The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #146252   Message #3385742
Posted By: GUEST,Lighter
03-Aug-12 - 04:12 PM
Thread Name: Ralph Rinzler, Doc Watson & authenticity
Subject: RE: Ralph Rinzler, Doc Watson & authenticity
> he was just as 'packaged' as anyone else.

That, as is they say, is show biz.

The Lomaxes made sure that Lead Belly, who as far as I know was even more authentic than Doc Watson, was packaged too: to the extent that he performed, at least for a while, sitting on cotton bales wearing overalls and a red bandanna.

Many of the arguments and bad feelings about "authenticity" on both sides of the ocean seem to me to come from the fact that, early in their lives, many of the arguers were misled by album notes and other sources into believing that their favorite performers were either straight from the soil themselves, or else sang absolutely traditional songs in an absolutely traditional manner that they'd learned from absolutely traditional singers.

If you were so misled, and now know it, you can take one of two basic positions: either deep disappointment with those who misled you, or an enthusiasm for the "inauthentic" material as still the real McCoy -in some newly defined sense of "the real McCoy." (Ex.: "It's *all* part of the tradition, you pedantic purist!")

A third point of view is simply to shake your head sadly, acknowledge the difference between the real and the ideal, and go on from there.