The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #23506   Message #263028
Posted By: Art Thieme
23-Jul-00 - 11:34 AM
Thread Name: Merle Watson's death (1949-1985)
Subject: RE: Merle Watson's death
Stephen (Steve) Wade selected and wrote great notes for the recent re-issue on CD of grand excerpts from the Library Of Congress Archive Of Folksong field recordings. We all have our favorites from all the wonderful LPs the Library issued from it's collected material, but these are some of the best (if it could be possible to choose "the best"). It's enough to say that Steve made some great choices. Vera Hall's voice from Livngston, Alabama is there in all her glory. Pete Steele's banjo and Jess Morris's sublime Goodbye, Old Paint (it has to be heard to be believed. It is only the most emotional fiddle-voice duet I have ever heard). But I hope for subsequent issues that ought to include one of my favorite ballad singers----Emery DeNoyer--the blind balladeer of the lumber camps who entertained the shantyboys with heroic tales out of their own lives. But Bodie Sturdevant is here singing the incandescent Ain't No Grave Can Hold My Body Down. Blood Stained Banders(Banners) done by Jimmy Strothers at Cummins State Farm Prison. The Avondale Mine Disaster (John Quinn). Last I'll mention Charlie Butler's beautiful singing of Diamond Jo -------- (I spell this "Jo" instead of "Joe" with my tongue-in-cheek because my gut feeling has always told me that the song was the lament of a prisoner to a steamboat named the Diamond Jo which was actually named after it's builder, Diamond Jo Reynolds, who built those vessels on the Mississippi River for many years. One of his boats was actually named after his --THE DIAMOND JO. Also, every boat he built had a diamond on the side <> with the letters "JO" in the middle. But I've no "actual" proof of my assertion of these facts. Steve Wade knew of my theories and chose not to use them in his notes.

But I digress. sorry! ;-)

Stephen wade, now in Hyattsville, MD, continues his endeavors and folkloristic delvings. He has an instrumental CD out now where he plays various unique 5-string banjos behind some of his favorite singers.

The Library Of Congress collection is Rounder CD 1500
Steves own CD is called Dancing In The Parlor and is on County Records---P.O. Box 191---Floyd, VA--24091

Art Thieme