The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #59896   Message #3679947
Posted By: GUEST,Joseph Scott
25-Nov-14 - 01:01 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Here Am I Oh Lord Send Me (John Hurt)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Here Am I Oh Lord Send Me (John Hurt)
"John Hurt had such a... highly individual style, both as a vocalist and as a guitar player...." I disagree with that. I think his repertoire, usual playing styles, and usual singing style are all unsurprising if you're given the information that he was a black man born in the South in about 1892. The soft-spoken approach to singing in particular may not have been the _norm_, but there were lots of black guys and a good number of white guys total who sang like that (Clarence Horton Greene comes to mind as an example of a white guy, and hmm says here he was born in 1894, so there you go, a contemporary).

Hurt was about 36 or 37 when he became aware of Jimmie Rodgers' work. "Mermaids Flirt With Me"'s melody was based directly on "Waiting For A Train." ("Mermaids"' lyrics, like the lyrics of "Richland Woman Blues," were by a man named William Myers, who had corresponded with Hurt after hearing him on record.) "Mermaids" is not typical of Hurt's repertoire, which he generally learned before 1920.