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

348 Responses to Paper and Pen—Open Page

  1. Jim Wagner says:

    Cousin Lynn: Wouldn’t it have been smarter to watch a couple episodes of Ken Burns’ documentary about Country Music before belittling it on the air (Sept.14)? Heck, give it a chance. And why say it is broadcast on “so-called public television”? Would HAH even exist without “so-called public radio”?

    • Howdy Jim, and good to hear from you.

      Maybe you’re right. I was going by the 2-CD ‘soundtrack’ I got from Sony, and the 41 songs they included. Hank Snow wasn’t there. George Jones was, but only his career-punctuating potboiler, ‘He Stopped Loving Her Today’. Looked unpromising, given 16 or so hours that Mr Burns had at his disposal. And I had watched his series on jazz and found it musically wanting, concentrating on the social history instead.

      Well, I did watch the first episode last night, and was gratified to see a good portion of the time spent on the history of The Carter Family and on Jimmy Rodgers. I don’t like the style of production, where we are given snippets of songs, then overlaid with commentary, but as Dr Janie says, it’s a history, not a concert. But I was happy to see them focusing on the two most important founding artists in the field. We’ll see what the rest brings.

      PBS is taxpayer-supported (in part), but its political bias (to the left) makes it less than ‘public’ in my view. If you want true public television, watch C-Span. WHRB is a non-profit commercial station, run by Harvard undergraduates, and helped by in-kind contributions (space, light, and heat) by Harvard University. It is, however, a private entity, not ‘public’. /CL

  2. Jim Wagner says:

    Thank you, Lynn–

    I had misunderstood that WHRB is an entirely for-profit station. Sorry.

    Glad to know you were encouraged by the first segment of the Burns documentary. I thought that one and the second last night were excellent, an enjoyable way to learn a lot. Yes, the film IS a history instead of a concert. I don’t know why they bothered to produce a CD soundtrack–not a good idea for a series like this. Tonight they’ll go further into Bluegrass.

    In the 1970s I attended a concert at the Smithsonian honoring Bill Monroe. It happened the day after “Stringbean’s” sad death. Bill said until “String” joined his baseball team in early days he had not thought about adding a banjo to the kind of band he was building! Bill then sang and played “Wayfaring Stranger” in memory of his friend. ~JW

    • Howdy Jim— Not quite correct about WHRB: It’s a non-profit commercial station.

      Didn’t see last night’s episode of the Ken Burns series. Appointment TV doesn’t work for us that well, and I don’t have a DVD recorder. However, I see from the PBS website that we can stream the series with a downloadable app, which means we can watch it at our own convenience (and pause it, too!). So I’ll try that later this week.

      Re Bill Monroe, there’s a wonderful version of ‘Wayfaring Stranger’ on a Smithsonian-Folkways CD of house concerts Bill gave. I’ve played it on HAH. Have to pull it out again.

      Be sure and let us know what you think of subsequent episodes. /CL

  3. Steve Bartlett says:

    I enjoyed last night’s second episode. Some of the material was new, and much I had read or heard previously.

    There seemed to be an overemphasis on photos of people, especially children, taken during the years of depression poverty and uprooting. And I realize that the constant use of pans and zooms is to try and impart a sense of motion to still photos, a PBS standard technique.

    I was fortunate to see the Maddox Brothers and Rose live once in Texas. They were a hoot and appeared to have at least as much fun as their audiences. True to their motto, Most Colorful Hillbilly Band, they did Great Philadelphia Lawyer in costume, acted out. It tickled me no end to hear not only the gunshot in their definitive recording, but the cry immediately following. I won’t repeat the word here in genteel company.

    • Well, the timing worked out, so we watched tonight’s (Tuesday’s) episode. Surprised you (Steve) mentioned the Maddox Brothers and Rose, as there was a segment on them tonight (also last night?). And yes, Jim, they gave some time to Bill Monroe and Flatt and Scruggs (with some quotes from Mac Wiseman, who left us only this year). But the bulk of the show was on ‘The Hillbilly Shakespeare’, as Hank Williams has been called. And I have to say it was as good a biography of Hank that I have seen; hard to watch, actually, especially the last days. Maybe younger viewers will get a sense of the brief flash of musical greatness that was lost on December 31st, 1952. /CL

  4. Margaret Brooke says:

    Thanks for playing It’s Me again, Margaret. I am Margaret from Lexington and I used to regularly ask you to play it but now I have it on a CD. Can you imagine my delight when, at work, I answered the phone and a friend said, “It’s me again, Margaret.” She was really puzzled when I started laughing! Did Paul Crafts also write Drop Kick Me Jesus? Please play that sometime soon.

  5. Nin says:

    Listened to HaH 11/9 – do you post a song list for the show?
    If yes, where is the link? If not, who did the “Tip of the Bottle” song, played around 10:30 ?
    Enjoyed the show….

