The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #6761 Message #661035
Posted By: GUEST,MCP
01-Mar-02 - 08:30 PM
Thread Name: Origin: Tell Old Bill
Subject: RE: Tell Old Bill
Of DIS MORNIN', DIS EVENIN', SO SOON (his title - not TELL OLD BILL as in his words in DT) Sandburg says (of the source) only that This arrangement is from the ballad as sung by Nancy Barnhart, painter and etcher, of St. Louis
The site: Old Town School of Folk Music - A Companion to the Old Town School of Folk Music Songbook, Stories & Information Compiled and edited by Mark Dvorak - has the following to say of it:
Carl Sandburg first heard this grim blues-ballad from Nancy Barnhart of St. Louis back in the 1920s. Ten years later, folklorist and singer Sam Hinton came across an African American farmer in Walker County, TX who sang another version. And in the late 1950s, Bob Gibson introduced "Tell Old Bill" to a wider audience when he recorded an interpretation of Sandburg's version.Mick
While Gibson's records may sound like run-of-the-mill white-boy folk to modern listeners, he played an important role in popularizing folk music to American audiences in the 1950s at the very beginning of the folk boom.
His 12-string guitar style influenced performers like Gordon Lightfoot and Harry Chapin; he was a mainstay at one of the first established folk clubs in the U.S., the Gate of Horn in Chicago; and he wrote songs with Shel Silverstein and Phil Ochs, as well as performing in a duo with Hamilton Camp. Most of all, he was one of the first folkies on the scene - when he began performing and recording in the mid-'50s, there was hardly anyone else playing guitar-based folk music for an educated, relatively affluent audience.
Gibson helped Joan Baez and Phil Ochs in their early days, and was managed by Albert Grossman, who later handled the affairs of such giants as Bob Dylan and Peter, Paul & Mary. He did continue to perform in Chicago in the latter part of his life until he passed away from Parkinson's disease in September 1996 at the age of 64.
• "Sing Out!" Magazine, Volume 9, Number 2.
• "All Music Guide" on the World Wide Web.
Recordings on file by: Bob Gibson, Jim Post.