Self Portrait" started...
Some songs which are rumored to have been recorded at these sessions are "Thirsty Boots", "Sitting On the Dock of the Bay", "Universal Soldier", "These Working Hands", "Spanish Eyes", "Ball and Stripes Rag" (another title for "Little Sadie"?), "When a Man's Out of a Job", and an earlier version of "Went to See the Gypsy." Do you recall having played on any of these? Or on others?

We recorded so many songs for "Self Portrait" that I cannot accurately remember all the titles. However, some of the titles you mention, I don't recall. But I'm sure that a lot of the songs recorded never ended up on the album. If I remember correctly, some of these sessions were done on the last count and I was not on them. My memory is kind of fuzzy about the rest of the "Self Portrait" period.

The session I am most interested in is one which is supposed to have taken place in New York City, on or around May 1, 1970...  British New Musical Express reported in its May 6, 1970 issue:
"Dylan and Harrison Wax LP Together -- Beatle George Harrison and Bob Dylan have recorded a 'sensational' album together in New York... The recording session took place during a recent visit by Harrison to the States..."
Rolling Stone, in its May 28, 1970 issue went into further details:
"Bob Dylan snuck into Columbia's Studio B in New York on May Day and recorded for 12 hours with George Harrison... Described as 'kind of a nice, loose thing,' the get-together was produced by Johnston, who also sat in on keyboards. Other musicians included Charlie Daniels on bass and an unidentified drummer...
About five of the numbers are reportedly of high enough quality to merit inclusion on a future Dylan album..."
Did this session really take place, and were you a part of it?

First of all, let me thank you for the copy of the tape of the Dylan session...
I have wanted a copy for years and had no idea how to get one, so thank you again...
Yes, the tape you sent me came from the unreleased session.

The New York sessions you refer to were mostly songs which ended up on "New Morning;" these sessions were Dylan, Harrison, Russ Kunkle (sic) and myself.

As far as I know these sessions were never released. We recorded them again in New York, with Russ Kunkle (sic), Al Kooper, David Bromberg and myself. I think that possibly a few other people could have been on the session. At any rate it finally turned into "New Morning"....

One other thing comes to mind that may be of interest to you.
I remember Dylan got very loose and in a good mood that day and sang song after song, almost anything that we'd ask him to sing. I don't know what happened to those tapes, and I don't remember what the songs were, only that there were several of them.
I sincerely hope that the information I have supplied will be of use and interest to you. Again forgive me for taking so long to answer. I hope to meet you some day.
God bless
Charlie Daniels


John Greenway - Obvious Source of Dylan's Talking Blues (expanded article, originally published in 1996)

Back in 1996, while going through my non-Dylan records, I came across an album, I hadn't listened to for quite a while (maybe because on first listening I had deemed it too "scholarly" and too far removed from the poignancy of Woody's and/or Dylan's talking blues).

Upon consulting the booklet furnished with the album (John Greenway, "Talking Blues," Folkways, released in 1958), I was struck by the many links (too many to be coincidental, IMHO) to talking blues on tapes of early Dylan performances (especially Minnesota Party Tape 1960 and Indian Neck Festival, May 6, 1961) and his own compositions in that genre ("Talkin' New York,"Talking Bear Mountain," " etc.).

I honestly believe that (besides Harry Smith's "Anthology of American Folk Music", also on Folkways) this is one of the major single sources of Dylan's early repertoire and that some of the Guthrie talking blues were learned "second-hand" from this album.

The album contains a total of 15 talking blues, of which 6 are by Guthrie or at least Guthrie-related ("Talking Union" is the old Almanac Singers song and Pete Seeger might have contributed to this one along with others in the group besides Woody):

- "Talking Dust Bowl,"                                               
- "Talking Columbia Blues," 
- "Talking Miner," 
- "Talking Union," 
- "Talking Sailor," 
and (most interesting of all in the Dylan context) "Talking Subway." 

Dylan's Minnesota Party Tape, Fall 1960, features two of these Guthrie songs,
- "Talking Columbia" and "Talking Sailor" (aka "Talking Merchant Marine"),
as well as one non-Guthrie song from the Greenway album,
- "Talking Inflation Blues" (aka "Talking Lobbyist," written by Tom Glazer).

Even the sequence of the songs on Dylan's tape is exactly the same as on the Greenway album.

Between "Talking Sailor" and "Talking Inflation Blues", we find Dylan's earliest self-penned attempt in this genre, "Talking Hugh Brown." 

Other songs from Greenway's album contain lines paraphrased in early Dylan talking blues: 

"eatin' hog eye. Love chittlins." 
(Greenway, "Original Talking Blues")  
"He's eatin' pizza. He's eatin' chitlins'..."
(Dylan, "I Shall Be Free")                          
"There ain't no use of me workin' so much, I got a gal that brings me the mush..."
"There ain't no use of me workin' so hard, I got a gal in the white folks' yard..."
(Greenway, "New Talking Blues")
"Oh, there ain't no use in me workin' so heavy, I got a woman who works on the levee...."   
(Dylan, "I Shall Be Free")

"Women screamin'. Babies yellin'. Me a-hidin'."
(Greenway, "Talking Butcher")

"Women screamin', fists a-flyin', babies cryin', cops a-comin', me a-runnin'" 
(Dylan, "Talkin' Bear Mountain Picnic Massacre Blues")

What really gives this album away as an almost certain source for some of Bob Dylan's early repertoire is "Talking Subway" (Woody Guthrie):

Of the eleven stanzas, according to the liner notes,
"the first four may be found in a small collection of Guthrie's songs, issued in 1947"
("American Folksong," edited by Moses Asch).

