Paper and Pen—Open Page

UPDATE: I know that scrolling to the newest comments is a bit of a pain.   But reversing the order (so newest appear on top) makes hash out of replies.  I have broken the thread into sub-pages, so you won’t have to scroll too far.  I have also enabled ‘nesting’, for replies to comments right under them.  We’ll see how that works.

Note that you can always comment on Home Page posts, when relevant.  Just click on the headline, or the Comment link at the bottom of the post. /CL 27Feb15

This page, or series of pages, will be essentially an Open Thread, for Hillbilly at Harvard friends and neighbors.  Here’s a place for you to comment, suggest, request, opine, recollect, or just discuss the show and the music.

Why a new page?  The free WordPress does not allow the user to create posts on any pages except the Home Page (or equivalent).   So an Open Thread on the Home Page will eventually get pushed down by newer posts.  But I can allow comments on a new page (like the Country Calendar page).  With a lot of participation, it could get over-long, but then I can create a new Open Page (as I’ll call them), and keep the old one(s) for archival purposes.

Will this work?  It should, but we’ll see.  Comments will be of course be moderated, and seriously off-topic comments will be snipped, as will insults and vulgarity, though I don’t expect any here.

Have fun!  /CL 13Oct13


260 Responses to Paper and Pen—Open Page

  1. Michael Pappone says:

    Suggestion for your Christmas show: Sherwin Linton’s “Santa Got a DWI”

  2. Steve Bartlett says:

    Re: The Maddox Brothers & Rose on yesterday’s recorded program:

    I saw them once in Beaumont in 1953. They sold out the City Auditorium.

    It is too bad videos were not made then. They put on costumes and acted out “The Great Philadelphia Lawyer.

    They very obviously enjoyed their work.

    The gunshot is not in all the record releases of the Phil. Lawyer recordings.

    A friend once informed me (I had not picked up on it) that the cry right after the gunshot is “Raaaape!!!”

    Steve Bartlett

  3. M. Rhinehart says:

    Cousin Lynn, just heard you mention this page today. I hope I am using it properly. I am not commenting on other peoples entries, hope that’s okay.
    Here’s my issue…can you consider making the show available via a podcast? Too many Saturdays I am in and out; therefore not able to catch the entire show. Sure would be nice to listen to it from start to finish on a regular basis.

    • Howdy M.— Happy to have your comments; no need to reference others. The question of podcasts has come up often, and my response is, unfortunately, it’s not up to me, and The Powers That Be at WHRB have shown no interest that I am aware of. If listeners are able to download programs, there is a problem of music copyright, which is onerous. However, I do not think a podcast one can listen to, but not download, would present any problems.

      In the meantime, I am suggesting that listeners record HAH (and any other programs they like). You can record the Internet stream, or the on-air broadcast. I have described the process in more detail: HERE


  4. Steve Kilbride says:

    Just got reacquainted with the wonderful music of Stoney Edwards – the late African-American country singer from the 70s who exists in Charlie Pride’s shadow -can you play some?

  5. Anne Atheling (Emily's Mom !) says:

    thanx for Hot Club….wish they were coming to N.E.

  6. Hank Edenborn says:

    Don’t know whether this is still of interest, per the old Tex Logan article, but Big Slim did record “Sunny Side of the Mountain” for the Johnstown, PA Page label (Page 508), the same label for which the Lilly Bros. made their first recording for (Page 505). The year of recording for both is believed to be 1949.

  7. Steve Bartlett says:

    Re: The voting for a grant to restore the Stanley Brothers Radio transcription . This item received the most votes and a $5,000 grant for the project.

  8. fred brink says:

    Can you tell me where to find the recording of “I Woke Up Still Not Dead Again Today” ? played on HillbillyatHarvard 02/10/18

  9. Michael Pavan under Steve’s comment above asks:

    If Hillbilly at Harvard can’t become a podcast, maybe it could go on where the program would be available for only 2 weeks and you can only listen from start to finish (can’t start and stop where you want).