    • Howdy Nin— I don’t publish a playlist, unfortunately. See ‘Why No Spinitron?’.

      ‘Each Tip of the Bottle’ was a single from 1972, by Jimmy Woods and The Woodsmen. I am just learning that they were a New Hampshire band that played regularly at a bar Jimmy Wood (no ‘s’) owned in Dover called Jimmy’s Sports Bar. Jimmy died in 2015, and the bar was torn down to make room for a development. /CL

  6. Ryan says:

    Cousin Lynn, my sincere thanks for playing Second Week of Deer Camp this morning (Niv 16). As a displaced Wisconsin hunter living in Boston, I thoroughly enjoyed the nostalgic feeling that song brought me. Also, even though it might not be HAH material, I hope you’ve heard Da Turdy Point Buck.

    • I’ll have to find the original. And listen to Da Turdy, if we have it. I got kinda tired of Da Yoopers’ songs about diarrhea. Play ‘Rusty Chevrolet’ on the Christmas show every year, though. /CL

  7. Greg Moore says:

    Lynn: As far as I know, Pistol Annies have three albums: Hell on Heels (2011), which you mentioned onair today; Annie Up (2013); and Interstate Gospel (2018). According to recent interviews with Miranda, the group is still active.

  8. Fred Scholz says:

    Hello Cousin Lynn, I think the Virginia Bluebell is a variety of Mountain Bluebell, different from Texas Bluebonnet, which I think is a wild lupine. Have listened for 40 years and hope to continue. Best Regards and Merry Christmas, Fred

  9. National Endowment for the Arts Statement on the Death of National Heritage Fellow Clyde Davenport

    February 20, 2020

    It is with great sadness that the National Endowment for the Arts acknowledges the death of Appalachian fiddler Clyde Davenport, recipient of a 1992 National Heritage Fellowship, the nation’s highest honor in the folk and traditional arts.

    Clyde Davenport was born October 21, 1921, in Mount Pisgah, in south-central Kentucky. He was raised in the Blue Hollow of Wayne County in the Cumberland Plateau region. When he was nine, Davenport made his own fiddle from barn boards, using hair from his family’s mule for bowstrings. Within a few hours he was playing fiddle tunes that he had heard his father play. Soon he became interested in the banjo, which his father also played, and made his own and taught himself to play.

    In his mid-teens, Davenport first heard the music of the widely admired fiddle and banjo duo of Blind Dick Burnett and Leonard Rutherford. He particularly admired Rutherford’s long-bowing technique, which was typical of the region. His attraction to Rutherford’s flawless technique led him eventually to make the fiddle his instrument of choice, though he was also widely recognized for his old-time clawhammer banjo playing.

    The traditional fiddle music Davenport played is described as “lean, spare, sinewy.” The traditional fiddling style of this region is solo, and often the fiddle is cross-keyed. In addition to solo tunes and quick-tempo breakdowns, he played the fluid blues in the style of Rutherford. He knew more than 200 fiddle tunes, many of which are rare tunes learned from his father, grandfather, and fiddling neighbors of earlier generations.

    Intermittently throughout his adult life, Davenport made full-time work of making and repairing fiddles. His reputation as an instrument maker and repairman, as well as his playing, made him the center of the old-time music world in central Kentucky. Through his appearances at festivals, concerts, school programs, workshops, and music camps, Davenport enlightened thousands to the subtleties of old-time music.

    In a recent interview, 2019 National Heritage Fellow Bob Fulcher, who made recordings of Davenport’s music, said: “If there is an American style of fiddling, it’s probably this style…The pacing and the timing of these solo pieces, it’s like in ballad singing. It’s up to that musician at that time about how long you want to sustain a note. And so, the richness of the old solo fiddle pieces is—I think is incomparable.”

  10. Don Berry says:

    I’m a big fan of the show, but enough of the weekly fond remembrances of Don Imus.
    His reference to a women’s college basketball team as “nappy-headed hos” is worse than “politically incorrect”.

    • Point noted. Imus was fond of sarcasm and ethnic jokes. He was doubtless playing on the language of the rapper subculture. But yes, he could be cruel and insensitive at times. I don’t think that outweighs a long and significant career in the broadcast and philanthropic worlds. And he greatly appreciated music and musicians, of all varieties. /CL

  11. Gordy Brown says:

    [Gordy entered this comment under the ‘Joe Val Festival Coming’ post. I moved it here. /CL]

    Another great show 3/7/2020. Happy I sent you a box of 45’s. Sounds like you’ve gotten into other boxes of 45’s as we’re hearing many new (old) songs lately.

    With the new Circle Network out of Nashville coming in on over-the-air free antenna, I get to see a couple of editions of Hee Haw any day. Have to get thru the corn to get to the older artists who bring their good ole songs out. Reminding us of older artists we don’t hear much any more — Ray Price, Faron Young, Ferlin Husky, Loretta, Bobby Bear, The Highway Men, Trio, etc.