"The last seven stanzas were obtained by Dr. Greenway from Guthrie at a later date 
and have never been published or recorded before."

The striking similarities between "Talking Subway" and Bob's "Talkin' New York" are too numerous to list here.

Therefore, I just want to concentrate on images found in the last seven (never before published) stanzas, which crop up in similar form in Dylan's song:

"Talking Subway:"
"Well, I got me a job in this man's town..."(5th stanza)     
"Talkin' New York:"
"Well, I got a harmonica job..."(5th stanza)
"...I finally got a job in New York Town."(6th stanza)

"Talking Subway:"
"Well, I joined the union to win my rights..."(7th stanza)
"You got to join the union, got to pay your dues..."(11th stanza)  
"Talkin' New York:"
"Even joined the union and paid m' dues."(6th stanza)

In addition to these rather blatant "borrowings" from "Talking Subway",
"Talkin' New York" even contains imagery derived from other songs on Greenway's album.

"But they got a lot of forks 'n' knives, and they gotta cut somethin',"
echoes lines from "Talking Butcher":
"'Cause he wants to cut me with that butcher knife. He got fire in his eyes. Boy! He wants to cut."

Greenway's album even seems to have influenced Dylan as late as 1965:
Just compare these lines from "New Talking Blues" (originally recorded by Chris Bouchillon in 1928) to the well-known chorus of Dylan's "Tombstone Blues:"

"Mama's in the pantry fixin' up the yeast,
Sister's in the kitchen preparin' for the feast..." 

Frankly, I consider it rather "sloppy" research by Todd Harvey, who cites my 1996 article (on p. 103 of his The Formative Dylan), but fails to correctly identify Tom Glazer's "Talking Inflation Blues", referring to it by its rather common (albeit wrong) title in Dylan collectors' circles as "Talking Lobbyist" and "origin unknown" -- all it would have taken him to come up with the CORRECT TITLE would have been consulting the liner notes to the Greenway album (which were quoted by me).

In the light of "scholarship of such magnitude", I am certainly not offended, when Todd Harvey (farther down on the same page) dismisses my 1996 findings, seemingly altogether, by claiming:

"In order for Greenway to be the basis of 'Talkin' New York', however, we must agree that Dylan was influenced by one or more of the seven 'lost' verses...." (ibid.).

I truly think that I have proven JUST THAT (with several examples) - additionally, the paraphrasing of imagery from "Talking Butcher" for another line of "Talkin' New York", the exact sequence of three songs from Greenway's album in one of Dylan's earliest recorded performances, and the obviously persisting influence of songs from this album up to 1965, makes Todd Harvey's dismissal of my findings rather absurd and illogical -- he obviously did not even consult the source (liner notes) I quoted, but feels compelled to come up with a rather vague "theory" of his own (in order to not having to commit himself one way or another) :

"Many contemporary folk revivalists such as Pete Seeger regularly performed talking blues..." (p. 104)

And furthermore, I cannot understand how his highly pretentious (but frequently sloppily researched) book became "2002 ARSC Finalist, Best Research in Recorded Folk"....

Some recordings by "The Talking Comedian of the South" 
Chris Bouchillon
(arranged chronologically by date of release, NOT by date of recording): 

Atlanta, GA, November 04, 1926     
01 Talking Blues 
02 Hannah                                          

Atlanta, GA, April 05, 1927
03 Born in Hard Luck
04 Medicine Show 
05 My Fat Girl
06 Let It Alone

Atlanta, GA, March 26, 1927
07 Waltz Me Round Again Willie
08 You Look Awful Good To Me

Atlanta, GA, April 16, 1928
09 New Talking Blues
10 Old Blind Heck
11 I've Been Married Three Times
12 My Wife's Wedding
13 Oyster Stew

Atlanta, GA, October 29, 1928
14 Adam & Eve, Part 1
15 Adam & Eve, Part 2

Atlanta, GA, October 30, 1928
16 Ambitious Father
17 Oh Miss Lizzie
18 Girls Of Today

ALL TRACKS (believed to be Public Domain)
(Discographical info from

JOHN GREENWAY - "TALKING BLUES" (1958) - excerpts only (to illustrate this post)
Please support Smithsonian Folkways by purchasing the album or considerably higher quality downloads.

July 13, 2006
Segment 1: "From the Archives: Defending the OPA." (1946)

Real Media. MP3. Time: 13:00.
Pete Seeger and a number of other well known folk singers sing to "save the OPA," the Office of Price Administration, and its price control regulations. The OPA was established during World War II, created to address the problem of wartime inflation. From 1942 and througout the war and the immediate post-War period, the OPA was responsible for regulating prices, rents, ration scarce consumer goods m(including automobiles, sugar, rubber, coffee, gasoline and fuel oil, meat, processed foods, and many other commodities. In the post-War period, these controls were slowly lifter and the agency was finally eliminated int 1947, some of its controlling functions being taken over by various other agencies. For more details on the administrative history of the agency, see the National Archives' finding aid to the Administration's records at: For more information about this particular recording, contact Talking History/University at Albany, or the National Archives' Motion Picture, Sound, and Video Records LICON, Special Media Archives Services Division, College Park, MD.

ROBERT A. ZIMMERMAN - four "talking blues" (Minnesota Party Tape, 1960)
These recordings were done with the artist's permission and prior to his recording contract. 

Any copyrighted items are included here for "nonprofit educational purposes" (one of the criteria of "fair use", Copyright Act of 1976, 17 U.S.C. § 107).
Original content (c) Manfred Helfert 1996 & 2010.