    I’m not familiar with RadioFreeAmerica, but a quick look suggests it may be something that the higher-ups at WHRB could be interested in. I’ll ask. Thanks for the tip. /CL
    PS Use the Comment field at the bottom of the page, if you’re not reponding to an earlier comment.

  10. Gordon Brown says:


    FROM THE SPRING 2000 edition of Yankee Country Echoes newsletter:

    By Billy King:

…at that time, Doug Terry, MC and rhythm guitar, Andy Bator, bass & fiddle and myself
(Lead guitar) were playing at the Mohawk Ranch in Boston. so the three of us decided to keep
the network show going.

I then added Floyd Stamm, steel guitar, Dave Miller, bass & fiddle and (others). To add
variety, I asked a very good friend, Joe Val to bring his group, The Berkshire Mnt. Boys
on the show occasionally and he was happy to.

That band consisted of Joe on five string banjo, Danny Gillis, Dave Miller (he and Bator
switched off between bands), Larry “Slim” Sullivan and a mandolin player named Jack Clements
    [Jack had been brought to the Hayloft Jamboree by the show’s director at
the time, Aubrey Mayhew, from Wheeling along with Buzz Busby, mandolin and Scotty
Stoneman, fiddle known as The Bayou Boys–Ed].

….Mutual later canceled the show but it was an important part of New England country
music’s heritage.”

    [In the same issue is this article.]

JOE VAL DAY – the Rest of the Story, by Bob French

I first met Joe Val in the Hillbilly Ranch sometime in the middle 1950s. I had been
 fighting with the banjo [learning to play it–Ed] since 1952. It was a struggle since there
were few pickers around. I had met the only two, Eddy Johnson and Herb Hooven. Eddy
 was playing with Toby Stroud in the Mohawk Ranch in Boston. I didn’t get into Boston
 often since my band was playing 5 to 7 nights a week, and doing some double headers 
on weekends.

The next time I got into Boston, the Mohawk was closed and Toby was playing in the
 Hillbilly Ranch. Herb was the only banjo player I ever actually got to talk to until some-
time later when I got to meet Don Stover. That was in the Novelty Bar before they (Don
and the Lilly Brothers) moved into the Hillbilly. Don set up my first brand new Gibson banjo.

Bob & Joe Learn to Play Banjo

Sometime during this period I met Joe Val who was also learning to play the banjo. We 
got to be friends. Joe at that time lived in Somerville on St. James Street. We used to call it
 Jesse James Ave. We used to get together at Joe’s and swap licks. On a few occasions, when 
the playing schedule permitted, I had Joe, Danny Gillis and Dave Messier out to my place to
 pick and have fried chicken.

Sometime later Joe wanted to move to Waltham. I got a truck and we moved him and the
 family to Moody Street. It was during this period that Joe gave up on the banjo and switched
 briefly to the fiddle. I say briefly because it was pretty awful! Even Joe couldn’t stand it! It was
 then that he took up the mandolin. I bought his old RB100 banjo and he bought a mandolin.
 When he bought the house up on Standpipe Hill, I once again got a truck and moved him
 up there. Joe and I had become fast and true friends. We never had a chance to play together 
as we were always in different bands. It was during this period that I got to know Herb Applin
 as he also lived in Waltham, not far from Joe. We used to get together and jam whenever

In 1968 the Charles River Valley Boys were breaking up, as was my band, The Rainbow
 Valley Boys. I did a brief stint with the Twin River Boys with Jimmy Gaudrau, Bill Rawlins and Ed McGlothlin out of Rhode Island. Jimmy then left to go with the Country Gentlemen and the “River Boys” broke up.
In the meantime, I had been getting together with Joe and Herb. Bobbie Tidwell used to sit in on bass. We were all out of work at the same time and so, in late ’68 Fred Bartenstein decided to form the Boston Area Friends of Bluegrass and Old Time Music (BAF). We had several meetings with him and agreed that we would put on a show every month and donate our time so the money could go into a kitty. This would be used subsequently to pay the bands.