    • This got stuck in Moderation, because I had to learn how to move it here. Thanks for the kind words and the tip about the Circle Network. Apparently it’s OTA only, not on cable. Somewhere I have one of those boxes that convert old analog broadcast (OTA) TVs to digital. . . /CL

      • Stephen Bartl says:

        A modern TV should receive digital antenna broadcasts without a box.

        You still need to be close enough to the transmitters.

      • I think the modern (digital) TV will still need an antenna, and if you’re out in the far ‘burbs, as we are, maybe more than rabbit ears. /CL

  12. fred brink says:

    amongst so many great John Prine songs, -I hope you can play “hello in there” today.

    Fred Brink, Marblehead

  13. Pingback: WHRB and HAH Are Still on the Air | Hillbilly at Harvard

  14. Stephen Brayton says:

    Ever played Rita McNeil, the late Cape Breton diva? In her country repertoire, my favorite is “I’ll Accept the Rose”:
    Also right up there: her take on “Green, Green Grass of Home”

    Steve Brayton, Dedham

  15. Reuben Shetler says:

    Hi Lynn, Here’s a tidbit regarding your story today of the time Marshall Chapman visited HAH back in the ’90s… I remember calling in to request her song about Hank. I distinctly recall talking to Ol’ Sinc. At the time, I was unsure the exact name of the song, so I told him “just ask her for the last song on side 1 of the Jaded Virgin album!” I console myself that he ran out of time, rather than disregarding it as a dumb listener question.

    These days its much easier to look up these things – the proper title is “A Thank-You Note (Thank You, Hank)” It really is the closing track on side one of her 2nd album, Jaded Virgin (1978). It might even fit the HAH format these days…

    (Belleville, PA, formerly Hyde Park MA)

    PS. I’m curious if anyone else had this experience listening to Marshall Chapman on HAH today … thinking “hmm, I used to love that song, but something doesn’t sound right…” So I found her original: “Turn The Page” – Jaded Virgin (1978)
    Then I did my own ‘tear and compare on air with a flair’ with her new version: “Turn The Page” – Songs I Can’t Live Without (2020)
    I was amazed how dated her original sounds, all synthesizers, and chimes and 70’s rhythms. The new version is better; her voice sounds more natural than her singing 42 years ago at age 29.

    • Howdy Reuben— Sorry about the delay approving your comment. Didn’t look at HAH email account for a couple of days, and here it is Tuesday!

      Have to look and see if we have the Jaded Virgin album. Or listen to the Youtube versions.

      Amazing you remember calling the show when she was in the studio—what, 25 years or so ago? I had never heard of Marshall when she turned up; Sinc knew of her, I guess; maybe he had met her at a DJ convention. I have since read her book about Nashville. As I recall, Rooney’s song about ‘The Girl at the End of the Hall’ was about her. /CL

    • Marion says:

      I also did not find that rendition of Seger ‘Turn the Page’ as a winner.

  16. Reuben Shetler says:

    Marshall got lost in that ‘too country for rock / too rock for country’ gap, although her Jaded Virgin album did get some air play on the alternative rock station I was listening to way back then, (WMMS Cleveland OH) where I heard her. So it was quite a surprise when when she turned up years later on HAH. I remember getting a little flustered when I called in because Sinc thought I was asking for Waylon’s “Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way” T’would be kind of cool if you do find the album you could play “A Thank-you Note (Thank You Hank)” and clear the request line from 25 years ago…:)

  17. Gordon Brown says:

    Bob Wills “Sugar Blues” that aired around 11 AM today was big band and in no way was it country…not a fiddle, guitar or any other stringed instrument in it.
    Please Turn that Wills song over to the Blues Dept. and get out some classic country hits featuring steel and fiddles by the Nashville Brass. Bet you won’t.

  18. john says:

    Cousin Lynn-
    been listening for years from Billerica
    not a rabid country music fan, but I am a fan and grateful for your show
    listen as often as I can and it’s introduced me to music I’ve never heard and of course, hearing all the classics we all enjoy just makes my day on Saturday mornings
    nothing like it to get my weekend going
    hope you continue for many more years as I thought I heard you say something about the future of the show recently – for whatever reason
    be safe and of course –
    Y’all stay Hillbilly now, hear!
    Best wishes for good health to you and yours.

  19. Marcus says:

    Just wanted to say I’ve only recently discovered your show, and how happy I am to have done so. I’m now watching the clock every Saturday for 9:00 to roll around. My late father enjoyed classic country and as a typical rebellious son I of course shunned it. I’ve only found my love of the genre after his passing- I wish I could have shared your show with him!
    Thank you for your fantastic program and bringing happiness around each weekend.

    • Wow! Thanks, Marcus, for the kind words. Made my day—my week, my year! So glad you found the show. Hope you enjoy some of the newer tunes in the traditional style, too. /LEJ

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