The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #146252 Message #3385920
Posted By: Will Fly
04-Aug-12 - 04:08 AM
Thread Name: Ralph Rinzler, Doc Watson & authenticity
Subject: RE: Ralph Rinzler, Doc Watson & authenticity
Elmore, the book's not perfect by any means. The later chapters deteriorate into a rather dull hagiography, but the early sections on Doc's upbringing, family life and start in the music business are very interesting - and his relationship with Merle is described in some detail.
I don't think anything that Doc played was ever 'distasteful' to him in any way. I personally think that his musical palette was very wide - far wider than many of us knew at the time - and that Ralph Rinzler, for the best and sincerest of motives, narrowed the range of colours in it.
I remember seeing Jean Ritchie saying in an interview that, when she first went to New York from Kentucky, the Saturday night barn dances, to her amusement, were full of couples dressed in check shirts and jeans - being 'country', as it were. But in her part of the world, working folks were dressed in check shirts and jeans all week - Saturday night was the time to get dressed up in your best! That's perhaps some of the context in which the US folkies of the time made their music - and what you had to appeal to as a musician.