    Birth of the N. E. Bluegrass Boys

The first shows were held at the Freshmen Union at Harvard University. It was at this time Fred told us the band name sucked. We asked him what good name would be. He said, “How about the New England Bluegrass Boys?” At that time we decided that since most of the bands had a front man, we should too. Joe was nominated (kicking and screaming!) because he was (by now) so well known in the Boston area. We did, however, on occasion, use my name, as I was much better known outside of Boston. So that’s how that came about.

    [Remainder of this comment snipped, as it contains disparaging remarks about local people, and misinformation about the BBU. /CL]

  11. Jake says:

    Hey Cousin Lynn, thanks a ton for this program. I do have one criticism, though: your voice volume fluctuates a lot, from about the same as the music, to sometimes a low unintelligible mumble. Like today’s show, I heard “Tara Linhart” for that lovely instrumental (mandolin & banjo, in a minor key ?), but then your voice dropped, and I missed everything you said after that, took me too long to get to the volume knob. Just thought you might like to know. Thanks again !

    • Howdy Jake— I just listened to my aircheck of that break, and it’s true I did maunder on a bit, but I have no trouble hearing it. Depends on your environment, but you’re right; I need to pay more attention to my mic levels—and not maunder so much. (It was nothing important; just about meeting Tara at the Joe Val Festival and then about mispronouncing ‘Semiramide’.) Thanks for the critique, and thanks for listening. /CL

  12. Tom Schweitzer says:

    Missed the info on the Doc Watson 1952 recording and it’s not listed on Spinitron. Can you send it via email to me so I can purchase a copy (if that’s possible)?

    • Howdy Tom— New album, Doc Watson: Live at Club 47, recorded February 10, 1963, issued by the Southern Folklife Collection (University of North Carolina), and distributed by yeproc Records. You can buy directly from yeproc (click link). Be sure and tell them you heard it on Hillbilly at Harvard! /CL

  13. JonReuT says:

    Hi there – could you please tell me what song was played just before the two versions of Ida Red, somewhere around 940/945am on today’s show (3/17/18)? It was a spiritual, but I didn’t catch the artist. Thanks!

    • Howdy Jon— That was George Pegram’s rendition of “In the Sweet Bye and Bye,” from the first Rounder record, reissued on CD. Oddly enough, I don’t see it on Rounder’s website, but Amazon has it, HERE. /CL

  14. Steve Bartlett says:

    Uplifting But Not Religious

    How about “Each Season Changes You?”

    Or “The Bluebirds Singing” done by Mac Wiseman and Lester Flatt

  15. Matt Valencius says:

    Tuesday night bluegrass at the Cantab: Tuesday, April 17th features Boston Road at 8:30 followed by the Joint Chiefs of RetroGrass at 10. The Cantab Lounge is at 738 Mass Ave in Cambridge.

    • Howdy Matt— I assume you meant to post this to the Country Calendar page. WordPress doesn’t show me a way to move it, so I’ll just paste it over there as well. Good thing you sent it, as I didn’t get an April schedule from the Cantab (or if I did, I lost it). /CL

  16. Steve says:

    Please play “Borderless Love” by the Flatlanders (Butch Hancock). It’s timely.

  17. Longtime listener says:

    Thanks. It will be worth it.

  18. Longtime listener says:

    Any luck finding”Borderless Love?” Alexa knows it. Can’t believe that the Flatlanders are unsuitable for HBH.

    • I just looked it up. We certainly do play The Flatlanders. My favorites the last couple of years have been the songs on The Odessa Tapes (demo album rediscovered some 30 years after being stuck in a closet), which were mainly Jimmy Dale compositions and leads (always preferred JD’s songs to Butch’s and Joe’s). Don’t recall seeing the album Hills and Valleys (2009), so probably did not get it.

      “Borderless Love” might be playable if you think of it as a love story like “Running Bear,” but today it sounds political—and silly (what is a country without enforceable borders?). /CL

  19. Longtime listener says:

    It is political but not silly. Why not play the song and let the listeners be the judge? (An Austin audience loved it.)

  20. Ed oulton says:

    Just listened to your October 6 2018 prerecorded show. Great show! Thank you! Long time listener 40+ yrs love Carter and Ralph those old time gospel songs are the best. Ps in Florida now love the web cast!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s