By John Minton
Whilst list males first traveled from Chicago or invited musicians to studios in long island, those marketers had no belief how their expertise might swap 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 enormous quantities of key "hillbilly" and "race" files published among the Nineteen Twenties and global warfare II.
In the postwar interval, nearby 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 safeguard the paintings of a few of America's maximum musical geniuses akin to Jimmie Rodgers, Robert Johnson, Charlie Poole, and Blind Lemon Jefferson. also they are an important mile markers during American well known song and the expansion of the trendy recording industry.
When those files first circulated, the very suggestion of recorded track was once nonetheless a novelty. All track were created dwell and tied to specific, intimate events. How have been listeners to appreciate an impersonal know-how just like the phonograph list as a musical occasion? How might they reconcile firsthand interactions and standard customs with technological suggestions and mass media? The documents themselves, a number of hundred of that are explored totally during this publication, supply solutions in ratings of spoken commentaries and skits, in music lyrics and monologues, or different extra refined ability.
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Extra info for 78 Blues: Folksongs and Phonographs in the American South (American Made Music Series)
Still, it’s possible even a dead-drunk, coked-to-the-gills, ex-con coal miner listening to Poole’s “Hangman, Hangman, Slack The Rope” on a whorehouse jukebox experienced just the opposite. Personally, I think it more likely he heard the voice of his mother back home. Maybe old-time records really did sound like nothing before or since. But maybe we can still hear them. Chapter Two T r u e Rela t ions S o what manner of musical events were old-time records? The key pieces to that puzzle are, of course, the records themselves, thousands of canned performances that by some accounts have ceased to be folksongs—or have at least lost their personal bearings.
Maybe it is best to think of them as grammatical tenses or moods in the phonograph’s Southern vernacular, inflections that may cooperate in any given expression to signal any number of relations between a speaker’s present circumstances, his topics, and listeners.
49 Ideally, extending the idea of folklore into new contexts would entail a little more critical scrutiny of such facile assumptions. Doing so may reveal that folklore is not always the most appropriate idea. But what other idea could be appropriate to old-time records? And how could Southerners not experience these as extensions of the interpersonal performances defining their pre-phonograph traditions? Categorically claiming that phonograph records cease to be folksongs is as misleading as saying these experiences are lost to history.